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Kung Fu (1972) (1 Viewer)

Dave Scarpa

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Just picked up the 3 season box set does anyone know why they released this with season one as widescreen? and the rest in OAR?
 

Randy Korstick

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Just picked up the 3 season box set does anyone know why they released this with season one as widescreen? and the rest in OAR?
Just a guess on my part but season one was released on DVD in the early days of TV on DVD around 2002 I think, which was also the time many people were getting widescreen tv's so it was probably an experiment for the fill my screen crowd. And after negative feedback they discontinued it.
 

Dave Scarpa

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if I remember I think TNT was airing a lot of these shows in Faux widescreen early in the HD revolution
 

JoeDoakes

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Just a guess on my part but season one was released on DVD in the early days of TV on DVD around 2002 I think, which was also the time many people were getting widescreen tv's so it was probably an experiment for the fill my screen crowd. And after negative feedback they discontinued it.
You are correct Sir. I think there was at least one other show to suffer from this around that time.
 

The Drifter

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Good post. When the Kung Fu DVD sets started coming out about in the 200X's, I was extremely disappointed that S1 was presented in the incorrect aspect ratio - i.e., they incorrectly converted a show that was initially presented in the 4:3 (full-screen) format to widescreen, which resulted in the top & bottom of the picture being cropped. This obviously & unnecessarily butchered the picture. Whoever thought this looked better was an idiot. They corrected this in S2 & S3, but that still left S1 in the incorrect & truncated format.

As a kid back in the mid-'80's, I remember watching re-runs of this show on the weekends. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite shows, and was an excellent & unusual combination of the American Western & Eastern mysticism. The late David Carradine did a great job as the stoic Caine, and it was interesting to see how he would deal with the various aggressors who would come after him in each episode. Also really enjoyed the flashbacks to his younger years. These not only had a lesson/moral, but were relevant to the current storyline in the given episode.

It would be great if they would re-release the series to Blu (or even re-release it to regular DVD) in the correct 4:3 format for all three seasons. However, who knows if that will ever happen. And, despite the deficiencies of the S01 DVD's - I do believe that the current DVD sets are the best way to watch the show.
 

bmasters9

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Good post. When the Kung Fu DVD sets started coming out about in the 200X's, I was extremely disappointed that S1 was presented in the incorrect aspect ratio - i.e., they incorrectly converted a show that was initially presented in the 4:3 (full-screen) format to widescreen, which resulted in the top & bottom of the picture being cropped. This obviously & unnecessarily butchered the picture. Whoever thought this looked better was an idiot. They corrected this in S2 & S3, but that still left S1 in the incorrect & truncated format.

The same thing that was done on Fox HE's all-in-one of the original 1965-68 CBS Lost In Space, I take it?
 

BobO'Link

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The same thing that was done on Fox HE's all-in-one of the original 1965-68 CBS Lost In Space, I take it?
That was intentional and a later release. The original release DVDs presented it in OAR (4:3). Currently you can get the OAR for LIS by purchasing the BR set, unlike Kung Fu which has *no* correct, all seasons in OAR, release. The original Battlestar Galactica also got a WS conversion with the latest release but *one* of the BR releases includes the OAR along with that WS version. The X-Files got a proper 4:3 release on DVD but the BR release is WS only.

FWIW the WS S1 of Kung Fu isn't *too* bad though there *are* a few shots in every episode that suffer from the change.

I know there's a market for these modified AR releases but I also wish the people responsible for these understood some of us *want* the OAR and provide both when they feel the need for these WS conversions. Even if including both means a higher priced product for that particular release (like with Battlestar Galactica).

Depending on how the production was filmed, *some* of these AR modified versions look perfectly good. In the 60s and 70s TVs weren't as good and quite a lot of image information, on all 4 sides, was lost in transmission. That meant the "safe area" of the image was much smaller at home than what you'd see on the original film (and in the edit booth, screening room, network control rooms, etc.). Because of the need to film inside a smaller area to be sure all of what was intended to be seen *was* seen on home screens the framing on many productions, especially filmed, was quite close to the "open matte" style utilized on many movies that were intended to be shown WS. If the cinematographer also kept close to the "rule of thirds" it can be a quite pleasing end result. I've watched more than a few 60s/70s programs in a "side fill" mode (zooms the image so the sides touch the screen edge and the top/bottom are cropped off) and they look perfectly fine with very few instances of lost information.
 
