NOTHING IS WHAT IT SEEMS

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  • George Bellefontaine
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Jan 2001
    • 7637

    NOTHING IS WHAT IT SEEMS

    THE RECRUIT

    Stars Al Pacino and Colin Farrell. Colin is a top MIT graduate and Pacino a recruiter for the CIA. The film deals with the training of a CIA agent but as things progress, and as Pacino often reminds us: " Nothing is what it seems." And because of all the verbal warnings, nothing really surprised me in this film, even though there were several twists and turns.

    A good acting job by both Farrell and Pacino, and a very excellent transfer and soundtrack make this an enjoyable dvd. BUT...

    NOTHING IS WHAT IT SEEMS... including the aspect ratio.

    Theaterically this was filmed super 35 with an aspect of 2:39:1 But TOUCHSTONE, I guess trying to now please those who have 1:78 widescreen tvs and hate black bars top and bottom, transferred this in a 1:78:1 aspect ratio. All the while I was watching this film I was wondering what was added or what was missing from the original screen presentation. Kinda ruined the movie for me.

    I hope this isn't the start of something for other studios as well. But what really ticks me off is that the director of The Recruit (Roger Donaldson) actually approved the reframing of this film for dvd. SHAME !

    For the movie I give :3:

    To the studio and director I give : :2fingers:




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  • John Holmes
    Moderator Emeritus
    • Aug 2000
    • 2703

    #2
    This was a film that I wanted to see on the big screen but choose to wait till it hit dvd. Looks like that was a mistake.

    I too hope that the reframing isn't the new wave for the studios to ride. Seeing the movie in it's proper aspect ratio is one of the attractive assets of the dvd medium.

    I still plan to rent it but I do appreciate the review George! At least I will not be shocked.




    "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
    "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

    Comment

    • George Bellefontaine
      Moderator Emeritus
      • Jan 2001
      • 7637

      #3
      Yeah, John, I rented this title Saturday morning. That afternoon I was reading WS magazine and learned that the dvd was not its original AR and really got angry. It's worth seeing, and I guess , since it was Super 35, that the reframing is not too bad a butcher job, but I will not add this title to my collection now.




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      • David Meek
        Moderator Emeritus
        • Aug 2000
        • 8938

        #4
        If I remember correctly, didn't Roger Donaldson say he wanted to "open up" the framing to 1.78. It's not really a re-formatting which would crop the sides, so you're actually just getting more picture top-and-bottom?




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        • Dean McManis
          Moderator Emeritus
          • May 2003
          • 762

          #5
          If the movie was shot in Super 35 or such, then removing the soft matte is not nearly the travesty as chopping the sides off of a 2.35:1 film.

          I did enjoy watching this movie, and I thought that everyone did a good job with it.

          -Dean.

          Comment

          • George Bellefontaine
            Moderator Emeritus
            • Jan 2001
            • 7637

            #6
            Yeah, but I guess with me it's a matter of principle. I want to see it the way it was filmed.




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            • Brandon B
              Super Senior Member
              • Jun 2001
              • 2193

              #7
              Realistically, with some screen masking, you could. (Which would make you a matte-er of principle!)

              BB

              Edited to add really bad pun

              Comment

              • David Meek
                Moderator Emeritus
                • Aug 2000
                • 8938

                #8
                Uh oh. Humor alert! :uhoh:




                David - HTGuide flunky
                Our "Theater"
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                .

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                • George Bellefontaine
                  Moderator Emeritus
                  • Jan 2001
                  • 7637

                  #9
                  You are so funny, Brandon :P

                  Actually,with my NEC projector I can use the blanking top and bottom feature to mask and reframe the pic to 2:35, but I recall a closeup two shot of Pacino and Farrell, and if blanked you would only see their mouth, nose and eyes. Somehow, I don't think the cinematographer intended it to be that way. I would guess that for some shots, the sides were cropped.




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                  • justin
                    Member
                    • Feb 2003
                    • 89

                    #10
                    I seen the trailer on tv and wanted to go see it,never made it to the movie theater. I think I'll just rent it now. I hate when they chop it up. It would be nice if the director had his head on straight. I was looking forward to this one. sorry if I sound alittle mad. :bash:

                    jus




                    Jus

                    Taking it one day at a time. Life moves quick.
                    Jus

                    Taking it one day at a time. Life moves quick.

                    Comment

                    • Dean McManis
                      Moderator Emeritus
                      • May 2003
                      • 762

                      #11
                      The hard part about open-matte presentations are that all of the special effects shots are done in the native theatrical format. So those shots are always P&S hacked.

                      In a movie like The Recruit there are more normal scene shots, as opposed to a movie like Star Wars EP1 where every scene is a special effects shot. So it's likely that The Recruit is not AS badly hacked, but it's still unfortunate that they couldn't keep the theatrical format intact for the DVD.

                      -Dean.

                      Comment

                      • Brandon B
                        Super Senior Member
                        • Jun 2001
                        • 2193

                        #12
                        Watched this last night. Have to say, while I agree it was pretty good and certainly enjoyable, I thought the ending was lame.

                        The same lame hollywood ending as in Mission Impossible, etc. I have trouble buying into these career spooks all turning into mercenary money hunters and framing their newst hotshot agent. Think they really could have done something better here.

                        Didn't see it in the theater, so the cropping didn't make itself too apparent to me.

                        A rent not buy to me. Course I didn't even rent it, my neighbor brought it over.

                        BB

                        Comment

                        • John Holmes
                          Moderator Emeritus
                          • Aug 2000
                          • 2703

                          #13
                          I watched this one last night.

                          I thought it was worth a rental. Not much replay value though. Al does a great job as does Colin. And though I could see most of it coming, I too had the same issues with it's ending as did Brandon. But, it was fun none-the-less.

                          Framing didn't bother me.




                          "I came here, to chew bubble gum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubble gum!!!" My DVD's
                          "I have come here, to chew bubblegum and kickass. And I'm all out of bubblegum!!!"

                          Comment

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