Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February Expiration Watch: Whittling Away

"I am not an animal! I am...
...an old movie on Netflix!"
I'm going to keep it short this month, as it's more of the same old story, i.e., Netflix is taking yet another chunk out of its back catalog, erasing nearly 20 more pre-1982 titles. Among those are such all-time greats as The Elephant Man (1980), The Graduate (1967), The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), The Long, Hot Summer (1958), Old Yeller (1957), Ordinary People (1980), Saturday Night Fever (1977), and Das Boot (1981). At this rate, I hate to imagine what will be left of legitimate classics by year's end.

That's not even taking into account expiring second-tier pics like Adios, Sabata (1971), Hatari! (1962), Thief (1981), This Property Is Condemned (1966), and Will Penny (1968). Granted, there should be a few pre-1982 additions arriving in March, but at this point I count only two: Taxi Driver and 3 Days of the Condor. Of course, if you're a fan of upcoming TV shows like A Different World or the recently added Robocop remake, then no worries, right? (Note: heavy sarcasm. Do not ingest if on a low-calorie diet.)

If we look at more recent decades' titles, the picture isn't much rosier. The 1980s fare the best, with the most notable deletions being Ridley Scott's underrated Black Rain (1989), the B-grade John Hughes flick Pretty in Pink (1986), kiddie fave Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), and Terry Gilliam's hot mess, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989).

But then we hit the '90s and things get downright grim. Say goodbye to The Blair Witch Project (1999), Desperado (1995), Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), Evita (1996), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), Grosse Pointe Blank (1997), The Ice Storm (1997), The Lair of the White Worm (1997), Leaving Las Vegas (1995), and Seven (1995). Oof, that's a lot of good stuff! And, once again, it's not including popular titles like Arachnophobia (1990), Emma (1996), Girlfight (2000), Multiplicity (1996), and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993).

Say goodbye, Rachel. Say goodbye.
Did you get a chance to catch Almost Famous (2000) when it arrived back in December? No? Then you better get on it before midnight on the 28th. Ditto for a handful of other notable movies from the 2000s. Fido (2006) and Freaky Friday (2003) are regular on/off visitors to Instant—as are prestige pics Ali (2001) and Panic Room (2002), which leave a day earlier on the 27th. But Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married (2008) and the amazingly shot bird documentary, Winged Migration (2001), seem less fickle and probably won't be back anytime soon. The same goes for another acclaimed doc, Dogtown and Z Boys (2001), and its fictionalized remake, Lords of Dogtown (2005).

You can find a number of other noteworthy titles on the list below. Me, I'm going to go stare gratefully at my DVD collection and think about what new TV show I can stream in March. Hmm, now that I think of it, I've always been a fan of Lisa Bonet and Marisa Tomei. Maybe it's time for me to catch up on A Different World? On second thought, let's just chalk that up as more sarcasm.

February 27

Ali (2001)
Panic Room (2002)

February 28

1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992)
Adios, Sabata (1971)
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1989)
The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1989)
All the Pretty Horses (2000)
Almost Famous (2000) - Review
Arachnophobia (1990)
Black Rain (1989)
The Blair Witch Project (1999)
The Blue Lagoon (1980)
Brokedown Palace (1999)
Cheech and Chong's Nice Dreams (1981)
Cool Runnings (1993)
Das Boot: Director's Cut (1981)
The Deadly Bees (1967)
Desperado (1995)
Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
Dogtown and Z Boys (2001)
Dumb and Dumber (1994)
The Elephant Man (1980)
Emma (1996)
Evita (1996)
Fido (2006)
Freaky Friday (2003)
Fright Night (1985)
Girlfight (2000)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
The Graduate (1967)
The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
Hachi: A Dog's Tale (2009)
Hatari! (1962)
Hondo (1953)
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
Hoodwinked (2005)
The Ice Storm (1997)
It Could Happen to You (1994)
The Lair of the White Worm (1997)
Leaving Las Vegas (1995)
The Long, Hot Summer (1958)
Lords of Dogtown (2005)
Multiplicity (1996)
Old Yeller (1957)
Ordinary People (1980)
The People That Time Forgot (1977)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Rachel Getting Married (2008)
Riding in Cars with Boys (2001)
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
RoboCop 2 (1990) / Robocop 3 (1993)
Saturday Night Fever (1977) - Review
Seven (1995)
Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
Thief (1981)- Review
This Property Is Condemned (1966)
Troop Beverly Hills (1989)
Will Penny (1968)
Winged Migration (2001)

March 14

Charlie Chaplin Collection (1914-1918)

March 15

Jem and the Holograms (1985-1988)
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (2010-2013)


Kirby said...

Well, Lisa Bonet and Marisa Tomei were only in the first season of "A Different World", so that's not too much of a time investment lol.

David Speranza said...

Great, now I may actually have to watch it--thanks! (Said with only a small amount of sarcasm.)

Brian Clarkson said...

A Different World was alright at the time (it did deal with some serious issues back in the day), but I fear it won't age well.

Somehow, I think you might be more into 3rd Rock from the Sun with John Lithgow, Jane Curtain, and a young Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It might lean more into the slapstick, broad comedy aspect, but its observations on human behavior might be worth a look. And it comes out the same day as Different World.

David Speranza said...

Thanks for the rec. I did see that 3rd Rock was coming--and in fact mentioned it in an earlier draft of this post--but the Robocop remake made for a much easier target. ;-)

Anonymous said...

CraveTV is gonna take all the business - on merit!