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DVD Talk review of 'Delta Farce' (Blu-ray)

Old 09-18-07, 01:57 PM
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DVD Talk review of 'Delta Farce' (Blu-ray)

I read John Sinnott's DVD review of Delta Farce at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=30461 and...

I just want to point out that opening up a 1.85:1 film to 1.78:1 on video is very common and really isn't a problem. Warner and Paramount have been doing this for years as standard practice. There is very little difference between the two ratios, and displays with overscan won't even see it.

Now, if it was a 2.35:1 movie, or the IMAX movies or the Dragon's Lair video game, that would be different. Incidentally, there is at least one 2.35:1 film (The World's Fastest Indian) which is 1.85:1 on BD (and DVD for that matter), but that was at the request of the director. At least it's open matte Super-35 rather than pan and scan.
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Old 09-18-07, 02:36 PM
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Common? Which high def discs are you thinking of? Most of the 1.85:1 movies that I've seen on HD DVD and BD kept the original aspect ratio.

I agree that isn't a dire catastrophy, but I don't see any good reason to open up the frame. To quote my review:

While this is objectionable it isn't a huge deal. On most displays the difference between the two aspect ratios is barely noticeable, only a few scan lines. Of course this makes one wonder if the difference is so small, why alter it in the first place.
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Old 09-18-07, 03:09 PM
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A lot of discs list 1.85:1 on the packaging but are actually 1.78:1.

Paramount as a rule used to release all of their 1.85:1 films on DVD at 1.78:1, and I'd imagine the same holds true for the high-def formats as well. Warner and Lionsgate also preferred to open the mattes slightly to 1.78:1, and a lot of the discs I have from some indie labels do the same.

I don't know if they're this way on HD DVD and Blu-ray since short of buying a drive for my PC, there really isn't much of a way to check.
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Old 09-18-07, 04:20 PM
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Both Paramount and Warner open all 1.85:1 movies up to 16:9 as a matter of policy. Sony usually retains the 1.85:1 matting. The difference is only a couple of scan lines, and is hidden by TV overscan anyway.


1.85:1


1.78:1


Either one after 5% TV overscan


To my knowledge, no director in the history of filmmaking has ever complained about their work being butchered by this.
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Old 09-18-07, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Josh Z
Both Paramount and Warner open all 1.85:1 movies up to 16:9 as a matter of policy.
Maybe you can answer this Josh: why bother to open it up? The differance is so minimal, why not just leave well enough alone?
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Old 09-18-07, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by videophile
Maybe you can answer this Josh: why bother to open it up? The differance is so minimal, why not just leave well enough alone?
Since 1.85:1 movies are photographed using the entire 35mm film negative, during the telecine session all the operator has to do for a 16:9 transfer is center the image properly on the 16:9 screen. If the studio or filmmaker is anal enough to require strict 1.85:1, an extra step to apply matting must be taken. It's certainly not a lot of extra work by any means, but since the result is virtually indistinguishable, why bother?

The difference between 1.85:1 and 1.78:1 in no way affects the compositional intent of a shot. Due to variences in theatrical projection and TV overscan, directors frame their shots with a little leeway around the edges anyway.

Taking a 2.35:1 movie and altering it to 16:9 is a much more fundamental change to the compositional intent of the photography.

Speaking of which, take a closer look at the "2.35:1" discs in your collection to see how many of them really measure 2.35:1.
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Old 09-19-07, 05:29 PM
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On a much more egregious note, both Disney and Warner have recomposed their IMAX releases to 1.78:1, which is a major change.
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Old 09-19-07, 06:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Suprmallet
On a much more egregious note, both Disney and Warner have recomposed their IMAX releases to 1.78:1, which is a major change.
Yes and no. IMAX has different compositional rules than traditional movies. IMAX is photographed with the intent that parts of the frame will extend beyond the viewer's field of vision. That's not an effect that can be recreated at home.

Even IMAX movies transferred as 4:3 are usually dramatically re-framed from shot to shot. The next time you go to an IMAX theater, note that the movie's credits are usually placed very low in the frame, where they'll draw a viewer's eyes. Likewise with any people in the film. The same movie on video will be centered, with picture from the top of the frame cropped, because it would look very odd otherwise.

The 'golden rule' in traditional photography states that a person's eyes should be 1/3 down from the top of the frame, but if you do that on an IMAX screen it would look horrible, forcing viewers to crane their necks to see the eyes, so instead faces are placed much lower in the frame. But then you bring that to video and the shot has to be cropped or else everyone would be way too low on the TV screen.
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