16x9 anamorphic 1.66:1...Has Warner FINALLLY done it!!!???!!!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by DaViD Boulet, May 30, 2003.

  1. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Still feeling nervous about getting too excited before it's 100% confirmed by folks here at HTF...

    Regarding the new Giant DVD from WB, this from dvdfile review:

     
  2. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    I would hope King Kong, would be a candidate for this type of transfer.
     
  3. Jeremy

    Jeremy Stunt Coordinator

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  4. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  5. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    Ok...nevermind...apparently the dvdfile review is in error:

     
  6. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    North By Northwest is 1.78:1, but that's correct for the film.

    In fact, NxNW on DVD has the widest picture compared to its VHS and LD counterparts.
     
  7. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden Producer
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    When I saw NxNW projected at the Detroit Film Theater (who are normally sticklers for such details as aspect ratio), it was closer to 1.66:1. than 1.78:1

    Regards,
     
  8. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    This is a puzzling error from DVDFile, as a non-anamorphic 1.66:1 DVD will have black bars on all four sides of a widescreen display (unless you "zoom" into it), and on the top and bottom of a 4X3 display. The only way you're gonna see black bars on just the sides is if it's either zoomed on a widescreen display or anamorphically encoded.

    It's very disappointing that WB will not, despite cries from the masses, get aboard the "yes, there's a resolution increase on an anamorphic display, and yes, it reduces visible scan lines and line structure on 4X3 sets with anamorphic chips, so yes, we should anamorphically enhance 1.66:1 productions" bandwagon. MGM is their companion in remaining stubbornly behind the technology loop on this matter (with the good folks at Paramount, Anchor Bay, and elsewhere happily current with the technology). Warner Bros. excels in so many other DVD areas ... this remains frustrating.

    I had the pleasure of seeing Giant during its last theatrical re-release. It's a fantastic motion picture (James Dean left me stunned with the power he brings to his role), and I'm sure this DVD, despite lack of anamorphic enhancement, will be well worth acquiring. Those who find themselves interested in George Stevens' career (he directed the picture) would do well to also seek out WB's lovely DVD of Alice Adams, Paramount's terrific edition of A Place in the Sun, and MGM's edition of The Greatest Story Ever Told -- which I love, particularly for Charlton Heston as John the Baptist, a role he was born to play, but I know many disagree with my enthusiasm for the picture [​IMG]. You could also check out Shane, but the head of the studio himself, Adolph Zukor, said at the time that it was meant for widescreen display (note his letter found on this page) ...

    http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/wingvv1.htm

    ... so the current 1.33:1 edition isn't all it could be.
     
  9. Chris Will

    Chris Will Screenwriter

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    Hasn't WB released DVD that are enhanced for 16:9 TVs before. My Sony Wega has a 16:9 enhanced mode and when I watch The Matrix I turn 16:9 on and it is in the correct OAR of 2.35:1. I know I have some other WB that do this too. Does "enhanced for widescreen TVs" and "anamorphic widescreen" mean something different? I thought that they basically meant the same thing.
     
  10. LukeB

    LukeB Cinematographer

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  11. Doug Schiller

    Doug Schiller Supporting Actor

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    DVDFile makes a HUGE error and what do they do? Just change 2 words in their review.
    He should have devoted an entire paragraph on why this type of formatting is unacceptable.
    I believe he did it for the Clockwork Orange & Barry Lyndon reviews.

    Shame, I always look at DVDFile's reviews first.

    Doug
     
  12. John Hodson

    John Hodson Producer

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  13. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    As far as OAR, SHANE is a special case that was originally intended for 1.33:1 and got caught in the industry's transition to wide screen, which is why they decided to show it as a 1.66:1 release. So, the current version is not cropped and could be called open-matte, but it could also be called OAR.
     
  14. Luis Esp

    Luis Esp Supporting Actor

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    Wow! At least Disney/Buena Vista does anamorphic for their 1.66:1 dvds. Damn, their current direct to video release of "Milo's Return" is anamorphic and has DTS track.

