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Archive for November, 2011

DVD Report – November 29th

Not the strongest week of new releases to DVD, with the top of the bunch being Werner Herzog’s new documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. True to form, Herzog chose an eccentric topic in the Chauvet Cave, which contains the oldest cave paintings yet discovered. Since this cave is off-limits to the public, Herzog’s 3D documentary might be the best chance most of us will ever have to see the paintings.

Friends with BenefitsAverage Tier 4.22

This raucous rom-com chronicles the relationship of two busy singles, Dylan (Justin Timberlake) and Jamie (Mila Kunis), who agree to include sex in their friendship — minus the emotions and commitment. But things get complicated when Dylan (inevitably?) falls for his gal pal. Patricia Clarkson co-stars as Jaime’s hip mom and Woody Harrelson plays Dylan’s practical confidante, who advises him to man up when he pursues the newly dating Jamie.
Friends with Benefits @ Amazon

The SmurfsAverage Tier 2.90

When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the tiny blue Smurfs out of their village, they tumble from their magical world and into ours.
The Smurfs @ Amazon

Cave of Forgotten DreamsAverage Tier 6.67

Werner Herzog gains exclusive access to film inside the Chauvet caves of Southern France, capturing the oldest known pictorial creations of humankind in their astonishing natural setting.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams @ Amazon

30 Minutes or LessAverage Tier 4.68

Two fledgling criminals kidnap a pizza delivery guy, strap a bomb to his chest, and inform him that he has mere hours to rob a bank or else…
30 Minutes or Less @ Amazon

Our Idiot BrotherAverage Tier 4.76

A comedy centered on an idealist who barges into the lives of his three sisters.
Our Idiot Brother @ Amazon

DVD Report – November 22nd

A trio of strong films make this a good week for new DVDs on the market. The most high-profile is J.J. Abram’s Super 8, a monster-movie tribute to 80s films like The Goonies. But perhaps even more worthy of your time and dollars is the French drama Sarah’s Key, about a reporter delving into the mysterious story of two Jewish children struggling to survive through WWII. Finally, Dominic Cooper takes on the role of both Saddam Hussein’s son Uday, and the madman’s body-double, in The Devil’s Double. All three films come recommended from the user base at Criticker.

Super 8Average Tier 6.19
After witnessing a mysterious train crash, a group of friends in the summer of 1979 begin noticing strange happenings going around in their small town, and begin to investigate into the creepy phenomenon. Super 8 @ Amazon

Conan the BarbarianAverage Tier 2.53
Based on the pulp fiction of Robert E. Howard, this action-driven adventure breathes new life into the story of Conan the Barbarian, a warrior who rises to defend the people of Hyboria after evil forces slaughter his family and fellow villagers. Conan the Barbarian @ Amazon

Sarah’s KeyAverage Tier 6.43
While researching an article on the Vel’d’Hiv Roundup in 1942 France, Julia, an American journalist stumbles across the story of Sarah, a ten year old Jewish girl who desperately tried to save her younger brother from the police by locking him in a cupboard. Through her research, Julia comes across a trail of secrets that link her to Sarah and change the way she sees the world. Sarah’s Key @ Amazon

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the WorldAverage Tier 2.62
Former Spy Kids Carmen and Juni Cortez return as teenagers to help 10-year-old twin siblings Rebecca and Cecil Wilson save the world with their stepmother — a retired secret agent who’s been called back into service to stop a conniving smuggler. Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World @ Amazon

The Devil’s DoubleAverage Tier 6.08
Dominic Cooper stars as Uday Hussein — Saddam Hussein’s depraved, decadent elder son — and as Latif Yahia, the army lieutenant forcibly drafted to be his body double, in this drama based on Yahia’s autobiographical novel. With his family’s fate on the line, Yahia surrenders his identity to embody the hated figure but gains a conspirator in Uday’s concubine, Sarrab (Ludivine Sagnier), as he plots his escape. The Devil’s Double @ Amazon

More Changes to the Film Info Page

Due to the, ahem, vitriolic reaction towards the new Film Info changes, we’ve made a new update which will hopefully soothe some frayed nerves.

The outrage was focused mainly on the giant PSI / Rating numbers. On retrospect, we agreed — they were a little much, and I’m honestly not sure why we released the page looking like that. The truth is, we were mostly excited to get the new statistics functionality to our users, and had just grown used to the big numbers during development.

Hope you like the new layout better. If so, let us know! And if not, well… sigh. Let us know that too, I suppose. But in a nice way.

Big Changes to the Film Information Page

Update: Yet More Changes!

As you might have already noticed, we’ve just made big new changes to the Film Information page. We hope you like them! Here is an overview of some of the updates and enhancements just introduced.

Larger, Poster-Sized Images
We’ve got poster-sized images for about 2500 of the films in our database, and have provided a utility to allow users to upload ones that are missing.

