Like The Wire, but wish it was NOT filmed in standard definition with a 4:3 ratio? Enjoy streaming things on Amazon? Today is your day and no one can take that away from you, not even David Simon, creator of The Wire, who is decidedly ambivalent about the remastered HD version of The Wire that is now available for your streaming pleasure on Amazon.
Since the HD version switches to a 16:9 aspect ratio, Simon thinks that some of the newly remastered scenes are not as good as the originals. That sucks! And makes total sense, considering the entire series was edited specifically for a 4:3 ratio, which was a deliberate artistic choice and not one that can easily be transferred over to a totally different aspect ratio without losing something in the process. But he also thinks that some scenes are better. In a blog post, he highlighted a few moments that benefited from the change, including a season 2 shot. "The dockworkers are all that much more vulnerable, and that much more isolated by the death of their leader when we have the ability to go wider in that rare crane shot," he wrote.
Here's an original 4:3 scene:
And here's the remastered version:
So if you have an inclination to watch the work of a master as it was NOT originally meant to be seen but in a pretty decent alternate version pushed by his patrons (HBO), well, your time has come. [Kottke]