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Criterion Collection movies


speedracer5
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Barnes and Noble is having a 50% off Criterion films sale (through July 28).  My question is: It seems that Criterion is very selective as to which films get their "Criterion treatment."  What is it that Criterion does that makes these films so expensive?  Right now, with the 50% off sale, the films are priced a little more reasonably... however, I don't know if it's really worth it to buy the more expensive version when I can usually find a new copy (or my favorite, used) much cheaper elsewhere?

 

Some films I see on here I would consider:

 

Red River (although I already own it.  Perhaps not)

Charade (I already own this too.  But I believe it's not an official studio release as I think that this film fell into public domain somewhere along the line)

Foreign Correspondent (after watching my DVR recording of it and see if it is worth owning)

Ace in the Hole (although I haven't seen it yet; I would probably Netflix it first and see if it is worthwhile)

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Barnes and Noble is having a 50% off Criterion films sale (through July 28).  My question is: It seems that Criterion is very selective as to which films get their "Criterion treatment."  What is it that Criterion does that makes these films so expensive?  Right now, with the 50% off sale, the films are priced a little more reasonably... however, I don't know if it's really worth it to buy the more expensive version when I can usually find a new copy (or my favorite, used) much cheaper elsewhere?

 

Some films I see on here I would consider:

 

Red River (although I already own it.  Perhaps not)

Charade (I already own this too.  But I believe it's not an official studio release as I think that this film fell into public domain somewhere along the line)

Foreign Correspondent (after watching my DVR recording of it and see if it is worth owning)

Ace in the Hole (although I haven't seen it yet; I would probably Netflix it first and see if it is worthwhile)

Criterion films are for people who love film. Criterion goes through laborious efforts to release their films with the highest technical quality possible (audio and video). Beyond that, they're loaded with special features that appeal to film aficionados--multiple commentary tracks, essays, behind the scenes, interviews, analyses etc., etc., etc.  

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A quick check of my "extensive" film library (DVD and VHS) shows that I currently have 3 Criterion dvd copies;  MY MAN GODFREY, PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET, and A NIGHT TO REMEMBER  (1958 Titanic story)  and all were purchased on a 50% or higher sale deal.  I believe that the picture quality is the best available (my previous 2  copies of My Man Godfrey had a lot to be desired) and there are the "extras" features like commentary.  So if the film is a big favorite of mine and I am convinced the Criterion version is a substantial upgrade over other releases of that film, when a "big" sale opportunity is there,  maybe I'll go for it.  If you are a big Hitchcock fan I bought the 9 dvd Alfred Hitchcock Signature Collection (with Foreign Correspondent) on a 50% or higher sale at Barnes and Noble. The films are all high quality and loaded with bonus features.

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Criterion often has movies that you can't find anywhere else, especially in the category of foreign films.  OTOH a very high percentage of their selections of U.S. titles have played multiple times on TCM, so unless the bonus features mean a lot to you, you're better off just recording those movies and saving your money for the titles that TCM doesn't get.

 

The best deal I've gotten from Criterion was the five disk set of Nikkatsu Noir I Am Waiting; Rusty Knife; Take Aim at the Police Van; Cruel Gun Story; and A Colt Is My Passport.  At $34.98 during the B&N half price sale, at less than $7.00 each it's an absolute steal.  If any of these five films have shown up on TCM, I sure haven't noticed it.

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Since you like used discs anyway, you could probably find that one pretty cheap.

 

Criterion releases are the same price as other DVDs at my local used CD/DVD store, $5-10 depending on how many disks in the package. More common titles, such as NBNW or new Spiderman can be as low as $2.99. 

 

I watch an awful lot of Criterion Collections from the library too. Since I'm not really into owning DVDs.

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...  My question is: It seems that Criterion is very selective as to which films get their "Criterion treatment."  What is it that Criterion does that makes these films so expensive?  Right now, with the 50% off sale, the films are priced a little more reasonably... however, I don't know if it's really worth it to buy the more expensive version when I can usually find a new copy (or my favorite, used) much cheaper elsewhere?...

 

So, you're basically asking what criteria Criterion uses to select the films the films they issue on DVD.

 

Probably they picked that name "Criterion", as an indicator of their high standards (or what they want people to believe are their high standards.)

 

Oxford definition of "criterion" : "a principle or standard by which something may be judged or decided"

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Actually I was interested in what it is that Criterion does to the film to warrant the DVD/Blu Ray's high price tag. It seems my question has been answered. It's just an extremely high quality print of the film chock full with bonus features. I guess the high price is meant to compensate Criterion for the large amount of work that went into producing this print of whatever film.

 

Makes sense. Thanks everyone.

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I love the Criterion edition of "Equinox" one of my all time favorite movies- it's a masterpiece of DIY movie making.

 Very cool for a 'home' movie indeed.

 

I'll never forget the first time I saw it - late 80's on the late show. The part where Frank Bonner (Herb Tarlick of WKRP), after the group has just witnessed a giant monster, says something like "you guys head back to the car - I'll gather up the picnic gear" cracked me up for the next six minutes.

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The primary reason Criterion discs cost more than most is because Criterion licesnses everything they release. They have to pay out a fee to the studios they license from with each disc sold, so that automatically bumps the price a good $10. Releases from other home video companies like them typically also cost more (Kino, Flicker Alley, etc.)

 

Other than licensing, the cost of producing new masters contributes to the increased price (occasionally Criterion has a new video master of a film made but most of the time the parent studio does this,) as does the inclusion of any special features specifically made for their releases.

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