Once Upon a Time in Mexico OAR?

 
Old 01-20-04, 02:16 PM
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Once Upon a Time in Mexico OAR?

It seems there has been some confusion about the aspect ratio of this DVD. I hear it was shown 2.35:1 in the theaters, but the DVD is 1.78:1. When I added it to my list at dvdaficionado, the title is listed as "reformatted to 1.78:1". What's the deal here?
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Old 01-20-04, 02:43 PM
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IIRC... It was filmed on digital equipment at 1.78:1 and matted to 2.35:1 for theatrical release...
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Old 01-20-04, 03:01 PM
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Based on Robert Rodriguez' heavy involvement in his films, I don't think you have anything to worry about with the DVD presentation.
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Old 01-20-04, 03:02 PM
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So the DVD is 1:78.1? But the theatrical presentation was 2:35.1? Umm...besides the fact that a movie takign a name from a Sergio Leone movie has no right to be 1:78.1, this wouldn't be OAR would it? So what's the deal?
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Old 01-20-04, 03:14 PM
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There's only two director's that I never worry about when it comes to theatrical or DVD presintation... Robert's one and Kevin Smith is the other. Besides, Zhivago's answer is right on the money.
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Old 01-20-04, 03:36 PM
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What Zhivago said.
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Old 01-20-04, 04:23 PM
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Originally posted by jaeufraser
So the DVD is 1:78.1? But the theatrical presentation was 2:35.1? Umm... this wouldn't be OAR would it? So what's the deal?
As posted above:

"It was filmed on digital equipment at 1.78:1 and matted to 2.35:1 for theatrical release.."

so actually the deal is .... it wasn't shown OAR in movie theaters. If you paid to see it in a theater, you should demand your money back.
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Old 01-20-04, 04:53 PM
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El Mariachi and Desperado were both 1.85:1 for what it's worth...

besides the fact that a movie takign a name from a Sergio Leone movie has no right to be 1:78.1,
Isn't Once Upon a Time in America 1.85:1?

Last edited by bunkaroo; 01-20-04 at 04:55 PM.
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Old 01-20-04, 05:10 PM
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For what it's worth, Bunkaroo, El Mariachi was shot 4:3 with home video in mind, matted to 1.66:1 for theater, laserdisc and first DVD release, and further matted to 1.78:1 for the 'Special' Edition.

The way I see it, Rodriguez shot the film with the roundabouts-1.8:1 ratio in mind. While watching the film in theaters, I thought to myself how tightly cropped some scenes seemed (especially the Depp/Marin conversations). He probably shot the film, then matted it to 2.35:1 so that it would open on the maximum number of screens (a similar move was used for Roger Donaldson's The Recruit).

Either way, I'm sure digitalfreaknyc's pissed off...
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Old 01-20-04, 05:35 PM
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Originally posted by DonnachaOne
He probably shot the film, then matted it to 2.35:1 so that it would open on the maximum number of screens
I'm not sure I understand the relationship here. How is this relevant?

K
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Old 01-20-04, 06:04 PM
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Thanks for the info-I was just going off the DVD packages...
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Old 01-20-04, 06:13 PM
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Well I can't comment on what Rodriguez intended. Granted a film like this IMO should be 2:35.1. Granted, Once Upon a Time in America is 1:85.1, but Leone's classic Western's were always shot wide, and really took advantage of the scope.

