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Lord Dalek

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The thing that kills me with the additional picture on IMAX screens is that it's a complete gimmick -- 1.85:1 has been a standard aspect ratio for theatrical exhibition for years, after all. Now, instead of one definitive framing, we have most major tentpoles having to compromise serving two different aspect ratios when framing. It reminds me of the early days of HDTV, when the standard definition broadcasts were still 4x3 but the HD broadcasts were 16x9. You'd always end up with a bunch of dead space on the sides since everything essential had to fit inside the 4x3 crop.
Well composing for multiple aspect ratios has been a thing since Super 35 showed up in the late 80s so its not anything new.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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Well composing for multiple aspect ratios has been a thing since Super 35 showed up in the late 80s so its not anything new.
With Super 35, though, they were still composing shots for 2.39:1. Depending on the production, they may or may not have protected the rest of the frame to be opened up for TV and home video.
 

JoshZ

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Well composing for multiple aspect ratios has been a thing since Super 35 showed up in the late 80s so its not anything new.

With Super 35, though, they were still composing shots for 2.39:1. Depending on the production, they may or may not have protected the rest of the frame to be opened up for TV and home video.

Right, there's a big difference between protecting for open matte and actively composing for it.
 

Neil S. Bulk

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To bring this back to No Time To Die, does the BD have extras? Just looked at the iTunes version and there are no extras which just seems odd. I don’t remember the last time a major big budget film did not include extras on iTunes.
It looks like "Being James Bond" is now part of the iTunes version as well.
 

Chuck_Kahn

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but "IMAX Enhanced" actually creates a lesser image on my setup!

Indy Guy doesn't get a vote. Clearly biased due to investment in 2.35 screen setup. (BTW, 2.35 looks great on IMAX screens.) Dr. Kerns H. Powers of SMPTE did the math in 1984 (or was it 1996?) and found 16:9 the perfect compromise between 2.35 and 4:3 --https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/16:9_aspect_ratio#History
 

Indy Guy

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Except that very few theatrical films are shot in 16x9. 1.85 is the common format and until recently that format was usually rescanned to 16x9 for flat panel display. Today most new releases are mastered at the correct 1.85 ratio, which requires compromising small black bars on all 16x9 sets.
Why does my vote not count because I don't want to view compromised images?
When a 1.85 (or wider) picture is detected, I widen the projected image to show the film at a consistent height on a wider surface without black bars reducing dramatic impact. If all aspect ratios from 4x3 to 2.35 maintain equal height, the drama of expanded scope increases along with the aspect ratios.
Vertical expansion goes against the way our eyes are situated to view the world around us. When driving you look left and right to get your bearings...not up. Height information is far less critical, as eyes use expanded horizontal information and scope to create 3D perception.
In a massive IMAX theater the experience is different as the intent is to get all edges of the screen beyond the extent of vision. For most home viewing, this is not possible. A 16x9 IMAX image is displayed exactly like a normal 16x9 presentation without sense of added grandeur. A 4x3 IMAX image on a fixed panel 16x9 screen is even a far more serious exercise in impact reduction!
 

jayembee

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This part actually blows my mind. Movies being shot in wide ARs with the intention of being shown theatrically is one thing but, the move to shoot TV shows wider than 16:9 makes no sense for a medium that will never be shown on wider screens.

I know, I know…artistic reasons. Fine, that seems to be what people say just to try and end the conversation.

It depends. Most "widescreen-ratio" TV shows pick a ratio and commit to the entire thing being that ratio.

The Expanse -- starting with the move from Syfy to Amazon Prime with Season 4 -- has been a two-ratio affair. Scenes in space are at 2.00:1, whereas planet-bound scenes are 2.35:1.
 

jayembee

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I've never really understood why some people find a rectangle inherently superior to a square or vice-versa. Cinematic to me has always been more about size than shape. But I wonder if the generation that grew up with DVD actually sees the presence of black bars are being somehow "cinematic."

I would argue that it's about content, not shape or size. A while back, in another thread ("What Is It About the 1.66:1 Ratio That I Love So Much?"), I wrote:

"I think the real point isn't how large the image is, but what the content of the image is. The Mona Lisa's "aspect ratio" is roughly 1.50:1. The Last Supper's aspect ratio is roughly 1.90:1. Both paintings are masterpieces, but neither one would look right if the former was 1.90:1 and the latter 1.50:1."
 

JoshZ

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The Expanse -- starting with the move from Syfy to Amazon Prime with Season 4 -- has been a two-ratio affair. Scenes in space are at 2.00:1, whereas planet-bound scenes are 2.35:1.

