Ebert tells it like it is...

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dean Kousoulas, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. Dean Kousoulas

    Dean Kousoulas Second Unit

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    From Ebert's "Movie Answer Man" column

    Q. I would like to "commend" Wal-Mart on their new DVD releases. There is a shiny, silver sticker that reads: "Special Limited Release! Formatted to fit your TV! No black bars on top and bottom!" It's bad enough that these morons disfigure artwork, but now they're using their ignorance as a marketing pitch!

    Lee Stringer, Brampton, Ontario

    A. In a few years Wal-Mart will be selling wide-screen TVs, and their customers will be bringing in those DVDs and demanding a refund because there are black bars on the left and right.



    (Although it is mostly Fox who is putting the stickers on, Wal-Mart makes an effort to stock these over widescreen)

    Dean
     
  2. Michael St. Clair

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    I only wish he were correct. They'll simply stretch the panned-and-scanned image to fill the wide screen and be as happy as clams.
     
  3. Chuck L

    Chuck L Screenwriter

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    While I understand Michael what you are saying and I can find the humor in that...if such was the case, they could go ahead and do that already on the widescreen releases that are out instead of bitching about them.

    The biggest problem is...the only buttons most of these folks know on a remote is the power button.
     
  4. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    Has anyone seen the stickers in question?

    I've been to Wal-Mart many times and have never seen that on a full frame disc.

    Sounds like an urban legend Ebert fell for.
     
  5. Jay Sylvester

    Jay Sylvester Supporting Actor

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    There are stickers like this. The full screen version of Sound of Music had one on it, and I saw that at Best Buy.
     
  6. Adam_WM

    Adam_WM Screenwriter

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    UNFAITHFUL had one too. NO BLACK BARS!!!
    UGH.
     
  7. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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  8. Dean Kousoulas

    Dean Kousoulas Second Unit

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    I see them all the time. I don't know if I should laugh or cry.

    Dean
     
  9. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I can see it happening, but he didn't go far enough. There won't be any refund because they are more than 30/whatever days old.

    They'll take them back home and start counting. Oh, are they going to be pissed!

    Glenn
     
  10. Jesse Blacklow

    Jesse Blacklow Cinematographer

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    Want a more horrifying thought? These people will see that their entire collection of NO BLACK BARS discs does have black bars on their new widescreen TVs. They then return the widescreen TVs. Companies see this, and the next thing you know the HDTV standard will include 4:3 and 480p. Doubt it'll happen, but this is America. We're not smart when taken as a whole.
     
  11. Drew Mertz

    Drew Mertz Stunt Coordinator

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    Thats funny that you mention that michael, I have a friend that just spent $6000 on a new TV to do just that.
     
  12. Charlie Essmeier

    Charlie Essmeier Stunt Coordinator

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    I haven't seen the stickers, which are probably applied by either the distributor or the studio, rather than Wal-Mart. My local Wal-Mart stocks lots of widescreen films, by the way.

    Charlie
     
  13. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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  14. Michael St. Clair

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  15. Joel Fontenot

    Joel Fontenot Supporting Actor

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  16. Nick Graham

    Nick Graham Screenwriter

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    The sad thing is, the local Wal-Mart has been selling a Philips widescreen HDTV for 6 months now, and I've seen the same TV in other small to mid-size town Wal-Marts as well.

    The purveyor of these stickers is Fox, and they can be seen at your local Wal-Mart and Target stores. We've already given our own dear Fox rep Peter Staddon a sufficient tongue lashing for them. Turns out one of these major stores specifically requested Fox do this.
     
  17. David Rogers

    David Rogers Supporting Actor

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    It's sad but true. I went to Smokey Bones (national chain I think, used to be Grady's, just opened here in Atlanta) recently. They have sort of a sports theme, with lots of tvs and such. Including big wide screen job (50-60 inches). I looked at it from across the room and immediately remarked "that's a stretched picture". My friends were "huh?". They were showing a 4:3 ESPN hockey game stretched to fill 16:9. It looked pretty bad to me; but no one else in the bar seemed to mind.

    This is sad. In a few years even my happy hobby of DVD will be swallowed if they continue in this vein. I'll go looking for discs and find only 4:3 crap. Makers will follow the money. They won't bother making OAR/widescreen if 90%+ are happy with butchered full screen. Someone make the bad dreams go away. I'm scared now. [​IMG]
     
  18. Mark_vdH

    Mark_vdH Screenwriter

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  19. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

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    Well, I'm still skeptical that widescreen TVs will ever mainstream. The only widescreens selling now are huge RPTV's or ridculously expensive flat panels. The widescreen tube is very scarce and usually small (30") and expensive.

    Unless there are some huge economies of scale in plasma/LCD screens, I don't see it.

    Walk into Best Buy and see rows of 4x3 HDTV's.
     
  20. Matt Pelham

    Matt Pelham Screenwriter

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    The other week I walked into Best Buy and right in the front of the store they had a few 16:9 HD TV's set up playing movies. I was shocked and amazed to see Harry Potter playing on one of them, the full-screen version stretched to fit the 16:9 screen. Absolutely disgusting.
     

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