Dracula 2000 DVD Framing Comparison

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Dracula 2000 DVD Framing Comparison

Postby Paul_Rudoff » 26 Jul 2011 07:27

[7/29/2011 - UPDATED WITH VHS SCREEN SHOTS]

This is a screen shot comparison between the original R1 Buena Vista Home Entertainment DVD and the newer R1 Echo Bridge Home Entertainment DVD (http://www.dvdcompare.net/comparisons/film.php?fid=1596). Both DVDs are anamorphic widescreen, but the Buena Vista DVD presents the film in its original 2.35:1 theatrical aspect ratio (letterboxed into 16:9), while the Echo Bridge presents the film in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio (16:9 full screen), though the beginning credits are presented as 2.35:1.

For the most part, the Echo Bridge DVD is open matte, with most shots showing considerably more at the top and bottom than the Buena Vista DVD, and very little to nothing lost on the sides. An exception to this is the reflection-less mirror shot (shot #5), where the large gated window on the left is missing on the Echo Bridge DVD. It's possible that all of the special effects shots are cropped like this on the Echo Bridge DVD, though this was the only one I checked.

WARNING - There is one image below that contains nudity. I hope that I don't get in trouble for posting it. It was important to include it as it provides the SINGLE GREATEST REASON TO GET THE ECHO BRIDGE DVD :-) Since actress Colleen Fitzpatrick had to sign a contract to do the nudity, and was paid extra to do it, and director Patrick Lussier obviously filmed the nudity, I think that's a clear indication that it was meant to be seen. That's why I find it odd that it was cropped/matted out of the 2.35:1 version.

Actually, with the exception of the shot(s) where there's a significant loss on the sides, I think the Echo Bridge DVD has better framing. I know some would argue with that since it's not the theatrical framing, but the 2.35:1 matted version is awfully cramped in a lot of shots. See shot #8, where Jennifer Esposito's chin is completely missing on the Buena Vista DVD. Since one of the main draws of the film, for guys at least, are the sexy ladies, the open matting of the Echo Bridge DVD reveals more of their sexiness. These screen shots make it seem like the 2.35:1 version is the "prude" version, while the open matte version is the "sexy" version :-)

I just bought a used copy of the Buena Vista DVD because of the 2.35:1 framing (I thought the Echo Bridge DVD was cropped, due to the letterboxed credits) and the massive amount of bonus features (the Echo Bridge DVD has none). Although I'm glad I bought the old DVD, I think I'll keep a copy of the open matte Echo Bridge DVD, too - or I'll buy the Echo Bridge Blu-ray, which I assume contains the same open matte version (the website lists it as 1.78:1 - https://www.echobridgeentertainment.com ... 2000_01461), and keep that as my preferred copy of the film, with the Buena Vista DVD being my "DVD Copy" (as in a "Combo Pack") and the one with the bonus features.

PS: Admins - Feel free to move this to the Reference section after a fair amount of time has passed.

UPDATE - I found my VHS recording of Dracula 2000 off the Showtime channel from 10 years ago, which is presumably the same transfer as the home video VHS. For the most part, it's the same vertical framing as the Echo Bridge DVD, but with the sides cut off. However, one shot (shot #8) shows substantially more on the VHS than it does on either DVD. It's the only version where you see the top of the guy's head.

UPDATE #2 - I bought the Echo Bridge Blu-ray and, as expected, the framing is exactly the same as their DVD. There are two advantages the Blu has over the Echo Bridge DVD: high-definition picture (albeit interlaced) and feature commentary (an undocumented bonus feature, not listed on the case or the Echo Bridge website). I'd say, get the Blu-ray for the movie, and keep the old Buena Vista DVD for the bonus features.


LEGEND:
Buena Vista (BV) DVD on top, Echo Bridge (EB) DVD in the middle, VHS Showtime channel recording on bottom.


Shot #1 - 0:58 - Showing all opening credits as letterbox.
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Shot #2 - 5:56 - A bit more on left in BV DVD, bit more on top and lots on bottom in EB DVD, VHS essentially same vertical info as EB DVD but cropped on sides.
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Shot #3 - 17:09 - A bit more on left and tiny bit more on right in BV DVD, tiny bit more on top and lots on bottom in EB DVD, VHS essentially same vertical info as EB DVD but cropped on sides.
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Shot #4 - 37:23 - Nothing gained in BV DVD, tiny bit more on top and lots on bottom in EB DVD, VHS essentially same vertical info as EB DVD but cropped on sides..
Yes, that is Vitamin C (Colleen Fitzpatrick) in front of her own CD on the shelf.
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Shot #5 - 50:52 - An entire window on the left and a tiny bit on the right is gained in BV DVD, nothing on top and only a tiny bit on bottom gained in EB DVD, VHS essentially same vertical info as EB DVD but cropped on sides.. This is the only shot of the ones I did where there's significantly more in the BV DVD and virtually nothing more in the EB DVD and VHS.
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Shot #6 - 57:47 - THE SINGLE GREATEST REASON TO GET THE ECHO BRIDGE DVD :-) Nothing gained in BV DVD, tiny bit more on top and (OH BOY!) lots on bottom in EB DVD, VHS essentially same vertical info as EB DVD but cropped on sides.
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Shot #7 - 1:19:29 - Nothing gained in BV DVD, tiny bit more on top and lots on bottom in EB DVD, VHS essentially same vertical info as EB DVD but cropped on sides.
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Shot #8 - 1:24:52 - Nothing gained in BV DVD, tiny bit more on top and lots on bottom in EB DVD, and a LOT more on top and tine bit on bottom in VHS.
This shot is much better framed on the open matte EB DVD and the VHS, especially since you see Jennifer Esposito's entire face in that version.
The VHS is the only version where you see the top of the guy's head, which makes this the only one of the nine shots where the VHS shows more than the EB DVD.
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Shot #9 - 1:28:07 - Nothing gained in BV DVD, tiny bit more on top and lots on bottom in EB DVD, VHS essentially same vertical info as EB DVD but cropped on sides.
Shots like this and #6 are why I call the open matte version the "Boobs Version" :-)
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Last edited by Paul_Rudoff on 12 Aug 2011 21:39, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Dracula 2000 DVD Framing Comparison

