Did you know that Netflix is cropping the hell out of movies? I didn't. But even if you had noticed, it's unlikely you realize just how bad it gets. A semi-new Tumblr called What Netflix Does has pointed out the extent of the trimming. And it's atrocious.
If you were born before, let's say, 2000, you're probably used to seeing the following disclaimer before the start of a movie:
This film has been modified from its original version. It has been formatted to fit this screen.
Well, as you can surmise, Netflix doesn't give you any such warnings. Most everything is shot in a 16:9 aspect ratio, and it appears that Netflix is cropping the 2.39:1 image from the original frame to fill your television screen, which results in the following:
It's really bad, right? One thing to note is that the creator of the What Netflix Does Tumblr mentions that he jumps from region to region, which might explain why movies like Prometheus and the like are used as examples.
Update: While Netflix has responded with the following statement, we're still investigating the matter. You can follow along here.
We want to offer the best picture and provide the original aspect ratio of any title on Netflix. However, unfortunately our quality controls sometimes fail and we end up offering the wrong version of a title. When we discover this error, we work to replace that title as soon as possible.