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Sometimes the movie is worth pan&scan !!!

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Sometimes the movie is worth pan&scan !!!

Old 06-18-99, 12:42 AM
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Tonight I rented "Guilty by Suspicion" from Longs Drugs for $0.99 (nice rental price for a DVD). It was a great movie that I recommend renting, or purchasing. I didn't realize how good of an actor Robert DeNiro was until about 1 hour into the movie. It was at this point that I realized I was watching a Pan & Scan disc. I was to absorbed in his acting and the story. Then I got to thinking ....Most of us here listed in another thread tons of TV shows that we would love to see hit DVD. As far as I recall, no one mentioned that these shows couldn't be done in widescreen. You'd think that all of the people here who say they won't buy pan & scan don't watch network television. So, I submit that if you want something bad enough...and it only comes in pan & scan....buy it anyway.

So here's my new criteria:

1) The movie must be a decent audio/video quality (horrible quality makes it hard to focus on the movie)...

2) It has to have good acting...

3) Strong character development is a must...

4) and every movie needs an entertaining story...

Let me know your opinions on the matter...

Robert Jason

p.s. -- Just to keep the record straight. I do PREFER wide screen.
Old 06-18-99, 01:08 AM
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As much as I consider you to be one of the more fun, intelligent, informative, and interesting members of this forum, I must go on record as saying no, huh-uh, I don't think so, faggedaboudit, never, never, never, EVER is pan-and-scan acceptable! NEVER!!!!! Thank you, and goodnight!
Old 06-18-99, 01:16 AM
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I think you may be mistaking the general dis like of pan & scan for the (more accurate) desire to see the movie in it's original theatrical aspect ratio. Or "how the director intended."

I doubt most of us think made for TV movies need to be done in Widescreen (well, maybe some of the Star Trek fans ).

But I still think you make an interesting point.

I've bought Moonstruck for this reason, and just asked for some shipping expenses to be paid with the p&s Chariots of Fire.

But it's still depressing to see these movies in p&s. Most movie's have places where you pause for breath, so to speak, and it's here and at the movie's beginning that I think about how small p&s makes a film look.



[This message has been edited by Blade (edited 06-17-1999).]
Old 06-18-99, 01:51 AM
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I agree that it is depressing when a movie you like is only available in pan & scan. My main point is that, if it isn't going to be made in wide screen, then buy it for the content. I would LOVE to see all movies in their original aspect ratio. I know that pan & scan means settling. Remember when you were a kid and your mom only let you have a cup of ice cream instead a bowl. Did you refuse the cup? I simply contest that we are here for the movies...not the format.

Like I said before...It's all about the story. I'll even watch a CD-R if that's the only available format.

On a similar note:

It's funny how many people say that wide screen is to crammed and squished for thier tastes. And I'm not talking about people here, I'm talking about the average John/Jane Doe. I feel that pan & scan is the frustrating and squished format, simply because they have cut off so much space.

Robert Jason

p.s. -- when I get an opinion I debate it with contention. I am glad that two of the most thoughtful people at dvdtalk are debating with me.
Old 06-18-99, 02:07 AM
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The problem with your ice cream analogy is that now that I'm grown up, if I want a bowl, I'll buy the ice cream and eat a bowl if I want. Sadly, I can't do that for Chariots of Fire and Moonstruck.

However, I'm of the opinion that someday all movies will be available in their original A.R. (unless the source materials are lost or destroyed). This is one of the bright sptos of the upcoming change in in TV standards.

I'm looking forward to getting a projector some time in the (distant) future, but soon (well in a few years), even cheap TVs will be 16x9. I think that this will eventually result in all movies being available in their proper A.R.

After all, p & s is a seperate process applied after a film is ready for transfer. I think the only reason they don't put something in widescreen is because of consumer resistance.

Time will tell.

Old 06-18-99, 06:20 AM
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I am a widescreen fan without a doubt but when I saw this post, I thought of the 2 most recent additions to my small collection "My Blue Heaven" and "Doc Hollywood". Both P&S with light comedy and fine just like that. For some reason, I didn't really miss WS on these two.

But I must admit when I saw they were P&S I figured my wife would enjoy them.(notice how he justifies buying P&S movies
Old 06-18-99, 11:08 AM
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I understand your point that we are here for the movie, not the format, but I subscribe to Blade's take on it--one day, fate willing, all movies will be in pan-and-scan format. Besides, I have over 125 DVDs on my wish list that are in letterboxed format, so it will be some time before I will even have to worry about falling from grace! One huge concern I have is that if I buy a pan-and-scan disc, that will appear to the studios as support for the format, which will help encourage them to continue releasing such abominations upon the marketplace . An additional point: we all bought into DVD because of the state-of-the-art picture and sound. If this is thwarted by a cropped image, what is the point? You might as well just buy the title for cheaper on VHS.

