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An open plea to MGM to STOP releasing FULL FRAME ONLY discs of WIDESCREEN titles. All members help!


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165 replies to this topic

#1 of 166 Michael Allred

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Posted August 25 2003 - 04:09 PM

According to www.dvdfile.com;

Quote:
Rounding out MGM's holiday lineup are a batch of 80's comedies, all presented in full frame only unless otherwise noted: Once Upon a Crime (anamorphic widescreen), the Phil Collins caper Buster (non-anamorphic widescreen), Car 54, Where Are You?, How to Get Ahead in Advertising (anamorphic widescreen), Real Men, Cops and Robbers, Checking Out and Livin' Large!. All include trailers, and retail is $14.95 a pop.

"Real Men" would be the Jim Belushi - John Ritter comedy and one of my favorite "guilt pleasures." I've been waiting for a DVD releases and what does MGM do? Crappy full screen only.

NO SALE MGM!

#2 of 166 Matt Goddard

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Posted August 25 2003 - 04:16 PM

I was disappointed that Remo Williams wasn't widescreen, but I'm furious that Real Men isn't widescreen - and I don't care about it possibly being filmed open matte. Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

When is MGM going to realize that the biggest fans of these non-mainstream hits won't buy full-frame/pan-and-scan? That has to put a huge dent in sales, relatively speaking.

#3 of 166 Bill Burns

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Posted August 25 2003 - 06:12 PM

I'm the nut who truly, deeply loves Once Upon a Crime, though, so on an upnote, anamorphic widescreen and $14.95! Posted Image
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#4 of 166 Michael Allred

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Posted August 25 2003 - 06:46 PM

Quote:
When is MGM going to realize that the biggest fans of these non-mainstream hits won't buy full-frame/pan-and-scan? That has to put a huge dent in sales, relatively speaking.

Exactly! These kind of "under the radar" films won't appeal to general, mainstream consumers. It's the *fans* of the film that are interested in them, and these folks (as you said) will NOT buy them if they're not OAR.

It's a simple idea, appeal to the fanbase of a film and you'll sell your merchandise. Slap them in the face and you'll get a big pile of nothing.

#5 of 166 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 25 2003 - 10:07 PM

Quote:
Exactly! These kind of "under the radar" films won't appeal to general, mainstream consumers. It's the *fans* of the film that are interested in them, and these folks (as you said) will NOT buy them if they're not OAR.

This statement hits the nail exactly
on the head.

I am going to be very professional in my reply to
this. I think I have been out of line many times
in the past when it came to criticizing MGM --
especially in the manner of which I presented my
criticism.

I don't know who is making these sort of calls
over at that studio, but it doesn't take a genius
to see that these are highly uneducated decisions.
MGM is taking this approach that certain movies
won't sell if released anamorphic widescreen. Now
we all know that's an urban myth, but okay, MGM
wants to believe that. But then they pick
the most obscure titles that only appeal to a
small sect of hardcore fans to release Full Frame.

Another thing that greatly bothers me about
what MGM is doing is the fact that this format
has the capability of holding two versions of
a film on a single DVD disc
. Why can't MGM
appease everyone by releasing BOTH versions of
their films on one DVD?

I am really trying to remain civil about all
of this, but it really hurts all of us inside
when we see that a major studio like MGM is
irresponsibly releasing titles in this manner.
At least most ALL the other studios are either
releasing two versions of a film on one DVD -or-
two separate packaged versions.

I'm really trying to figure out the rationale
in these release decisions. I could almost
understand if these were "A" titles that the
studio was concerned about -- but instead they
concentrate on fan specific releases that are now
not going to be bought by these fans because they
have been released FULL FRAME.

I politely implore MGM to stop this practice
of releasing FULL FRAME ONLY releases -- especially
when we have such an incredible format like DVD that
has the ability to hold two versions on one disc.

Please remember that the DVD format is as successful
as it is today because WE, the early adopters, helped
sell the format to the masses. It was WE, the early
adopters (from the laserdisc era) that were
responsible for shaping this format and convincing
the studios to add anamorphic widescreen and
supplemental features to their DVDs. Everyone seems
to forget how much this forum (and other forums
like ours) helped DVD evolve into what it is today.

All we ask is that MGM please be more considerate
to the entire DVD watching population when
making these release decisions.

I hope I have been polite and constructive in what
needed to be said.


Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#6 of 166 Jay E

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Posted August 26 2003 - 12:11 AM

I'm not sure if Cops & Robbers is the 1973 crime caper film but if it is, I'm bitterly disappointed as this is one of my favorite films and I've been waiting almost 20 years for it to arrive on Laser or DVD. The only reason I see MGM doing this is $$$$$, it's probably cheaper to release it full-screen than wide.

I'm going off to my corner & cry now.

#7 of 166 Keith E

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Posted August 26 2003 - 12:14 AM

Is there anyway we can petition MGM to get the titles that we want in OAR or will our voices fall on deaf ears?

