It used to be easy to find a movie to watch. You would trek down to your local Blockbuster, peruse the aisles, return home with a VHS tape and perhaps a box of Junior Mints. Today, I am paralyzed by choice, and I haven't enjoyed a Junior Mint in more than a decade. I should also note that I have two young children, who have severely decreased my capability to carve out two hours to view and also stay awake for a feature-length film.
So, when the stars align and I have the time and energy to watch a movie, where do I go? Should I stream a movie on Netflix or Vudu, rent a DVD or Blu-ray from Redbox, or, (gasp!), get a babysitter and venture out to the theater?
My first stop in answering the above question is the Web app Watch It. It lets me create a queue of movies, whether they are in the theater, already out of the theater, or coming soon to a theater. For movies already out of the theater, it shows you on which streaming or rental service they are available. And if your preferred service doesn't have the movie yet, Watch It will e-mail you an alert when it does become available.
To sign up, you will need to give Watch It an e-mail address, or you can sign up via Facebook. After creating an account, take a close look at the Preferences page because the default is to sign you up for alerts, a newsletter, and special offers. You will want to dial back the amount of e-mail Watch It wants to send you. And you may want to scale back the sharing on Facebook, which is set up to share movies when you add them to your queue. Connect with friends on Facebook, however, and you can view their queue for ideas.
Also on the Preferences page is a section where you can select which movie services for which you'd like alerts. The choices are:
For most movies, there is a boxshot, link to watch the trailer, basic cast information, a brief summary, and a critic score from MRQE.com. When a movie in your queue becomes available on one of your services, you'll get an e-mail.
You can search by movie title to add to your queue, but I was disappointed to discover you can't search by actor or director. If the search functionality underwhelms you, check out Watch It's Channels, where you can peruse various lists of movies, from Staff Picks and Sundance recommendations to a summer movie guide and teen movies.