New Friday The 13th Blu-Ray Censored To Help Sell Plasma TVs

New Line Home Entertainment are re-releasing Marcus Nispel’s Friday the 13th to Blu-Ray on August 16. Amazon haven’t listed any special features yet but at $20 a pop - double that of the currently discounted 2009 Killer-Cut BD - one can only conclude they better well be including those previous extras. But read the fine print and there’s one notable difference with this release:

A 1.77:1 screen ratio.

1.77:1 is alternatively known as 16×9, the screen dimensions of modern widescreen televisions. Friday the 13th (2009) was shot in the much wider Panavision 2.35:1 format to make the most use of the theatrical experience. Both the DVD and Blu-Ray were released in the correct ratio. Now New Line are cropping the left and right off the film’s image so it fits and fills the entirety of widescreen televisions. This will destroy the composition of each scene as now shots of characters and locations surrounded by forest or visual mood will be cramped. The aim of the photography will be butchered. The director’s vision of each scene destroyed.

No matter your feelings on the film itself, this is a bad thing.

There’s an excellent technical breakdown of screen ratios at Hong Kong Fanatic but here’s how I see it: When I was young, TVs were rectangular - almost square. As most movies were intended to be played theatrically in wide formats, once they came home via video or TV broadcast we got pan-and-scan versions. That term is the process of cropping the sides off to be less rectangular and thus fit inside the television screen properly, but also creating artificial camera moves to better present scenes in which the crops would otherwise remove important visual information. Then with the rise of laserdisc and ultimately DVD, so evolved an acceptance of viewing films in their original letterboxed format.

But… Joe Average never really understood the point of those black bars at the top and bottom of the screen, which is why over the past decade, some studios continued to release both native widescreen and full-frame (cropped) versions to appease both sides of the fence. With the dropping cost of technology, Joe Average is able to own plasma TV, or LCD, LED etc. But for poor Joe now the scenario is reversed - he doesn’t like movies that are square like his old small CRT glass-screen because those releases now put black bars on the left and right of his widened screen. It’s bizarr0 world! Now all those DVDs that had annoying top and bottom bars on his old TV are suddenly attractive because the anamorphic transfers fill the screen. No bars. Now Joe can show off his new TV and claim to support showing films the way they were meant to be seen. That’s right, Joe is a fucking wanker.

Fans are still catty at Paramount for withholding material they cut from the films decades ago for creative or commercial reasons. Up till now, New Line have treated their entries in the franchise well, releasing DVDs in unrated flavors or with cut material as supplements. So we’ve gotten quite used to that. But don’t take it for granted because censorship of Friday the 13th is alive and well. There is little theoretical difference between slicing out whole scenes, or 15-20% from the onscreen image of every scene.

We have the original blu-ray so who cares, you might be thinking. The film has been airing on cable in this ratio since it premiered, you might say. Stepping outside of what affects our own personal viewing experience and considering the larger impact of the ratio cropping - as remaining copies of the 2009 BD sell off, this re-release will become the dominant home market version. The confined and restructured camera design will become the way viewers experience this Friday the 13th entry for the first time.

August 16 is a while away. This is a reversible crime. Share this link and spread the word. Raise some ruckus on the social networks. Email New Line. Let’s kick some arses.



Friday the 13th (Extended Killer Cut and Theatrical Cut) [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)

Director: Marcus Nispel
Starring: Derek Mears, Jared Padalecki, Arlen Escarpeta, Danielle Panabaker, Ben Feldman
Rating: R (Restricted)

List Price: $19.98 USD
New From: $8.21 In Stock
Used from: $4.04 In Stock
Release date June 16, 2009.
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7 Responses to “ New Friday The 13th Blu-Ray Censored To Help Sell Plasma TVs ”

  1. As a horror fan, I don’t know what to think. You want me to rasie ruckus about this???? What about Universal screwing fans on Halloween 2 & 3 blu ray’s with no special features? What about Paramount not releasing Friday 4 thru 8 on Blu Ray? Those are things we should raise a ruckus about. No offense…Most Friday fans already have it on blu ray or dvd. With this info, I would hope that the Friday fans who don’t have it will drop everything and go buy it. even if they don’t have a blu ray player, at least they will have it when they do. You have to remember, New Line isn’t the New Line that it use to be. It is basically Warner Bros, and Warner Bros could give a rat ass about Friday Fans. As a long time horror fan, I gotten use to getting screwed by all of big name movie companys. New Line (WB) doing this is just another line in a long ass list for us horror fans to complain about.

  2. Aspect ratios listed on amazon are often wrong. Note how Friday the 13th Part 2 is listed as 2.35:1 on amazon, but that’s not the ratio of the actual product.

  3. @Matt I hope it is wrong but the issue is still valid as far as horror is concerned, check out Echo Bridge’s recent Halloween H20 Blu-Ray, they cropped the 2.35:1 to 16×9, annihilating photography meant harken back to the wide lensed original Carpenter classic. This is happening more and more but many don’t think it an issue because the cropping makes the film look “better” on modern TVs.

    @jasonmyers I don’t see your comparison to the Halloween BDs. Those films are being released as they were originally released. Extras are just that, extras. There’s no obligation. We’re talking here about the opposite of extras/add-ons - removals. If we start getting LESS than at least the actual film that came out in the theaters, there’s no telling how much more monkeying they will do with our movies.

  4. I don’t like it either, but I don’t think WB will change the aspect ratio; I think it is just another incorrect Amazon listing. If and when it actually comes out and is 16×9, then I’ll care. It’s way more likely in my mind that this is simply a re-release of the blu-ray without the digital copy and that WB will not pay any more money to change the aspect ratio to 1.85:1 when they can just release the same old disc. I care about the correct aspect ratio; I was doing VHS and laserdisc comparisons of Halloween to educate friends before DVDs were being sold. I just can’t get worked up about something I don’t think will happen. Let us know if it does, though.

  5. @Dusk….. I don’t disagree with you but I will say this… Halloween H20 blu ray is not the right ratio. The film is 2.35:1 ratio, but the blu ray is 1.85:1.

    Emails can make a difference! Universal announced the Halloween 2 blu ray will have deleted scenes, alternate ending, Terror in the Aisles doc, 5.1 dts hd sound. I guess my email a day paid off.

  6. well, it’s not surprising. Platinum Dunes is a crappy company. Remember Brad Fuller promising people all this extra and deleted scenes and documentaries for Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm St and then we got barely anything. It doesn’t shock me that they are now making it worse.

  7. I agree that it is wrong to implement this new aspect change and that there is no reason they can’t still fix this.

    “What about Paramount not releasing Friday 4 thru 8 on Blu Ray?”

    As for not releasing Parts 4-8 on Blu Ray, I’m assuming that’s because they’d like to wait for Blue Ray to be cheaper and or for a new theatrical Friday the 13Th to attach the films to like they did with the first 3.

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