Pearl Harbor P&S VHS is still Letterboxed!!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sean Moon, Nov 28, 2001.

  1. Sean Moon

    Sean Moon Cinematographer

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    Just looked at a copy of the P&S version of Pearl Harbor today(we didnt receive the LB VHS or DVD's yet) but the entire film is letterboxed, just like Ron said months ago!

    BUT...it is not OAR.

    The majority of the film is 1.85, not the true 2.40 theatrical or DVD presentation. Only during certan sequences does the image go to 2.40. The back of the box reads "This film has been modified from its original version, it has been modified to fill more of your screen. The black bars are normal for this format. The black bars may be bigger during key attack sequences."

    I watched only a few moments of the film and then the beginning of the attack and hadnt seen the film go to OAR in the brief time I watched it. Will just wait for the DVD.

    SO...a major release is letterbox only, unfortunatly it is not OAR only.

    small victories
     
  2. Dale Dobson

    Dale Dobson Auditioning

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    I agree that OAR is the only way to go, in the ideal case.
    But I can't help thinking that this might not be a good "break-in" presentation for the mainstream audience. Perhaps the fact that the image cuts to FULL scope widescreen for the most vividly cinematic portions of the film will demonstrate the reasons for widescreen.
    1.78:1 has become accepted by the public on television shows like ER. This may be the next little step to illustrate the value of an even wider ratio. There's obviously a reason to preserve the REALLY wide picture, and switching to the larger black bars may make the reasoning more obvious.
    Kind of like "boiling the frog." [​IMG] Tiny steps until everyone is pro-OAR.
     
  3. Richard Kim

    Richard Kim Producer

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    As far as I'm concerned, this is just as bad as 4:3 pan n scan. Why couldn't they just make the VHS true OAR rather than this half assed attempt?
     
  4. Inspector Hammer!

    Inspector Hammer! Executive Producer

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    Man, this just get's better and better.
    But, I suppose that on a whole, it's a step forward. An awkward, and drunken swagger, but a move forward nontheless.
     
  5. MathewM

    MathewM Stunt Coordinator

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    The multiple aspect ratios just sound like the further metamorphisis of Bay into making nothing but music videos for the bubble gum crowd.
     
  6. Chad R

    Chad R Cinematographer

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    Uggh. With changing aspect ratios this sounds like it'll do little more than further confuse those uniformed masses and further cloud the issue. Not to mention that explanation on the box doesn't usually go home with renters, the video store's rental box does, and if it doesn't carry a similar explanation I forsee a lot of returned movies.
     
  7. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    I, for one, think it's certainly a big step in the right direction. It's obviously not ideal as would be a proper 2.40:1 letterbox version, but it's still heads and shoulders above all the 100% pan and scan releases you see on VHS these days.

    Unlike a lot of folks here, I don't have anything against VHS as a format, in and of itself. The only real problem I have with VHS is that 99.99% of tapes are pan and scan only. The few that are in letterbox format are generally offered only for sale, never for rent. I'm very glad to see that we're heading towards your average Joe's acceptance of letterboxed movies, even if we're not there quite yet.
     
  8. Matt Butler

    Matt Butler Screenwriter

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    Didnt the VHS of Ben Hur do this?

    Ive never seen BH but heard about the VHS being P&S but went OAR for the Chariot race.
     
  9. Jacob_St

    Jacob_St Second Unit

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  10. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    I know the "an & Sca" version of Magnolia goes Widescreen for the scene where Jim and Claudia are talking at Claudia's place. Pan & Scan was just impossible for that scene! The rest of the movie made me sick though (I'm talking about the butchery here, not the movie itself)
     
  11. Will K

    Will K Screenwriter

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    I could be like Cher and demand All or Nothing, but I think this is absolutely a step in the right direction. However, I suspect this won't be a permanent trend in the rental world. The reason is, studios have in the past done the letterbox treatment to what they conceive as "event" or "important" films. I think this will be a drop in the bucket and VHS will continue to be a vapid cesspool of washed out pan-and-scan butchery. Still doesn't hurt, though.

    With all due respect to those who liked Pearl Harbor, maybe they should try it on a good movie.
     
  12. Wes

    Wes Screenwriter

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    Shall we call this "Enhanced Pan and Scan"[​IMG]
    I think Joe will be discussed at first but will not even notice the switch to 2.40:1.
    Wes
     
  13. Barry S

    Barry S Stunt Coordinator

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    This is not that new. A lot of P&S movies do this. A lot of times for 2.35:1 Panavision movies, the transfer will be letterboxed during the opening credits (so as not to cut off any of the titles), then reverts to pan and scan once the credits end. This is quite common. Several movies I can think of that do this are Heat, Fierce Creatures and Blazing Saddles just to name a few.
     
  14. Matt Wooten

    Matt Wooten Second Unit

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    personally i think its a step in the right direction. joe6pack will get this. he will understand the differences.. and soon will come to enjoy the true presentation.. might take a few years but its a step in the right direction. everyone didn't just jump into cds.. it did take a while..
     
  15. SteveK

    SteveK Supporting Actor

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    Barry- I think there's an important difference between showing the credits in widescreen then going to full screen for the remainder of the movie (which as you mention is frequently done) and showing important scenes in OAR. The credits are obviously only at the beginning or end of a movie, while Pearl Harbor may have widescreen segments interspersed at various points in the movie. I think it will be much more apparent that perhaps the whole movie is actually shot in widescreen than it is when just the credits are properly displayed.

    And I definitely think this is a small step in the right direction. I think the best thing would be for all directors to insist on OAR, but obviously not all directors have that much clout.

    Steve K.
     
  16. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    What a hoot! I can't wait to hear the stories about J6P returning PH to his local video rental;
    J6P - "Hey, this tape has those 'black bars', I want one of the tapes that doesn't."
    BB clerk - "Sir, all of our copies have 'black bars'."
    J6P - "What?!?! It's a conspiracy! Those TV makers are trying to con us into buying those expensive wide TVs! Well, I ain't gonna do it! My 19" GE has done well for 20 years and I ain't gonna buy another one. Why can't they just make the movies fill the whole screen like they're supposed to? It's just stupid."
    BB clerk - "I don't know sir."
    J6P - "Oh well, just give me my money back and I'll get something else. Hmmm... Where's your porno section?
    BB clerk - "We don't have one sir."
    J6P - "What?!?! It's a conspiracy! ....
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    And yes, I can make fun of J6P, read my sig. [​IMG]
     
  17. Jacob_St

    Jacob_St Second Unit

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    The point some of you are missing is that the entire movie is still in widescreen. Yeah much of it is in 1.85 but that is still widescreen and requires black bars. I don't think any big event movie has ever been released on VHS in widescreen only.
     
  18. MarkBurton

    MarkBurton Second Unit

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    Would you consider Always a big event movie?
     
  19. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    Wasn't "The Insider" only available in widescreen, even on VHS?
     
  20. Brett Cameron

    Brett Cameron Stunt Coordinator

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    The Color Purple and Gremlins 2 were widescreen only on VHS also. Last Of The Mohicans was pan and scanned to around a 2:1 ratio for it's original vhs release also.
     

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