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I met Joe Sixpack yesterday at Wal-Mart


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#1 of 79 OFFLINE   Matt Pasant

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Posted September 08 2003 - 04:34 AM

As I was walking though Wal-Mart, I went and picked up the High School Reunion collection. And did some general browsing before I left. Well a guy next to me, fairly educated, knowledgeable about electronics, came up to me with a copy of 2001 in his hands and asked me if I knew whether it was Widescreen or not. Thinking he was a serious letterboxer like myself I point out to him that it was. At which point he launches into a rampage how these damn studios are not giving consumers choice and how he wanted his damn full screen filled. To which he informed me, he is so adament about being anti-letterbox that he bought a Panasonic dvd-r recorder so he can have his pan and scan VHS tapes on dvd. Talk about committed to the cause. I have been into dvd since March of 1997, and this is my first encounter with the enemy. May it be another 6 1/2 years before I do. PS... everytime I am in Wal-Mart, I go to great extents to hide the P/S dvds behind their Widescreen brothers.

#2 of 79 OFFLINE   Will K

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Posted September 08 2003 - 04:48 AM

[quote] PS... everytime I am in Wal-Mart, I go to great extents to hide the P/S dvds behind their Widescreen brothers. [quote]
You do that, too? Posted Image
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#3 of 79 OFFLINE   Jon Robertson

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Posted September 08 2003 - 05:01 AM

I must say, Matt, he makes a good point about the studios not giving consumers choice, regardless of whether we consider his personal decision artistically sound or not (would now be a good time to point out you yourself bought three DVDs of which none had the original director-approved soundtrack? Posted Image).

I certainly will advocate the availability of both widescreen and re-formatted discs, because why the hell shouldn't someone watch what they like in their own home? You might as well campaign to have certain movies you don't like to be taken off the shelves simply because the idea of other people buying or renting them offends you.

Face facts - most people just don't see movies as an art form. They're time-fillers, or a slightly livelier alternative to a book. Making everyone watch their movies with black bars at the top and bottom isn't suddenly going to produce a nation of cultured art lovers.

And they're not the enemy - do you think we'd have the sheer quantity of discs at the low prices we're getting nowadays if it hadn't been for the mainstream embrace of the format? I think about what the DVD marketplace might now be like if it hadn't been for the so-called "Joe Sixpack" factor, and I shudder.

#4 of 79 OFFLINE   Matt Pasant

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Posted September 08 2003 - 05:34 AM

Well Jon, consumers like myself are losing our ability to chose. When chains like Wal-Mart carry p/s only copies because people want their screen filled and I have to drive from store to store to find a dvd, then yes I object.

#5 of 79 OFFLINE   Robert Ringwald

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Posted September 08 2003 - 05:36 AM

Besides, I don't care if the soccer mom says "I like full-screen." but when a fairly educated person, who also views films as ART says they only watch p/s. Then it becomes stupid.

#6 of 79 OFFLINE   Gregg Shiu

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Posted September 08 2003 - 06:12 AM

[quote] PS... everytime I am in Wal-Mart, I go to great extents to hide the P/S dvds behind their Widescreen brothers. [quote]
Terrific! As a former employee at Circuit City I can tell you I learned the hard way I wasn't supposed to do that. However, I certainly encourage any customers to do that, especially if you're in the Nova area.
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#7 of 79 OFFLINE   Scott D S

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Posted September 08 2003 - 06:29 AM

When I worked at Best Buy (technically, I still do but I'm on leave for school), I printed a widescreen/fullscreen comparison chart from one of the widescreen advocacy websites. I kept a few copies in our binder at the kiosk. And wouldn't you know it, it actually worked a few times! Even the people who saw it but still chose fullscreen walked away with their new knowledge. A few co-workers as well as my supervisor even used it to educate people who were either confused about the whole thing or didn't speak English very well and didn't understand the packaging.

#8 of 79 OFFLINE   Drue Elrick

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Posted September 08 2003 - 06:46 AM

Next time you come across someone who wants P'n'S and there's only a widescreen version, feel free to tell them that their DVD player probably has a zoom option which will allow them to fill their screen no matter what. (Who cares if buying the WS version futhers our cause as well... MUAHAHAHAHAHA!)

#9 of 79 OFFLINE   Brian Kidd

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Posted September 08 2003 - 07:23 AM

Maybe we should tell them that prolonged exposure to fullscreen discs has been found to cause stupidity in lab rats. Posted Image
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#10 of 79 OFFLINE   Marty M

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Posted September 08 2003 - 07:31 AM

[quote] I have been into dvd since March of 1997, and this is my first encounter with the enemy. [quote]
You just haven't been looking hard enough. Posted Image I am quite sure that about 75% of Wal-Mart DVD customers are the enemy.
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#11 of 79 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted September 08 2003 - 07:35 AM

[quote] At which point he launches into a rampage how these damn studios are not giving consumers choice and how he wanted his damn full screen filled. [quote]

