Stay Calm

  • DON'T FREAK OUT! I am going to talk about a couple of things that aren't movies for a minute. Don't worry, back to movies in a hot minute. When in Boston last weekend, I stopped in an independent bookstore called The Brookline Booksmith. As much as I am a devoted fan of Borders, Booksmith was great and had an extremely varied selection in all genres. Usually when I go into independent or used book stores, the first thing I do is look at the Staff recommendations, because these artsy, hemp jewelry making, chain hating employees tend to know what's up and what books you may love. That's how I found KRAZY! The Delierious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art. Not only is the book beautiful, with lots of full color page illustrations, but it also covers often under-appreciated (by classical artists) forms of art. It's an incredible book from which I've already learned a lot, so check it out if you get the chance.  

  • I discovered J. David McKenney's Retro Dolls website back in the fall, and it has made for an excellent source of procrastination ever since. Above is a screenshot of the site, so you can pretty much guess what you do. The site lets you chose from 4 different digital paper dolls, who you can dress up in clothing from the '50's, '60's, '70's, and '80's. If you're a guy, I'm sure you won't care, but if your a girly girl, who played with actual paper dolls growing up, you might find this site surprisingly entertaining.   

  • OK, take a deep breath, and we're back to MOVIES! To the left you'll see a screenshot of a site called Clerkdogs. Essentially it is a movie recommendation generator. You type in the name of a film you love, like 28 Days Later for instance, and their "clerks" pick a series of matches, i.e. other movies you'd like, based on similar qualities. So after typing in 28 Days Later, it returns 26 matches me to me, including Dawn of the Dead, deemed as having the same fast pace, and Children of Men, filed under more complex. There are also tabs for movie info, critic reviews, trailers, and awards, as well as links so you can add it to your netflix queue, look it up on IMDb, buy it on Amazon.com, or check it out on Blockbuster. What's even cooler is their "mash it" section, which allows you to adjust "movie DNA sliders" to reflect your mood, and then picking a recommendation based on that. 

The question with a lot of recommendation sites is, do they really work? How often are you actually into the recommendation? I can say with Clerkdogs, that even though I don't always agree with all their recs, each time I've always found something I loved and maybe hadn't even heard of before. You can check out their guided tour video below!


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