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Movies in UAR - opinions needed

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Once upon a time, I started a thread about AAP-AR (you can read it here: http://originaltrilogy.com/topic/restoration-tips-axis-aligned-polygon-aspect-ratio/id/16435); found that this AAP-AR acronym was too long, and decided to go with UAR - where AR stands for Aspect Ratio, while the U… I’m still not decided what does it mean for the moment; Unconventional, Unexpected, Unorthodox, Ultimate, Unusual, Unified, Useless, you name it…

Long story short, an UAR film could look like this:
using two sources, or like the following using three sources:

Of course, it would never stay the same for the whole movie - you are lucky if few subsequent shots maintains the same AR - so it’s not for the faint of heart, or VAR haters.
Sometimes the frame could be full open matte (so it takes the whole screen), others can be “fullscreen” (1.33:1), but usually it’s a combination of both; in the case of an UAR using three sources, it could use only open matte (rare), two sources (sometimes) or all the three sources at once (most of the times).

Important note: an UAR movie using open matte (1.78:1) and letterbox (2.35/2.40:1) could always use a YAO sub hack, where the black bars could be overlaid to added parts of the image, leaving the image as a normal letterbox version; UAR using fullscreen (1.33:1) and open matte (1.78/1.85:1) could still use YAO sub hack, but in few shots where the fullframe is not placed centrally, you would of course note the offset position; no YAO sub hack for a UAR using three sources, I’m sorry!
(more about YAO hack here: https://forum.fanres.com/thread-300.html - and a test clip here: https://mega.nz/#!1uZUWLbT!tWoHF9vOnXYAz7-QjOxeC3q7JIIYQRHx6pCcsezvZX4)

The UAR could be usually used only on non-anamorphic movies, but there are few instances when you can get a little more image even with them, like the following:

(okay, not that much more, but better than nothing! 😉 )

I’m working on some projects using UAR - one is The Matrix, that would take a bit as it uses three sources; the other is Resident Evil (two sources, SD version ready, so if you want to take a look just ask me for the link, but hurry up, it will vanish in few days!)

So, as usual, I’m doing these for my own pleasuse - I always wanted to do that, combine more versions to have more image to watch, and even if I usually follow the “less is more” philosophy, there are some times where “more is more” is better, like this! 😉

At the end, how it looks like? Well, first of all, it’s strange… we were used to watch films in fullscreen (oh, the good ol’ days of cathode ray tubes…), then letterbox came, and we were “forced” to watch movies with huge black bars on top and bottom; luckily, new 16:9 displays came, and black bars were smaller (almost disapperared with 1.85:1 movies). So, with UAR it seems (almost) to be back in the old days, but this time black bars are usually on both sides, and they are not even straight, but like stair steps… and costantly changing!
Isn’t this distracting? Yep, you bet it, BUT… strangely enough, our brain seems to say “OK, I can watch it, go on!” after few minutes.

But you have not to trust me, just watch an entire movie - even if it’s not your preferred one - and give me your opinion… would you ever watch a movie with a strange aspect ratio like this? If so, just for the pleasure to watch more image, for curiosity, or to analize the frame composition, cinematography etc.?

Ready to read your opinions and feedbacks!

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 (Edited)

It’s a bit weird and it ultimately might be a very niche interest but I’m all for it! What an unusual but interesting way to watch a movie.

UAR is a great name but in my head I’ll be referring to every film released like this as a “stair edition”.

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Had a thought of this several times but was too lazy to actually go on and try it out 😛 Well, partly lazy, partly thinking it would be too distracting if different frames moved around relative to one another. But I totally agree on analyzing frame composition and cinematography aspect (ok, there’s a pun) of it. I’d sure like to see your “Matrix” in… wait for it… Undefined Aspect Ratio.

You really only need to hang mean bastards,
but mean bastards you need to hang.

John ‘The Hangman’ Ruth

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 (Edited)

Thanks guys! Meanwhile, if you want to watch Resident Evil (UAR 1.33:1+1.78:1) albeit in SD, just to have an idea of how an UAR movie could be, drop me a PM.

EDIT: forgot to mention Undefined, Unidentified, Unbelievable etc. etc. etc. 😅

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You probably are not a fan of Queen, right? Their 1986 Budapest concert was released on VHS/LD in 4:3, and in 16:9 on Blu-ray. I always thought it would be great to see a combination of those two, but I never found time to do it myself : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8_lPABIQDI

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Queen: apart the fact I don’t want to do concert related projects, the fact is, quality of analog capture (even if from LD) would be too different for a good match, and also it would be difficult to align perfectly.

Evil Dead? Maybe!
Star Wars? Is there any source with more image top/bottom? Don’t think so…
Dune? Is there a 1.33:1 DVD?


