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The Dark Knight changing Aspect Ratio feels like a Joke


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#21 of 621 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted November 24 2008 - 05:37 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Brashear
Guys, you do realize the Blu-ray's formatting was specifically at Nolan's request, right? He may have "settled" for 2.35:1-in-total for most theaters but what he "wants" is shifting aspect ratios. In fact, he fell so in love with the IMAX process, he's hoping to film his future creations fully in that format, cost allowing...

Except we're not getting the IMAX process with this director approved version. So what you are telling me is that Nolan has now approved a third reframing of his "vision". We are getting neither the original IMAX presentation nor the standard theatrical version, but a version that the director has approved because he likes shifting aspect ratios. So much for director's vision. His vision is whatever is expedient.

If he wanted shifting aspect ratios then he should have made sure that what was presented in IMAX is presented on BD. If people had to put up with pillarboxing then too bad. The BD should also have the standard theatrical version for people who don't want to watch the IMAX version. Regardless of the director's approval, what the BD shouldn't have, as the only option, is some half-assed non-theatrical version where the horizontal black bars disappear at times.
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#22 of 621 OFFLINE   Nicholas Martin

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Posted November 24 2008 - 05:57 AM

I'd say to those who haven't actually seen this disc, stop bitching until you do. Then if you don't like what you see complain then, but until that time there isn't much point. You are assuming you won't like it but it may surprise you, just as those who do want to see it this way (like myself) may end up NOT liking the shifting AR.

Long story short, just wait and see.

#23 of 621 OFFLINE   Brent Hutto

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Posted November 24 2008 - 06:02 AM

I guess it's all good until we get a director whose "vision" is to give the focus puller the day off and let his 3-year-old play with yanking the lens back and forth while he's shooting. Unless it's in a parody or otherwise having fun with the medium in an less-than-serious setting I don't have much patience with directors calling attention to their movie-making technology as an end to itself.

Maybe Mr. Nolan is trying to one-up Storaro in taking the mickey with aspect-ratio shenanigans.

#24 of 621 OFFLINE   EnricoE

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Posted November 24 2008 - 06:04 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Beam
So other people's art should be reformatted to fit your particular preference? Since it's Mr. Nolan's movie and not yours, I'd say respecting his vision is of paramount importance, and Warner absolutely did the right thing.

let me say it this: the film was presented in widescreen through it's theatrical run and that's the version i want. if you don't mind these ar changes, good for you. i find them rather annoying especially with the knowledge that there is a true widescreen version of the movie out there. warner bros should give a freaking choice.

#25 of 621 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted November 24 2008 - 06:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michel_Hafner
Aspect ratio change or not, some of the Beaver shots show annoying sharpening halos. Especially this one:
http://www.dvdbeaver...VDReviews43/the dark knight blu-ray bale ledger/large1/dark knight blu-ray3.jpg
I would really caution people about assuming all "halos" are the product of edge enhancement. I saw this movie three times in three different theaters (Mann Village, well known/respected, a new multiplex in Century City, and in iMax at The Bridge in Culver City) and saw halos in all versions. Sometimes halos are an artifact resulting in how the film was shot, and can vary scene by scene.

In fact, I clearly remember my thought when I saw it was "wonder how long it will take before charges of EE creep up in the BD/DVD transfer of this film." And I made a mental note to remind myself to post this as soon as one crept up that I noticed.

I know we all have our standard whipping boys (EE/DNR/Grain removal) but I would caution simply badmouthing a transfer based on halos seen on a screengrab or two because I can tell you as a fact that I observed them in the theatrical prints (and all three were film, not DLP projections).

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#26 of 621 OFFLINE   Chris S

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Posted November 24 2008 - 06:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by EnricoE
i know it is mr. nolan's vision but it doesn't mean it's the better one.

This I can respect as not everyone has the same tastes. It doesn't make this version of the film any less valid even though it may not be the one you prefer. And that's fine. But if you ever get a chance to check out the IMAX version I highly recommend doing so. It might just change your mind.
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#27 of 621 OFFLINE   Jesse Blacklow

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Posted November 24 2008 - 06:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo Medina
I would really caution people about assuming all "halos" are the product of edge enhancement. I saw this movie three times in three different theaters (Mann Village, well known/respected, a new multiplex in Century City, and in iMax at The Bridge in Culver City) and saw halos in all versions. Sometimes halos are an artifact resulting in how the film was shot, and can vary scene by scene.

In fact, I clearly remember my thought when I saw it was "wonder how long it will take before charges of EE creep up in the BD/DVD transfer of this film." And I made a mental note to remind myself to post this as soon as one crept up that I noticed.
There's a difference between critiquing picture quality and gnashing one's teeth over every mistake regardless of size. Some can handle it, some can't.