Actually, in The Expanse, all of the scenes set in our solar system are 16:9 (seasons 1-4) or 2.0:1 (seasons 5-6). That makes up the majority of the show, and almost all of it is in space. From season 4 onward, parts of the story take place in other systems beyond the Ring Gate. Those are 2.35:1, and are mostly planet-bound.

The just-concluded final season only has short 2.35:1 segments at the beginning of each episode.

Seasons 1-3 - All 16:9
Season 4 - VAR 16:9 (Sol system) / 2.35:1 (beyond the Ring Gate)
Seasons 5-6 - VAR 2.0:1 (Sol system) / 2.35:1 (beyond the Ring Gate)
 

jayembee

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I love both tomorrow never dies and for your eyes only!

I had the special edition tomorrow never dies dvd too. I bought it before I owned a DVD player! I just had to have it right away.

Nice to know I'm not the only one who loves Tomorrow Never Dies. I think it's been unfairly dismissed. The pre-credits sequence, especially, which I think is the best pre-credits sequence in the entire franchise.
 

Osato

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Nice to know I'm not the only one who loves Tomorrow Never Dies. I think it's been unfairly dismissed. The pre-credits sequence, especially, which I think is the best pre-credits sequence in the entire franchise.

It’s a great 007 film. Something we haven’t had in a while / years.

I have time to buy tomorrow never dies on 4k UHd Blu-ray too.
 

Worth

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Except that very few theatrical films are shot in 16x9. 1.85 is the common format and until recently that format was usually rescanned to 16x9 for flat panel display. Today most new releases are mastered at the correct 1.85 ratio, which requires compromising small black bars on all 16x9 sets...
Is a 1.78 version of a 1.85 film really any kind of compromise? It's not as though anything is being cropped. There's a greater variation than that anytime you see a film projected theatrically.
 

Worth

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Nice to know I'm not the only one who loves Tomorrow Never Dies. I think it's been unfairly dismissed. The pre-credits sequence, especially, which I think is the best pre-credits sequence in the entire franchise.
It's the only Brosnan Bond I like.
 

Indy Guy

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I would argue that it's about content, not shape or size. A while back, in another thread ("What Is It About the 1.66:1 Ratio That I Love So Much?"), I wrote:

"I think the real point isn't how large the image is, but what the content of the image is. The Mona Lisa's "aspect ratio" is roughly 1.50:1. The Last Supper's aspect ratio is roughly 1.90:1. Both paintings are masterpieces, but neither one would look right if the former was 1.90:1 and the latter 1.50:1."
Your comparisons are absolutely valid. I would add that Walt Disney put a fortune into filming Sleeping Beauty to allow it to be viewed in a glorious 2.55 Technirama frame. Who would actually prefer viewing it awkwardly framed within a 16x9 panel or cropped to fit the screen on DVD & VHS?
The artistic intent for framing Sleeping Beauty is equally valid to the choices made by Leonardo on how his works were to be appreciated.
Is a 1.78 version of a 1.85 film really any kind of compromise? It's not as though anything is being cropped. There's a greater variation than that anytime you see a film projected theatrically.
Yes it is a compromise. Many recent releases are finally eliminating that compromise by scanning images at the intended 1.85 ratio. On a flat panel you now view the complete frame with small black bars at the top and bottom, or with a scope projection system you can widen the image to eliminate the bars. Either way, the image is presented as intended, not cropped or distorted in any way.
 

Worth

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Yes it is a compromise. Many recent releases are finally eliminating that compromise by scanning images at the intended 1.85 ratio. On a flat panel you now view the complete frame with small black bars at the top and bottom, or with a scope projection system you can widen the image to eliminate the bars. Either way, the image is presented as intended, not cropped or distorted in any way.
I would love to see some examples showing how the framing is compromised by opening up the mattes from 1.85 to 1.78. The difference is 42 pixels at 1080p.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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Except that very few theatrical films are shot in 16x9. 1.85 is the common format and until recently that format was usually rescanned to 16x9 for flat panel display. Today most new releases are mastered at the correct 1.85 ratio, which requires compromising small black bars on all 16x9 sets.
Why does my vote not count because I don't want to view compromised images?
When a 1.85 (or wider) picture is detected, I widen the projected image to show the film at a consistent height on a wider surface without black bars reducing dramatic impact. If all aspect ratios from 4x3 to 2.35 maintain equal height, the drama of expanded scope increases along with the aspect ratios.
Vertical expansion goes against the way our eyes are situated to view the world around us. When driving you look left and right to get your bearings...not up. Height information is far less critical, as eyes use expanded horizontal information and scope to create 3D perception.
In a massive IMAX theater the experience is different as the intent is to get all edges of the screen beyond the extent of vision. For most home viewing, this is not possible. A 16x9 IMAX image is displayed exactly like a normal 16x9 presentation without sense of added grandeur. A 4x3 IMAX image on a fixed panel 16x9 screen is even a far more serious exercise in impact reduction!