Just a thought.

#8 of 166 Malcolm R

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Posted August 26 2003 - 01:14 AM

I always thought MGM was one of the studios that frequently did put both versions on DVD. Why has this practice stopped?

There are several MGM titles I'd love to buy, but will NOT buy full-frame releases. I'll spend my money on another studio's product.

It's a shame a studio with a library like MGM's is apparently being run by a bunch of ___________ (<---- fill in your own description here). Posted Image
The purpose of an education is to replace an empty mind with an open mind.

#9 of 166 Greg S

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Posted August 26 2003 - 02:41 AM

Well terrific this just adds another title to my list of wants but can't get thanks to FF only!

The list is now

Real Men
Johnny Be Good
Hot Dog
No Man's Land
Remo Williams

And these are just the ones I can think of the top of my head.

MGM why do you do this??
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

Thanks for nothin' MGM!

Greg

#10 of 166 Ricardo C

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Posted August 26 2003 - 03:19 AM

Quote:
Another thing that greatly bothers me about
what MGM is doing is the fact that this format
has the capability of holding two versions of
a film on a single DVD disc. Why can't MGM
appease everyone by releasing BOTH versions of
their films on one DVD?

I'm going to take a guess at the possible reason: MGM could be recycling old LD transfers. Why else would they be putting out "Real Men" in FS and "Buster" in non-anamorphic widescreen? I think they just didn't think these films were worth the cost of brand-new transfers, so they're basically giving us the LDs burned onto a DVD.

Hey, MGM! If I wanted a Laserdisc, I would go buy one!

I actually enjoy "Buster" quite a bit, but in this day and age there's no justification for non-anamorphic transfers. I might have picked up "Real Men" as well, since my brother swears by it, but I'm not going to buy a mangled version.

EDIT: According to the imdb, the LDs for both films were P&S only. So now I don't know what to make of this. I still believe they're trying to pass off the "Real Men" LD as a DVD, but what to make of the "Buster" transfer? Surely they could have made it anamorphic? Or could it be that the film was transferred to LD in its original format but was released as P&S?

Man, an hour wasted on this sig! Thanks, Toshiba! :P

#11 of 166 Robert Floto

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Posted August 26 2003 - 04:31 AM

To quote the film in question...

"Who are those clowns."

Is there nothing we can to do to get MGM to listen to us?

If it's not in it's OAR...then it doesn't exist on DVD as far as I'm concerned... Posted Image
Movies I would purchase instantly if they were available in their correct aspect ratio:
Death Trap, Innocent Blood, The Shadow, and Remo Williams

#12 of 166 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 26 2003 - 04:55 AM

Guys,

Continue being polite in your replies.

Have talked to MGM recently and they seem
to take great offense to anything mean spirited
(don't worry - it all came from me).

If I can clean up my act in how I talk about
these things, I am sure everyone else can, too.

So please talk freely (no namecalling), because
MGM is reading this thread.

Ronald J Epstein
Home Theater Forum co-owner

 

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#13 of 166 JustinCleveland

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Posted August 26 2003 - 05:02 AM

Ron,

That was a very fair and judicial reaction, one I know I couldn't muster if films I was salivating for were released in an altered state from how they were intended.

It's a shame, too, considering how nicely MGM has treated other films. I just picked up a slew of MGM titles for $5 each at Circuit City, and was impressed with the quality on films like Kingpin, which was treated very well, despite being a lesser catalogue title. Robocop, though not the vaunted director's cut, was well handled and looked great (though I was still waiting for the bad guy to call Robo a "dumbass"). These movies, though not top-tiered films, look and sound great.

But would the casual consumer pick up a random title staring Ritter, or a movie like Remo Williams? I would argue not. I have a collection of over 300 dvds, and I know I am an abberation. Most people buy Lord of the Rings. They buy Spiderman. They'll buy Monsters Inc. They have 20, 30 DVDs. Maybe more, maybe less. But the bottom line is that these movies aren't going to be bought by the, as some on this forum would say, "unwashed masses" who buy full-screen DVDs. They would, at best, glance at the cover and maybe have a memory of the film, often not, and move on.

I add my own personal feelings at this grave mistake, and I truly hope reactions like this can assist in the abatement of future marred transfers being released to the home video market.

#14 of 166 Dome Vongvises

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Posted August 26 2003 - 05:16 AM

Quote:
Phil Collins caper Buster (non-anamorphic widescreen),


Not to say I'm getting this movie or anything, but I thought studios quit this practice of releasing non-anamorphic widescreen movies.

#15 of 166 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 26 2003 - 05:35 AM

Dear MGM,

As has been suggested, providing the casual consumer with a full-frame transfer without "black bars" can be accomplished while at the same time providing the film-fan with his/her 16x9 WS presentation.

