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DVD image comparison: Problem Child


I slept for eleven and a half hours last night. Clearly, I must have been rather tired: I tend to find that I ideally need about nine hours’ sleep per night, but since I started working, I’ve been tending to get less than seven (I need to get up at 7 AM, and, try as I might, I normally don’t get to sleep until after midnight). Needless to say, I’m now decidedly refreshed, so I’ve made good use of my new-found vigour and put together a new DVD image comparison, featuring the R1 USA and R2 UK editions of the undisputed masterpiece known as Problem Child. Be sure to check it out if you’re considering adding a copy of this treasured classic to your film library.

Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2007 at 1:41 PM | Comments: 9
Categories: Cinema | DVD



It's a dirty job, but somebody's got to do it :)

A non-OAR transfer automatically gets 0/10, I take it?

Posted by: Echidna, June 30, 2007 4:39 PM



Posted by: Whiggles, June 30, 2007 4:41 PM


For the sake of argument, how would you rate, say, a pan & scan version of a James Cameron movie, which has been carefully recomposed for 4:3, or a later Kubrick which was composed (as I understand) with both in mind? Or (at the risk of opening a real can of worms) a Disney flick? Problem Child is hardly the most "cinematic" of productions, doubtless made with one eye on the home video market, so isn't the pan & scan a valid alternate version?

Posted by: Echidna, June 30, 2007 5:04 PM


[Correction: open-matte, not pan & scan (referring to PC)]

Posted by: Echidna, June 30, 2007 5:05 PM


Yeah, I do know what you mean. The way I look at it, though, is that the DVD should be capturing, as faithfully as possible, the theatrical experience. As a result, I view any modification to the original presentation with considerable disdain, even if it is approved by the director him/herself. I suppose I’d say that the pan & scan or open matte version has, for me, about the same amount of validity as an edited for TV version (after all, many of these are supervised by the original director), or perhaps George Lucas’ modified Star Wars trilogy.

I don’t know, it’s a tricky subject, and I don’t think there’s any definite answer. All I know is that a widescreen edition of that masterpiece Problem Child is available, so we no longer have to make do with the “formatted to fit your TV” (Whose TV? Certainly not mine!) version.

Posted by: Whiggles, July 1, 2007 1:15 AM


My point was that the theatrical experience, in the case of a movie like Problem Child, probably wasn't intended to be definitive. To be honest, my examples weren't really fair; Cameron's use of Super 35 is clearly different from opening up the matte for Problem Child. Personally I'd say the pan & scan version of T2, for instance, is a valid (albeit inferior) variation. Pretty soon it'll be just a curio: "what, you mean TVs used to be square?"

Posted by: Echidna, July 1, 2007 2:07 AM



Posted by: ARCVILE, July 1, 2007 8:22 PM


Yes, Problem Child…

Posted by: Whiggles, July 1, 2007 9:26 PM


off topic, but thanks for reminding me of this film. haven't seen it in probably 15 years or so. think i rented this like 5 times..

Posted by: jon anders, July 3, 2007 8:27 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 30th 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:


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