Thursday, February 25, 2010

iPhone Apps for Movie Lovers

Frequently, people ask me what the best iPhone apps are for watching trailers, looking up reviews or just discussing films. I’m the first to say I believe that these apps should be available on all smart-phone devices, but of course the iPhone is the most popular handset so often the apps are designed for it alone. However, more efforts are being made to accommodate people who have Google phones, Blackberries or various other web-ready phones. For now, I’ll stick with Apple’s little dynamo and I’ll try to keep you updated on developments in the future. 

Flixup (Free, iPhone only, available internationally)
By far this is the app I use the most as a critic. The app takes conversations on twitter, analyses them and ranks films. You can watch trailers for most new and upcoming films in a really streamlined way. It isn’t as delayed as searching on YouTube or Safari. You can see what the people you follow think about recent and upcoming flicks too. While it’s great to find out what professional critics think, it’s important to find out what the movie-going public has to say as well. The people who made flixup are really clever as they know any film critic or blogger worth their salt has a twitter account. They’re also really nice and open to suggestions or questions via twitter (of course). There’s also a handy website if you’d like the bigger picture.
IMDB   (Free, iPhone only, available internationally)
Though information on IMDB is ever changing and you should always check your facts from multiple sources before doing an interview or writing an article, IMDB is still the premiere website for movie lovers. While the app is incredibly useful (especially when you’re having arguments with friends over who starred in what), it’s slightly disappointing. The home screen is pretty boring and there is no news link. Every film buff I know checks just for the news blurbs on the home page. However, you have to love the easy access to pictures and the differentiation between movies and TV. I also kind of like how each star has a “movies they’re known for” screen where you can click to see their full filmography if needed.
Rotten Tomatoes (Free, iPhone only, available internationally)
I haven’t used this app much, even though it was one of the first widely available film based apps, but it seems like an adequate representation of the website. There is some doubling up here with the different screens and navigation isn’t that streamlined, but it’s a handy app to have if you’re in need of a review or rating at a glance. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem that you can log into your RT account and use the forums with it. I think that would be really useful but perhaps these features will be added in the future. Oddly enough, there isn't a big fat link or even an obvious one on the actual RT website to this app.
Oscars (Free, iPhone only, available internationally)
This is the official Academy Awards application and is really fun for devoted fans, though I’d like to see an app that covers all awards during the season. The only thing I find odd about the Oscars app is that there are two sections for your picks and winner predictions. I find it a bit redundant. However, some people might find that option desirable.
The Rest: Tweetdeck, YouTube and Facebook (Various handsets)
If you’re a critic or blogger the above are a must. Obviously YouTube is built into each iPhone which is handy but you’ll need to get Tweetdeck (or a similar twitter client) and Facebook which are both free at the app store. If you aren’t a critic or blogger, twitter is amazing for a constant stream of news, reviews and tidbits from the horse’s mouth. I follow Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost and their little circle of tweets often make my day. All of the major film sites and blogs have tweeters too.
I hope you’ve found this useful and informative. If there’s a film app that I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments!
For more apps check out /Film's list here. Sadly, it seems the popular Movies app from Flixster is only available in the US, Canada and the UK. 

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