Friday, August 05, 2005

Tell Me What I Want, What I Really Really Want

A surfeit of bigsplashynoisy summer movies has left my brain feeling a little bloated and ill*, the way your stomach feels when you work late and have to eat dinner out of the vending machine.

So now that the Cheesy Poofs and Chocobombs have worn off, I want something else, something real. But what?

Yahoo! Movies Recommendations to the rescue.

I've been skeptical of these "You Might Like" tools, simply because I hadn't yet found one that could reconcile the fact that I like movies as disparate as HIS GIRL FRIDAY, DIE HARD, THE SOUTH PARK MOVIE, and DROWNING BY NUMBERS. Well, this one does.

Far better, for my money, than the systems behind Amazon and Netflix, this engine understands that while SHALLOW HAL and BRINGING UP BABY are both romantic comedies, they're very very different. Whether you align with critics, tend to seek out particular actors or directors, or only see movies with explosions in them, it knows.

The engine's not psychic: the more ratings you feed it the better the recs it returns. But I'm impressed at any algorithm that can tell I want to see both CRASH and THE WEDDING CRASHERS.

It also suggested THE EDUKATORS, ME AND YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW, and MURDERBALL. Now, whether I act on those recs for a cinematic meal rather than another helping of summer movie SugarPretzelToes is another thing.

*I know I'm sick in the head because yes, that's a Spice Girls reference in the post's title.


Damion said...

I'm glad my trend of using song lyrics because I can't think of a decent title is contagious.

Kira said...

But I think even you would stop short of prefab Britpop, Damion. I feel unclean.

John Donald Carlucci said...

Nice picks with Bringing Up Baby and His Girl Friday. Have you tried Mr. Blandings Builds His Builds His Dream House (What a crazy name for a RomCom) or I Was a Male War Bride.

I am A Grant fanatic.


Kira said...

Loved BLANDINGS, JDC; haven't yet seen BRIDE, shockingly enough. And of course, Grant and everyone else just shines in PHILADELPHIA STORY.

John Donald Carlucci said...

You have to see Grant in a dress with a horse tail for a wig.