The Dark Knight changing Aspect Ratio feels like a Joke

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by EnricoE, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I don't know why people keep stumbling over this issue. Footage used in trailers is almost never fully finished with final color timing. So of course it's going to look different.
    This is about on the same level as complaining that the film must be missing something, because there's footage in the trailer that didn't make it into the film.
     
  2. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    And if Nolan wants to do that it's fine with me, just as long as I get the version that I saw in the theater as a choice. Nolan's approved BD version isn't the IMAX version and it isn't the the standard theatrical version. Disappearing black bars is not going to pass as some reasonable facsimile of the IMAX experience.......at least not with me. Why can't these stupid studios ever figure out that if they are going to put modified aspect ratio versions out then they had better make sure that the theatrical version is on there for the people who want the film as they saw it in the theatre.
    I really don't give a crap what Nolan approves of in a later release just as long as I get a version of what I saw in the theatre.If I had seen this film in IMAX I wouldn't agree to settle for a MAR'd version on BD that is pretending to simulate the IMAX experience. Good thing this will be available for rental, because I sure won't buy it in its presently incomplete form.
     
  3. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    The thread on that other forum is hoot, but it is also a bit disconcerting particular the color timing difference shown in the 'police assembly' scene when compared same scene in the trailer.
    A stupid comparison. Trailers are not a basis of authority.
    Is it true this is the wrong widescreen & wrong IMAX OAR?
    Not exactly. IMAX has a framing of 1.44:1, because the screens are intended to go beyond peripheral vision. In other words, you aren't intended to actually "see" the whole image, but rather be enveloped by it. Often the framing of such material has a LOT of headroom due to this. The BD changes these IMAX shots to 1.78:1 in order the better replicate the IMAX experience. That experience would be compromised if the film went from 2.35:1 with black on the top and bottom to 1.44:1 with black on the sides. The intent is to have these scenes "open up" to the viewer to best replicate the intended IMAX experience.
     
  4. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    I understand this in principle, and I do not typically 'stumble' over this issue. However, I really seemed to remember it looking the way it does in the trailer in the theater vs. the color timing shown on the BD screencap.
    Perhaps it is a matter of watching the trailer more often than the theatrical exhibition, as I watched that trailer to death but only saw the film theatrically once. Does anyone have a clearer recollection of that scenes theatrical color timing?
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    I don't trust screencaps in isolation from the disc itself. (I should add that I won't be getting this particular Blu-ray; so other people will have to judge.)
     
  6. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Michael, no worries. I guess some of the 'excitableness' of that place has worn off on me today. [​IMG]
    I think I have even more reason to catch TDK at an IMAX showing when it is re-released. I will be paying particular attention to that one scene.
     
  7. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    And that certainly is your right to want those things.
    But it's funny, as hot a topic as this seems to be, who wants to bet that 90%+ of people who buy this disc either 1) aren't going to notice, or 2) aren't going to care? [​IMG]
    Seriously, agree or disagree, I understand what Nolan is doing. Here's the situation as I see it:
    1. Nolan experimented with using high-end, expensive Imax cameras to shoot a small percentage of footage.
    2. Nolan knows 90%+ of theaters aren't Imax equipped, so he has to create a 2.35 constant version. This may or may not be "his intent" as a director, but he's constrained by the reality of the situation. Most commercial theaters don't do "on-the-fly movable mattes" so if it's not an Imax screen, it's gotta be a constant AR.
    3. He's got a percentage of the movie that has a different AR than the rest, but nearly 6X the resolution which some home theaters can take advantage of. For those with true 1080p sets, just check out how sharp the Dark Knight Prologue looks on the Batman Begins Blu Ray, it blows the Batman Begins picture away, no comparison! On my Sony KDS-60A3000 it's not even close, I was actually disappointed in the BB part because TDK Prologue looked so sharp.
    So what's he to do for the BD release? He's got this 20% (as someone else posted, I don't have the figures) of the film in hi-res that he paid for and shot. He wants to transfer its benefits to home video. Yes the 1.78 does not equal 1.44 but I can pretty much say that no one has a true Imax screen at home. So he does the next best thing in his mind (and here's where it's each individual's right to agree or disagree with Nolan):
    He decides that he has to get the higher res benefits of the Imax footage he shot to home video, and that means using the Imax stock and not the 2.35 picture. Rather than simply hard matte it to 2.35 (which would defeat the "opening up" effect he created in the Imax showings, even though the 1.78 does not have quite the same level of dramatic effect, 1.44 pillarbox would have the opposite effect on home video), he opens it up to the industry-standard 1.78 for widescreen HDTVs. So really it's not much different than what he did when he created a 2.35 constant picture, he kowtowed to the industry standards. Except now he's still trying to preserve the benefits of Imax in any way he can.
    Can I blame him? Personally, no, I understand why he did it, and to me it doesn't bother me. Will some people be bothered? Of course. Can't please everyone. But my guess is that most of the home video buyers won't notice or care.
     
