Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crop This

This problem might not be a major issue for the average renter out there, but being a stickler for the preservation of the original theatrical aspect ratios of films - or at least, the original ratio the director intended their films to be seen - there seems to be an alarming rise of cropping occurring with Australian/NZ/UK releases. The most disconcerting example recently is the case of Rodrigo Cortes' thriller Buried starring Ryan Reynolds.

Icon Home Entertainment, for some reason which I hope soon will be made clear, have chosen to release the DVD and Blu-ray of the film cropped from its OAR of 2.35:1 to 1.77:1. As far as I'm concerned, such practice is unacceptable in this day and age, especially with customers being guaranteed the optimal presentation of films on home video via Blu-ray and the like. It's what, 15 years since DVD debuted, and films are still being cropped arbitrarily here and there? If anything new technology should educate the consumer of such matters, not the other way around.

The 1st image shows the US Lionsgate release in its OAR, the 2nd shows what we get.

Not only do we lose more image, we lose a sense of the director's vision, his composition of the shot.

Here's an excellent, and funny post about the ridiculousness of Buried's cropping, and this is a list of some Aus/NZ-releases titles that have been cropped (I'd add to that list Tell-Tale as well).

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