So I remembered watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes in 2.35:1 ratio at the theater. I saw it available on netflix streaming last night and put it on my 2.35:1 big screen only to find it had been cropped to 16x9 - WHY WOULD THEY DO THIS??.....
I went to bluray.com and grabbed a screenshot and matched it to the exact frame on netflix to compare them and I was pretty surprised and how different they were. In fact there is some how more image on the right & upper part of the netflix image vs the bluray (Notice there is an entire 3rd row of people in the background on netflix). It makes me wonder where they get their source from???
Here's the result (I resized them from 1920 wide to 960 for easier viewing:
It's no secret that that some people hate seeing black bars on their beautiful HDTV screens. Like you I prefer my movies as originally shown in the theater or OAR. But since this film was shot in soft or open matte it gives them the freedom of choice on how they are going to present the movie for online or cable viewing. I guess the question is - did Netflix request a 16X9 version of the film or was this the way the studio sent it to them?
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Very interesting, I wasn't aware of "Open Matte" formats. I always assumed when they convert a 2.35:1 to a 16x9 version they just cropped the sides off losing a lot of the film's original video. In this case though, they lose film on the sides but when they remove the black bars it reveals more video vertically unless I'm mistaken which would seem to be a much better compromise really, no?
Would the director decide how the converted 16x9 would look?
This is always a hot topic for debate on the AVS Forum in various sections. Especially since we learned that HBO "cropped" their movies for HD on such a "scientific survey" by asking their office personnel whether they liked cropped or OAR. Obviously their office personnel weren't very sophisticated.
I doubt if Netflix "requests" OAR and probably takes what is given to them. And the aspect ratio of the file received may be as lame as a studio office staff person grabbing the wrong file and sending it. I mean some office staff barely know how to plug in a computer and you expect them to understand aspect ratios?
I've never seen a 2.35:1 film that could be shown "open matte" at 16:9. They've always been anamorphic and therefore had to be "pan and scanned" BTW...if you want to see the absolute worst p&s job done to a 2.35 film, go find a VHS copy of A League of their Own. It'll make you cringe.
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Originally Posted by EJ
I've never seen a 2.35:1 film that could be shown "open matte" at 16:9. They've always been anamorphic and therefore had to be "pan and scanned"
These days, the majority of movies composed for and projected in the "scope" aspect ratio of 2.35:1 are photographed either digitally or using the Super 35 film format, both of which capture additional information at the top and bottom of the frame. Anamorphic photography is a minority of production today, reserved mainly for filmmakers who have sentimental attachment to it (like Christopher Nolan).
If you ever watch HBO, almost all scope movies are either open matte or cropped to 16:9 for that network.