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Anamorphic Widescreen Re-Releases

Old 02-08-08, 01:07 AM
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Anamorphic Widescreen Re-Releases

I'm a DVD supporter since the early days. I bought my first DVDs (Beetlejuice & Mars Attacks) back in 1997 from the same mail-order company I was buying laserdiscs from, and I spent $1,000 on a combo Laserdisc/DVD player to replace my LD-only player. I have since sold all of my LDs and the combo player, having replaced it with several modified DVD players. Although all of my televisions are the old CRT (cathode ray tube) models, at some point I'll probably end up buying one of those new digital/HDTV models (particually when the price comes down to $300 or less for one around 20"-25" - the size of my current sets). So I've been giving some thought to the future and thinking about replacing all of my Letterboxed DVDs with Anamorphic Widescreen versions. Even though it won't have much of a difference now, it doesn't hurt to be a bit forward-thinking.

I know that a lot of the early Warner Bros./New Line DVDs have been re-released anamorphically. I found Mortal Kombat in my local supermarket for $6 (have to go back and purchase it), which contains the exact same cover art and apparently the same extras and other content, just with an Anamorphic Widescreen transfer instead of Letterbox (and a standard plastic case instead of a Snapper case). I suspect that a lot of my other 1997/1998-released DVDs have been re-released, though I haven't gotten the chance to go through my whole collection and put together a Letterbox list, so pardon the lack of such a list in this message.

That's why instead of asking if any particular movies have been re-released, I'm going to ask if anyone know of a comprehensive list of movies that were originally released in Letterbox that have since been re-released in Anamorphic Widescreen. I'm really looking for re-releases that, content-wise, are the same as the original Letterboxed release, though a Special Edition would be acceptable if it's not overly expensive.

I tried to search for the answer myself, the few pages I found (listed below) don't list what I'm looking for.

* Forum post asking a question like mine
* Upcoming Re-releases List
* Upcoming Re-releases List, Part II
* The Reissues Collection (since it lacks Mortal Kombat at a minimum, it obviously isn't complete)
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Old 02-08-08, 02:31 AM
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Not a comprehensive thread, but I made this.

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showthread.php?t=512753
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Old 02-08-08, 09:11 AM
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try this site. I find it invaluable at times

http://www.dvdcompare.net
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Old 02-08-08, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by prudoff

I know that a lot of the early Warner Bros./New Line DVDs have been re-released anamorphically. I found Mortal Kombat in my local supermarket for $6 (have to go back and purchase it), which contains the exact same cover art and apparently the same extras and other content, just with an Anamorphic Widescreen transfer instead of Letterbox (and a standard plastic case instead of a Snapper case).
I'd be careful with the NewLine titles, I re-bought Don Juan DeMarco because it was in a new keepcase and said it was 16x9, but it was the same old non-enhanced transfer. I had a hell of a time returning it to Best Buy ("see, anamorphic means it's 2.35 aspect ratio"), but I finally nagged them into it.
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Old 02-08-08, 01:06 PM
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Off the top of my head..

* also on HD-DVD/BluRay
** formerly only in open matte/pan & scan

Young Frankenstein (look for "Widescreen Edition" banner on back, also in Mel Brooks box set)
The Twelve Chairs (Fox edition, Image edition 4x3 LBX)
The History of the World Part I (same as YF)
Spaceballs (2-disc SE)
Goodfellas (2-disc SE)*
Raging Bull (2-disc SE)
Some Like It Hot (2-disc SE)
Tron (2-disc SE)
This is Spinal Tap (MGM edition)
The Shining (2-disc SE)*/**
Eyes Wide Shut (2-disc SE)*/**
2001: A Space Odyssey (2-disc SE and '01 remaster - both WB)*
Full Metal Jacket (Deluxe Edition)*/**
A Clockwork Orange (2-disc SE)*
Escape from New York (2-disc SE)
Goldfinger (single-disc SEs, 2-disc ultimate)
Dr. No (single-disc SEs, 2-disc ultimate)
From Russia with Love (single-disc SEs, 2-disc ultimate)
Smokey and the Bandit (triple feature and SE)*
The Deer Hunter (Legacy Series)*
The Sting (Legacy Series)*/**
A Hard Day's Night (Miramax)**
Help! (Capitol/Apple 2-disc SE and limited edition)**
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (2-disc SE)
Animal House (SE)*/**
The Pink Panther (SE and in box set)
Revenge of the Pink Panther (ibid)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (all editions, except for single-disc)
Robin Hood (Disney, Most Wanted Edition)**
The Aristocats (SE)**
The Jungle Book (SE)**
The Boondock Saints (unrated)
Reservior Dogs (both 2-disc SEs)*
A Bug's Life (all editions but orig. single-disc flipper)
The Last of the Mohicans (DTS edition)
Home Alone (SE)
The Great Escape (2-disc SE)
For a Few Dollars More (2-disc SE)
A Fistful of Dollars (2-disc SE)
Dr. Strangelove (2-disc SE)
Spartacus (Criterion)**
Brazil (Criterion single-disc remaster, 2nd edition 3-disc set)
The Longest Day (2-disc SE)
Mary Poppins (2-disc SE)
The Manchurian Candidate (SE)
The Graduate (SE)
Oklahoma! (2-disc SE, but worse transfer)
Mean Streets (SE)
Dawn of the Dead (SE and Ultimate set)*
Life of Brian (Criterion and Sony SE)
The Meaning of Life (Universal SE)
Time Bandits (Anchor Bay SE)
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (double feature)**
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (2-disc SE)
Vertigo (Masterpiece Collection only)
Psycho (ibid)

As for stuff coming later this year...

