List of Variable Aspect Ratio Movies on Blu-ray - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 183 Old 04-11-2017, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Most of this information has been discussed previously in this forum, but I felt it worthwhile to consolidate it into a dedicated thread because the question comes up frequently.

The following is a list of movies presented on Blu-ray or Ultra HD with a variable aspect ratio - specifically those that periodically transition from 2.35:1 to expand in height for a pseudo-IMAX effect.

Movies with IMAX Variable Aspect Ratio on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Ant-Man and the Wasp (3D only)
Aquaman (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Black Panther (3D only)
Captain America: Civil War (3D only)
The Dark Knight (Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
The Dark Knight Rises (Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Doctor Strange (3D Only)
Dunkirk (Blu-ray and Ultra HD, ratio switches between 2.20:1 and 16:9)
First Man (Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Ghostbusters [2016] (2D, 3D, and Ultra HD)
Guardians of the Galaxy (3D only)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D only)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Blu-ray only)
Interstellar (Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Mission: Impossible - Fallout (Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Star Trek into Darkness ("Compendium" Blu-ray box set and Ultra HD Blu-ray, both 2D)
Thor: Ragnarok (3D only)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (3D only)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Walmart-exclusive "Big Screen Edition" Blu-ray only)
Tron Legacy (both 2D and 3D)

2.35:1 Movies with Frame-Breaking Visual Effects that Intrude into the Letterbox Bars

G-Force
Ghostbusters [2016] - Also has one scene that changes aspect ratio completely.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (3D) - Some scenes change aspect ratio completely. Others remain 2.35:1 with frame-breaking effects into the letterbox bars.

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Alien: Covenant
The Amazing Spider-Man
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice
Iron Man (2018 IMAX re-release)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Mojin: The Lost Legend
Riddick
Seventh Son
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but Have Constant Height 2.35:1 Options on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Aquaman (3D only)
Captain America: Civil War (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Captain Marvel (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Black Panther (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Doctor Strange (2D)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2D)
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Ultra HD and Australian Blu-ray edition are Constant Height 2.35:1)
Star Trek into Darkness (Initial 2D and 3D Blu-ray editions, any versions except the "Compendium" Blu-ray box set or the Ultra HD)
Thor: Ragnarok (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD)
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (General retail Blu-ray and Ultra HD, any version except the Walmart "Big Screen Edition" Blu-ray)

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with an Open-Matte 1.90:1 Aspect Ratio (Entire Length of Movie) but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Avengers: Infinity War
Baahubali: The Conclusion
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Blade Runner 2049
Flight Crew (2016 Russian film, no home video release in America)
Flying Swords of Dragons Gate
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2.0:1)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2.0:1)
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2.0:1)
I, Frankenstein
Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Oblivion
Only the Brave
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Prometheus
Skyfall
Sully
Tomorrowland
Underworld: Awakening
Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with an Open-Matte Aspect Ratio (Entire Movie) and are Open-Matte on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Avatar
Titanic (3D only)

Movies with Home Video Status TBD

The Aeronauts
Alita: Battle Angel
Avengers: Endgame
Captain Marvel (3D)
The Lion King (2019)
Spider-Man: Far from Home

I will update this list as needed.

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post #2 of 183 Old 04-11-2017, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Other (Non-IMAX) Variable Ratios Movies on Blu-ray

Bad Education - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to 2.35:1.

Biutiful - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to 2.35:1.

Brainstorm - Movie reguarly switches between 1.66:1 (scenes in the "real world") and 2.35:1 ("brainstorm" sequences). Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Brother Bear - Opening scene is windowboxed 1.85:1, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Enchanted - Opening scene is windowboxed 1.85:1, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Galaxy Quest - Opening scene is windowboxed 4:3, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form. (Originally, the movie started as 4:3, then transitioned to 1.85:1 for the first 20 minutes, and finally expanded to 2.35:1 when the characters got to outer space. The Blu-ray skips the 1.85:1 step and opens the sides to 2.35:1 for all that footage.)

The Grand Budapest Hotel - Movie regularly changes aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9 to 2.35:1, along with some other non-standard ratios. Played in theaters inside a 1.85:1 container with letterbox and pillarbox bars. Presented that way on Blu-ray as well.

JFK - Opening scene is windowboxed 4:3, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Life of Pi - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with one scene that shrinks in height to 2.35:1. This scene also has frame-breaking visual effects in the letterbox bars.

Oz: The Great and Powerful - Opening scenes are windowboxed 4:3, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Pixels - Primarily a 2.35:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to an even wider ratio so that visual effects can break the frame.

