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Bizarre wide screen lawsuit

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Thomas T, Dec 14, 2002.

  1. Thomas T

    Thomas T Well-Known Member

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    From The Hollywood Reporter:
    "A movie buff is suing Metro Goldwyn Mayer and several retailers, saying many so called 'widescreen' DVDs, advertised as showing the movie as seen in theatres actually show even less than already cropped 'standard' versions. Studios increasingly offer two versions of films on DVDs - a standard format cropped to fit a typical televsion screen, and a widescreen, or 'letterbox' version showing the full image as seen on a large movie screen. The letterbox version is wider left to right and has blacks bars above and below the image. But Los Angeles resident, Warren Eallonardo, 28, claims that several MGM movies he recently bought, including Rain Man and Hoosiers, falsely advertise widescreen versions of the films. 'In actuality, the DVDs provide a standard format with the top and bottom of the picture cut off", said Clifford Pearson, an attorney representing Eallonardo. "He felt like he is being ripped off." A representative of MGM did not immediately return a call for comment. The suit, which seeks class action status, was filed late Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court."
    If I understand it correctly, it seems that this Eallonardo is in fact suing over full frame versions being correctly matted to their theatrical ratio! Very odd lawsuit and will only confuse the non-savvy DVD buyer evern more!
     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Well-Known Member

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    Some people - in this case the plaintiff and his lawyer - are just idiots. They can't be helped, just ignored.
     
  3. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Well-Known Member

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  4. Jeff Pryor

    Jeff Pryor Well-Known Member

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    This Warren guy is a complete dumbass.
     
  5. David Lambert

    David Lambert Well-Known Member

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    So are these two films matted presentations and he thinks that they are taking the original films, pan-and-scanning them, and then matting them again? Do I understand this right? [​IMG]
    MGM doesn't deserve this. I can think of three other studios that might, but MGM doesn't! [​IMG]
     
  6. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    Our litigous society ...
     
  7. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Well-Known Member

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    It would be nice to think - that in years to come - my life could become so free of stress, worry and toil that I could spend my time getting so incredibly upset over an issue such as this. And be wrong about it at the same time.

    Some people have all the luck!
     
  8. Bruce Hedtke

    Bruce Hedtke Well-Known Member

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    This is so moronic, it's not even worth responding to. Doh!

    Bruce
     
  9. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    Sounds like ol' Bernie is back...

    - Steve
     
  10. AndyVX

    AndyVX Well-Known Member

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    I'm confused. I don't seem to understand what it is that he's actually suing MGM over.
    Maybe that's for the best though. [​IMG]
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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    He doesn't understand the filmmaking process, and how a movie is made
    Wait'll he finds out about Super35 [​IMG]
     
  12. James Reader

    James Reader Well-Known Member

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    But he's a 'film buff' - he must understand the filmmaking process. [​IMG]
    In actuality he does have a very, very small point: MGM use the same standard fullscreen/widescreen comparison diagram on all their releases, regardless of the original shooting ratio. From reading the initial post that seems to be his complaint - the difference between a widescreen open matte film and a widescreen anamorphic film are not represented accurately on MGM's literature.
    Still its a silly complaint which is bound to get thrown out of court.
    And I've never understood why people actually want the masking opening up on Super 35 films anyhow, as the actual picture content is not made any bigger by doing so - people, writing etc are the same size if matted or not. So what's the advantage?
     
  13. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Well-Known Member

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    There was a bit of confusion over 'open-matte' films when Back to the Future II first came out on laserdisc- it was the first time a movie had been issued in both widescreen and pan and scan, when the pan and scan version actually included some open-matte shots. At first glance people were comparing the 2 and thought "Hey, they just took the pan and scan version and slapped black bars on it! Ripoff!"
    Sometimes you have to say "Trust me, it's SUPPOSED to be like that." Some people don't understand until you show them an actual 35mm print- when I first learned how to run a theater's projection equipment I noticed immediately that most of the 1.85 movies had picture at the top and bottom that was supposed to be cut off. This is why films shot that way don't look as awful in pan and scan on video as ones shot in scope (2.35) do. It's also the reason for boom mikes showing up at the top of the screen, especially on older transfers- they didn't mistakenly let the boom mike drop down, you just weren't supposed to see that part of the frame. Newer transfers usually zoom in to hide boom mikes, which is why they still cannot be considered true 'open-matte' transfers.
    Now excuse me while I go sue Disney for not letting me buy Max Keeble's Big Move [​IMG]
     
  14. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Well-Known Member

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    Well it is worth noting that MGM's inserts usually show a little graphic with an example of how movies lose image on the sides when not in widescreen, even when the film in question is just a matted transfer(usually these graphics use a still frame from the movie in question) . Yes the matted version is still the correct one, but I can see where casual movie buyers, who buy a disc look at the graphic that shows they will be gaining image on the sides, and then pop the disc into their dvd player and only see image cropped off the top and bottom may feel that they have been ripped off.
    That said, I can't believe how quick people are these days to try and sue over the pettiest things.
    edited in- Whoops a little slow behind the keyboard, looks like James sort of beat me to this. [​IMG]
     
  15. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Well-Known Member

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    To use one MGM DVD as an example, I read in Video Watchdog that Texas Chainsaw Massacre II is open-matte, and the final shot in the movie is ruined as you can see a car driving by on the bottom of the screen in a scene that's supposed to be in the middle of nowhere.
     
  16. Brenton

    Brenton Well-Known Member

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    Oh my. That's hilarious. This guy needs a clue.
     
  17. Chris_Morris

    Chris_Morris Well-Known Member

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    Crazy. Yet another reason for a "loser pays" legal system.

    Chris
     
  18. Joe McKeown

    Joe McKeown Well-Known Member

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    It's hard enough to believe that there is someone dumb enough to try the suit, but there is a lawyer dumb enough to file it and press for class-action status. I wonder if he took the case on contingency?

    OTOH, I do feel that attempting to drop every video into either "Fullscreen" or "Widescreen" makes this unnecessarily confusing for consumers. The path a movie takes to the end product makes a difference. -- I don't mind open-matte so much, but I can't abide Pan-and-scan.

    Personally, I would like to see formats expressed as a percentage of the theatrical release. It would really clear things up when people see "67% of the theatrical release" on the boxes of P&S titles, or for that matter "115% of the theatrical release" for open matte (And don't check my math; I didn't do any.)
     
  19. John Berggren

    John Berggren Well-Known Member

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  20. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Well-Known Member

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    Well...

    MGM doesn't really help much by creating incorrect examples of P&S vs widescreen on their covers and etc.

    On my copy of Some Like It Hot, it says the 1.33:1 version would have cropped the sides. WRONG!

    For the DVD of The Usual Suspects, it clearly makes the film seem like a Panavision film. WRONG!


    However, the examples for scope/large format films are mostly correct...I have a feeling that these faked examples are one reason why they're being sued.
     

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