December 26, 2000, 9:55 AM

Hooray for Hollywood

Run by movie buffs for movie buffs, Reel.com showcases what Internet retailing can do best. For one thing, there’s a huge inventory-more than 100,000 new and used DVD and VHS tapes. But the big draw is the site’s vast collection of movie information. Reel.com outperforms competing Web stores by offering minute details about virtually any film ever available on video.

Few media sites win design kudos, and Reel.com is no exception. Like CDNow, Reel.com’s home page is crowded, and aging video afficionados may have to squint to read the type.

The retailer’s staff of more than 40 writers, who are experts in all genres, review and discuss movies on video or due for release.

The site’s most popular feature is Reel Movie Matches, which cross-references films by similar profile, theme or star. Can’t get enough Harrison Ford? The site can unearth his earliest and most obscure appearances, including a few you may have missed.

Another favorite tool, Reel Movie Anatomy, helps customers find a film to match their tastes and moods. It rates a film based on 14 elements, such as sex, violence, cinematography and special effects.

The site further builds traffic by posting reviews of current films. Martin DeBono, a senior analyst at Gomez Advisors, gives the used video sales bin a thumbs-up, too. By picking up Antz for $6, Parents can please their broods-and keep budgets in line.

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