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Kung Fu - Season 1 (March 16th) is not OAR


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186 replies to this topic

#1 of 187 David Lambert

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Posted December 09 2003 - 02:28 AM

Warner is releasing Kung Fu - The Complete 1st Season to DVD on March 16. I posted complete info about it here (at TVShowsOnDVD.com).

Here at the HTF, we've extensively discussed OAR. As many of you know, I am pretty devout about "NO OAR = NO SALE!".

Kung Fu S1 will not be OAR. When I first posted that this was coming to DVD - back in June! - I explained that this made-for-broadcast-TV show from long before the HDTV era is being reformatted for 16x9 widescreen. I tried to put a positive-sounding spin on it at the time, even though that's not the way I felt:
We found out that one of the reasons this was chosen for DVD release is because the show is already being remastered for high-definition by another division, and a DVD set was the logical way to take advantage of the new transfer. As a result, fans of the show with widescreen televisions will be able to take advantage of a 16x9 anamorphic widescreen image on this DVD release (Warner will have to shave a bit off the top and bottom of the image to make it fit).

When I posted my news today, I made sure that OAR advocates would be aware that this release is not OAR. I was also faced with the problem that many of our readers won't be familiar with the entire OAR/MAR controversy, so I put in a great deal of wording that explained the situation.

THAT explanation is what I want some HTF input about. I'll point out that Hundreds of people have already read that news item, but I would still appreciate feedback from this group about whether or not I got this info correct:

Aspect ratios are a tricky business, and one that's come more and more into public awareness in the DVD era. In short, you need to know that the vast majority of items that were lensed for TV viewing prior to the mid-90's are shot in a square, as are almost all films shot prior to the mid-50's. In order to fit those items into a rectangle, like a 16x9 widescreen set, and still take up the entire screen without stretching or zooming, then the picture must have the top and bottom strips shaved off, losing valuable picture. There are very few instances of this situation yet, though. It appears that Kung Fu - The 1st Season will be among those examples.

A more common example of aspect ratio adjustment is when a motion picture - such as Star Wars, for example - is filmed with intention to be shown on a rectangular cinema screen, but then has strips of the picture eliminated on the left and the right sides to make the show fit on a "standard" square television. This process is commonly known as pan-and-scan, and you can read more about that loss of picture (and its remedies) at The Widescreen Advocate website. This is a different form of cropping than will be seen with Kung Fu, but related...it's just on the sides, where Kung Fu's will be on the upper and lower sections.

We won't delve too much more deeply into the great Aspect Ratio debate here; we just wanted to bring it up for those who get concerned about these things. Yet we wanted to explain enough of it for anyone who just doesn't understand why this matters to others. Newer filming techniques, such as "Super35" as an example, allow directors to attempt to compose their shots for both aspect ratios (full frame and widescreen) at the same time. Unfortunately, even the idea of composing for multiple aspect ratios can cause its own controversy in the process.

I hope that Josh Clinard has stopped by to read this. Frankly, Josh, I had to wrestle with whether or not to link to you in all of this. Because your site is the "Widescreen Advocate", and not the "OAR Advocate". It occurs to me that me linking to you causes my readers to ask themselves this question:

"I thought Lambert was saying that Kung Fu being in widescreen was bad...so why is he linking us to a site that says widescreen is better?"


I think, Josh, that at some point you may have to adjust things so that it addresses items made for 4x3, but cropped top-and-bottom on DVD to fit on 16x9 televisions. I can think of a few besides Kung Fu. Among them are V: The Final Battle, Super Speedway (made for IMAX), and both volumes of Queen's Greatest Video Hits (I may have the Queen titles off by a bit, buy y'all know which ones I mean). There are certainly other exmaples, but I can't think of them right now.


For those of you wondering if I will purchase this, no I won't. However, my wife is a GIANT fan of Kung Fu, and tells me that she'll be buying this regardless. So, fume though I might, yes this box set WILL be in my house. Posted Image

I would like everyone's opinion on this. As thread-starter, I also reserve the right to ask for this thread to be closed if it gets out of hand...so let's play nice and keep the debate (if any) friendly. Posted Image


Thanks,
DAVE/Memphis, TN

...Want to see your favorite show on DVD?

#2 of 187 Dane Marvin

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Posted December 09 2003 - 02:48 AM

All I'm wondering is why they would go the extra mile to make this into a widescreen presentation when that was not how it was originally intended to be seen.