    Go figure.
     
  15. Jeffrey Gray

    Jeffrey Gray Second Unit

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  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Jeffrey, due to the overscan on virtually all 4x3 TV sets, I doubt that hardly any owners of these sets would even know that a 1.66:1 transfer was anamorphic or not. However, the difference on 16x9 sets is quite noticable. Since every studio except Warner and MGM support anamorphic 1.66:1 transfers without any complaints from 4x3 TV owners, WB and MGM's position is more due to ignorance or indifference, IMO.

     
  17. Dan Hitchman

    Dan Hitchman Cinematographer

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    A no sale for me.

    Dan
     
  18. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    My Sony Wega has sufficient overscan that anamorphically enhanced 1.66:1 (most Disney animation, Anchor Bay's edition of Army of Darkness, and scores of other titles) offers no side bars, and looks indistinguishable from 1.78:1 anamorphic. It's a 4X3 set with a "vertical compression chip," i.e. anamorphic mode.

    What I said originally still goes: for owners of 4X3 direct view sets with an anamorphic mode, scan lines and horizontal line structure are dramatically reduced with 1.66:1 anamorphic material, increasing the film-like nature of the viewing. For both 4X3 and 16X9 set owners (and for front projection owners as well -- note The Big Picture's reviews of 1.66:1 anamorphic product such as Damage, to name just one), the consensus among professional reviewers (not just loony film lovers like me) is that a notable increase in resolution and film-like quality can be seen when 1.66:1 material is anamorphically encoded. The quality of the encoding and source are always an issue, of course, but with professional, careful encoding, the benefits are there, and many times over for us 4X3 anamorphic set owners.

    If Jeffrey's comments about a "smaller" image are meant to indicate any loss in utilized vertical space (?), that's incorrect and should be cleared up: on an anamorphic display, both 4X3 and 16X9 sets, the picture uses the full horizontal resolution (lines measured from top to bottom) of the set when anamorphically encoded. Look at a 1.78:1 film and a 1.66:1 film, both of them anamorphic: they take up the same vertical space (the vertical height of the television's 1.78:1 anamorphic frame). The only dead space (true bars, or loss of screen real estate) will be on the sides (reducing 1.78:1 to 1.66:1), but again overscan will make these invisible on many sets. All widescreen films have "bars" at the top and bottom of a 4X3 television, whether or not they are anamorphically encoded. But on an anamorphic 4X3 set, the "real" resolution in the 16X9 (1.78:1) frame created by the television for anamorphic material is the same as the full horizontal resolution of the set at 4X3 -- thus vertical space which is wasted on the black bars at the top and bottom of a non-anamorphically encoded widescreen film (even at 1.66:1) is used, and the film gains resolution (horizontal resolution, or pixels of resolution).

    It's difficult not to sound obtuse when hashing through this -- to visualize just what "anamorphic" means, think of a scope picture (let's say 2.35:1) recorded on film. In Panavision, for instance, the film frame is 1.37:1, and the 2.35:1 picture is "squeezed" horizontally by the lenses that capture the image so that it fills the frame, leaving no dead space at the top or bottom. That's essentially correct, and offers the visual I'm after: all vertical space (top to bottom) is used by squeezing the image so that everything appears "thin," elongated. Thus the image uses resolution that would otherwise be wasted if the image were recorded unsqueezed in 2.35:1 (thick bars of unused negative would adorn the top and bottom of every frame). Project it through the proper lens, and that squeezed image is pulled or "stretched" back to its proper proportions, and you've succeeded in recording a very rectangular image on an only slightly rectangular negative without wasting any negative space.*

    Ditto for your television screen. A 1.66:1 film "wastes" thin bars of screen resolution at the top and bottom of the screen. "Squeeze" that film to 1.33:1, then "unsqueeze" it on an anamorphically capable television, and you've used that excess space otherwise wasted. If we had 2.35:1 televisions, we could do the same for scope, but widescreen televisions are 1.78:1, and thus so is the home video anamorphic spec -- films wider than 1.78:1 still use more vertical space with anamorphic encoding than without it, but black bars remain above and below to fit the 2.35:1 image in a 1.78:1 rectangle. This, of course, applies to any ratio wider than 1.78:1; I'm using 2.35:1 here only because of its commonality.

