A review of ‘9’ and an iPod touch

Sunday February 28th 2010

Last week I was sent an iPod touch by a PR company working on behalf of NBC Universal. They’re trying to raise awareness of the fact that you can buy their movies and TV shows on iTunes, and they’re sending a few of these things out to promote the cause.

In the past, I’ve been sceptical of people watching movies on phones or MP3 players, but in the interest of fairness (and in all honesty, the appeal of a free iPod) I thought I’d try it out for myself.

If you’re worried that I’m about to sacrifice my journalistic integrity for the sake of some free electronics then never fear: watching a movie on a handheld device is seriously crap.

They sent me a digital copy of 9 to play on it and it’s literally torture. The screen is so tiny and reflective that when you do manage to make out any detail, it’s invariably your own face being mirrored back at you. Add that to the fact that you have to physically hold the device for the duration of the movie and you’ve got one of the worst ways imaginable to view a film. It even does the same bit of technical treachery that the iPad does:

HOWEVER: I am a fan of digital downloads. They need to sort out a few things (price is waaaay too high, HD isn’t available in the UK yet) but the basic premise of being able to download a high quality movie in minutes and then hook it up to your TV is a good one. The ’99p Film of the Week’ is definitely worth a look.

Apologies for the massive length of this post, but I’m going to leave you with a quick review of 9, viewed from the comfort of my television, rather than the misery of my iPod.

9 (dir. Shane Acker)

It looks pretty good but the whole post-apocalyptic ecological-allegory thing was covered a million times more elegantly in Wall-E. And Elijah Wood’s voice is annoying as anything.

9 is out now on DVD, Blu-ray… and digital download.