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Top Gun ~ Aspect Ratio?

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Mr Bump, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. Mr Bump

    Mr Bump
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    A friend lent me his R2 Top Gun DVD this weekend - I hadn't watched it for years and looked forward to trying it out on the big screen with 5.1 - it still has some of the greatest aerial photography put on film IMO.

    Anyway, I put the disc on and to start off with I thought there was something wrong with the scaler in my pj! There were thin black bars on the screen, but no way big enough to be a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. I quickly looked at the back of the box and sure enough - 2.00:1 was listed as the ratio. I've personally never come across such a shape before and my question is this: Does anyone know if this is the original aspect that Tony Scott filmed in, or is it some half arsed attempt on the part of the DVD makers (Paramount I believe) to have it 'not too widescreen'?
     
  2. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    According to imdb, the US version is 2.35:1
     
  3. Mr Bump

    Mr Bump
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    Hmmmm. Not accordidng to here it isn't - the only difference they list is the PAL is anamorphic and the NTSC isn't - both are listed as 2.00:1.....
     
  4. LV426

    LV426
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    I suspect figrin_dan was (properly) referring to the tech spec of the FILM - not of any DVD release, which is what Mr Bump asked about. And IMDB (which, I acknowledge, isn't always 100% accurate) says this......

    Technical Specifications for
    Top Gun (1986)

    Page 22 of 32

    Camera
    Panaflex Camera and Lenses by Panavision

    Film negative format (mm/video inches)
    35 mm

    Cinematographic process
    Super 35

    Printed film format
    35 mm (anamorphic)
    70 mm (blow-up)

    Aspect ratio
    2.35 : 1


    That little bit about 'super35' gives something away. My guess is that the DVD transfers are open-matte - ie you don't lose anything (except the Director's vision); you gain some other unwanted stuff top and bottom instead of unwanted black bits.

    As to why they chose 2:1 - anyone's guess; perhaps this is as tall as it would go without revealing some artefacts of the movie-making process - boom mikes, lights, cranes holding up model aircraft - who knows?
     
  5. Dave H

    Dave H
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    I am still waiting for this film to be re released as the first release had a poor picture quality.
    I hope they do a 20th anniversery or something with a dts soundtrack.
    :)

    Dave.
     
  6. Mr Bump

    Mr Bump
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    Thanks for the info nigel - yeah, that does make sense - I just *shudder* keep remembering the open matte version of Day of the Dead we had to put up with for so long...

    Dave - yeah, that would be great - the Dolby Digital was okay, but like so many remixes, it was rather front biased.
     
  7. Kevo

    Kevo
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    There are several 'other' aspect ratios that I have come across on my DVDs...

    2.70:1
    2.55:1
    2.40:1
    2.30:1
    2.21:1
    2.20:1

    All OARs and mainly older films in the pioneering days of WS when studios were trying to outdo each other.
     
  8. TheBigApple

    TheBigApple
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    This is the same ratio as the laserdisc. which was made under the supervision of Tony Scott.

    The film was shot 35mm and then masked to 2.35:1 for cinemas.

    The 2.00:1 ratio is director approved.
     
  9. Mr Bump

    Mr Bump
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    Fair enough - can't argue with that! :)
     
  10. figrin_dan

    figrin_dan
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    For what it's worth:

    I was refering to the laserdisc and dvd specs which seem to point at the US & German dvd being 2.35 and most other versions are less wide. The site had a lot more information than dvdcompare - checking dvd-basen though - looks like imdb was wrong. Some sites say 1.78, some go up to 2.20.
     

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