Do the Right Thing - OAR?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Patrick Larkin, Aug 20, 2002.

  1. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Hi --
    Following the great discussion over in the Movies forum, I decided I need to buy the Criterion version of Do the Right Thing.
    I see, however that the Universal version is listed as 1.66:1 and the Criterion is listed as 1.85:1. Is this a typo and if NOT, what was the original AR or Spike Lee's preferred AR?
    I see both have Dolby Surround soundtracks. Any word on revisiting the title?
    Thanks.
     
  2. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    You can see a graphic comparison of the two versions HERE
     
  3. Rain

    Rain Producer

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    Is it just me or does the Universal version look squished?
     
  4. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    It is a very good discussion.
     
  5. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    excuse my ignorance, but why in the images providedis the Criterion version "higher" even though the AR stated is 1.85:1 vs 1.66:1 ??

    I would think the 1.66:1 image would be higher (or less narrow).
     
  6. HenrikTull

    HenrikTull Second Unit

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    Because the screengrab is taken by someone who had their 16:9 mode ON! It really is taller.
     
  7. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    So, was the film shown 1.66:1 or 1.85:1? Anyone know?
     
  8. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Criterion's 1.85:1 transfer is approved by the cinematographer Ernest Dickerson and Spike Lee, so can be considered definitive (apart from the fact it's beautiful).

    Besides, I don't know where people get this idea that mainstream everyday cinemas screen movies in 1.66:1 - it's a myth! It's 1.85:1 or 2.40:1 all the way.
     
  9. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Jon -- I never even implied that mainstream cinemas showed films in 1.66:1. DTRT wasn't what I call "mainstream cinema" at the time and furthermore, I have no idea what was "mainstream" 13 years ago. (All I know is that Clockwork ORange and Barry Lyndon were both shown 1.66:1 -- beyond that, I have no idea. So it did happen at one time in mainstream cinemas.)

    So, to summarize, no one as of yet knows what the OAR or DTRT was or why Universal chose to release it in 1.66:1.
     
  10. Jean-Michel

    Jean-Michel Supporting Actor

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  11. Jussi Tarvainen

    Jussi Tarvainen Second Unit

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    Please ignore this - apparently it's impossible to delete one's own posts.
     
  12. Brook K

    Brook K Lead Actor

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    Patrick, the PCM track on the Criterion DTRT is excellent. No need for remastering to 5.1 when you've got an uncompressed track available. I wish a lot more DVD's of older films included PCM.
     
  13. Rob W

    Rob W Supporting Actor

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    1:66 is almost unheard of in North American cinemas with the exception of art and repertory theatres that would often run European titles. DO THE RIGHT THING was a Universal release that played all over North America in many of the same theatres that played all of Universal's other titles and would have run in 1:85. It was not marketed to the "art" houses in the majority of cities it played. It was ( not surprisingly ) most successful in the major urban centres.

    Many, many filmmakers compose their films for 1:85 ( since North America is their primary market ) but expose a larger 1:66 frame to allow for European & foreign markets. OAR is arguably dependent on the country in which it was exhibited, which should really frustrate a lot of people ! Simplified, certain markets that run 1:66 would be getting an open matte version of the original 1:85 compositions of North American films.

    No filmmaker with any knowledge at all would compose a film for 1:66 only and expect it to be shown that way theatrically in North America, unless it was a very specialised release.

    I would also question whether the two Kubrick films ever played 1:66 in this country. I remember seeing them in the same theatres that played other Hollywood titles but can't verify the exact ratio with authority after 20 years. I do know that even back then 1:85 or 2:40 were basically the only options.

    OAR in these cases is a series of compromises to service the world markets.

    I work for a major cinema chain and care about these things. The only time in the past decade we ever received notice of a 1:66 ratio for a non-art film was the recent reissue of REAR WINDOW. We dutifully sent in technicians to set up this format in the theatres booked for the film.

    I can pretty much assure you - 1:66 has never been a common projection ratio in North America in my lifetime.
     
  14. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Rob -- apparently, Clockwork Orange was shown 1.66:1 at some point since in the recent interview with Leon Vitali, he stated that he felt Kubrick would have hated the idea of CO being matted for its recent re-release in the UK. That doesn't mean it wasn't matted in the US in 1971, however. This definitely isn't an area I'm well informed so I'll take your word for it.

    I suppose that answers one of the questions, the American OAR was 1.85:1. Why a 1.66:1 Universal AR?
     
  15. TedD

    TedD Supporting Actor

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  16. Vlad D

    Vlad D Screenwriter

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    Gary,

    Am I missing something? DVDBeaver.com has the Criterion version as "1.66:1 Letterboxed WideScreen Anamorphic".
     
  17. Gary Tooze

    Gary Tooze Producer

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    Thanks Vlad,
    It has been corrcted. I can only assume I took the info from the INCORRECT page on IMDB:
    http://us.imdb.com/DVD?0097216
    Note: as my Page has URL forwarding, to see the changes you need to right click on a blank area of the webpage and hit "refresh" If you are using IE... I think Netscape it says "reload"...
    Cheers,
     
  18. Ravi K

    Ravi K Supporting Actor

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    I popped in this DVD to see what it looked like on my computer, and the image from chapter 19 onwards is interlaced. I didn't watch the entire thing on the computer, just skipped around, but every chapter after that had combing in force weave on WinDVD. Has this been corrected? I bought this DVD when it was first released.
     

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