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skimpole

Criterion: 1000 releases and counting

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As already pointed out on another thread, Criterion's 1000th release is the Godzilla box set:  bG4INWRMocURqMHZl7ZgyVgw1O47Tx_large.jpg

 

Use this thread to comment on Criterion's overall importance for film fans.

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35 minutes ago, skimpole said:

As already pointed out on another thread, Criterion's 1000th release is the Godzilla box set:  

After having thankfully loosed it from the tyranny of Dreamworks' ownership of Classic Media--If they got everything from those old releases, it's worth the $175.

The CM DVD's not only had the original restored Toho widescreens and the UPA original dubs/cuts, but some great commentaries, including input from some of the original 60's dub actors.  (Apparently, that strange clipped dub delivery was intentional, not only to keep up with the onscreen actors, but also to suggest a Japanese "accent" without actually doing one:  "Godzilla?...But...that's impossible!")

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Use this thread to comment on Criterion's overall importance for film fans.

...You're not the boss of me!  😡

Seriously, though, think we've come full circle:  Remember back in '97-'99, when no studio in the world cared about DVD, and Criterion could dig up its old Voyager laser restorations and commentaries, and had the whole playground to itself to do definitive editions of Armageddon, Time Bandits and This Is Spinal Tap, back when Disney and MGM didn't want to bother?

Now we have four major studios with half their recent-vintage catalogs sunk into near public-domain, because MGM, UA and Orion are bankrupt and Warner, Sony and Paramount are still convinced "Disk is dead", and let their entire vintage-title stock go hang.  Which means a treasure-crapload wealth of golden-age 70's, late 60's and 80's titles are up for grabs for the cheap-company taking, and the Blu-disk industry is back in the hands of indie labels like Twilight Time, Shout/Scream Factory, Kino Lorber, and...Criterion.  It's a nice change of pace from Ingmar Bergman and Wes Anderson, when cheap access to the Paramount and MGM Orphans can let Criterion do definitive versions of "Shampoo", "Klute", "Princess Bride", "Some Like It Hot", and "1984".

What goes around--and kills off Digital--comes around.  📀✌️

 

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Area all the Godzilla films TCM is showing in October also part of the box set? If not, how many films are not part of the set?

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2 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

Area all the Godzilla films TCM is showing in October also part of the box set? If not, how many films are not part of the set?

Accdg. to press release, the Showa Era, 1954 - 1975 Collection (ie. the real GZ films, before "Godzilla 1985" and that nutty '91 "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah") :  

https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/2648-godzilla-the-showa-era-films-1954-1975

  • Gojira (JP)/Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Raymond Burr)
  • Godzilla Raids Again
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla
  • Mothra vs. Godzilla/Godzilla vs. the Thing
  • Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster
  • Invasion of the Astro-Monster/Godzilla vs. Monster Zero
  • Ebirah, Horror of the Deep/Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster
  • Son of Godzilla
  • Destroy All Monsters
  • All Monsters Attack/Godzilla's Revenge (yes, the one where Minilla has the Barney the Dinosaur voice)
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah/Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (the psychedelic one)
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla

Worth noting is that "Sea Monster", "Son of" and "Smog Monster" were never in Classic Media's original run, and got not-too-bad restorations from Sony instead, and "Megalon" has been in public-domain hell for years before being pulled back by Toho.  (As MST3K fans well know.)

And no, "Mothra", "Rodan" and "King Kong Escapes" don't count.

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I certainly don't need a criterion DVD of Princess Bride or Armageddon but neither are as w*t*f* as Tiny Furniture by Lena Dunham.

8b91b58e-8a98-47fb-97dd-f144c99daafd_1.b

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12 hours ago, EricJ said:

Warner, Sony and Paramount are still convinced "Disk is dead", and let their entire vintage-title stock go hang.

If "disk is dead", isn't the the mega-companies biggest threat free streaming? Are they afraid of pirating if their movies are available on disk? Eventually there will be easily accessible streaming pirating software available anyway.

My philosophy: If you don't give someone what they ask for they will end up "taking" it anyway. 

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1 hour ago, TikiSoo said:

If "disk is dead", isn't the the mega-companies biggest threat free streaming?

Well, yes, it was for a while--That "competition" to digital VOD is why movies disappeared off of the paid streaming services like Netflix, that were essentially "free" if you didn't pay for each individual movie.  (And why Disk Isn't Dead, but we knew that.)

