November – Criterion Collection and Film Struck

For the month of November, the focus for Cinema Shame will be films released through the Criterion Collection and ones available on Filmstruck. With the recent disappointing news of the beloved streaming service discontinuing on November 29, 2018, it would be a great opportunity to support this platform during its final month. If we crash the service from overuse maybe it’ll at least make a statement about the importance of classic film. There have been a lot of recommendations floating around the web on what to watch before the service ends and those suggestions are listed below.

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With the holiday season rolling around, you can always count on Barnes and Noble’s 50%-off Criterion Sale, which starts November 2nd and runs through the entire month. ‘Tis a joyous time when my twitter feed becomes flooded with people stressing about the small things in life… such as which Criterions to purchase, multiple failed attempts to get the clerk to accept a coupon, or the lack of selection at your particular B&N. After those small quibbles, photos appear of recent hauls, creating envy, and influencing wish lists. Should I purchase the Ingmar Bergman box set? My wife says no, but the Internet says YES, A THOUSAND TIMES YES (but only after you’ve sold your already owned Bergman’s to cover the cost). The Criterion sale is a beautiful celebration, but also a double-edged sword of film consumerism.

You may be asking yourself, “So wait… I have to spend money to participate in this Cinema Shame prompt?” Of course not. If you’re like me, someone who owns a large quantity of unwatched Criterions beautifully gathering dust on a shelf, there is no need to purchase more than you already own. (But I probably will.) I know the following discs are upstairs waiting for me: Gilda, Nashville (a long time Cinema Shame), Cat People, His Girl Friday, The Last Temptation of Christ, just off the top of my head.

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As you prepare to pick your Cinema Shames, don’t forget to share watch recommendations and maybe even a few potential blind buys. There is always room on your Criterion shopping list.

A petition has been going around to “Save Filmstruck.” If you enjoy classic cinema I highly recommend signing it. It can’t hurt to let these soulless media conglomerates know that classic film matters. Here’s a link to the “Save FilmStruck” Petition – https://www.change.org/p/warnermedia-keep-filmstruck-alive

FilmStruck Recommendations:

A Classic Film Blog’s Recommendations – @classicmovieblg – https://www.change.org/p/warnermedia-keep-filmstruck-alive

Alicia Malone’s Watchlist on Letterboxd – @aliciamalone – https://letterboxd.com/aliciamalone/list/my-filmstruck-watchlist/

New York Times Recommendations – https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/29/movies/filmstruck-closing-best-movies.html

If you have a Filmstruck To-Watch-Before-Service-Ends List, tell us on twitter @CinemaShame and we’ll send it out through the loudspeakers.

Don’t forget to check out Episode 16 of the Cinema Shame Podcast where James Patrick and Dan Day, Jr. discuss Hammer Horror:

Subscribe on iTunes / Stitcher Radio

Direct Download (right click, save as): http://traffic.libsyn.com/cinemashame/CinemaShame_HammerHorror.mp3

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October Prompt: Horror, if you must

October is here which brings us to our prompt focusing on the genre of films involving the United Nations to celebrate United Nations Day on October 24th!

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Hold on. I’m getting word that nobody cares about United Nations Day. You goddamn xenophobes. It’s about what? Horror? Well, alright then. Horror it is.

For me personally this is a genre that I’ve always overlooked, I assume its because I’ve seen more bad horror movies than good. I grew up with middle of the road horror in the late 1990s and early 2000s, such as the return of the teen slasher film (Halloween H20, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Urban Legends), a large influx of PG-13 horror movies  (The Ring, What Lies Beneath, Darkness Falls) and a flurry of remakes (The House on Haunted Hill, House of Wax, 13 Ghosts).

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Due to my bad choices, I have some gargantuan Cinematic Shames to hack off the list. This is going to be the month I eviscerate some big ones off the list. Such as John Carpenter’s The Thing, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre and Browning’s Dracula (1931).

