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FOTEP Movie Resource

 

Table of Contents

Sites & Software

Science Fiction Movies
Action Movies
Comedy Movies
Dramas
Musicals

Science Fiction TV
Drama TV
Comedy TV

Coffee Table Movie Reference

Hands-down the best offline resource for movie information is Videohound's Golden Movie Retriever

This book is amazing; it has:

  • Movie descriptions and ratings that you can believe
  • Cross-reference by actor
  • Cross-reference by director, writer, cinematographer and composer
  • Movies listed by subject (hundreds of subjects. In the mood for Suspended animation? Swashbucklers, Swimming, Swingers, Sword & Sandal, Sydney Australia?
  • Awards and their winners
  • Alternate title index
  • "Kibbles" which are adaptations, recurring characters and successful screen partnerships.

So, if you don't know if a movie is worth seeing, or you want to be inspired to see a movie, this is the book for you.

Shopping for Movies


Amazon.com
My all-time favorite site for buying movies is Amazon.com. Their prices are very good, they offer used movies for films that I want to see just a couple of times, they have very good prices on new DVDs and Blu-rays.

The other big advantages are:

  • They keep track of what you've purchased so you don't accidentally buy a DVD again
  • They list what people actually purchase
  • Their suggested movies are very good (go to a movie you liked and they have a list of others you might like).
  • Many people have posted lists of movies to fit a genre or a mood
  • Two words: FREE SHIPING. If you spend $49 in new merchandise, they will ship to you for free, that saves a good $10 on each order
Another very nice thing is AmazonSmile. Sign up on this site (here) and you can choose from a long list of charities to benefit from your normal shopping on the site. It doesn't cost you a thing but a charity gets a slice of your purchase. My purchases are benefiting the Santa Clara Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Movie Info


IMDB.com
The clear winner for web sites that provide great background information on movies is IMDB The Internet Movie DataBase.

The site offers:

  • By far the best movie scoring on the Internet. A movie rated 7 or better is likely a winner.
  • A complete list of hyper-linked stars and the movie makers behind the film
  • Memorable quotes from the film
  • Technical information about the movie

Media Server


Plex.tv

A friend turned me onto Plex, a media server.

Plex features:

  • On-the-fly transcoding of a bajillion video formats
  • Support for Music and Photos
  • Support for TV show episodes and Movies
  • Keeps track of what you've watched
  • Serializes TV shows to keep the next episode on the home screen
  • Puts new content on the home screen
  • Allows you to share your media collection with friends
  • Native player apps for Roku, Google TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Android, Windows, XBox One, PS/3 & PS/4, HTPC and some Smart TVs
  • Server support on Windows, Ubuntu (desktop), Mac, FreeBSD, NAS, NVIDIA Shield
  • HD Support up to 1080p (and 4K on some platforms)
  • DLNA Server for non-plex clients

Plex Pass (Premium) features:

  • Multiple users/Access controls
  • Mobile sync
  • Content restrictions
  • Cloud sync
  • Trailers and extras
  • Free apps
  • Early access to updates
  • Camera uploads
  • Gracenote music magic
  • Vevo music videos

Native/Direct streaming of HD (MP4/H.264/AAC) and 4K (MP4/H.265).

Plex server is free, some apps are free or $5 and the Plex Pass costs $5 monthly, $40 annually and $150 for a lifetime subscription. I recently got a special offer of a Lifetime PlexPass for $75 as a long-time customer, so I've subscribed even though I don't need the PlexPass features, just to support this product.

I have an extensive video collection ripped to Plex and it keeps it organized well. Plex scans directories that you enable and looks up the movie/TV show based on filenames. It automatically downloads the program description, cast, director, date of release, rating and genre(s).

I watch my movie collection on a Roku 3 at home and over the Internet when I'm on the road, plus I have friends who can connect and watch at home.

Plex is very stable and I highly recommend it as an entertainment platform.

Movie Playback


VLC Movie Player
A very capable movie player is VideoLAN/VLC Media Player. It supports subtitles and playback of DVDs and Blu-rays (although I've had some trouble with blu-rays).