The Horse Whisperer - First half hour is windowboxed 1.85:1, then the movie expands in width to 2.35:1. Presented on Blu-ray in Constant Height form.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to 2.35:1.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - Primarily a 1.85:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to 2.35:1 and have frame-breaking visual effects.

Sneakers - Opening prologue scene is pillarboxed 4:3 (and black-and-white). After the first five minutes, the rest of the movie is 1.85:1 and in color.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles [2014] - Primarily a 2.35:1 movie with some scenes that shrink in height to an even wider ratio so that visual effects can break the frame.

Transformers: The Last Knight - The movie has at least 8 different aspect ratios, as Michael Bay decided that any shot could have any arbitrary shape depending on which camera he used and what his mood was that day. Played in theaters inside a 1.85:1 container with alternating letterbox and/or pillarbox bars. The Blu-ray and Ultra HD editions follow suit.

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post #3 of 183 Old 04-11-2017, 10:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Movies that play in IMAX theaters with a variable aspect ratio will play in all other movie theaters at a constant 2.35:1. As such, their photography must be primarily composed to be 2.35:1 safe, with all essential picture elements positioned in that part of the frame.

When transferred to Blu-ray, most of these movies are safe to crop to 2.35:1, either by using a CIH vertical stretch feature with an anamorphic lens, or by blanking the top and bottom of the frame with a video processor.

Unfortunately, however, some of these movies are altered so that the variable ratio version cannot simply be cropped without causing issues.

The following lists will be based on CIH viewers' results of cropping variable ratio movies to 2.35:1. Please share your experiences and opinions in the thread. (These results may be largely subjective.)

Variable Aspect Ratio Blu-rays that Are Safe to Crop to 2.35:1

Doctor Strange (3D) - No essential picture information outside the 2.35:1 area. Can be watched in 2.35:1 without noticing anything missing.

G-Force - Because only some occasional visual effects break the frame while all other picture info remains in the 2.35:1 area, this movie should be safe to crop to Constant Height.

Interstellar - No essential picture information outside the 2.35:1 area.

Variable Aspect Ratio Blu-rays that Are Mostly Safe to Crop to 2.35:1

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - The 2.35:1 safe zone was originally positioned high in the frame, not in the center. A symmetrical crop on the top and bottom may result in the top of the image being cropped a little tight on the robot characters' heads. However, the movie has such frantic camerawork and rapid-fire editing that this is rarely bothersome. Your eye hardly has time to take in an image before you've already moved onto the next 12.

Variable Aspect Ratio Blu-rays that Are Not Safe to Crop to 2.35:1

Star Trek into Darkness - The variable ratio version in the "Compendium" box set has been altered in comparison to the 2.35:1 Constant Height Blu-ray editions. On-screen text has been moved both higher and lower in the frame, and extends outside the 2.35:1 safe zone. CIH viewers are advised to watch the standard 2D or 3D Blu-ray editions instead.

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post #4 of 183 Old 04-11-2017, 04:12 PM
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Thanks Josh. Doesn't Oz start at 1.33AR?
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post #5 of 183 Old 04-11-2017, 06:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Josh. Doesn't Oz start at 1.33AR?
Correction made, thanks. I've also added a category to the first post for movies that have CIH options on Blu-ray, and made some other clean-ups, including some extra trivia on Galaxy Quest.

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post #6 of 183 Old 04-16-2017, 10:54 AM
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Near the end of Ghostbusters they also switched to the expanded IMAX ratio and break the constant scope ratio.

Pixels occasionally has the scope ratio shrink in so that Qbert's nose or some alien crafts appear to break the black frame.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also has its constant scope ratio shrink a bit to make objects appear as if they are breaking the screen ratio



Sin City: A Dame to Kil For also shrinks the screen from its Flat ratio to make it appear that the playing cards near the end of film are breaking the screen


These are from my viewings of the 3D discs only

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Quote:
Originally Posted by invadergir View Post
Near the end of Ghostbusters they also switched to the expanded IMAX ratio and break the constant scope ratio.

Pixels occasionally has the scope ratio shrink in so that Qbert's nose or some alien crafts appear to break the black frame.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also has its constant scope ratio shrink a bit to make objects appear as if they are breaking the screen ratio

Sin City: A Dame to Kil For also shrinks the screen from its Flat ratio to make it appear that the playing cards near the end of film are breaking the screen


These are from my viewings of the 3D discs only
Thanks. I've made edits to the lists.

