Choosing movies to watch onboard

Old Mar 7, 13, 6:38 pm
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Choosing movies to watch onboard

When I sit down for a long haul flight, one of the first things I typically do (while the flight is still boarding) is scan the available movies on the IFE, and then look them up on IMDB while I still have connectivity - basically I'm looking for guidance about which are the good movies, and which ones I should skip.

It seemed to me there should be an easier way of doing this, so last weekend I wrote a web app to do it for me. Some background - I'm in the software business, but it's been many years since I actually wrote code for a living ... so I do little projects like this to do something that I need, and also just to keep myself current with technology. That's a long way of saying that it's very basic (only works for AC) and there could well be bugs in it ... but for now it seems to be functional, and it may be useful to some people here, so I'm sharing.

It's very simple; enter the start & end cities, and your email address. The app will churn for a minute or so, reading the movies off the Air Canada web site, and looking up the ratings and descriptions from IMDB. It will sort all the movies by their IMDB rating, and send you an email with all the info. I did it that way so I'd have an email with me in-flight, when there's no connectivity.

This is not a software development forum so I don't want to discuss the implementation here ... and I don't have much time to do more work on it anyway; if you have any questions or suggestions feel free to PM me, but there are no warranties - the best you can likely hope for is a complete refund of what you paid for it

Anyway, if it does work for you, then you're more than welcome to use it - just go here: http://viewflight.appspot.com/

Edit: This detail is mentioned later in the thread, but in response to a PM I'll highlight it here. You can now also get the movie listings by sending an email (which works in China, etc). Simply send an email to [email protected], with a subject of the airport codes for your departure & arrival cities, and optionally the number of movie plots you want to see. The email body is ignored.

Example subject lines:
YYZ FRA
SYD YVR 100
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Last edited by canopus27; Apr 1, 13 at 6:07 pm
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Old Mar 7, 13, 6:49 pm
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Thanks. Will give it a whirl.
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Old Mar 7, 13, 7:09 pm
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Bookmarked. Thanks...I'll also give this a whirl.
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Old Mar 7, 13, 7:15 pm
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I watch movies exclusively on my iPad. I never turn on the IFE cause they only work 50% of the time. I also don't have to scan through those annoying commercials. Lastly its a true HD picture.
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Old Mar 7, 13, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Silvercity View Post
I watch movies exclusively on my iPad. I never turn on the IFE cause they only work 50% of the time. I also don't have to scan through those annoying commercials. Lastly its a true HD picture.
Dito, also my ipad screen is much crispier than the airplane screen.

With regard to the app, might worth while displaying the movies as well, in addition to reveal it only via email.
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Old Mar 7, 13, 8:02 pm
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Bravo !
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Old Mar 7, 13, 10:01 pm
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My idea of a brilliant app.


Having said that have you considered using rottentomatoes.com instead if imdb?
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Old Mar 7, 13, 10:46 pm
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Originally Posted by migali View Post
Dito, also my ipad screen is much crispier than the airplane screen.

With regard to the app, might worth while displaying the movies as well, in addition to reveal it only via email.
So it'll also make a better snack.
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Old Mar 8, 13, 12:10 am
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Nifty! Works great! Thank you!

Maybe for V2 you could include a link to each movie on IMDB as well so if I don't recognize the title I can quickly go see a summary.
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Old Mar 8, 13, 2:34 am
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Originally Posted by Silvercity
I watch movies exclusively on my iPad. I never turn on the IFE cause they only work 50% of the time. I also don't have to scan through those annoying commercials. Lastly its a true HD picture.
And I don't even fly Air Canada!
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Old Mar 8, 13, 2:37 am
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Originally Posted by Silvercity View Post
I watch movies exclusively on my iPad. I never turn on the IFE cause they only work 50% of the time. I also don't have to scan through those annoying commercials. Lastly its a true HD picture.
Yes but you are missing a trick

Turn on the IFE. Find out it doesn't work. Get a compensation voucher for up to $250. Use comp credits toward the purchase of iPads and Bose headsets.
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Old Mar 8, 13, 5:23 am
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Originally Posted by Silvercity View Post
I watch movies exclusively on my iPad. I never turn on the IFE cause they only work 50% of the time. I also don't have to scan through those annoying commercials. Lastly its a true HD picture.
I must have better luck than you. In 85k of travel last year and 65k the year before I never encountered broken IFE. Not once. I agree about the commercials though.
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Old Mar 8, 13, 6:44 am
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Awesome idea!

FYI it seems however that the Great Firewall of China blocks appspot.com. Nothing a good VPN can't fix
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Old Mar 8, 13, 6:51 am
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Nice idea, thanks for sharing.
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Old Mar 8, 13, 7:35 am
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The thing that really bugs me about the commercials is the ones that are short and you can't really fast forward through - I'm thinking the HSBC ones. Or the Claymore ETF/Black Rock iShares one. If I have to see that guy take his first business trip to India, or hear the guy talk about his twins one more time I think I'll lose it!!

Great idea on the app though - I do the same with imdb.
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