And then...people, and studios, started getting confused about what exactly "Digital" was, with all the press saying how "Popular!" it was becoming, but it wasn't quite following the script--Digital VOD was still planting its face into the sidewalk, but Amazon and Netflix streaming subscriptions were going up with Stranger Things fans, and by that point, the industry thought the "New digital revolution!" they were trying to create was streaming.  That's why Warner and Disney found such new dedication in trying to start their own channels--Wasn't so much "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em", as convincing themselves "Er, yeah...THAT'S what we meant!"

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My philosophy: If you don't give someone what they ask for they will end up "taking" it anyway. 

Or, in the case of the Big Four indie labels, if you don't sell it, someone else WILL.

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1000 releases, and not just 1000 movies?

I have a couple of the Eclipse series sets, and I just learned that Criterion released Klute to DVD last week.  That one's been out of print for a long time.

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unpopular opinion here- CRITERION is the WHOLE FOODS of film sources- lovely packaging, but about $15.00 too much, and not validated by the "extras."

In fact, I have been rather surprised by some titles that came with no bonus features AT ALL (THE SCARLET EMPRESS [1934], for example, has no trailer, no storyboards, not even one of those thinkpiece grad student essays they tack on from time to time. They couldn't even entice SCORCESE to come in and frenetically talk about its virtues for 11 minutes) it does have color bars to adjust your set to on the menu (the sole "special" feature), so, um, thanks? I can make sure my BLACK AND WHITE VIEWING EXPERIENCE IS IN FACT IN BLACK AND WHITE BECAUSE YOU'VE GIVEN ME THE FULL ROY G BIV SPECTRUM FOR REFERENCE. I CAN TOTALLY SEE WHERE THAT WAS WORTH $35.99, CRITERION.

By comparison, the GOOD TIMES DVD of JAWS THE REVENGE has audio for the film in english, Spanish and Francais, as well as a trailer and the alternate extra craptacular ending where Mario Van Peebles survives being mauled by the shark and it's about $2.99 in your local cut-out bin somewhere.

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6 hours ago, EricJ said:

Accdg. to press release, the Showa Era, 1954 - 1975 Collection (ie. the real GZ films, before "Godzilla 1985" and that nutty '91 "Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah") :  

https://www.criterion.com/boxsets/2648-godzilla-the-showa-era-films-1954-1975

  • Gojira (JP)/Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Raymond Burr)
  • Godzilla Raids Again
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla
  • Mothra vs. Godzilla/Godzilla vs. the Thing
  • Ghidrah, the Three-Headed Monster
  • Invasion of the Astro-Monster/Godzilla vs. Monster Zero
  • Ebirah, Horror of the Deep/Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster
  • Son of Godzilla
  • Destroy All Monsters
  • All Monsters Attack/Godzilla's Revenge (yes, the one where Minilla has the Barney the Dinosaur voice)
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah/Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster (the psychedelic one)
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla

Worth noting is that "Sea Monster", "Son of" and "Smog Monster" were never in Classic Media's original run, and got not-too-bad restorations from Sony instead, and "Megalon" has been in public-domain hell for years before being pulled back by Toho.  (As MST3K fans well know.)

And no, "Mothra", "Rodan" and "King Kong Escapes" don't count.

That ... didn't answer my question at all. But thanks.

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40 minutes ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

unpopular opinion here- CRITERION is the WHOLE FOODS of film sources- lovely packaging, but about $15.00 too much, and not validated by the "extras."

I don't think many people pay MSRP for Criterion, except for those people who must have things on Day 1. I hit up their flash sales and the Barnes & Nobles 50% off sales. 

Criterion does important work in restoration of cinema, and tries to present the material as close to the original as possible. They also introduced special editions packed with those features back in the LaserDisc days as well as having commentary tracks. If anything, they made the industry change their practices of putting out barebones releases in the early days of DVDs.

The days of a robust home video industry are pretty much over. I still prefer physical media hands down. After all, since I am a programmer by trade I practically go stir crazy if my Internet access goes down for more than 2 days.

 

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6 minutes ago, umop apisdn said:

I don't think many people pay MSRP for Criterion, except for those people who must have things on Day 1. I hit up their flash sales and the Barnes & Nobles 50% off sales.

