Amazon’s Prime Video held a press conference this past week to formally announce their presence in the country. You might’ve seen their new ads with Anne Curtis, who graced the event, which marked their first local marketing campaign. While the streaming service has actually been available in the Philippines since 2016, this formal declaration is part of a reinvestment in the country as consumers and creators, because one of the other announcements was that we would soon be seeing Philippine-made original and exclusive content appearing in the platform.
This was effectively announced by newly minted head of Originals, Philippines, filmmaker Quark Henares. A sizzle reel of in-the-works projects was presented, which showcased a variety of genres and content. A whole new batch of Filipino content (a number of TBA Studios titles, as well as classics like “One More Chance”) was added to the platform this month, as well as new additions to their anime (“Jujutsu Kaisen”) and K-drama libraries.
It was also mentioned that Prime Video is currently being offered at an introductory price of P149/month, which will be the rate for at least this calendar year.All this comes on the heels of a newly updated user interface and the addition of the entire James Bond library of movies, a result of Amazon’s purchase of MGM Studios earlier this year.
Prime Video is also keen to get people excited for its major offering of the year, the long-awaited “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” which will debut on Sept. 2. The half-billion dollar production has been shooting for almost three years.But if you’re new to Prime Video, worry not. Here’s a handy primer to some of the best they have to offer.
Arguably Prime Video’s signature shows include “The Boys,” a very dark, very funny satire on superheroes and evil corporations; “Fleabag,” which won almost every award it could, a scathing and inventive comedy dealing with grief and love; “Transparent,” Prime’s early awards powerhouse about generational trauma and the search for identity; “Homecoming,” the twisty-turny espionage thriller that marked Julia Roberts’ first foray into television; and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” about a jilted bride who becomes a stand-up comedian in the ’50s.
A subset of Prime Video Originals is what could be called dadcore: shows that fathers love. These tend to be action-oriented, and they could be either procedurals or espionage shows, but one thing’s for sure: they feature guns, and people getting things done. Highlights include “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan,” starring John Krasinski as the titular spy; “Treadstone,” a spinoff from the Jason Bourne movies about a new batch of killers from the same program; “Reacher,” featuring crime novelist Lee Child’s most famous character; and the recent “The Terminal List,” with Chris Pratt on a mission to avenge his fallen comrades. Things go boom.
These are high-budget summer tentpole movie equivalents: “The Wheel of Time,” based on Robert Jordan’s bestselling fantasy series; “The Expanse” is an adaptation of the James Corey science fiction books; and of course “The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power,” set in Middle-earth’s Second Age and featuring an even more badass Galadriel as she tries to identify a new, sinister, growing threat (hint: it’s Sauron!).
Some smaller, unique, but no less entertaining options include the charming “Mozart in the Jungle,” starring Gael Garcia Bernal as a hotshot conductor taking over the New York Philharmonic; “Undone,” an animated psychological drama from “BoJack Horseman” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg; “Good Omens,” about an unlikely pair of besties (a demon and an angel) trying their best to cancel the apocalypse; “Patriot,” a hilarious comedy of errors about a depressed but still effective spy; and “Tales From the Loop,” a moving and brain-bending anthology inspired by Simon Stålenhag’s paintings.
Hopefully this is enough to whet your appetite, as Prime Video’s already robust content library continues to grow. With an aggressive expansion and local original content on the way, there’s going to be no shortage of choices to spend your time with.