Kung Fu Aspect Ratio Issue

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Joe*A, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. Joe*A

    Joe*A Stunt Coordinator

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    I want to pick up the season sets of Kung Fu but I'm afraid of what I'll get because the studio [or whoever] tampered with the aspect ratio of the original television broadcast. Apparently, they cropped the top and bottom to create the illusion of widescreen [ie. formatting to fit your 'widescreen' tv]. Now that's a switch. The dreaded "This film has been modified..."

    Has anyone purchased these sets and could provide some advice [how bad are they?].

    Thanks
     
  2. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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  3. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    If I remember reading correctly, it was only season one that was cropped for widescreen. After fan outrage, I seem to remember hearing that although WB did not intend to release a correct-ratio season 1, that the other seasons would be in their correct TV aspect ratio.
     
  4. exliontamer

    exliontamer Agent

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    It is only in the first-season set. It's incredibly annoying (the top of Caine's head is routinely cut off), but the show is still great and well worth watching.

    Hopefully, someday and in some format, this mind-boggling misstep will be remedied. Until then, enjoy the season as best as you can.
     
  5. Joe*A

    Joe*A Stunt Coordinator

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    I just checked out Amazon and Season 2 and 3 have been released in their original aspect ratio. Any chance of getting Season 1 re-released?
     
  6. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I anxiously await the fixing of season 1 (I've bought and watch only seasons 2 & 3). But I'm not holding my breath on getting it fixed. Still, it could be worse - they could have not fixed it in later seasons. I have a similar situation for the Cosby Show where I had to start my collecting in season 2 and can only pray that someday season 1 will be done right (that's not a faux widescreen issue, it's due to cut episodes).
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Actually, it isn't that much of a switch, since this is exactly how most 1.85:1 widescreen films are shot. [​IMG] (They're matted off in the projector at your local octoplex and transferred to DVD in widescreen.) Of course, those films are composed with widescreen in mind and shot for the 1.85:1 ratio, whereas Kung Fu most definitely was not. [​IMG]

    I do hope Warner Bros. considers going back and remastering the first season. This is the third series I've written about in the past three days where the first season release had some major flaw that was corrected for subsequent seasons (CSI in full frame with essentially no extras, House with few extras and in non-anamorphic widescreen - WTF were they thinking?) In none of these cases has the studio revisited the first season to bring it in line with the later releases, which I think is just nuts since the kind of person who loves a show enough to buy it and watch it repeatedly is exactly the kind who will buy a season set twice - provided the 2nd release has some improvement that makes the deal worthwhile. I think all the studios are leaving a lot of money on the table by not doing so.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  8. Joe*A

    Joe*A Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm a completist by nature and I don't know why the studios don't try to take advantage of that characterstic they should be loving from their customers. Most of us that purchased Night Gallery are dying to complete the series with Seaons 2 and 3. But Universal has other plans. With Kung Fu, I've been dying to buy these sets since the moment they were announced and yet, I can't think of buying Seaons 2 and 3 without Season 1. If they fix Season 1, they will have a sale from me and many others that are experiencing serious 'chaffing' from sitting on the fence on this title.
     
  9. michael_ks

    michael_ks Screenwriter

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    Amen to that.

    I started off buying S2 of "Kung Fu" and boycotted S1 for the AR fiasco. Then went ahead and purchased it, only because Sam's Club had it for $17.99. But I really can't stand to look at it on my standard 4:3 Sony analog tv and will probably have to wait until I purchase a Sharp 16:9 LCD one day to enjoy it. I'll probably never purchase S3 myself as the series slipped into metaphysics by then with the stories too often focused on Caine's past in China.
     
  10. Joe*A

    Joe*A Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, there's no way I'll be buying Season 1 at full price. $17.99 is probably a better price point for an AR-defective product but at +$40 on Amazon.ca, they could keep it. Too bad though.

    I never understood the whole aversion to widescreen on a 4:3 screen [off topic, I know]. 99.9% of all VHS films that came out in the 80's and 90's were released in "crap'n scan". Why were customers so dead against the black bars on top and bottom thinking that they were actually losing something? Strange, very strange. And with Kung Fu Season 1, they went the opposite direction. Go figure.

    Guess I got my answer on Kung Fu. Thanks for the responses.

    Joe
     
  11. MarkHarrison

    MarkHarrison Supporting Actor

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    I picked up Season 1 recently for $11.99. I know I'm now evil, but this was one of those releases where the content was more important (to me) than the presentation. I have nothing but respect for those whose principals won't let them pick this up, but I just don't fall into that category. And this is only the second time I've intentionally picked up an incorrect aspect ratio out of 600+ purchases (the other being My Fellow Americans). So while I'll beat myself up over this decision, I think I might use a Nerf bat to do so.
     
  12. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    To each their own, but I don't see how you can separate the two. The wrong presentation is cutting into the content. For me that's the whole point. I'm not aesthetically tied to any aspect ratio, but if it's the wrong one, I'm not getting the proper content.
     

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