The Wire

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AnamorphicWidescreen
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:21 am

Re: The Wire

#176 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Sat May 02, 2015 12:56 am

Recently watched The Wire S1, E1 in Widescreen - Wow! What an amazing experience - though the show was great before, watching it in WS is like seeing a completely different series - this format really opens up the picture, and makes everything much more "cinematic", for lack of a better term.

There were too many examples to go over of how much better the show was in WS, but one specific example was when McNulty went to go see his Federal agent buddy & they were walking through the office to get to the back room. The lights in the ceiling above them were quite interesting, and this was definitely not something I noticed when watching the show in full-screen. And, that's just one example. Though many may consider this quite trivial, I like seeing these additional details.

Also, the PQ was a huge improvement over The Wire DVDs...

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domino harvey
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Re: The Wire

#177 Post by domino harvey » Sat May 02, 2015 1:15 am

I especially liked it how off to one side of the picture you could see the door in that room in that building they were about to walk through and it was marked "Exit" and it really made me think about how the characters were exiting through the door and I don't want to give too much away for those who haven't already seen it but they do exit through that door marked "Exit" so this is one of the great examples of how the Widescreen has helped me appreciate this series in new ways

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Gregory
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Re: The Wire

#178 Post by Gregory » Sat May 02, 2015 1:55 am

Especially awesome are the scenes that, as Simon explained on his site, were carefully composed for 4:3 and inevitably "lost some of their purpose and power" when opened up to widescreen, though sometimes this could be alleviated by making the best of the situation with some zooming and cropping.
He went on to say that this version required "an aspect ratio that simply wasn’t intended or serviced by the filmmakers when the camera was rolling and the shot was framed" and that Simon and Nina Noble had to delegate the task of most of the "hard decisions about what we might live with, what we might improve, and which choice did the least violence to the story when a scene became vulnerable" — choices that shouldn't have been required in the first place. Distracting "black bars" indeed, gimme a break.
Last edited by Gregory on Sat May 02, 2015 2:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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swo17
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Re: The Wire

#179 Post by swo17 » Sat May 02, 2015 2:04 am

I don't know though, it's like one of the main themes of this show is how widespread corruption is in Baltimore, but this never really came across for me until I noticed that the picture was wide and spread across my entire TV. Just think about that for a moment. Before, I always assumed that the corruption was more just kind of boxed in around the center of Baltimore--I couldn't see what was going on outside of that, but I figured it probably wouldn't be just more corruption, would it, because there can't be corruption everywhere, right? And also, if there had been more corruption happening just outside of the corruption that they were showing us in the show, why wouldn't they just back their camera up a little and fit that in too, I figured. Oh how wrong I was.

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Adam Grikepelis
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Re: The Wire

#180 Post by Adam Grikepelis » Sat May 02, 2015 7:20 am

So has anyone coined the term 'reverse pan-and-scan' yet?
Having only seen the whole of The Wire once, I'm not sure I'll notice too much the difference this wrongheaded conversion makes, but it still sets a horrible precedent.

AnamorphicWidescreen
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Re: The Wire

#181 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Sat May 02, 2015 11:18 am

domino harvey wrote:I especially liked it how off to one side of the picture you could see the door in that room in that building they were about to walk through and it was marked "Exit" and it really made me think about how the characters were exiting through the door and I don't want to give too much away for those who haven't already seen it but they do exit through that door marked "Exit" so this is one of the great examples of how the Widescreen has helped me appreciate this series in new ways
Nice comment. And I'm sure you watch all of your widescreen movies in the pan & scan format, right?

Widescreen & seeing more picture (instead of less) is always better.

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domino harvey
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Re: The Wire

#182 Post by domino harvey » Sat May 02, 2015 11:20 am

No. Wetter is better. My love is better. And original aspect ratios, not widescreen as a default no matter the circumstances, is always better.

AnamorphicWidescreen
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Re: The Wire

#183 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Sat May 02, 2015 11:25 am

Well, I can agree to disagree with those who don't like The Wire in WS - it's a matter of personal preference, obviously.

I guess everyone who doesn't want to see The Wire in WS will not be getting the upcoming Blu release, right?! As far as I know, they're not offering the show on Blu in the pan & scan format.

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: The Wire

#184 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sat May 02, 2015 11:36 am

AnamorphicWidescreen wrote:I guess everyone who doesn't want to see The Wire in WS will not be getting the upcoming Blu release, right?! As far as I know, they're not offering the show on Blu in the pan & scan format.
Okay, little lesson here. Pan-and-scan is a term used to describe the process of chopping a film whose original aspect ratio is widescreen down to 1.33:1. It is a disruption of how the filmmakers originally shot the film (the panning and scanning of the term refers to the distracting artificial camera movies used to, yes, pan and scan through the image so that all the information from the widescreen version can be seen at 1.33:1). That term is not applicable here, because the show was natively shot and broadcast in 1.33:1, and thus there is no disruption in how the show was shot when it aired and came out on DVD. This is pan-and-scan like 1.85:1 is CinemaScope.
Widescreen & seeing more picture (instead of less) is always better.
I hope you're happy, you just gave Nick Wrigley a coronary.
Last edited by The Narrator Returns on Sat May 02, 2015 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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cdnchris
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Re: The Wire

#185 Post by cdnchris » Sat May 02, 2015 11:49 am

Just to clarify to AW: for most of The Wire in widescreen you're losing image. They are cutting off the tops and bottoms. There was a whole thing earlier in this thread about it.

shaky
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Re: The Wire

#186 Post by shaky » Sat May 02, 2015 11:54 am

How is this STILL having to be explained? ](*,)

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: The Wire

#187 Post by The Narrator Returns » Sat May 02, 2015 11:57 am

Someone needs to register an account with the name OriginalAspectRatioFullscreen, then maybe he'll get it.

