Watching Movies on an iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by scwinsett, Jul 6, 2010.

  1. scwinsett macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    I was just curious as to what people think about actually sitting down and watcing a full movie on the iPhone. As a filmmaker, it seems completely absurd... I'm not talking about he occasional YouTube video... I mean like trying to put The Dark Knight on there and having a viewing...
    It just seems retarded...

    I guess legendary director David Lynch said it best:

    But seriously, without a bunch of easily offended people bickering, what are the opinions?

  2. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    If that's what I have with me and I want to watch a movie, that's what I'll use.
  3. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Jun 29, 2010
    Exactly!!! Will I bypass going to the theatre to watch a movie I really want to see....NO. But if I need something to kill time and I have a movie on my iPhone then yes I will watch it on there.
  4. TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2009
    Texas, US
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A293 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I wouldn't watch a movie on my iPhone while sitting on my couch in the living room. But I drive an 18-wheeler locally, and sitting in line 1-2 hours waiting to unload is boring. Needless to say, I wouldn't call the whole concept obsurd.

  5. spooky2k macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2008
    Hey. Thought I'd chime in since I'm a film maker too. Have worked at Pinewood on several films but more importantly to this conversation, I love watching films.

    There are two arguments to consider here:

    As film makers we want the film we make to be viewed with complete and utter attention. Every frame is there for a reason. That's why film makers believe the cinema/IMAX screens are distractions (you get told to turn your phones off in a cinema, so no distractions is definitely the aim here). No distractions means we're more able to be immersed into the story.

    As an audience member, I say that any film worth its weight in gold will pull my attention to it no matter what size screen it's on.

    Film has, for years, been made to work on big cinema screens. Some films just don't call for it. Avatar, for example, does not work very well on a smaller screen (even on a 50" HD plasma TV with a blu-ray disk player). However, films that are less visually intensive work very well (comedies and such). It all depends how watertight the film is.

    Pixar are a great example of this. Sure, it's lovely to see their films on a giant screen but they're so watertight story-wise etc that they work just fine on smaller screens. Some films I wouldn't dream of watching on a smaller screen, others wouldn't bother me at all (the biggest TV in our house as I grew up was 14" and we all gathered around it every Sunday to watch The X-Files no problem. Now, we feel a bit silly doing something like that. People get a little spoilt with technology sometimes I think, and that does contribute to arguments such as these (what size screen you are used to etc.)

    For that reason, my vote goes into 'definitely not retarded to watch a film on your iPhone BUT it depends on the film and what you have available'. Cinema is absolutely the best way to watch a film, I don't think that can be argued. But it's not the ONLY valid way to watch a film and I think many film makers would do well to remember that.

    I'd like to ask Lynch and Cameron what they'd prefer: someone not watching their film at all or doing so by their only means (which could an an iPhone screen, or an oooooold tiny black and white TV, or a laptop etc.)? I think they'd want people to watch it no matter how they did so. After all, film makers tell their stories to be enjoyed by others - that means accepting how other people enjoy them no matter what.
  6. Wilcha macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2010
    A lot of people probably spend a good chunk of their time with their iPhone just to kill time. It's something the iPhone is very useful for. If I'm on a bus ride bored stupid, you can bet a movie on an iPhone will be very appealing.
  7. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Since you are filmmaker, feel free to buy me an iPad so I can enjoy them at a larger size. I even promise to watch yours. :D
  8. brvheart macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2007
    To echo others - in the car on a long drive (not driving - being a passenger) etc - yeah absolutely I would watch it and have. On an airplane - yep, done that too.

    Sitting in the couch - nope.
  9. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    Lying in bed in a dark room with an iPhone 6 inches from my face
    Sitting on a sofa watching a 42" television from across the room.
    - - - -

    So what's your problem?

    Well, thank god you didn't mean to call me "retarted" in an argumentative way. Thanks
  10. LizKat macrumors 601


    Aug 5, 2004
    Catskill Mountains
    First time I watch a movie I like to see it on 13" or 15" screen. If I like the movie a lot then I stick it on an iPod touch or iPhone and don't mind the small screen for replays. If I love the movie, now I stick it on the iPad for replay!

    Long shots lose their poetry, obviously, when seen on tiny iPod screens. The movies I tote around on my iPhone tend to be ones with dialogue in close shots.
  11. tikitommy macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    Yo do realize that the ipod classic nano, 2G, 3G, and 3GS have all had video.

    I think it's perfectly fine as its a nice alternative to lugging around a portable dvd player or laptop.

