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Shrike

Fullscreen is for the ignorant. Losing up to a 1/3 of the picture...the whiplash motions of pan and scan...watching half a person talking from the edge of the screen to half a person on the other edge of the screen. The butchery is far too distracting.

*shudder*

Dave Zatz

While I don't watch pan & scan movies even on my bedroom 4:3 set, I do think Netflix should make that option available for those that do.

BrentTodd

This drives me crazy when a full screen disc and a widescreen disc are released seperately. I will only watch movies in widescreen even on my old tv. I would rather be able to see it the way it was intended to be sceen than cropped. Remember when dvd's just had both formats on one disc? Must be one of the ways that the studios are cutting down on the cost of making the disc. I wonder if there is some movie out there that has all these full screen discs just sitting around...

Matt

I prefer widescreen for the reasons already listed.

Becky

I prefer widescreen. I prefer to watch them on my 16:9 television, but I watched widescreen when I had a 4:3 TV.

Jim

Widescreen all the way. I'm even going so far as to try to get "Yokelvision" to catch on as the term of choice for pan-and-scan. :-)

Interesting aside, last night I watched The Interpreter (good movie, crap ending) and one of the special features is director Sydney Pollack talking about this very issue. He said WS used to be his aspect ratio of choice for shooting his movies, but then movies on TV became lucrative/popular, and he hated what the pan-and-scan process did to his compositions, so switched to shooting in 4:3 so he could be sure most viewers would experience the shots as he set them up. With DVD and the increasing availability/prevalence of widescreen at home, he shot The Interpreter in widescreen, his first such movie in 20 years.

cmmsml

I prefer widescreen, but I certainly wouldn't say "Fullscreen is for the ignorant". To each their own.

redbill

If you like fullscreen watch old movies or rent VHS.

Shrike

"Yokelvision". Very appropriate :)

subliminalis

I used to work for a DVD store and when customers would bring up the "Fullscreen" version, I would tell them that it's 'edited' and the edges of the picture are cut off. I've converted many customers that way.

Movies are filmed in 16:9, they're MADE that way. Why watch it any other way?

SAP

Widescreen only.

nOva

It's always better to see a character come into the shot rather than into the screen....

NetflixShill

Not all full screen movies are pan-scan. More often than not, movies are shot in square format and then matted to widescreen for theaters. If you compare a widescreen and full screen disc, you often see this. The following movies were shot in a 1.37:1 format - Back to the Future trilogy, Hudson Hawk, Minority Report, Dazed & Confused, Back to School, Ronin, Titanic, Terminator 2, Eyes Wide Shut, The Shining, The Addams Family, etc.

See the Tech Specs on IMDB. If the film is "Super 35" or "film aspect" is 1.37:1, that means it was matted (top and bottom cut off) for its theatrical run. Usually I prefer widescreen in this case, but not always. I liked the Back to the Future trilogy and Back to School better in full screen. Matting is often poorly done, cutting off things you would like to see. Matted movies are like pan-scan done vertically.

Mr. Nethead

I started watching DVDs about 8 years ago. (Wow, has it really been that long?) At first I hated the widescreen format. But then I did research online and discovered that fullscreen movies have the ends chopped off. One website compared screen shots from the same movies in both WS and P&S just to demonstrate how much can be missing. I was shocked and even a little angry because all this time I had been watching fullscreen movies and I felt cheated. For me it's been WS ever since.

BeefJerky

"Not all full screen movies are pan-scan."

True.

"More often than not, movies are shot in square format and then matted to widescreen for theaters."

This is false. I suggest you do some research rather making up these false statistics.

Account Deleted

Even if a movie was shot in "square format" and matted, the filmmakers know this ahead of time and make sure what they want to be seen is in the frame of what will be the final cut.

As to the WS vs. P&S argument, of course WS is better, but it would be better to educate people to see why WS is better rather than just saying they're stupid if they like P&S. Ignorance does not equal stupidity.

redbill

"More often than not, movies are shot in square format and then matted to widescreen for theaters."

