Developer: Fling Soft
Version Reviewed: 1.0.0
iPhone Integration Rating:
User Interface Rating:
Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
Winter is coming, and with it comes long dark days that are too cold to enjoy. Nothing is better on a cold winter night than snuggling up to an old movie, one of those really old flicks that creak and crackle with lightning fast dialogue not approachable by most humans.
For those that like these old classics, there is a new app that does just the trick. Movie Vault, from Fling Soft, gives you access to over 1,000 old (often really old) classics. You're not going to find much of anything on a top 100 list, but there are a handful of movies that you may be interested to watch, like Alfred Hitchcock's Sabotage and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead. Most are extremely old or are extremely obscure, though. Movie Vault does have a pretty large collection of Dick Tracy, Tarzan, Charlie Chan, and Hercules movies, so fans of these cult classics will get a big kick out of it.
Now don't get too excited about Movie Vault though, because all of the movies in the app are public domain, meaning that you can watch them for free, legally, on the web. You also can't save movies to your phone, so the app really doesn't work so well on most airplane flights or road trips when you're literally in the middle of nowhere and can't get a 3G signal. I only bring this up because when you're sitting at home, or heck, even sitting at work, wouldn't it be nicer to just watch the movie on your laptop?
Beyond the "when would I use this" issue, the app is fairly solid technically but it could use some organizational help. In the app, the movies are all organized on a bookshelf-looking background that allows for three movies across (or four movies in the horizontal layout). The problem is that the movies have pretty obscure covers, and the titles on the movie covers are so small that many of them are indecipherable. Sure, you can click on a movie to see more info, but passively looking for a movie in Movie Vault is intimidating. The search feature, you would think, would be organized categorically and would possibly have a text list of the movies separated by genre, actor, year, etc, but it isn't. It just offers you a blank white bar. Like I know what movies are included in the 1,000+ movies in the app!
Assuming that you have a reason to be watching old films on your iPhone, Movie Vault is quite the deal at $2.99. Saying that it isn't worth the price (again, given that you don't have a computer around) is absurd when you think of the price per hours of entertainment value. The organization of the app is difficult, but if you're in need of something to do and don't have a real computer anywhere around, watching an old Boris Karloff film isn't the worst way to pass the time.