Netflix - Widescreen vs. Picture-framed

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Barry_New, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. Barry_New

    Barry_New Auditioning

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    One thing about Netflix that has bugged me thus far - selections labeled as Widescreen sometimes turn out to be pictured-framed, which is the absolute worst on a 16x9 set. Is there any way to specify that you want to order the DVD in full-screen anamorphic if available, instead of the reduced el-cheapo picture frame format?
     
  2. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    What exactly are you talking about? I've rented hundreds of movies from them and only one was listed as widescreen that turned out to be fullscreen. To the best of my knowledge, Netflix only stocks widescreen versions, unless the only version available is fullscreen or in the rare instance (Shrek, Finding Nemo) when the two disc set has the wide and full versions on seperate discs.
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    That is, as commonly used, a contradiction in terms. No such thing exists.
     
  4. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    What is pictured-framed? I've never heard that term before.
     
  5. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    He's referring to an older letterboxed, non anamorphic transfer v.s an anamorphic, enhanced for 16X9 sets widescreen version.

    When you watch a letterboxed film on a 16X9 set, you can use the zoom functions on your remote to avoid the "frame" look and still retain all of the picture, but the resolution is reduced a bit.

    When you have a 16X9 set, "fullscreen" is 16X9! That's why I hate the term. People who buy "fullscreen" DVDs of widescreen movies will find out they are no such thing when they upgrade to a wide set.

    Netflix usually carries the latest version of DVDs, do they not? Most widescreen DVDs are 16X9 anamorphic these days, but not all are. You can't blame them if the studio only released the disc in a letterboxed transfer.
     
  6. Barry_New

    Barry_New Auditioning

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    It's possible that the film (Enemy of the State) WAS released only in the reduced format, but I doubt it since it's a relatively recent major release and the review comments I read on Netflix seemed to imply that it was an anamorphic release. (Film was dreck, by the way...) I think readers of this thread understand the issue, but what is the acceptable terminology to describe it? I, too, find endless confusion in the terms "widescreen" and "fullscreen". When I buy so-called "widescreen" DVDs, I look for the specific mention of anamorphic, to imply that it will be enhanced to fit the entire width of a 16x9 frame (minus any letterbox squeeze associated with the aspect ratio itself). The "picture frame" format is what you come to expect on the $9.99 budget bin releases of usually older movies on DVD, NOT on new major studio releases. My original question to find out how many other folks have experience with receiving non-anamorphic releases from Netflix. Since I am a brand new Netflix customer, I'm just curious if this might happen again.
     
  7. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    I gotta stop skimming past parentheses.
     
  8. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    It has more to do with the age of the DVD than the age of the film. Fox and Paramount, for example, have released some lovely anamorphic versions of catalogue titles at bargain prices, but all of these DVDs were mastered in the last 3-4 years.

    M.
     
  9. Barry_New

    Barry_New Auditioning

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    Michael, thx.
    Re: picture frame format having "more to do with the age of the DVD than the age of the film...". That's what I meant to say, I didn't do a good job. I did an online retailer search of this particular film after your response and found a couple different releases available, one of which is "widescreen". I must have got an earlier version from Netflix. FWIW, here's the Netflix description, pulled from their site...not exactly the DVD I got.

    Other features:
    A lovely rendition of this film -- the transfer is a glorious 2.35:1 widescreen, the sound is in DD 5.1 (there's also a soundtrack in French) and extras include the original trailer and two production featurettes.
     
  10. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    As far as I know, there has only ever been one release of "Enemy of the State" to DVD on June 15, 1999 (not 2998 as was stated earlier).

    You also need to realize that the description was probably written about the time the DVD was released and don't forget that Netflix is just trying to move rental product with their description.
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    The description is accurate.

    M.
     
  12. Barry_New

    Barry_New Auditioning

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    My bad. Thanks for the clarification. Only one version, and it's Disney non-anamorphic, as you stated.
     
  13. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    Anamorphic doesn't guarantee that, does it? As I have understood, it could still be either 1.78:1 (16x9) or 2.35:1. If you're talking about making 2.35:1 film to fit into 1.78:1 screen, I would call this reduction and not enhancement.
     

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