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The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of 
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
May releases:

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Interesting month: three Bluray upgrades and only two new releases. Red River looks to be the highlight.

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Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:27 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
My bluray wish list:

Passion of Joan of Arc
L'Avventura
Day of Wrath
Murder by Contract
Murder, My Sweet
Anthony Mann Collection!!!
Casualties of War/Mission to Mars double header????

There's several blurays I want to order from europe but I can't afford a region-free player right now: Man of the West, El Cid, Roman Empire, Long Goodbye, Southern Comfort, Mission to Mars.

Very frustrating.


Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:09 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
L'Avventura recently had a theater run with a new remastered print, so there's a good chance that long-awaited Bluray will finally hit this year.

I feel your pain on those overseas Blurays. In anticipation of the region-free player I'll eventually buckle down and buy, I ordered a few films from Europe late last year (The Long Goodbye, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Big Trouble In Little China). Supposedly there's some kind of trick you can do with certain Panasonic players; my uncle owns one, but I haven't had the opportunity to try out the discs out yet to see if I can get them to work. Until then, at least they look cool on my shelf.

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Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:16 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
My computer has a BD drive that isn't region-locked. Try yours.

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Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:54 am
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
Wishing the art covers of recent films are up to those of the older ones.

The Life Aquatic's makes me want to rewatch that film, even though it's far from my favorite Anderson.


Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:12 am
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
Red River, eh? That's a good inclusion. Haven't seen Like Someone In Love though the reviews were mixed and, more relevant to the topic, is likely one of those Criterion releases they were contract-bound to release. I usually cite Tiny Furniture at this point. It does seem as their pool of excellent titles has been diluted in the past decade. Whatever. They're a business, not arbiters of excellence.

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Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:55 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
Ken wrote:
My computer has a BD drive that isn't region-locked. Try yours.


I tried it, but no such luck. Thanks though.

peng wrote:
Wishing the art covers of recent films are up to those of the older ones.


They really spared no expense with that Like Someone In Love cover. :roll:

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Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:21 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
Mark III wrote:
Red River, eh? That's a good inclusion. Haven't seen Like Someone In Love though the reviews were mixed and, more relevant to the topic, is likely one of those Criterion releases they were contract-bound to release. I usually cite Tiny Furniture at this point. It does seem as their pool of excellent titles has been diluted in the past decade. Whatever. They're a business, not arbiters of excellence.

I've probably mentioned this before, but the problem is that, since the change in home video climate over the past 5 or so years, the major studios no longer have much interest in releasing older titles (unless it's a really major one like "The Wizard of Oz" or "The Godfather"), leaving Criterion to more or less pick up the scraps they don't really want (for better or worse). It still blows my mind that Sony had no interest in putting out "On the Waterfront" (a Best Picture winner, for fuck's sake) on Blu-ray. :? The downfall of MGM has also led to many of their titles to have been orphaned as well (see "Red River" and even the coming-soon-from-Criterion, ahem, "Midnight Cowboy" :shock: ). Just another frustrating example of society caring mostly only about the present. :roll:


Thu Feb 20, 2014 10:47 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
When you get right down to it, the Criterion label is meaningless. It's not that their stamp of approval has been tarnished with movies like Steve Zissou or Tiny Furniture or what they're forced to release because of a deal with IFC; their stamp of approval is, as H.I. McDonough said (making my post entirely redundant), meaningless in the healthy home video market. Back when it was Laserdisc, well... they had the groundbreaking and format-defining idea. Hulu has made purchasing their stuff a luxury... although, for their ridiculous prices for discs and now the dual-format, it always was. Not that this is how I've always felt.

As for society caring most for the recent movies? That's always been the 70% percentile, anyway. At least film nerds aren't shooting people for their shiny Criterions.

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Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:08 am
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
H.I. McDonough wrote:
Mark III wrote:
Red River, eh? That's a good inclusion. Haven't seen Like Someone In Love though the reviews were mixed and, more relevant to the topic, is likely one of those Criterion releases they were contract-bound to release. I usually cite Tiny Furniture at this point. It does seem as their pool of excellent titles has been diluted in the past decade. Whatever. They're a business, not arbiters of excellence.

