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The perfect movie watching experience starts with a big tub of popcorn and the right movie and the right kind of company on the couch is the bonus. While Movli can’t microwave popcorn, or get a date for you just yet, it can do something about the choice of movies you watch. Movli is a three part deal – it is a personal record keeper of the movies you like, a movie recommendation service, and a social network.
These are arguably essential needs for any movie lover who is looking for the Cine Gods to light his path towards unblemished entertainment. Can Movli lay claim to that halo? We took the portal for a spin to find out for ourselves.
The Visual Cure To The Movie Glut
You can log into Movli with your Facebook, Twitter or Google account. You can also choose not to and use the site just fine – but Movli won’t be able to create a personal movie library or recommend the best movies to watch as per your tastes.
If someone squeezed me to just two movie sites, I would plonk for IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. They are great encyclopedic resources for buffs but like any other information mines, the overload hits you and they don’t feel like your “personal movie library” in the cloud.
Movli is intuitively organized and uses a wall of movie covers draws you in. Of course, there’s more.
All Movie Tastes Are Not Equal
To be a good recommendation engine, Movli needs to gather some intelligence. Feed its brain by hovering over the film covers then sorting and rating the movies. You basically tell Movli the movies you have already seen and what you think about them (by rating them on a scale of 10).
Apologies. I gave Twilight a rating of 1.
If you are a fanatic like me, you will be hard-pressed to find movies you haven’t seen. If you do find some diamonds in the rough (or even rocks), tell Movli about it and use the colorful bar to move the movie to a personal watchlist and set a priority with the color. Yellow and orange for less priority and green for more. Move the bar towards the extreme left and it turns red. That’s the Blacklist for movies you don’t want to touch.
Shaun of the Dead went there.
In molecular biology, “genome” is the basic unit of all living organisms. It is unique and identifiable. Movli borrows the term for the personalized movie genome you help it create by rating and removing the movies you like or hate.
Using the color bar speeds up the rating and sorting step appreciably – and you need hit only 25 movies to give Movli an idea of the kind of movies you like (or hate), and those you want to watch. Keep at it as you continue to use the site and more personal recommendations will keep building up.
It’s The Movies! Using Movli As A “Search Engine”
You can use the old-fashioned search box to navigate Movli, or use two other ways to select flicks.
Search With Movies Or Follow The Stars
Movli gives you the option of searching for movies or movie stars at the top of the screen. After all, you can love Scarlett Johansson but hate sitting through Match Point. Yeah, that’s possible!
The large number of movies are organized with four tabs: All, New, Discover, and More. The last gives you a few other display options: Upcoming, Friends and Free pages.
The names are self-explanatory. Try the Free tab to see a list of movies which can be streamed instantly (on YouTube) and legally. I generally park myself on the Discover tab to see the movies that Movli recommends based on my personal genome. You are sure to find good movies that deserve a place on your watchlist. Click on any title and this is the information you can see to make your final choice:
I am a huge fan of movie soundtracks and movie location trivia, so those two respective overview tabs have become favorites. Much of the time you can also play trailers and soundtracks then and there thanks to YouTube. Not all soundtracks are available because of licensing restrictions. Keep an eye on Similar Movies to expand your field of view – the suggestions are sourced from Freebase, not IMDb.
Filter Through To Your Favorites
Cut through the haystack to find what you want to watch. You have multiple filters to play with and don’t forget to further focus the view with the options on the top header. Here’s a screenshot showing you all the choices:
This is possibly the best and quickest way to match your tastes and mood to an evening’s entertainment. Miss the 70’s? Try the Decades or Years filter. Want to watch the best of independent movies? Click on Sundance under Awards.
Movli mentions an Explicit slider which presumably allows for filtering family-safe content, but I didn’t spot it in my account. That could be a very welcome feature. The Language filter is again useful if you are multilingual or just want to use movies as an excuse to ramp your foreign language skills.
Your Personal Movie Library
Movli gives you the tools for a more organized movie watching experience. The Watched, Watchlist, and Blacklist pages are the personal record keepers. The Watchlist is the what you should be plowing through.
Want to go by tastes? The Affinity bar tells you how much the movie matches your genome (your tastes) and how much you might enjoy it.
If you are planning to go on a watching spree, sort the watchlist with a click and strike them out as you move through them on bleary eyed days. I like to keep the page in List View instead of the Gallery View because the plotline tells me in a second if I should watch it now or later.
The Social Side
Movli is social in that you can add friends who provide another layer for discovering new movies to watch. I haven’t been able to really try out the feature, but the Friends tab displays the highest rated movies your friends have watched. You can also check out the ratings and the recommendations from within your circle.
It’s also a quick way finding which movies you and your friends can watch together. You can share your Movli profile and watchlists with a personalized URL. Of course, there are privacy features in place if you would rather not.
The End Credits
The attempt made by this Tel Aviv startup in a crowded sector is creditworthy. There are already many movie sites and every aficionado has at least a few of them bookmarked, but Movli has its heart and its features in the right place. The site is very intuitively designed – movie tracking can be a very disorganized experience, but Movli keeps it on point.
Movli is great for:
- Discovering movies in a visual way with the full-bleed covers.
- Picking movies you have watched, want to watch, or don’t want to is swift.
- Filling out your personal genome and getting recommendations within minutes of signing up.
- Keeping track of your favorite stars and being notified of their upcoming releases.
- Additional touches like choosing movies according to runtime length is nice.
Let’s hope Movli steams ahead. A lack of a mobile app option is glaring, so that might be the next step for the ultimate couch experience. I would love to see TV shows come into the mix because they are just a stream away. Ultimately, the strength of such a portal is also decided by the number of movies it manages to catalog. With greater numbers comes the chance to unearth hidden gems we might not have watched yet.
Wishlists can get long – Movli looks and feels great by keeping things uncluttered. Let us know if Movli just makes you feel like grabbing that tub of popcorn and the perfect movie to watch this Saturday.