Is Mamet's Oleanna (1994) M-G-M's first 16x9 formatted 1.66:1 DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Bill Burns, Oct 28, 2003.

  1. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    M-G-M and WB -- the two big hold-outs in 16x9 formatting support for 1.66:1 transfers (the pixels don't lie; 1.66:1* does, indeed, benefit from 16x9 formatting). Perhaps we can now scratch one of the names from that list? On visiting Best Buy earlier today, I discovered a copy of David Mamet's Oleanna on the shelf. I knew it was due out sometime recently, and casually glanced at the back of the box. Not only did I find the 1.66:1 widescreen notation I expected, but below it, something I did not: "Enhanced for widescreen TVs"!

    Is it true? Has our feedback, and the feedback of format fans everywhere, been taken to heart? Perhaps they popped in a few 1.66:1 16x9 Anchor Bay titles? [​IMG] Whatever the cause, I hope this is as promising as it sounds.

    Can anyone confirm the AR of this title? If it isn't overmatted, and is indeed 1.66:1 or thereabouts (say less than 1.77:1, and the closer to 1.66:1, the better -- you'll need a display without overscan and a player without pixel clipping to determine this, I imagine), and if that "Enhanced for widescreen TVs" promise is everything it appears to be ... then we may finally have heartwarming reason to anticipate further 1.66:1 16x9 formatted support from M-G-M, and that is excellent (hey, heartwarming, as I said) news indeed. [​IMG]

    Here's a back cover scan at DVDEmpire for the skeptical:

    Oleanna

    Any further info (including confirmation) will be met with eager eyes. Now if we can only get WB on board, and several of the studios on board field sequential 3-D ... and establish visible EE as a digital disease in need of scrupulous attention ... patience, patience .... [​IMG]

    * Others here, more up-to-date on video specs than I, have informed me it's actually anything wider than 1.5:1 that benefits from 16x9 formatting, due to the pixel resolution of the DVD format. I'll take their word for it; all I can say is that I've seen 16x9 formatted "anamorphic" 1.66:1 and 4x3 formatted "letterboxed" 1.66:1, and I'll take the former any day of the week. Whether you're looking at the strict pixel count dedicated to film resolution, which rises, or the fact that rear projection widescreen set owners have to zoom into 4x3 material to make it fill the screen, whereas 16x9 material does not require this ... or folks like me, with 4x3 sets that have a 16x9 mode, and visible scan lines and "video structure" are greatly reduced on 16x9 formatted films 1.66:1 and wider ... the facts are simple: 16x9 formatting benefits 1.66:1, many content providers (small and large) understand and support this to great effect, and I'm thrilled at the prospect of M-G-M joining the cause (what cause? Why, the "let's get the most we can out of this format" cause [​IMG]).
     
  2. GerardoHP

    GerardoHP Supporting Actor

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    Indeed, it isn't anamorphically enhanced.

    And the box is mislabeled to boot.

    And it isn't 1.66:1 but 1.85:1!!!
     
  3. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Sorry to hear it -- I was hoping for a change of pace in 16x9 formatted 1.66:1 from this studio. Oh well. [​IMG] It's a shame they've mislabeled the box -- many might pick it up expressly because it claims to be 16x9 formatted ("enhanced for widescreen TVs"), only to find yet another 4x3 letterboxed transfer when they pop the disc in at home. If the AR's also mislabeled, then there are several strikes against this disc -- I enjoyed the film, which I caught during its theatrical run, but there's no way I'll buy it 4x3 letterboxed, much less overmatted as such.

    My concerns return for the upcoming Cyrano de Bergerac, a title of foremost importance to me.
     
  4. Douglas R

    Douglas R Cinematographer

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    Seems to be the same as the non-anamorphic Canadian version issued by Seville but at least that contains a featurette.
     
  5. Tim_Stack

    Tim_Stack Second Unit

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    Darn...This disc is coming to me in my most recent big order...How can these mis-labeling things happen? It's so fundamental to HT guys like us...ugh, but I'll keep it anyway, just to see Bill Macy go off!
     

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