Studios NEVER go out of their way to make a widescreen presentation. Don't tell me that when they finally start doing just that, they're going to be doing it to our TV shows and made-for-TV movies that were not originally intended to be seen this way!

This sets a poor precedent for future studios to follow. Is this what is going to happen when widescreen TVs become affordable enough for the majority of homes in America to have one? Are we going to be seeing all our classic TV shows in widescreen because people won't want to see bars on the LEFT and RIGHT side of their screen?

Ahhh!!!!!

I've never seen "Kung Fu", so this is not particularly troubling for me. But, as I said, the precedent bothers me. Especially now that we know Warner likes doing this. A similar but not quite the same widescreen treatment was given to ER season 1 (which I'm not 100% sure on the details of that -- even though I own it). As we know, it didn't become a widescreen show on TV until around season 7 or 8.

#3 of 187 Walter Kittel

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Posted December 09 2003 - 03:56 AM

I used to watch this show religiously through its entire run, even when the series began to (IMHO) derail. Like your wife David, I'm a GIANT fan of this series. I'm very conflicted by this set, as it is probably at the top of my TV on DVD wish list, now that the original Outer Limits is out.

I've made OAR exceptions for a select few favorite films and realistically I'll probably break down and purchase the Season 1 set when it streets. I wish it were 1.33:1 but I suspect the odds of ever seeing the series in OAR are slim to none considering the costs associated with mastering the set. Unfortunately, this may be setting a bad precedent for reformatting to 1.77:1 of 1.33:1 AR shows on HD and DVD.

As I said, I'm very conflicted by this release, but knowing how impulsive I can be when I'm in the store looking at the merchandise on the shelf, a purchase is probably a foregone conclusion. Sorry to break from the OAR fold on this one, guys. I'm so weak. *sigh*

On the other hand, the compositions may be so tight and distracting that I won't purchase follow on releases, assuming that Season 1 sells in numbers that make it profitable for a Season 2 release.

- Walter.

Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#4 of 187 Rick P

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Posted December 09 2003 - 05:23 AM

It's a tricky situation here that will have to be faced in the future as more sets are 16:9 and the 'square box' will slowly disappear. Is this an effort to stave off the forthcoming "I hate those grey bars on the side of the screen" comments? I don't know..

One way or another this is going to be done no matter how we may feel. It DOES pave the way for NEW shows to be shot/shown/released widescreen.. but is it worth the cost? (not necessarly the cost of doing the conversion, but the material excised..)

The phrase was 'remastered for high defination'. This DOESN'T necessarly mean cropped. Does anyone else have HDNet on their DirecTV system? Every noticed that "Hogan's Heros" is in 16:9? That's been done with the logrithmic stretch and most of the time doesn't look bad.

Are they going to 'stretch' or 'crop'?

Now, I may get lynched for this.. but IF DONE PROPERLY (and those are very powerful words) a COMBINATION of stretching and cropping would work.. but only, ONLY,ONLY if done on a scene by scene basis, by someone with some talent and eye for composition (does any one else remember the debacle with Babylon 5 the first time it ran on SciFi channel in letterbox? The wrong tapes were done and they just applied a fixed crop on the entire show. Same was done for the airings of "The Gathering").

Again the words, IF DONE PROPERLY this could turn out well, if done sloppily, quickly or without care it could be a disaster.

IF (there's that word again) Warner was SMART, they would be sending out a single disc with a coupla of episodes to the fan sites, the reviewers, the experts to let people SEE what they were doing and GIVE FEEDBACK... but then.. is that hoping for a miracle???

#5 of 187 Dan Hitchman

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Posted December 09 2003 - 10:18 AM

Next up: Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington Remastered & Modified for 16x9 HD!!

When will the madness stop????!!!

Dan

#6 of 187 Robert Ringwald

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Posted December 09 2003 - 11:24 AM

on the wizard of Oz DVD, there's a trailer for a re-release...in widescreen. lol, in the shot of the Emerald City...the top is cut off of the tower

#7 of 187 Rob T

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Posted December 09 2003 - 11:55 AM

I'm not getting it.
NO OAR = NO SALE

#8 of 187 Chris_Morris

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Posted December 09 2003 - 11:58 AM

I will not buy this simply for the fact it was stolen from Bruce Lee because the narrow minded studio exec. were scared not to have a 'white' man play a chinese character.

