Friday, December 19, 2014

December Expiration Watch: A Great Sucking Sound

There's no getting around it: things this month look grim. I can barely keep up with all the new titles being added daily to the 12/31 body count. Of course, you could argue that it's the end of the year and things looked bad last year, too. You'd only be partly right. Over 60 expiring titles made the list then—a big number, for sure, but one that was mostly offset by a strong January and the eventual return of 15 of those titles.

But this year is undeniably worse. Over 120 titles are on the list this time—including nearly double the number of pre-1970 classics—plus 14 Woody Allen films (essentially wiping out the director's streaming catalog). Sure, Netflix could add an equivalent number of worthy films in the new year, but based on past experience, the paltry mix announced so far, and the company's increasing emphasis on original TV series over classic movies, I'm not getting my hopes up.

Some other interesting numbers: of the 120+ titles about to expire, 25 arrived in October (i.e., had three-month contracts), half of which were Allen films. Another 17 showed up in January, suggesting one-year contracts that are now ending. These were predominantly 1970s and Roger Corman flicks, so with any luck they'll be renewed in the coming year.

Other departing Corman titles (such as Galaxy of Terror and Not of This Earth) have been around for even longer, as have classics like Duck Soup and Witness for the Prosecution. Does this mean they've done their time and are now leaving for good, or is it possible they've cemented their long-term status and will be dutifully renewed next year? Alas, there's really no telling what to expect until we see how the first few months of 2015 shape up.

Since there are so many titles scheduled to leave—a ridiculous amount, frankly!—I'll dispense with mini-writeups this time out and simply list those most worthy of your time, broken down by category. Note that any movie with an asterisk (*) beside it has disappeared and reappeared at least once since this blog started (April 2013), so there's a good chance it will be back at some point in 2015. Adjust your viewing priorities accordingly.

Meanwhile, thanks to everyone who contributed to these lists this year—it's been mightily appreciated—and to all of you who kept up with this blog and helped spread the word. It's great having such a devoted group of readers. Have a great (movie-filled) holiday and a happy new year!

Classics

12 Angry Men (1957)
Duck Soup (1930)
Paths of Glory (1958) - Review

1970s

Carrie (1976)* - Review
The Gambler (1974)* - Review
Hit! (1973)
Rocky I­-V (1976­ - 1990)*
Shivers (1975)
Slap Shot (1977)

1980s

Bad Boys (1983)* - 1/1/15
Batman (1989)
Endless Love (1981)
From the Hip (1987)
Rain Man (1988)* - Renewed
Red Dawn (1984)*
Spaceballs (1987)*

Roger Corman / New World Pictures

Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
The Big Bird Cage (1972)
Big Doll House (1971)
Death Race 2000 (1975)
Eat My Dust! (1976)
Galaxy of Terror (1981)
Grand Theft Auto (1977)
Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
Not of This Earth (1988)
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)
Starcrash (1979)
Women in Cages (1971)

Family / Kids

Beethoven (1992) / Beethoven's 2nd (1993)
High School Musical (2006) / High School Musical 2 (2007) - 1/3/15
House Arrest (1996)
My Girl (1991) / My Girl 2 (1994)
The Parent Trap (1998)
The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

TV Shows

Brothers & Sisters (2006-2010)
Desperate Housewives (2004-2011)
Greek (2007-2011)
Kyle XY (2006-2009)

Too Good (or Unusual) to Ignore

Affliction (1997)
American Me (1992)
The Avengers (2012) - 12/21
Blue Valentine (2010) - 1/1/15
Boyz n the Hood (1991)
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
The Frighteners (1996)
Grand Canyon (1991)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Love Crime (2010) - 12/26
Nowhere Boy (2009)
Novocaine (2001)
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
Stealing Beauty (1996)*
The Truman Show (1998)*
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011) - 12/21


THE FULL LIST

(* indicates titles that have expired and returned at least once since April 2013)

December 21

The Avengers (2012)
Woody Allen: A Documentary (2011)

December 24

Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)*

December 26

Certified Copy (2010)
Love Crime (2010)

