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Thomas Rohnacher (California)

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The Adventures of Tintin [DVD]
The Adventures of Tintin [DVD]
Dvd ~ Stéphane Bernasconi
Offered by Direct-Offers-UK-FBA
Price: £6.81

42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD and blu-ray release widescreen (top and bottom cut off) - otherwise fantastic, 6 Mar. 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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I grew up with Tintin books, and these films come pretty close to the unique, almost magical feeling of the stories, and the artwork.

However, in this edition, in DVD as well as blu-ray, the series is not presented in the 4:3 (1.33:1) aspect ratio, the way they were originally broadcase, but in 16:9 widescreen, for which the top and bottom of the image were removed.

This feels even worse than the former habit of cutting widescreen into 4:3 format in the early days of home video.

This gives the compositions a cramped, claustrophobic feeling, with not enough headroom, with parts of the heads cut off. The compositions were very well thought-out, in fact, often, the original compositions from the books were directly transposed. But this gets lost here. On back of the DVD box it says, the aspect ratio is full frame, 4:3. The episodes, however are not. I will contact amazon about this, that they must clearly indicate the 16:9 aspect ratio, for the DVDs in particular.

The box, by the way, is stunning, with the image of Tintin and his dog rendered in 3D via holograph. Moreover, the the quality of the DVDs is so fantastic, that I first thought, I must have been sent the blu-rays in a dvd box, hence the cropping. But they are the DVDs alright, in excellent image and sound quality.

I recommend this set, if you are not bothered by the cropping of the image. The price is a real bargain.
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Update 9 March 2012: I contacted amazon about this misrepresentation of the aspect ratio, and they consequently corrected this error. I'll leave my review up for a while, because that vital information in not desplayed in the product details, but further down in the product.

Amazon's reaction to my complaint was excemplary. Amazon.co.uk and amazon.com are my favorite stores - they've never let me down, and in case of a problem, communication is always excellent, and they always offer a satisfying solution.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 1, 2012 10:32 AM GMT


Farewell My Lovely [DVD]
Farewell My Lovely [DVD]
Dvd ~ Robert Mitchum
Offered by PREMIER-ONE
Price: £20.74

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie, in open mat - not pan and scan, 12 Dec. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Farewell My Lovely [DVD] (DVD)
This is a wonderfilm film, and I don't need to repeat what other reviewers have expressed much better than I could.

I would just like to add my observation regarding the lamented aspect ratio of this Carlton release.

Unlike movies filmed widescreen in Cinemascope, or Panavision, this movie, like many, was originally filmed in 1.33:1, with the intention of having the movie theaters later mask the top and bottom of the image to create a widescreen presentation. The presentation we get here on this DVD is an "open mat", meaning, it is as filmed, but not masked. Therefore we get to see more of the image than was intended by the cinematographer and director. It gives the composition a lot of headroom and room on the bottom, which has the disadvantage of not pulling us into the action as much as it was intended. However, and that's why I'm writing this, we do NOT lose part of the image, as pan and scan presentations of widescreen movies would cause us to, because they cut off the sides to make it fit. Even if you're not artistically minded, you can tell this by the opening credits.

I have to say, it did not distract me from enjoying this film, but if you (as I am) are a stickler for watching the originally intended aspect ratio, you could just temporarily mask your monitor on the top and bottoms with strips of black paper while watching the film. A few times, I did that trick with my hands in front of me, cover the top and bottom, to test how that would change the composition, and it does make it more dynamic and interesting And I think next time I watch the DVD, I'll go through the trouble of masking the monitor. But I think, that's going a bit far :)

Either way, I think you will enjoy the film, because the actors, the story and the atmosphere are compelling, and, as sometimes is the case in the film noir genre, emotionally moving.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 8, 2012 1:09 AM GMT


Unity
Unity
Offered by samurai media
Price: £18.93

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The 2007 import TOCJ 6597 of "Unity" (here on amazon) sounds much better, 24 May 2010
This review is from: Unity (Audio CD)
I purchased a Toshiba Emi 2008 Japanese import of this album from amazon, but it turned out to be the same 1998 RVG remastering of the 1999 Blue Note release that I didn't like, because it sounds MONO and boxy and cold. I knew this had to be a STEREO recording originally.

I finally found this album "Unity" in a 2005 24 bit remastering, also from Toshiba Emi Japan. Amazon calls it a 2007 import. It is Toshiba TOCJ 6597, and you can find it here on amazon by typing B000AU1NTC in the amazon search window. That's where I bought it, from an excellent amazon marketplace seller "musicjapan". You could also search for TOCJ 6597.

I highly recommend this particular remastering. It is Stereo, spacious, clear, yet full and warm, which is how Hammond organ music should sound. It costs more than the Blue Note release but in this case, in my opinion, it is worth it. It really helped me appreciate the music much better.

For some reason, some of the recent RVG remasters sound Mono, even though he originally recorded the music in Stereo. In fact, the first generation of Blue Note releases with remasterings by Ron McMaster are in Stereo. Some of the new RVG remasters sound great, but with some, I prefer the earlier remasters. One example is the album "Somethin' Else".


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