Film Noir and Class for FREE

I have been spending a lot of time on my FREE film noir course (Thank you TCM and Canvas Network). If you haven’t signed up, the class is still available and, as noted, FREE. Even if you don’t have access to Turner Classic Movies (I don’t – I cut the cable many years back), the instructors provide a link to a public domain film each week that they will discuss.

Scarlet Street

This past week’s PD film was the excellent Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street (1945). It stars Edward G. Robinson in a truly heartrending performance. Scarlet Street is also currently showing on instant Netflix and Amazon Prime. Netflix has a great selection of recent films but their classic catalog is sorely lacking. Two of the film noir from last Friday are FREE to watch on Amazon Prime, Dark Passage (w/ Humphrey Bogart) and Woman on the Run. I enjoyed them but Scarlet Street was haunting.


Two important precursors to the film noir movement are currently streaming on Hulu. The Fritz Lang classic ‘M’ (1931) and the French film, La Bete Humaine (1938). If you watch one, M is certainly your best choice.

FREE Film Noir Class

Well I haven’t done a This ‘n’ That in quite some time. I’m preparing these posts a week ahead as my Florida daughter and granddaughter will be visiting this week and I did not want to fall behind.

TCM Noir

I received an email from TCM recently. As with most companies, most emails are just ignorable spam. This one caught my eye however. TCM in conjunction with Canvas Network is offering a FREE online course in Film Noir. I have included the link below and look forward to taking this course (my first online course or really any course in decades).

TCM Presents Into the Darkness: Investigating Film Noir

It will certainly help if you have TCM as they are showing 24 hours of Noir every Friday in June and July BUT they will be posting FREE links to Noir films in the public domain and there are a ton of those.

I’m looking forward to rewatching some of my favorites. I really haven’t watched any old noir in decades. I remember some of my favorites being D.O.A., Out of the Past, Double Indemnity, Touch of Evil, and This Gun for Hire.

I hope they’ll cover neo-noirs too like Chinatown, The Last Seduction, Body Heat, L.A. Confidential, and The Usual Suspects.

If you have Amazon Prime, a quick glance shows they have Detour, Pitfall, D.O.A., The Stranger, Dark Passage, and many others available. Netflix is more problematic as you have to search individually. They will let you search on film noir but the result leaves something to be desired.


The Hot Pursuit of Pitch Perfect 2

I recently enjoyed taking my daughter to see a couple of movies she wanted to see, Pitch Perfect 2 and Hot Pursuit. I love summer for the incredible array of action movies (Yay! Things go boom!) but my eldest is not a real action fan and my youngest is in Florida.

Still I love going to the movies with my girls, regardless of the movie. It gives me the excuse to sit in the dark and have a soda (something I try not to do at home). If I’m lucky, the soda is a Coke Icee! Also all of my girls want to see Jurassic World. Hurry up June!

Hot Pursuit


Hot Pursuit (2015) – Rated PG-13

An uptight and by-the-book cop tries to protect the outgoing widow of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.”

Comedies come in all shapes and sizes. They can be dark social critiques (Heathers, Election), sharp film satires (Austin Powers, Hot Fuzz), charmingly playful (The Princess Bride), raunchy (anything by The Farrelly Brothers), raunchy and heartfelt (anything by Judd Apatow), animated (Despicable Me), and any of many other flavors. The only real requirement of a comedy is that it be funny.

Sadly, Hot Pursuit is fairly unfunny. Oh sure there is a great running gag with TV reports constantly changing. There are some jokes that work well but most fall terribly flat. The best jokes are a few outtakes during the end credits.

On paper, Hot Pursuit seems like a great idea. During the great summer testosterone blowout of Avengers and Mad Max, we’ll release an action comedy directed by a woman (Anne Fletcher) and starring an Oscar-winning actress (Reese Witherspoon) alongside a four-time Golden Globe nominee (Sofia Vergara). Unfortunately Witherspoon and Vergara have zero chemistry and Vergara is not very good.