    I love watching movies on the bus ride home on my phone. It'd be a pain in the butt having to watch them on a laptop with every weirdo looking at my screen, not to mention the weight and size.
  12. nparmelee macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2008
    An iPhone isn't that much smaller than the screens on many flights, better picture and sound too. Preferred method? No, but if that's what I have at the time and feel like watching something, you bet. I'm hoping the next iPads have as good or better a screen for casual viewing.
  13. scootaru macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2008
    Columbus, OH
    I've watched The Dark Knight on my iPhone and several other movies/shows. An iPhone that is 12 inches away is similar to a 32" standard definition tv 9 feet away which is how I watch tv in my bedroom. I have no problems with it other than having to keep my phone plugged in.
  14. D1G1T4L macrumors 68000


    Jun 26, 2007
    Savannah, GA
    Watched a movie on my iPhone on my flight yesterday. No it isn't the most ideal screen but it was a great form of entertainment for the situation I was in.
  15. Kahnyl macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2009
    If the screen is high res enough I can become immersed no matter the size.

    The iPhone 4 a foot or so away from my face looks the same size as my bedroom TV six feet away.
  16. fizzwinkus macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    I have an 18 wheeler with a thx/imax cinema and wet bar following my every step.

    If you don't happen to have this basic necessity for watching movies, I suppose a tv, desktop, laptop, iPad, iPhone or iPod might prove useful.
  17. Blueline29 macrumors 68020


    Jun 16, 2009
    Indian Rocks Beach, FL
    Ditto. I'll play movies on my iPhone on long drives (e.g. St. Louis to central FL) and listen to them while I drive. It's amazing how much faster the time goes when you have something to occupy your mind (other than the obvious driving, etc.) And yes, I've watched movies on planes, waiting for work to get done on the car, etc. It's a very handy option to have.
  18. SpankWare macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2006
    It's amazing how far we've come in just three short years. I remember when the original iPhone came out and everybody was stoked about watching movies on this beautiful widescreen device. Before the iPhone was announced people theorized and fantasized about a widescreen iPod Video. Here we are just three short years later and I see people balking at watching video on such a small screen.

    Thankfully I still have the same attitude I had three years ago. I love the idea of carrying movies around in my pocket. As long as I have a device this portable that can show movies I'll intend on watching them.
  19. Deadman64 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    I also watch movies on planes and trips. I use handbrake the convert videos to the iPhone screen size. That being said, I dont have an iPhone 4 yet, is handbrake what most iPhone 4 users use? Or do you just not convert it at all?

    Just curious, thanks.
  20. SpankWare macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2006
    Ditto here as well. I just got back from vacation and drove there and back (1200 miles total). I listened to movies while I drove. The time just melted away.
  21. SpaceKitty macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2008
    Fort Collins Colorado
    Watch a movie in HD. It's not as bad as it seems. There is a lot of clarity on this little iPhone 4 screen.
  22. scwinsett thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    See, you twist my words around, say things like "whats your problem".
    You are exactly the type of person I was referring to. You are creating an argument. It is very obvious I wasn't calling anyone retarded.

    I just think that film is an art that I respect too much to treat like Gogurt entertainment. I mean if you're the kind of person who actually enjoyed Hot Tub Time Machine or whatever, then I'm really not talking to you... I'm talking about actual films, and I don't think they should be reduced to fodder to keep your brain occupied on a long trip.

    I'm not trying to be pretentious here, I just honestly think movies can wait until they can be experienced to the intention of the filmmakers.

    I've never been in a situation where I thought OH NO I JUST HAVE TO WATCH A BUG'S LIFE RIGHT NOW I CAN'T WAIT TIL I GET HOME I MUST SEE IT NOW..
    Even on an airplane, on a bus, etc. I'm actually just not the sort of person who needs constant stimulation. We're not little kids... haha we can wait patiently... or at least we should be able to.

    All I'm saying is, film deserves better than to be crammed on a cell phone and treated like disposable pacification.

    I guess, to be fair, most movies deserve better than to be shown in a sweaty room with a bunch of fat***es shoveling popcorn into their faces too, but not many Americans actually appreciate film for anything more than tits and explosions.
  23. TRAG macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2009
    Louisiana, USA

    I agree that with a lot of films you won't get the same experience as watching it in theaters or on a large TV. Even some movies such as Avatar, Star Wars, and The Matrix are really more suited for theater viewing… if possible.

    But that's no reason for Lynch to totally bash the viewing of his movie on an iPhone and does not make it less passable. Saying that, Lynch raises the idea that viewing his film on ANY format less that that of cinema quality is absurd. And I highly doubt he would be averse to his film to be on DVD or BD. I think it is great to be able to view movies on an iPhone. Whether in a car, in bed, or wherever you may be.
  24. scwinsett thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    You know, I have used handbrake to convert episodes of Seinfeld for every iPod and iPhone I've owned, but I can't get them to play in iPhone 4. I guess it doesn't matter. I never actually watch any videos on my iPhone, I never have really, I just sort of like knowing I have Seinfeld in my pocket. It's like comfort food... in your pocket.
  25. scwinsett thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Apr 21, 2010
    Nashville, TN

    Good response. And I'm not really BASHING it. I'm just explaining why I personally can't watch a whole movie on an iPhone. But yea, again, good response.

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