Movies, Television and Friends

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Some time back, I asked Clicker, “Now, where’s my mobile app?”  This week they delivered.  Sort of.  Unlike OrbLive, Clicker does not provide a mobile player so viewing is pretty restricted.  (I’d like to hear from those of you with Froyo on your Nexus Ones whether the flash sites work well or at all.)  They offer a FourSquare-like check-in and badges thing that will appeal to some.  One can see what is available to view on one’s playlist, add shows to the playlist, and find out what one’s friends are watching if they are Clicker users.  (Not really that likely, but they can be invited using Facebook Connect.)  You can also share your Clicker activity through Twitter.  It’s a beginning.

I have to say I wish that Boxee would make a mobile app.  It already mixes my internet TV and internet video and social connections brilliantly.  The mobile app would be a real kick.  Can you imagine Boxee on the iPad?  Pleeeaase, Avner.   Clicker gave me an app when I asked for it.  Hulu has gone crazy with their commercials and subscription fee so I am slowly backing away from them despite their beautiful desktop player.  Boxee has an opening here to jump to the fore.

The Flixster web app kicks off with an annoying splash advertisement which is a MAJOR turn off so I am seriously searching for a better alternative.  While the relatively new IMDB app has a “IMDb Everywhere” feature that lets the user post on Twitter  or Facebook as well as the ubiquitous Facebook “Like” button, it does not support user reviews or ratings.


Moviefone has been around for a long while.  It has both a web and mobile app.  One can get showtimes, directions to the theater, synopses, trailers, and sometimes buy tickets in advance.  It is a venerable old player on the movie-related app scene.  Fandango offers similar functionality.  Either of these apps are fine if you’re not that interested in your friends as movie critics or sharing through social media.

IMDb is the classic movie database and it recently added a mobile app for Android.  Their app does everything Moviefone and Fandango do and includes access to the what might be the largest movie database on the planet.  Plus, if you want to email, tweet, Buzz, or Facebook post your opinion of a movie, you can do it from their app.  The IMDb web app offers more than any other site and nicely integrates TV information as well.  One can choose to make one’s movie ratings public and IMDb provides a link the user can share to his or her movie ratings.  I have not found a similar function for movie reviews.  The movie ratings link might be an interesting option to add to one’s applications on one’s Google Profile.

Flixster offers a place to swap movie reviews and ratings as well as a mobile app.  Their mobile app is my go-to app for finding out what’s playing near me when I find a free bit of time to catch a flick during my travels.  I tend to watch my movie trailers almost exclusively on their mobile app as well.  I like that I can access information about my friends ratings and reviews as well as my own from within the mobile app.  I can even manage my Netflix queue.  It is a great way to share with others also within the relatively small Flixster community.

But Flixster is all about the advertising.  On the mobile app, the ad ribbon is just below the menu resulting in frequent accidental tapping of the ad instead of a menu item.  On the web app, it seems like every page that one might access is preceded by a big ad with an option at the bottom to skip the ad.  Uber annoying.  It also does not offer an integrated way to tweet or Google Buzz a movie listing.

So I continue to look for the perfect movie service, but until then I’ll be using some combination of Flixster and IMDb from my phone and XBMC on my home computers.  With their mobile app, Clicker continues to lead the pack as internet television web app for use on computers without Boxee installed.

If all one wants to do is find a movie, see an aggregate of critics opinions, get showtimes and directions, or watch a trailer, one can simple google “movies xxxxx” with their zipcode for the x’s.  You could even use this easy bookmarklet, to Buzz your opinion of a movie once you’ve googled it and have it in your browser.

I believe all of these mobile apps are available at AppBrain.  Let me know what tools you use and why in the comments.

Fandango MovieFone IMDb Flixster
Mobile app that:
Movie synopsis x x x x
Showtimes at nearby theaters x x x x
Showtimes at my favorite theaters x
Directions to nearby theater x x x x
View movie trailers x x x x
View friend comments or reviews x
View friend ratings x
Rate movie x
Review movie x
List movies I want to see x
List movies I’ve rated x
Aggregates user ratings x x x x
Aggregates critic ratings x
Unobtrusive or no ads x x x
Buy tickets in advance x x x
Tweet or Buzz x
Fandango MovieFone IMDb Flixster Google
Web app that:
Movie synopsis x x x x x
Showtimes at nearby theaters x x x x x
Showtimes at my favorite theaters x x
Directions to nearby theater x x x x x
View movie trailers x x x x x
View friend comments or reviews x
View friend ratings x
Rate movie x
Review movie x
List movies I want to see x
List movies I’ve rated x
Aggregates user ratings x x x x
Aggregates critic ratings x x
Unobtrusive or no ads x x x x
Buy tickets in advance x x x
Tweet or Buzz x
Fandango MovieFone IMDb Flixster
Mobile app that:
Movie synopsis x x x x
Showtimes at nearby theaters x x x x
Showtimes at my favorite theaters x
Directions to nearby theater x x x x
View movie trailers x x x x
View friend comments or reviews x
View friend ratings x
Rate movie x
Review movie x
List movies I want to see x
List movies I’ve rated x
Aggregates user ratings x x x x
Aggregates critic ratings x
Unobtrusive or no ads x x x
Buy tickets in advance x x x
Tweet or Buzz x
Fandango MovieFone IMDb Flixster Google
Web app that:
Movie synopsis x x x x x
Showtimes at nearby theaters x x x x x
Showtimes at my favorite theaters x x
Directions to nearby theater x x x x x
View movie trailers x x x x x
View friend comments or reviews x
View friend ratings x
Rate movie x
Review movie x
List movies I want to see x
List movies I’ve rated x
Aggregates user ratings x x x x
Aggregates critic ratings x x
Unobtrusive or no ads x x x x
Buy tickets in advance x x x
Tweet or Buzz x
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2 Responses to Movies, Television and Friends

  1. avatar Tom Long says:

    Update: One can buy tickets from the IMDb website by clicking on the showtime.

  2. avatar Tom Long says:

    Mashable posted a nice movie app overview here.

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