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movie: is so cool

What the hell, another Google related post?

Well, yeah, but it's not my fault that Google keeps releasing such cool stuff. And besides, it's Oscar Day, practically an officially holiday in Southern California, so this post is appropriate.

Anyhow, Google has just released a new way to search for movie reviews and showtimes, and it couldn't be simpler to use. Just type "movie: " before a search term, and Google will perform a movie-based search. For instance, typing "movie: 91505" into Google gets a listing of all the theaters near the 91505 zipcode, with listings of the movies they're showing, the showtimes for today, and a star-based average of the reviews for that movie. Super-cool.

But, wait, it gets better. If you type "movie: million dollar baby burbank, ca" you get the listings for "Million Dollar Baby" in Burbank.

But wait, it gets better still. Try typing "movie: clint eastwood boxing" and you get a list of movies fitting that, with "Million Dollar Baby" at the top of the list. That's right, you don't even have to know the name of the movie. You can type just the stars of the movie ("movie: clint eastwood hillary swank") or a description of the movie ("movie: computer animated superhero") or even an idea of a movie you're in the mood for ("movie: tasteless comedy").

And I mentioned it briefly, but Google averages out the reviews it has indexed into a star-based review. You can click on the movie to get a list of reviews, you can sort the reviews by date, rating, relevance. Google is essentially doing the same thing Metacritic and RottenTomatoes.com do, but much faster and easier (and with a wider selection of reviews). Yes, it still doesn't validate, they've got room to improve, but as a useful tool, it's really great technology they've got. And not that I ever would, but it's a great way to cheat at the Six Degrees game.

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