Friday, August 28, 2009

SDP 16 Finally Makes it Out of a Maze of Intertubes

Recorded 8/13/09 and 8/7/09, episode 16 of The Same Dame Podcast features reviews of "GI Joe," "A Perfect Getaway," "Orphan," "Revanche" and "Departures." Find out what big star may be making a comeback, hear about Nicholas Cage's tax woes, and discover why Timothy Olyphant should be more famous.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast (via iTunes if you like) so you won't miss our next thrilling episode.
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

SDP 15: Including the Year's Best Film You've never seen.

Recorded 8/7/09, episode 15 of The Same Dame Podcast features a discussion on John Hughes, a horrifying tale of viewing "Mama Mia!" and reviews of several films, including "(500) Days of Summer," "Funny People," "The Hurt Locker," and our dual choice for favorite film of the year. Yes folks, the podcast is back, and ready to explode in a big ol' orgasm of content.

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast (via iTunes if you like) so you won't miss our next thrilling episode (which is coming right on this one's tail).
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Whole Picture

In the Summer 2009 issue of DGA Quarterly, Steven Soderbergh addresses the sad state of 2.35:1 films on 16x9 TVs. As more and more people adopt HDTVs and more and more films receive HD transfers, I'm continually disheartened to see them broadcast in the wrong aspect ratio on so-called premium channels. While some channels do it right, others do it terribly wrong, using the wimpy excuse that people will complain. (Oh no! It's not like anyone's complaining NOW.)

It's worth noting that some channels (although no premiums that I know of) also give 4x3 material the same treatment. What does what gain when they remaster the complete "Seinfeld" in HD, only to crop the top and bottom of the image?

On his handy report card, Soderbergh touches on HBO's hypocrisy by pointing out that the channel's marketing targets the adventurous viewer, yet a different shape in which to view films would just be too much for them. But that doesn't quite capture the despicable level of double-standards that exists on the network.

Back before HDTVs had been widely adopted, HBO insisted on showing original programs like "The Sopranos" in widescreen on their SD channels. I have no problem with this decision on its own merits. Sure, the shows' makers knew that most of their viewers would be watching it on a 4:3 TV screen, but they picked a ratio and stuck with it. What gets me is HBO's apparent belief that their own original programming is worthy of special treatment—if the viewers don't like it, tough—yet real films that were made for actual cinema screens get chopped because viewers would complain if they were shown correctly. What the fuck?
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