This is director Anne Fletcher’s fifth feature film. I have to admit to not having seen her other four films, Step Up, 27 Dresses, The Proposal, and The Guilt Trip. Her last film, The Guilt Trip, received dismal reviews and dropped out of theaters quickly. She, or the second unit director, does not know how to film an action sequence. There are a handful of them in the film and none of them are memorable. If you make an action comedy where the action is boring and the comedy lacking, then you have doubly failed.

Both writers, David Feeney and John Quaintance, have written almost exclusively for television. They have worked, individually or together, on 2 Broke Girls, Ben and Kate, Perfect Couples, Whitney, and According to Jim. Quaintance wrote six of the episodes of the ill-fated Joey series,a Friends spinoff. I don’t know about the series but the movie dialogue just isn’t funny.

Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015) – Rated PG-13

After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform.”

Well, this is an astonishingly easy one to review. As with many sequels, Pitch Perfect 2 is just Pitch Perfect with some of the dials turned up. There are new Bellas, many more songs, and a new, more professional enemy in Das Sound Machine. The lead members of Das Sound Machine are played by Birgitte Hjort Sorensen and YouTube sensation Flula Borg. The joke quotient has been upped but thankfully they have reduced the amount of vomit.

Beca (Anna Kendrick) was the new girl so in 2, Emily (Hailee Steinfeld) is the new girl and Beca is in charge. After a flagrant wardrobe malfunction (Holy plot point, Batman!), the Bellas are disgraced and removed from contention in the Nationals. Naturally this means they have to compete on the world stage.

If Pitch Perfect was your cup of tea, then Pitch Perfect 2 will fit the bill. If you felt that Pitch Perfect was just warmed over Bring It On (itself spawning many sequels), substituting acapella for gymnastics, Pitch Perfect 2 will not make you a believer. Pitch Perfect 2 is an assembly line product giving you more of the same.

Depending on the box office, Pitch Perfect 3 will either be theatrical or straight to DVD but it will happen.


More FREE Movie Tickets

Lots more FREE movie tickets


Best Buy just got a set of FREE movie tickets promos in. Buy specially marked packages of the Despicable Me movies, The Lorax, E.T., The Nut Job, or The Box Trolls and get a FREE movie ticket for Minions. Given my granddaughter’s (yeah that’s it, my granddaughter) love of these, I’m sure to need several tickets.

Jurassic World

Jurassic World tickets can be scored by purchasing specially marked packages of the Jurassic Park movies (natch!), Jaws, Serenity, King Kong, Incredible Hulk, Apollo 13, Lone Survivor, Lucy, Oblivion, Munich, the Bourne trilogy, Back to the Future trilogy, and Inglourious Basterds. Obviously not taking my granddaughter to this but will still need several tickets I think.

Ted 2

There is a combo deal that gives you FREE movie money for either Ted or Trainwreck. Coupons are on specially marked packages of Ted, Knocked Up, Identity Thief, Orgazmo, Wet Hot American Summer, The 40 Year Old Virgin, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Change Up, Dazed and Confused, Role Models, Your Highness, and A Million Ways to Die in the West.

Target has a large number of DVDs with $5 tickets and a smaller number of Blu-Rays with $7.50 tickets for Pitch Perfect 2. Titles include Pitch Perfect, The Breakfast Club, Identity Thief, Bridesmaids, John Hughes Collection, Leap Year, Honey, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Bring It On, Blue Crush, and Mamma Mia


Deal Flicks and Flicks Deals

Every summer I put a lot of thought and effort into making the movies as cheap as possible. This year I have a ton of certificates lined up for all of those wonderful summer movies.


Groupon, in my area and many others, is offering reduced prices on DealFlicks certificates. $13.99 for $20 worth of Dealflicks and you can purchase two at this price. Now that may not seem like much of a discount but Groupon regularly runs 20% off specials. On top of that DealFlicks prices are already quite discounted. The amount varies by theater but this comes out pretty cheap in my neck of the woods.


Dealflicks drawback is that it is only accepted by certain theaters. In my area Epic of Hendersonville and Carolina Cinemas both accept them. Carolina essentially harges the same ticket price but you get a FREE small popcorn. Epic’s tickets are usually discounted by 20%. Opening weekends are typically excluded as are Sony films.