DVD/Blu-ray Rippers/Transcoders


DVDFab.cn

I back up all of my movies and TV shows to hard drive and stream them to my Roku from a server. To back up DVDs I use DVDFab.

DVDFab tries to do it all, rip/copy/create/convert Blu-ray/DVD and more, but I only use it to rip DVDs since the program is pretty pricey.

I've tried other programs but this one does the best job, including the best at sound sync, which is a problem with other programs.

It will rip subtitle files as well as hard-code subtitles onto the ripped video. It supports a large number of video formats but I use it for DIVX/AVI.

This program costs $49 for one year, $75 for a lifetime subscription. (The Blu-ray ripper costs $60/$109 which is a lower price than when I was shopping for the product.) Recently the site had a 35% off special and I picked up the Blu-ray ripper. It is nicer than Leawo since it auto-crops and rips subtitle files.

The bad news is the Blu-ray ripper won't decrypt AACS 2.0. This is, however, only on 4K disks that I'm not buying.


Leawo.org

For Blu-rays, I used to use Leawo.

The Leawo ripper rips both DVDs and Blu-rays, which is good because I have a couple of DVDs that don't rip correctly in DVDFab.

It will rip hard-coded subtitles onto the video, but it won't create SUB files like DVDFab.

It supports a large number of video formats but I use it for MP4 files for Blu-ray and DIVX/AVI for DVDs.

This program costs $45 for a year, $100 for a lifetime license. You no longer have to wait until the first year expires to receive a lifetime license offer. Yay!

It looks like version 7.4.2.0 has been pulled by the publisher. I had problems encoding with that version. Look for version 7.4.0.0 or 7.4.4.0 those work for me.

Leawo specifically says it supports decryption of AACS. We'll see if that means version 2.0 as well. From what I can find, version 2.0 will be applied to 4K Blu-rays, which should be a non-issue for me since I won't be buying UHD titles.


ImToo.com

I give this product mixed reviews. On the one hand, it will rip videos chapter by chapter which is good for cartoon collections. But, and I used this exclusively for my original rip of my DVDs, ImToo doesn't always get the sound synch right. It also only rips full-frame so black bars aren't cropped off so Plex doesn't know how to go full-screen (See DVDFab above).

I'm still using version 5 of the software so I don't know it version 7 has fixed these deficiencies, but there are complaints that only version 5 works (specifically Platinum version 5.0.44 build-9025).

The product comes in three flavors: Standard, Platinum and Ultimate ranging in price from $40 to $60. Ultimate is currently on sale for $42 so there's no reason to buy anything else if ImToo is your choice.


MakeMKV.com

This is a shareware DVD/Blu-ray ripper. It has a 30 day trial period and decrypts disks. It is free while in Beta, just download a new version when the trial period elapses.

The full/lifetime purchase price is $50 which is less than the Leawo MKV ripper which is $90 (and is supposed to be a stolen copy of MakeMKV). Right now, they aren't charging for the program and require you to update regularly and use a key posted in their forums.

The output format is MKV which supports multiple audio tracks and multiple subtitles. The file size for a movie is huge (30Gb) so this isn't a way to save on disk space.

This program ripped "Room" which Leawo had trouble with (without AnyDVD).


Any-Video-Converter.com

To transcode my AVIs/MP4s to a phone-compatible 768kbps MP4 format, I use Any Video Converter

The program is free but nag-ware. I went originally paid for a year since it is so good. I'd "buy" more programs if they offered more than a free and a uber-expensive Pro program.

This Pro program costs $10 for a year. Note that the $10 version is not AVC Ultimate which is $50. You don't need either version to transcode in batch. I just bought it because I'm a swell guy.

Just a note, if you queue more than about 10 titles, the program will crash transcoding movies before it can get to the end of the queue. So far it has always properly encoded 5 at a time. Sometimes it thinks it has converted the movie, but something goes wrong and the result is only about 20% of the size of a properly converted movie.

More bad news is: recent updates (as share-ware) contain adware and malware detection software that are difficult to de-install. I stopped updating the software until I re-upped the registration. So, to get started, download this version of the software, convert a movie, sign up for Pro, enter the credentials, update the software and you won't have the troublesome software. I like this product, but you really need to pay the ten bucks to make it work well.

