Monday, February 26, 2018

TCM/FilmStruck: The gift that keeps on giving

This morning TCM and FilmStruck dropped a bomb. Before I left for work Turner’s film streaming service, FilmStruck announced they’d be adding more than 600 films to their library.
What does this mean?
About a year ago I subscribed to FilmStruck. Founded in 2016 as a film streaming service from Turner Classic Movies, it caters to film lovers like me who enjoy classic films as well as Criterion Collection, foreign, rare and other types of film. At the time I watched a lot of the Harold Lloyd Collection, much of which I already owned but enjoyed the streaming option as well as the Kino, Janus, MGM, Warner Bros., and Criterion Films. I loved the service and having the opportunity to stream Grey Gardens any time, anywhere was fabulous.
Unfortunately, when I decided to quit my job last fall, I had to cut back on some of my ‘luxuries.’ FilmStruck had to go, and I’ve regretted it every day.
This morning’s announcement changed the game for not just me, but for everyone.  Turner and Warner Bros. reached a deal to keep FilmStruck stocked with more than 600 classic films each month from the Warner library.  This expands the current FilmStruck lineup to over 1,800 movies per month.
The current price for FilmStruck subscriptions is insanely low.
$6.99/Month for any time streaming FilmStruck plan including a constantly refreshed library of hard to find films. Classic films with TCM select, rare footage and special features.
$10.99/Month with all of the above, plus the Criterion Channel (This is what I have because I am a nut for the Criterion Collection and highly recommend)
$8.25/Month you get everything, you  just pay $99 upfront and save $30
Coleman Breland, president of TCM, FilmStruck and Turner Content Experiences, told Variety, “We never really thought about raising the price. We never went down the path of, ‘How do we make more money?’ The goal was to super-serve film aficionados, and now FilmStruck has what he touted as “the deepest streaming roster on the planet in terms of indies and classics.”
Each month FilmStruck will feature the classics in a collection of about two dozen films called TCM select and will feature introductions by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz.
FilmStruck is available on Roku, Google’s Chromecast, fourth-generation Apple TV devices, Amazon Fire TV, the web, and iOS and Android devices.
Why it matters?
My family consists of a 34-year-old woman (me), a 42-year-old man, and a 12-year-old boy. We are avid TCM fans and keep Sling only for TCM. We also bounce between Netflix and Hulu. After today’s news, I took a vote and asked the fellas in the house what they thought of giving up our other streaming service in favor of FilmStruck. The 42-year-old was in favor of all of the classic films he hasn’t seen as he is relatively new to the world of classics; while the 12-year-old was excited about all of the Harold Lloyd and Chaplin films he hadn’t gotten to watch the last time I had the service. It was a resounding yes for all of us.
This is currently the best place outside of having TCM and DVR'ing every single film that you can find Classic Films. Netflix and Hulu don't have this type of film library. This matters to any lover of classic or foreign films. We need to let TCM and Warner Bros. know that this matters and we want a streaming service like this. For years I've hoped something like this would come along. A 'one-stop-shop' for classic films, and here it is. I am absolutely over the moon.
I think we already have 153 films on our watch list so far and here are a few I think you must see if you get the streaming service. Mine aren't all new to the service, but darn good all the same.
Il Sorpasso (1962)
On a summer's day in Rome, Roberto Mariani (Jean-Louis Trintignant), a withdrawn young scholar, encounters Bruno Cortona (Vittorio Gassman), a middle-aged man driving a stylish convertible. The chance meeting leads to drinks and eventually to an extended road trip out of the city. As the unlikely pair spend time together, they find out more about each other and even visit respective family members.
Mr. Skeffington (1945) 
A woman dreams of a picture-perfect life but finds she's close to losing everything. Gorgeous Fanny Trellis (Bette Davis) appears to have her choice of men, and wealthy Job Skeffington (Claude Rains) is her pick. Fanny's marriage plans are to preserve her family's reputation, but her machinations are rendered meaningless when her brother Trippy (Richard Waring) is killed in World War I. For Fanny and Job, the following years will be colored by loss, longing, and self-discovery.
Beyond the Rocks (1922)
Theodora Fitzgerald (Gloria Swanson) doesn't love Josiah Brown (Robert Bolder), but she agrees to marry the older millionaire so he can provide for her father and two sisters. Just as the young socialite has consigned herself to living in a loveless marriage, she meets the suave and handsome Lord Bracondale (Rudolph Valentino). Although she falls madly in love with Bracondale almost immediately, Theodora tries to resist his charms, but she can fight her love for only so long.

Dawson City; Frozen Time (2016)
A Documentary about a 1978 Canadian, bulldozer digging up a long-lost collection of 533 nitrate film prints from the early 1900s.
Kitty Foyle (1940)
Working-class Philadelphia teen Kitty Foyle (Ginger Rogers) dreams of life in the city's fashionable society circles, but when she impulsively weds her former boss, wealthy Wyn Strafford (Dennis Morgan), his family disapproval is too severe for the young couple to overcome. Working in New York as a salesgirl in a fancy department store, Kitty meets and falls for kindhearted doctor Mark Eisen (James Craig), but when the remarried Wyn asks her to run away with him, she faces a difficult choice.


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