Avengers Age of Ultron

Curse you Kellogg’s!

Kellogg’s did a major tie-in with Avengers: Age of Ultron. Specially marked boxes of cereal contained codes as did boxes of Pop-Tarts. Collect six codes for a FREE $6 ticket to Avengers or any other movie. Yes, it says that on the ticket – Avengers Age of Ultron or any other movie. This deal was not very good as it took too many codes and produced a $6 coupon (matinees here are $8). However, I did get enticed because a single Pop-Tarts code netted you a Funko Avengers bobblehead. I found my Tarts at Target.

They also had a special with Wal-Mart. Purchase specially marked 24 packs of Eggo waffles ($4) and get a $10 ticket for Avengers or any other movie. Limit three per person/family. I now have about 60 Eggo pucks in my freezer. Please note: each transaction must be on a separate receipt.

Speaking of the mart of walls, they have an endcap in their electronic section with movies that have movie money attached. Road Warrior and Beyond Thunderdome are $5 and come with $5 Mad Max money. A bunch of Paramount movies come with $7.50 in movie money that can be used on any movie.


Regal 2015 Summer Movie Express

Yay! Summer is almost here and with it, my favorite movies! In addition to that, Regal also has very cheap kids movies every Tuesday and Wednesday at 10 in the morning (arrive early – our theater gets very crowded). The program runs for nine weeks but the start date depends on your theater. Here is the web page. In my neck of the woods, they begin on June 9th. This year, they have some options that are not animated but, if I know my granddaughter, those are the ones she’ll skip.

“Admission to the Summer Movie Express is only $1. Tickets available for purchase at the box office and all movies start at 10:00 am. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Will Rogers Institute.”

Week 1: Nut Job & Annie

The BoxTrolls

Week 2: Earth to Echo & The BoxTrolls


Week 3: Paddington & Turbo

Week 4: Rio 2 & How to Train Your Dragon 2

The Book of Life

Week 5: Mr. Peabody & Sherman & The Book of Life

Week 6: Night at the Museum: Secrets of the Tomb & Penguins of Madagascar

Week 7: Madagascar 3 & Dolphin Tale 2

Week 8: Muppets Most Wanted & Alexander and The Very Bad Day

Week 9: The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water & The Lego Movie

Regal Cinemas, Ultimate Marvel Marathon, and Ultimate Fan

Regal had a contest recently to find the Ultimate Marvel Fan. Entrants had to send a 15 second video showcasing their MARVELousness. Winners will receive an all expenses paid trip (airfare & single night hotel) to the Mighty Marvel Marathon.

Marvel Marathon


11 Marvel Movies in 27 hours! Here is the stage my wife and I put together from the apparently ridiculous number of Marvel items we had in the house.

Marvel Contest


My fingers are crossed as the winner will be notified today. Below is my video entry (15 seconds per the rules) if you want to see how silly a grown man can be.

Marvel video

Wish me luck!

Still More FREE Movies – Junk Food City & The Avengers

Well if you want to see The Avengers: Age of Ultron for FREE and don’t mind eating your weight in junk food, Kellogg’s has a deal for you.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron


First up are Eggo waffles. Buy any three specially marked packages of Eggo waffles (various flavors) and get $6 movie cash to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. I admit $6 doesn’t cover most folks matinee price but if you eat Eggos anyway. Also for some reason this promotion involves taking a picture of your receipt instead of entering codes.

Kelloggs has an offer on specially marked packages of Pop-Tarts. Collect codes to use towards a movie or Pop Bobblehead. Six codes nets you a FREE movie ticket ($12 value). It is listed as Avengers Age of Ultron but the fine print states it can be used on any other movie.

Kellogg’s cereal also has a collect the codes and get a FREE movie ticket ($12 value). Specially marked cereals that have this offer include Apple Jacks, Krave, Frosted Mini-Wheats, Avengers, and others.