DVD Decryptor


RedFox.bz

SlySoft may be out of business, but out of the ashes has risen a new company that has taken over the excellent work of producing AnyDVD(HD). RedFox now has the purchase page up, the cost for AnyDVD HD is from 59 Euros for one year to 109 Euros for a lifetime license. To start with they are offering a 20% discount (that's the good news, the bad news is there is a 4% fee for using an Asian country to bill from).

So for $100-ish you can get a lifetime license for the cost of about a 4-year license. This means they have to stay in business and not get shut down by the MPAA for 4 years. I was doing without it for a while, but Leawo wasn't always up to date for Blu-ray decrypting (I had trouble with The Revenant).

The bad news is this new version doesn't always keep disks mounted so ripping fails. The good news is you can copy the decrypted disk to your hard drive and convert it from those files.

ISO Maker


ISODisk.com

Some of my DVDs are actually DVD-Rs which will develop errors in 5-10 years. So, to preserve them I generate ISO image copies of the disks and store the ISOs on a RAID-5 array and back them up on USB disks.

The program I use is ISODisk. It is free and provides not only ripping functionality, but mounting functionality as well. This is a good all-round tool for ISOs and is simple to use.

From ISO, the standard Windows 7/10 ISO burner is fine.

Science Fiction

12 Monkeys (1995)

IMDB Score: 8.1/10
Amazon Score: 4.3/5

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

IMDB Score: 8.4/10
Amazon Score: 4.2/5

Alien (1979)

IMDB Score: 8.5/10
Amazon Score: 4.6/5

The Andromeda Strain (1971)

IMDB Score: 7.2/10 & IMDB Score: 6.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5 & Amazon Score: 2.9/5

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

IMDB Score: 7.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

The City of Lost Children (1995)

IMDB Score: 7.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.3/5

A Clockwork Orange (1971)

IMDB Score: 8.5/10
Amazon Score: 4.3/5

Stanley Kubrick: Visionary Filmmaker Collection

Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)

IMDB Score: 7.1/10
Amazon Score: 4.1/5

Contact (1997)

IMDB Score: 7.4/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Dark City (1998)

IMDB Score: 7.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Ender's Game (2013)

IMDB Score: 6.9/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

The Fifth Element (1997)

IMDB Score: 7.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

The Final Countdown (1980)

IMDB Score: 6.6/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Flight of the Navigator (1986)

IMDB Score: 6.9/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Forbidden Planet (1956)

IMDB Score: 7.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Gattaca (1997)

IMDB Score: 7.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Harry Potter (2001)

IMDB Score: 7.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Hocus Pocus (1993)

IMDB Score: 6.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

The Last Starfighter (1984)

IMDB Score: 6.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Logan's Run (1976)

IMDB Score: 6.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

Metropolis (1927)

IMDB Score: 8.3/10
Amazon Score: 4.1/5

Minority Report (2002)

IMDB Score: 7.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

Night of the Comet (1984)

IMDB Score: 6.4/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Parts: The Clonus Horror (1979)

IMDB Score: 3.4/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)

IMDB Score: 6.1/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

Planet of the Apes Series (1968-1973)

IMDB Score: 8.0/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Predator (1987)

IMDB Score 7.8/10
Amazon Score 4.4/5

Silent Running (1972)

IMDB Score: 6.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

Soylent Green (1973)

IMDB Score: 7.1/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Star Wars Trilogy (1977)

IMDB Score: 8.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

Starship Troopers (1997)

IMDB Score: 7.2/10
Amazon Score: 3.5/5

The Terminator (1984)

IMDB Score: 8.1/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Timeline (2003)

IMDB Score: 5.6/10
Amazon Score: 3.5/5

Total Recall (1990)

IMDB Score: 7.5/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

WarGames (1983)

IMDB Score: 7.1/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Action

The Adventures of Indiana Jones (4 movies) (1981)

IMDB Score: 8.6/10
Amazon Score: 4.7/5

Fight Club (1999)

IMDB Score: 8.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Shooter (2007)

IMDB Score: 7.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.3/5

Comedy

The Absent Minded Professor (1961)

IMDB Score: 6.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)

