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The McCartney Years DVD
27 October 2013
2.34am
Expert Textpert
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So, I picked this up at a decent price and then started reading reviews of it…is it really so awful?  I haven't popped it in yet, but everyone seems to be talking about how the picture is cropped and the picture quality is awful.

Did I waste my money?

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

27 October 2013
7.05am
trcanberra
Canberra, ACT
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Expert Textpert said
 

So, I picked this up at a decent price and then started reading reviews of it…is it really so awful?  I haven't popped it in yet, but everyone seems to be talking about how the picture is cropped and the picture quality is awful.

Did I waste my money?

The sound on some of the songs is just awesome – check out "No Other Baby" for one.  The live segments and some of the extras are also very good.

The picture quality is ok considering the source material for some of this – I watch it on the big screen with my projector and given the age of some of the clips they are not too bad.  The cropping is only noticeable on some clips (or if you have a good memory of others) – and really should not have been done, but I think it is a very nice set overall.  Yes, whoever cropped the 1.33:1 clips to make them 1.78:1 should have been taken out and shot – the older clips should have been shown with bars down the left and right on a widescreen set while some of the later clips were most likely already widescreen and not cropped.

 

27 October 2013
5.49pm
Expert Textpert
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Well, truth be told, I never noticed a thing when I watched some of the same videos on the Band on the Run Archive Collection DVD a few months ago.  I just checked them because I was sure they were different, but no, they are the same versions.  After reading the reviews, my mind started wondering what was missing from the frame of these videos that I had never seen in the first place.

Can those who have seen the originals confirm that we are missing something essential? Or is it basically the same, with a tiny bit cut out of the frame here and there?

I read a discussion on Amazon in which the director of the McCartney Years participated.  He said that it took years of painstaking detail to reframe the videos and create true widescreen versions.  It seems a bit of a waste to make all that effort if you are in effect destroying the videos.  But I can't confirm that they are ruined because I never saw them anyway.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

27 October 2013
7.15pm
meanmistermustard
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I did hear that the McCartney II era vids were meant to be quite poor quality, is that true?

 

At least they havent been changed as with the Lennon Legend DVD.blue-meanie

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
27 October 2013
8.33pm
trcanberra
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^ The McCartney II era ones look ok to me considering some of them would likely have been on video originally and not film.

And ExpertT, the cropping does not bother me TOO much, though occasionally the top or bottom of someone's head will be cut off, where there would have been some space above it originally – that is about the extent of it.  There is one shot on one of the videos (I can't recall which one) where two members of Wings are split screen, one on top of the other, and it is noticeable there as they just don't fit on the cropped image.

I like your comment from the director – 'It took years of chopping bits out of the Mona Lisa to make it look the way it should for a modern audience'.

As a former film reviewer I find this whole thing crazy – we spent years fighting against 'pan and scan' – where widescreen images were chopped up to fit a TV screen; and now some git does the opposite and chops up TV shaped images to 'fit' widescreen.  I think they did some of the same with the Queen videos, to the same mixed reviews.

28 October 2013
1.53pm
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trcanberra said
^ The McCartney II era ones look ok to me considering some of them would likely have been on video originally and not film.

And ExpertT, the cropping does not bother me TOO much, though occasionally the top or bottom of someone's head will be cut off, where there would have been some space above it originally – that is about the extent of it.  There is one shot on one of the videos (I can't recall which one) where two members of Wings are split screen, one on top of the other, and it is noticeable there as they just don't fit on the cropped image.

I like your comment from the director – 'It took years of chopping bits out of the Mona Lisa to make it look the way it should for a modern audience'.

As a former film reviewer I find this whole thing crazy – we spent years fighting against 'pan and scan' – where widescreen images were chopped up to fit a TV screen; and now some git does the opposite and chops up TV shaped images to 'fit' widescreen.  I think they did some of the same with the Queen videos, to the same mixed reviews.

Yes, it's ridiculous.  And I think I actually have the old version of the John Lennon videos on a DVD a friend gave me.  I think it's called something like the John Lennon Video Collection.

"This Beatles talk bores me to death." --John Lennon

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