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Question about the Piranha DVD... (1 Viewer)

Scott Weinberg

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As a big fan of both Humanoids from the Deep and Piranha I was disappointed to see them both released in Full Frame - only releases.

But while reading a very entertaining review of the Piranha DVD over at DVD Talk's Cine-Schlock-O-Rama, I came across this information:



Can anyone confirm this? Did Piranha somehow play in theaters in a "full frame"??

Or am I missing some technical knowledge that would allow this explanation to make sense?
 

Matt<>Broon

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Well if the director thinks he filmed it for full screen then I guess he's probably right or losing it badly! ;)

As for playing it at a 4:3 aspect ratio in a theater I can't see any immediate problem with that. Remember that films before about '53 were in 1.33:1 (Academy flat ratio) or 'full screen' anyway.

Many of the greatest films of all time (Throne of Blood, Mr Hulot's Holiday & Ordet spring immediately to mind) were shot and framed for this aspect ratio so as long as the director framed it that way there's no reason to worry about the transfer..
 

Scott Weinberg

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Thanks, Matt.

I figured it was some sort of "similar to old movies" sort of answer. (Hey my Day the Earth Stood Still is Full Frame too! That's total B.S.!) ;)

Perhaps I'll buy this one after all. This flick scared the hell out of me when I was a kid. :)
 

Jon Robertson

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I suspect what they mean (they cover this topic on the insert booklet as well) is that it was FILMED full-frame, but was intended to be matted down to 1.85:1 when projected.

All R2 versions from MGM are in the correct 1.85:1 aspect ratio and anamorphic, but are barebones.

The R1 is a fantastic disc and it is open-matte rather than pan-and-scan, so by all means go for it! It's not the kind of film where the framing of each shot is paramount to your enjoyment, so live with the extra headroom and enjoy people getting eaten by mutant piranha! (Is that a spoiler? ;))
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Can anyone confirm this? Did Piranha somehow play in theaters in a "full frame"??
It did NOT play full-frame in theatres, but Dante may certainly have framed it to also look good in 4x3. There is some head- and foot-room on the DVD (which appears to be a genuine open-matte transfer with no zooming or scanning), so you can zoom it and recreate the theatrical ratio, or watch it the way the director wants you to. :)
 

Jon Robertson

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...so you can zoom it and recreate the theatrical ratio, or watch it the way the director wants you to.
Not true, I'm afraid. Here's an Onion interview where he expresses his dissatisfaction with the current disc:

"We put out Piranha, although we didn't go back to the original materials. I would have liked to, but they just used a transfer from years ago and bumped it up to digital. It looked okay, but in general that's what they do with all the Corman stuff. It's not letterboxed, because they don't want to bother. It looks fine, but you think, "Well, I'd like to have my film look as good as the other films of mine," and it's not anamorphically enhanced. But that's a really low-end company.
 

Peter Apruzzese

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Well, the Piranha theatrical 35mm prints were full-frame (to be soft-matted down to 1.85), so I'm not sure where Dante's quote contradicts this fact.

He's upset that they took an older full-frame transfer and would have liked to see them make a new transfer and make it 16x9 enhanced. Zooming the current disc *does* recreate the theatrical ratio, though it may not look very good due to it being an older transfer.
 

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