I would love to see some examples showing how the framing is compromised by opening up the mattes from 1.85 to 1.78. The difference is 42 pixels at 1080p.

Not completely sure where this was headed, but if it's an argument about why HDTV (and/or widescreen SDTV) standard should've gone 1.85:1 instead of 16x9, well, that would probably be ignoring the reality of how the math and practical implementation of simple/basic scaling between the ratios would work, which was probably more important way back when the standard was created when processing capabilities would be far more limited than nowadays.

16x9 is exactly 4/3 x 4/3 (the old 4x3 standard w/ tons of old content in existence) and 4/3 x 16/9 also happens to fall right in between 2.35:1 and 2.4:1.

So to scale between those ratios, you only need pretty basic math and scaling capability (plus virtually no letterboxing for 2.35:1 or 2.4:1), ie. you could just add or drop 1 line of resolution for every 3 or 4 lines and be done.

But if the HDTV standard chose 1.85:1 instead of 16x9, the math would lead to trickier scaling in both directions.

And don't forget that 1.66:1 is also a fairly common ratio though less so here in USA than in Europe... and 16x9 falls pretty well in between 1.85:1 and 1.66:1...

So basically, 16x9 makes the best compromise all things considered, particularly back when the standard AR needed to be chosen given what was knowable/foreseeable and readily doable at the time...


IF OTOH we're arguing about whether we should bother w/ IMAX scenes in 16x9 for home viewing, well, opinions will vary... and would/should be heavily dependent on filmmaker intent. As have been noted (either here in this thread or elsewhere recently), it's not always about immersion alone... but depending on intent, the visual composition could very well become substantially compromised if cropped to scope AR, which I personally find so w/ Dune (2021), but (much) less so w/ some others... I haven't seen the new Bond flick in fixed scope AR, so not sure, but there certainly are some scenes/shots I can imagine to look significantly better as composed for 1.44:1, which was how I saw them (albeit on a giant 100x75ft screen)...

Personally, I definitely hope Warner/Villeneuve will relent and offer a 4K release of Dune (2021) w/ IMAX VAR. Ideally, I'd like to get those IMAX sequences in both 16x9 (or maybe 1.9:1 that was seen on some IMAX screens) and 1.44:1 for me to choose for my own setup... but of course, that's not too likely (even though it should be easy enough to do via seamless branching me thinks)... And of course, I'd like the same for other movies w/ IMAX sequences, including this new Bond...

And if they're providing IMAX formatted scenes/sequences via seamless branching, they could also keep the fixed scope AR (or whatever in-between AR) as an (primary) option for those who don't want variable AR...

_Man_
 
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JoshZ

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Yes it is a compromise. Many recent releases are finally eliminating that compromise by scanning images at the intended 1.85 ratio. On a flat panel you now view the complete frame with small black bars at the top and bottom, or with a scope projection system you can widen the image to eliminate the bars. Either way, the image is presented as intended, not cropped or distorted in any way.

I'm sure Worth's point is that no filmmaker has ever complained about their 1.85:1 movie being opened up to 16:9. The difference between those two ratios is basically within the margin of error for theatrical projection.
 

Robert Harris

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I would love to see some examples showing how the framing is compromised by opening up the mattes from 1.85 to 1.78. The difference is 42 pixels at 1080p.
I‘ve not seen any compromise. I had a discussion with Mr. Willis regarding The Godfather(s) for home entertainment use at 1.78 vs 1.85, and the decision was to open to 1.78, as there was no downside. Theatrical would still be 1.85. Keep in mind that most theatrical presentations are either scope or widescreen (2.3x or 1.85) because the majority of theaters are only prepared project in that manner from film - limited by masking (presuming they have masking), optics and aperture plates.

My first screening of Citizen Kane in 35mm, probably c. 1965, was In 1.85. The theater was only set to run scope and 1.85, and the film wasn’t scope, so…

Digital projection complicates the equation, as while theaters are still set to run in those ratios, only those with full 4-way markings can take advantage of the variable ratios digital can provide.

The fully digital theater that I designed is set to (almost) properly run all aspect ratios from 1.20 to 2.76, with large format productions taking advantage of additional screen height, meaning that a 70mm production is run with additional screen height as opposed to 35/4 scope.

The only caveat is our ability to properly run 2.76, which uses the same full width while (whilst, for our Canadian and UK readers) losing a bit of height.

With the blurring of conceptual uses of theatrical vs TV vs streaming, 2:1 seems to have become the streaming widescreen standard, allowing those productions to be also considered as theatrical.

Also, keep in mind that IMAX theaters are generally masked fot true IMAX ratio, ie 70/15.
 

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