Does Warner know the difference between 1.75:1 and 1.85:1?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Casey Neutron, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. Casey Neutron

    Casey Neutron Stunt Coordinator

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    Just got "The Right Stuff" dvd and it's letterboxed at about 1.75:1. The LaserDisc was 1.85:1. Comparing the two versions, it's easy to see the new dvd is cropped. I thought maybe they'd opened the matting a little on the dvd, but no, they cropped the sides of the frame. Same thing with Warner's "Natural Born Killers" dvd. Their LaserDisc version is properly framed at 1.85:1, and the Trimark director's cut dvd got it right too, but the Warner dvd is somewhere around 1.75:1, with picture information cropped off the sides. This makes me wonder about newer Warner dvds like "Femme Fatale," which is also supposed to be 1.85:1 but doesn't look anywhere near it. I've got no other version to compare it to, so I'm merely suspicious about that one. As for the "GoodFellas" SE due in the near future, let's just say I am very worried.
     
  2. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    It seems to me that a lot of Warner titles have been cropped from previous versions:

    The Wizard of Oz
    Singin' in the Rain
    Giant
    J.F.K.
    Doctor Zhivago
    Willy Wonka

    What gives?
     
  3. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Yes, and they do the RIGHT thing.

    Presenting a film at 1.78:1 instead of 1.85:1 makes little difference. You get a handful of scanlines of picture by not matting the film a little bit more. This is GOOD because too much matting is a lot worse than 10 scanlines too little.

    Giant has LESS matting than the Canadian version. 1.66:1 is correct for the film, unlike the 1.78:1 on the anamorphic Canadian.

    The Wizard of Oz and Singin' In The Rain have tighter cropping, likely to match how Technicolor prints were framed. Dye-transfer prints cropped on all 4 sides compared to the negatives (and the films were made to make up for this)

    Doctor Zhivago likely has incorrect framing on LD. I'm guessing they used a full apature print.


    Again, changing a 1.85:1 film to a 1.78:1 film simply shaves off a little bit of the mattes. You GAIN picture area, not lose it. Comparing between two DVDs is useless. It's smarter to compare the DVD to an actual piece of film.
     
  4. Jason Stocker

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    I also thought that "natural born killers" was cropped on the sides for warners dvd, As well as "Creepshow". But then I realised that every widescreen Warner Laserdisc that I owned was acctually slightly windowboxed on the sides. So it just seemed as though picture information was lost on the dvd. I'm sure It's the same for "The Right Stuff".
     
  5. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    One example I know for certain, is that the new remastered edition of Cuckoo's Nest has more information than all previous widescreen Laserdiscs and the original DVD edition.

    It is not engraved in granite than an open matte film should be shown at appoximately 1.85:1, 1.78:1 is just fine, as long as no boom-mics, etc are visable.

    But I have heard that Warner widescreen DVD editions are zoomed-in compared to the Lasers. But unless you are shown a side-by-side comparison, you wouldn't notice.

    An interesting example is Spartacus on DVD:

    - The 35mm version is 2.35:1 and should be shown that way in cinema projection and widescreen DVD - and the Universal edition correctly shows it that way.

    - The Criterion is of the 65/70mm version at 2.21:1 and correctly, albeit paradoxically, shows less information than the Universal edition. As far as framing goes, both transfers are respectively correct. But the Criterion is sharper and has accurate colours, as specified by Stanley Kubrick, and supervised by Robert Harris.

    Shop around for the Criterion, if you love the film, as it is a superb DVD edition of a spectacular film.


    Gordy
     
  6. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Let me just add that I hate zooming-in of scope films on home-video.

    Anyone own the Deliverance DVD. [​IMG]

    A new 2-disc SE of this film would be a great blessing. [​IMG]


    Gordy
     
  7. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Since I own plasma, I would be very happy if all 1.85:1 films were done like Right Stuff, altered to 1.78:1. Otherwise, I get a little strip of black on the bottom, and I have to rescale the picture, stretching it vertically, to compensate. That strip of black is susceptible to burn in -- not actual burn in, but the less use of certain pixels will result in those areas burning brighter than others in the future.
     
  8. Aaron Cohen

    Aaron Cohen Second Unit

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    Just curious Dee, what do you do when watching 2.20:1 or greater films?
     
  9. Rain

    Rain Producer

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  10. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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  11. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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  12. Dave Molinarolo

    Dave Molinarolo Stunt Coordinator

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  13. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    IMO, "The Professionals" is one of best written films in cinematic history.
     
  14. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Yes, that's exactly right. Over time, the plasma phosphors, each in a little pixel-sized compartment, lose their brightness and go to "half-life."

    So, what could happen with a plasma television, is that black areas which aren't used as frequently, could end up being brighter than the rest.

    Of course, this is somewhat conjecture, because nobody has really had a plasma TV long enough to know what really happens.

    Even if the four corners of my monitor appear slightly brighter over time, will it really be noticeable? I doubt it.

    And by that time, perhaps I will want to replace the monitor with a better one.
     

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