Originally Posted by meriadec
My Criterion DVD of Spartacus has 2.2:1 AR. I find the picture a little squeezed like the anamorphic unsqueeze failed to expand. I know that Universal released the DVD in the 2.35:1 AR as shown in theaters. It is as though Criterion fit the 2.35:1 into a 2.2:1 frame without cropping it. I cannot have a second viewing of it. It bothers me too much.
I believe Robert A Harris was involved in the restoration of a 70mm print that they used for the Criterion DVD - 70mm prints are 2.20:1 hence the aspect ratio for the Criterion Edition.
Universal sourced a 35mm print and thus their DVD has an aspect of 2.35:1.....I believe it was shot and composed for a 2.20:1 ratio because in those days 70mm cinema releases were very common.
I also think the Universal release uses a 2k scan and that explains why it looks so damn bad ( compared to how it might look )
It would be great if Criterion still owned the rights to this and were able to re-master from a 6k or 8k scan since its 70mm that would be possible and the picture quality would be excellent. Unfortunately i think their licensing of this title has run out.
I too would love to see a Directors cut release of Armageddon ( I think Bruce Willis visiting his old dad before he goes up into space adds some humanity and class to the proceedings and although it's a minor cut i would like to see it restored and i don't think Disney/Buena Vista have ever released the Directors cut of Armageddon - Once again i think Criterion's licensing rights to that title have probably now gone )
Regarding Storaro and his 2.0:1 aspect ratio - It's so annoying....Apocalypse Now was never intended for that ratio and several shots suffer because of it....Same with The Last Emperor which i believe was more likely composed for 2.20:1.....Remember this is 1986/87 - Long before DVD and there is no way Storaro saw into the future and saw the advent of widescreen televisions or high definition home releases.....He is re-composing his early films for this ratio and if need be adding pan and scan into the frame ( Which is clearly visible on several shots in Apocalypse Now and it's also what happens to 2.35:1 aspect ratio films when they are shown on television cropped to 16/9 ) Now aren't we all against pan and scan ? I know i am and just because a famous cinematographer decides its what he now wants we have to accept it ? I think not so count me out of this release too.
MGM/FOX should really get in touch with Criterion though and license the commentary tracks from The Silence Of The Lambs for their release.
I hope Criterion do a great job with these releases as their early DVD titles didn't have that great an image quality so here's hoping they learned from that and do better with their early Blu Ray releases.