The days of a robust home video industry are pretty much over. I still prefer physical media hands down. After all, since I am a programmer by trade I practically go stir crazy if my Internet access goes down for more than 2 days.

 

I hear you on that; also, not that CRITERION is without merit, I really enjoy A LOT of their COVER ART:

scanners_criterion.jpg

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1 minute ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I hear you on that; also, not that CRITERION is without merit, I really enjoy A LOT of their COVER ART:

 

That was one my favorite covers. Plus their recent ability to release Warner's catalog titles have people clamoring for more. After all a definitive Mildred Pierce and the forthcoming Now, Voyager is like a dream come true for me.

WAC has been stepping it up too. I had been waiting years for Gaslight, Jezebel and The Thin Man to be restored. I figured the studios had no interest in their catalogs outside of the big name movies. Honestly, it's not so much that I need them to be released on Blu-Ray, which is a nice side benefit for me as a collector. I just want as many to be restored/preserved as possible so we can enjoy them in the future. 

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3 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

unpopular opinion here- CRITERION is the WHOLE FOODS of film sources- lovely packaging, but about $15.00 too much, and not validated by the "extras."

In fact, I have been rather surprised by some titles that came with no bonus features AT ALL (THE SCARLET EMPRESS [1934], for example, has no trailer, no storyboards, not even one of those thinkpiece grad student essays they tack on from time to time. They couldn't even entice SCORCESE to come in and frenetically talk about its virtues for 11 minutes) it does have color bars to adjust your set to on the menu (the sole "special" feature), so, um, thanks? I can make sure my BLACK AND WHITE VIEWING EXPERIENCE IS IN FACT IN BLACK AND WHITE BECAUSE YOU'VE GIVEN ME THE FULL ROY G BIV SPECTRUM FOR REFERENCE. I CAN TOTALLY SEE WHERE THAT WAS WORTH $35.99, CRITERION.

By comparison, the GOOD TIMES DVD of JAWS THE REVENGE has audio for the film in english, Spanish and Francais, as well as a trailer and the alternate extra craptacular ending where Mario Van Peebles survives being mauled by the shark and it's about $2.99 in your local cut-out bin somewhere.

That edition of The Scarlet Empress that you're referring to is one of their earlier releases (#109, it was released in 2001). I know, I have it. And there are bonus features: a 20-minute BBC short on Von Sternberg, some production stills, and an appreciation by filmmaker Jack Smith (of Flaming Creatures fame). They weren't doing the kind of supplemental work that came later, though. The film itself got a remaster for the Von Sternberg and Dietrich box set.

And as someone else said, no one pays the list price. I have nearly 300 Criterion discs, and none were bought at full price, even new releases.

As for the Olive comparison, I don't see it. Olive does a good job of rescuing films that Paramount would not have released in the format otherwise, or that had fallen into Out Of Print (OOP) status. However, they don't do as good a job with the restorations or with the supplementals. The only companies that rival Criterion for that are Arrow and Shout/Scream Factory, and they mainly focus on genre fare. Criterion does foreign language films like no other.

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8 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

That ... didn't answer my question at all. But thanks.

I...don't know what's showing on TCM in October, but now you know what's part of the boxset and what isn't.  You're welkies.

8 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Olive Films, to me, is where it's at in the CLASSIC DVD WORLD.

I take it we're being facetious about the rescued full public-domain titles with the monochrome red and green covers and occasionally TV-cropped prints?  (I mean, I'm glad that "A Bucket of Blood" now has a respectable good-looking Blu-ray from a good home, but...)  

5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

And as someone else said, no one pays the list price. I have nearly 300 Criterion discs, and none were bought at full price, even new releases.

I've had some Criterion titles waiting in my Amazon queue for years for the price to drop under $25. (Do I still want that copy of "Topsy Turvy"?...Aw, heck, sure I do.  And once I get Chaplin's "Circus" and Bergman's "Magic Flute", I'll be up to eight.)  I'd finally figured out how to get in on the annual Barnes & Noble sale, order online and pick them up at the local strip-mall without the hefty shipping, but...now our local B&N has eliminated their full-MSRP-priced disk area, so they can devote more space to board games and culty FunkoPop figures.

5 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

As for the Olive comparison, I don't see it. Olive does a good job of rescuing films that Paramount would not have released in the format otherwise, or that had fallen into Out Of Print (OOP) status. However, they don't do as good a job with the restorations or with the supplementals. The only companies that rival Criterion for that are Arrow and Shout/Scream Factory, and they mainly focus on genre fare. Criterion does foreign language films like no other.

