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taxi driver re-release


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#1 Joe Zakko

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Posted 19 March 2011 - 10:55 PM

just saw taxi driver in theatres. It looked amazing, the grain was crisp, and there wasn't a single scratch, but it was presented in the 2.4 aspect ratio for some reason. It looked like just the top and bottom was sliced off, but when the credits rolled sides of the credits were missing as well. I've had consistently bad experiences with AMC, but does anybody know how such carelessness could happen, did it happen when the prints (i know it's not prints, but I don't know how 5k's are sent out) were sent out, is it probably just in that theatre. If anybody has any ideas where the aspect ratio might've gotten changed, i'd be happy to hear them.

thanks
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:25 AM

It sounds rather like the theatre, since Taxi Driver is 1.85.

I've seen films projected in the wrong aspect ratio, the most memorable one being "Badlands" being projected in 4:3 where the mic boom moved right across the the top of the frame. You can also see this side show on the VHS video of the film.
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#3 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 04:30 AM

Digital cinema ”prints” or DCP’s are usually shipped on hard drives, but can also be transferred via network. Regardless of the distribution method, the file itself is marked as either ”F” for flat (meaning 1.85:1 or narrower) or ”S” for scope. It’s still up to the projectionist to choose the correct format according to this standard notation. If the projectionist mistakenly runs an ”F” DCP with scope settings, the picture will be cropped just like you described.

(Unless the theater uses an anamorphic lens for projecting scope titles, in which case the picture will be stretched horizontally instead. Anamorphic lenses are mainly used in very large digital venues.)

I’m sorry to hear about your experience. You should definitely complain.
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#4 Joe Zakko

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 08:00 AM

thanks for the replies, they weren't using an anamorphic lens, which I suppose is good. But heads were consistently cut off, it was very annoying, I was really looking forward to the film.
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#5 Antti Näyhä

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 10:47 AM

Yeah, at least at venues that use anamorphic for scope it’s harder for the projectionist not to notice he’s got the format wrong…
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#6 Brian Rose

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Posted 22 March 2011 - 10:50 PM

Just got back from the theatre. A magnificent showing, and I'm definitely sold on 4K.

However, I was disappointed to find the soundtrack had been altered! They used distinctly different sound F/X for the scene(s) where Travis dry-fires his guns. All versions I've seen before, the hammer has a surreal WHACK sound, whereas in this new release, it is a very different, more of a "click" which is definitely more realistic, but at the cost of the visceral impact of the original. So much care goes into the picture, yet, like Vertigo and "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly," there is less regard for remaining true to the original, which is a shame.
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#7 Pat Murray

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 08:33 AM

I was lucky enough to have a choice between paying more than double the price of a Blu-Ray rental (AMC) and a freshly struck 35mm print, both showing at the same time. I'm sure 4K looks great, but considering the kid who pours the drinks can still struggle to even get something as simple as projecting a "Blu-Ray" as described above, I'm happy I went to a theatre with projectionists who know what they are doing presenting a pristine print.

The print, btw, came from the "lightbox" in Toronto. Apparently, TIFF wanted a print all to themselves.

I'm not against digital, but I'm not paying movie theatre prices for an experience I can get at home. Once the opportunity to see 35mm on a big screen is over, so will be my movie going experience and I'll simply watch Blu-Rays at home or (legal - such as Netflix) downloads.

That's too bad, but even those who love watching a movie on the big screen in "glorious" HD is so much better will eventually realize it's not worth the $60 (tickets plus chow) for an experience that can replicated at home. Not exactly the same, of course, but close enough for the budget conscious, which is most of us.

It would be interesting if the change to digital projection, even 4K, with saving money and increasing profits being the(which is cool to think that way, they are in the business of earning a profit)poison pill that finally kills movie theaters. Not TV. Not VCRS.

Few people have the resources or the dedication to set up a 35mm projector in their basement and collect and store 35mm prints. It probably won't be long before affordable 4K projection hanging from the rafters of a home theater is not uncommon.

Anecdotal, I know, but I already know alot of people who were just waiting for the video to come out or show up on the movie networks and rarely went to movie theaters. Now that they hear the theaters are going digital, it simply justifies their entertainment choices even more.

Should be interesting to see the changes in how we consume movie entertainment over the next 20 years.
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#8 Mark Dunn

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Posted 23 March 2011 - 01:21 PM

I've just noticed that all my local cinemas are now digital.
I wonder if I've seen my last 35mm print at a high-street cinema (as opposed to a special screening, National Film Theatre or the like).
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#9 Pat Murray

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 08:40 AM

I've just noticed that all my local cinemas are now digital.
I wonder if I've seen my last 35mm print at a high-street cinema (as opposed to a special screening, National Film Theatre or the like).


It's the way of the future. I think film will still be used, but soon everything will be finished to digital and no more 35mm prints.
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#10 Matt Stevens

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 09:33 AM

Digital done right is fine. 35mm prints were a chore in recent years because by day two they were ravaged by F'd up projectors and staff who couldn't care less. Digital solves that problem, but introduces others.

last night we saw the Adjustment Bureau. It was a 2k projection, but midway back, we did not see any screen door issues. Had it been 35mm, the scratches would have been non-stop.

Earlier this year I was able to see ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST from a new 35mm print. That was amazing. The theater had a licensed projectionist who cared and it showed. But how often can that happen?
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#11 Brandon Brown

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Posted 03 April 2011 - 10:55 AM

I saw "Taxi Driver" on the big screen last weekend. Film Forum screened the 35mm restoration for the film's 35th anniversary. It looked fantastic.
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#12 Pat Murray

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 09:40 AM

Earlier this year I was able to see ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST from a new 35mm print. That was amazing. The theater had a licensed projectionist who cared and it showed. But how often can that happen?


It'll be down to the repretory/foreign/indpendant/artsy theaters for that to happen. In my city, there are two, plus a second run theatre with an owner who prefers 35mm (although there's not much he can do after the AMC etc. staff have handled the print) and a newborn 70mm film festival.

If most major cities can have at least one rep theatre, that'll do, but eventually they'll probably be playing mostly digital too and for that ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST experience you'll have to make a pilgrimage to the Dryden Theatre in Rochester, NY.

I recently saw a full length version of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST as well. Not as good as you describe, but much better than what the studio let on. According to the theatre programmer the studio didn't even want to rent it out as they thought it was unwatchable. As it turns out, 90% of the movie was fine, but it was from an edited print. Somebody put the missing footage back in from another print that was down to its magenta to restore it to its full length. Interesting what was left out based on the magenta footage, including almost the whole scene in the roadside tavern on the way to the farm after the dead man's wife arrives from New Orleans.
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