Boiling Point: Fool Screen

Obviously there are a lot of things that make me mad. Despite this intense anger, few things ruin my day. Now, this may sound stupid, but bear with me – fullscreen movies ruin my day. Seriously. There isn’t much that’s as annoying as coming home from the store and tearing into a DVD only to notice that I’ve grabbed a fullscreen version. Why the fuck do they even publish these discs? It’s ridiculous. Who started this damn idea in the first place, it is moronic.

Look at a movie screen. Is it a square like your TV? No, it’s not. So obviously if you’re looking at a rectangular image on the big screen and a square image on your TV, something has gone wrong. What happens is bloody artistic murder- parts of the image are cropped off. Big pieces of the picture are gone. You’re not seeing the big picture, literally. This didn’t bother me when I was little, because as a little kid, I was stupid. But one fateful day I looked at the inside of my Man With No Name trilogy set and noticed a small picture showing the difference between fullscreen and widescreen. Guys were missing from the screen! Entire characters cropped out. I couldn’t believe what I had been missing. From that day forth, I have never knowingly purchased a fullscreen DVD and you’d be a fool to do it on purpose. I have accidentally purchased them and the reason they ruin my day is now I have to turn around, get back in my car, go to the store, swap copies. So it’s not breaking a leg or anything, but I’ll be damned if that isn’t annoying.

People feel the need for fullscreen video because they have this idea that they’re wasting TV display. Uh. Ok. So the entire screen is full, but the picture has been mangled. Bad tradeoff. Thankfully, Widescreen TVs are curing this with appropriate displays, and a lot of channels, from the unlikely (FOX News) the the expected (HBO) now display movies and other content in a widescreen format. Thank the technology lord!

Is there anything worse than fullscreen? Maybe. Pan and scan. Now, this started out as a way to try to merge both words. You see a full screen image, but the picture awkwardly shifts from side to side to show the widescreen image. It is not cool – it’s annoying. Why they decided to do this rather than just display the real image is beyond me. Anytime you see the dreaded words “Formatted for your TV” you should consider changing the channel, because you’re being ripped off. You’re not getting the full image, you’re not seeing what the director wanted you to see. You’re not getting the whole experience. On television, it’s just ruining the image, on DVD, not only is doing that, but it’s also wasting space if you get stuck with one of those “Includes both versions” discs. Ridiculous.

Maybe someone out there is still clinging to fullscreen, which is beyond me. How anyone would be alright with missing out on a significant portion of the image is mind boggling. Please, anyone out there still watching full screen – get out of there! Anything filmed in a widescreen ratio needs to be displayed in that same ratio! Get the full experience! A lot of people put in a lot of hard work to create a detailed image and you should witness it all. And Hollywood, fuck fullscreen! Get that shit out of here, stop producing these discs, there is no reason for it! Quit mangling movies! Once again, I’m past my boiling point and pointless fullscreen DVDs are to blame!

Do you watch fullscreen? If so, why?


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