Exec 1:Bruce helped create this, let's give him the part.
Exec 2:But he's Chinese
Exec 1:So is the character...
Exec 2:But he's Chinese
Exec 1:Yeah, people will revolt if they see a Chinese actor playing a Chinese main character. Better find a white guy.
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Chris

#9 of 187 Kevin Porter

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Posted December 09 2003 - 12:24 PM

This is not good news. I wasn't planning on buying the set but I was going to Netflix it so I could gain perspective on David Carradine and Kill Bill. I think I already understand one of the references now. In Volume 1, Bill says "I'm the man" to the Bride. Is this a reference to "I'm just a man" from Kung-Fu? Regardless, it will be fun to watch this set even if I'm only getting 90-85% of the picture. Posted Image

And guys, you might want to spell out the entire phrase original aspect ratio. Studio executives might see these posts:

Executive 1: No oar no sale?
Executive 2: We have to do something about this sir
Executive 1: I've got it! For our next big DVD release we need to come out with a gift pack with an oar!
Executive 2: Brilliant idea!

Danny Federici, we'll meet you in the land of hope and dreams

#10 of 187 Brian W.

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Posted December 09 2003 - 12:46 PM

I posted about a year ago in one of the OAR argument threads that, because of 16:9 sets, we would eventually be fighting the opposite battle -- movies with the top and bottom chopped off. People in that thread told me it would never happen. I see it's happening already.

Someday "full frame" will be considered 1.85. And there WILL be people complaining that they "don't want those black bars on the sides of the screen."

#11 of 187 Joseph J.D

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Posted December 09 2003 - 02:09 PM

Here's another who's going to be quite conflicted on whether to purchase this set. This was one of my favorite Television shows along with Kolchak:The Night Stalker in the 70's. I watched it religiously as well whenever it returned in reruns. The last time I ever watched an episode of the original series was 1989 and have never seen it since.

I really want this set....but I want it the way I remember seeing it....the way it was meant to be seen...in it's OAR. I guess that is what it will all come down to in the end. Posted Image

I really can't understand Warner's thinking regarding this set.....it really sets a sad precedent for future TV boxsets.Posted Image

Posted Image
Recently watched- Maverick(1994), After Earth, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo(2009), The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug 3D, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey EE 3D, Star Wars: Return Of The Jedi, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith, Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

Currently watching- Planet Earth, The Twilight Zone: Season 1, Cheers: Season 6, True Blood: Season 2, Gatchaman: The Complete Series, Simon & Simon: Season 3
 

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#12 of 187 David Glenn

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Posted December 09 2003 - 02:19 PM

As much as I'd like to join the picket line, I too am torn. One of my all time favorite series will be too tempting not to get regardless of the AR. But getting it may encourage future Non OAR remasterings.

Oh the agony..
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#13 of 187 MatthewA

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Posted December 10 2003 - 04:23 AM

It should be a no-brainer. Boycott this release.

Enough is enough, Disney. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray.

 

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#14 of 187 Robert Floto

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Posted December 10 2003 - 10:23 AM

Can't they make a 4x3 image 16x9 anamorphic by just including side-bars when they make the widescreen master?
Movies I would purchase instantly if they were available in their correct aspect ratio:
Death Trap, Innocent Blood, The Shadow, and Remo Williams

#15 of 187 John Stockton

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Posted December 10 2003 - 10:44 AM

I was looking forward for this release, but now, no way in hell am I going to pay for a butchered version.

No OAR = No Sale

#16 of 187 Steve Phillips

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Posted December 10 2003 - 10:47 AM

I knew this was coming. Posted Image

#17 of 187 John_Berger

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Posted December 10 2003 - 11:54 AM

All that I'll say is that this widescreen bigot thinks that this is a really stupid move. The series was NOT meant for widescreen; therefore, is should not be shown in widescreen! This is just as bad as pan-and-scan, in my opinion. Posted Image

#18 of 187 Mattias_ka

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Posted December 11 2003 - 01:53 AM

This is so Posted Image Posted Image
And now our true faces are coming out. People that scream about OAR on P&S movies and Open matte movies are buying a cropped version?

Well, for me this is a NO NO. I prefer to watch my VHS tapes from TV than buy this cropped version. I I'm too had said this for years that this problem will come and it have done that too (Evil Dead for example).

#19 of 187 oscar_merkx

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Posted December 11 2003 - 05:57 AM

too bad as I was eager to buy this season set.

now I am not
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#20 of 187 Steve Phillips

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Posted December 11 2003 - 06:02 AM

Rumors are that THE DUKES OF HAZZARD will get the same "treatment".

The age of tilt and scanning has come. Posted Image