On a final note, thanks for the complement RJason, and I share your feelings about Blade. It is nice to see a reasoned, respectful debate on this forum for a change! Of course, the day is still young...

[This message has been edited by Filmmaker (edited 06-18-1999).]
Old 06-20-99, 03:05 AM
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How about this:

You're on a tour of Europe, and you have just stepped off the train in Amsterdam, having taken an overnight train from Paris. Your head is still reeling from the Louvre, and your mind has begun to wander more towards the treasures by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and VanGough to be found in the Rijksmuseum. You wander along the canals, until you come to your destination, and the home of your favorite painting of all time, Rembrandt's The Night Watch. The groundbreaking use of light and shadow, and the animated detail of the faces will soon be revealed to you in their full glory.

Stick with me here:
As you enter the museum you are drawn to the gallery containing the ceiling-high canvas of the masterpiece. Except, when you enter the gallery, you see at the end of the long corridor, an easel, in front of a big wall with an empty frame. On the easel, there is a smaller frame, oh, say about 2.5'x1.5'. The frame contains a 2.5'x1.5' detail cut neatly from the center of The Night Watch. It looks like a Pilgrm's head, or something.

Are you still with me?

Under the frame there's a small 3x5 card with these words typed on it,"This painting has been changed in the following way: It has been modified to fit our taste. You see we figure the Mona Lisa is about 2.5'x1.5', and that's a really great work of art also, and the Mona Lisa has been trimmed quite a bit over the last few centuries itself,so we figured if DaVinci was able to fit all of that great art into such a small space, the integrity of the Night Watch would not be compromised by a little snip-snip! We're sure you'll agree!"

As a single tear drop rolls down your cheek you curse the day you ever dared compare P&S to W/S...


[This message has been edited by burgeon (edited 06-20-1999).]
Old 06-22-99, 01:44 PM
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I think it's important to point out that "Full Screen (4:3)" is not nessecarily the same as "Pan And Scan". P&S only applies if the original source was widescreen. Most movies made before the 1950's were filmed at a 4:3 aspect ratio, and I think even fans of the widescreen format would be upset if "The Wizard Of Oz" or "Gone With The Wind" were released in a widesceen format.

The subject become even more blurred when you realize that some movies are filmed "full screen", then cropped at the top and bottom to make a widescreen version. "Back To The Future, Part 2" for example. I can remember when the widescreen laser disc was released, many laserdisc fans were disappointed to discover that the VHS release had more picture elements. (I wasn't into laserdiscs at that time, so I only have vague memories of it. If my facts are a little off, I'm sure someone will set me straight). In a case like this, which should be concidered the "way the director intended"? The full screen version or the cropped letterbox version? If the director filmed it taking video AND widescreen into account, which should take precidence? My opinion is that WE should be given the choice, especially with DVD when it will not cost much most to but both versions on the disc. I like watching Austin Powers letterboxed, but I also like watching it full screen. I'm glad I have the choice. In the case of "A Bug's Life", the widescreen and full screen versions are essentially two different movies. And it probably didn't cost Disney much to include both versions since they had to make the full screen transfer for VHS anyway.

With TV shows, some may already exist in a widescreen format. The modern Star Trek series are shot on 35mm film (though the effects are done on video), so it's possible that widescreen versions exist somewhere just waiting for HDTV. I realize that 35mm film does not nessecarily mean they were shot in widescreen, there were a couple of episodes of "The Next Generation" where I'm sure I caught a Pan & Scan. Take a look at the end of "Dormak" where something that belonged to the alien captain is beamed from Picard's hand to the alien ship. As it disappears and reappears on the viewscreen, there is a akward pan that looks like is was done on video, and not film. The layout of the shot definately looks like it was done for widescreen. Hardly definitive proof, but ya never know.

I just hope that there are widescreen versions of some TV shows so that when they are inevitably shown on HDTV, they don't have to crop the top and bottom of the picture and create a whole new "pan and scan" controvery!
Old 06-22-99, 02:18 PM
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I have one movie P&S movie: The Man with Two Brains. I have not noticed any detraction from my enjoyment of this film. While I would prefer all movies to be shown in their original aspect ratio, certain movies aren't so much "composed" for frame as they are simply friggin' funny. It's worth having for the joy of being able to watch the movie.

Admiral: I know for a fact that "Voyager" is shooting with 16:9 in mind.



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