The saddest part of that incredibly sad confessions is that I own all of these films. The Thing has been sitting on my self for two years collecting dust. I’m hoping these films will give me a broader foundation for the horror genre. I want to be better!

If you want to do an extreme challenge for this month there is the Hooptober Cinco rules (https://letterboxd.com/cinemonster/list/hooptober-cinco-your-terror-is-a-locked-room/) created by The Cinemonster. There are rules and guidelines but the overall objective is to watch 31 horror films during October. You can view 007hertzrumble’s post about his October plans here.

Let us know what horrible and terrifying Cinema Shames you have planned. Along with that, throw in your Halloween costume ideas. Submit your Shames by tweeting your post to @CinemaShame or emailing us at cinemashame@gmail.com. Use the banners below to tag your posts and spread the horrific October Shame! Or UN Shame. Either way.

-NB

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September Prompt: Burt Reynolds

Our delinquency has been noted. However, we here at Cinema Shame have been grappling with some strong emotions regarding the passing of Burt Reynolds on September 4th. As a result, we’ve scrapped our planned prompt for September — instead we’re going to celebrate Burt.

As one of the great movie stars in the history of Cinema Reynolds’ on-screen career spanned 60 years. Reynolds made his first TV appearance in 1958 on two episodes of a series called Flight.

James wrote a short piece on Burt Reynolds for the Action a Go Go website.

Instead of rehashing a summary of all that text here, we’ll give you the opportunity to link on over and read the piece in its entirely.

The takeaway, in case you don’t feel like a click, is that Burt made a lot of great movies that many movie fans overlook as a result of a populist, good ol’ boy beer swilling, car driving, mustache grinning late 70’s persona. Burt Reynolds made musicals and comedies and action films and detective thrillers, many of which settle into the shadows behind his “Bandit” persona.

Before we turn to horror in the month of October, we’re going to ask you to toss in a few of those Burt Reynolds movies you might have overlooked. Like Smokey and the Bandit? Try Hooper. Did you think that Burt’s career peaked with Deliverance and The Longest Yard? Take a chance on Sharky’s Machine, Hustle or Breaking In. Maybe you prefer the lighter side? He sings and dances (at least better than Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia!) in Peter Bogdanovich’s At Long Last Love and makes for a fascinating comic duo with Ryan O’Neal in Nickelodeon. His surprising pairings with Jill Clayburgh in Semi-Tough and Starting Over will make you wonder why they didn’t make a dozen movies together.

We’re asking you, during these last few weeks of September, to set aside some time for Burt. If you need any recommendations for deep cuts, James (@007hertzrumble), as our resident Burt aficionado, will be happy to supply you with a lengthy list of worthy choices.

Rest in Peace, Burt Reynolds. May your movies continue to endure and entertain for generations to come.

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Remember to post your thoughts on your blog or on the pages of the CinemaShame website. We’ll post a roundup at the end of the month featuring the thoughts of all of our grieving moviewatchers. Submit your Shame by tweeting your post to @CinemaShame or emailing us at cinemashame@gmail.com. Look forward to an upcoming episode of the Cinema Shame Podcast featuring a collection of conversations about Burt and his films.

 

–JDP

 

 

 

July Prompt – Summer Blockbusters

Some of my fondest memories growing up were summer vacations at Emerald Isle in North Carolina. Being at the beach for a week had advantages in and of itself, but my favorite activity was trips to the local cinema and seeing the most recent Summer Blockbuster. Some of these were comical duds, e.g. Wild Wild West (those Jim West sunglasses from Burger King were on point, however). Some just escaped me, e.g. Men in Black. Some were just outright bad bad bad bad bad bad, e.g. Godzilla (but I do love that soundtrack), and a few, like Spiderman 2, would become my favorite films of all time.

The movies that fall into the category of “summer blockbuster” are an interesting breed. They belong to no specific genre, but at the same time they remain a genre unto themselves. They’re built for a massive audience via a delivery system of pure spectacle.

