Return of the Joker: Uncut AND Letterboxed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Robert George, Apr 19, 2002.

  1. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Warner's release of the PG-13 uncut version of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker showed up today with a bit of a surprise. Although the notation on the box indicates this is the "standard version formatted to fit you yada yada yada", the transfer is in fact letterboxed at about 1.85:1. Not enhanced for 16:9 unfortunately, but at least it is not 4:3 fullscreen.

    Pretty decent story, for a cartoon.
     
  2. Michael St. Clair

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    You know, if they aren't going to enhance it, I'd prefer the open-matte version. You can always matte it yourself and get the exact same effect as this version.
    Actually, didn't Anchor Bay release a title that used subtitle code to throw up black bars, giving you open-matte and letterboxed on the exact same video content (no double space requirement)?
    Despite claimed creator's intent, on some of the WB stuff like Justice League, certain shots look better composed as 4:3. But some do not...
    I'd really rather have an enhanced version than anything else.
    But I'm not going to complain, unlike some people. [​IMG]
     
  3. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Agreed; no reason not to enhance it.

     
  4. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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    Weird. You got to hand it to WB. One step forward and one step back. At any rate they still lost my sale.

    Can someone explain why they wouldn't enhance it? Makes no sense.
     
  5. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    This is widescreen? Shit, they lost my sale. I have the 4x3 bootleg, and was planning on buying the offical copy for the enhanced resolution, but not if I'm not seeing the whole image.

    Remember, wider isn't always better, and (IMO) this is one of those instances. A made-for-home-video release (even composed "widescreen safe") simply wouldn't be done in anything other than 4x3.

    I agree with the poster who said that in many cases, the open JLA looks better composed than the matted JLA.
     
  6. Geoffrey_A

    Geoffrey_A Second Unit

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    I suspect that it comes down to what the director intended. To say that any direct to video content would only ever be composed for 4:3 is, well, to put it bluntly, exceptionally stupid. If the film was meant to be widescreen, but was released open matte by the studio for fear of not being family friendly (the same fear that got the content butchered in the first place) then why should the special edtion, with it's content and original artistic intent restored be shunned for it? It seems ridiculous to me that people which actually not buy this release because they feel OAR doesn't apply in this instance (hooray for hypocrits) or because it isn't enhancanced widescreen. Personally I'm happy that it's been released at all, and I can live without the enhanced widescreen as long as I'm actually getting the film in it's originally intended uncut and widescreen format.

    I guess I'm just not a fan of having special criteria for some film releases over others.
     
  7. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I give up.
    Adam: I thought that this feature was composed for letterboxing, and everyone wanted letterboxing.
    WB gave us letterboxing, and now you say you wanted open matte.
    Here's your friggin' open matte:
    [​IMG]
    Just because it's an animated movie, doesn't mean that the director intended for you to see what's cut off. I can't read the minds of the director/producers, but EVERYTHING I've ever heard was that this was intended to be letterboxed, and so that is what I wanted. OAR, right?
    Now you are gonna go confuse WB by asking for something else?
    I'm not confused. NO OAR = NO SALE. I'll happily buy the new RotJ, thank you! Maybe JL will be letterboxed as well; it would look swell on my new 16x9 TV.
    [​IMG]
    Sorry for the rant; it's been a long day. I wish that it was anamorphic, but OAR is the most important consideration.
    Obi, thanks for the good news!
     
  8. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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  9. Will_B

    Will_B Producer

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    Batman looks a lot like John Cleese!

    Anyway I'm glad they've released this, can't wait to pick it up.
     
  10. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    But David, we're not talking about superfluous information in the camera lenses field of view on a set. We're talking about animation where everything had to be created. If the extra info is there it's reasonable to assume that if it was actually drawn thant it was intended for the full frame at some point. It sounds like the director had framed it for 4x3 but protected it for widescreen. I agree that if it's not going to be enhaced, than give us the full frame.
     
  11. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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  12. Rob T

    Rob T Screenwriter

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    I'll be picking up this one as well as all the other Batman discs. [​IMG]
     
  13. Adam Tyner

    Adam Tyner Screenwriter

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    The movie was, FWIW, storyboarded in widescreen.
     
  14. MikeM

    MikeM Screenwriter

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    To release this disc widescreen, but non-enhanced for 16x9 TVs is beyond me.

    The true "OAR" for this is up for debate. The only real reason I'd like to see this in widescreen, would be for the enhanced resolution. I'll be buying it anyway though, and hope the unedited format makes up (in a small way) for the lack of enhancement. Really doesn't make any sense to me though...
     
  15. AndrewR

    AndrewR Stunt Coordinator

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    Return of the Joker IS INTENDED to be seen in Widescreen. Just like Justice League (which is the only way I watch it!).
    That's what the Directors/Producers/Creators INTENDED so that is the ONLY way it should be seen. Asking for anything else is TOTALLY hypocritical! Using the rationale that more animation is seen with an open-matte is like saying the Cameraman has more say than the Director.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Michael St. Clair

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  17. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Why would you be kidding? [​IMG] Otherwise, what exactly IS the job of a Cinemaphotographer?
     
  18. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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    Someone selling the uncut bootleg told me the DVD is NOT uncut. Are they correct?
     
  19. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    David: Like Chad said, this isn't extra information picked up by the camera. In instances of live-action, I fully support anamorphic widescreen for all the reasons you've mentioned. Even theatrical animated releases, like Batman: The Mask of Phantasm, I'd support the widescreen release of.

    However, everything was drawn for the 4x3. With animation, everything you see (short of edges of the panes which there are none of in the 4x3 uncut Return of the Joker) was meant to be seen. Weither everything is NEEDED to be seen is another matter, but if you prefer the widescreen frame, then simply use the zoom on your 16x9 television or paper/cloth mattes on your 4x3 television.

    As I have said, I have seen the uncut Return of the Joker, and the composition is wonderful. Brilliant even.
     
  20. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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