More Harryhausen AR tomfoolery: 20 Million Miles to Earth

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jean-Michel, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. Jean-Michel

    Jean-Michel Supporting Actor

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    Check out Jeffrey Wells' column:
    http://www.reel.com/reel.asp?node=mo...s/confidential
    I'm going to be honest, I think he's full of it (I'm not even sure I should believe his claim that he once worked as a projectionist, since even the worst projectionist should know about soft-matting and he seems to have never even heard of it), but it's interesting nonetheless because the disc was supposed to have a fullscreen version as well. I'm as pro-OAR as anyone else here but I like having the option of fullscreen on Harryhausen's films because otherwise some of his effects work is cropped out (this is why the Criterion Jason and the Argonauts LD was 1.33:1). Maybe Wells' review copy didn't have the fullscreen version on it for some reason?
     
  2. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    It probably should be framed at 1.66:1 - but who knows.
    It won't stop me from buying it though. Must..... have.... my......Harryhausen......fix. [​IMG]
    Hell, I've got the first 3 Connery BOND films & Apocalypse Now with the incorrect AR might as well add another one. [​IMG]
     
  3. Dick

    Dick Producer
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    Perhaps you haven't yet seen the abomination that is THREE WORLDS OF GULLIVER. This is your full screen, all right, but the sides are very obviously cropped. Columbia probably wants to know, so what do these people want? We want OAR, simple. But, had Columbia dropped the duplicate supplementary stuff (60-minute doc, etc.) from GULLIVER they'd have had plenty of space to include both OAR and P&S.
     
  4. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    A while back, around the time of the release of THE THREE WORLDS OF GULLIVER, there was a controversy about the aspect ratio of many of Harryhausen's films. I mentioned that I would be seeeing Harryhausen in June at a film festival and would ask him directly about the issue.

    My question was, "Except for FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, which was in Panavision, what is the preferred or intended aspect ratio of the rest of your post-1954 films, both the black & white and color ones?"

    His reply (paraphrasing - I did not have s tape recorder):
    "They were filmed full-aperture," (what we would on HTF call open-matte), "but they were designed for theatrical projection at up to 1.85." He also related the story about how Columbia actually made some SuperScope (approx. 2.0:1) prints of 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH, which did not make the film look good at all. When I specifically asked about 7TH VOYAGE, JASON and THREE WORLDS, he repeated that they were designed for theatrical up to 1.85.

    Of course, this doesn't explain why Columbia's full-frame version of JASON appears to be a pan-and-scan version of the widescreen master (while the LaserDisc was open-matte) or why, according to some reports, the THREE WORLDS DVD is also pan-and-scan. But at least we have, from the creator himself, the definitive word on the intended theatrical aspect ratio of his films.
     
  5. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Thank you, Peter! And Thank you, Ray Harryhausen
    OAR = "up to 1.85:1" on these titles.
     
  6. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the definitive answer, Peter!
     
  7. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Cinematographer

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    Well ... Thanks for that information!

    That makes me feel much better now about my Seventh Voyage of Sinbad disc. CTS released this title in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. At the time that I purchased it I felt a little guilty about possibly forsaking OAR for anamorphic enhancement. I can now enjoy that fine representation of Harryhausen's work with a clean conscience!!
     
  8. Michael St. Clair

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    Well, I'll sure never sell my Pioneer special edition laserdisc of Seventh Voyage of Sinbad; you get to see a lot more of Harryhausen's work than you do on the DVD.
    The isolated score is pretty sweet too.
     
  9. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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  10. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    The linked review from THE CINEMA LASER indicates both a matted and square presentation are on the disc. That's what was announced. So does the actual disc include both versions or not?
     
  11. Jim_K

    Jim_K Executive Producer

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    Peter,
    Thanks for the clarification. My mind is at ease now.
    Derek,
    Those screen shots look excellent. [​IMG]
    Now if Columbia can keep 'em coming I'd be doubly happy. [​IMG]
     
  12. Andy Dursin

    Andy Dursin Auditioning

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    I got a review copy a couple of weeks ago and there are both widescreen AND full-frame versions on there. To me, the full-screen version feels better composed -- the 1.85 matting seems VERY tight at times. Without re-igniting the whole Harryhausen aspect ratio argument here, I just think the 1.85 seems OVER-matted -- but at least you have your choice here (and that's better than what could be said for GULLIVER!).
     
  13. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    It's great to get the scoop from the man himself. Thanks!

    This is one of those sticky situations where the 4:3 version and the 1.85:1 should both be available. The theatrical purists can be happy with their matted versions and we Harryhausen junkies can enjoy every possible scrap of Ray's craftsmanship.

    But unfortunately...
    1) Just because Columbia gives us 4:3 doesn't mean it's open matte (e.g. Gulliver)
    2) Just because Columbia gives us 1.85:1 doesn't mean it's properly matted (7th Voyage looks like it could be a matted P&S transfer).

    These releases deserve far better. And what's with the same extras on every disc?!
     
  14. Michael St. Clair

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  15. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    The 1.85:1 framing is generally pleasing, as the screen shots will attest, but the extra resolution of the 16:9 enhanced version really pays off for those with wide screen displays.
     
  16. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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    Thanks for those screen shots, Derek! I'm looking forward to finally being able to replace my VHS tape for this title.
     
  17. Derek M Germano

    Derek M Germano Second Unit

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    Glad you like the screen shots- the DVD is even better!
    [​IMG]
     
  18. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    here is the http://www.dvdfile.com/software/revi...estoearth.html
    my question is
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Definitely the crown jewel of this collection is The Harryhausen Chronicles, an excellent hour-long documentary that is more than enough reason to buy this DVD. George Lucas, Leonard Nimoy, Dennis Muren - these and more notable science-fiction freaks make this a must-see
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    is this the same documentary that appears on Jason and the Argonauts or 7 voyages of Sinbad.
    Thanks again
    Oscar Merkx
     
  19. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    That's quite a statement coming from someone who obviously isn't a Harryhausen fan.
    Ugh. The problem with DVDFILE's reviews recently has been that you never know what you're going to get.
    Anyway, if you want to read an interesting and informative review written by someone who actually has some background knowledge and provides some meaningful insight, check out Savant' Review.
     
  20. Randy_M

    Randy_M Supporting Actor

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    Jack,

    I agree, this guy is terrible, and should find another line of work. If I was this uninformed, I wouldn't last another day in my job.

    I was just incredulous while reading this thing...I now look at the author at DVDFILE before reading the review. A lot of their guys are really good...
     

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