If you're a movie fan looking for information on an old favorite or the latest inside scoop on a current film you're dying to see for the first time or for the tenth, the Internet is filled with movie-related sites you can consult. Here are some ways you can find information on movies - including everything from the cast and crew to release dates and box office numbers - online.
- Pump up the base. If you're even a casual movie fan, you have probably visited the Internet Movie Database. This is a very comprehensive site featuring information on thousands of films including their cast, crew, award nominations, box office take, release dates, available merchandise and other elements. You can even rate the movie after you read up on it or post a message about it after doing a quick, free registration. One warning: The IMDB can be addictive. Almost everything in an individual movie listing links to something else; if you're not careful, you may find yourself online for hours trying to connect the cast of "Ben-Hur" to Kevin Bacon.
- Check for the thumbs up. Top movie critic Roger Ebert can help you out in a variety of ways. If you visit his site, you can check his most recent reviews for an appraisal of current releases, but you can also look through his archived reviews and see what might be good to rent from the video store or what Ebert thought of your favorite films of the past. Movie critics can range from cheesy (liking everything) to overly esoteric (as in, you'll need a dictionary to figure out what they're talking about...), but Ebert usually comes down somewhere in the middle, which makes his reviews useful. During his illness, as in the summer of 2006, other people step in to review for him (though not the same ones as appear in his place on TV). On the site, you can also find other movie facts, Oscar facts, links, and even a blog. Thumbs up to this source of info.
- Get in the zone. nZone has a a fun little section devoted to movies. This includes box office reports, interviews with stars of current flicks, DVD news, and reviews of past film favorites. Plus, you can view trailers for current and coming features and, come Oscar time, you can be part of a live "simulcast" chat with several of the staff. And, there are also some great sweepstakes to enter for prize packs on current releases and DVDs. (In the interest of full disclosure, I actually write for nZone's TV section.)
- Become a big Fan...dango user. Fandango allows you to read about movies, check show times at your local theater and take part in polls. You can also check on past movies and see what's tops at the box office. The biggest reason to visit Fandango is probably to purchase tickets online for the shows you want to see. The site includes specific directions on how to do so.
- Start your engines. Of course, another great way to find information on movies online is to use the many general search engines like Google, Yahoo, and AOL. Sites like this will direct you to websites for specific movies, give you capsule reviews and showtimes, and tell you what movies are soon to be released. Other sites like MSNBC and CNN also have movie information, usually connected to big magazines with websites, like People or Entertainment Weekly, and vast repositories of movie review and info from your favorite films.
- Nit-pick. Here's a fun site for movie buffs: MovieMistakes. On this site, fans can look up film flubs involving continuity and other "bloopers." Sometimes it's fun to see movies dissected this way. And let's face it, some bad movies deserve to be dissected!
- Zap to it. The entertainment e-zine, Zap2it.com, has a whole section devoted to movies. You can look up news articles and reviews they've posted for your favorite movies and movie actors over the years. Plus, you can check up on movie news and upcoming releases.
Information on your favorite movies is available to any Internet user. All the facts, plus plenty of opinions, just take a little surfing to find.