(NOTE: I debated whether to post this in Studio Feedback but it seems like it would get more readers here. If the moderators think I placed it in the wrong area, please move it with my apologies.) I'm absolutely furious- as many have noticed Sony has been quietly re-issuing several of its DVD titles with ONLY the pan and scan versions, when they formerly included BOTH formats. Sure the list price has been dropped as well, but that's certainly no excuse as other labels have dropped prices on their older titles to the same level and kept both versions on the discs that included them, and if they HAD to drop one version why drop the CORRECT one??? I went by Best Buy after work tonight and thought I'd lucked out, looking at the back cover of "The Bear" and seeing it indicate both the widescreen and "full screen" presentations, then closer to the bottom stating "Side A is a WIDESCREEN VERSION and is presented in its original theatrical aspect ratio, approx. 2.35:1. Side B is a FULL SCREEN VERSION and is re-formatted to fit your TV screen." There are other copies of this movie out there that indicate the disc only contains the "full screen" version. Well, the disc inside turned out to be their new "improved" release with only the Foolscreen transfer, so I fired off this email to the address on the sonypictures.com website it directs you to if you have any comments or problems with their video products. ----------------------------------------------- To Whom It May Concern: I purchased the Sony Pictures DVD "The Bear" today at a Best Buy store. The back cover indicated that it included both an anamorphic widescreen presentation in addition to a "Full Screen" (pan and scan) presentation. Upon opening it, the disc had only one playable side, not two as indicated on the cover, and when I attempted to play it, I got the "Formatted to fit your screen" message and the only version of the movie was the 4x3 pan and scan version. "The Bear" was shot in 2.35, so it looks awful in pan & scan, plus I am planning on buying a widescreen TV soon that will take advantage of the added resolution of anamorphic DVDs. I have heard that Sony has actually been dropping the widescreen versions from some of their DVDs (which makes NO sense whatsoever) so I have been trying to buy the remaining titles that I want from your company while they are still available. Apparently however there are some DVDs making it into stores missing the widescreen versions, but the covers have not been changed to reflect this. This is COMPLETELY unacceptable. I have bought literally hundreds of DVDs since 1998, and laserdiscs in the years before, and this is the first time I will have to return a title. Hopefully Best Buy will allow me to exchange this for another title, but if they do not I will be sending it back to your company. Since your company has taken such a large step backwards, I will from now on avoid any more DVDs from Columbia or Sony Pictures, and when I do upgrade my TV I will not purchase a Sony model (apparently Sony feels that 4x3 pan and scan presentations of movies are acceptable, so they must not want to sell any widescreen TVs.) This is a huge shame as I was mostly pleased with Columbia's laserdisc product, and the quality of their DVD product in the first years of the format was a large factor in convincing me to switch to that format. I can only wonder what has happened to your company since then. Sincerely, Jesse Skeen --------------------------------------------- Keep in mind that I've kept EVERY DVD I've bought up to this point, even some awful-quality bargain label stuff and one title from Passport Video (the only other company on my "Never Again" list) that has a continuous "bug" on the screen- something I despise even MORE than pan & scan transfers! I've thought about just keeping this one and not buying anything else from Sony Pictures, but this practice of downgrading titles is just plain insane and whoever has made this bone-headed decision must be told that this is simply unacceptable. If Best Buy takes it back hopefully someone back at Sony will have to eat the cost of it, and if they won't it will go directly to the address on the back cover with another nasty letter. I don't even care about getting the money back. As to why I'm now going to avoid buying any more Sony titles, if they are going to drop the widescreen transfer from "The Bear" but sell copies in the cover claiming to include both, how am I to know that they won't do the same to any of their other titles??? For all I know I could buy a Superbit disc and they could have decided at the last minute to re-do it as a low-bitrate pan and scan title! If I had more time on my hands I would file a "frivolous lawsuit" just to get my point across.