I don't remember Rodriguez's film that well. I wasn't that big a fan really, but the shooting specs of a film do not in any way mean that that is the OAR. Now, if Rodriguez says that 1:78.1 is the final OAR, then it is. But then I'll just have to say Robert made a mistake there. An epic western type flick? Called Once Upon a Time in Mexico? Sorry just an opinion. I'll have to revisit this film again regardless to form a final opinion. Rodriguez has some interesting ideas, but sometimes his execution is really not quite there.
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Old 01-20-04, 06:30 PM
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Originally posted by Cornelius1047
I'm not sure I understand the relationship here. How is this relevant?
K
Forget where I read it, but there are more 2.35:1 screens than 1.85:1 screens in movie multiplexes. Sure, the 2.35:1 screens could get matted, but that leaves a smaller screen, and is thus a less enveloping experience (aparently... I never noticed). If a director wants to really make a spectacle, they shoot the film in 2.35:1, and in these "make as money as you can, as quick as you can" times - especially in the case of Columbia overspending on -cough-'surefire' hits - the film has to reach the maximum number of people it can without losing any of that spectacle. Since there are more 2.35:1 screens, more movies are shot that way to make sure the biggest image is shown in the cinema to the most people.
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Old 01-22-04, 01:06 PM
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Originally posted by DonnachaOne
Forget where I read it, but there are more 2.35:1 screens than 1.85:1 screens in movie multiplexes. Sure, the 2.35:1 screens could get matted, but that leaves a smaller screen, and is thus a less enveloping experience (aparently... I never noticed).
A 1.85 screen is just a 2.35 with mattes. You do have a smaller screen because the height stays the same. The height is fixed. I'm sure most theaters have the ability to change the mattes for the correct presentation.
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Old 01-22-04, 01:24 PM
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actually, theaters change the aspect ratio for each movie. I saw one movie one week at 2:35, then the next week at the exact same theater number, I saw another one at 1:85
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Old 01-22-04, 01:34 PM
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Originally posted by DonnachaOne
Forget where I read it, but there are more 2.35:1 screens than 1.85:1 screens in movie multiplexes. Sure, the 2.35:1 screens could get matted, but that leaves a smaller screen, and is thus a less enveloping experience (aparently... I never noticed). If a director wants to really make a spectacle, they shoot the film in 2.35:1, and in these "make as money as you can, as quick as you can" times - especially in the case of Columbia overspending on -cough-'surefire' hits - the film has to reach the maximum number of people it can without losing any of that spectacle. Since there are more 2.35:1 screens, more movies are shot that way to make sure the biggest image is shown in the cinema to the most people.
Theatres can show whatever aspect ratio they want and just matte the screen accordingly.

Often, the sign that my multiplex is getting reading to dim the lights and start the movie is that the mattes open or close on the screen.

Then you have my poorly projected arthouse that shows all films, regardless of ratio, on the full, 2.35:1 screen without matting. Very distracting to see a 1.85 film in the middle of a huge blank screen.
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Old 01-22-04, 04:07 PM
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In the bonus feature "film is dead" Robert says the movie was shot in 1.85:1 then they took just the center and made it 2.85:1. I may be wrong on the 1.85:1 it may have been 1.78:1 but what he said was along those lines. I don't have the dvd with me at the moment to check for sure, if someone hasn't updated it by tonight I'll get it.
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Old 01-22-04, 05:06 PM
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What gets me is that some theater screens are now matting their scope presentations as opposed to the the flat ones. This means that the screen is actually shaped 1.85:1 and then a horizontal curtain matte comes down from the top or bottom to fit a 2.35:1 frame. This IMO is just bullshit. The scope shot film is supposed to feel larger than a flat shot film, and has always felt that way with a traditional size screen. But now that some of these screens actually reduce the height of the picture on a scope film, I feel cheated.
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Old 01-22-04, 07:42 PM
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Guys, you don't have to tell me about theater matting.

I work in a theater.

I PUT THOSE MATTES UP.

moviezzz and dullboy understand. Matting a film in a theater can be disappointing. Since most big screens in moneymaking multiplexes are 2.35:1 (apparently), a 2.35:1 presentation would seem better for the audience.

The one I work in has eighteen screens: the largest theaters all have 2.35:1 screens, and we debut the new movies on the screens in the biggest theaters. Audiences (apparently) don't enjoy a matted show as much as a much-more-enveloping 2.35:1 show. Hence, more movies are shot in 2.35:1 to maximize opening weekend profits.

When Lord Of The Rings stops making so much money, we'll shove it in a theater with a 1.85:1 screen. I'll toss up a matte on the top and bottom, and we'll be able to sell out another show, since it's a much smaller theater.
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