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November 27, 2009 • Reviews

The Leonard Maltin Movie Guide iPhone App Review

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If you like movies, this is one app you definitely need to check out. It is easy to use, chock full of movie info and will make it easier than ever to find movies by your favorite director or actor.

Is it worth the $1.99 price? Judie and I decided to give it a try and see …

Dan: When you first load the app, it lists a number of current picks. None of these particularly interested me, but it did service its function – it brought a number of movies I would not have otherwise seen to my attention.

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Dan: Tapping the small “i” in the upper right hand corner reveals information on the app. Of particular note here is the section “About the Editors”. If there is one pet peeve with apps like this that offer “definitive information”, it’s that many don’t tell you the credentials of the “authorities”; not so here. This app makes it clear – the Editors of this content know their stuff. Included among them are an actress, a TV producer, a film critic and more. That means you are getting information from people who love movies, and it shows.

So let’s hunt down some of my favorite movies.

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Putting “Young Frankenstein” in the search field quickly yields one of the funniest movies ever.

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Tapping on it provides more information such as the year it was produced, the length and a short synopsis of it. It also reveals just a 3 1/2 star rating. No way! FAIL

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Dan: Typing in “Raiders of” yields three possibilities. Obviously the option I was hoping for was number two “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.

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A quick tap and the relevant information is in front of me. Four stars; now that’s more like it!!!

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Tapping on Steven Spielberg’s name quickly yields a complete list of all his work.

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This holds true for the cast as well.

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Unfortunately there does not seem to be a “Back” button for getting back to the movie once you have chosen to get detail on the director or and one of the actors.

Judie: The movies you picked were well known and popular, so I decided to check and see if some of the more obscure movies I remembered from years ago were included. For some reason, the first to pop in my mind was John Waters train wreck of a film “Pink Flamingos“. While it would be far too kind to call this movie a classic, it exists. No mention of it is made in the Leonard Maltin Movie Guide.

This is a movie that should be included — if only for the benefit of some college kid who happens to be at a party where someone says “Hey, do you want to see ‘Pink Flamingos‘ or ‘Something Wild‘?”

“What’s pink Flamingos?”

“I dunno – it’s by the same guy who did ‘Hairspray‘, ‘Serial Mom‘ and ‘Crybaby‘ — John Waters?”

“Oh cool … I liked those movies.”

That could be a big mistake.

Let’s give that kid a chance to at least know what they would be in for either way. 😛

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Dan: The “My Lists” button at the bottom brings some nice functionality to the app. You an add movies that you love and, over times build your list. You can also quickly create and save a list of movies you want to watch.

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The app makes it simple to tell others about the great movies you find.

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And it even lets you link the app to your NetFlix account and then add movies to your queue. The final two functions are nice too — you can watch previews of many movies right in the app, and you can buy or rent many movies via iTunes (although I couldn’t get this function to work for me).

Dan: In all this app is pretty great for movie buffs. It requires no internet connection, gives quick access to Leonard Maltin’s current movie picks and is easy to use. The iTunesApp Store description calls it “A Video Warehouse In Your Pocket”; that seems about right.

What I Like: Easy to use; Chock full of information; Can be linked to NetFlix or iTunes accounts

What Needs Improvement: Needs a large clear, “Back” Button; more obscure movies are not listed

It is on sale now for $1.99, HERE.

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  7. jw9722 says:

    I bought this app right when it first came out (only two-and-a-half months ago), and was just denied access to it; a message said the guide had expired. If you buy this app, please be advised that a paid upgrade may be required surprisingly soon after you first purchase it.