The funny thing, is he already knows all this, since he's been posting about it (and studiously ignoring anybody who mentions the IMAX problem) at AVS. What's worse, is that the reviewer he's following at one point says nobody can be trusted to review this (then why should we trust him?) and then turns around and tells the many, many people who mentioned the IMAX haloes that he didn't see them. Yeah, that'll earn our trust...Posted Image
Quote:
I know we all have our standard whipping boys (EE/DNR/Grain removal) but I would caution simply badmouthing a transfer based on halos seen on a screengrab or two because I can tell you as a fact that I observed them in the theatrical prints (and all three were film, not DLP projections).
Until we get the "OMG Look at that SCREENSHOT" mentality out, we're going to have to deal with this, as you can see. Sadly, it's getting more and more difficult to convince people who have dug their heels in and put fingers in their ears that they actually have to wait until seeing the film in motion before they start spamming the threads with how horrible these films must look.
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#28 of 621 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted November 24 2008 - 06:35 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob_L
Actually, Paul, the aspect ratio switched MANY times in the IMAX theatrical print. Sometimes for just a few seconds of an establishing shot.

Thanks, Bob, I was not aware of that. I should like to see the IMAX version of this movie, so perhaps I will get a chance when it is re-released in January.

That said, I am more than willing to give this disc the benefit of the doubt, but it seems ridiculous that the IMAX scenes aren't even in their proper aspect ratios. It certainly does dilute the 'artistic integrity' angle being used to defend the changing aspect ratio decision.

Also, I find it odd that DVD Beaver wouldn't have included at least one screen grab from an IMAX scene. Posted Image
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#29 of 621 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted November 24 2008 - 07:11 AM

All that matters to me is that Nolan approved the Blu-ray release. And I know he did.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#30 of 621 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted November 24 2008 - 07:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse Blacklow
There's a difference between critiquing picture quality and gnashing one's teeth over every mistake regardless of size. Some can handle it, some can't.

The funny thing, is he already knows all this, since he's been posting about it (and studiously ignoring anybody who mentions the IMAX problem) at AVS. What's worse, is that the reviewer he's following at one point says nobody can be trusted to review this (then why should we trust him?) and then turns around and tells the many, many people who mentioned the IMAX haloes that he didn't see them. Yeah, that'll earn our trust...Posted Image
I'm a member of both forums, but this is exactly why I read my software/movie reviews here and not there. The signal to noise ratio is much better at HTF, and we have respected industry folks who know film (like RAH) who participate here and not there, for good reason. I go to AVS for hardware reviews, and even then I have to dig through 50 posts of in-fighting for every 1 of good, solid information.

EDIT: One of the things I can't stand about AVS's BD reviews are the absolute ratings on audio/video quality. For example, The Godfather BDs got an audio rating of 78 and a video rating of 84. I assume that's because it didn't look and sound like Transformers.

Here's a clue: it's not supposed to.

My belief is that a BD should represent the look and sound of the original film, and since the film was restored and transfered meticulously I don't see how this could have merited anything less than a low-to-mid 90s score.
Quote:
Until we get the "OMG Look at that SCREENSHOT" mentality out, we're going to have to deal with this, as you can see. Sadly, it's getting more and more difficult to convince people who have dug their heels in and put fingers in their ears that they actually have to wait until seeing the film in motion before they start spamming the threads with how horrible these films must look.
Unfortunately it goes even beyond seeing the film in motion because if the halos are there as a result of the filmmaking process, then it will still be visible in motion (as I saw in the Dark Knight showings I went to) and so should be there in the BD transfer. But people will see it and jump to the conclusion that edge-enhancement has been performed.

Generally if EE has been used, it will permeate the entire transfer and not just a few scenes (see original Stargate DVD transfer). If it's only in a few, select scenes one really has to be familiar with the source material and 99% of the time I (as with most people) only see the movie in the theater once and that doesn't qualify. I just happened to enjoy TDK enough to see it 3 times to become this familiar with it.

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#31 of 621 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted November 24 2008 - 07:13 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
...

Also, I find it odd that DVD Beaver wouldn't have included at least one screen grab from an IMAX scene. Posted Image

Actually a few of the DVD Beaver screen grabs are from IMAX scenes, but they cropped them to 2.35:1. All the shots of the bank robbers in masks, for example, are from the IMAX opening sequence.

Vincent

#32 of 621 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted November 24 2008 - 07:14 AM

If you want a sneak preview of how the iMax scenes looks, just go to the Dark Knight Prologue in your BD of Batman Begins. Posted Image

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#33 of 621 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted November 24 2008 - 07:21 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent_P
Actually a few of the DVD Beaver screen grabs are from IMAX scenes, but they cropped them to 2.35:1. All the shots of the bank robbers in masks, for example, are from the IMAX opening sequence.

Vincent

That's just dumb.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo Medina
If you want a sneak preview of how the iMax scenes looks, just go to the Dark Knight Prologue in your BD of Batman Begins. Posted Image

Except those scenes are apparently in the correct aspect ratio. Posted Image

Actually, I found some great screencaps in that other forum that do not appear to be compressed like DVD Beaver's. There are some good comparisons between the BB BD DK prologue and DK BD IMAX scenes in terms of color timing, which presumably wasn't finished for the BB release, and the aforementioned aspect ratio issue.

