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The Last Emperor (1987)

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I’d like to make a request regarding Bernardo Bertolucci’s classic. Is it possible to find a 35mm print of the movie? As we all know the blu-ray has the aspect ratio cropped to 2:1 instead of the original 2.39:1, all of this because cinematographer Vittorio Storaro has it in his head that this should be the standard format for all movies, but I personally want to see the movie in it’s original aspect ratio (OAR), which I never had the chance to since the movie’s theatrical run was a year before I was born. On a larger scale of things I also think the OAR should be preserved. Shouldn’t we have a right to choose which version we want to watch?

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fmalover said:

Shouldn’t we have a right to choose which version we want to watch?

That’s the whole purpose of this website, my friend.

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There is already a Bluray from Japan released by Geneon Universal which has both theatrical and extended cuts and the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and has better or similar picture quality to the US Critereon.

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Last-Emperor-Blu-ray/52107/

http://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=2004&d2=2003&c=197

There is also a restored (from 4K) 3D Italian disc by Eagle Pictures of the theatrical cut which has slightly more picture area than the Japanese and better grain structure but due to the 3D process is overbright.

http://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=3411&d2=6265&c=197

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Last-Emperor-3D-Blu-ray/90990/

Here is a positive user review of the 3D restoration and what it entailed:

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/The-Last-Emperor-3D-Blu-ray/90990/#UserReviews

But take that with a pinch of salt as other reviews are very poor.

Finally there is an old hdtv cap (which was on usenet as far as I remember) which has the full aperture of the negative (including even more area of picture the director most probably didn’t intend you to see) which is close to 2.50:1 but the picture quality is slightly lacking.

I think overall as other reviewers suggest the Japanese release is closest to a true representation of what the director intended you to see and is a good compromise plus has the extra bonus of including the extended version,

I saw this film in the cinema at the time of its release and it was a spectacle to see, and no bluray in my eyes will be able match that experience.

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