Thursday, June 25, 2015

June Expiration Watch: Too Many to Tally

Impossible mission, indeed
Well, Netflix has gone and done it: there are officially more titles expiring this month than I have the capacity to process. A good number of these arrived within the last six months, many as recently as April, which makes them even more disheartening to tabulate. Plus, with a large batch of very familiar titles scheduled to return next month, I'm feeling beyond burnt-out in trying to track every coming and going (and coming...and going...). Add to that Netflix's steady stream of original content, mid-month announcements, and the ubiquity of news stories on the company's every move, and this blog has now outgrown one (unpaid) person's ability to manage it.

On a personal level, I'm also finding it increasingly difficult to balance the needs of this site with my own creative work, especially given the number of hours now required to simply update these lists and moderate the comments from all the many helpful contributors out there. Since I don't like the idea of shutting the blog down completely—something I'd been considering—I'm going to instead attempt some streamlining.

A change in approach

My plan, as of now, is to continue to post updates on what's new and what's expiring, but with a few key changes:
  1. Updates such as this will consist mainly of lists, with a minimum of editorial comment.
  2. Lists will narrow their focus to titles I can personally recommend, in keeping with the blog's original intent.
  3. These semi-monthly posts will replace the standalone Expiring and What's New pages.
  4. The current Expiring page will be converted into a discussion area, since the increasingly general nature of the comments there seems to dictate such a space is necessary (plus I'm not quite ready to start an actual forum).
What this means is, starting next month the best place to contribute your own new or expiring titles (of which I hope there will be many) will be at the bottom of posts like this. With any luck, this will make it easier to keep all relevant and timely information in a more contained space, while requiring less culling and moderating. (Since we'll be starting fresh with each post, I won't have to delete comments that are no longer relevant.)

There will likely be some growing pains, but I'm hoping things will work themselves out as we go—and that, two or three months from now, we'll all be used to the new system. Does this also affect the Amazon Prime blog? We'll see. Right now I'm having much less difficulty keeping that one updated. This may change as Prime grows more popular and other sites spring up with similar content.

And now, onto the expiring titles

So, what's actually leaving? Hoo-boy. Lots. The list is big and messy and includes everything from classic movies and TV shows to more current (and highly acclaimed) fare. I will say this: If you're a fan of the original Mission: Impossible TV show, then you better get cracking. It's going the way of the (streaming) dodo in only a few days—as are a number of other longstanding and much-loved series, including the first incarnation of Hawaii Five-O, Steven Spielberg's Amazing Stories, Wings, Young Indiana Jones, and Melrose Place (both versions, OMG!).

But I'll let you parse your own conclusions—and add anything you feel I missed. Before you do, you may want to take a look (one last time!) at the Expiring page, which lists another 200 secondary titles Netflix has deemed unworthy of holding onto. Grim times, indeed...

Tom Hanks expires in Cast Away

June 27

Biutiful (2010)

June 29

Donnie Brasco (1997)
Godzilla (1998)
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
Jack Reacher (2012)
Steel Magnolias (1988)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Underworld (2003)

June 30

180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School (2013)
Accidentally on Purpose (2009)
Amazing Stories (1985-1986)
An American Tail: The Treasures of Manhattan Island (2000)
The Apartment (1960)
Bewitched (2005)
Big Fish (2003)
Big Top Pee­-wee (1988)
Buffalo Girls (1995)
Cast Away (2000)
Chaos (2005)
Cheech & Chong's Next Movie (1980)
Creator (1985)
D.A.R.Y.L. (1985)
Digging to China (1998)
The Executioner's Song (1982)
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas (1998)
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
Galaxy Quest (1999)
Gardens of the Night (2008)
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
Golden Years (1991)
The Graduate (1967)
Hack (2003)
Harper's Island (2009)
Hawaii Five-O (1968-1979)
In Harm's Way (1965)
The Inn Of The Sixth Happiness (1958)
Johnny Carson: King of Late Night (2012)
The Keys of the Kingdom (1944)
King Kong (1976)
Knight Rider (1982-1985)
The Last Samurai (2003)
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
The Manchurian Candidate (2004)
Manhunter (1986)
Marty (1955)
Melrose Place (1992-1998)
Melrose Place 2.0 (2009)
Mission: Impossible (1966-1972)
Mojave Moon (1996)
Moonstruck (1987)
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
Natural Born Killers: Director's Cut (1994)
Ne Quittez Pas (2004)
The New Woody Woodpecker Show (1999-2002)
Nova (as far as we know, all episodes)
Out of Practice (2005)
Patton (1970)
PBS Nature docs (check your queue starting 6/23)
PBS Secrets of the Dead (check your queue starting 6/23)
Phenomenon (1996)
Philly (2001)
Pressure Point (1962)
The Punisher (2004)
The Quiet Man (1952)
Sample People (2000)
The Serpent's Kiss (1997)
Seven Years in Tibet (1997)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
Space Cowboys (2000)
The Stand (1994)
Steve Jobs: One Last Thing (2011)
Strange Days (1995)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Three Kings (1999)
Three Rivers (2009)
Undertow (2004)
Wild Wild West (1999)
The Winds of War (1983)
Wings (1990-1996)
The Yes Men (2003)
Young Indiana Jones (1992-1993)

