Words: Rob DeStefano

What if Universal’s plan to release Tower Heist on demand had been fulfilled? Surely audiences would have staged a boycott. The thought alone of Brett Ratner’s cinematic direction undermined by the small screen is enough to make us crack our TVs in half.

Though this venture folded due to financial disagreements, its effort highlighted the emerging popularity of alternative viewing methods – Video on Demand, Netflix Streaming, iTunes – and how they will continue to coerce moviegoers into avoiding those deathtraps commonly referred to as “theaters.” Watch the product however you please, just not in its intended format! David Lynch set us straight quite some time ago with his sophisticated dissertation on the exhibition of film.

IF gives its 5 worst iPhone picks of 2011:

5. Melancholia

First, you would upset Lars Von Trier. He may find some clause in the “Dogma 95 Manifesto” to have you maimed. But more importantly, the opening montage of his recent and more accessible film is a captivating fusion of sound and imagery. The story’s anxiety and Kirsten Dunst’s performance would be most effective when immersed in an ole nickelodean.

4. Ra.One

An epic action piece delivered by Bollywood would benefit little from a pocket sized screen. For those who do not speak Hindi, reading subtitles for over two and a half hours may cause some discomfort. The special effects and the 3D would also be unspectacular – not that 3D is anything other than unspectacular.

3. The Tree of Life

Terrence Malick’s all-encompassing psalm boasts impeccable cinematography, allowing its steadicam to effortlessly glide through scenes. Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki uses the camera to create a specific rhythm and to evoke tone, which would be interrupted countless times by the phone’s other functions. Also, anything that sports dinosaurs should be enlarged.

2. Drive

It’s a treat to have College’s “A Real Hero (Feat. Electric Youth)” blasted in surround sound. Nicolas Winding Refn’s film has one of the best soundtracks of the year: the song selections perfectly amp the tension and beauty of this standout thriller. The iPhone 4 has had issues with its speakers. Don’t take the chance.

1. 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy

This one of a kind Hong Kong release advertises as “The First 3D Erotic Movie.” The filmmakers would be upset if they knew their endeavors went to waste. Watching this in public may cause some awkward over-the-shoulder attention.

Recommendations for iPhone viewing:

Make sure your battery life is down to 1%. Mute the sound. Pop on anything steered by the man pictured below – who will no longer be producing the Oscars thanks to his eloquent speech and professionalism.

Brett Ratner: Pig in the City

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