It might sound like a good problem to have (and it is), but keeping yourself entertained can be pretty hard work sometimes. Seriously. There are so many movies coming out these days, it’s almost impossible to keep track of all the new releases hitting the cinema, video store and web, let alone filter the quality releases from the dross best avoided. Especially if you’re a little on the picky side (like me) and you don’t want to waste time watching just any old thing, it helps to let someone else take a little of the discovery burden off your shoulders.
That’s where Discovr Movies comes in. This Australian-developed app for iOS and Mac makes it a cinch to find out about all sorts of movies you otherwise might never stumble across, with a simple, intuitive interface that’s actually kind of fun to use when you get the hang of it. The whole app is presented like a kind of living, interactive mind map, with each movie represented by a node connected to other similar or related movies.
Your movie pops up as a node among related nodes. Every film is connected to six more.
When you start up Discovr Movies, you’ll be presented with a simple search field. From here, you can either search for a movie you want to know more about or enter a movie you already like in order to use it as your discovery starting point. When your film pops up, it will appear as a node, from which it will automatically spawn six more related movies that float around it. If you tap on any of these movies, each in turn will bring up another six related titles. And so on and so on.
Spend just a few minutes with the app and you can easily create a tree of hundreds of branching related titles. Inevitably you’ll know some of the names, but many you won’t.
Keep tapping and you’ll keep discovering more related films. Things are getting a wee bit crowded here...
Double-tap on any of the films you see and Discovr will bring up a page showing you the movie’s poster, running time, release date, rating, synopsis, trailers from YouTube, overall score and review snippets from Rotten Tomatoes, plus links to more on the web. Basically, it’s an instantaneous way to gauge whether it’s something you should consider watching, especially with the trailer, synopsis and Rotten Tomatoes links all at your fingertips. If it doesn’t grab you, you can just head back to your movie tree and keep on branching until something else does.
Discovr Movies does have a few shortcomings. The related titles that the app suggests can vary in terms of how truly ‘related’ they are. While you’ll often be presented with titles in a series or films by the same director or actors, at other times the app will simply direct you to seemingly random movies in the same basic genre (ie. action or thriller), which really isn’t any more helpful than browsing a particular category in a video store or online movie catalogue. Plus, Discovr’s back-end data and functionality don’t feel quite as sophisticated or dynamic as something like Zeebox for TV.
However, for simple movie discovery, Discovr can really be quite helpful and it’s pretty much guaranteed to introduce you to titles you might not otherwise come across. Where the app shines is in giving you one-touch access to any movie’s overview and automatically pulling in the trailer and critical response tidbits — all at a single glance. And if you like the feel of Discovr’s nifty node map, you should check out its other apps, too: there are similar discovery apps for music, apps and even people.
Double-tap on any film and Discovr pulls together movie info, trailers and Rotten Tomatoes reviews.