Over the years, the summer movie season has become something lesser. Remember the anticipation? The fevered rush to get tickets? Nowadays my excitement level hovers near zero regarding most summer blockbusters. I think there are two main reasons for this downturn, rampant disappointments and perpetual, regurgitated franchising that always lends an air of overfamiliarity.

Still, occasionally there are glimmers of hope. Low expectations transformed into awe. I can’t help but think about my glowing response to Edge of Tomorrow — and that was four years ago! Due to my lackluster attitude, I’ve been late to some summer blockbusters. I didn’t see Avengers until three years after its release, and I’m not referring to the one with Sean Connery in a teddy bear suit.

As for the guidelines in picking a movie for this Cinema Shame prompt, I think the only parameter for a potential selection is that it had be released between the months of May through August. It just has to *feel* like a summer blockbuster. Movies built on spectacle and pure entertainment value. My choices for this month will be watching the most recent films from the Planet of the Apes series: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and War for the Planet of the Apes.

As always, submit your Cinema Shame Summer Blockbusters by tweeting your link to @CinemaShame or emailing us at cineshame@gmail.com. We look forward to your selections, conversation and good natured ribbing over these choices.

Please, someone, anyone watch Armageddon.

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As always add these banners to your post to make it Cinema Shame brand juicy.

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May Prompt – Shame Swap!

Seeing as how its already May 10 and we’ll have a shortened Shame cycle this month, I wanted to do something completely different. If it sets your Shameful hearts afire, that’s great and maybe we’ll do it again! If not, we’ll toss this into the bin for misfit ideas and forget it ever existed. You’re going to have to follow me on this idea. Ready?

I want you to find a friend. Yes. You need friends for this exercise. You’ll also need to communicate with your friend. Once you have that friend, you’ll swap Shames! You’ll watch their most favorite movie that you haven’t seen. They’ll watch your most favorite movie that they haven’t seen.

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Got it?

For example, let’s say my “friend” has a Top 100 list on Letterboxd.com. I scan his list and note that the first movie on this list that I haven’t seen is his 12th favorite movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942). That’s my pick.

Now, my “friend” scans my Top 100 list on Letterboxd.com and recognizes his first unseen movie at #15 — Let It Ride (1989).

He watches Let It Ride and I watch Yankee Doodle Dandy.

Any questions? Once you’ve watched you’ll craft a nice little writeup and share it with Cinema Shame by tagging us on Twitter or emailing the link to cinemashame@gmail.com.

Use the following images to spread the Shame!

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February Prompt: Best Picture Winners

oscars-olly-mossWith the Oscars around the corner (March 4th) and the recent announcement of the Oscar nominees, we decided to make the prompt for February be about Best Picture winners.

89 films received this recognition. Are they the best and the greatest films of their time? Highly subjective, but I do believe they reflect the times of Hollywood and cinema, maybe not the best of times but they show some small evolution in film making. I was surprised to remember how many of my personal favorite films were actually Best Picture winners such as Marty, The Apartment, The Lost Weekend and The French Connection.

I believe the Oscars had a big impact on guiding me to certain films and helped me access the large and vast world of cinema. Let’s face it, there are a ton of movies and this was one way for me to find “the best of the best.” I look forward to the Oscars, mainly for the debate between cinephiles and the bridge it creates to discuss movies with non-cinephiles. I probably can’t have a deep conversation about mother! with co-workers but thanks to the nominations I can talk about Get Out or The Shape of Water.

When compiling the list of Best Picture winners I was expecting my number of unwatched films to significantly outweigh the number of watched, instead it was 45 unwatched and 44 seen, simply 50/50. I can thank TCM for their 31 Days of Oscar programming during high school for helping me knock out a lot of these films.  I hope to have multiple picks for the month but for right now I’m going to choose one and it will be 1927/28’s Best Picture winner and the first film to receive the award, Wings. I have two reasons for picking this film, it was the first film to obtain the honor and I recently read that Rian Johnson had a tribute/homage to it in a scene from Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Pick an unwatched Best Picture from the table below and let us know by email (cinemashame@gmail.com) or tweet us (@CinemaShame) with your choice. Happy Cinema Watching!

