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Need to make the most of movie night? There’s an app for that RICHARD CROUSE METRO CANADA April 07, 2010

best-movie-game-apps-android-header-120703It used to be that going to the movies was simple.

Movie times were listed at the back of every newspaper, trusted critics pointed the way and with a minimum of effort — and for price of a ticket and a tub of popcorn — you’d have two hours of entertainment.

That was then. This is now, and the whole experience of watching movies has become even simpler thanks to some high tech gadgets easily downloaded on your iPhone.

The whole process of locating, watching and enjoying films has been streamlined by a series of movie apps that range in price from free to $2.99.

“These apps make movie-going easier,” says CTV’s Tech Expert, Kris Abel. “Certainly now it’s easier to find a theatre in your area that is playing the movie you want at the right show time.”

You have apps like the flixter app (free on itunes) which can use your GPS to find the closest theatre and then give you information about that movie.”

Flixter can help get you to the theatre but two other apps come in handy once you get there. Alfred Hitchcock once said, “The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder,” but the fact is nature often calls in the most inopportune times — like in the middle of a movie. RunPee ($1.99 on itunes) won’t quell those urges, but it will tell you the best points in the film to discretely sneak out to the restroom.

“It tells you the line you might hear the character say on the screen,” says Abel, “and then it tells you how much time you have. The best part is that after you’ve gone to the bathroom on your screen will be a quick little text summary of what just happened in the movie. Usually in any movie there will be about four different points where it is safe for you to get up.”

Also useful is the IMDB app (free on iTunes), a comprehensive database of movie info, news and reviews. It’s perfect for those moments when an actor’s face rings a bell but you can’t place them but please, don’t use it while the movie is playing.

“There is a certain amount of app etiquette,” says Abel, “and most apps are designed for use before you go to the movie or after. There is nothing that will take you out of the magic of the cinema faster than seeing someone’s screen out of the corner of your eye.”

Can’t make it to the theatre? Not to worry, there are even apps for people who don’t want to sit in the dark. The NFB iPhone app (free on itunes) offers up hundreds of NFB films for temporary download and Location Scout (free in the Android Market) allows you to find the places where your favourite movies were shot.

Able notes that there are hundreds of apps out there, so buyer beware, but there is at least one to suit almost every movie fan.

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