Back in the dark days when there was no Internet and mobile phones weight more than a 5kg sack of rice, you had to rely on magazines and movie trailers in cinema to find out about new and exciting movies to watch. If you wanted to find out more about movies that had been released, you were more or less out of luck, even though you may have found a couple of books that reviewed them.
The Internet changes this significantly. Movie information are just one or two clicks away now, with sites like IMDB offering information about nearly every movie that has ever been produced, and even those that have been canceled, and those that will be produced in the future.
The rise of smartphone apps moved the information to the mobile realm as well, with apps such as Movie Roll offering information about movies in compact form on those devices.
Movie Roll Free is a free application for the Android operating system that provides you with several interesting features. It does cover what is popular now, so that you can use it to find out more about movies that can be watched in cinemas currently.
Just select a movie that you are interested in based on the title and cover shot, and read up on its cast, plot and reviews, watch trailers or photos, or browse the similar movie section that the app makes available.
Trailers play directly in the application with the videos coming from YouTube exclusively it appears. They play in a small frame on the screen by default, but you can change that to fullscreen mode easily for a better viewing experience.
The photos displayed by the application are high quality in nature. You can tap on any to either share it with friends, or save it to the phone, for instance for use as a wallpaper image or simply safe keeping.
Reviews are taken from a variety of sources, including Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB.
The similar tab comes in handy if you like a movie and want to watch similar movies. If you look up Iron Man 3 for example, you get the other Iron Man parts, Captain America and other Marvel film adaptions, as well as some lesser known movies such as Prince of Space or Kekko Kamen.
Movie Roll has more to offer than this though. One of the interesting features is the "what movie should I watch" feature which asks you a couple of questions, if it should be a recent movie for instance or if you do not mind that it is underrated, before it displays one movie matching the selection.
The questions are not always the same, and the suggested movies are not either so that you can run the module several times to get different suggestions.
That is still not all though. The frontpage provides you with access to movie top lists and other features as well. Here you can browse upcoming movies and watch trailers of them, check out the top 10 box office or DVD releases, browse subgenre charts, or tap on the random movie link to get a random movie suggestion.
The sub-genre charts are noteworthy. Instead of displaying genres such as fantasy, war or sports here, you get to browse interesting genres such as "greatest twist endings", "time travel", "steampunk" or "dystopia" instead. And yes, there is also a page for the most anticipated movies of the year.
Movie Roll has a lot to offer in terms of functionality. It is not perfect yet though, as features such as movie play times, buying tickets online, or even suggested movies using online stores, are not implemented (yet) in the application.
The "coming soon" feature listing does list those features though, and a couple additional ones, like the ability to create your own movie lists and collections, or to review movies.
If you are seeking information mainly, it is one of the better apps for Android for that purpose though.
A paid version of the application, Movie Roll Pro, is available for roughly $2 in the store. Buying the application removes the ad that is displayed at the bottom of the screen on all pages.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.