Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Charley Varrick |
Actors: Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, Felicia Farr, Rudy Diaz, Marjorie Bennett
Director: Don Siegel
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Charley Varrick is a small-time crook who outfoxes the Mob in this fast-paced offbeat thriller directed by Don Siegel. Academy Award winner Walter Matthau stars in a rare dramatic role, along with the powerful Joe Don Bake... more »
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Thanks for nothing, Universal
Scott Richardson | Chicago, IL USA | 12/30/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Charley Varrick is a great movie. Walter Matthau is excellent, and Don Siegel is a great director.
Why oh why did Universal decide to release this in a cropped version? This DVD is a 1.33:1 transfer of a film that was shot in 1.85:1.
When the same thing happened with Sydney Pollack's under-rated gem "Castle Keep", mavericks like Martin Scorsese lobbied to have a widescreen version of the film released on DVD, and they were triumphant. Hopefully that will happen with this equally-worthy film."
A "fool screen" version? May it burn.
Mr Vess | Cracow | 01/05/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I've waited a few years for "Varrick" to come out on DVD.
And now that it did come out, I will not buy it.
That is because I do not enjoy watching 60% of a film. When the studio halfwits realize that only brain damaged in-duh-viduals want to see the cut, blurred by panning-and-scanning full screen version, and when they decide to release "Varrick" in a proper, widescreen version instead - *then* I will purchase a copy. As for this one, I would not want it for free."
To Be Matted Or Not Be Matted
Lawrence Kinsley | Lakeland, FL USA | 01/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"So long as studios continue to release DVDs shot with wide-angled lenses in only a reformatted television aspect ratio, we should all protest as vociferously as possible. Unfortunately, it appears that the outcry over `Charley Varrick' as shown by numerous critiques on this site and elsewhere is misinformed and does not apply. At the Internet Movie Data Base site (www.imdb.com), it is stated under the technical notes for `Charley Varrick' that the movie was filmed using the spherical lens system. This means that it was NOT filmed in a wide-angled lens format, but rather in the standard television aspect ratio of 1.33:1, which is what a spherical lens provides. For those who recall viewing it in a widescreen form in theaters or on cable shows like Bravo, this was because the movie was then `soft' matted into a 1.85:1 aspect following filming, by artificially masking the frame across the top and bottom, thus cutting off what was intended to be superfluous objects and views in those areas (note for example how the credits are centered to leave large spaces both above and below for the matting). When, as Universal does on the current DVD release, the movie is then declared `reformatted to fit the standard television screen,' what is meant is that the matting itself is not provided (unlike the laser disc release), and what the viewer is seeing is the original, spherical 35 mm print before it was masked. While one would perhaps feel more comfortable seeing it in its theatrically matted form, in reality nothing is lost in the DVD version as it would be if it was from a film shot with a wide-angle lens.
So please let us save our outcry for those films shot in the various wide-angle lens ratios that are then criminally released in the reformatted, 1.33:1 television aspect. I am referring, for example, to pick another Universal title, to a movie such as Van Damme's `Timecop,' originally shot in a 2.35:1 Panavision aspect and then cruelly cut down on the DVD for the standard television screen. This as far as we consumers go should not be tolerated, but we do need to aim our protests in the correct direction and not misfire when a matted rather than a genuine widescreen aspect movie is involved. (For an expert description of the various widescreen techniques, the site www.geocities.com/Hollywood/Makeup/4303/vertical35mm.html is strongly recommended.) In the meantime, hopefully we can all settle down and enjoy the quirky delights of Walter Matthau and Charley Varrick as it was originally filmed in the 1.33:1 television aspect ratio. As for those who MUST have the film as it appeared in theaters, by the way, the application of an inch or two of black masking tape across the top and bottom of your TV screen should give a reasonable representation of that original feeling!
Five Star Movie, Stellar Cast, Disgraceful release format
Stewart Selkirk | UK | 02/02/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I totally subscribe to the views expressed by many reviewers. This is a travesty of a release. Charley Varrick is a superb film with a cult status only because it has never been adequately presented or marketed. I bought this in advance of its release on the bizarrely timed date at the end of december 2004 (Have the marketing department never heard of Christmas?) and I was thoroughly disappointed. The print looks like a bad 70's piece of television and the ratio is the same. This film was shot and screened in the cinemas as a panavision 1:85 or wider ratio. Who wants to look at something that doesn't reflect its true worth? Don't buy this even though it is a great film. Wait until someone wakes up and does a proper job!"