1. Guest,
    If you need help getting to know Xenforo, please see our guide here. If you have feedback or questions, please post those here.
    Dismiss Notice

A Few Words About A few words about...™ House of Cards -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,624
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    XenForo Template

    Shades of the Tushinsky brothers!

    Viewing Sony's release of Netflix's House of Cards, I kept going back to the aspect ratio, as viewed in projection.

    I was trying to figure out...

    "Why?"

    The only thing that I could come up with, was that possibly Netflix wanted the appearance of Panavision on smaller viewing environments, while not going whole hog with what a number classic filmmakers referred to as an aspect ratio fit for photographing boa constrictors.

    So our aspect ratio comes out at a nice even 2:1.

    Shot with a Red Epic in 5k, and taken to a DI, the resultant Blu-ray is a perfect down-rez of what I presume was the filmmakers' intent.

    Color is never what one might consider to be "normal," whatever that it.  There is always a slight tint of yellow or green or mustard -- of the colors that I recall from my various visits to DC.

    Shadow detail is, presumably as designed, occasionally limited, with blacks and shadows closing.

    Flesh tones, again presumably as designed, are never normal.

    Grain?

    What grain?

    As a project, I'm finding House of Cards an interesting, very dark visit to our nations capital, with the best (and usually worst) attributes of politics in play.

    It's basically a revenge drama, filled with political gamesmanship and intrigue.  Been through only two episodes.  Can't wait to find the time to continue.

    As an aside, one must get used to Mr. Spacey's occasional breaking of the fourth wall -- something apparently also a part of the original UK series c. 1990-95.  The first words uttered in that fashion immediately took me to "Did you see her steal that fifty pound note?"

    Recommended.

    RAH

     
  2. Richard Gallagher

    Richard Gallagher Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2001
    Messages:
    3,628
    Likes Received:
    489
    Location:
    Fishkill, NY
    Real Name:
    Rich Gallagher
    I am working on a full review and I concur with your comments about the shadow detail and the colors. I like Spacey's asides, which in a few words convey his thinking and help to clarify what is happening. I don't believe that I have ever seen anything in the 2.00:1 aspect ratio before!

    It is a very intriguing show.
     
  3. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,624
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    Can't wait to read your further, and far more detailed, comments.

    RAH
     
  4. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2001
    Messages:
    7,512
    Likes Received:
    114
    Location:
    Alpharetta, GA, USA
    Real Name:
    Patrick McCart
    This is an excellent show and I'm looking forward to the second season. It's dark - not just visually, but rather unforgiving of its characters. I don't think anyone comes out very clean.
     
  5. Kevin EK

    Kevin EK Well-Known Member
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Messages:
    2,936
    Likes Received:
    445
    I've been told to watch the UK series first. Has anyone else done so?
     
  6. MLamarre

    MLamarre Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2008
    Messages:
    431
    Likes Received:
    31
    Real Name:
    Matthew Lamarre
    The first two episodes were directed by David Fincher. I found the visual style fits right in with the majority of his filmography, The Social Network especially.
     
  7. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,376
    Likes Received:
    6
    Real Name:
    Christian Preischl
    Maybe Storaro went in and "univisiumed" it. ;)
     
  8. JoshZ

    JoshZ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2012
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    104
    Location:
    Boston
    As Christian mentioned, 2.0:1 is the ratio that Vittorio Storaro chose for his "Univisium" nonsense, when he cropped older scope movies like Apocalpyse Now (on LD and DVD) and The Last Emperor (on Blu-ray, sadly). Storaro claims that he composed the Frank Herbert's Dune miniseries for this ratio, but it was broadcast in 1.78:1.

    I've also seen 2.0:1 used when filmmakers have "opened up" the mattes from Super 35 productions. The Laserdisc editions of Top Gun, Star Trek VI and the first Austin Powers were like this. (All were later restored to 2.40:1 for Blu-ray).
     
  9. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,624
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    SuperScope releases were 2:1.RAH
     
  10. Yorkshire

    Yorkshire Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    1,372
    Likes Received:
    302
    Josh, I think it's important to distinguish Storaro's proposed Univisium system and his cropping of 'scope films.

    I don't believe in cropping films from their OAR, but I do think 2.00:1 is a useful ratio in itself for new productions.

    I seem to remember hearing that much sfx work for Super35 films is done in 2.00:1.

    BTW, as a point of interest, slightly different but the rather excellent Danish series Borgen was shot on the Red One in the relatively rare (and slightly wider) 2.20:1 ratio. Well worth hunting down if you like political drama.

    I've not seen this new House of Cards yet. In my eyes Spacey can do little wrong, but I have a huge soft spot for the original BBC trilogy (also recently released on Blu-ray Disc - presumably shot on film at the time), and I've been uneasy about a remake.

    RAH's comments reassure me, but would have done more so if he'd seen the originals. There's plenty of wall breaking in the original, too. Is it masterful? You might think that, but I couldn't possibly comment.

    Steve W
     
  11. Moe Dickstein

    Moe Dickstein Filmmaker

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    3,266
    Likes Received:
    916
    Location:
    West Hollywood, CA
    Real Name:
    T R Wilkinson
    I actually like the fact that someone has been "allowed" to make a show for TV in something other than 1.78...
     
    Mark-P likes this.
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 1999
    Messages:
    8,624
    Likes Received:
    4,031
    Real Name:
    Robert Harris
    A couple of additional thoughts, as I'm nearing the end of the Season One. What I failed to realize going in, was precisely how Shakespearean House of Cards is in structure and story-line. As Bill Desowitz notes in his blog here:

    http://billdesowitz.com/immersed-in-blu-ray-house-of-cards/

    it leans heavily on Richard III.

    And the asides, which break the fourth wall, become very comfortable a few episodes in.

    RAH
     
  13. Paul Rossen

    Paul Rossen Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    593
    Likes Received:
    106
    Top notch drama. Spacey and the rest of the cast are tremendous. I'm up to the 10th chapter and can't wait to find out what happens...Didn't even notice the AR.
     

Share This Page