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MGM/UA Did it again: Windowboxing on opening credits of Moonraker!!!

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#1 of 68 OFFLINE   EnricoE


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Posted March 21 2009 - 10:38 AM

honestly, what's the bullshit of doing windowboxing on the opening credits of movies? mgm did it on thunderball and now they did again with moonraker.

studios should finally know that in the age of blu-ray or any other high-def medium is that we don't wanna see the old habbits.

here is a picture from the blu-ray.

Posted Image

as you can see this is quite a big windowboxing applied here. the top and bottom bars don't change, which leads to the assumption that the picture has been squezzed in.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image from me to mgm/ua!!!


i just checked goldfinger and the world is not enough. while goldfinger is ok, the world is not enough also got some pillarboxing treatment.

Posted Image

it's not as bad as thunderball or moonraker but you can clearly see on the picture above that earth ain't round anymore. i gonna check the other bonds released on br too for this stupid pillarboxing.

#2 of 68 OFFLINE   MatthewA



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Posted March 21 2009 - 11:38 AM

Technically the world ISN'T round anyway. It's an oblate spheroid. But I see what you mean. I don't see the point in this practice anymore.

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#3 of 68 OFFLINE   Powell&Pressburger



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Posted March 21 2009 - 11:49 AM

Sometimes the title sequences are produced in a slightly different ratio this happens a lot... I was watching the Criterion release of Opening Night last nite and the title sequence is in more of a pillarboxed ratio... don't worry you are getting the full image you are supposed to see. This doesn't happen to much but even on classic films some of the title cards such as on Notorious (Hitchcock) are in more of a 1:19:1 ratio. You are getting the full image it was how it was created. I think it is more obvious when you get used to 16:9 presentations etc.. you really start noticing things you never used to.

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#4 of 68 OFFLINE   Simon Young

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Posted March 21 2009 - 02:00 PM

This is wrong. I saw The World Is Not Enough twice in cinemas (for my sins) and the oil-covered globe in the opening titles was perfectly round. One only has to glance at the image of Roger Moore to see it has been horizontally squeezed. Even the text looks wrong. What's even worse is that the amount of distortion isn't even consistent across all the films. Talk about shoddy. I'm assuming this is done so that people with large amounts of over-scan on their TVs will still be able to read the credits. However, I don't think there is ever an excuse for distorting the image like that. There are ways to defeat over-scan, but there's no way to defeat these crappy distorted images. Maurice Binder should be spinning in his grave!

#5 of 68 OFFLINE   Dan M

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Posted March 21 2009 - 02:20 PM

I believe you are correct. But the days of older tv's with large amounts of overscan shouldn't be so much of an issue anymore. I use a projector that has NO overscan and I would imagine the majority of newer widescreen sets shouldn't have too much of an overscan issue as well. At least not enought to warrant the practice of distorting opening title sequences ( or windowboxing) in order to minimize cropping of titles and credits. Seems almost as usless as excessive DNR and edge enhancement

#6 of 68 OFFLINE   Spymaster



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Posted March 22 2009 - 12:10 AM

SIGH I guess it was too much to ask that these Bond discs would be perfect. One can only hope that the UE DVD issues have been fixed with some of the other, yet to be released titles. This windowboxing does strike me as a very odd way to "restore" a film... Still, it gives them an excuse to do them AGAIN a few years down the road.

#7 of 68 OFFLINE   PaulDA



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Posted March 22 2009 - 12:45 AM

I watched Thunderball last night. The credits thing was annoying (unnecessary--unless (and I very much doubt it) those specific moments are not available in a proper form like the rest of the film) though it did not ruin the entire experience. However, if "overscan" is the reason, then there are some displays with SERIOUS overscan issues. Even if some of the edges of the image get cropped, the actual text is far enough away from the edges to be in little danger of being lost to overscanning. I can turn it on or off with my PJ, and I should have thought to check last night, but the next time I give this a whirl (and it'll be relatively soon--I'd forgotten how nice the "Bond girls" were in this one, it's been over 15 years since I last watched it), I will enable overscan to see what happens.
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#8 of 68 OFFLINE   Chad R

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Posted March 22 2009 - 01:26 AM

My set is a CRT with some nasty overscan on the right of the image. However, MGM has my permission to NOT dumb down releases because I've put off buying a new set this long. Others shouldn't be inconvenienced on my account.

#9 of 68 OFFLINE   Paul_Warren


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Posted March 22 2009 - 05:45 AM

Its obviously very wrong to do this but I can guess why they did it: 1: The majority of BD buyers will have a 16:9 HDTV. 2: The majority of those will use some form of digital zoom to make the 2:35 framing fill their 16:9 HDTV. 3: If you view those titles when they are zoomed to fill a 16:9 HDTV even with overscan tolerances I can guess they fill the screen still. I know several people who complain if the material does not fill their beloved 16:9 HDTV some even zoom 4:3 material and are happy with it!!! Some zoom 2:35 even if it cuts off vital PQ info I have tried to educate them but they are happy to lose PQ to have a full screen image which is inferior as the digital zoom obviously removes PQ detail.

