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Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

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Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Old 01-11-10, 02:36 AM
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Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

My roommate showed me Flickchart.com yesterday, and I've been using it almost nonstop since then.

The idea behind it is absurdly simple. The system generates two random movies, and you choose which one you like more. Rinse and repeat, ad infinitum. As you select, the site builds a database around your rankings. It collects all sorts of stats, from how long you've spent watching movies (based on the ones you've seen), to how many movies you've seen by a certain director, to the best movies you haven't seen, and so on. Since it's one click at a time, it's thoroughly addicting. I only have two gripes with it. One is that the list of available movies isn't as large as I would like. Out of 2231 rankings, I've only got 579 movies listed. The other is that you can't ever choose two movies to go head to head. You just have to set your filters very strictly and hope the two you want pop up (for example, Raiders of the Lost Ark is currently my highest ranked film, but my favorite film is 2001: A Space Odyssey, and thus far the two haven't been paired off against each other).

But those few gripes aside, this thing is a wonderful way to kill time. If anyone wants to add me as a friend so we can compare stats, my username is drdan.

Edit: Oh yeah, the site also uses lots of alternate and foreign posters for the movie images, so fans of movie poster art will definitely get a kick out of it. There are a few I've seen that I now want to track down.

Last edited by Supermallet; 01-11-10 at 02:45 AM.
Old 01-11-10, 06:23 AM
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I tried this awhile ago. While the idea is very cool, I think the execution needs a lot of work.

The very first head-to-head I had involved Aliens. I picked that. It's been my #1 ever since, even after 1000+ picks. I don't think I've seen it pop up more than 2-3 times since then either.
Old 01-11-10, 06:42 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

This site is a piece of shit. When I try to register it just dumps me back to the home screen with no error message. I've tried on three different browsers with no luck.
Old 01-11-10, 07:07 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

I killed a lot of time on the site a couple of months ago after I heard the Filmspotting guys pimp it. It was fun (I racked up 4586 rankings!), but the novelty wore off because I kept seeing the same movies over and over again. Hopefully, by now they've added more to their database.

And, yeah, seeing the alternate and foreign posters is cool.
Old 01-11-10, 08:49 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Finally got in. Apparently there's no error-reporting mechanism on their registration screen, so if your username is taken, or there's another problem, it doesn't tell you what went wrong.

Anyway, it seems to me that they need to make it easier for a film to crack your top 20. It's only asked me to rank my #1 film once (The Aviator) and nearly everything else it's given me I would rank higher.

And sometimes, when a movie wins a matchup it actually goes DOWN in the ratings?
Old 01-11-10, 09:52 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

A friend of mine just recommended it to me the other day. I think I'll give it a shot.
Old 01-11-10, 09:54 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

I just wasted an hour and from what this site is telling me, 10 Things I hate About You is my #14 favorite movie.
Old 01-11-10, 10:01 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

You can choose to re-rank a movie if you don't like its position, although I didn't find that method terribly effective. It's more effective to set a filter for something like "show only my top 50 films." This will force some of those No. 1-ranked films to show up more. Likewise, to use Aliens as an example, you can choose to rank only sci-fi movies, which would force it come up again. Without using filters, you've got so many possibilities of films that might come up that it's not surprising one particular film doesn't show up too often.
Old 01-11-10, 10:21 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Addicting would be a huge understatement. Thanks for the introduction, Suprmallet.
Old 01-11-10, 08:39 PM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Originally Posted by clckworang View Post
You can choose to re-rank a movie if you don't like its position, although I didn't find that method terribly effective. It's more effective to set a filter for something like "show only my top 50 films." This will force some of those No. 1-ranked films to show up more. Likewise, to use Aliens as an example, you can choose to rank only sci-fi movies, which would force it come up again. Without using filters, you've got so many possibilities of films that might come up that it's not surprising one particular film doesn't show up too often.
Yeah, if I'm really concerned about the placement of my top movies I'll filter it to my top 20 or top 50 or whatever the lowest amount is.

Also I noticed that under the "Your Movies" filter is an "Unranked" option that only brings up movies you haven't previously ranked. Strangely, though, the system puts these picks in sequentially at a randomly determined point, which meant that movies I would rank higher are now lower down on the list.
Old 01-11-10, 08:48 PM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Has anybody been able to successfully upload an avatar? I keep getting a "Server error" when I make the attempt...
Old 01-11-10, 08:52 PM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Same here. I wonder if the files I'm trying to upload are too big or something.
Old 01-11-10, 09:52 PM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

I've found that Netflix has become incredibly accurate at predicting my likes and dislikes.
Old 01-12-10, 07:23 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

I am up to about 2934 rankings / 875 movies
It is losing some of it's appeal but it is a great way to find out what movies you need to see.
Old 01-12-10, 07:27 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Sounds like it would make a good app for the iPhone/Touch.
Old 01-13-10, 09:00 PM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