MST3K: The Movie (Universal)
Gigi (new SE)*
How the West Was Won (new SE)*
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Old 02-08-08, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by milo bloom
I'd be careful with the NewLine titles, I re-bought Don Juan DeMarco because it was in a new keepcase and said it was 16x9, but it was the same old non-enhanced transfer. I had a hell of a time returning it to Best Buy ("see, anamorphic means it's 2.35 aspect ratio"), but I finally nagged them into it.
DO NOT buy that Mortal Kombat, I made that mistake. It says anamophic on the box, but it's the same letterbox transfer.
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Old 02-08-08, 08:20 PM
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Same with Freeway - that really pissed me off.
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Old 02-08-08, 09:40 PM
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Milo Bloom & Nickofdoom, thank you ever so much for the warning about the New Line re-releases in keepcases, and especially about Mortal Kombat in particular. I was going to go back to my supermarket tomorrow to pick up the DVD, but now I know better. It even said in the tiny print "Enhanced for widescreen TVs". It's sad that they would lie like that. I guess not all of the early Warner/New Line DVDs got anamorphic re-releases after all.

Droidguy1119 & Tommyp007, thanks for the links. They were helpful, especially the dvdcompare.net site. I used it to find out that The Mask (the 1994 Jim Carrey film) got an anamorphic re-release, and even with a few new extras to boot! Now if only New Line would do that with Mortal Kombat, and include the commentary track from the laserdisc which I still have no clue why it wasn't transferred over to the DVD release way back when. A nice little box set with MK and MK Annihilation would be even better, though interest in the MK franchise probably isn't as big as it was 10 years ago, which means very little money to be made from it :-(

PatrickMcCart, thanks for the list. It definitely helped with a few titles.

Now I need to find the time to go through my massive DVD collection one-by-one and check to see which are letterbox and which are anamorphic. Since the packaging can't be trusted, that's going to be quite the chore.
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Old 02-08-08, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by prudoff
Milo Bloom & Nickofdoom, thank you ever so much for the warning about the New Line re-releases in keepcases, and especially about Mortal Kombat in particular. I was going to go back to my supermarket tomorrow to pick up the DVD, but now I know better. It even said in the tiny print "Enhanced for widescreen TVs". It's sad that they would lie like that. I guess not all of the early Warner/New Line DVDs got anamorphic re-releases after all.

Droidguy1119 & Tommyp007, thanks for the links. They were helpful, especially the dvdcompare.net site. I used it to find out that The Mask (the 1994 Jim Carrey film) got an anamorphic re-release, and even with a few new extras to boot! Now if only New Line would do that with Mortal Kombat, and include the commentary track from the laserdisc which I still have no clue why it wasn't transferred over to the DVD release way back when. A nice little box set with MK and MK Annihilation would be even better, though interest in the MK franchise probably isn't as big as it was 10 years ago, which means very little money to be made from it :-(

PatrickMcCart, thanks for the list. It definitely helped with a few titles.

Now I need to find the time to go through my massive DVD collection one-by-one and check to see which are letterbox and which are anamorphic. Since the packaging can't be trusted, that's going to be quite the chore.
I did that using DVD profiler, they are usually pretty accurate (I wish I looked there before buying Mortal Kombat)
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Old 02-09-08, 05:01 AM
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Or, if you are cheezed off enough about it, go and buy it and then return it opened as defective. Most stores will want you to trade defectives for another copy. Go ahead and do it, then return that one as defective too. Rinse, lather and repeat until either you get tired of the game, the store figures out that the boxes are all mislabeled or you open and return every single copy in stock.

Stores are not legally allowed to resell defective merchandise. So they should return every opened copy back to the distributor. Maybe they will get the point that false advertising does not work.
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Old 02-09-08, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Jah-Wren Ryel
Or, if you are cheezed off enough about it, go and buy it and then return it opened as defective. Most stores will want you to trade defectives for another copy. Go ahead and do it, then return that one as defective too. Rinse, lather and repeat until either you get tired of the game, the store figures out that the boxes are all mislabeled or you open and return every single copy in stock.

Stores are not legally allowed to resell defective merchandise. So they should return every opened copy back to the distributor. Maybe they will get the point that false advertising does not work.
I like the idea...but it will never work.
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Old 02-13-08, 04:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Jah-Wren Ryel
Or, if you are cheezed off enough about it, go and buy it and then return it opened as defective. Most stores will want you to trade defectives for another copy. Go ahead and do it, then return that one as defective too. Rinse, lather and repeat until either you get tired of the game, the store figures out that the boxes are all mislabeled or you open and return every single copy in stock.

Stores are not legally allowed to resell defective merchandise. So they should return every opened copy back to the distributor. Maybe they will get the point that false advertising does not work.
I too like the idea, but unless you live right next to the store, and I mean less than five minutes walking distance, it would just be too much of a pain in the butt :-)
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