When the disk community went into "exile" during the terrible seven years ('11-'18) of the Grand Delusion, the indie labels like Shout/Scream and Kino Lorber basically went back to being the Free Blu-ray Underground Resistance that they used to be during the HD-vs-Blu war, keeping their titles and customer community visible on Twitter and social media, and uniting folks to say "Yes!  Scanners on Blu-ray, I so totally have to get this!!"

Which became their own customer cults, kept disk companies in touch with their customer base, and only strengthened the fight among disk fans that you buy disks because no matter how strange the movie may be, you buy it because you secretly love it--While big-studio Digital was trying to sell their current franchise-blockbuster hits because, what...it was easier?  And you could get them "first"??  (Oh, wait, I remember, you could "take them on the go", that was the big thing.)

Criterion has the loyal cult that raves "Finally!  Do the Right Thing on special edition!", and buys out the entire stock of titles every month sight unseen on label reputation alone, but the company tends to TELL their audience what's a classic and what isn't...While Shout/Scream, which has the obscure B-movies and faded 70's/80's cult hits which get either swoons or giggles, has to rally their crowd, pump up the midnight-audience loyalty, and get them working with the company as a sort of treehouse club.  Olive, however, doesn't seem like it does a blessed darn thing.

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8 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I hear you on that; also, not that CRITERION is without merit, I really enjoy A LOT of their COVER ART:

scanners_criterion.jpg

I like this one quite a bit.

7B0Jv1Tlc6O5qskDxKzmjmtnUu4gfA_large.jpg

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1 hour ago, EricJ said:

I...don't know what's showing on TCM in October, but now you know what's part of the boxset and what isn't.  

I think he's asking if they are going to show the Criterion touch up of the movies in October. My guess would be yes.

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10 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

unpopular opinion here- CRITERION is the WHOLE FOODS of film sources- lovely packaging, but about $15.00 too much, and not validated by the "extras."

I always either buy Criterion during a Barnes & Nobel sale or look for used Blu/DVD on Amazon, have had no trouble yet. 

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2 hours ago, Gershwin fan said:

I think he's asking if they are going to show the Criterion touch up of the movies in October. My guess would be yes.

Criterion print restorations are usually permanent archive restorations, so if they're not already Toho's studio restorations, my guess would also be yes--One time, a minor cable channel was showing the Universal Horrors for October, including Island of Lost Souls, and we got the good then-recent Criterion restoration, which one can assume is now in Universal's vault.

2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I like the cover art on these:

Still, for every Local Hero that they get right,

813jnJxkyGL._SX342_.jpg

there are at least three or four The Brood's that they get so....oh, lordy:  http://www.cinephiled.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Brood.jpg  😰

(Here, btw, is the icon Hulu's Criterion Channel had before the Blu-ray cover--Which one LOOKS like the iconic David Cronenberg classic?)

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31 minutes ago, EricJ said:

Criterion print restorations are usually permanent archive restorations, so if they're not already Toho's studio restorations, my guess would also be yes--One time, a minor cable channel was showing the Universal Horrors for October, including Island of Lost Souls, and we got the good then-recent Criterion restoration, which one can assume is now in Universal's vault.

Still, for every Local Hero that they get right,

813jnJxkyGL._SX342_.jpg

there are at least three or four The Brood's that they get so....oh, lordy:  http://www.cinephiled.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Brood.jpg  😰

(Here, btw, is the icon Hulu's Criterion Channel had before the Blu-ray cover--Which one LOOKS like the iconic David Cronenberg classic?)

I like that Local Hero cover, too. And I agree that the alternate Brood cover is much better than what they went with. There are a lot of really awful covers.

3434536.jpg  814m3PyCToL._SX342_.jpg

81v8Gf+3EdL._SX342_.jpg  71SqtZKf9-L._SX342_.jpg

 

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2 hours ago, LawrenceA said:

I like that Local Hero cover, too. And I agree that the alternate Brood cover is much better than what they went with. There are a lot of really awful covers.

3434536.jpg  

  

 

The Nayak cover is actually based on artwork done by Satyajit Ray. He was a commercial graphic artist before becoming a full-time movie director. He did illustrations for his father's poetry and lots of other things.

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