If you only have space/expense to provide one version, please encode the 16x9 WS version and utilize the p/s on the fly feature of DVD. It very nicely can follow the center of action and works well with a 1.78-1.85:1 16x9 encoded movies to render a very watchable 4x3 picture for folks who don't understand the concept of widescreen and prefer to see their 4x3 TV filled.

While I've got your attention, please allow me to express my displeasure at MGM's continuing trend of releasing all 1.66:1 titles in a 4x3 frame. Other than WB, every other major studio is now properly encoding 1.66:1 movies in a 16x9 frame with mild vertical "pillar boxing" to maintain aspect ratio. Most consumer 4x3 sets have more than enough overscan to hide these "side bars" and 16x9 viewers...who are the most critically conscious...now have a significant increase in resolution. Disney has mastered almost all of their recent 1.66:1 titles this way with great success--ensuring the satisfaction of both the videophile and casual viewer.

The worst problem associated with 4x3 encoded 1.66:1 titles is how to view them on a 16x9 high-def TV or projector. "zooming" the image to fill the screen (as one would normally do with a non-anamorphic 1.85:1 title) crops of a significant portion of the top/bottom of the image and often leaves actors with their heads cut off. Similarly, trying to watch Babette's Feast on my 16x9 display makes it impossible to read the subtitles. I either have to watch it in 4x3 mode with black-masking on all 4 sides or decide how to shift the picture and choose between cutting off heads or cutting off subtitles.

Your studio ought to be mastering DVD product so that it is viable on the display systems of your most demanding consumers...namely the growing consumer base with 16x9 hi-def displays. 16x9 encoded 1.66:1 titles will garner praise from your most demanding consumers and no complaints from the more casual DVD viewers wherease 4x3 encoding 1.66:1 titles only aggrivates the serious DVD collector who purchases your DVDs and offers the casual viewer no greater benefits that he/she can recognize. Why then do you choose the latter? I can't tell you how many MGM and WB 1.66:1 DVDs that I earnestly wished to buy but chose not to purchase due to lack of 16x9 encoding. I've heard many others with 16x9 displays say the same thing.

(A success story, I had cancled my pre-order for "My Beautiful Laundrette" on the basis that I heard it would be 4x3 1.66:1. I later found it on a store shelf where I discovered it was in fact 16x9 encoded and bought it instantly!)

In the future, please do what you can to ensure that film-fans will have the option to purchase DVD product that presents films in their original aspect ratio (with an option for full-frame 4x3 viewing for select titles) and please encode all aspect ratios 1.66:1 or wider in a 16x9 frame.

Hopeful in the future,

David Boulet
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#16 of 166 Patrick McCart

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Posted August 26 2003 - 05:36 AM

What a shame. I guess the four people who were going to get Car 54, Where Are You? will not purchase now. Posted Image

#17 of 166 Malcolm R

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Posted August 26 2003 - 06:45 AM

I guess the four people who were going to get Car 54, Where Are You? will not purchase now.

Perhaps, but it's important for MGM to realize that those lost sales (whatever the number) are not due to lack of interest, but instead a refusal to buy pan-and-scan transfers.
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#18 of 166 Michael Allred

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Posted August 26 2003 - 07:02 AM

Quote:
What a shame. I guess the four people who were going to get Car 54, Where Are You? will not purchase now.


Every movie has it's share of fans.

"Car 54.." is a prime example of a VERY small film that won't sell to mom & pop in the millions, just that small group of people who love it dearly but now won't buy it because it's FF only.

MGM might as well not have released it at all.

It's frustrating because I *do* like MGM, they've produced some great DVD's, especially their horror titles, but when it comes to cult comedies ("Real Men") or action ("Remo Williams") they just get dumped on. I just can't figure out this Jekyll & Hyde approach to DVD's.

MGM is nowhere near as bad as, oh, Artisan, but these kind of decisions continue to cause ill will towards the studio.

I don't want to worry about a catalog movie that's due on DVD..."Oh god, I hope it's widescreen!" With FOX or Paramount, that thought never crosses my mind because they are commited to OAR.

I fear for the 80's wrestling comedy "Body Slam" now.....that is definitely a guilty pleasure but if/when MGM gets around to releasing it, I'm deathly afraid it'll be treated the same way as these December titles, full frame only.

Nobody expects MGM to dish out the moolah for a new high definition transfer for films like "Real Men", or create a batch of new bonus materials. Just give me the film in widescreen and I'm happy. I think you'll find a LOT of us feel the same way.

#19 of 166 DaViD Boulet

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Posted August 26 2003 - 07:32 AM

Quote:
Just give me the film in widescreen and I'm happy. I think you'll find a LOT of us feel the same way.

as long as that's *16x9* WS OAR, you can count me in agreement. Posted Image
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#20 of 166 Patrick McCart

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Posted August 26 2003 - 08:39 AM

I wasn't being insensitive... I'm just pointing out that they're not doing much help for low-demand movies by shutting out a lot of the potential customers.


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