Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Briefs for May 4-5, 2016

So I watched the intro to Music in the Air last night, and noticed that Ben Mankiewicz was presenting it alone. No guest to help present the movies in the series on people who fled the Nazis, and certainly no Robert Osborne. I wonder whether he'll be back for the Essentials on Saturday, and whether he'll finally call it a career. The guy is 84, and has every right to retire if he wants.

There seem to be a bunch of Abbott and Costello and Laurel and Hardy movies airing on TCM tomorrow, although it doesn't seem to be the best of their movies. As for "doesn't seem to be the best", FXM Retro has unearthed The Rookie again; it'll be airing tomorrow morning at 7:35 AM. It's positively awful. I should also add I have no idea what the print is going to be like. The last time I saw it, it was one of those prints that was panned-and-scanned, except for the credits, which put everybody on what I like to call the "Cinemascope diet": rather than having the credits letterboxed as some otherwise panned-and-scanned movies that FXM shows do, they simply compressed the 2.35:1 aspect ratio of Cinemascope to 4:3, making everybody look a lot taller and thinner. That, and I think the movie was panned-and-scanned to 4:3. Fox did seem to pan-and-scan some of their movies from 2.35:1 down to 16:9 once hi-def TV became the norm. That, and when they show the old pre-Cinemascope movies, I have to change the display settings on my TV because otherwise, everything seems to get stretched to 16:9.

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