End of Act Six

If this were a beloved television show with weak ratings, we’d probably be done with this blog right now (and waiting for the movie to come out). As it is, we still have another ~1.75 years to go, and I hope you continue to enjoy the connections between these films. So, which movie was your favorite this year? Or was your favorite from Year 1, 2, 34, or 5?
Rain Man
The King’s Speech
The Last Emperor
The Last Samurai
Dances with Wolves
Field of Dreams
The Natural
Wrath of the Titans
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Men in Black 3
Night of the Living Dead
The Social Network
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Great Gatsby
Moulin Rouge!
Requiem for a Dream
A Beautiful Mind
Sucker Punch
Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Muppet Treasure Island
Treasure Planet
The Lion King
Secondhand Lions
The Sixth Sense
The Town
The Departed
Good Will Hunting
Dead Poets Society
Pay it Forward
V for Vendetta
The A-Team
Casino Royale
The Gangs of New York
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Van Helsing
The Brothers Grimm

With the end even closer in sight, I wanted everyone to know that there will be a book published with all of these connections once we reach the end of this blog at post #400! I look forward to creating the same “connection” experience in physical form as I have in this digital one. If you sign up for my newsletter on my main website (www.benjamin-m-weilert.com), you can be kept up-to-date on the progress toward this book’s publication.


End of Act Five

Five years of this blog? Can you believe it? I know I certainly can’t. We’re in the home-stretch now and there’s only just over 2.5 years left of this blog. Even with 261 posts published, there are 264 movies covered on this blog. That being said, which movie was your favorite this year? Or was your favorite from Year 1, 2, 3, or 4?
Real Steel
Les Miserables
The Phantom of the Opera
Sin City
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Tron: Legacy
True Grit (2010 / 1969)
How Green Was My Valley
October Sky
Source Code
(500) Days of Summer
Stranger than Fiction
Seven Psychopaths
The Deer Hunter
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
A Fish Called Wanda
The Red Balloon
Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
King Kong (2005 / 1933)
Beauty and the Beast (1946)
American Beauty
The Hunger Games
Ender’s Game
The Truman Show
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Total Recall (1990)
Robocop (1987 / 2014)
Bicentennial Man
I, Robot
Independence Day
The Day After Tomorrow
The Perfect Storm
The Descendants
Lilo & Stitch
E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial
John Carter
Finding Nemo
The Incredibles
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

In case you’re curious, here’s a color code of the posts done so far. (Green = 2012, Red = 2013, Aqua = 2014, Orange = 2015, Purple = 2016, Blue = 2017, Tan = 2018). That’s right, I already have posts written for 2018!

Posts written by year

As more movies are made, more connections are made. That’s the awesome reality of the world of Cinema Connections! Welcome to 2017 and “Act Six”!

End of Act Four

208 posts later, and we’re still chugging along! A lot has happened in this last year for me personally, but that doesn’t mean this blog is done with connections. That being said, if you paid attention to the graph I posted in last year’s summary, we are just over half-way to the end of the list. In fact, you can catch a peek of a few of the upcoming films in the new header image for this blog. There are still a few years to go until the planned ending of this cinematic saga. So, what has been your favorite movie so far? Was it one from this year, or from years one, two, or three?
The Italian Job
Fight Club
Donnie Darko
A Scanner Darkly
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey
Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
Midnight in Paris
Annie Hall
Bringing Up Baby
The Philadelphia Story
My Fair Lady
City Lights
The Book of Eli
Air Force One
Olympus Has Fallen
Die Hard
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Notebook
A Fistful of Dollars
For a Few Dollars More
The Kid Brother
Safety Last!
Safety Not Guaranteed
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Back to the Future Part III
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
Sherlock, Jr.
Three Ages
History of the World, Part 1
The Jazz Singer
The Wedding Singer
Four Weddings and a Funeral
The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The Bourne Legacy
The Hurt Locker
Zero Dark Thirty
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
The Seventh Seal
Fanny and Alexander
The Night of the Hunter
Cape Fear
To Kill a Mockingbird
Get Low
Gran Torino
Million Dollar Baby

As more movies are made, more connections are made. That’s the awesome reality of the world of Cinema Connections! Welcome to 2016 and “Act Five”!

Blu-Ray Collection

The collection of Blu-Rays I currently have, in the man cave of my new house.


