Tuesday, December 31, 2013

IPhone app for the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

I just downloaded and installed the iPhone app for the book, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, which you know, is my favorite movie list. This is a great app. I'm so excited to discover it. It allows you to keep track of all the movies you've seen on the list. It includes a place to rate each movie, make notes, and a link to buy each movie, or share on Facebook and Twitter.

Wish I had this app back in 2004, because it has a place to save the date seen. If I hadn't already seen a great many of them, I'd add the dates, but that's too much work.

The app allows you to choose which list is your default: the newest edition, the essential, or the complete. I've seen 999 of them, so I'll be interested to see how soon I can complete at least the essential list, once I ch.eck them off.

It's only 3.2 Mb, and it takes just a couple seconds to open.

It opens with a splash screen asking you to buy the book, of course. It goes away with a single tap, and as long as the app is open, it doesn't pop up again.

It requires two or three taps to check off each title. First tap to select the movie, then tap to mark it seen, then tap the down arrow to go to the next title or tap to return to the list For someone like me, it would be nice to tap each title once to indicate seen or not, or import seen titles from another list. But it's very smooth and fast, so it's OK.

It shows you which movies are also on the 1001 Books list, which is cool. There's an app for that book, too.

I paid $4.99 for it, which is worth it, for such an excellent app.

Download 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die from the iTunes store

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Binge viewing is a thing

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article about the trend toward binge-viewing on Netflix, which is when you watch a whole TV series in a short amount of time. They say half of Netflix users studied have watched an entire series in one week. I've done that, with series like Band of Brothers, and The Pacific. I watched one or two episodes a day.

Now that I can get through a series so quickly on Netflix, I could never have the patience to watch a series spread out over an entire television season. I like waiting until a series is complete, so I know the story is written, and I won't be left hanging in suspense by a cancellation, or a writers' strike, or other such nonsense. I'm not going to start a series until I know EVERY episode is available on Netflix right away.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Uncritical Netflix

My favorite movie review writer, Leonard Maltin, used to have a page on Netflix.com at http://www.netflix.com/MaltinPicks, like Roger Ebert, TV Guide, etc., but Netflix has done away with critics recommendations, and replaced it with a "taste preference" for "critically-acclaimed" genres. Therefore, I read Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide on my iPhone to get his take on the movies.

I don't rely on Netflix.com for movie recommendations any more. I'm interested in the star ratings they predict I'll give a movie, but it's not the biggest influence on what I watch. I'd say it's about a 30% influence. The biggest influence on me is my friends/family. Next is the the Flixster app on my iPhone, which I use to check out the new releases. I go to the movies almost weekly, so I have to keep up with the buzz.

Friday, May 31, 2013


I searched Netflix.com for The Great Gatsby, because I just saw the Baz Luhrmann version, and wanted to rate it, and the fifth result was Hemlock Grove, a Netflix Original Series. Coincidence?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Netflix bias

I was going to write a post about how disappointed I am that Netflix recommendations for me always include Netflix Original Series. I used to trust Netflix to recommend to me titles I would like, based on my own taste in movies. Netflix usually predicts pretty closely what I'm going to like, so much that my star rating is almost always identical to the predicted star rating.

 But, now that Arrested Development Season 4 is on Netflix, I can't look at Netflix.com without being reminded to watch it. It is a Netflix Original Series, and they predict I'll love it. This made me suspicious that maybe their recommendations are biased in favor of their own content.

Well, maybe to begin with. I used to be confronted with an ad for Hemlock Grove every time I opened Netflix.com. However, they predicted I would give Hemlock Grove only two stars, even though it's a Netflix Original Series. So is it OK to trust Netflix?

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Netflix DVD wins 2012

This month marks my ninth anniversary with Netflix. I still love Netflix, but 2012 was not a big movie year for me. My attendance at the movies was way down for several reasons. I worked longer hours. The people I usually go to the movies with were less available, due to work and school commitments. After seeing over two thousand movies in the last eight years, my interest in movies is flagging. I'm more particular in my taste. I've completed some great movie lists: AFI, Academy Awards, Leonard Maltin, and almost all of the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. You can see my progress at I Check Movies.

I saw 136 movies in 2012

73 were on Netflix DVD
21 on Netflix Instant via Roku
37 at a theater or other public venue
5 were on DVD from another source