Of course, there is the usual flurry of EE acusations being bandied about there as well. Oh, well. You always have to take the good with the bad, right? Posted Image
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#34 of 621 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted November 24 2008 - 07:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
Except those scenes are apparently in the correct aspect ratio. Posted Image
Posted Image
My Dark Knight Prologue is in 1.78:1 (roughly), as it apparently is on the upcoming TDK BD. The original Imax ratio is 1.44:1, right? So it's "wrong" on both. Posted Image

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#35 of 621 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted November 24 2008 - 07:29 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlo Medina
Posted Image
My Dark Knight Prologue is in 1.78:1 (roughly), as it apparently is on the upcoming TDK BD. The original Imax ratio is 1.44:1, right? So it's "wrong" on both. Posted Image

I don't know what the exact aspect ratio is on the BB BD, but the DK prologue scenes are pillar boxed on my copy. The same prologue scenes look cropped on the DK BD (i.e. no pillar boxing).
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#36 of 621 OFFLINE   Jason Seaver

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Posted November 24 2008 - 08:01 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
it seems ridiculous that the IMAX scenes aren't even in their proper aspect ratios. It certainly does dilute the 'artistic integrity' angle being used to defend the changing aspect ratio decision.
Not really; this is just an odd case where the home video version including exactly what was on the screen in theaters would undermine the intent. If the IMAX-shot scenes were pillarboxed, then there's a good chance that the person watching it would see it as smaller than the widescreen scenes. Sure, the IMAX-ratio scenes would cover more area (1.44 square screen-heights vs 1.34 square screen-heights), but the brain probably wouldn't process it that way. If Nolan wants those scenes to come across as bigger than the rest, then cropping them to 1.78:1 is probably the best compromise.

I suspect Nolan might have wanted to do it the same way in conventional 35mm theaters, but there's no good way to do that with an anamorphic film print. (I'm now idly wondering which way digital projection would work - does that use an anamorphic lens for scope movies, or does it project 16:9 like a BD?) By that argument, both 35mm and BD are compromised, with Blu-ray compromised less.

Fortunately, changing aspect ratios mid-film isn't something the comes up very often - I think the last film to try this trick was Galaxy Quest, which abandoned it almost completely for DVD: While the film expanded from 1.85:1 to 2.35:1 at the moment
Tim Allen's character realizes he's actually in outer space
, the DVD just stays at 2.35:1 for the entire length because the alternatives were giving the trick away from the start by having blank space all around the image or having the image get smaller when the director's intent was to show the world getting larger.
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#37 of 621 OFFLINE   Chris S

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Posted November 24 2008 - 08:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
All that matters to me is that Nolan approved the Blu-ray release. And I know he did.

Same here. While I'd love to have the theatrical versions available for those that want them, Nolan's approval on this release makes this presentation just as valid as any other.
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#38 of 621 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted November 24 2008 - 08:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Seaver
Not really; this is just an odd case where the home video version including exactly what was on the screen in theaters would undermine the intent. If the IMAX-shot scenes were pillarboxed, then there's a good chance that the person watching it would see it as smaller than the widescreen scenes. Sure, the IMAX-ratio scenes would cover more area (1.44 square screen-heights vs 1.34 square screen-heights), but the brain probably wouldn't process it that way. If Nolan wants those scenes to come across as bigger than the rest, then cropping them to 1.78:1 is probably the best compromise.

That's an interesting take, and I appreciate you sharing it. That is not something I considered. Regardless, this is sure to be a very controversial release, and, unfortunately, it does not appear that it will be strictly relegated to the changing aspect ratio issue. The thread on that other forum is hoot, but it is also a bit disconcerting particular the color timing difference shown in the 'police assembly' scene when compared same scene in the trailer.
Universal Blu-ray Discs I will not be buying while they're offered only as Blu-ray + DVD 'flipper' discs:

The Jackal
, Out of Africa, and Traffic.

#39 of 621 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted November 24 2008 - 08:27 AM

Perfect seamless branching title.
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#40 of 621 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted November 24 2008 - 08:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicholas Martin
I'd say to those who haven't actually seen this disc, stop bitching until you do. Then if you don't like what you see complain then, but until that time there isn't much point. You are assuming you won't like it but it may surprise you, just as those who do want to see it this way (like myself) may end up NOT liking the shifting AR.

Long story short, just wait and see.
Your telling everyone the should pay too find out they don't like it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
All that matters to me is that Nolan approved the Blu-ray release. And I know he did.
Wonder what he watched it on (what size screen & how far away)?

EDitEDbyED:
Is it true this is the wrong widescreen & wrong IMAX OAR?
Thanks.
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HD should be for EVERYONE!


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