Ok, back to the primary purpose of this thread! As I've said before, I was, prior to this thread's inception, largely of the view that with regard to open-matte transfers, more is more.
However, even though I slowly but surely revised my opinion, it just so happens that until very recently, I still held out, solely in the case of Harryhausen's 1:1.85 films. This was simply because of some of the above quoted interviews from him, saying that he preferred the academy ratio for his own work.
Prior to now owning all six RH films currently available on BD, I'd assiduously collected everything of his on DVD. Four films can be seen in open matte: The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms can only be had this way anywhere. The original region 1 DVDs of 20 Million Miles to Earth & Jason and the Argonauts are widescreen/fullscreen flippers, whilst The 3 Worlds of Gulliver is fullscreen-only in region 1 & widescreen-only on the UK region 2 disc... phew!
Anyhoo, when watching by myself, I've always gone for the fullscreen versions (with original mono, of course), because that's what Ray preferred. After watching them all again thusly just recently though, I'd finally come to exactly the same conclusion that Nick expressed, in post #2588:
"And let's not forget that Ray Harryhausen, like with nearly all the films he worked on, was neither the director, producer or cinematographer on Jason and the Argonauts. Even if he arguably "directed" the effects sequences, and admittedly it's those effects sequences that audiences come for, they do not make up the majority of the film. I really don't think it's appropriate to leave the final word up to him."
Lastly, I hesitate to say this, for fear of being thought of as a the-screen-must-be-filled-at-all-costs obsessive, but when watching on a screen of constant image height (mine's 1:1.85), as well as all that annoying wasted space top & bottom, the academy ratio for Ray's films just makes everything smaller. That, of course, means smaller, far less impressive monsters - & they are the stars of the films, so it's actually doing them a disservice.
I love Ray's work as much as anyone else out there: I grew up with them & consider them a part of my DNA. As demonstrated, I've spent a lot of money & effort collecting them & building the facility to be able to watch them in the best conditions possible. I know them inside out & have seen each of them more times than I can possibly remember.
After all this, & only after all this, & not relying on screencaps, Youtube clips or hazy memories of decades of open matte TV broadcasts, I've come to the inescapable conclusion that they all look unquestionably better in their theatrical OAR.
But hey, you know, if seeing them in academy happens to work for you, do it - seriously!
Edited by Brenty, May 19 2013 - 06:14 AM.