See, I hate it when people make this complaint about not having a "Choice." In the days of VHS when for pretty much all of the 80s and early 90s OAR enthusiasts were not given a "Choice" do you think this guy was ranting that there were few tapes released in OAR? Not every product on the market has an alternate version. OAR enthusists have to live with this as well. Look at how MGM and Artisan have released several MAR only discs recently. It is up to the customer to decide whether or not they want to support occaisonal lack of choice with their money. The fact is that this is the first mainstream home video format where OAR is being given at least equal billing to MAR and now those people who had their screen filled for 2 decades when there was rarely a "Choice" for us can't take it.
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#12 of 79 OFFLINE   Lance Nichols

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Posted September 08 2003 - 08:07 AM

Not certain if I agree with the "choice" argument or not. Personally, it's like sating that you don't want to by the Mona Lisa, because it isn't avaialbe done in Crayola Crayons. Directors, and DPs go though a LOT of work to frame each shot the way they want it, to give each and every film it's own perspective. Why mess with it? Peronally, all DVDs should be OAR, 16x9 enhanced (where applicable) with a flag to do on the fly MARing if the user wants "fullscreen".
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#13 of 79 OFFLINE   ThomasC

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Posted September 08 2003 - 08:14 AM

[quote] I hate it when people make this complaint about not having a "Choice." In the days of VHS when for pretty much all of the 80s and early 90s OAR enthusiasts were not given a "Choice" do you think this guy was ranting that there were few tapes released in OAR? [quote] The OAR "movement" is much stronger in numbers nowadays, I bet the studios didn't much care for the (very) few educated about OAR. I wish someone would've educated me before it was too late, I only have a fullscreen version of the Star Wars OT. Posted Image Gotta start saving for a LD player and the three Star Wars OT movies on LD...

#14 of 79 OFFLINE   Chad A Wright

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Posted September 08 2003 - 08:20 AM

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I actually met a Wal-Mart worker at my local store that is very pro oar. He does his best to educate the customers.

#15 of 79 OFFLINE   Todd Robertson

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Posted September 08 2003 - 08:22 AM

[quote] Face facts - most people just don't see movies as an art form. They're time-fillers, or a slightly livelier alternative to a book. Making everyone watch their movies with black bars at the top and bottom isn't suddenly going to produce a nation of cultured art lovers. [quote]

right on Jon...I agree 100%. and I wish I lived where some others here do....'cause where I am....I feel surrounded by JSP's!!
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#16 of 79 OFFLINE   Joe_Pinney

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Posted September 08 2003 - 08:47 AM

That guy isn't "Joe Sixpack", he's Harry Nimrod, the kind of guy who THINKS he's a knowledgable geek but really isn't. Considering that 16x9 TVs are essentially eliminating this entire argument (except for films or TV shows with OARs of LESS than 1.78:1, when they will whine about the "black bars on the sides of the screen"), it's due to become a very moot point within a generation anyway. It's like asserting your "right" to watch movies in the theater upside while sitting on your head. There's choice, and then there's the choice between smart and stupid.

#17 of 79 OFFLINE   Travis_W

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Posted September 08 2003 - 08:54 AM

I just helped the cause at Wal-Mart the other day. A guy asked the clerk for 'Chicago' on DVD, the clerk says he has some at his desk, thinking quick I grab the widescreen version and hand it to the man. I get a thanks and he purchases the widescreen version. I look back at the clerk and he's putting back the fullscreen version which he was about to give to the customer. A small victory, but a victory nonetheless.

Oh yeah, and I also put the widescreen versions in front of their lesser editions here...as well as Best Buy, Circuit City, and Suncoast everytime I go Posted Image.
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#18 of 79 OFFLINE   Jim Williams

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Posted September 08 2003 - 09:07 AM

What is Joe Sixpack going to say when he goes to buy a new TV and the only TV choice he has is a 16:9. His precious "full-screen" DVDs will no longer fill the screen anymore.
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#19 of 79 OFFLINE   Andrew Bunk

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Posted September 08 2003 - 09:15 AM

[quote] What is Joe Sixpack going to say when he goes to buy a new TV and the only TV choice he has is a 16:9. His precious "full-screen" DVDs will no longer fill the screen anymore. [quote]

Unfortunately, they will with zoom or stretch.

Hell, I know of someone who I consider very enlightened, and he recently got a 16:9 set. Then a little while ago he drops the nugget that he sometimes stretches or zooms 2.35:1 material to eliminate the bars. I just don't get it.

I didn't mind the large black bars with 2.35:1 on my 36" 4:3 set. Now that I have a 57" 16:9 set, the *small* bars on 2.35:1 seem totally unnoticeable. To each his own I suppose...
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#20 of 79 OFFLINE   Matt Pasant

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Posted September 08 2003 - 09:22 AM

[quote] You just haven't been looking hard enough. I am quite sure that about 75% of Wal-Mart DVD customers are the enemy. [quote]

Well, let me rephrase, this was the first who was so colorful about it and even went to the extent to buy a dvd-r recorder so his 4x3 vhs would be recorded to dvd and not have "those boxes".




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