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post #8 of 183 Old 04-17-2017, 12:53 PM
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Forgot about Scott Pilgrim Vs The World which is a flat format film which will consistently change ratios for battles and dream sequences to usually a scope ratio

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post #9 of 183 Old 04-17-2017, 01:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Forgot about Scott Pilgrim Vs The World which is a flat format film which will consistently change ratios for battles and dream sequences to usually a scope ratio
I added that one with my last update. Thanks.

I'm not sure how far I want to go with the "Other (Non-IMAX) Variable Ratios Movies" list. I fear we'll get bogged down listing every weird instance of a movie including a single scene that's pillarboxed to represent a TV broadcast or home movie or something.

My original intent for that list was just to include movies where the aspect ratio shift meaningfully affects CIH projection.

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post #10 of 183 Old 04-19-2017, 07:39 PM
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Just wanted to say thanks for this thread. I just converted over to a constant height setup, and this information really helps!
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post #11 of 183 Old 06-02-2017, 05:32 AM
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@Josh Z , nice job starting this!

AVS needs to keep more definitive lists like these.

They should make this thread a sticky.
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post #12 of 183 Old 06-08-2017, 04:07 AM
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Great and very helpful compilation, Josh! Thanks.


I just repeated my request in the Oppo UDP-203 threat that Oppo might look into providing a masking option for VAR program content. I remain frustrated that too many front projector manufacturers do not provide us with adequate blanking options for VAR program content.

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post #13 of 183 Old 06-08-2017, 07:17 AM
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Great and very helpful compilation, Josh! Thanks.


I just repeated my request in the Oppo UDP-203 threat that Oppo might look into providing a masking option for VAR program content. I remain frustrated that too many front projector manufacturers do not provide us with adequate blanking options for VAR program content.
A lot of this stuff I agree would be easy to add to a projector if they wanted to or saw a need.

I would like to see image shift using the unused pixel areas. I had this 12 years ago on my Sharp XR10X XGA projector when showing 16:9 content I could move the image up and down in the 4:3 window. So the technology is all there to program all these features. There is no reason you shouldn’t be able to scale an image down and move it around on your screen just like you do a window on your PC.

We all would like different things though for me I don’t want to blank out the expanding parts of the movie, I like jumping into Imax immersion like the director wanted us to see. But I have an Imax sized screen area.

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post #14 of 183 Old 06-16-2017, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Added The Force Awakens to the "Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray" list. I somehow forgot about that one.

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post #15 of 183 Old 06-16-2017, 10:42 AM
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How about Life of Pi?

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post #16 of 183 Old 06-16-2017, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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How about Life of Pi?
What about it? It's on the list in the second post.

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post #17 of 183 Old 06-16-2017, 11:44 AM
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What about it? It's on the list in the second post.
Oh sorry I thought you were updating the first post. I see they are mixed in now. Have to read the whole thread I guess.

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post #18 of 183 Old 06-19-2017, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Updated information on Star Trek into Darkness to indicate that the Ultra HD copy is also variable ratio.

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post #19 of 183 Old 06-27-2017, 08:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Added Batman v. Superman to the list of "Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray."

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post #20 of 183 Old 08-22-2017, 12:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I've updated the list with info about Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

The 2D Blu-ray and Ultra HD are Constant Height 2.35:1. The 3D Blu-ray is variable ratio.
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post #21 of 183 Old 08-25-2017, 08:56 AM
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Amazing effort Josh! These lists continue to be Extremely helpful!
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post #22 of 183 Old 09-26-2017, 10:58 AM
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Has anybody checked the new BD of Transformers: The Last Knight to see what aspect ratio(s) it is? Doesn't say on the case.
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post #23 of 183 Old 09-26-2017, 11:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Has anybody checked the new BD of Transformers: The Last Knight to see what aspect ratio(s) it is? Doesn't say on the case.
That movie uses at least eight different aspect ratios. Theatrically, it was projected inside a 1.85:1 container with black bars variously either on the sides or top/bottom. I just Googled a review that confirmed the Blu-ray does the same.

I would not consider this either CIH or CIH+IMAX. I have it listed in post #2 under "Other (Non-IMAX) Variable Ratios Movies."

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post #24 of 183 Old 09-29-2017, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post
That movie uses at least eight different aspect ratios. Theatrically, it was projected inside a 1.85:1 container with black bars variously either on the sides or top/bottom. I just Googled a review that confirmed the Blu-ray does the same.

