There’s a commercial for a smart phone service where the pitchman exhorts “I can stream Airplane! while at the airport!”
My response has always been the same- “Why the hell would you want to do that?” The idea of watching a movie, no matter what movie it is, on a screen that small is absolutely abhorrent to me.
And it appears that the idea is repugnant to film critic emeritus Roger Ebert as well. Yesterday, as news was bubbling forth about the new fourth generation iPhone and an app in development that would allow users to stream movies via netflix, Ebert took to his twitter feed to emphatically state –
Now some may dismiss Ebert’s (and mine) distaste for watching a film on a rinky-dink screen as mere fuddyduddy-ism. But there is some real concern about the practice. At least on my part. Compression issues aside, watching a film on a screen as small as the one on an iPhone or other smart phone just does absolutely no justice to the picture that so many craftspeople worked so hard to compose. You loose the detail and the subtly of the image. And with that, the filmmaker looses his most valuable storytelling tool.