By Brad Beckstrom
Stop spending so much time in front of the boob tube and go outside. The boob tube was what my mom liked to call the TV. She was giving me some good advice and, getting me out of her hair all at the same time. I guess that advice stuck. I’d still rather be out doing something, anything than sitting in front of the TV.
If you live in the eastern half of the US, you know this winter has been brutal. Thunder snow, sideway ice storms, endless school closings, all around crap weather. Sometimes a great movie is just the ticket on an ice covered evening.
If I’m going to spend some time in front of the TV I’d rather not waste it on a bad movie. Problem is there are plenty of bad movies out there, you see them popping up on iTunes, Netflix and Amazon. Hey! New releases! Highly recommended for you! $ $3.99 special.All just sitting there waiting to suck.
On top of the general suckiness, there are literally thousands of these films in each genre for you to wade through, hoping that because something is popular that you’ll like it as well. If you add to that all of the movies available via different and separate providers like iTunes, your cable company, Netflix, Amazon etc. you could spend more time searching, than actually watching the film.
Even more annoying is that many of the services are pay-per-view. If I already have Netflix and Amazon Prime, I certainly don’t want to spend more money with iTunes, the cable company, or additional monthly subscriptions like HBO.
Flixter.com had a decent search setup for a while, but now through their efforts to monetize it, they have turned it into some type of overpriced online movie rental service and removed the most useful features like sorting by provider. Now I only recommend it for finding new releases in your local movie theater.
A new free solution has arrived.
What I needed was some sort of kick ass movie filter that would allow me to only select the providers that I have already paid for, the genres that I’m interested in and at the same time tap into some sort of existing movie ratings system like Rotten Tomatoes.
I found it. The website is called Flixfindr.com and has a fantastic interface allowing you to select your existing provider in the easy to use menu and add additional filters like, ratings release dates and genres.
I’ve selected my providers on the left side and narrowed the search down to dramas with a tomatometer rating of 70% or higher. We have iTunes but they charge for movie rentals that I often have access to via Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Crackle. Crackle and a multitude of other free movie services are available through inexpensive set-top boxes like Roku.
Now I have quick access to a great curated list of movies that won’t result in any additional fees. When you mouse over the individual films you’ll see the provider, and read more about the rating.
Cutting the cable
This tool is also great for folks who have cut the cable and stream movies and TV over Wifi. I recommend getting the absolute basic cable package or an HD antenna then utilizing a Roku box with a Netflix streaming subscription for maximum choice and frugality. Once you add the Roku box ill find it easy to access other movie services like Crackle or Amazon Prime (Only recommended if you are a regular Amazon.com user).
If you add up what you’re spending with your cable provider and on services like Showtime and HBO you could save between $50 and $100 a month with this setup. On top of the savings you’ll also be able to find tons of great HBO, Showtime, Starz series via Netflix and others, generally released just one season behind the original provider release dates.
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