I've probably mentioned this before, but the problem is that, since the change in home video climate over the past 5 or so years, the major studios no longer have much interest in releasing older titles (unless it's a really major one like "The Wizard of Oz" or "The Godfather"), leaving Criterion to more or less pick up the scraps they don't really want (for better or worse). It still blows my mind that Sony had no interest in putting out "On the Waterfront" (a Best Picture winner, for fuck's sake) on Blu-ray. :? The downfall of MGM has also led to many of their titles to have been orphaned as well (see "Red River" and even the coming-soon-from-Criterion, ahem, "Midnight Cowboy" :shock: ). Just another frustrating example of society caring mostly only about the present. :roll:


Many of the people at the major studios have a very limited sense of film history. To them, cinema began with Top Gun pr Home ALone and ends around Pirates or Fast and Furious. Something like On The Waterfront, to them, is more ancient than Rome.

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Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:15 am
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
Being released on Criterion isn't necessarily an endorsement of the film's quality, though it sometimes is. (Hey, I liked Tiny Furniture!) What Criterion really means is that the film, whatever it is, is being subjected to the best treatment you're going to get out of a home video release. That's good for the people who care about that sort of thing--certainly better than watching compressed transfers with sketchy subtitles and incorrect aspect ratios on Netflix Instant.

The major studios, by and large, don't care at all about movies, except to the extent that a movie is a reliable way of turning around a nine figure investment. No studio has given a shit about movies as art, or even as entertainment, since the '60s when the old studio system died and all the movie companies were bought up by corporations that sell shit like consumer electronics and home appliances.

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Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:51 am
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
Mark III wrote:
When you get right down to it, the Criterion label is meaningless. It's not that their stamp of approval has been tarnished with movies like Steve Zissou or Tiny Furniture or what they're forced to release because of a deal with IFC; their stamp of approval is, as H.I. McDonough said (making my post entirely redundant), meaningless in the healthy home video market. Back when it was Laserdisc, well... they had the groundbreaking and format-defining idea. Hulu has made purchasing their stuff a luxury... although, for their ridiculous prices for discs and now the dual-format, it always was. Not that this is how I've always felt.


I'm going to (respectfully, of course) disagree. I also (respectfully, of course) don't buy that you totally believe everything you've said. Surely their label isn't meaningless? As Ken said, Criterion means you're getting the optimal way to view a film - and often one that has been painfully restored to those conditions - and a slew of extra information on the movie, and those involved in the movie's making, that you can't really get anywhere else. This isn't always the case, of course. Some movies get a bare bones release and some movies don't deserve inclusion. They're far from a perfect company. As a (former, apparently) owner of the most extensive Criterion collection I've come across, I know that you know this. That's why I don't totally buy your stance here, even if you've sold your collection and no longer see value in buying their discs. I still think you can see where they're a valuable resource for someone who cares about such things, even if your priorities have shifted.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:04 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
PeachyPete wrote:
Mark III wrote:
When you get right down to it, the Criterion label is meaningless. It's not that their stamp of approval has been tarnished with movies like Steve Zissou or Tiny Furniture or what they're forced to release because of a deal with IFC; their stamp of approval is, as H.I. McDonough said (making my post entirely redundant), meaningless in the healthy home video market. Back when it was Laserdisc, well... they had the groundbreaking and format-defining idea. Hulu has made purchasing their stuff a luxury... although, for their ridiculous prices for discs and now the dual-format, it always was. Not that this is how I've always felt.


I'm going to (respectfully, of course) disagree. I also (respectfully, of course) don't buy that you totally believe everything you've said. Surely their label isn't meaningless? As Ken said, Criterion means you're getting the optimal way to view a film - and often one that has been painfully restored to those conditions - and a slew of extra information on the movie, and those involved in the movie's making, that you can't really get anywhere else. This isn't always the case, of course. Some movies get a bare bones release and some movies don't deserve inclusion. They're far from a perfect company. As a (former, apparently) owner of the most extensive Criterion collection I've come across, I know that you know this. That's why I don't totally buy your stance here, even if you've sold your collection and no longer see value in buying their discs. I still think you can see where they're a valuable resource for someone who cares about such things, even if your priorities have shifted.


