Movie Brain
iPhone App
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Movie Brain

Our Review by Tom Hesser on January 29th, 2009
Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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Movie Brain is like having IMDB in your pocket, but better because it doesn't require the internet! A must-have for movie buffs.

Developer: Probably Interactive
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1

iPhone Integration [rating:3/5]
User Interface [rating:5/5]

Re-use / Replay Value [rating:5/5]

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) is one of the few web sites that has missed the bandwagon of creating an iPhone engineered interface, either as a stand-alone app or Web 2.0 web site. This is a shame since using mobile Safari on the regular web site is torturous thanks to small type and a lot of information crammed onto each page. For iPhone/iPod Touch users looking for solution to their movie searching needs, Movie Brain rides in on a white horse to save the day!

Using an ingenious method of collecting data from a variety of internet sources to compile a complete self-contained database (see our audio interview with the developer for more details), the developer has created a speedy movie database in your pocket. The movie description, cast, and even the poster is available without any internet connection. To display additional details about each movie, Movie Brain offers to connect to the internet to retrieve data from NetFlix, IMDB, or the Rotten Tomatoes web site (movie reviews) in it's own browser window so you don't have to leave the app.

Movie Brain allows you to search movie titles, or for people's names, such as the actors or director of the film. Once you get to the movie selection you want, you can then navigate to information about each person listed under the movie. If you want to bookmark your favorite movies or people for quick navigation, each entry has a heart icon which you click to put the entry into the list.

Being a cinema-phile, I use this app frequently, and it is nice to have a quick search available with easy to read results. I am hoping the developer add some additional features in a future release. I would like to see the ability to email or export the favorites list for sharing. It also seems obvious that you should be able to add a movie from your search to your NetFlix queue. Having spoken to the developer, he said he is considering it. It would also be nice to see some fun features that utilize some of the iPhone's technologies, like shaking the device to bring up a random movie. Given that taking you to another web site for more details still brings up that site's normal web page, it would interesting if there was someway to incorporate Instapaper support to read results later. These are just some ideas. The app is pretty indispensable as it is.

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