Shame On You MGM!

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Brent Avery, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. Brent Avery

    Brent Avery Supporting Actor

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    I purchased Gator on dvd recently with the full knowledge that it was "modified to fit your screen" as mentioned on the film before the movie started (and on the back of the dvd of course). I naturally have a distaste for pan & scan versions of any widescreen film, but what was really difficult involved watching the opening credits in the original oar. I was hoping it was a mistake on MGMs part regarding it being full frame but it went to p&s shortly after. In the opening credits it mentioned that it was filmed in Todd AO 35mm. Anyone else ever experience a let down like that?
     
  2. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Big thread about this at the top of the page.

    MGM is releasing lots of these lately.
     
  3. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Cinematographer

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    As I mentioned in that thread, both Gator and White Lightning were released OAR on laserdisc by MGM. These aren't just laserdisc rehashes; a deliberate decision was made to make these P&S.
     
  4. Jesse Skeen

    Jesse Skeen Producer

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    So why did you buy it anyway?
     
  5. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    I bought Gator.

    Why? Because it's an old favorite that I first
    discovered on VHS back when it was owned by CBS/FOX.

    In fact, to this day I have never seen the original
    White Lightning.

    It all comes down to this --- I wanted to own the
    film. How else was I to have it?

    I, too, was quite disturbed that MGM letterboxed
    the opening credits. They obviously knew that
    this film deserved a widescreen presentation, but
    made the decision to go Pan & Scan instead.

    This is a very disturbing situation and a real
    uphill climb for all of us. Obviously MGM doesn't
    care how the fans feel about these widescreen
    films being modified on a highly advanced video
    format like DVD. You would think the
    studio would hold themselves as responsible as
    curators of a Museum full of treasures. You don't
    take valuable artwork (in this case film) and
    distort its image for public viewing. Do you
    think the artist (in this case the director and
    crew) approves of the studio altering their
    priceless art?

    For God's sake, when will studios realize that
    film is an artform and that they are given the
    responsibility of properly preserving that artwork
    for future generations?
     
  6. Clint

    Clint Stunt Coordinator

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    Which is why I am on the fence on getting the MAR'ed MGM release of "Revenge of the Ninja". A classic 80's cheese! [​IMG] Must fight temptation.
     
  7. GlennH

    GlennH Cinematographer

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    My advice on MAR releases of films you'd still like to see now on DVD is to rent it when you feel the need, until an OAR version (hopefully) someday comes along. It's a compromise, but doesn't reward the studio as much as a purchase would.

    Having said that, I do own the P&S version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I rationalize this by the fact that I paid only about $9 for it and my daughter has been able to enjoy the movie several times at the right age (not that she can't continue to enjoy it when older). Anyway, I plan to get the OAR SE in November and will give away or sell the P&S one.

    By the way, CCBB also starts off in widescreen then goes to P&S after the credits. A cruel trick.
     
  8. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    A similar strategy would be to wait until you find a cheap used copy. Then you can have the film without contributing to the offending studio's coffers.
     
  9. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    That's what I usually do, although when picking up PVTs, I'll typically scour the racks for a widescreen copy first.
     
  10. Michael Allred

    Michael Allred Screenwriter

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    Buying MAR releases doesn't do the trick guys. Send the message with your wallet by NOT buying these discs.

    Believe me, I know what it's like wanting a movie on DVD badly but I cannot bring myself to buying a chopped up version.
     
  11. Bill Burns

    Bill Burns Supporting Actor

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    Just as an FYI, I've found over the years that many films taken to P&S from ratios that are very wide will do one of two things to preserve the credits (where names would otherwise find themselves cut off entirely, much to the chagrine of the WGA, DGA, Screen Actor's Guild, and other watchdogs): either letterbox them part of the way or all of the way to the OAR, or compress them (which looks like an anamorphic signal on a non-anamorphic display), making the credits themselves and anything in the background appear elongated, but thus keeping everything in the 1.33:1 frame.

    Both seem to be a common practic, with letterboxing becoming more popular in recent years -- I see this often on HBO, AMC, and other frequent P&S culprits over cable and sattelite.
     
  12. Gordon McMurphy

    Gordon McMurphy Producer

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    Beguiling. Why not just include both the pan and scan version and the anamorphic OAR version, either on a DVD-9 or a double sided DVD-10? MGM gives customers this choice on DVDs like The Fog, The Sure Thing and more strangely, A Kiss Before Dying (region 2 at least - is the region 1 the same?) but this current budget titles are only presented in 1.33:1 fullscreen. Why?

    To be honest, I can understand when Big New Movies are released in both 1.33:1 open-matte/pan and scan along with the OAR versions, but for titles like Remo and Gator? These are cult movies that will mostly be bought by OAR campaigners - why torture them with (non-anamorphic?) letterboxed credit sequences and then cut to 1.33:1 fullscreen? Ouch! I hate that feeling when 2.35:1 suddenly becomes 1.33:1. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Don't be denied - make it wide.


    Gordy
     
  13. Walt Riarson

    Walt Riarson Supporting Actor

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