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The Dark Knight changing Aspect Ratio feels like a Joke


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#41 of 621 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted November 24 2008 - 08:50 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
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
I don't know why people keep stumbling over this issue. Footage used in trailers is almost never fully finished with final color timing. So of course it's going to look different.

This is about on the same level as complaining that the film must be missing something, because there's footage in the trailer that didn't make it into the film.
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#42 of 621 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted November 24 2008 - 08:59 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.

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.

And if Nolan wants to do that it's fine with me, just as long as I get the version that I saw in the theater as a choice. Nolan's approved BD version isn't the IMAX version and it isn't the the standard theatrical version. Disappearing black bars is not going to pass as some reasonable facsimile of the IMAX experience.......at least not with me. Why can't these stupid studios ever figure out that if they are going to put modified aspect ratio versions out then they had better make sure that the theatrical version is on there for the people who want the film as they saw it in the theatre.

I really don't give a crap what Nolan approves of in a later release just as long as I get a version of what I saw in the theatre.If I had seen this film in IMAX I wouldn't agree to settle for a MAR'd version on BD that is pretending to simulate the IMAX experience. Good thing this will be available for rental, because I sure won't buy it in its presently incomplete form.
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#43 of 621 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted November 24 2008 - 09:02 AM

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.

A stupid comparison. Trailers are not a basis of authority.

Is it true this is the wrong widescreen & wrong IMAX OAR?

Not exactly. IMAX has a framing of 1.44:1, because the screens are intended to go beyond peripheral vision. In other words, you aren't intended to actually "see" the whole image, but rather be enveloped by it. Often the framing of such material has a LOT of headroom due to this. The BD changes these IMAX shots to 1.78:1 in order the better replicate the IMAX experience. That experience would be compromised if the film went from 2.35:1 with black on the top and bottom to 1.44:1 with black on the sides. The intent is to have these scenes "open up" to the viewer to best replicate the intended IMAX experience.

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#44 of 621 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted November 24 2008 - 09:10 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Reuben
I don't know why people keep stumbling over this issue. Footage used in trailers is almost never fully finished with final color timing. So of course it's going to look different.

I understand this in principle, and I do not typically 'stumble' over this issue. However, I really seemed to remember it looking the way it does in the trailer in the theater vs. the color timing shown on the BD screencap.

Perhaps it is a matter of watching the trailer more often than the theatrical exhibition, as I watched that trailer to death but only saw the film theatrically once. Does anyone have a clearer recollection of that scenes theatrical color timing?
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#45 of 621 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted November 24 2008 - 09:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Arnette
I understand this in principle, and I do not typically 'stumble' over this issue.
I wasn't referring to you, Paul, but rather to some of the more excitable posters at you-know-where.

Quote:
vs. the color timing shown on the BD screencap
I don't trust screencaps in isolation from the disc itself. (I should add that I won't be getting this particular Blu-ray; so other people will have to judge.)
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#46 of 621 OFFLINE   Paul Arnette

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Posted November 24 2008 - 09:22 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Reuben
I wasn't referring to you, Paul, but rather to some of the more excitable posters at you-know-where.


I don't trust screencaps in isolation from the disc itself. (I should add that I won't be getting this particular Blu-ray; so other people will have to judge.)

Michael, no worries. I guess some of the 'excitableness' of that place has worn off on me today. Posted Image

I think I have even more reason to catch TDK at an IMAX showing when it is re-released. I will be paying particular attention to that one scene.
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#47 of 621 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted November 24 2008 - 09:38 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edwin-S
And if Nolan wants to do that it's fine with me, just as long as I get the version that I saw in the theater as a choice. Nolan's approved BD version isn't the IMAX version and it isn't the the standard theatrical version. Disappearing black bars is not going to pass as some reasonable facsimile of the IMAX experience.......at least not with me. Why can't these stupid studios ever figure out that if they are going to put modified aspect ratio versions out then they had better make sure that the theatrical version is on there for the people who want the film as they saw it in the theatre.

I really don't give a crap what Nolan approves of in a later release just as long as I get a version of what I saw in the theatre.If I had seen this film in IMAX I wouldn't agree to settle for a MAR'd version on BD that is pretending to simulate the IMAX experience. Good thing this will be available for rental, because I sure won't buy it in its presently incomplete form.
And that certainly is your right to want those things.

