'Lonesome Dove' - High-Def Digest Review - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 09-03-2008, 11:59 AM
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Default 'Lonesome Dove' - High-Def Digest Review

Kenneth's review has been posted for 'Lonesome Dove.' He says it's a rewarding western mini-series. The Blu-ray isn't perfect, but it offers a decent technical presentation of problematic audio and video that's an improvement over the standard DVD releases. Worth a look.

Full review here:
http://bluray.highdefdigest.com/1512/lonesomedove.html
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Old 09-03-2008, 12:20 PM
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Thanks for the review. I watched this last week and really enjoyed it a lot. I was disappointed with the PQ in many parts but overall it was ok.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:38 PM
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Am I wrong or did the review totally dodge the reframed aspect ratio controversy? This deserved at least a mention in the PQ section.
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Old 09-03-2008, 01:43 PM
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Part of the special features on the disc has the Director saying he is glad that his work in finally going to be able to be presented in widescreen format. I don't see how there is a controversy.
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ZebraMajor View Post
Am I wrong or did the review totally dodge the reframed aspect ratio controversy? This deserved at least a mention in the PQ section.
No dodging. I just wasn't aware of an aspect ratio controversy. Would you mind elaborating on what it is and where the controversy stems from? Thanks!
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Old 09-03-2008, 02:50 PM
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Well this was filmed for and shown on TV in 4:3 format. It was never shown in theatres and never shown before in widescreen other than possibly for a test screening for critics before it was on TV.
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Old 09-03-2008, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Jimbo976 View Post
Well this was filmed for and shown on TV in 4:3 format. It was never shown in theatres and never shown before in widescreen other than possibly for a test screening for critics before it was on TV.
Ah. I was confused when the word "controversy" was used since that implies dissatisfaction amongst fans. Perhaps zebra was referring to some controversy at the time of its original broadcast.

Anyway, the miniseries was filmed in widescreen (as a result of possible international theatrical distribution), but was presented in 4:3 on domestic television. However, since the original image wasn't reformatted for this Blu-ray release in any way, fans are getting 'Lonesome Dove' as it was ideally meant to be seen. The full screen version can officially be forgotten
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:33 PM
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The controversy I was referring to was the reframing from 4:3 to widescreen. Leading up to the Blu-ray release there were a lot of LD fans angry on various boards regarding:

- the reframing itself (loss of top/bottom picture info vs. gaining side picture info.)
- the director's involvement, if any
- the exhibitor's screenings in widescreen prior to the original TV broadcast
- unhappiness that the original 4:3 framing is not included and/or will be ultimately replaced by the widescreen reframing
- unhappiness that a trend may emerge of reframing 4:3 to suit HDTV owners

If "controversy" meant unhappiness in the fans then the word fits. Some people were really burned up by it.

I'm generally a purist at heart so reframing is generally a bad thing to me. I'll admit the screen caps I saw looked pretty good and left me with the impression they were being as respectful as possible.

Ken, I'd be curious to know what you thought of the reframing, if you get the opportunity to compare. I was waiting for the LD review since the set was released and was looking forward to feedback on the framing changes. I probably should've used a different word that "dodging." I honestly though the framing issue was common knowledge and found it curious it wasn't mentioned.

Last edited by ZebraMajor; 09-03-2008 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 09-03-2008, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Brown View Post
Ah. I was confused when the word "controversy" was used since that implies dissatisfaction amongst fans. Perhaps zebra was referring to some controversy at the time of its original broadcast.

Anyway, the miniseries was filmed in widescreen (as a result of possible international theatrical distribution), but was presented in 4:3 on domestic television. However, since the original image wasn't reformatted for this Blu-ray release in any way, fans are getting 'Lonesome Dove' as it was ideally meant to be seen. The full screen version can officially be forgotten
That's a slippery slope. I guess I should forget Han shot first too. Lots of films were shot in a different aspect ratio than their "official," original, theatrical presentation. Does that justify mucking with the framing years later? To some people this is just as bad as pan-and-scan. IMO, the reframing was partially a marketing hook to get consumers interested in the product again and hopefully generate some home video repurchases. Director's intent, not so much.

Last edited by ZebraMajor; 09-03-2008 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 09-03-2008, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ZebraMajor View Post
That's a slippery slope. I guess I should forget Han shot first too. Lots of films were shot in a different aspect ratio than their "official," original, theatrical presentation. Does that justify mucking with the framing years later? To some people this is just as bad as pan-and-scan. IMO, the reframing was partially a marketing hook to get consumers interested in the product again and hopefully generate some home video repurchases. Director's intent, not so much.
I think you may have missed what he was saying; this has nothing to do with the type of director's intent that has directors tinkering with films years after completion. Since they were shot in 35mm, it wasn't unusual for high-profile TV productions to be released in theaters overseas ('Salem's Lot' is the only other one I can think of right off); with that in mind they were usually shot in soft matte. On TV they'd show a 1.33:1 frame that represented everything exposed on the film, and in theaters the top and bottom would be matted off to 1.85:1 or so. These productions were shot with full knowledge that this would happen and framed accordingly (with nothing important outside the "safe areas"), so this isn't a case of someone else swooping in and mangling the movie after the fact.

It's quite possible that's the case with 'Lonesome Dove' and nothing is being mucked with at all. Someone should compare this with an earlier release; if they end up finding that everything is in the vertical center on the Blu-ray all the way through--that you'd get the same exact framing just by covering up the top and bottom of an older release, and not that it's being moved up and down to catch action on the top/bottom/wherever of the frame from shot to shot--that's probably what it is.

Last edited by krylonman; 09-03-2008 at 10:35 PM.
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