I’m thinking to put my hands back in the following projects, and release an UAR version - maybe also using a different color grading, to add insult to injury!

Alien: Covenant 2xUAR (don’t think a 1.33:1 source exists)
Alien: Resurrection (1997) [Fundamental Collection #004] 2xUAR (3xUAR if I will find a 1.33:1 good source)
Aliens (1986) [Fundamental Collection #002] (2xUAR if I will find a 1.33:1 good source)
Aliens Vs Predator: Requiem (Unrated) [spoRv] 2xUAR (3xUAR if I will find a 1.33:1 source)
AVP: Aliens Vs. Predator (2004) [Fundamental Collection #012] 3xUAR
Halloween (1978) [Fundamental Collection #006] 2xUAR
Harry Potter saga 3xUAR except 7.1 and 7.2
Minority Report (2002) [Fundamental Collection #007] 2xUAR (3xUAR if I will find a 1.33:1 good source)
Prometheus (2012) [Fundamental Collection #023] 2xUAR (don’t think a 1.33:1 source exists)
Supernova (2000) [spoRv] 3xUAR (if I will find a logo-free open matte)
The Arrival (1996) [Fundamental Collection #008] 2xUAR (if I’ll match color grading)
The Chronicles of Riddick (2004) [Fundamental Collection #011] 2xUAR (3xUAR if I will find a 1.33:1 source)
The Matrix [spoRv] 3xUAR
Timeline (2003) [Fundamental Collection #010] (2xUAR if I will find a 1.33:1 source)
Waterworld (1995) [Fundamental Collection #009] (2xUAR if I will find a 1.33:1 good source)

and few others titles (mainly 3xUAR whenever possible, if the 1.33:1 exists, has more image, has the same color grading, has good quality)

The Matrix 2, 3
Jurassic Park 1, 2, 3
Resident Evil 1, 2, 3, 4 (5 2xUAR as it seems no 1.33:1 exists, and 6 seems to be available only in widescreen)
Back To The Future 1, 2, 3
Lord Of The Rings 1, 2, 3
Terminator 1, 2, 3, 4
Gattaca
The Fifth Element
Oblivion
Johnny Mnemonic
Total Recall

DO… NOT… EXPECT… THEM… ANYTIME… SOON! Indeed, each take A LOT of time!

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As I’ve said on the other website, give me this for Top Gun and The Temrinator and I’m good. I’ve noticed that on my fullscreen VHS copy of The Terminator, during the opening credits, when the Letters T and R cross each other, you actually SEE them touch, thus warranting the ‘sliding metal’ sound.

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Not sure i can see the value in this other than as novelty. Im keen to see your Matrix Regrade get released, any news on that?

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It probably isn’t for me. I’m a great believer in films being released that look as originally intended by the Director, I feel like I have spent my whole life arguing for movies to be released in the correct aspect ratio’s. I can remember the revelation when I first watched The Great Escape on VHS in 2.55:1. I loved it so much I ran out and bought a Laserdisc player so I could get more uncut movies in the original aspect ratio.

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Agree that it’s not for everyone; still, I think it’s better to have more alternative way to see your preferred movie - OAR, open matte, UAR; old grading, new grading; theatrical cut, director’s cut etc. - the more, the merrier! 😄

The Matrix regrade: I know, you are right, but I’m so involved in this UAR thing that I’m a bit lost about other projects; all of them would be ready, be sure - still, can’t say when! 😉

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benduwan said:

" it " from 1990 would be great.

It seems the fullscreen and letterbox color gradings are way too different to match perfectly, but I will be happy to be in error!

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I tried to watch the Assassin last night and it kept shifting aspect ratios between 4:3 and open matte… I found it distracting.

I thought the film, well what i saw was ok so far as content but I really found the shifting ratios distracting. I turned it off after a bit, I will give it another try but my first impression was that it put me off just for that.

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Maybe the U can stand for Ultimate.

At any rate, I like this idea. Seeing a film in different AR’s all at once, amazing. 😃

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@Ronster: watching a movie in VAR (variable aspect ratio) may be more distracting than watching one in UAR - depending on movies, of course!

@ThiefCobbler4ever: yes, “officialy” now U stands for Ultimate; unofficialy, you can always use your own preferred adjective - a bit like NTSC, Never Twice Same Color! 😄


It’s interesting to note that sometimes UAR has more image even on one side, in comparison to letterbox version:






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Yes Good point VAR is well distracting.

UAR is probably not so bad.

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You should watch a movie in UAR to decide… why don’t you give it Resident Evil a try, for example?

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As for the movie I want to see in UAR, Terminator 2 would be the number one pick.