Around Town: Some summer viewing choices

Just in time for summer, the Supreme Court put the kibosh on Internet retransmission of television signals in American Broadcasting Cos., Inc. vs. Aereo, Inc. Despite Aereo’s absence from the La Cañada market, it’s time to reconsider live stream offerings from vendors who have resolved their copyright issues.

Take Netflix, for example. You can watch a couple of episodes of “Orange is the New Black” on your big screen, then take your iPad to the beach to pick up where you left off.

The problem with Netflix is that it’s hard to decide what to watch. Their search engine is lame. Worse still, Netflix gives clueless recommendations and lacks the most basic film classics.

That’s why it’s good to have an Amazon Prime account. Plug the Amazon Fire into your TV’s HDMI port and suddenly, the pipeline is open. Plus, there’s no shipping charge to have water and popcorn delivered to your house.

Netflix versus Amazon Prime? Can you choose? Probably not. Keep them both, unless you have kids at home. SAT scores are inverse to watching TV. If you have kids, sell the TV sets and get a library card.

On the other hand, Around Town presents the annual summer movie list.

1. “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946), starring Fredric March, Dana Andrews and Myrna Loy, is the timeless story of three returning WWII vets. Netflix doesn’t carry it for live stream, but Amazon does. The film won seven Oscars and the story is timeless.

2. “City Hunter” (2011), a Korean TV series, with subtitles, is on Netflix. The film stars Lee Min Ho, Park Min Young, Lee Joon Hyuk. In the aftermath of the 1983 Rangoon bombing, a South Korean special forces soldier plots revenge. Years later, he returns to Seoul with his protege. If you like martial arts, romance and fashion, this is the show for you.

3. “Robot & Frank” (2012) on Netflix is a light comedy starring Frank Langella as an aging jewel thief in the near future who is given a robot caretaker. Naturally, he uses the robot to do some heists. On second thought, if you are concerned about our recent home invasions, “Robot & Frank” might not be the best choice.

4. “Ronin” (1998) has the granddaddy of all car chase scenes. With Robert De Niro and Jean Reno you can’t go wrong. Surprisingly, Netflix doesn’t live stream “Ronin,” but Amazon Instant Video does.

5. Ah, Netflix, here’s why we keep you: the binge. There’s “Lilyhammer” (yes, it is spelled that way), “Scandal,” “Orange is the New Black,” “House of Cards” and dozens of British detectives. Hours of inertia through the long days of summer, dateless Saturday nights, or, for the newly-retired, during the stolen moments from allegedly busy days. Way better than C-SPAN. Yeah.


ANITA SUSAN BRENNER is a longtime La Cañada Flintridge resident and an attorney with Law Offices of Torres and Brenner in Pasadena. Email her at and follow her on Twitter @anitabrenner.

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