35 mm film is filmed in 4:3, but when the filmakers frame the picture, they have the 16:9 markings on the viewfinders, so they know what will be captured at 16:9. It is up to the projectionist to matte/frame properly, that is why sometimes you see a boom at the top of the picture in the movie. That is the projectionist's fault, not the filmaker.

NetflixShill

"This is false. I suggest you do some research rather making up these false statistics."

It's not false statistics. You do your research. I have seen thousands of hit movies that were shot in Super 35. It's probably the most common film stock. I've seen VERY FEW wide screen and full screen DVDs versions that were pan-scan. I can only think of a couple - "Trapped in Paradise" and "Pieces of April." Every other movie I've seen lately has been matted. So you get less image with the widescreen version.

NetflixShill

"Even if a movie was shot in "square format" and matted, the filmmakers know this ahead of time and make sure what they want to be seen is in the frame of what will be the final cut."

Irrelevant. The matted version may look worse and the full frame better, despite what the film makers intended. Also, how do we know what they intended? IMDB says that Eyes Wide Shut was "intended" to be 1.85:1 (matted), even though it was shot in 1.37:1. Stanley Kubrick stated his preference for a square format on numerous occasions. Almost all his films were shot in 1.37:1, except Spartacus and 2001.

If people want to talk ignorance, saying that most movies are shot in widescreen is ignorant. Saying that directors always "intend" movies to be shown widescreen is ignorant. It's more that the studios FORCE them to shoot that way and show that way in theaters. And ignorant people demand widescreen on DVD, regardless of whether it has to be cut or not. I prefer widescreen when a movie was shot in wide screen from the beginning. But most DVDs I've seen with widescreen AND full screen have been matted.

You can't blindly say matted widescreen is better than un-matted full frame. You need to compare the two side by side or back to back. If you're open minded, you might find you prefer the full framed version. If you're a widescreen zealot (which is about as ignorant as a pan-scan zealot), you will just dogmatically say that widescreen is the best.

Rusty Ramrod

Widescreen, of course.

NetflixShill

Some more Super 35 movies (matted widescreen). LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY, True Lies, The Abyss, X-men 2, Zoolander, Vanity Fair, Three Kings, Terminator 3, Team America: World Police, Tank Girl, Stigmata, Strange Days, Sphere, Speed, Serenity, Se7en, L.A. Confidential, Kingdom of Heaven, KING KONG 2005, Heavenly Creatures, Runaway Jury, The Rock, The Jacket, Italian Job 2003, KILL BILL VOL. 1 & 2, Reservoir Dogs, Titus, The Replacement Killers, Punisher 2004, Point Break, Pitch Black, Payback, Phone Booth, Panic Room, Fight Club, The Game, Old School, O Brother Where Art Thou, Ocean's Eleven, Negotiator, National Treasure, Love Actually, Monster's Ball, Men of Honor, THE MATRIX TRILOGY, ALL the Harry Potter movies, Goodfellas, Gangs of New York, The Aviator, Gosford Park, GLADIATOR, Brazil, Fisher King, Finding Neverland, Fifth Element, Ferris Bueller, Election, Donnie Brasco, The Cell, Don't Say a Word, Bourne Identity, Bourne Supremacy, Bridget Jones 1 & 2, thousands of other big budget hit movies....

Not to mention, most movies before 1954 were shot in a square format: Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The Big Sleep, Singin' in the Rain, Gone With the Wind, From Here to Eternity, etc. Would you demand that those movies be matted to fit your widescreen TV, or would you want the full frame presentation?

Buñuel

I prefer whatever the director intended, which is usually widescreen, but not always. Even when all I had was a 17-inch TV I would only buy widescreen DVDs. I never ever watch pan and scan DVDs, if I know the original movie was widescreen, even if it's the only version that's available.

Jes

Full-screen. The comments about full-screen being for the "ignorant" or "yokelvision", are silly.

I've got more important things in life to worry about than whether I'm missing out on an inch of someone's head, wallpaper, or some trees in a freaking movie.

I've also seen a website like the one Mr. Nethead mentioned, with side-by-side, fullscreen and widescreen comparisons. I can understand that some people would feel cheated. I don't.

Also, why on earth would I watch VHS, when I enjoy the special featurs of a DVD.

