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Check your DVDs, MGM DVD Class Action Suit Settlement

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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:07 AM
Original message
Check your DVDs, MGM DVD Class Action Suit Settlement
Get the word out, MGM has settled a class action suit against them for their fraudulent practices regarding widescreen DVDs they put out from 1998 to 2003. It seems, they took the full screen format, cropped the top and bottom, then called it "widescreen"

Site explaingin how you get replacements here:

http://mgmdvdsettlement.com /

List of DVDs covered in the lawsuit in PDF format:

http://mgmdvdsettlement.com/eligible.pdf
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Siyahamba Donating Member (890 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:09 AM
Response to Original message
1. Replacements
Did they make proper widescreen replacements of the DVDs on the list?
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Yep, cost them a bundle
or you can get $7.10 per fraudulent "widescreen" DVD.
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dweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. somebody tell Robb...
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 09:17 AM by dweller
i think he's had some words on this 'format' in the past...

:D

dp

errr....it could have been Rabrrrrrr.... :shrug:
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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Maybe we should put this on the front page?
Couldn't hurt to have wider dispersal of the information. Of course, I found out on Slashdot, so the info is definitely making the rounds.
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CatWoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #4
14. nominated, Walt
:hi:

and thanks!!!!
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foreigncorrespondent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
5. Walt...
..is this only for region one DVD's? I have several of their movies, some are region one, but others are region four.
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I don't think PAL DVDs are affected
As there are 100 extra lines, pan'n scan is almost non-existent for PAL releases.

In MGM's defense: some, if not most (I don't know), of the movies on the list were filmed in fullscreen (4:3).
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foreigncorrespondent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:02 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Thanks, Walt!!! (n/t)
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TO Kid Donating Member (565 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #6
12. That's not how it works
PAL (and SECAM) have 100 extra horizontal lines but the aspect ratio is the same as NTSC. The extra lines are available because PAL runs at only 25 frames per second (NTSC is 30fps) so the electron beam has more time to scan each frame.
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. it is exactly how it works
Your comment is correct, but has nothing to do with the Widescreen/fullscreen controversy. And if you want to get technical: it has nothing to do with PAL/SECAM or NTSC either. These are just color-carriers, the different frequencies/resolutions are a leftover from B&W times, based on the power grid frequencies.

My point stands:
Because of the 100 extra lines, there are almost no pan and scan releases. The available vertical resolution is good enough to use widescreen without loosing too much detail. Also the conversion from 24FPS movies to 25 FPS is easier than for 30 FPS.

;-)




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Rainbowreflect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
8. I will need to check out my DVDs.
Thanks!
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mrfrapp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
9. This is misleading
All of these films on the eligible list were filmed on 35mm film which is a 1.33:1 ratio, the same as a TV. The standard practice in the movie industry is to film onto the 35mm and matte the film to the 1.85:1 ratio needed for cinema widescreen. The confusion here is that the 1.33:1 edition DVDs are using the unmatted image from original shooting, ie. the original filmed image. It is not a pan and scan of the matted wide screen. In other words, the 1.85:1 edition DVDs are equivalent to what you would see in the cinema.

This lawsuit is to do with the fact that MGM stupidly claimed that the 1.33:1 editions were pan and scanned.

Yes, it is dumb.
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Zero Gravitas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Exactly
These movies

a) were never panned and scanned
b) are shown in their correct theatrical format in the "widescreen" version.

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TO Kid Donating Member (565 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. No
The 35mm frame is 3x4, but the cameras compress the image. The projector lens then stretches the image out to the 9x16 screen. If you project a 35mm movie with an ordinary lens, everything on screen appears tall & narrow.
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Tummler Donating Member (836 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #11
22. SOME films are made using the anamorphic techniques you described
OTHER 35mm films are matted on the top and bottom of the frame to generate a widescreen image, as described by mrfrapp. This is standard practice, and there's nothing wrong with any widescreen DVD prepared in such a manner.

