Monday, 16 August 2010


Joanna Lumley's Nile
Part 1 (of 4)

The World at War Blu-ray is a travesty

I think I may have bemoaned this in the past, but my anger has been provoked again, so here we go.

A quick summary: The World at War is a classic documentary series about World War 2. It was made in 4:3 (fullscreen). The forthcoming remastered DVD and Blu-ray has cropped it -- i.e. cut out a significant chunk of the image -- to 16:9 (widescreen).

That's not on.

The company behind it, Fremantle (also behind plenty of other pop culture travesties, like everything that stars Simon Cowell), have recently (or, recently enough that I've only just noticed) issued their reasons for this bastardisation. Essentially, "because 4:3 is old and 16:9 is modern". They have more specifics than that, but they're all rubbish.

Normally I don't like Amazon reviews about an unreleased product that the reviewer hasn't seen/read/heard... but sometimes there are exceptions, and this is one of them -- especially when there are a bunch of misguided five-star reviews saying how great it is the series is now in widescreen. So I've joined the one-star review crowd.

My review can be found here. I'd copy & paste it, but I'd hate for Amazon to delete it on the assumption I'd nicked it from my own blog (as it were). I'd appreciate if you'd go click "Yes" at the bottom, to say it was helpful, even if you don't really care. I appreciate that by posting it here I'm also chancing people clicking "No" just for the hell of it, but... well, please don't.

And it would also be good to click "Yes" on these two well-informed reviews as well. And, just for good measure, a "No" on this one and, particularly, this one (as you can see in the comments, the guy who wrote the latter is a right idiot).

You're allowed to disagree with me, of course, but if you do then (in this instance) you're just plain wrong.