Monday, August 2, 2010

Flixster: Everyone is a critic

It must give movie lovers quite a buzz to find spoilers and tell their friends how they feel about them. They may also get enjoyment from a quick look at whatever is showing in theaters.

For such purposes, the Internet already has IMDB and, but there’s one more that you might not have heard of that you’ll probably really like: Flixster.

Founded in San Francisco in 2006, is a one-stop service. It is a leading online destination for movie enthusiasts, and is visited by more than 30 million unique visitors a month. Boasting 2 billion movie ratings, Flixster also has trailers of movies, DVDs, information on actors, photos, news, reviews, movie ratings, show times, quizzes, as well as a social networking function.

If you are newbie to the site, don’t worry. It is easy enough to navigate with its clutter-free pages.

In August 2008, Flixster released an application for the iPhone, and then released the same app for the BlackBerry, Palm Pre, Android, and other smartphones. This app allows users to access Flixster while they are on the go.

One drawback with this application is that complete movie information is displayed on a single page, a feature that could easily get users confused. Each page has information on movie posters, ratings, reviews, and suggestions on other movies that may be similar to it.

To get the most out of this site you need to sign up for an account. Once you have an account you can click on the “profile” tab and see movies you have chosen, actors you like, your photos and videos to share.

Next to this is the “friends” tab that shows your friends, and recommends friends based on movies they like.

A feature called “My Compability Test” calculates how compatible you are with friends in terms of the movies you like.

By clicking the “Meet People” tab you can find Flixster Facts where users can join other members by adding information about relevant movies, and these tid-bits can be approved or commented on by others.

Then there’s Flixster Wiki, allowing users to write up facts related to actors, directors, production houses, or the movies themselves.

The most fun part of the site is its “Fun & Games” feature, and especially its “User Quizzes” feature.

Here, users can check out the “Personality Tests” section, which asks questions such as “Which Twilight character are you?” or “Which Bollywood film suits you?” Then there are Lists, enabling users to create movie lists to share with friends.

Last but not least is the Flixster “Polls” section, which again poses difficult existential questions like “Robert Pattinson or Daniel Radcliffe?” or the conundrum “Who do you think is hottest? Johnny Depp or Justin Bieber?”

Connecting Flixster with your Facebook account could not be easier. And by running the site from Facebook Connect, users can share information from the site with friends, and allows you to read ratings on movies from “real people” rather than from movie critics and pros, and perhaps this will help you decide what to watch this weekend.

Whatever platform you have, this website is definitely for movie buffs. Instead of relying on professional movie critics, why don’t you find friends who share similar tastes in movies and actors. This site will save you a lot of time by allowing you to forgo movies that are not worth your time or dimes.

--Amelia Winnie
TJP, the Sunday Post

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