The best of broadband - films
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Date: 30 June, 2005


'I know the film isn’t due for release for another month or so but grabbing sneak film previews is a seriously slick part of the broadband internet experience and lets you crow horribly over your less-than-techie chums.'

Ray Hatley looks at the best film-based websites for broadband users.

Sometimes the internet is so completely awesome I am almost lost for words… but as a hard working journalist I feel obliged to get a grip on the situation and tell you about one of the coolest things to come out of a broadband internet connection.

Let me give you a clue by saying that I have just watched Johnny (Pirates of the Caribbean) Depp playing an outrageous Willie Wonka and howled with unrestrained laughter at his antics.

Yes, I know the film isn’t due for release for another month or so but grabbing sneak film previews is a seriously slick part of the broadband internet experience and lets you crow horribly over your less-than-techie chums.

If a catching a glimpse of upcoming movie titles sounds like fun then start by clicking on where you will find a great selection of film clips and movie information. There are all kinds of titles to choose from so sit back, take your time and settle down to watch a couple. Hey, if you have the bandwidth then watch all of them as they are completely free to view.

I know the idea of watching a trailer for an impending film is not exactly new, but imagine being able to choose the precise trailers you want to see. Did you know that there are often a number of different trailers for a specific film? A quick click around the net can usually uncover most of them.

So what sort of film trailers can you find? Well how about the new Harry Potter film due in November for starters – Having checked it out on I can assure you that it looks well worth the wait.

My personal new film pick would probably be ‘ Madagascar’ (see trailer 2) but do watch out for psychotic penguins and take in the stunning animation.

Whilst clicking through these preview sites remember that most ‘genuine’ film sites now have a host of free downloads such as screensavers, wallpaper and even icons you can use to replace your desktop buttons. Madagascar is no exception and the quality of its freebies is exceptional.

Whilst we are on the subject of trailers I probably need make it quite clear that this isn’t just a way for crafty techies to avoid paying to see films – sorry to disappoint guys, but, outside short film freebie website , all you tend to get for nothing are the previews – although IMHO (in my humble opinion) some of the previews are a whole lot better than many finished films!

Up until now we have been discussing impending releases, but broadband can actually help you decide what to see this week. Just take a long look at good ‘ole Yahoo to catch up with the current collection of movie house blockbusters. For easy access just click on and poke around until you find something you like.

Whilst hunting though the recent releases I found a live one for the girlies. Okay, so you don’t go to the cinema very often but when you catch the trailer for ‘Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’
thesisterhoodofthetravelingpants you will definitely want your mates to come with you to see the whole film. Take heed ladies - this just has to be the ultimate chick flic of 2005 so don’t miss it and whatever you do, don’t forget those tissues…

Full-on bloke films are mostly quite similar with lots of loud ladies, amazing explosions and your choice from a selection of chase vehicles, but all that is set to change.

Any roughty toughty hard-hitting sort of a guy looking for a decent film to see with the lads should click directly to, track down the trailer and start reappraising what, precisely, goes to make a real man. No – don’t move on before you have checked this out.

Murderball is a rough, tough and verbally abrasive documentary that occasionally gets a tad bloody. But what do you expect from a bunch of exceedingly hard blokes playing full contact rugby in wheelchairs. Top stuff. Completely and utterly unmissable.

Now I like a good adventure film as much as the next bloke but it appears that I may have developed hidden depths. So if you are a big soft dollop like me, blessed with a discerning eye and an unashamedly romantic nature then take a look at The Beautiful Country then, as soon as it is released you can book tickets to a proper film with fabulous cinematography and a powerful storyline.

Despite its occasionally irritating ways, the internet actually offers an incredible range of useful film data including a number of superb specialist ‘greatest film’ synopsis sites like or the internet movie database at Both hold a vast amount of information and have taken care to make it easy to access.

The real answer to finding film data on the internet is to dig deep and keep trying new ways to find your information. This is one time that it would pay to know URLs (website addresses) for a number of search engines as each will offer a new perspective on your search criteria.

Here are a few guaranteed good un’s to get you started:

Don’t forget that film has been around for far longer than most people think. Some of the earliest films were made in the late 1890s and are amazing social statements. As a history enthusiast I was particularly impressed with sites like and which give plenty of information about early films and the ‘golden age’ of filmmaking. I suspect I would have been a devotee of ‘silent’ films as I can’t resist a bit of well timed slapstick.

Hopefully this has whetted your appetite and got you in the mood to check out the internet’s vast and varied selection of silver screen data. We all have a favourite film so just type yours into a search engine and see what you find – you may be surprised. Enjoy!

Ray Hatley is a freelance journalist working for a number of national newspapers ands magazines.

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