There are two kinds of movie junkies: the geeks, who have to see every film ever made (I count myself, naturally), and the less obsessed, who are just dipping their toes in the currents of film history. Those in the first group crave endless factoids to feed their addiction; those in the latter want more informed recommendations than what’s offered by the stoned teenage clerk at the video store.

The Web can sate both audiences through a number of encyclopedic movie databases that amass cast and crew info, stock downloadable preview clips, and even use artificial intelligence to suggest tapes to rent. The granddaddy of them all is the Internet Movie Database (, an astonishing reference tool that lists more than 100,000 films (Leonard Maltin’s fat movie and video guide covers only 19,000). What you don’t get are video clips or a flashy interface, but who cares? If it’s data you’re seeking, this is the one to bookmark. A