Nicholas Nickleby better in full screen?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Campbell Smith, Aug 23, 2003.

  1. Campbell Smith

    Campbell Smith Auditioning

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    I realise I may be setting the cat among the pigeons, or among the sacred cows, but I would just like to give my impressions of viewing the recently released DVD of 'Nicholas Nickleby' starrring Charlie Hunnam. When I received the disc, I watched it in its original ratio (2.35:1), as I have every film I have bought on DVD in the past four years. I don't have a projector or large widescreen, just a 72" Loewe, which admittedly gives a crystal clear picture. But in a film that was noticeably short of good closeups, I found myself a bit distant from the action. A recent New York Times story on a California study of digital projection for theaters reported that the ideal distance to sit from a cinema screen is two or three times the height of the screen. So to enjoy a cinemascope film on my TV, perhaps I should sit two feet from the screen! Anyway, last night two friends came over and we watched the full-screen version on the other side of the disc. In short, I found it more enjoyable. It was easier to enjoy the nuances of the great performances (especially Christopher Plummer's) and the use of open matte where necessary meant there were none of the "two noses talking to each other" moments so common in the old pan and scan prints done for TV. I think it was Robert Harris who said that home theatre is NOT the cinema, and there are compromises involved. I believe the perfect way to see this film would be in glorious widescreen at a cinema. At home, I think either viewing choice involves a compromise. So perhaps sometimes it might be tolerable to leave the matter to personal preference. I should add that when I discussed this with my 16-year-old daughter, she sneered: "Well of course I appreciate the great cinematography, so I prefer it in widescreen." Perhaps I have trained her too well!
     
  2. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    I'm not getting into a p&s vs. wide war because I consider it contrary to the HTF mission statement, but can you explain how a 2.35:1 film employs "the use of open matte where necessary "? Even if filmed Super 35 (which it is not, according to IMDB, admittedly not the best source) there is still chopping on the sides, unlike opening the matte on 1.85:1 films.
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  4. Campbell Smith

    Campbell Smith Auditioning

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    I guess this is not worth a detailed mathematical debate. Comparing the two versions of the film, the Super35 frame has been cropped top and bottom for the widescreen version and on each side for the full-screen version. But the cropping on the sides is much less severe than it would be if cropping the 2.35:1 ratio to 1.33:1. In the film's final wedding scene, for example, the two marrying couples are on either side of the screen but can be seen in both versions.
     
  5. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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  6. Johnny G

    Johnny G Supporting Actor

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    I'm sorry Campbell, I've read through this twice and still can't make any sense of your post whatsoever. [​IMG]
     
  7. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    maybe campbell isnt aware of the HTF mission statement concerning oar.

    he has been a member for about a year but only 3 posts, 2 in this thread.
     
  8. Campbell Smith

    Campbell Smith Auditioning

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    Sorry, the 72" was a typo for 27". I won't have a problem if I can ever get a 72" set. In the meantime, I'm tending to not buy as many 2.35:1 films on DVD. It's just that I have often found them disappointing on my TV, particularly when the transfer is not great (eg The Sound of Music). I understand the commitment to OAR, and I share it, although my post may not have suggested this.
     
  9. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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  10. Chad A Wright

    Chad A Wright Supporting Actor

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    The first TV that I had my DVD player hooked up to was a 19". I prefer films (even on that small TV) to be 2.35:1. That was my whole reason for getting into dvd. I've since upgraded to a 32" HDTV, but I've never bought the arguement that widescreen isn't as watchable on small TVs. Look at the size of portable DVD player screens. I see no complaints there. I use my Apple Powerbook as a portable DVD player all the time, and love the 15" widescreen display.
     
  11. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    I'm with Chad on this one. As much as a Super 35 pan and scan transfer may be less objectionable, I've been watching widescreen movies on 19 and 20 inch TVs since they were available. I only recently upgraded to 27 inch, but my next TV will hopefully be a projector. I'd rather duplicate the theatrical experience at home than subject my opinion of a film to the whims of a colorist.
     
  12. Ken Lemons

    Ken Lemons Extra

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    Um... that's interesting.

    Matt is suggesting that if people take the aspect ratio into account when they make their film purchases that they are not committed to OAR and Chad says he prefers 2.35:1 films. It looks like Chad may not be committed to OAR, either.

    Or maybe Chad prefers action movies and epics and Campbell doesn't want to pay for movies he has to squint to see when he could wait until he has a bigger TV to buy them.

    As far as the arguement that screen size doesn't affect the ability to appreciate a movie: I'm on the bigger is better side. Powerbooks have beautiful screens, but for me, there is little immersion in that environment. I would only watch a movie I didn't care much about on one. I might feel differently if I were in a comfortable chair in a cool, dark room with a Powerbook, but in that situation I could probably be at my home theatre where I would likely enjoy the film more.
     
  13. Brian Lawrence

    Brian Lawrence Producer

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  14. Chad A Wright

    Chad A Wright Supporting Actor

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    I fully support OAR in all it's various sizes. I have always believed, though, that 2.35:1 is just more pleasing to the eye than other aspect ratios. I find myself watching tv on dvd and wondering what some of these 1.33:1 shows would look like if they were shot at 2.35:1.

    I agree that watching a film on my Powerbook isn't as immersive as watching it on my tv and sound system, but on a trip it works nicely. The real problem I have with it is the speakers aren't big enough to really hear while driving. I've fixed this by watching foreign films with subtitles when on the road [​IMG]
     

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