Monday, March 01, 2010

Movie Monday 3/1

No time for movies this weekend because we made a whirlwind trip to Connecticut for my niece and nephew's birthdays, after yet another snowstorm came through our area. We were planning to leave on Friday afternoon, but with the entire New Jersey Turnpike reduced to 35 mph, we had to wait until Saturday. We left at 8 am Saturday morning and arrived just in time for the birthday party at 1 pm, helped my sister and brother-in-law wrangle 30 noisy kids between ages 4 and 8, and drove back home after breakfast on Sunday. Whew. Today was, by necessity, a recovery day for me.

In place of my usual movie reviews, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite movie-related websites. I keep a running list of movies we'd like to see on an Excel spreadsheet (there's the engineer in me again!). I get ideas from current movies in the theaters, previews on DVDs, and suggestions from friends (thanks!). Before I add a movie to my list, I usually look it up to see whether it's any good:
  • I really like All Movie. You can look up movie titles and read a brief summary of the film, a rating from 1 to 5 stars, plus other pertinent information, like length, attributes, keywords, and themes. Over the years, I've found that the ratings here generally match my own feelings about movies.
  • Metacritic is another website I use frequently to look up potential movies. It gathers all the reviews that have been written about a movie in one database and applies a 0 to 100 rating to each review, so you can see the compiled rating from all reviews or read a specific review, if there's a certain newspaper or reviewer that you like. Metacritic also features reviews of TV, music, and games.
So, when I hear about a movie, I usually look it up on one or both of these sites and note the rating(s) on my list, if it sounds like something we'd like. I also note the length because there are plenty of times when we're too worn out to watch a long movie!

And, when Ken and I have questions about a movie or an actor or actress - as we often do since neither of us can ever remember anything! - we look it up on Internet Movie Database. This site is a wealth of information. So, when we recognize someone on screen but can't remember what other movie we recently saw him or her in, we go to IMDB. It also features news and trailers for new releases.

If you're looking for information on whether movies (or games or books) are appropriate for kids, check out this piece I wrote for Family Fun magazine on review websites for parents.

OK, now I need to get off the couch and make some dinner. I hope I have more energy tomorrow.


Renee said...

I am so glad you shared these sites..I often wonder where to find good info on movies.

Lori P said...

Hi Sue,
Thanks for the links! And I'm healthy and pretty sure I would have cracked after handling 30 kids that age. lol. Hope you're feeling better today. :)

Toni said...

Hi Sue,

I use Metacritic too, but my favorite site is Rotten Tomatoes, not so much for whether a movie is deemed to be "fresh" or "rotten," but for similar reasons that I like Metacritic. I like to read paragraph-long "soundbites" from the top critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, you can click on "Top Critics" once you get to the movie site and get short summary opinions from critics such as Roger Ebert and others. The site:

Dusty Bogwrangler said...

Yes, me too!

Unknown said...

Roger Ebert is my all time favourite critic, but aint it cool is good for my inner geek!

(FYI: has some strong language)