End of Act Three

Wow. Can you believe that it’s been a whole year of movies . . . AGAIN! I can hardly believe it myself, but we’re not even close to the end. Each movie has a connection, and I’m here to show you all how each movie is connected to another. As is always the case, I want to thank the regular readers of this blog. However, if you’re just looking around, trying to find some interesting thoughts about a film, just know that each Friday a new movie is added to the connection list. So, with another 52 movies added to the list, which one was your favorite? Or was your favorite from last year? Or the year before?
Kramer vs. Kramer
Julie & Julia
Babette’s Feast
An American in Paris
Holiday Inn
Rise of the Guardians
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Chicken Run
The Great Escape
Seven Samurai
A Bug’s Life
The Greatest Show on Earth
The Ten Commandments
The Passion of the Christ
Wall Street
42nd Street
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Across the Universe
Yellow Submarine
The Poseidon Adventure
Upside Down
Romeo and Juliet
Moonrise Kingdom
The Parent Trap
The Prestige
The Illusionist
Now You See Me
Driving Miss Daisy
Django Unchained
Catch Me if You Can
The Sting
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Cool Hand Luke
The Shawshank Redemption
The Shining
Dirty Harry
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Wild Bunch
The Grapes of Wrath
12 Angry Men
Runaway Jury
The French Connection

As more movies are made, more movies make the list. That’s the awesome reality of the world of Cinema Connections! Welcome to 2015 and “Act Four”!

I know I usually have a picture of my movie collection on these yearly summaries, but right now most of it is in boxes as I prepare to move in March. As a consolation, here’s a chart of the release dates of past and future movies on the Cinema Connections list. Can you guess what these movies are?

Cinema Connections chart

End of Act Two

Another year, another 52 movies connected together. Once more, I want to thank those of you who read this blog regularly, as well as those searching for some interesting thoughts on the vast world of film. Now that this blog has hit 104 posts, I can honestly say that it’s the longest time I’ve ever regularly maintained a blog. And yet, much is still in store! So, of this year’s movies, which was your favorite? Or was your favorite one from last year?
Man Bites Dog
The Silence of the Lambs
Taxi Driver
The Wages of Fear
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Gold Rush
Modern Times
The General
Duck Soup
A Night at the Opera
The Man Who Knew Too Much
The Man Who Knew Too Little
Groundhog Day
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Max Payne
The Matrix
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Mutiny on the Bounty
Gone with the Wind
Planet of the Apes
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Star Trek
Super 8

Life is Beautiful
Schindler’s List
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
*batteries not included
Short Circuit
Terminator 2
Spider-Man 2
The Quick and the Dead
Léon: The Professional
Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
It Happened One Night
North By Northwest
Rear Window
High Noon
Midnight Cowboy
A Clockwork Orange
Dr. Strangelove
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
The Blues Brothers
West Side Story
Shakespeare in Love

As more movies are made, more movies make the list. That’s the awesome reality of the world of Cinema Connections! Welcome to 2014 and “Act Three”!

Year 2

#000. The Overture

Welcome one, welcome all! My name is Ben, and I will be your guide through the deep and interconnected world of cinema. While Hollywood does have a tendency to re-use some ideas, sometimes these ideas produce some excellent cinema. My goal through this blog will be to expose you to movies that you’ve seen; and hopefully, movies that you haven’t.

Each week, I hope to bring you two movies that are in some way connected to each other. Here’s the catch: not only are the two movies each week connected, but one of those movies will be one that I brought to you last week. This way, through a long chain of connections, you can see how ideas, motifs, themes, actors, and directors can span across a wide variety of films. Think of it as a never ending “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon” game. I hope that I will not repeat movies outside of the week-to-week connections, but some films are so diverse that you might see some familiar ones pop up now and again.

The movies that I will bring to the table each week will be ones that I have personally seen in their entirety and that I think deserve some of your time to sit down and watch. I will explain what makes the movies interesting, be it through artistic styling, superior acting, superb direction or a unique attribute. Now you may be asking yourself, “Why should I care about the film opinions of some guy on the internet?” A valid question, to which my answer is the following cinematic resume:

I suppose that my love of good movies started when I managed to watch all 100 films in the American Film Institute’s “100 Years, 100 Movies” lists (both the original 1998 version and the 2007 10th Anniversary edition). I have also seen every film that has won an Oscar for Best Picture, as well as many of the nominees. To top these achievements off, I actually own on DVD or Blu-Ray every film from these lists, with the few exceptions being films that have not made the jump to the digital age (generally older films fit in this category, although there are only 3).

Also, I have taken a college course on Film Studies (with more than passing marks), which required me to not only analyze movies, but to perform the multitude of necessary steps to film and produce one of my own (which can be seen here).

Finally, this blog is somewhat of an extension of a series of articles I wrote in Grad school for the school newspaper. While I did movie reviews of the films that were being released at the time, these articles went by the name of “Must See Movies”, and would generally include descriptions of 3 films tied together by a common theme, and one film within the theme that I would give as a “Homework Assignment”. As such, those who have read these articles may see some repeated reviews, merely in a different format.

Now that you have an idea of my credentials, I hope that you’ll enjoy learning some things about your favorite films, as well as finding some new favorites. I truly enjoy movies, not only as escapes from reality, but for the creativity that it takes in order to get ideas all the way to the big screen. Therefore, since movies are one of my many passions, as the opening music comes to a close, and as the curtains part, may I merely say, “Lights! Camera! ACTION!”

Cinema Connections Collection (circa March 2011)