But it's funny, as hot a topic as this seems to be, who wants to bet that 90%+ of people who buy this disc either 1) aren't going to notice, or 2) aren't going to care? Posted Image

Seriously, agree or disagree, I understand what Nolan is doing. Here's the situation as I see it:

1. Nolan experimented with using high-end, expensive Imax cameras to shoot a small percentage of footage.
2. Nolan knows 90%+ of theaters aren't Imax equipped, so he has to create a 2.35 constant version. This may or may not be "his intent" as a director, but he's constrained by the reality of the situation. Most commercial theaters don't do "on-the-fly movable mattes" so if it's not an Imax screen, it's gotta be a constant AR.
3. He's got a percentage of the movie that has a different AR than the rest, but nearly 6X the resolution which some home theaters can take advantage of. For those with true 1080p sets, just check out how sharp the Dark Knight Prologue looks on the Batman Begins Blu Ray, it blows the Batman Begins picture away, no comparison! On my Sony KDS-60A3000 it's not even close, I was actually disappointed in the BB part because TDK Prologue looked so sharp.

So what's he to do for the BD release? He's got this 20% (as someone else posted, I don't have the figures) of the film in hi-res that he paid for and shot. He wants to transfer its benefits to home video. Yes the 1.78 does not equal 1.44 but I can pretty much say that no one has a true Imax screen at home. So he does the next best thing in his mind (and here's where it's each individual's right to agree or disagree with Nolan):

He decides that he has to get the higher res benefits of the Imax footage he shot to home video, and that means using the Imax stock and not the 2.35 picture. Rather than simply hard matte it to 2.35 (which would defeat the "opening up" effect he created in the Imax showings, even though the 1.78 does not have quite the same level of dramatic effect, 1.44 pillarbox would have the opposite effect on home video), he opens it up to the industry-standard 1.78 for widescreen HDTVs. So really it's not much different than what he did when he created a 2.35 constant picture, he kowtowed to the industry standards. Except now he's still trying to preserve the benefits of Imax in any way he can.

Can I blame him? Personally, no, I understand why he did it, and to me it doesn't bother me. Will some people be bothered? Of course. Can't please everyone. But my guess is that most of the home video buyers won't notice or care.

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#48 of 621 OFFLINE   OliverK

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Posted November 24 2008 - 09:58 AM

So much debate over changing aspect ratios - next time Christopher Nolan should do the right thing and do the whole movie in standard 70mm Posted Image

#49 of 621 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted November 24 2008 - 10:15 AM

I don't plan on buying this, a rental is just fine. If the AR change is drastic enough to be a big distraction I'll wait and hope for a release that sticks to one AR.
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#50 of 621 ONLINE   Robert Harris

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Posted November 24 2008 - 11:01 AM

Some thoughts on DK. I finally had the pleasure of seeing the film in IMAX at a screening last week.

A few shots gave the appearance, if not reality, of having occasional digititis for a few frames. Aspect ratio appeared to be at somewhere around 1.85 at the widest, and not 2.39 during the normal (non-IMAX) portions of the film. My eyes could have been playing tricks on me, but it didn't look as wide as normal Panavision.

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#51 of 621 OFFLINE   Vincent_P

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Posted November 24 2008 - 11:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Harris
Some thoughts on DK. I finally had the pleasure of seeing the film in IMAX at a screening last week.

A few shots gave the appearance, if not reality, of having occasional digititis for a few frames. Aspect ratio appeared to be at somewhere around 1.85 at the widest, and not 2.39 during the normal (non-IMAX) portions of the film. My eyes could have been playing tricks on me, but it didn't look as wide as normal Panavision.

Where did you see it in IMAX, Robert? When I saw it in Manhattan at the Loews IMAX on 68th Street (I think they had the New York premiere there), the 35mm portions were definitely Panavision aspect ratio.

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#52 of 621 OFFLINE   ManW_TheUncool

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Posted November 24 2008 - 11:45 AM

I (only) saw the IMAX version and have somewhat mixed feelings about this director approved, but still likely compromised, IMAX-influenced version on BD. I agree w/ some others that I won't know whether the changing AR in this version will work out perfectly fine until I get to experience it in my own home -- and no doubt, the experience will vary depending on each person's setup, particularly wrt screen-size-to-viewing-distance ratio.