    Anything wider that 1.33/1.37:1 benefits from anamorphic encoding. 1.66:1 films lose a bit of vertical resolution on the sides, but the horizontal gain has been demonstrated, time and time again, to make this a negligible concern, and for most of us with 4X3 anamorphic televisions, no concern at all, because overscan eats up that vertical space anyway.

    To address John and Gerardo about Shane: the current release should be, essentially, an open matte picture, but another thread here found testimony that some cropping on the sides has actually take place (possibly a question of frame positioning and overscan, but possibly something else). Here's the thread:

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=16402

    Now, this is one of many threads concerning this film, but note Todd Phillips' comments and screenshots, and Robert Harris' comment (Mr. Harris is a professional within the business who has restored many films, for those who don't know). All agree that it was shot 1.37:1 and often exhibited (as per the comments from the head of Paramount) 1.66:1 (I believe all 1.66:1 films are shot 1.37 and then matted, but of course the cinematographer must allow the space for matting in his compositions if this is to look right) -- thus the latter ratio is valid and offers the possibility for anamorphic enhancement. While the 1.37:1 ratio is valid as well (though perhaps not true to its theatrical exhibition, and certainly not the way Adolph Zucker wanted it remembered -- as per his letter), it would appear that some minor cropping occurred on the sides in addition to removing the mattes.

    This, combined with the missing line of dialogue at the end (one which just about everyone seems to agree should be there) ...

    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...hreadid=102005

    ... leads me to consider the DVD less than it could be (I haven't confirmed the missing dialogue myself, but I'm happy to trust the members here who checked). It's still a good disc; I own it. While I've never seen Shane theatrically, and in fact hadn't read any of these threads when I first watched the DVD, I have to tell ya' ... some scenes look a bit cramped. This isn't the case in any other Stevens film I've watched, and he'd been making movies for quite some time when Shane began shooting (pardon the pun [​IMG]).

    There are many around here who obviously disagree with this (the many threads attest to that), but I just can't bring myself to include it with what I consider the "best" representations of George Stevens films on DVD. By all means judge for yourself (it's a fine film and this edition is worth owning), but I come down on the "could be better" side of the fence. I'd like it to be 1.66:1 and enhanced (ala Paramount's The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance). I fully expect several folks to state, justifiably and definitively, that it shouldn't be. Such is life. It just doesn't look as good as it should to my eye, and that's my final litmus test. I'm sure Adolph Zucker is grinning in the great beyond, and perhaps George Stevens and Loyal Griggs are cursing -- but I hope not. [​IMG]

    * If I have any of these numbers wrong, or have left a sliver of negative unaccounted for, I'm sure corrections will come swift as the hand of fate. [​IMG] And of course I welcome such. According to TWM (see my link in the previous post), the "silent" aperture negative was 1.33:1, and once sound came into the picture, that aperture became 1.37:1. I'm still not sure why it gained, rather than lost, horizontal width with the addition of a soundtrack -- perhaps it was simply a new breed of negative? Less than a mm of difference, and thus still 35mm? Or the same width with a bit more space between frames, and thus a slight decrease in vertical negative space (less than a sprocket hole)? Whatever the case, flat films in the sound era should generally be 1.37:1 (with some widescreen processes using the silent aperture of 1.33:1), and thus the numbers as they appear above.
     
  19. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Look at next post by me.

    I really should proofrud.
     
  20. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Well said, Patrick. Exactly so.
     

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