Customer Review

44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spies Like Us is the full frame version with the top and bottom chopped off., August 6, 2011
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This review is from: Funny Farm (1988) / Spies Like Us (1985) (Double Feature) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
Update on 11/12/11: There is a comment posted to this review that explains that this Disc is actually the correct version of the movie. Please read it if this issue concerns you.

'Spies Like Us' is a great movie. I bought this version thinking that it would have a wider view than my already purchased dvd which I could only find in full frame. I just compared it to my dvd. For this blu ray, all they did was chop some off from the top and bottom to give it the widescreen look. I thought people might to like to know.
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 12, 2011 6:24:18 AM PST
John S says:
It's not chopped; the original release on DVD was incorrect. The original DVD used a common process called "open matte", which means the masks used to achieve the theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 were removed, exposing the entire 1.33:1 frame. The extra picture information on the original 1.33:1 DVD release was never intended to be shown. This Blu-ray release is correct, showing the same picture and aspect ratio that was shown theatrically. Do some research on open matte if you're interested in learning more.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2011 5:49:47 PM PST
Thanks for the information. I'll update the original review.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 6:55:54 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2012 7:00:57 AM PDT
Tom Davis says:
To me the 16:9 chopped. Heads and feet are cut off. The 4:3 version looks much more natural and what was intended with the exception of the sides cut off. I'd need to see the original theatrical release to confirm you hypothesis. I'll stick by my review and recommend the standard DVD version.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 6:57:52 AM PDT
John S says:
It's not a hypothesis, it's a fact. Do some research.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 8:20:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2012 8:34:45 AM PDT
Tom Davis says:
Ok it looks like the film was shot in standard 35mm film. So 4:3 is the native ratio. I personally prefer seeing the original full frame. It's the buyers choice if they want a cropped theatrical version or the entire frame. Too bad they don't include a fresh 4:3 HD scan on the disc.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 10:16:26 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 15, 2012 1:33:01 PM PDT
John S says:
No, it's too bad that the "more is always better" mentality has become so prevalent these days. The director and the cinematographer intended for the film to be shown at 1.85:1; that's how they framed it and that's how the film should be seen. If you're interested in learning more, please read my widescreen information page. Google "twowiresthin" and "widescreen".

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 10:36:20 AM PDT
I'd just like to chime in and say that after watching it in widescreen something about the widescreen look appealed to me. One scene in particular, when the metal box they parachute in opens, the widescreen looks great and the fullscreen seems unbalanced. I had that feeling several times.

Posted on Jun 16, 2012 9:35:11 AM PDT
Bobby Brady says:
Sometimes full frame is better. The Beverly Hillbillies movie has a scene with Elle Mae coming down the stairs to greet Mr. Drysdale's son... that scene is WAY better in full screen. Luckily that DVD included both versions. Perhaps #1 of the 2 reason i even bother with that film! ;)

Posted on Aug 27, 2013 10:43:15 AM PDT
Shawn says:
Thank you "American Mahout" for your honest review of the product. There are plenty of movie reviews on the web and I appreciate that you stuck to a product review as Amazon intended.

So much debate going on here. So far I haven't been able to find proof of the exact theatrical formatting and cropping used. 35mm film was used, BUT if it was shot in 35mm Anamorphic, then it was actually stretched back out to widescreen with a lens during projection. So the aspect ration would not have been 4:3 native even on 35mm film.

I am all for watching a movie as the Director intended. Which is why I hate so many 4:3 DVDs as most where done to satisfy people who wanted their 27" CRT TVs filled completely and those TVs didn't have screen filling/stretching/zoom options.

And so, like the reviewer here, we are all just trying to find the Theatrical "Director intended" widescreen version of this film. But I haven't been able to find proof that this Blu Ray widescreen is that version. I worry that the original film was widescreen using 35mm Anamorphic projection, and then cropped for 1.33 (4:3) DVDs and then later cropped again for 1.85 Blu-Ray. Which would mean a massive loss in what the director originally intended for the theatrical showing.

If it is true that the theatrical showing was a cropped version of the original nagative and the negative was 4:3 and not anamorphic; then I am happy to see it presented the same way on this Blu-ray release.

But I can't find that proof. As such, I would love to see both versions released on Blu-Ray. As there is no reason why they can't also give us a 1080p height 4:3 Blu-Ray for those people that want to have an HD release of the visual content they are used to from the 4:3 DVD.

I will get any BD release as it has to be better looking that my current DVD when blown up to 125".

Again, thanks for the honest product review. Not sure if the content of the review warrants only 1 star. But for movie product reviews, I go by the content, not the stars. Thanks again for the info.
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