Shocker: Morgan Freeman's Movie Download Site Launches; Not Shocking: It Sucks

from the one-out-of-two-ain't-bad dept

Morgan Freeman’s much-hyped movie-download service Clickstar has finally launched. On one hand, it’s something of a surprise, given how long it’s been hyped without any action to back it up. On the other hand, it’s hardly surprising to learn that, like so many similar services before, it pretty much sucks. The chairman of the company quotes Freeman in a blog post as saying “ClickStar is our effort to make films easier to buy than to pirate.” As’s Rafat Ali notes, they’ve missed the mark badly: it’s Windows-only, requires the use of IE7, poor site design requiring lots of clicks, and restrictions that prevent users from burning movies to DVD. In other words, the site is about as good as the previous studio-backed efforts, which is to say, it’s pretty awful. The only bright spot is that Clickstar is compressing release windows: a Freeman film that was released in studios just two weeks ago is now available on the site. Compressing release windows is something that theater owners have reacted strongly to in the past. But it sounds like Clickstar is so bad, they won’t really need to worry about it this time around.

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Comments on “Shocker: Morgan Freeman's Movie Download Site Launches; Not Shocking: It Sucks”

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Bumbling old fool (profile) says:


I’d say I’m suprised… but to be honest… I’m not.

I don’t expect any entertain industry player to realize the value of convenience to their consumers… they have spent YEARS curtailing consumer convenience, and during those years their profits only increased.

Why would they embrace consumer convenience now? That would completely go against everything consumers have taught them.

(that was satire… sorta… )

misanthropic humanist says:


“’s Windows-only, requires the use of IE7, poor site design requiring lots of clicks, and restrictions that prevent users from burning movies to DVD.”

In other words it’s unusable and defeats its own goals. I wonder why they made such fundamental mistakes.

Incidentally, I’ve always liked Mr Freeman as an actor, what a shame if he has squandered money on a poor implementation.

That’s the problem with having a “business idea” and wanting to move into technology when you don’t know much about it I guess. There’s really only a small number of programmers and software engineers that are honestly capable of providing real impartial advice based on technical merits, the vast majority of high profile “consultants” are really salesmen of one kind or another. Once they’ve sold you their solution and built the site they don’t really care if you fail or succeed.

Or I wonder, is this another case of a good team with great ideas slowly being bled to death by lawyers and marketing people until
they end up with a lowest common denominator POS.

If your project is technology you should put your technologists in charge of it.

iRule says:

Does anybody have an actual financial model detailing how it would benefit the movie studios to revamp their operating procedures, reduce the release window, and embrace an online movie store that people could actually use and enjoy?

I don’t think so. I don’t think a model exists because I don’t think it the actions that people want to see would increase the profits of the film business.

Online, people seem to look for free, or discounted alternatives to purchasing the same materials they would pay full price for in a store.

Also, online, whats not to stop people from sharing the files. Please don’t say more DRM. At least with purchasing DVDs, there is a slight disconnect between having the DVD and having the file on your computer.

Gabriel Constantine says:


They say they want to make it easier to buy the movie than to pirate it.

1) I had to download an annoying cstar management program
2) Its IE only (no firefox)
3) When I went to purchase 30 minutes ago the IE window still says PLEASE STAND BY

Even with the crappy DRM why can they not do a simple download. No wonder I stick with itunes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not Freemans fault

I venture to say it was a lazy programmers fault that did this. I doubt Morgan Freeman set next to the developer as they did it. They probably paid for a company to do the site, supplied that company with all the content and idea’s and that company dropped the ball (which would explain all the talk for so long without seeing any site) – they got tired of waiting and just said ‘screw it’ were launching.

BananaFish says:

Yeah, but...

I’ve never tried to pirate a movie before, but perhaps for me, getting IE7 and WMP 10 *is* really easier than finding out how to DL movies illegally.

Those with direct access to (and experience with) movie pirating may never be swayed, realistically. I guess i’m saying i’m not sure how one defines “easier”. Perhaps they mean to stop new converts, rather than convince every movie pirate to pay because it’s just so easy.

Oh, and good for Morgan Freeman. Not enough credit for a good idea…. i’m sure it will be swallowed up by the bad implementation.

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