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A FILM CRITIC who HATES widescreen?


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93 replies to this topic

#1 of 94 OFFLINE   Lev-S

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:21 AM

I work at a large electronics chain in Canada (that shall remain nameless) and on the 26th when Two Towers was released, it was my sole responsibility to stand by the DVD display and explain what widescreen was to customers. Things went fairly well (85% of the population is just uneducated, not stupid) and I only encountered a few of the "cinematically bankrupt" who "paid to fill their screens". Eventually I encountered a man who grabbed the euphamistically titled "Full Screen" and started to turn away. I immediately asked him if he knew the difference between the Widescreen version and the Full Screen version. What happened next was utterly hilarious. He raised his voice slightly and explained very firmly that he DESPISED the black bars, no matter how big or small and would not watch anything else. He said he grew up with TV and will not watch anything else. He said that if the director wanted him to see "everything", than the director could buy him a widescreen TV. I smugly explained that even with a 16:9 set, movies in 2.35:1 and above will still have a small set of black spaces, to which he replied that he wouldn't get or watch one of those TVs. I decided to pull out the "I guess you are not a big film fan" expecting him to say sure and walk away. Instead he said that at one point he was a film critic! Trying to ram his foot farther down his throat, he elaborated on how Pulp Fiction is better in Pan and Scan because when Samuel L. Jackson's character shoots up the apartment in the opening scene, Tarantino zooms in on the gun! WOW! Does this make sense to any of you? Does a book critic ignore a few chapters or a music critic only listen to a 10 second clip of a piece of music? WTF are people so childish about this issue???
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#2 of 94 OFFLINE   Jeff_HR

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:29 AM

Quote:
WOW! Does this make sense to any of you?
I sure would love to read one of his film reviews. Just ignore these people.
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#3 of 94 OFFLINE   Ken Seeber

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:33 AM

Someone might be paid $5 a pop to write movie reviews for a local shopper, but that doesn't make him a film critic. I'd have to know his credentials before I would agree he was once a film critic.

#4 of 94 OFFLINE   Al Shing

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:36 AM

This is like arguing about religion nowadays. You can't convince them so just walk away and let the marketplace decide.

#5 of 94 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:39 AM

Anyone can call themselves a "film critic". It's not like you have to be licensed.

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#6 of 94 OFFLINE   Mark Bendiksen

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Posted August 27 2003 - 07:47 AM


Quote:
he elaborated on how Pulp Fiction is better in Pan and Scan because when Samuel L. Jackson's character shoots up the apartment in the opening scene, Tarantino zooms in on the gun!
Whoa...now there's an argument I've never heard before...LOL! It sounds like something you might find on that old "anti-letterboxing" website. Does anyone remember the URL to that lovely page? The guy who ran the site dished out terms such as "letter-shlocking" and ranted about how it was all a Hollywood conspiracy. It was pretty amusing and pathetic at the same time.


#7 of 94 OFFLINE   AllanN

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Posted August 27 2003 - 08:11 AM

Quote:
85% of the population is just uneducated, not stupid


I’m thoroughly impressed at this number. Keep up the good work in informing more people about OAR. Ignore the pan-and-scan MAR zealots.

Like the old saying goes. "You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink."
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#8 of 94 OFFLINE   Michael Martin

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Posted August 27 2003 - 08:36 AM

Quote:
Like the old saying goes. "You can lead a horse to watter but you cant make them drink."


Or use a spellchecker, apparently. Posted Image

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#9 of 94 OFFLINE   Rob Gillespie

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Posted August 27 2003 - 08:41 AM

Final Destination sucks!

See! Rob's a film critic!
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#10 of 94 OFFLINE   Chris Bardon

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Posted August 27 2003 - 09:02 AM

Back to the point though-I have to say that I'm impressed that the store would pay someone to explain widescreen to people. And if 85% of the people can figure it out, then perhaps we'll be better off.
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#11 of 94 OFFLINE   Lew Crippen

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Posted August 27 2003 - 09:09 AM

But did he say he was a ‘good’ film critic? Posted Image Posted Image
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#12 of 94 OFFLINE   Jack Briggs

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Posted August 27 2003 - 09:15 AM

Lew, see Rob's insightful post for the answer!

