RokuGuide Review: Urban Dictionary defines a popcorn flick as "a movie that is mindless fun and has one thing (special effects, action, etc) and nothing else." That defines most of the offerings on the appropriately-named Popcornflix channel. These movies may be mindless, but they are fun, and they give movie lovers another great Roku entertainment choice.
Popcornflix offers hundreds of movies, all free, and no registration required. You won't find any Hollywood blockbusters here, and I suspect that most of these films are straight-to-DVD or made-for-TV releases, but you should still be able to find hours of entertainment among the many available titles. Most compelling are the dozens of original movies from talented film school students.
Films are categorized in a dozen genres:
- Action/Thrillers - There are some cheesey films here, like Cyborg3: The Recycler (1994), which is full of "Cybordellos and Mechano-whores", but you'll also find big names like Woody Harrelson in Battle in Seattle (2007), and George C. Scott in Curacao (1993).
- Comedy - This genre is heavy on college coeds and high school humor. Typical titles, which include bikini tops and a lot of cleavage on the movie posters, are Foreign Exchange (2008), Ski School 2 (1994), and Winter Break (2003).
- Horror - I expected the usual blood and gore slasher movies here, but many of titles have deeper plots than that. Made-for-TV The Fear Inside (1992) deals with an agoraphobic's fear of leaving her home, and The Neighbor (1993) features an expectant mother who reminds a dangerous psychopath of his dead mother.
- Drama - Notable here are Judgement in Berlin (1988), starring Martin Sheen and Sean Penn, and Loverboy (2005), starring Matt Dillon and directed by Kevin Bacon. You'll find some other well-known names scattered about if you look hard enough.
- Family/Kids - More than animation and cute dog stories, this genre also has a number of family-oriented dramas and fantasy-style films.
- Romance - I'm not the best judge of romance films, but I'm guessing that many people will find the offerings to be fairly weak in this genre, since it includes Freshman Orientation (2004), which is billed as "a hilarious gender-bending battle of the sexes led by vicious sorority girls and drunken frat boys." Not your typical chick flick.
- Urban - Not often listed as its own genre, urban films get their own category here, with titles that include Black Spring Break (1998) and Eminem AKA (2004).
- Documentary/Shorts - Currently offering only documentaries, this category includes a baker's dozen on a range of topics, from the surfing film Bustin' Down the Door (2009) to the urban genre's Eminem AKA (see previous bullet).
- Bollywood - A half-dozen films from the Indian Subcontinent. The selection is small but Roku offers a much wider variety of Indian films under the International - South Asia category.
- Espanol - Those looking for Spanish titles may be disappointed to find that the small library of Spanish-language films is composed of American movies that have been dubbed in Spanish. Some like CIA: Exiled (aka Curacao) (1993) are also available on Popcornflix in their original English version.
- Web Originals - This category includes several series originally released on the Web, including Cell; Coma, Period; Assisted Living; Asylum; The Stay at Home Dad; and Alpha Planet.
- Film School Originals - These are all short films, mostly under 10 minutes and many under five, produced by film school students. Most of the credits list the Vancouver Film School.
There is also a New Arrivals category so you don't overlook newly-added titles, and a search function to help you find specific films.
Yes, a lot the titles here are probably those you would find in the bargain bin at any big-box store, but they're entertaining - and they're free. Unless you're one who can watch only new releases and big box-office hits, Popcornflix is a channel that is definitely worth having in your Roku channel list.
--RokuGuide Reviewed on October 29, 2011
Developer's Channel Description: Popcornflix has full-length movies that will make you laugh, make you cry, scare the heck out of you, or inspire you to hug the person you love. We have compelling documentaries, foreign films, unique original web series, and a place that showcases the brightest film makers of tomorrow.
CHANNEL STORE CATEGORY: Movies & TV
DEVELOPER: FLOAT LEFT INTERACTIVE