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I finally found a service like that online: [movies.go.com ]
I'll go see a movie blind (not reading any reviews), if it scores well. An example of movies I wouldn't normally see, but will based off their scores are Far From Heaven and Bloody Sunday.
What are your schemes for picking movies to see in theaters?
As far as renting movies, I used to do that based on a combination of "buzz" and recommendation, but now that I have a Netflix account, I just put anything that catches my fancy on the rental list, and wait for it to turn up in the PO Box.
We got all the films about a month or so before release for free! ;)
Needless to say we werent big cinema goers, but if something came out that would particullarly good on the big screen (sound track, special effects, etc) then it was a must!
I have to say Netflix is one of the best things that has come from the Internet. I have had an account since 1999 and love it. I can rent movies I don't know much about and if, after watching it for a while, I realize it sucks I can just pop it back in the mail and have a new movie in a couple days. Great service.
I rarely let the cast define my theater going choices as even my favorite actors have been in many a horrendous film.
Now for home viewing, I have an entirely different criteria. I'm much more likely to just rent something on a whim.
When I'm stumped for a title to rent I'll visit amazon.com and do a search for any obscure film that I've loved, and then scroll down to their user contributed "listmania" results.
It's generally fairly easy to decide whether a user has resonant tastes by the other titles in their list.
I've found many an amazing film that I've never heard of via this quirky info mining methodology.
The only problem with the ratings type sites is that the results are often skewed since most people gravitate towards voting for their favorite films. Not as many folks go out of their way to bring up the films they've hated and vote accordingly.
I also cross reference with movielens [movielens.umn.edu], a site that aggregates your movie ratings and computes what you are likely to like: Fairly accurate.
There's also the IMDB.com (Internet Movie DataBase).
Many movies I wouldn't waste my time travelling and parking to go see. Just not worth it.
I LOVE going to the movies, but they cost NINE FREAKING DOLLARS, and with popcorn, you end up spending THIRTY BUCKS for two people. NO WAY. But I'll rent them for 3.50.
Of course, it's a crime to see LOTR and Star Wars movies on anything other than the big screen.
The rest of the time I pay NZ$8 (US$4). Being a student has definite benefits.
Wish we had Netflix though. The local video stores are fine for new releases, but there are so many classics I have yet to see.