Being a movie nerd can be difficult… insofar as watching an absurd amount of movies can be difficult. Fortunately, there are a lot of fun online resources out there to help nerds on their journey. Here are some of my favorites.
It’s the simplest concept in the world, concocted by a handful of guys from the Netherlands. Go to the site, create a profile, and check the movies that you’ve seen. It’s that simple. Where it really kicks into obsessive compulsive territory is when users discover their lists. “It sure would be great to say that I’ve seen every film in the IMDb top 250”, one might say. It doesn’t take long to get hooked.
Flick Chart is almost as simple as iCheckMovies. Flick Chart runs you through their matrix of films, presenting two films side-by-side. Users have only one goal- to choose the film that they prefer between the two. Rinse, repeat until several films have been placed on the list. What comes out in the wash is a list of their favorite films, ranked in order. For some perspective, it comes in very handy when I make this list each year.
The Movie Timeline
Choose any date, and the Movie Timeline will tell you what has happened in fictional movie universes on that date. Or search by film for a timeline for that individual film. For example, the Movie Timeline tells me that on August 23rd (my birthday), in 1989, “Yusuf K. Hawkins, an African-American youth is murdered by a mob of Italian youths. (Jungle Fever)”
Box Office Mojo
Box Office Mojo is the best site available for raw data about the film industry. Pages for most films include both domestic and worldwide box office numbers, the production budget, release dates, and all-time ranking within the various genres they fill. Data can also be broken down by individual directors and actors, or by month, season, or quarter. It’s an invaluable resource.
Most people don’t need to see IMDb listed as a resource, but this list would be incomplete without it. For most film nerds, it’s the first place they’ll visit if they want to know something about a movie, actor, director, cinematographer, studio, foley artist, and everything else under the sun that’s movie-related. The Advanced Search feature is especially helpful, a quick and easy way to find any number of fun and unique combinations within the database.
Like IMDb, most movie nerds are well aware of Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s still worth listing. There’s plenty of debate about the merit of their system. Ultimately, there’s something to be said for the wisdom of the herd. Given enough time and reviews from accepted critics, the Tomatometer typically finds a reasonable consensus.
The people who run Facets are the heroes of the movie industry. Their stated mission is to “preserve, present, distribute, and educate about film.” Sign up for a small amount each month, and they’ll allow you access to their deep film library, which is loaded with rare and obscure titles. They even offer a film portal to discover free films online. If you’re in the US, I strongly encourage you to check them out.
Hollywood Stock Exchange
If you enjoy all the fun of the stock exchange but don’t want to risk major money, or educate yourself on dry, boring commodities, HSX is the place for you. To quote their Wikipedia page, the Hollywood Stock Exchange is “a web-based, multiplayer game in which players use simulated money to buy and sell ‘shares’ of actors, directors, upcoming films, and film-related options.” In addition to serving as a unique challenge, it’s a fun way to stay current about which upcoming films are garnering the most buzz, and which actors and actresses make high-grossing films.