December 30

Bunraku (2010)
The Expendables 2 (2012)
The Hanoi Hilton (1987)

December 31

12 Angry Men (1957)
Affliction (1997)
American Me (1992)
Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
Backdraft (1991)
Bad Boys (1995)*
Batman (1989)
Battle Beyond the Stars (1980)
Beethoven (1992) / Beethoven's 2nd (1993)
The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
The Big Bird Cage (1972)
Big Doll House (1971)
Big Trouble in Little China (1986)*
Boomerang (1992)
Boyz n the Hood (1991)
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
Braveheart (1995)*
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Can't Buy Me Love (1987)
Carrie (1976)* - Review
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
The Company Men (2010)
The Day I Saw Your Heart (2011)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
Death Race 2000 (1975)
Duck Soup (1930)
Eat My Dust! (1976)
Endless Love (1981)
Far and Away (1992)
Fat Man & Little Boy (1989)
The Frighteners (1996)
From Here to Eternity (1953)
From the Hip (1987)
Galaxy of Terror (1981)
The Gambler (1974)* - Review
Gandhi (1982)
Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)*
Gladiator (2000)
Grand Canyon (1991)
Grand Theft Auto (1977)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
The Hard Way (1991)
Heart and Souls (1993)
Hit! (1973)
Hotel Rwanda (2004)
House Arrest (1996)
Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
I Was a Male War Bride (1949)
Imitation of Life (1959)
Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
The Longest Yard (1974)*
Love Actually (2003)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
My Girl (1991) / My Girl 2 (1994)
Narc (2002)
Nick of Time (1995)
Not of This Earth (1988)
Nowhere Boy (2009)
Novocaine (2001)
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
Paradise Road (1997)
The Parallax View (1974)* - Review
The Parent Trap (1998)*
Paths of Glory (1957) - Review
Rain Man (1988)* - Renewed
Red Dawn (1984)*
A River Runs Through It (1992)*
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)
Rocky I­-V (1976­ - 1990)*
Roman Holiday (1953)* - Review
Saved! (2004)*
Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993)
Shivers (1975)
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Renewed
Slap Shot (1977)
Sneakers (1992)*
The Sons of Katie Elder (1965)
Spaceballs (1987)*
Starcrash (1979)
Stargate (1994)
Stealing Beauty (1996)*
The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
Titanic (1997)*
Tombstone (1993)
The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)
The Truman Show (1998)*
Turner and Hooch (1989)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Women in Cages (1971)
You've Got Mail (1998)

Woody Allen (see Roundup)

Bananas (1971)
Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex... (1972)
Sleeper (1973)
Love and Death (1975)
Interiors (1978)
Manhattan (1979)
Stardust Memories (1980)* - Review
A Midsummer's Night Sex Comedy (1982)
Zelig (1983)
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)* - Review
Radio Days (1987)
September (1987)
Alice (1990)
Shadows and Fog (1991)

January 1

Bad Boys (1983)*
Blue Valentine (2010)

January 3

Brothers & Sisters (2006-2010)
Desperate Housewives (2004-2011)
Greek (2007-2011)
High School Musical (2006) / High School Musical 2 (2007) - Renewed
Kyle XY (2006-2009)
Scrubs (2001-2009) - Renewed
The Secret Life of the American Teenager (2008-2012) - Renewed
Ugly Betty (2006-2009)

4 comments:

Carol said...

Thank you, David. I'm feeling increasingly let down by Netflix these days, but it's nice to have a messenger I don't want to shoot. Advance notice, comprehensive lists, excellent organization of titles - your effort and skill make it so much easier to manage the disappointment. Thanks also to the tireless efforts of those readers who routinely share all the lesser known titles that are expiring. So helpful to have these rays of light in the darkness. : )

David Speranza said...

Nice to know I'm not in your crosshairs, Carol, thanks! And yes, this kind of housecleaning is not at all encouraging.

Anonymous said...

I too would like to give you my appreciation to the work everyone does. Kudos!

Robin said...

Just noticed that MI-5 seems to have disappeared.