Year Best Picture Winner
1927 Wings
1928 The Broadway Melody
1929 All Quiet on the Western Front
1930 Cimarron
1931 Grand Hotel
1932 Cavalcade
1934 It Happened One Night
1935 Mutiny on the Bounty
1936 The Great Ziegfeld
1937 The Life of Emile Zola
1938 You Can’t Take It With You
1939 Gone with the Wind
1940 Rebecca
1941 How Green Was My Valley
1942 Mrs. Miniver
1943 Casablanca
1944 Going My Way
1945 The Lost Weekend
1946 The Best Years of Our Lives
1947 Gentleman’s Agreement
1948 Hamlet
1949 All the King’s Men
1950 All About Eve
1951 An American in Paris
1952 The Greatest Show on Earth
1953 From Here to Eternity
1954 On the Waterfront
1955 Marty
1956 Around the World in 80 Days
1957 The Bridge on the River Kwai
1958 Gigi
1959 Ben-Hur
1960 The Apartment
1961 West Side Story
1962 Lawrence of Arabia
1963 Tom Jones
1964 My Fair Lady
1965 The Sound of Music
1966 A Man for All Season
1967 In the Heat of the Night
1968 Oliver!
1969 Midnight Cowboy
1970 Patton
1971 The French Connection
1972 The Godfather
1973 The Sting
1974 The Godfather Part II
1975 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1976 Rocky
1977 Annie Hall
1978 The Deer Hunter
1979 Kramer vs. Kramer
1980 Ordinary People
1981 Chariots of Fire
1982 Gandhi
1983 Terms of Endearment
1984 Amadeus
1985 Out of Africa
1986 Platoon
1987 The Last Emperor
1988 Rain Man
1989 Driving Miss Daisy
1990 Dances with Wolves
1991 The Silence of the Lambs
1992 Unforgiven
1993 Schindler’s List
1994 Forrest Gump
1995 Braveheart
1996 The English Patient
1997 Titantic
1998 Shakespeare in Love
1999 American Beauty
2000 Gladiator
2001 A Beautiful Mind
2002 Chicago
2003
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
2004 Million Dollar Baby
2005 Crash
2006 The Departed
2007 No Country for Old Men
2008 Slumdog Millionaire
2009 The Hurt Locker
2010 The King’s Speech
2011 The Artist
2012 Argo
2013 12 Years a Slave
2014 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
2015 Spotlight
2016 Moonlight

–Nick Britt

 

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January Prompt: 2018 Shame Statements

2018 thought it could sneak up on us. Not so, you fargin’ icehole. This post may or may not have been written by Roman Moronie. And if you don’t know Roman Moronie maybe you should add Johnny Dangerously to your 2018 Shame Statement.

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It’s time again to consider your Shame! for 2018. Take a moment to review the new Cinema Shame modus operandi. Post/blog/share your Shame Statement before the end of January to be featured in the Cinema Shame monthly roundup. If you need some space to broadcast your plans for 2018, the Shame page is always open for your writing.

When you scratch off one of your Shames, post it wherever you like, share your link with Cinema Shame (via Twitter or email to cinemashame@gmail.com) and we’ll broadcast it to the moon… or at least Sweden so poor Roman Moronie can get a taste.

If you’re new to Cinema Shame and you’d like a sample from past years, here’s @007hertzrumble’s 2017 Shame Statement.

Create your list however you want. Consider friend recommendations, classics you’ve always meant to watch, AFI/BFI/IMDB lists, whatever movie guilt hangs on your conscience — take this opportunity to place your gameplan for 2018 on the Interwebs for all to see. Once it’s out there, you’re obligated to follow through.

For those Penitent Moviewatchers returning for 2018, welcome back. For anyone who has never participated in Cinema Shame, it’s good to have you aboard the Shame train. Embrace your penitence and kneel before the cinema greatness you’ve yet to discover.

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