Flixster partners with Rotten Tomatoes to compile movie reviews from...

Flixster partners with Rotten Tomatoes to compile movie reviews from critics at top newspapers, magazines and webzines. Credit: Newsday/Flixster

The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony is Sunday, as Hollywood bestows its highest honors on those who make and appear in movies. For those who watch movies, these apps can raise your enjoyment of the big night.


(iOS, Android; subscription)

In Hollywood, Netflix has gone from streamer to player. Not only are many 2020 nominees available for streaming, Netflix produced two of the nine best picture nominees: “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story.” There were 24 nominations for Netflix-financed movies, all available for streaming on the app. Several other best picture nominees not available on Netflix can be found elsewhere. For example, “Parasite,” “Ford v Ferrari” and “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” are on Amazon Prime, iTunes and Google Play.


(iOS, Android; free)

IMDb, or the Internet Movie Database, has been an online go-to destination for movie fans for nearly 30 years — even before the World Wide Web debuted. It is loaded with reviews, movie synopses, trivia, goofs and other interesting items not only for recent movies but for thousands of older films. There is also information on movies now in theaters and where to see them. 


(iOS, Android; free)

Another internet stalwart, Rotten Tomatoes, doesn’t have its own app but it partners with the wonderfully useful Flixster. Rotten Tomatoes aggregates movie reviews from critics at top newspapers, magazines and webzines. Its "Tomatometer” ratings of “fresh” (a movie with at least 60 percent favorable reviews) or “rotten” (fewer that 60 percent favorable reviews) have become a quick way to see what others think about movies.


(iOS, Android; free)

Twitter may not increase your knowledge about movies too much, but it gets four stars for snark, especially during awards shows. As the Oscar winners are announced, Twitter will explode with instant reactions, some funny, some savage. And it will go well beyond the movies themselves. Pity the poor actress whose dress is a mess or the poor actor whose suit is out of style, or any star who trips up either physically or verbally.

Ransomware’s heavy toll

More than 2,000 government agencies, educational establishments and health care providers were victimized by an “unrelenting barrage of ransomware attacks” in 2019 according to cybersecurity researcher Emsisoft. The attacks, which caused damages of $7.5 billion, were successful because of the “organizations’ existing security weaknesses.” Emsisoft noted that “not a single bank disclosed a ransomware incident,” not because they weren’t targeted but because they have better security.


Time for watches

If you own a smartwatch or fitness tracker, you are not alone. A Pew Research Center survey found that 21 percent of Americans regularly use one of these wearables, typically to track health and fitness data such as heart rate, calories burned and distance walked. People who live in the suburbs and earn more than $75,000 a year are most likely to own a smartwatch or fitness tracker.


Level up: Atari to open 8 hotels

Atari, the arcade game company that ushered in the gaming revolution in the 1980s, is opening eight video game-themed hotels across the United States, including ones in Las Vegas and Phoenix. The hotels will feature virtual-reality gear and areas for esports events. Founded in 1972, Atari became a pioneer in arcade and home video consoles with games such as Asteroids and Centipede.

— AP

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