On my TV, massive black space is distracting and unappealing.

shoobe01

"Fullscreen is for the ignorant." Agree totally. Fullscreen is for TV. I don't get HBO, etc. because they mostly seem to show 4:3 cutdowns.

And what's with this spin-inspired name "fullscreen"? I hate actually calling them that. "Not Widescreen" is what I usually say.


As far as shooting in another aspect ratio, there is a viewfinder. Anyone not correctly taking that into account is a crappy cinematographer and I am almost sure I don't want to see the movie anyway.

Anyone noticed how movies may or may not be 16:9? Many (at least older, dawn-of-color masterpieces) are even wider than this. You loose like 1/2 of Lawrence of Arabia when its cut down. Sad.


"I prefer whatever the director intended, which is usually widescreen, but not always." Bigtime. I, for the record, have a 4:3 TV. The black bars don't bug me, leave room for subtitles and don't require switching from the 4:3 title screen, etc.

Now, you know what bugs the hell out of me? People who watch 4:3 source STRETCHED to fill their 16:9 screen! WTF?

Molsby

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anamorphic

I prefer WIDESCREEN, preferably letterboxed. I will not rent or buy a fullscreen title unless that was the original and only format available. Plus, most of the full screen only titles are 4 or 5 years old and the video resolution is horrible when compared to current higher-definition DVD-9 discs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD

gir

I prefer what was shown in the theater (widescreen), though if the DVD is letterbox rather than anamorphic, I might consider getting the fullscreen version instead.

redbill

netflixshill you don't know what you're talking about. 35mm is basically the ONLY film size. All 16:9 films are shot on 35mm. If the director intends the film to be shown in 16:9, the viewfinder contains those markings so he frames the shot to those, and mentally crops out the rest. The film contains all the info, but it is intended to be cropped in the projector. A Fullscreen dvd does not contain that info that was cropped from the projector, if it did it would show booms and the top of the set. Leave Kubrick out of this, people have debated his aspect ratio for years.

In the olden days the didn't project at 16:9, so the director framed the shots for the full frame w/o the viewfiender 16:9 markings, thus fullscreen for old movies makes sense.

The point is not widescreen vs. fullscreen but OAR (original aspect ratio).

DirkMaster

Widescreen only. I'm such a fanatic that I'd only watch them that way even when I had a square TV. Now that I have a 16:9 HDTV, I'd be crazy(er) to rent anything else.

TonySheridan

Prefer widescreen, but I don't come apart at the seams if it isn't. I rent for my elderly mother, too and she finds the widescreen format too distracting, so fullscreen only for her.

Jim

To quickly clarify: I very carefully equated "Yokelvision" with "Pan-and-Scan", not "Fullscreen" (4:3 is a perfectly acceptable OAR). And I feel scorn for the process rather than the people that prefer it, but there's no good way to confer that in a single word. Suggestions welcome.

Thomas

Intelliflix has a choice of fullscreen for almost all of their movies. I really dislike the widescreen format.

nickb

Widescreen vs. Fullscreen its a matter of preference. I like the widescreen because in most cases I think this is how the filmmakers intended it. For that matter the filmmakers (especially of action flicks etc.) expect the movie to be watched in a theatre with light projected to a screen then bounced back to our eyes, not LED's/CRTs shooting light at our eyes.

But what I thought was a whole lot more interesting was this comment:
"Sometimes a movie is manufactured as two discs, one with the widescreen movie and the bonus features, and one with the pan-and-scan movie. In cases like this, we ship only one disc, to keep costs affordable. Most of our customers prefer the widescreen with bonus features rather than the plain pan-and-scan disc, so the other disc is not entered into our rental inventory, and is not available to rent."

Why wouldn't they put both into inventory? I've they've paid for the disc, it costs what an extra 9 cents to print the sleeve and put the thing in inventory?!?!?! Yes there is the cost of having someone scan the thing any day it is in the DC, and adding the "feature" to the website to decide which type you'd prefer. (I'd like to see something sorta automatic here the options I'd give: "Widescreen Only", "Full Screen Only", "Preferably Widescreen", "Preferably Full Screen", "First Available" -- this way you could decide if you've got a limited number of DVDs of the same movie that doesn't match up to what is needed on that day they could choose the best way to keep everyone happy as possible.

corey3rd

I hate seeing Pan and Scan versions of true Scope films. Because you are watching less film.

