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G.I. Joe - Shout! Changes Aspect Ratio Plans for the DVD Version of The Movie, Announces Contest

Blu-ray + DVD combo pack release remains unchanged, but DVD now also gets both aspect ratios

Posted by David Lambert
Yesterday we brought you Shout! Factory's official press release for G.I. Joe - The Movie: Special Collector's Edition on DVD and Blu-ray Disc. In it, the studio explains that the widescreen version of the production would exclusively be found in the Blu-ray package, where the BD would have the widescreen format and the included DVD would have it in the full screen aspect ratio. However, the DVD-only release would only have the full screen version.

One reason for the latter was because the studio had an obstacle to overcome: several major retailers had indicated they would only stock the DVD version of the title if it was produced on a single disc! The higher-end BD version was not given the same restriction; a Blu-DVD combo pack with 2 discs had been acceptable to retailers who wanted to stock the BDs. So the above had been Shout!'s compromise on the aspect ratio, because there were a significant amount of fans who wanted the "originally-intended" widescreen version, and also a significant amount of fans who said they would prefer the "original direct-to-video presentation" of full screen. However, following the distribution of the press release, there was a fan outcry at the idea that the standard DVD version wouldn't have the option to view the production in widescreen...a reminder that not all widescreen fans have upgraded to the Blu-ray format yet.

Shout! Factory (and in particular their producer for this title, Brian Ward) listened to the fan feedback on this matter, and came to a decision yesterday: due to these strenuous fan objections about the DVD being full-screen-only, Shout! has elected to scale back the bit rate somewhat on the full-screen version of the movie, in order to make room to include the widescreen version on the same disc. Now the DVD-only release will continue to be a single disc release (to meet retailer requirements), but have both versions of the movie AND all the extras mentioned in the press release. And we expect that to be the same DVD which will be included in the Blu-ray - DVD combo pack, too.

But Shout! Factory isn't done pleasing G.I. Joe fans yet. They've also announced that they are running a special "G.I. Joe: The Movie Trailer Contest," running from 5/26 - 8/16/10, in which they are "inviting all G.I. Joe fans to try their hand in making a trailer for this Blu-ray - DVD release"! Full details - including contest rules, submission methods and "prizes" (mainly bragging rights that your trailer won and will be used to promote the title) - can all be found at the just-provided-above link. As far as Shout! is concerned, the submission is a low-res "beta" version that can use any assets at hand (the previous DVD or VHS releases, YouTube videos, etc.) in order to show proof-of-concept; the winner of the contest will be provided with the high-res video necessary in order to create the final trailer. Sounds like fun! All you aspiring filmmakers out there will get to strut your stuff, so get 'crackin'!

UPDATE (4/28): Shout!'s producer, Brian Ward, has stated in the studio's official message board that "The audio will be stereo, created from the original mono soundtrack."

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G.I. Joe - The Movie: Special Edition DVD

G.I. Joe - The Movie: Special Edition DVD

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