Thursday, February 18, 2016

Briefs for February 18-19, 2016

Wikipedia's obituaries page is reporting the death of a man named Jesús Barrero. If you've never heard of him, you're not alone. He was a Mexican voice actor who did the dubing for a whole bunch of Hollywood pictures, including voicing Luke Skywalker in the Mexican versions of the Star Wars trilogy (the first three from the late 1970s and early 1980s). It's a vocation that I think is going out of style thanks to an increasing amount of foreign films with subtitles instead of dubbing. Some DVDs at least give you the option of whether to have the foreign voice track or the subtitles; I know given a choice I'd rather have the subtitles.

Speaking of DVDs, I used some gift cards I got at Christmas to get myself a bunch of DVDs. I note that the DVD of G-Men which is part of a TCM/Warner Home Video four-film box set of James Cagney gangster movies includes as an extra the 1935 goof reel. However, regarding that box set, I have to complain about the packaging, that being not putting anything between the DVDs, which I'd think is an invitation to get them accidentally scratched. This is actually the first of the TCM box sets I've gotten. I presume this bad packaging is standard operating procedure for the box sets?

Speaking of DVDs, I wonder if there's a problem between my DVD player and TV set. The set is a 2008 16:9 HDTV, but when I stuck the DVD of Ordinary People in my player, the aspect ratio seemed all off. The TV was set for "full", which should stretch out any 4:3 programming to fill the whole screen, while the DVD claims to be in 16:9 format for widescreen TVs. Well, when the TV was on "full" the image filled the whole screen, while when I changed the TV format to "regular", the DVD was only in 4:3. But: the opening credits, or more specifically the Paramount logo, looked as though it had been put through what I like to call the Cinemascope Diet, that being when back in the old days they would just take Cinemascope formatting and scrunch it to fit a 4:3 TV image, so that everything looked extrememly thin. My satellite box has its own TV format settings which override the ones on the TV, and I don't normally watch over-the-air channels on that TV. Any ideas what might be going on?

The Narrow Margin is running on TCM tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM. I suppose it's unsurprising that this is one of the earlier movies I blogged about, all the way back in April of 2008, since this is a movie I really enjoy. In case you're wondering, the Oscar nomination was in the Best Original Story category.

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