Like I have told thousands, when you go to the movie theater they turn off the lights, why don't you?
Most of the 768 discs I own in region 1 are with black bars, but I turn off the lights and all I see is a 33.25 inch width
To make you happy, if your playing a widescreen and want it to be fool screen
go to your imput and choose 'fill', the people will seem a bit tall but you won't have those nasty black bars any more.
As for burning the screen, burn usually happens on the sides not the top or bottom. If you watch too much 4:3 and have black bars on the sides, you will burn in a image. If your watching a movie in the afternoon pull the drapes. Make like your home theater is like the darkened movie theater you go to!