HBO and their cropped movies

chriskchrisk Indianapolis
edited August 2018 in Movies
Was thinking about watching Die Hard, Alien or The Fugitive with my son this weekend and took a peek at these just to see if they were cropped. HBO has a lot of movies mangled this way and I’ve stopped watching movies on there unless they’re the full widescreen versions.

Well, sure enough all of those movies are cropped. 

Freaking Die Hard, which is a glorious widescreen movie. 

Searched Twitter to look for similar complaints and found this example of a scene from Die Hard 


https://twitter.com/thereverend_dan/status/1030255148629667840

There’s some debate about whose fault this is - sounds like the studios will sometimes just provide the cropped versions to networks, but how hard would it be for HBO to just ask for the correct ones?

They seem to do better on some new movies. Dunkirk and Blade Runner 2049 are both in the right ratio. IT is not, however. Nor was Kong:Skull Island a few months ago. 

Comments

  • Buy/rent the movie it’s usually the only way to ensure OAR. Even in the case of buying/renting it can differ since between disc/digital there can be differences of what OAR is (VAR vs CAR). HBO used to do many OAR movies, but probably got lots of complaints about those huge black bars from people who didn’t know any better. In the end it’s easier to post cropped to 16:9 (1.85 or 1.78) than OAR as all most people care about is filling their screen up. 
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    I just don’t think it would be that hard to get people used to the bars and explain it briefly with something before the movie showing something like the screenshot above. 

    Doesn’t make any sense to me that Dunkirk and Blade Runner can be shown correctly and other movies can’t. I used to watch letterboxed movies on smaller CRT tvs. 

     
  • russkellyrusskelly Indianapolis
    Reminds me of the Simpsons on FXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. It's real bad.
  • chrisk said:
    I just don’t think it would be that hard to get people used to the bars and explain it briefly with something before the movie showing something like the screenshot above. 

    Doesn’t make any sense to me that Dunkirk and Blade Runner can be shown correctly and other movies can’t. I used to watch letterboxed movies on smaller CRT tvs. 

     
    Technically unless Dunkirk is is VAR it isn’t “correct” much of the movie was shot with IMAX cameras (~70%) and the cropped version is the 2.35.1 version. Nolan and I’m sure Ridley have more sway when t comes to distribution. As far as trying to educate the populace, it doesn’t matter they’d see their screens not filled and raise hell. I’ve seen this happen even with people who know why there are bars on top and bottom. I’ve been a home theater geek for quite a bit and know where you are coming from, unfortunately we who want OAR (VAR or CAR) are a very very small community. 
  • I’ve been in the cable business for 12 years and @KingKobra is right. Explaining the bars to some customers is a losing battle. Let alone, trying to convince them that it’s better. 
    KingKobra
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    edited August 2018
    It’s too bad they didn’t start this with VHS ago and offer just the widescreen versions.

    HBO is especially bad about it. If some movies can be shown properly it doesn’t make sense that others can’t. 

    Wonder if it would at least be possible to offer both. Same licensing, just have two copies. Ideally you could switch it like closed captioning but that’s probably not practical. 
  • chriskchrisk Indianapolis
    edited August 2018
    Checked out Amazon and it’s much better. Raiders, Star Trek Beyond, Watchmen, The Arrival all in the right ratio. Even checked Baywatch, out of curiosity. The Witch appears to have been filmed in 1.66:1, so that fills the screen like it should. 

    Only one one that didn’t seem right was one of the Transformer movies, which I imagine were widescreen, but maybe not. 
  • I got so annoyed when star wars original trilogy was shown on tbs or whatever on TV wide-screen, not their real aspect ratio

    On the flip side, shows like Buffy that were 4:3 are being converted to wide-screen by zooming and cropping in some stupid ways, which makes even less sense. Just give me black bars on the side you morons. 
  • redlancerredlancer Seattle
    edited August 2018
    chrisk said:

    Only one one that didn’t seem right was one of the Transformer movies, which I imagine were widescreen, but maybe not. 

    The Transformers movies do a fair amount of aspect ratio change throughout the move, and often within the same scene. Michael Bay went a little crazy with it on some parts:

    https://imgur.com/XjhBCtN

    Director of photography Jonathan Sela explained that Michael Bay likes to mix up the format quite a bit. The cameras on set include the Red 6K Weapon Dragon, the Alexa 65 IMAX rig and the IMAX Phantom 65, all of which are 3D cameras. In addition, there are several 2D cameras, some with spherical optics, some GoPro footage and also some stuff shot on film

  • chrisk said:
    I just don’t think it would be that hard to get people used to the bars and explain it briefly with something before the movie showing something like the screenshot above. 

    Doesn’t make any sense to me that Dunkirk and Blade Runner can be shown correctly and other movies can’t. I used to watch letterboxed movies on smaller CRT tvs. 

     

    Have you tried having a conversation with someone who hates letterboxing? They are one hardcore group not prepared to give an inch. (literally!) 80% of my extended family fall into this category and if at a family party they see bars at the start of a movie just get up and walk into another room. I don't understand it, maybe they paid for a large TV and refuse to waste any of it.
    KingKobra
  • CapeGabe said:
    chrisk said:
    I just don’t think it would be that hard to get people used to the bars and explain it briefly with something before the movie showing something like the screenshot above. 

    Doesn’t make any sense to me that Dunkirk and Blade Runner can be shown correctly and other movies can’t. I used to watch letterboxed movies on smaller CRT tvs. 

     

    Have you tried having a conversation with someone who hates letterboxing? They are one hardcore group not prepared to give an inch. (literally!) 80% of my extended family fall into this category and if at a family party they see bars at the start of a movie just get up and walk into another room. I don't understand it, maybe they paid for a large TV and refuse to waste any of it.
    This 100%.  When I did home theater installs (anything from setting up a 32" TV to $20,000+ Home Theater setups) it was one of the most frustrating things in the world trying to explain to people why the picture doesn't take up the entire screen.  It didn't matter how many times you explained to them it was recorded for a movie theater screen which is shorter and wider than what you're TV is, they would still not understand.

    Also when people had standard definition service provider and going from a 19" tube TV to a 40"+ flat screen TV and why does the image look so bad and not take up the whole screen.  I certainly do not miss those days.  I loved what I did but between the store completely dropping the ball on what they sell and dealing with the lack of knowledge in these types situations, I'm glad I got into a different career.
    CapeGabe
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