12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Great show, terrible DVDs,
This review is from: Kung Fu: The Complete Second Season [DVD]  (DVD)
This is a terrifically differnt show and one of the few highlights of '70s American TV (with 'Columbo' and 'Night Gallery'). Well worth watching and deserving of a release on DVD. Unfortunately, these episodes are scanned to simulate a wide screen. They were originally shot in the academy ratio, 3 by 4, which is what most TV up to the mid '90s was shot on and fit the traditional size of TVs through the decades. It's also the ratio of the vast amount of movies made until the mid '50s. To make it relevant to today's audiences and their wide-screen TVs, they have cut out huge swathes of the image on the top and bottom - possibly as much as 30%, maybe more. Imagine having an large photo, which measures 4 by 3 and then sticking two black cardboard tapes to mask the top and bottom part of the image to give it an elongated shape. For a show that was composed by it's creators to fill in a different size and for which it won Emmys for it's photography and direction, this is an utterly shameful act of corporate vandalism, akin to the way they cut 40 minute 'Night Gallery' episodes down to half an hour for syndication purposes. Don't buy this, find another way of getting your hands on it, until they grow up and release it as it's makers intended.
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Initial post: 4 Aug 2011 11:36:11 BDT
J. M. Greer says:
The way to get the proper aspect ratio and some extra features including audio commentary is to buy the American version from Amazon.com. You will need a multi-region player. I think what happened was that they had planned to release the widescreen version in both countries but after p[rotest from fans about this being done to season 1 they pulled U.S. release and went back to the drawing board to create a better version. Sadly the U.K. release went ahead.
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