Pitch Perfect 2


Cover Girl has a deal where if you buy at least $20 worth of their product, they’ll give you a FREE ticket to Pitch Perfect 2.

Yay! More FREE Movies!

There are lots of new FREE movie offers out there.

Spongebob Movie

Regal sent me an email. For those Regal theaters that are still showing The Spongebob Movie – Sponge Out of Water, you can now buy two tickets and get two FREE until April 2nd.


For those Regal theaters showing Selma, tickets are buy one, get one FREE.



Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target have FREE tickets for Home on various DVDs and Blu-Rays. Several of the DVDs at Wal-Mart are priced at $5 and include a $7.50 movie ticket making them a rather easy purchase.

Titles include: Bee Movie, The Croods, Flushed Away, How to Train Your Dragon 1&2, Joseph: King of Dreams, Kung Fu Panda 1&2, Madagascar 1-3, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, Prince of Egypt, Rise of the Guardians, Shark Tale, the first two Shreks, Spirit, & Turbo. Make sure you get one with a sticker.

Furious 7

Best Buy and Target have FREE tickets to Furious 7 on various Blu-Rays, mostly the other Fast & Furious series. Target has a display of the movies on an endcap in their toy section. Again make sure that your copy has one of the stickers. The non Fast & Furious movies include 47 Ronin, Riddick, Non-Stop, Rush, Lone Survivor, and Death Race.




Goodbye Target Ticket, We Hardly Knew Ye

Target Ticket

Bizarrely, Target entered the UV/video on demand realm excessively late. Vudu (backed by Wal-Mart) is clearly the 800-lb gorilla in the UV market. Unfortunately iTunes, which is rapidly becoming irrelevant, refuses to sign on with UV. Same with Amazon which, adding insult to injury, has discontinued their download ability for those who “own” titles through them.

Target’s service was pretty terrible from the start. It didn’t have an ability to sort through owned films if you owned more than a couple dozen. This made the interface a nightmare for heavy users. They tried a handful of very half-hearted promotions and, predicatably, have now abandoned their service.

This still leaves plenty of UV providers (Vudu, M Go, Flixster, CinemaNow). Best Buy’s CinemaNow has never been much of a competitor to Vudu. They suffer from many of the same problems that plagued Target Ticket. Naturally Target has chosen them to carry on the films people owned on Ticket.


I followed Target’s instructions and migrated my movies to CinemaNow and linked up with UV. They were unable to transfer one of the films so they issued me a $24 credit with CinemaNow.

Thank you for choosing Target Ticket for your digital entertainment. We hope that you’ve enjoyed your movies and TV shows with us. Target has made the difficult decision to end the services offered on Target Ticket effective March 7, 2015. After that time, Target Ticket will no longer be accessible on any device applications, gaming consoles, tablets, smartphones or the web.
If you have purchased digital movies/TV shows from Target Ticket, we have partnered with CinemaNow and Disney Movies Anywhere, leading providers of premium digital entertainment, to ensure a smooth and easy transition. Both services are available at no cost to you.
Your eligible Target Ticket titles and credit are available to transfer to CinemaNow on March 7, 2015.
  • If you have purchased digital movies/TV shows from Target Ticket, you may access your eligible purchased movies/TV shows on CinemaNow. For any purchased content that is not available or eligible to be transferred to CinemaNow, you will receive credit in your CinemaNow account in the amount that was paid for that content when you transfer your account from Target Ticket to CinemaNow.
  • If you choose to register with CinemaNow, you must agree to have your library of purchased titles and existing account credit transferred from Target Ticket to CinemaNow in order to maintain access to your titles purchased through Target Ticket.
  • UltraViolet movies purchased through Target Ticket can also be accessed through several other digital movie services.
Your eligible Disney, Pixar, and Marvel Target Ticket titles will be available to transfer to Disney Movies Anywhere.
  • If you have purchased eligible Disney, Pixar, and/or Marvel movies from Target Ticket, you will be able to unlock your eligible content with Disney Movies Anywhere codes that will be sent to you directly via email next week.
For additional information, please view our Frequently Asked Questions.
Thank you,
The Target Ticket Team