#13 of 94 OFFLINE   Scott_MacD

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Posted August 27 2003 - 09:16 AM

Quote:
Final Destination sucks!

Wonders will never cease,..Just watched it.(you're only about 120 minutes too late though..) Ugh, an utter waste of my time.

As for the issue at hand, I'd just chalk this guy up to idiocy, nothing more. Ignore it, and for heaven's sake, keep up the good work!

#14 of 94 OFFLINE   MarkHastings

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Posted August 27 2003 - 09:22 AM

Quote:
Just ignore these people.
Best advice ever. Posted Image

#15 of 94 OFFLINE   Kenneth English

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Posted August 27 2003 - 09:43 AM

Having worked at a retail music/movie store in the past(Camelot Music, in case anyone cares) I'm convinced that the majority of the general population are simply very small, very angry, very petty people. Their problems are much deeper and more pathetic than a simple misunderstanding about the advantages of the widescreen vs. P&S...

I once attempted to explain to a customer why widescreen laserdiscs (yes, this was a while ago) were preferable to cropped VHS. This gentleman informed me that if it wasn't for "f*ckin' snobs" like myself there wouldn't be any need to worry about such things and that he was absolutely convinced that the whole widescreen issue was devised by the television makers to force him to buy a bigger, fancier TV set.

Uh huh. Whatever, fruitloop.

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#16 of 94 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted August 27 2003 - 09:53 AM

I knew of a local film critic (his reviews were pretty awful) who always left showings in the theatres during the end credits. When I wrote him addressing this, he sent a response that basically proved that he was even dumber than I accused him of being! He said "When the end credits unspool, the film is over. Finished. Period." Funny thing was a few years later he had a quiz in his newspaper column about jokes put into movies during the end credits! Posted Image
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#17 of 94 OFFLINE   Chad A Wright

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Posted August 27 2003 - 10:00 AM

I review films and dvds, and don't consider myself a critic. I consider people like Roger Ebert to be critics. If you make enough money to consider it to be your career, then you're a critic. I'm just a fan who loves the art of film and tells others what I think. These local newspapers will let nearly anyone review movies (look at me), but it's not suprising that people blow it out of perportion. Anyone who doesn't believe whole heartedly in widescreen, isn't even qualified to review movies, much less be considered a critic.

#18 of 94 OFFLINE   Jesse Skeen

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Posted August 27 2003 - 10:23 AM

BTW more than 15 years ago in "Video Review" magazine there was a page with pro and con arguments for letterboxing, and Jeffrey Lyons wrote the "con" article- he lamented that he had gotten a review tape of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" that was letterboxed, and said "I felt like I was looking in through window blinds on a party I wasn't invited to. Fortunately the version the studio put out for sale are free of letterboxing." I don't know if he still does reviews, I quit paying attention to him after that.
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#19 of 94 OFFLINE   Derek_McL

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Posted August 27 2003 - 10:49 AM

"Anyone who doesn't believe whole heartedly in widescreen, isn't even qualified to review movies, much less be considered a critic."

Yes I think I'd agree with that in this day and age. Also the people that would rather watch widescreen movies in pan and scan are totally wrong.

The films should be presented as they were made whatever the AR but roll the clock back maybe twenty or thirty years and I'm sure there would be many critics who didn't believe whole heartedly in widescreen.

This was more to do with the suitability of the letterbox screen for smaller films rather than big epic adventures or westerns. Many film-makers weren't too keen on it either. There was nothing unqualified about a director like Fritz Lang or a critic like Leslie Halliwell whose Film Guides etc still bare his name. Neither liked widescreen and thought it was a great step forward for film art.

So yes I agree that widescreen movies should be presented on DVD as close as possible to the original but the widescreen age of the cinema since about 1953 has not been the golden age IMHO quite the contrary in fact. So a whole-hearted belief in widescreen as a undoubted stamp of class no I can't agree with that.

When I first read this thread I thought : a critic that doesn't like widescreen that's hardly news not expecting that it would an ignorant nobody without a clue.

#20 of 94 OFFLINE   Adam_WM

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Posted August 27 2003 - 10:59 AM

Eh, everyone's a critic...
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