Larger PSI/Rating Indicator
Along with a cleaned-up look for sharing your favorite films via Twitter, Facebook or Email.

Enhanced Sorting Possibilities on Rankings
View all rankings, just those with reviews, or just your kumpels, and order them by TCI, Tier, Date Ranked or # Stars. What’s more… Criticker will remember the last way you sorted, so if you always like you look at “Latest Rankings with Reviews”, you’ll see that right away.

We know this is what you’ve all been waiting for. Check out statistics of the Tier Breakdown for each movie. Also, tier breakdowns on specific personal information, such as gender, age and country.

We really hope you like the changes! And please help us out by submitting posters for those films which don’t yet have them. The page looks fine with the legacy, smaller images, but much better when there are full-sized posters.

And a huge thanks to our Sponsors, without whose support Criticker wouldn’t be possible. If you’re enjoying the website, please think about helping out — we exist without any kind of corporate cash, and really depend on the generosity of our users.

DVD Report – November 15th

Leading this week’s pack of films new to DVD is the comic drama Beginners starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. Criticker users loved the movie, which is about how a son copes after learning a couple major secrets about his father. The other film to seek out this week is Bellflower, which was a big hit at Sundance. A completely original experience, this film was shot with a shoe-string budget, on a camera cobbled together by the director himself.

Criticker Pick!BeginnersAverage Tier 7.14
A young man is rocked by two announcements from his elderly father: that he has terminal cancer, and that he has a young male lover. Beginners @ Amazon

Larry CrowneAverage Tier 4.07
After being laid off from his longtime job at a soulless retail giant, average middle-aged guy Larry Crowne (Tom Hanks) decides it’s time to change up his life, so he heads back to college. There, he finds a new perspective — and a new romance with a professor (Julia Roberts). Larry Crowne @ Amazon

BellflowerAverage Tier 6.20
Two friends spend all their free time building flame-throwers and weapons of mass destruction in hopes that a global apocalypse will occur and clear the runway for their imaginary gang “Mother Medusa”. While waiting for the world to end, their call to excitement comes unexpectedly when one of them meets a charismatic young woman and falls hard in love. Quickly integrated into a new group of friends, they set off on a journey of betrayal, love, hate, infidelity and extreme violence. Bellflower @ Amazon

Griff the InvisibleAverage Tier 4.47
Griff, office worker by day, superhero by night, has his world turned upside down when he meets Melody, a beautiful young scientist who shares his passion for the impossible. Griff the Invisible @ Amazon

Turtle: The Incredible JourneyAverage Tier 3.75
A little loggerhead turtle follows in the path of her ancestors on one of the most extraordinary journeys in the natural world. Born on a beach in Florida, she rides the Gulf Stream all the way to the frozen north and ultimately swims around the entire North Atlantic to Africa and back to the beach where she was born. Turtle: The Incredible Journey @ Amazon

DVD Report – November 8th

The final installment in the franchise which helped define a generation has arrived on DVD. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was a major success, both in terms of box office and quality, and Criticker users loved it. And do you remember where you on July 24th, 2010? Thanks to the power of the internet and a unique effort made by documentary filmmakers all over the world, that day has been captured in a series of montages, in the film Life in a Day. Sounds a little gimmicky, but most users at Criticker approved.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2Average Tier 6.84
In the second installment of the two-part conclusion to the popular Harry Potter series, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), continue their quest to vanquish the evil Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) once and for all. Just as things begin to look hopeless for the young wizards, Harry discovers a trio of magical objects that endow him with powers to rival Voldemort’s formidable skills. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 @ Amazon

The Change-UpAverage Tier 3.82
A comedy in which a married father accidentally switches bodies with his best friend, leading to a series of wildly complex difficulties. Change-Up, The @ Amazon

Life in a DayAverage Tier 6.57
A documentary shot by filmmakers all over the world that serves as a time capsule to show future generations what it was like to be alive on the 24th of July, 2010. Life in a Day @ Amazon

Atlas Shrugged: Part IAverage Tier 3.69
A powerful railroad executive, Dagny Taggart, struggles to keep her business alive while society is crumbling around her. Based on the 1957 novel by Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged: Part I @ Amazon

An Android Application for Criticker

Four intrepid Criticker users have used our free APIs to create a great Android application, available for immediate download.

Thanks to chao, revivius, justww, syllalibus for their incredible work on this first-ever Criticker smartphone app! What an excellent use of our APIs; we’re really happy with the results! Many Criticker features have been replicated in the application, such as:
*Rank Films
*Get Recommendations
*Film Information
*Actor/Director/Screenwriter Information
*Collection Management
*Search … and much more!

Check out some screen shots below, and when you’re convinced, go here to get the free application: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.mobulasoft.criticker

Make sure to rank the application on the Market, and leave your comments directly to the guys at the forum: http://www.criticker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2975