Ok, I think I've found a good solution to my needs. It turns out the HTPC crowd is way ahead of the pc folk at solving this particular problem, i.e. cataloging and presenting movies in a nice UI and automating the whole process. I have zero interest in adding my own notes/data since all this information already exists at Imdb etc.
I'm experimenting with XBMC Atlantis (http://xbmc.org/download/), Meedios (www.meedios.com) as well as MediaPortal (http://www.team-mediaportal.com/).
The UI's and the abilities these have for media organization look like they are light years ahead of all the pc apps discussed here.
e.g. take a look at these -