Author Topic: The Criterion Collection  (Read 4815 times)

Chedney Honks

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The Criterion Collection
« on: November 30, 2020, 07:17:08 PM »
Ignoring the beautiful packaging and middlebrow marketing power, the Criterion Collection is also responsible for some superb Blu Ray (and DVD) transfers, and that's why they're held in such high regard. While not always the case, they are often the place to go for the best treatments of film re-releases.

The major limiting factor is that a number of their releases are US-only, so you need a region-free Blu Ray player. I'd say it's well worth the investment.

What are your favourite Criterion releases or recent purchases?

Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2020, 07:32:44 PM »
I've got their streaming service The Criterion Channel (not sure if it's available in the UK yet). Best subscription you can get, I reckon. Great-quality transfers, and I like their curated "collections". More than worth the $100/year.

Chedney Honks

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2020, 07:43:25 PM »
It's not available, unfortunately, without some VPN fannying, screen casting and a dose of good fortune, I understand.

Over the last couple of months I've picked up several fucking fantastic sets:

Godzilla Showa Collection




Lone Wolf and Cub




Zatoichi 25-film Boxset



All absolutely magnificent in terms of presentation, transfers and accompanying materials. Also, bloody brilliant films overall, with some of the Godzilla Showa set being predominantly interesting from an archival/developmental perspective.


Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2020, 07:43:38 PM »
I have about 5-6 of them but never get around to watching them, because I'm a loser.

Even got the release of Polyester with the Odorama card, but I'm debating whether or not to let John Waters anywhere near my nose.

the science eel

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2020, 08:00:22 PM »
I'm looking to get Polyester and the new (to the UK) Five Easy Pieces soon.

But...I dunno. I've got about ten already, and I've only watched them all once (I didn't even make it all the way through The Naked Kiss), so I've got doubts about shelling out £15 every time I want to see something that's not likely to be shown on telly.

Right now you can get the three for £30 deal in most online retailers, as far as I know, but it's limited to a select few discs.





magval

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2020, 08:33:13 PM »
I always thought Night of the Living Dead would never get treatment like this because it was in the public domain and the market is just littered almost completely with shit versions. Criterion's Night blu-ray is fucking spectacular and I adore it.

Love their Dazed and Confused set too (great packaging) but still haven't got round to upgrading to the UK blu yet.

Beastie Boys set is great as well, well worth it for the branching option for different edits and remixes and a great commentary.

Chedney Honks

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2020, 08:49:48 PM »
Totally agree on Night of the Living Dead . A film that is genuinely elevated by the beautiful transfer, and there's some superb extras, too. Criterion get a bit of stick for being middlebrow pseud collector fodder (unwatched, pristine copies of Eraserhead, Stalker, In the Mood for Love) but the work they do is often genuinely transformative, bringing the very best out of the source materials.

Also got a stonking boner for the Masters of Cinema and Eureka! labels. The King Hu films on MoC are fucking gorgeous.


Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2020, 09:02:13 PM »
Criterion Collection Closet is a pretty good collection of videos of filmmakers/actors selecting their favourite Criterion disc sets from the archive

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLvOSyaDh3cmH8u91LvTfzXE7I0q-4dGGI

Famous Mortimer

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2020, 09:15:10 PM »
I've got about 50 or 60 of em. About half "found it cheap on eBay" and half "actually wanted it". Equinox is a fantastic one, as is Slacker and the ones already mentioned.

Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2020, 08:41:42 AM »
Totally agree on Night of the Living Dead . A film that is genuinely elevated by the beautiful transfer, and there's some superb extras, too. Criterion get a bit of stick for being middlebrow pseud collector fodder (unwatched, pristine copies of Eraserhead, Stalker, In the Mood for Love) but the work they do is often genuinely transformative, bringing the very best out of the source materials.

Also got a stonking boner for the Masters of Cinema and Eureka! labels. The King Hu films on MoC are fucking gorgeous.

Their version of Stalker is actually a hell of a lot better than the transfer that had been around previously(and that Artfical Eye still offer, the rest of their Tarkovsky is similar though and a lot cheaper) though, really night and day, probably watched that half a dozen times since picking it up 2-3 years ago.

Masters of Cinema does have the advantage their prices are much more dependably low so you can buy them anytime where as with Criterion its more I tend to pickup a few every few months when someone like HMV has a sale, actually picked up got Eraserhead and Night of the Living Dead a few days ago so interested in to see how they stack up relative to the old DVD's I have.

