Half-assed Widescreen

Recently I saw an HD widescreen version of the movie To Gillian on her 37th Birthday. I noticed that something seemed off in a particular scene that I remember seeing more of previously. Particularly the bottom half of one of the girls in a thong bikini. Out of curiosity, I went back to the 4:3 version of the film and sure enough, full-bottom was on display. Resulting in me now referring to the HD widescreen version as the half-assed version of the movie.

While this may be minor, it is nonetheless disappointing to me. The goal of an HD widescreen release is to have the best copy possible. But it seems to me that if we are missing frame information we previously had in a prior lower resolution release, then we are not getting the best copy possible. We are simply having to chose between either greater resolution or more frame information. A tough choice depending on the film.

I’m sure the director always intended the film to be widescreen and simply shot more square for breathing room in post or whatever. But the fact that there was a home video release that showed more of the film frame, puts us in a predicament because now I want an HD 4:3 release that gives me the best of both. Sigh.

I’m sure the next question is, do you even care if it isn’t a woman’s behind that is being cut off? As in, would you care if it was just the top and bottom of a building being cut off or something? The answer is yes I would care. Make no mistake that I value certain content (like a woman’s behind) more than other content (like a building). Yes, I’m biased in that way. That said, the fact that there is any missing frame information we previously had, does irk me. Will I notice it’s missing if it’s just the top and bottom of a building the way I did when it’s a woman’s behind? Maybe or maybe not. It’s more the principle of the matter that we aren’t being given all the frame information we were given before. Especially when I know there is more to be seen whether I notice it on a scene by scene basis or not.

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