What's getting me is that studios are now turning out "widescreen" versions of the films at 1.75:1 instead of their theatrical 1.85:1 aspect ratio. They do this because it fits the HD Widescreen TV. as I was told by one studio DVD rep - people don't like seeing black bars at the top and bottom on their expensive TVs. A director pal recently had his film come out on DVD at 1.75:1 - which was not the aspect ratio he shot it at. And what was funny was asking the DGA about how close a matte has to come to the OAR on a DVD so that it didn't have to carry the "warning" that the film had been altered. Nobody at the DGA had an answer - and nobody seemed to understand the situation. Some protectors of cinema they have proven to be.

I worked at a major film archive and for 35mm flat films we had a lense for 1.33:1, 1.37:1, 1:66:1, and 1.85:1. We did not have a 1.75:1 lens in the cabinet and I never heard anyone in the pre-Widescreen TV talking about this format. That is not an aspect ratio for filmmakers - it's a compromise by TV folks.

The big problem with 1.85:1 is that lining up the frame for a projectionist is completely subjective. A majority of these films don't have a hard line. And if a film has boom drops, the distributor needs to put a hard matte on the release print to prevent this from being seen.

corey3rd

Sorry, I mean 1.78:1

BeefJerky

"It's not false statistics. You do your research. I have seen thousands of hit movies that were shot in Super 35. It's probably the most common film stock. I've seen VERY FEW wide screen and full screen DVDs versions that were pan-scan. I can only think of a couple - "Trapped in Paradise" and "Pieces of April." Every other movie I've seen lately has been matted. So you get less image with the widescreen version."

I have done my research, and come to the conclusion that there are no hard statistics on this. Which brings me to my original point. In your original post, you were passing off PERSONAL EXPERIENCE as hard statistics.

"More often than not, movies are shot in square format and then matted to widescreen for theaters."

Had your phrased this to make it clear you were simply basing it on personal experience I never would have responded the way I did. For example you could have stated: "In my experience, most of the movies I've come across are..."

To sum this up, communicate better so as not to misrepresent yourself and your thoughts. That way you won't have to deal with this in the future.

outlaw93

NetflixShill indeed needs to do some more research before continuing to claim that you get less information with the widescreen DVDs. The best way to end this debate is to look at a direct comparison of a widescreen dvd versus it's fullscreen version. The first movie NetlfixShill listed in his great list of Super 35 movies is Lord of The Rings. IGN has done a direct comparison of the two versions of the DVD and you can see that while there is some additional picture added to the top and bottom, you also lose a greater portion of the picture on the left and right.

http://dvd.ign.com/articles/366/366890p1.html

There is one scene on there in particular where you see 9 people on the widescreen version of the scene but only 5 people on the fullscreen version.

corey3rd

Pieces of April was shot DV so that it's base image (video) was 16:9 so it had to be cropped on the sides to fit at regular TV.

Chris Coyier

If I had a TV that was five inches wide and ten inches tall, I'd still rent widescreen.

Ham&Jam

The film I use to convince people WS is better is Pulp Fiction. Watch the 2.35:1 version and then track down a nice P&S VHS copy. It's so noticeable in some parts that even the most ardent "Full Screen" proponents will be able to see how much difference there is. The scene where Sam Jackson shoots Flock of Seagulls will give you whiplash.

I always find it intersting that the main arguement that P&S folks seem to use is that they feel cheated if the entire square of their screen isn't full of color. And the exact opposite is true. P&S is the real rip off.

murphyslaw

"Even if a movie was shot in "square format" and matted, the filmmakers know this ahead of time and make sure what they want to be seen is in the frame of what will be the final cut."

You are missing the point. The filmakers also are keenly aware of the 4:3 format ahead of time and make sure what they want to be seen is in the 4:3 as well.

" but when the filmakers frame the picture, they have the 16:9 markings on the viewfinders,"

They have and use the 4:3 markings as well.

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