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The Drifter

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In addition to the issue re: the WS release of the S01 Kung Fu DVD set, S01-S03 of these DVD's are in the awful flipper-disk format. I've always hated these, given that they were produced in this way to save money - to the detriment of the disks/presentation. I.e., flipper-disks are much more liable to scratch than non-flipper disks due to having to be turned around on both sides for viewing, etc. Plus, there is no artwork on either side - so the presentation is "bland".
 

Dave Scarpa

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Good post. When the Kung Fu DVD sets started coming out about in the 200X's, I was extremely disappointed that S1 was presented in the incorrect aspect ratio - i.e., they incorrectly converted a show that was initially presented in the 4:3 (full-screen) format to widescreen, which resulted in the top & bottom of the picture being cropped. This obviously & unnecessarily butchered the picture. Whoever thought this looked better was an idiot. They corrected this in S2 & S3, but that still left S1 in the incorrect & truncated format.

As a kid back in the mid-'80's, I remember watching re-runs of this show on the weekends. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite shows, and was an excellent & unusual combination of the American Western & Eastern mysticism. The late David Carradine did a great job as the stoic Caine, and it was interesting to see how he would deal with the various aggressors who would come after him in each episode. Also really enjoyed the flashbacks to his younger years. These not only had a lesson/moral, but were relevant to the current storyline in the given episode.

It would be great if they would re-release the series to Blu (or even re-release it to regular DVD) in the correct 4:3 format for all three seasons. However, who knows if that will ever happen. And, despite the deficiencies of the S01 DVD's - I do believe that the current DVD sets are the best way to watch the show.
I think the last channel to show these were get tv and I don't remember if they were in 4x3 or not
 

Dave Scarpa

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In addition to the issue re: the WS release of the S01 Kung Fu DVD set, S01-S03 of these DVD's are in the awful flipper-disk format. I've always hated these, given that they were produced in this way to save money - to the detriment of the disks/presentation. I.e., flipper-disks are much more liable to scratch than non-flipper disks due to having to be turned around on both sides for viewing, etc. Plus, there is no artwork on either side - so the presentation is "bland".
I bought the complete series collection and season 1 is not flippers so it appears they rectified this, I don't think anyone remasters flippers any more did they fix this with voyage to the Bottom of the sea I have the flippers with those and some disks don't work, or even better is there a other region blu ray ?
 

BobO'Link

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I bought the complete series collection and season 1 is not flippers so it appears they rectified this, I don't think anyone remasters flippers any more did they fix this with voyage to the Bottom of the sea I have the flippers with those and some disks don't work, or even better is there a other region blu ray ?
There are two "complete series" releases for Kung Fu.

The first, from 2007, is simply the original flipper sets in a nice box. It has 11 discs total, just like the individual releases:
1645543733955.png
1645544179042.png


The second, and the one to get, is *all* SS discs with 16 discs total. It's the 2017 release (called "repackaged"):
1645543801193.png
1645543821466.png



VttBotS was never re-released on SS discs in the US. There *is* a UK release (R2) that's on SS discs but I don't know if it suffers from PAL speed up or not. Sadly, no BR on this one. My copies are also starting to fail. Considering that Fox is now part of Disney I have little hope of ever seeing SS R1 DVDs or BR upgrades.
 

The Drifter

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Good to know. I got the Kung Fu S01-S03 DVD set for a decent price about 3-4 years ago, and it was the inferior flipper-disk set. I had no idea they came out with another Single-sided disk set.
 
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bmasters9

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Good to know. I got the Kung Fu S01-S03 DVD set for a decent price about 3-4 years ago, and it was the inferior flipper-disk set. I had no idea they came out with another Single-sided disk set.

They did also for that of the 70s ABC/CBS Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter's signature role).
 

David Deeb

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The complete series is available in HD on iTunes. Thought about getting it. Anyone know if season 1 in OAR or is it widescreen here as well?
 

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