It’s hard for computers to give good recommendations for movies or music. That is why the recommendation systems that tend to work on the Web include a human or social element (see eMusic). Clerk Dogs is trying to do that for movie recommendations. Its database includes about 5,000 movies, all categorized by film buffs, including some former video store clerks.
For each movie, Clerk Dogs produces slider ratings on things like character depth, complexity, cinemotography, violence, black humor, and suspense. Then it generates a list of other movies that score similarly across the same attributes. If you want more matches that correlate with high suspense or action, move those sliders to the right.
A spot check of a few recommendations shows that Clerk Dogs holds some promise. Put in the Heat, and it comes back with 43 recommendations, including Ronin, American Gangster, and The Departed. Not exactly surprising, but on the mark. Put in Frost/Nixon, and you get back All The President’s Men (obvious), as well as Good Night, And Good Luck (not so obvious).
Clerk Dogs CEO Stuart Skorman was the founder of Reel.com, which he sold to Hollywood Entertainment for $100 million during the 1.0 bubble. He hopes to sell access to the Clerk Dogs recommendation engine to other movie sites and retailers.