FWIW, I'm not sure I liked all the IMAX blowups in the IMAX version either. Posted Image I liked the IMAX prologue and the environmental/atmospheric immersion afforded in various shots and scenes, but at least in one or two instances, I didn't care much for what essentially amounted to incredibly blown up headshots, IIRC.

As for the talk of director intended OAR, it's not too clear to me what that *actually* is in this case. But unlike the case w/ Storraro, Nolan hasn't waited a decade or two (or more) before trying to con us into believing what the proper OAR should be (and not just for the one flick either). Posted Image Posted Image

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#53 of 621 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted November 24 2008 - 12:41 PM

I have a plasma in my store and we have been playing the prologue
from Begins over and over for the last few days for people to watch
and hopefully pre order Dark Knight,
anyway the plasma has no overscan and
the prologue has slight bars on the sides,
wouldn't this indicate a 1.66:1 ratio?
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#54 of 621 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted November 24 2008 - 12:47 PM

Quote:
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).
Quote:
I have a plasma in my store and we have been playing the prologue
from Begins over and over for the last few days for people to watch
and hopefully pre order Dark Knight,
anyway the plasma has no overscan and
the prologue has slight bars on the sides,
wouldn't this indicate a 1.66:1 ratio?
Aha, could be. My KDS-A3000 is a rear-projection with about 4% overscan, so it's no wonder I don't see those side bars. But if it were the true 1.44:1 ratio I would be seeing almost Academy aspect type of bars (1.33:1) and I most certainly do not.

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#55 of 621 OFFLINE   Robert George

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Posted November 24 2008 - 01:13 PM

Quote:
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.

Well, for the sake of debate, I have seen this film both ways on video (IMAX and constant matted to 2.40:1). I found the 2.40 version plays more seamlessly. The IMAX version can be distracting with the shifting AR.

As to shifting aspect ratios and the director's intent, the shape of the frame is not the reason to use IMAX. IMAX format offers a huge increase in resolution and depth over 35mm scope photography, but that only works in an actual IMAX venue. Seen in IMAX, the 70mm IMAX shots would be breathtaking. However, transferred to video, even HD, the maximum resolution is about 2K and it doesn't change when the AR changes. The IMAX effect is lost on video, therefore, there is no good reason to change the AR.

Nolan may have wanted the BR to be formatted this way, but that does not make it a good idea.

#56 of 621 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted November 24 2008 - 01:16 PM

In order to be faithful to the IMAX cut, the BluRay would have to look like this for 75% of the film:

Posted Image

#57 of 621 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted November 24 2008 - 01:36 PM

^

why is that?
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#58 of 621 OFFLINE   Edwin-S

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Posted November 24 2008 - 01:50 PM

Maintains a constant width, I believe.
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#59 of 621 OFFLINE   Bryan X

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Posted November 24 2008 - 01:55 PM

Count me as one who isn't happy about the shifting AR on the Blu-ray. This is not the version I saw in theaters. I respect the directors right to release it any way he wants, and on the same token, I have the right not to buy it. That's about all there is to it.

It does seem, strange, though, that both versions couldn't be put on the disc via seamless branching or whatever. Wasn't all that capacity of a Blu-ray disc one of it's main selling points?

Note: I think part of my aversion to this is that it reminds me of the atrocious "Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course" movie from 2002 and its shifting aspect ratios! Posted Image

Please don't shoot me for speaking of The Dark Knight and the Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course in the same post! Posted Image

#60 of 621 OFFLINE   Carlo Medina

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Posted November 24 2008 - 02:26 PM

Quote:
However, transferred to video, even HD, the maximum resolution is about 2K and it doesn't change when the AR changes. The IMAX effect is lost on video, therefore, there is no good reason to change the AR.
On the surface this makes sense (as 35mm film theoretically has more resolution than 2K). But I still can't reconcile how much better TDK Prologue looks on my HDTV than the Batman Begins portion of the BD. It may be the same pixel count, but the IMax-shot TDK Prologue just looks much sharper than the film Batman Begins. And it's not close, to my eyes.

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