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Wire

#188 Post by hearthesilence » Sat May 02, 2015 12:01 pm

I wouldn't bother with widescreen, it wasn't what they were trying for on the set. The first few seasons accommodated widescreen as "future-proofing" but were primarily composed for full screen. The later ones were composed only for full screen because trying to accommodate for widescreen was such a pain, they decided to just give up. HBO also gave them the choice of composing only for widescreen since the channel was transitioning into widescreen-only programming, and even then Simon and everyone else said no.

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MichaelB
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Re: The Wire

#189 Post by MichaelB » Sat May 02, 2015 12:28 pm

AnamorphicWidescreen wrote:As far as I know, they're not offering the show on Blu in the pan & scan format.
Isn't this precisely what they are offering?

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EddieLarkin
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Re: The Wire

#190 Post by EddieLarkin » Sat May 02, 2015 1:06 pm

To clarify, most of the presentation of The Wire on Blu-ray is opened up, i.e. you're only getting more image. There were a number of instances where Simon felt this played particular havoc with the composition (proving that AW's claim that seeing "more picture is always better" is obviously false) so during these instances you're seeing a crop of the 4x3 area rather than any opening up (in Simon's mind, this was the best of two bad options for these scenes).

But whatever way you look at it, all of the show is presented incorrectly and not how people like Tim Van Patten and Agnieszka Holland framed it. And even if we concede that most of the show is "only" opened up, people should not underestimate how much that can screw with the aesthetics of a show. Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 16x9, as it is presented on DVD in the UK (and in the US for its HD television debut) is an absolute abomination compositionally speaking (before we get into all of the visible "mistakes") despite being entirely opened up, rather than cropped.

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swo17
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Re: The Wire

#191 Post by swo17 » Sat May 02, 2015 2:48 pm

I actually wouldn't have minded so much if they truly had just opened up the image throughout, as at least then, those of us with the wherewithal could mask off the sides. But as it stands now, this new rendering of the show is completely worthless.

oh yeah
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Re: The Wire

#192 Post by oh yeah » Sat May 02, 2015 6:12 pm

This isn't about aspect ratios, but my Lyft driver last night struck up a conversation with me upon seeing the Wire S1 DVD I was holding and revealed that he is the cousin of Teddy Cañez, who so memorably played George Glekas/Double-G, the shady warehouse-owner Greek in Season 2 who buys stolen goods from Ziggy and Nick. Made my night, to say the least. Oh, and Teddy (or Ted Feldman, as he was credited on The Wire) isn't actually Greek -- he's Latino and Russian-Jewish -- but I told his cousin that I found him very convincing! And to think none of this would have happened if my friend hadn't returned my Season 1 set that night, or the first Lyft driver I was assigned to didn't cancel the ride right away for some reason.

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Drucker
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Re: The Wire

#193 Post by Drucker » Sat May 02, 2015 7:37 pm

oh yeah wrote:This isn't about aspect ratios, but...
Does not compute.

onedimension
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 4:35 pm

Re: The Wire

#194 Post by onedimension » Sun May 03, 2015 10:34 am

Yeah, I defended Simon's decision vigorously months ago, but having seen some of the end result, it's a disaster. Can't we just vanquish philistinism once and for all, instead of seeing it return in new forms.. It's not that hard to be thoughtful and sensitive.

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zedz
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Re: The Wire

#195 Post by zedz » Sun May 03, 2015 5:01 pm

Does anybody else remember thinking, when widescreen TVs were introduced, "At last! No more screwing with the integrity of films for the sake of idiots!"

Never underestimate the power of idiots.

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hearthesilence
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Re: The Wire

#196 Post by hearthesilence » Sun May 03, 2015 6:24 pm

zedz wrote:Does anybody else remember thinking, when widescreen TVs were introduced, "At last! No more screwing with the integrity of films for the sake of idiots!"
Sadly, I don't recall ever entertaining the thought - just as soon as they were introduced, it was a common sight to see display models improperly stretching or chopping off an image just to fill the screen. And sadder still, if that was the worst example of common stupidity within the last two decades, we'd all be in much better shape.

AnamorphicWidescreen
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Re: The Wire

#197 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Mon May 04, 2015 9:36 pm

cdnchris wrote:Just to clarify to AW: for most of The Wire in widescreen you're losing image. They are cutting off the tops and bottoms. There was a whole thing earlier in this thread about it.
This is incorrect. Based on the S1, E1 widescreen version that I saw (which is presumably what the rest of the series will look like on Blu), you are not losing any of the original picture. Sure, I understand purists don't want this to go to WS since that's not the way it was originally intended, but as far as I could tell you're not losing any of the picture in the WS format:

http://www.avclub.com/article/hbo-finis ... -is-212510" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: The Wire

#198 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Mon May 04, 2015 9:46 pm

I read that later seasons were shot in 4:3, which is probably what cdnchris is specifically referring to.
Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Mon May 04, 2015 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AnamorphicWidescreen
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Re: The Wire

#199 Post by AnamorphicWidescreen » Mon May 04, 2015 9:54 pm

OK, Thanks for the clarification. I will have to look for this when I get the Blu set.

I'm guessing someone will post screen-cap comparisons once the Blu set comes out. I myself have never owned the regular DVD sets of The Wire.

Perkins Cobb
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Re: The Wire

#200 Post by Perkins Cobb » Mon May 04, 2015 11:27 pm

Cutty and Carver are having trouble coming to terms with the new aspect ratio.

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