  8. OliverK

    OliverK Cinematographer

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    So much debate over changing aspect ratios - next time Christopher Nolan should do the right thing and do the whole movie in standard 70mm [​IMG]
     
  9. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    I don't plan on buying this, a rental is just fine. If the AR change is drastic enough to be a big distraction I'll wait and hope for a release that sticks to one AR.
     
  10. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Some thoughts on DK. I finally had the pleasure of seeing the film in IMAX at a screening last week.

    A few shots gave the appearance, if not reality, of having occasional digititis for a few frames. Aspect ratio appeared to be at somewhere around 1.85 at the widest, and not 2.39 during the normal (non-IMAX) portions of the film. My eyes could have been playing tricks on me, but it didn't look as wide as normal Panavision.
     
  11. Vincent_P

    Vincent_P Screenwriter

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    Where did you see it in IMAX, Robert? When I saw it in Manhattan at the Loews IMAX on 68th Street (I think they had the New York premiere there), the 35mm portions were definitely Panavision aspect ratio.
    Vincent
     
  12. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    I (only) saw the IMAX version and have somewhat mixed feelings about this director approved, but still likely compromised, IMAX-influenced version on BD. I agree w/ some others that I won't know whether the changing AR in this version will work out perfectly fine until I get to experience it in my own home -- and no doubt, the experience will vary depending on each person's setup, particularly wrt screen-size-to-viewing-distance ratio.
    FWIW, I'm not sure I liked all the IMAX blowups in the IMAX version either. [​IMG] I liked the IMAX prologue and the environmental/atmospheric immersion afforded in various shots and scenes, but at least in one or two instances, I didn't care much for what essentially amounted to incredibly blown up headshots, IIRC.
    As for the talk of director intended OAR, it's not too clear to me what that *actually* is in this case. But unlike the case w/ Storraro, Nolan hasn't waited a decade or two (or more) before trying to con us into believing what the proper OAR should be (and not just for the one flick either). [​IMG] [​IMG]
    _Man_
     
  13. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    I have a plasma in my store and we have been playing the prologue
    from Begins over and over for the last few days for people to watch
    and hopefully pre order Dark Knight,
    anyway the plasma has no overscan and
    the prologue has slight bars on the sides,
    wouldn't this indicate a 1.66:1 ratio?
     
  14. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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  15. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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  16. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    In order to be faithful to the IMAX cut, the BluRay would have to look like this for 75% of the film:
    [​IMG]
     
  17. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    ^
    why is that?
     
  18. Edwin-S

    Edwin-S Producer

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    Maintains a constant width, I believe.
     
  19. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    Count me as one who isn't happy about the shifting AR on the Blu-ray. This is not the version I saw in theaters. I respect the directors right to release it any way he wants, and on the same token, I have the right not to buy it. That's about all there is to it.
    It does seem, strange, though, that both versions couldn't be put on the disc via seamless branching or whatever. Wasn't all that capacity of a Blu-ray disc one of it's main selling points?
    Note: I think part of my aversion to this is that it reminds me of the atrocious "Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course" movie from 2002 and its shifting aspect ratios! [​IMG]
    Please don't shoot me for speaking of The Dark Knight and the Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course in the same post! [​IMG]
     
  20. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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