As I posted below, all the widescreen DVDs I've seen from the list appear to be OK. Until I see an example of a widescreen MGM DVD that's badly cropped on all four sides, I'm going to assume that this lawsuit is purely about the incorrect labeling of the full-frame versions and not about the framing or content of the widescreen DVDs.

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Tummler Donating Member (836 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
25. Examples of using mattes to produce widescreen films
From "the Letterbox and Widescreen Advocacy Page":
http://www.widescreen.org/widescreen_matted.shtml
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Tummler Donating Member (836 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:16 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. I agree -- there is nothing wrong with these DVDs
I own at least 17 DVDs from the list and have seen a few others.

I can't speak for all the DVDs on the list, but I'm certain that at least some of the eligible DVDs are properly framed in their theatrical aspect ratio. For example, Return of the Living Dead is a cult favorite with a devoted fanbase who scrutinize every home video release for even the smallest of edits. If that DVD were screwed up, the fans would be up in arms.

I also doubt that the DVDs of recent hits like Hannibal and Barbershop (both with decent anamorphic transfers) would be generated from hideously cropped pan-n-scan transfers, or that such botch jobs for recent films could pass the scrutiny of movie buffs and DVD reviewers for even a second. I didn't see either of those films in the theaters, but the DVDs certainly didn't appear to be panned-n-scanned.

For at least some (most? all?) of the eligible DVDs, the issue must be that the corresponding 1:33 release is actually open matte and not pan-n-scan. Indeed, the "Notice of Class Action and Proposed Settlement" says:

    The gravamen of Plaintiffs' Complaint is that certain representations on the label and package insert of MGM's widescreen DVDs are false and misleading because MGM's widescreen DVDs for films shot in the 1.85 to 1 aspect ratio have the same image width as MGM's standard screen format DVDs.

There's nothing to get upset about here.

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Walt Starr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #15
21. I disagree completely
If you have the DVD, you can get a new one in exchange. Why not do it? You were part of the class.
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Tummler Donating Member (836 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. "MGM's widescreen DVDs are not defective ... in any respect."
That's a direct quote from the Notice of Class Action and Proposed Settlement issued by the court. (The full quote wouldn't fit in the title: "MGMs widescreen DVDs are not defective or lacking in quality in any respect.")

As has now been posted numerous times in this thread, the issue is that MGM's 1:33 (full frame) releases were incorrectly labeled as "pan-n-scan," when they were in fact "open matte."

From what I gather at DVDtalk.com, there may be a framing issue with a small number of MGM widescreen DVDs, such as some James Bond movies. However, the vast majority of the DVDs on the list at http://mgmdvdsettlement.com are not misframed. More:
http://dvdtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=402532

The settlement gives consumers the option to exchange their eligible MGM DVDs for other MGM DVDs. There are no "fixed" DVDs to be had. For all the DVDs on the list which I'm familiar with, there's simply nothing to be fixed.

If anyone here thinks I'm full of shit and wants to waste his/her time pursuing nonexistent replacements for DVDs that are not defective, be my guest.
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UdoKier Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
16. That sucks! What cheap shitrags!
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 12:22 PM by UdoKier
I HATE fullscreen, and fake widescreen would be even worse!

No respect for the director's creation at all!
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livinginphotographs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
17. I thought something was wrong with my copy of Breakin'.
Finally, I'll get to watch it in all it's widescreen glory.
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meisje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. and my copy of Lambada - The Forbidden Dance
:hi:
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livinginphotographs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. "You are now carrying my child."
"But how?"

"It is the mystery of the dance."
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skypilot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
18. I'm kinda not surprised to hear this.
I'm going to have to go through that list of movies to see if I've rented any of them (I'm sure I have) but I can definitely remember some occasions where I've been watching a "widescreen" DVD and thought to myself "This looks really bad". I mean, the tops of the actors' heads would be cut off. The compositions just looked really awkward. I guess now I've got my explanation.
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Fiendish Thingy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 01:18 PM
Response to Original message
24. I'll have to check my James Bond DVD's
Goldfinger, Dr. No, and From Russia w/Love all looked kind of grainy and blown up to me- anyone know if these were cropped or just not transferred very well?
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