Leonard Maltin Movie Guide ReviewBy: Kris Keilhack
November 15, 2006
I love watching movies and I love my various Palm devices. Sometime, when I'm watching a movie that's a bit slow to deliver the action, or when I am casually rewatching an old favorite, I whip out my TX or Treo and combine two of my favorite leisure activities. Landware's long-running Leonard Maltin Movie Guide has recently been updated and revised for 2007. Couch potatoes, the missing link has now arrived! Read on to see how Landware has managed to blur the lines between the silver screen and the 2.5" LCD screen.
Leonard Maltin Movie Guide 2007 adds improved one-handed support and a revised UI, the ability to import/export movie lists to your PC, and a "back" button for easier searching. In addition over 460 new films have been added. Support for newer Palm OS devices has also been improved.
Testing Methodology & Results
I gathered together a selection of some personal favorite flicks to run through LMMG 2007: A few all-time Hollywood classic (Casablanca, 2001: A Space Odyssey), a cult classic with mainstream appeal (Office Space), a foreign film with a big-budget American remake (Insomnia), AN underappreciated cult classic (Liquid Sky), and some recent Hollywood blockbusters with a string of predecessors (King Kong, Poseidon). I was delighted to see that all of the films listed above were present and accounted for aside form the most recent (2006’s Poseidon starring Kurt Russell and its low budget, made-for-TV 2005 remake). However, the original 1972 Poseidon Adventure was listed and the capsule review even listed the film’s mostly overlooked sequel. Leonard Maltin’s reviews were usually quite on point and do a nice job of summarizing the general consensus of a film in very limited space.
A capsule review was available for all of the titles listed above. All of the movies filmed in widescreen even have information listed such as aspect ratio and widescreen format (Panavision/Technovision/Super 35 etc). However, I noticed many smaller and/or older films that are in some sort of widescreen format not indicated in LMMG 2007. The app’s Academy Award info (for the pertinent titles) is thorough and mostly complete. However, I did notice a huge bug in the listing of 2000’s Russel Crowe feature, Gladiator. LMMG 2007 incorrectly lists 1992’s Gladiator (a boxing film starring Cuba Gooding Jr.) as the recipient of all of the Ridley Scott-director Gladiator’s Academy Awards. Whoops!
Installation & Desktop Components
For this app Landware installs their usual Windows installer that, while potentially aggravating some power users, proves to be a boon to novice handheld users. The Landware installer automates the LMMG 2007 Hotsync process and queries the user on internal memory or external card utilization. Additionally, the Landware desktop components have an auto-update checker, a PDF users manual and an option to reinstall the application.
LMMG '07 requires Palm OS 3.5 or later. The main application requires 265k of main or expansion memory. The ancillary movie info/review files take up ~3.7mb of main or expansion memory. I run the entire application off of my SD card on my Treo 700p with no issues whatsoever.
- Solid wireless integration within the app for Treos and wireless Palm devices
- Extremely stable. Speedy searches through huge film database, even when installed on SD card
- Friendly GUI with nice layout and icons.
- Adjustable font size
- Frequent updates
- VERY thorough "coming soon to DVD" release list.
- A bit more info (detailed DVD availability, alternate versions, extended cast lists) on catalog titles would be appreciated
- External links to mobile-formatted pages on IMDB etc. would be helpful for movie buffs wanting extra info
- Linking to related films in a series (Star Wars, Star Trek etc) or remakes (King Kong etc) would be nice.
Landware has done an amazing job continually refining and updating this classic mobile app. While more detailed information is available on Wikipedia or IMDB, it's a tedious chore to hunt it down. In the next version I’d love to see a bit more technical detail for each film as well as a list of similar titles (“If you love _____ then check out _____”) and maybe an option to connect to a mobile-formatted web site to pull up additional info such as full cast listings or screen captures. Still, this app is simply a must-have for the mobile movie buff!
My overall rating: 4 / 5
Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide for Palm OS is available now for $19.95. Landware offers discounted upgrades ($14.95) of LMMG '07 for registered owners of older versions. A Windows Mobile version is also available.