#10 of 68 OFFLINE   PaulDA



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Posted March 22 2009 - 07:21 AM

This makes more sense to me as a reason than mere "overscan" protection. I know several people who have NEVER accepted "black bars" and always went with "full screen" SD DVD back in the day and employ their zoom function with reckless abandon. I used to try to "educate" people I saw doing this but, in the end, it was too much effort for too little reward (not to mention some people got testy about it and thought me "snobbish" and "elitest"). If someone is getting into HT and comes to me for advice, I show them stuff on my gear (not top of the line, but adequate enough to illustrate the advantages of doing it correctly) and I've been successful with some on that score. However, if they're already set in their ways, I don't bother anymore.
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#11 of 68 OFFLINE   Hamilton72


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Posted March 22 2009 - 07:36 AM

It does seem slightly wrong, though, that classic movies which are being released in a so-called "definitive" presentation are catering to the lowest common demoninator of movie watchers.
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#12 of 68 OFFLINE   Lord Dalek

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Posted March 22 2009 - 09:42 AM

In the case of Thunderball, the windowboxing was also present on the 1999 dvd so its possible it might actually be that way on the original print.

#13 of 68 OFFLINE   Brian Borst

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Posted March 22 2009 - 10:42 AM

I thought the credits were always put in the 'overscan safe zone', so to speak. Or is that something of recent years? That wouldn't explain the windowboxing on The World Is Not Enough, though.
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#14 of 68 OFFLINE   Guy Martin

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Posted March 22 2009 - 11:26 AM

There may also be contractual concerns here. I work "in the biz" so to speak and most actor and department head contracts specify where, when and how their names appear in the opening credits of the film on both release prints and home video. It could be that MGM is nervous that someone's name might get trimmed by overscan and they could end up with a breach of contract lawsuit. This is why many older films had their credits presented in letterbox even in the bad old days of VHS (or were panned-and-scanned in such a away so as to preserve everyone's name). Still one would think that with a film as recent and TWINE the title designer would just make sure all the names appeared in the video "title safe" area even on the theatrical prints. - Guy

#15 of 68 OFFLINE   Simon Young

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Posted March 22 2009 - 12:17 PM

I don't see how this explanation makes any more sense. I mean, if the studio is indeed pandering to people who like their HDTV screens filled, why stop at distorting the credits? Why not distort - or better still, crop - the entire film?! If the idiots don't care about missing picture information, they're certainly not going to start crying if a few people's names get cut off during the credits. So why distort them in the first place? It doesn't make sense. Besides which, I've not seen this happen with any other Blu-ray titles. If people are in the habit of zooming/cropping, surely they would be used to seeing people's names cut off. No, I'm certain this is about over-scan. Guy's point about contractual concerns may be correct, but ultimately it's about making sure those names get seen.

#16 of 68 OFFLINE   Will_B



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Posted March 22 2009 - 01:30 PM

They've got to be using old masters -- cleaning them up maybe, but not going back to the celluloid. There's no way they'd make these mistakes today if they were making fresh transfers from celluloid.
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#17 of 68 OFFLINE   EnricoE


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Posted March 22 2009 - 02:49 PM

for anyone who assumes that mgm/ua didn't fuck things up as the titles where created that way should look closer into the special features. their you'll find the opening credit video without text and without any distortion from the windowboxing. in short some idiot thought this windowboxing needs to be done!!! btw, thunderball also had the opening credits video without the titles included

#18 of 68 OFFLINE   ATimson


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Posted March 22 2009 - 04:04 PM

That just shows that the windowboxing happened between when the titles were shot and when the discs were produced. The unsqueezed textless version isn't proof that the squeezing didn't exist in some/all of the release prints.
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#19 of 68 OFFLINE   Stephen Brooks

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Posted March 22 2009 - 04:28 PM

Could someone please explain this whole overscan thing? I got my first 16x9 TV about a year ago, and I'm sure it has overscan because 1.78:1, 1.66:1, and 1.85:1 titles all fill the screen completely. But the image doesn't appear cropped or distorted in any way.
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#20 of 68 OFFLINE   Will_B



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Posted March 22 2009 - 06:21 PM

Even if some prints have the distorted image, that could have been corrected during the scanning of the film. I.e., make a higher-than-high-res scan of the distorted opening credit sequence (if there's no pristine, undistorted opening credit sequence to be found), and then stretch it horizontally until it is perfect again -- 5% or whatever is needed. (Or until the round globe is round instead of oval!). I've got to believe that they must have saved the original, pristine-quality opening credit sequences somewhere. They invested so much time in them. To think some of them may only exist in bastardized form is sad. Bond without perfect opening credit sequences is like ...like Benny Hill without perfect sequences of the Hills Angels.
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