Review:, A New Way To Find Movie Recommendations

Coyau / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Coyau / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Funkyflick Company. All opinions are 100% mine.

In between blogging about Netflix, Hulu Plus and Aereo, one thing I don’t talk much about is how I actually find new movies to watch.

I keep lists from what people recommend to me, but just as often I’ll browse categories (like my documentary spree on Hulu the other day) and add things to my queue just because they look interesting. I’ve watched movies for work and research purposes (my binge of Shark Week programming earlier this year), for entertainment (I, like many of you, still catch myself humming Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen).

The flaw in this plan is, of course, that as a viewer, you’re often limited to whatever films, TV shows or books are available on the platform you’re searching – for example, if I open up my library app, I can search for books available through 3M but not what the NYC Library has available for Kindle. (I can get a fuller catalog search by going back to the actual NYPL site, but who wants to navigate that on their phone?)

The other day, at loose ends for something to watch, I checked out, which claims to be able to find recommendations for movies, books and more based on what you already like. Okay, I thought, I’ll give this a go.

One of my favorite movies is (wait for it) Dogville by Lars von Trier, and while I completely acknowledge that von Trier has some major issues when it comes to dealing with women, his films really are a singular experience, often evoking particular emotional states and visceral moods. It’s hard to find other filmmakers whose work has the same effect on me as a viewer; I decided that looking up von Trier’s Dogville was a good way of testing just how robust it is.

The first handful of films that recommended were actually other early works from von Trier, along with some more recent films and other pieces from the Dogme group. Then it got interesting. A couple of Westerns – High Plains Drifter, High Noon, Bad Day at Black Rock – popped up, along with the vampire horror flick 30 Days of Night.  Dear Wendy, a 2004 co-production between a bunch of European countries with von Trier as the writer (but it’s a comedy?) and a really neat-looking piece called Element of Crime about a British detective in Cairo all caught my eye. One horror film, Population 436, (about a census taker sent to a small town) looks like it might be a little scarier than I could handle, but I might give it a shot if it comes up.

I like that each of the films features a short trailer and a summary of the film, and while it might take some searching to find some of the more esoteric titles, at least now I have a way of finding actual recommendations – not just the cheesy “based on what you’ve watched, you might like” ideas that I’m usually handed by online recommendation systems.

All in all, is an interesting site, and I would recommend anybody take a wee noodle around on it when they have a few extra minutes. You’ll definitely increase your to-watch list by (at least) a few titles.

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