Friday, March 04, 2005

Lipstick & Magazines #5: Flicks and Reads

Sometimes the perfect movie or book recommendation comes at the exact right moment. Other times, you can flounder for awhile, starting and stopping books you hate, watching boring and/or just terrible films. While a personal recommendation from someone whose taste you trust is best, here are a few of the cool tools available for finding ideas when your other sources run dry.


Rotten Tomatoes compiles movie (and video game) previews and reviews, and then ranks films as either *fresh* or *rotten* tomatoes. Their movie database features more than 100,000 films and the site has a really good look too,

Google (ah, google) has recently added a movie search tool, so if you vaguely remember something about a film, but not the name or any of the actors, you now have the best shot of finding the movie (and compiled reviews, links to theaters in your area, etc. etc.) Just type, for example, "movie: french kids" (or whatever you remember, even a quote) and see what comes up.

Netflix has also added a new *Friends* tool for members, so that you and all your special friends can see how each other ranks different movies. You can also store suggestions for each other.


Boldtype used to be a Random House newsletter but has been (thankfully) taken over by the ever-cool Flavorpill. They send out a really good monthly e-newsletter full of current book recommendations, each of which has a quick synopsis, a review, and a bunch of related links.

Books We Like describes itself as "collective intelligence and activist e-commerce." People recommend books, and assign tags/keywords, so that you can browse by topic or recommender, and everything grows organically as more people come to the table. If you join in, you can also store a reading list.

As for my personal recommendations, I'm raving about
Case Histories by Kate Atkinson, a mysterious, and very smart novel that weaves together a few sneaky story lines: perfect for cold nights. Also, a new-on-DVD documentary My Architect: A Son's Journey about a man trying to discover the real story of his father, architect Louis Kahn, who died when he was 11 years old.

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