IMDB Score: 7.3/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Airplane (1980)

IMDB Score: 7.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

An American Werewolf In London (1981)

IMDB Score: 7.5/10
Amazon Score: 4.4/5

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

IMDB Score: 8.1/10
Amazon Score: 5.0/5

Better Off Dead (1985)

IMDB Score: 7.3/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Blazing Saddles (1974)

IMDB Score: 7.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Dogma (1999)

IMDB Score: 7.4/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

IMDB Score: 7.4/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

In and Out (1997)

IMDB Score: 6.3/10
Amazon Score: 5.0/5

Just One of the Guys (1985)

IMDB Score 6.4/10 Amazon Score 4.3/5

Mars Attacks (1996)

IMDB Score: 6.3/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

Mash (1970)

IMDB Score: 7.6/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Meatballs (1979)

IMDB Score: 6.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975)

IMDB Score: 8.3/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

My Fellow Americans (1996)

IMDB Score: 6.5/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Office Space (1999)

IMDB Score: 7.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

The Pink Panther (1963)

IMDB Score: 7.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

Real Genius (1985)

IMDB Score: 7.0/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015)

IMDB Score 6.3/10
Amazon Score 3.9/5

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

IMDB Score: 8.0/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Stripes (1981)

IMDB Score: 6.9/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Top Secret! (1984)

IMDB Score: 7.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Victor/Victoria (1982)

IMDB Score: 7.3/10
Amazon Score: 4.8/5

Weird Science (1985)

IMDB Score: 6.6/10
Amazon Score: 4.6/5

Zombieland (2009)

IMDB Score: 8.0/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Drama

Battle Royale (2000)

IMDB Score: 7.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Bless the Beasts & Children (1971)

IMDB Score: 6.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Capricorn One (1977)

IMDB Score: 6.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.0/5

Dead Poets Society (1989)

IMDB Score: 8.0/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

The Death of Richie (1977)

IMDB Score: 7.4/10
Amazon Score: 5.0/5

Donnie Darko (2001)

IMDB Score: 8.1/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Eddie and the Cruisers (1983)

IMDB Score: 6.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

The Game (1997)

IMDB Score: 7.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Ghost (1990)

IMDB Score: 7.0/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Musicals

Across the Universe (2007)

IMDB Score: 7.4/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)

IMDB Score: 5.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.6/5

Grease (1978)

IMDB Score: 7.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Heavy Metal (1981)

IMDB Score: 6.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

IMDB Score: 7.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Paint Your Wagon (1969)

IMDB Score: 6.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Pink Floyd - The Wall (1982)

IMDB Score: 8.0/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Sister Act (1992)

IMDB Score: 6.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

The Sound of Music (1965)

IMDB Score: 8.0/10
Amazon Score: 5.0/5

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

IMDB Score: 8.1/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Comedy
  Television

3rd Rock from the Sun (1996-2001)

IMDB Score: 7.8/10
Amazon Score: 4.6/5

The Big Bang Theory (2007)

IMDB Score: 8.4/10
Amazon Score: 4.7/5

Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988)

IMDB Score: 8.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Red Dwarf (1988)

IMDB Score: 8.5/10
Amazon Score: 4.6/5

Two and a Half Men (2003)

IMDB Score: 8.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.7/5

Drama/Suspense
  Television

Mission: Impossible (1966)

IMDB Score: 8.0/10
Amazon Score: 4.4/5

The Pretender (1996)

IMDB Score: 7.5/10
Amazon Score: 4.7/5

Sci-Fi/Fantasy
  Television

Babylon 5 (1994)

IMDB Score: 8.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.3/5

Battlestar Galactica 2003 (2004)

IMDB Score: 9.0/10
Amazon Score: 4.3/5

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997)

IMDB Score: 8.2/10
Amazon Score: 4.7/5

Heroes (2006)

IMDB Score: 7.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Merlin (2008)

IMDB Score: 7.9/10
Amazon Score: 4.5/5

Stargate SG-1 (1997)

IMDB Score: 8.6/10
Amazon Score: 4.3/5

The X-Files (1993)

IMDB Score: 8.7/10
Amazon Score: 4.7/5
 

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