It is not really hard to understand that every generation is scared of new technology to a certain extent, and there are plenty who worry that our online-focused world is the death of the sometimes communal experience of film. The makers of classic films like Ben-Hur & Lawrence of Arabia might not have wanted their massive, widescreen films squeezed onto a laptop screen. But they probably wouldn’t have wanted their films to go unseen, either. What is point in suggesting that certain movies shouldn’t be watched on a mobile device? We’d rather hear of people gaining access to those pieces of cinema in a small format than not at all. To be honest, any argument to the contrary only comes across as silly film snobbery — and makes you look like a grumpy old coot at best and an elitist at worst.
The access to stream films through online VOD services, either through subscription services like Hulu or Amazon Prime or through purchase and rentals through Amazon and iTunes, opens the doors to a fresh new generations of film buffs who might not have the chance or the urge to get to a theater. That breeds a new crop of film buffs who can grasp a sense of history and continue the long tradition of supporting film in the manner in which it was originally consumed: on a big screen. But that screen isn’t the only option anymore, and we’re better for it. It’s the Golden Era of Streaming, and it will only get better.