July 1

56 Up (2012)
An American Affair (2008)
As Luck Would Have It (2011)
Crawlspace (2012)
The Taste of Money (2012)

July 2

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane (2006)
Norwegian Wood (2010)
Urbanized (2011)

July 3

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
No God, No Master (2012)

July 6

The Last Stand (2013)

July 8

Mary and Max (2009)


CanandaiguaNY said...

Last day 7/8:

Mary and Max (2009) NR 1hr 32 min. Netflix ratings average of 807,898 ratings: 4.1 stars. (Netflix blurb: A chubby 8-year-old Australian girl, and an obese, adult New Yorker with Asperger's are a pair of unlikely pen pals in this clay animation feature.)

Carol said...

Your new approach sounds fine, David. I'll miss your editorial content, but I understand about only so many hours in a day. I've wondered how you managed to accomplish so much, and I realize that labors of love vs. sanity and sleep can be a difficult struggle. Your solution is both rational and considerate, and I thank you for not abandoning us. Cheers to you!

David Speranza said...

Thanks for understanding, Carol. I really have been agonizing over this. And who knows, there may be some reviews in me yet; I just need to step back for a bit and allow some free time for other things. In the meantime, I hope this site continues to be useful for all of you.

CanandaiguaNY said...

Last day 7/8:
My Best Enemy (Mein bester Feind -- 2011) NR 1hr 45m. Netflix Average of 99,027 ratings: 3.8 stars (As Hitler's army invades Austria, a Jewish art dealer's son tries to turn the tables after he is betrayed by his friend, now a Third Reich stooge.)

Denis Meyers said...

It is too bad Netflix cannot archive films to some lessor used server or something. I do understand that the sheer volume of these files must tax storage capacity, but some of these films are timeless: Marty, and The Quiet Man for instance. Films I wouldn't mind having access to every other year or so. I watched Patton the other day and it is a fine bio movie. The Professional is now a cult classic that I could easily watch once a year. I suppose the answer it to buy the rights to stream these films in a personal library at Amazon Prime or something. But still, it would seem logical to have an online "library" of films that are "free" to all who subscribe.

David Speranza said...

Logical, yes--and certainly desired--but not practical when it means having to buy (and re-buy) the increasingly expensive streaming rights to so many titles.

As for your Amazon Prime personal library idea, that's essentially what Amazon's (non-Prime) Instant Video gives you: an ability to purchase movies and shows for your own use, in perpetuity (or so we hope). Until recently they even let you download the titles to your computer, but now you can only do so to their Fire products.

Oh, and of course you can always buy (or rent, or check out from your local library) the DVDs. Long live physical media! ;-)

Brian said...

One thought, David:

I understand your need to switch to a new system, but I'm concerned about people's ability to FIND your site after the switch. Up until now you've had a page concisely marked "Expiring" and search engines like Google have a clear way to direct people who are specifically looking for that information. If you remove the "Expiring" page so that this site is just a series of generic blog posts (like most blogs), will that not make it more difficult for expiration-date-seekers to find this site through a search engine? I wonder if there's a way to reduce your workload and yet still retain the "Expiring" page.

Just a thought.

David Speranza said...

It's a good point, Brian, and one I'll need to consider going forward. I'm not too concerned about people finding this site, as the number of readers seems to have leveled off and you guys all know how to get here. So we'll just have to take things one adjustment at a time. One possibility might be to lock the Expiring page so that comments (i.e., additional titles) can only be left on posts, which people can then reference for titles outside the main list.

jaydro said...

Man, I just want to read that TV Guide article on "M:I"! What was the Hollywood intrigue going on in the fall of '69?

David Speranza said...

Could have been a number of things--that show had such a tumultuous history. Patrick White's book, Mission: Impossible Dossier, is a great resource for all things M:I. And, yeah, I'd like to read that issue of TV Guide, too!