I was sort of being sincere and also being a hypocrite, my basal state. I no longer see their stamp of approval as proof of a quality film but that's really more a recent development and it doesn't apply to the majority of what they've released -- good to great movies that wouldn't have gotten the same distribution and exposure to film buffs without their label. Still, the home video market is so different than it used to be. I can't argue with their transfers and it's unthinkable that I'd have seen so much Ozu if it weren't for them. I'm pretty full of shit. Depends on the day and depends on your definition of 'full'. When I wrote what I wrote, I was fresh off the Steve Zissou re-release.

Their prices are still damned high. And since Barnes and Noble is inevitably going out of business, well. I did send Jim Criterion Jr.'s son, Billiam, through college with my purchases.

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Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:43 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
Quote:
Many of the people at the major studios have a very limited sense of film history. To them, cinema began with Top Gun pr Home ALone and ends around Pirates or Fast and Furious. Something like On The Waterfront, to them, is more ancient than Rome.


Indeed. That many studio execs exhibit this tendency is frustrating. That some aspiring directors exhibit it is intolerable. You want to make movies, you have to know movies.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:48 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
Bottle Rocket is one of the Criterion releases i've seen so far, the one for The Rock was also pretty good.

I don't think Barnes and Noble is going anywhere anytime soon though.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:57 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
MGamesCook wrote:
Indeed. That many studio execs exhibit this tendency is frustrating. That some aspiring directors exhibit it is intolerable. You want to make movies, you have to know movies.

The people who own the studios aren't movie people anymore. (Yes, I know I brought this up recently. Anybody who doesn't like me repeating myself is cordially invited to stop reading here.) Today's studio owners are in the business of selling things. So they hire filmmakers whose work looks like TV commercials... often because they're filmmakers who started in TV commercials.

Every once in a while, you'll get lucky and they'll bring in someone good for their really big properties--Sam Mendes for Skyfall, for example--usually because the studio perceives those filmmakers as hip. They figure, "These kids know how to talk to the kids who pay to see our movies." But that's not too often. It's a risk.

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Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:17 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
Quote:
Every once in a while, you'll get lucky and they'll bring in someone good for their really big properties--Sam Mendes for Skyfall, for example--usually because the studio perceives those filmmakers as hip. They figure, "These kids know how to talk to the kids who pay to see our movies." But that's not too often. It's a risk.


Well, also the fact that the show is still run in part by Broccoli's daughter. The family business aspect of Bond allows it to retain a general earnestness.


Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:40 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
In a nutshell, while Criterion still maintains its highest quality in terms of extras and picture transfers, but the shift in the home video market has slightly diluted its reputation.


Mon Feb 24, 2014 9:21 pm
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
H.I. McDonough wrote:
Mark III wrote:
Red River, eh? That's a good inclusion. Haven't seen Like Someone In Love though the reviews were mixed and, more relevant to the topic, is likely one of those Criterion releases they were contract-bound to release. I usually cite Tiny Furniture at this point. It does seem as their pool of excellent titles has been diluted in the past decade. Whatever. They're a business, not arbiters of excellence.

I've probably mentioned this before, but the problem is that, since the change in home video climate over the past 5 or so years, the major studios no longer have much interest in releasing older titles (unless it's a really major one like "The Wizard of Oz" or "The Godfather"), leaving Criterion to more or less pick up the scraps they don't really want (for better or worse). It still blows my mind that Sony had no interest in putting out "On the Waterfront" (a Best Picture winner, for fuck's sake) on Blu-ray. :? The downfall of MGM has also led to many of their titles to have been orphaned as well (see "Red River" and even the coming-soon-from-Criterion, ahem, "Midnight Cowboy" :shock: ). Just another frustrating example of society caring mostly only about the present. :roll:


I own "On the Waterfront" on Blu Ray Criterion Collection.

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Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:57 am
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Post Re: The Criterion Collection: Best and Worst Of
June releases:

ImageImageImage
ImageImageImage

Sweet Jesus.

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