Postby Eric_Cotenas » 26 Jul 2011 12:41

It looks like the Echo Bridge is a non-progressive transfer, which I suppose makes sense since the Echo Bridge Blu-Ray is reportedly 1080i. The Dimension does have 5.1 audio and extras.
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Re: Dracula 2000 DVD Framing Comparison

Postby Paul_Rudoff » 27 Jul 2011 01:47

There was a LOT of interlacing on the Echo Bridge DVD, and none that I noticed on the Buena Vista/Dimension DVD. Can you have progressive (i.e. non-interlaced) video on a DVD, or is that strictly for HD video? I did not see any interlacing on the Buena Vista/Dimension DVD, so that's why I ask.

Yeah, I'd imagine that the Echo Bridge Blu-ray would be interlaced. The DVD surely was, and I wouldn't expect the Blu-ray to be any different - just higher resolution (and hopefully not an upconvert).

If there's anyone really interested in this film, and I mean interested enough to buy two copies, I'd suggest the Echo Bridge Blu-ray for the higher resolution and open matte transfer (since it's generally more "revealing" than the 2.35:1 matted version), and a copy of the old Buena Vista/Dimension DVD for the theatrical aspect ratio, 5.1 audio, and plethora of bonus features.

ADMINS - It might be a good idea to update the Dracula 2000 listing on the site to mention that the Echo Bridge DVD is generally open matte with more information shown on the top and bottom (including extra nudity), and only a few shots cropped on the sides - and include a link to this thread for the screen shot comparisons. Just a thought.
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Re: Dracula 2000 DVD Framing Comparison

Postby Eric_Cotenas » 27 Jul 2011 14:25

[quote="Paul_Rudoff"]There was a LOT of interlacing on the Echo Bridge DVD, and none that I noticed on the Buena Vista/Dimension DVD. Can you have progressive (i.e. non-interlaced) video on a DVD, or is that strictly for HD video? I did not see any interlacing on the Buena Vista/Dimension DVD, so that's why I ask.[/quote]

yes, you can have progressive video on a DVD. The 23.976 framerate is preserved and the mpeg2 file has a 3:2 pulldown flag digitally inserted into it. It should play back at 23.976 on a progressive monitor that supports the framerate. On monitors that do not support the framerate, the pulldown will be applied by the DVD player on-the-fly (just as the DVD player will provide the vertical mattes if you are watching a 16:9 film on a 4:3 TV).

I would expect all of the Dimension discs to be progressive. I'm assuming that the DRACULA 2000 master is 1080i and framed at 1.78:1 because it is an early HD master for television (I believe Echo Bridge's SUPERCOP Blu and a couple other Blus are 1080p while others are 1080i, suggesting that they are using whatever masters Miramax already has available).
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Re: Dracula 2000 DVD Framing Comparison

Postby Paul_Rudoff » 30 Jul 2011 02:28

ecc wrote:yes, you can have progressive video on a DVD. The 23.976 framerate is preserved and the mpeg2 file has a 3:2 pulldown flag digitally inserted into it. It should play back at 23.976 on a progressive monitor that supports the framerate. On monitors that do not support the framerate, the pulldown will be applied by the DVD player on-the-fly (just as the DVD player will provide the vertical mattes if you are watching a 16:9 film on a 4:3 TV).

I would expect all of the Dimension discs to be progressive. I'm assuming that the DRACULA 2000 master is 1080i and framed at 1.78:1 because it is an early HD master for television (I believe Echo Bridge's SUPERCOP Blu and a couple other Blus are 1080p while others are 1080i, suggesting that they are using whatever masters Miramax already has available).


Thanks for answering my question about progressive video on a DVD. I appreciate knowing that info.

I suspect you're right about the Dracula 2000 master, and the other Miramax masters used by Echo Bridge. Miramax is probably just giving them whatever they have handy and not putting a whole lot of effort into it. Since Echo Bridge is selling the final product for so cheap, I would have to expect for shortcuts to be taken here and there. In other words, all involved are giving a 75% effort instead of a 100% effort :-)

By the way, I found my VHS recording of Dracula 2000 off the Showtime channel from 10 years ago, which is presumably the same transfer as the home video VHS. I just added screens from it to the comparison at the top of this page. For the most part, it's the same vertical framing as the Echo Bridge DVD, but with the sides cut off. However, one shot (shot #8) shows substantially more on the VHS than it does on either DVD. It's the only version where you see the top of the guy's head.
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Re: Dracula 2000 DVD Framing Comparison

Postby Daniel_Rudolph » 31 Jul 2011 01:31

Echo Bridge did this with a bunch of Miramax properties. I think they're being cheap and using masters made for showings on premium cable.
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Re: Dracula 2000 DVD Framing Comparison

Postby Paul_Rudoff » 12 Aug 2011 21:40

I bought the Echo Bridge Blu-ray and, as expected, the framing is exactly the same as their DVD. There are two advantages the Blu has over the Echo Bridge DVD: high-definition picture (albeit interlaced) and feature commentary (an undocumented bonus feature, not listed on the case or the Echo Bridge website).

I'd say, get the Blu-ray for the movie, and keep the old Buena Vista DVD for the bonus features.
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