I would not consider this either CIH or CIH+IMAX. I have it listed in post #2 under "Other (Non-IMAX) Variable Ratios Movies."
I watched this tonight... what a mess!!! WTF was Bay thinking and/or smoking/on?!

Tried to make it through the opening scenes just to see what everyone was talking about. I guess I was too into the movie when it first came out to notice in the theaters. But this time it was painfully obvious.

Just a constant change in aspect ratio. Sometimes. 1.85:1, 2.0:1. etc. Letterbox, Pillarbox, or both at the same time. I ended up just using the Stretch mode on my Oppo 203 and slid the Anamorphic Lens in place and forgot about it.

I think these Directors need to have a reality check. I understand artistic license and intent, or to be experimental. But, when 99.99% of the movie's life will be spent in a home environment, where the display's aspect ratio for the foreseeable future is locked at 16:9 or maybe 2.35:1 in some rare cases, it doesn't make sense to have this.
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post #25 of 183 Old 01-11-2018, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I've updated the first post to indicate that Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Transformers: Age of Extinction are CIH on Ultra HD.

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post #26 of 183 Old 02-19-2018, 02:44 PM
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Can someone explain what the difference between these two are? Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians and others are always in 2.35:1 on 2D blu ray. I don't see any options for changing it. Thanks.

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but Have Constant Height 2.35:1 Options on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

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post #27 of 183 Old 02-19-2018, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxMole View Post
Can someone explain what the difference between these two are? Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians and others are always in 2.35:1 on 2D blu ray. I don't see any options for changing it. Thanks.

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but Have Constant Height 2.35:1 Options on Blu-ray or Ultra HD
Typically most movies that play in IMAX are enhanced for IMAX meaning it was shot 2.39 and then the extra out of the frame content can be added in during the IMAX DMR process. Occasionally these may be filmed with IMAX cameras and have specific scenes shot and displayed with more vertical height and content. This can be done with any other camera as well. It’s mutually beneficial to IMAX and the studio and producers because of revenue generated. There is no need to include this version in the home release.

Then you have certain directors that film in IMAX primarily if not exclusively to a specific film. They will usually release those movies as it was shown in IMAX or close to it while still maximizing for 16x9 panels and screens. It typically adds little to the content but there’s no denying it’s a money maker. There isn’t multiple copies per disc. You get one or the other.

It actually defeats the purpose by putting VAR in a home release. The intent is to have you sitting in an IMAX theater.
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post #28 of 183 Old 02-20-2018, 06:55 AM
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It actually defeats the purpose by putting VAR in a home release. The intent is to have you sitting in an IMAX theater.
I agree you can’t recreate the IMAX experience at home 100% just as it is imposable to recreate the experience of a Scope or Flat for that matter True Cinema experience at home 100%. Unless you are a lucky enough to live in a commercial theater or wealthy enough to build one the best you can do at home is try and replicate some of the feel of a commercial theater be it IMAX or Scope.

One of the things you can somewhat recreate is the level of visual immersion be it IMAX1.89 or be it Scope 2.35. In replicating the visual immersion we then say we have a “Scope” or “IMAX1.89” theater at home even though we really don’t.

That in no way defeats the purpose of putting VAR in the home release media. As if a person has a facsimile of an IMAX1.89 theater at home with IMAX1.89 visual immersion the media containing the VAR material is most welcomed.

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post #29 of 183 Old 02-20-2018, 08:08 AM - Thread Starter
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This is meant to be a purely informational thread. Please keep your bickering out of it, Bud.^ Thank you.

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post #30 of 183 Old 02-20-2018, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BoSoxMole View Post
Can someone explain what the difference between these two are? Civil War, Doctor Strange, Guardians and others are always in 2.35:1 on 2D blu ray. I don't see any options for changing it. Thanks.

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray or Ultra HD

Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but Have Constant Height 2.35:1 Options on Blu-ray or Ultra HD
The 2D editions of Civil War, Doctor Strange, and Guardians are constant 2.35:1. Only the 3D editions are variable aspect ratio.

"Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but are Only Constant Height 2.35:1 on Blu-ray or Ultra HD" means that all home video editions are CIH. There is no option to watch these movies with a variable ratio at home. Not in 2D, not in 3D, nothing.

"Movies that Played in IMAX Theaters with a Variable Aspect Ratio but Have Constant Height 2.35:1 Options on Blu-ray or Ultra HD" means that some home video editions are variable ratio (typically the 3D copies), but other versions (such as 2D) are available in a CIH ratio.
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Last edited by Josh Z; 02-20-2018 at 08:19 AM.
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