"Addictive" really is the best adjective to describe this site. I, too, would prefer to see more films and a greater sense of randomization. Also, as of right now, I've ranked 5851/480 and it's showing Glory as my favorite film of all time. It's in my top ten, yes, but Lawrence of Arabia is actually my favorite...and it's not even in the top 20.
Old 02-02-10, 08:55 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Okay, I can't quit this site! My top movies list looks pretty accurate, but I'm disappointed at how infrequently movies I haven't ranked yet show up as choices when I choose "all movies." I am also reminded of two things: 1) I have seen a lot of really, really bad movies and 2) 2004 was a great year for my taste in movies.
Old 02-02-10, 09:28 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Damn you Suprmallet! Cant stop clicking...and I'm at work....
Old 02-02-10, 09:32 AM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

Yeah you can set it to only rank your Top 100, 50, 20 and it will seriously set straight what you want and where you want it.
Old 02-03-10, 04:03 PM
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I think my favorite button is "Haven't Seen Either" because it winnows down the universe more quickly. I had some top ten titles float into the top 20 pretty quickly. Others I will have to nudge upward with the 100, 50, and 20 filters.


One thing I enjoyed was getting reminded of movies I hadn't thought about in years. Although there were some titles that I couldn't remember if I had seen them or not; must not have left much of an impression...


I would think that it would almost be impossible to do enough cycles to get a decent list if one has seen a thousand or more of the titles. Even for the 20 filter, there are 190 possible pairs. And that assumes that none are repeated by the random pairing mechanism, which seems unlikely to me. If one has 50 titles, the number of pairs is 1225. If one has 500 titles in one's universe, the number of possible pairings is 124,750. That's a lot of clicks! Of course, the algorithm nudges titles based on other combinations of pairings, as opposed to waiting for each individual combination, but the larger one's universe of titles, the harder it is to do enough matches to order the list well.

For those who would like to know the formula for calculating the number of pairs in a set of numbers, it is here:
Spoiler:
n(n - 1) / 2 = number of pairs
where n is the number of items in the set


Anyway, it is an amusing game.
Old 02-05-10, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by clckworang View Post
You can choose to re-rank a movie if you don't like its position, although I didn't find that method terribly effective. It's more effective to set a filter for something like "show only my top 50 films." This will force some of those No. 1-ranked films to show up more. Likewise, to use Aliens as an example, you can choose to rank only sci-fi movies, which would force it come up again. Without using filters, you've got so many possibilities of films that might come up that it's not surprising one particular film doesn't show up too often.
Don't know if anyone is still playing this game, but I found a couple of strategies that help get favorite movies at or near the top of my list without having to wait for completely random pairing.

First to get a movie "on the board" that hasn't shown up yet, picking a genre that will have it and focusing on those for awhile helped. (Just as clckworang suggested above, using sci-fi as an example.)

Then, to float favorite movies to the top, one can choose to just rank a particular title over and over. To do this, click on "See All ### Movies", your list of movies you've selected. The default is to show the list 20 at a time, selecting "100" makes it easier. Then one can scan down the list (or the next 100, if needed) for the title one wants to move. Select the movie by clicking on the poster or title. Select the "Re-Rank this movie" link and it will give three pairings in succession with that title. Then just go back a page to see the title page again and select "Re-rank" again. Repeat until the title is moved up to the top 20. Then do it with the next one you want to move.

After you have the top 20 list populated with favorites, you can use the 20 filter and just do pairings of those to sort them. It is hard to get every last combination needed, but it will get favorites moved up the list.

This is more efficient and effective than just trying to do thousands of random pairings from the entire title universe.

Edit: Another way to add a movie to the list is to select a movie already on the list by the same Director and then click on the Director's name to see all the movies the Flickchart has by him/her.

Last edited by lizard; 02-05-10 at 03:21 PM.
Old 02-05-10, 06:05 PM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

I just had to choose between Airplane! and Fahrenheit 911. Thought that was peculiar.
Old 02-05-10, 08:00 PM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

I like the siter, but they need to match up some of your most-chosen titles in order to get a truer Top 20. Still, it is rather addicting, even if I have rated Napoleon Dynamite 10 times already.
Old 02-06-10, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by KillerCannibal View Post
I like the siter, but they need to match up some of your most-chosen titles in order to get a truer Top 20. Still, it is rather addicting, even if I have rated Napoleon Dynamite 10 times already.
While that would be nice, you can do the same thing yourself by using the top 20 (or 50, 100, 250) filters. Then you can just rank your current top 20 for awhile and sort those into a better order. To do that click on "Your movies" on the filter line and you will get links for "Only unranked" "Your Top 20" and so forth.

What would make the main algorithm more useful would be an option to have each title one selects in a pair remain in the pairing until it is displaced by one you like better. I think that would fill up the top of the list pretty quickly.
Old 02-21-10, 08:58 PM
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Re: Flickchart: A monumental timewaster

I confess to being more than a little excited right now; I've just been invited to be a guest blogger for Flickchart! I've already submitted my first piece, though I have no idea when the final version will appear. Granted, it's a voluntary thing so it's not like I'm getting paid for this...and it'll likely be much of the same movie-related crap that folks here have been ignoring for the better part of two years...but still, it's something positive in my otherwise bleak daily life and it just seemed right to say so in the thread that introduced me to that hyper-addictive website.

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