George Lucas and gang over at StarWars.com have posted an incredible article explaining why WideScreen is soooo gooooood.
Here is a snippet of the article.
“A widescreen edition of a movie presents the film frame as it was seen in the movie theater. Since a movie screen is a wide rectangle and a television screen is more like a square in shape, the movie image has to be sandwiched between two black bars to fill up the space, because you can’t fit a rectangle into a square and fill it. This is also referred to as the “letterbox” format.
A full screen edition of the movie does away with the black bars, and instead fills your television from top to bottom with image. However, since it’s impossible to cram a rectangle into a square, the sides of the film frame have to be chopped off (or “cropped”). You’re only seeing a portion of the entire image, but that image at least fills up your television screen. This is what the disclaimer “This film has been formatted to fit your TV” means. It is also known as “pan-and-scan” format for reasons explained later on.“
Have a read by clicking here.