The Perfect Choice

Time to celebrate! You have made a decision about your next step! Congratulations! You know what you want to do–rent a movie. Uh oh. Here comes the hard part: What movie are you going to see? Here are two websites that will help: and Use them separately or together.

Both websites provide guidance as to choosing a movie to watch on demand, on DVD or through a streaming service. They both give you recommendations based on your preferences that you click. Their approaches, however, differ. 

Let me elucidate (explicate? extradite?):

john farr
Heeeere’s Johnny! (John Farr)

1. Movie Database: Movies that are Weeded Out for Quality. The movie recommendations are from a data base of movies that are limited  to those that resident critic John Farr believes are worthwhile to watch. In other words, he has weeded out the duds. He estimates that only 20% of all movies out there are worth watching. Fair enough.

Movie recommendations are based on your preferences,which you can input into the fields that are applicable to the type of movie you want to see, such as the release date, actor, director and movie genre.

2. Movie Reviews: Found in both video and text on his website, John’s reviews are excellent. They are uniform, brief and relatively spoiler-free. For each movie, he tells us what it is about and why he loves it. Two simple paragraphs or one very brief video.

3. Extras: My favorite part of the site is the page entitled “How to Start a Movie Club“.

1.  Database: To Infinity and Beyond!’s database comprises an infinitesimal amount of movies–no duds are weeded out.

It is a thorough, robotic-cool calculator that gives you a list of recommendations based on your previous ratings and a wide variety of movie preferences. You can click on as many preferences as you want–the mood, plot, theme, critics who liked it, actor, director, even the cinematographer, and on and on and on. The more preferences you choose, the fewer and more manageable the movie choices.  

2. Reviews: The reviews are by many film critics and other jinni members, à la Rotten Tomatoes, so that the spoiler content is unpredictable.

3.  Extras: This website gives you all the bells and whistles, such as many ways to analyze your reviews and past preferences; interesting facts about each movie; the (screen)names of other subscribers who have given movies the same rating as you. It also does all of the above for TV series and TV movies.




 If you want to see a Tom Cruise movie, input “Tom Cruise” into the actor preference on both sites.

On you will get a list of four, all of Tom Cruse movies that are worth watching. (Not a big fan of the Tomster.)

On you will get a list of all gazillion films Tom has ever been in. Choose more preferences to get a shorter list. To make it super short, choose “drama” and “received critical acclaim”.



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