The lesser known third party lable in the UK besides those two and Arrow is Indicator, I spose partly because they aren't stocked by places like HMV, mostly depending on Amazon and their own site...

https://www.powerhousefilms.co.uk/

Not as many really big films(some like The Last Detail though) but maybe the most dependable label in terms of the extras and in the limited versions nicely done booklets.

The big debate with Criterion I spose is whether they finally move into UHD or not, I'd probably be happy with most of the stuff I have of theirs on Bluray but they could sell me UHD's of Tarkovsky, Mizoguchi, Edward Yang, etc.

Absorb the anus burn

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2020, 08:56:10 AM »

Shameless Custard

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2020, 09:26:19 AM »
Despite owning a million dvds and blu-rizzles, I've never owned a Criterion edition before.

Though weirdly enough, my copy of The Irishman arrived yesterday. Not watched it yet, but there's a big sticker on the front saying "Director approved", so that's nice

I've always thought their catalogue looks gorgeous, but cos of the hefty prices I was always scared I'd bankrupt myself within a month

QDRPHNC

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2020, 12:21:29 PM »
I've got most of their Wes Anderson releases, plus Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Thin Red Line, which looks phenomenal.

Didn't Criterion kind of set the template for modern disc releases? I think they invented the commentary track back in the laserdisc days.

the science eel

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2020, 12:24:33 PM »

Masters of Cinema does have the advantage their prices are much more dependably low so you can buy them anytime

Definitely. I've got more BFI and MoC Blurays than Criterion and they're mostly just as good.

Anyone use those comparison sites? I think one's called Bluray Beaver or something. I used to think it was GEEK CITY but in fact the difference in transfer quality can be very noticeable.

magval

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2020, 01:52:16 PM »
The lesser known third party lable in the UK besides those two and Arrow is Indicator, I spose partly because they aren't stocked by places like HMV, mostly depending on Amazon and their own site...

https://www.powerhousefilms.co.uk/


Indicator are stocked by HMV in Belfast, I've seen their Hammer boxes in there a few times and they had that Dennis Hopper film when it came out too.

Second Sight are another good small label who've just put out a 7-disc Dawn of the Dead set with soundtrack CDs, the novelisation and a rake of new extras and commentaries. It's ace.

Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2020, 02:05:31 PM »


Anyone use those comparison sites? I think one's called Bluray Beaver or something.

That's the one I use, fantastic resource

http://www.blubeaver.ca/

Although Do The Right Thing is an example of a film where I kind of prefer a non-Criterion/"as the director intended" version. I know the yellow/red tint was an intentional stylistic choice but I find it a bit overbearing

Criterion also often has much better subtitles

Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2020, 03:52:09 PM »
Definitely. I've got more BFI and MoC Blurays than Criterion and they're mostly just as good.

Anyone use those comparison sites? I think one's called Bluray Beaver or something. I used to think it was GEEK CITY but in fact the difference in transfer quality can be very noticeable.

https://caps-a-holic.com/index.php?s=UHD

Really I think at this stage Criterion, Arrow, Masters of Cinema, Indicator, BFI, Second Sight etc have all pretty much got their act together as botched releases don't tend to sell well, its more the odd flop these days or judging whether its worth upgrading from an older releases.

Studio Canal whilst a much bigger distributor have started putting out more indepth releases recently and are probably the best specialist UHD label, put out stuff like Angel Heart, Don't Look Now, The Elephant Man, etc that might not have gotten UHD releases otherwise.

magval

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2020, 04:01:21 PM »
That's the one I use, fantastic resource

http://www.blubeaver.ca/

Although Do The Right Thing is an example of a film where I kind of prefer a non-Criterion/"as the director intended" version. I know the yellow/red tint was an intentional stylistic choice but I find it a bit overbearing

Criterion also often has much better subtitles

Halloween arguably looks better on the earlier 'wrong' releases. The approved remaster presents the film more realistically for when it was shot (Spring) as opposed to when it was set (Autumn), so it looks colder (but ironically, not literally colder) because the false brown tint is removed.

I think William Friedkin was very critical of the transfer for the French Connection as well, and insisted on a revised reissue.

Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2020, 09:32:14 PM »
Second Sight are another good small label who've just put out a 7-disc Dawn of the Dead set with soundtrack CDs, the novelisation and a rake of new extras and commentaries. It's ace.

Their recent version of Roeg's Walkabout is a dramatic improvement as well even if its "only" on standard BR.

Mister Six

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #21 on: December 02, 2020, 01:29:07 AM »
That's the one I use, fantastic resource

http://www.blubeaver.ca/

Although Do The Right Thing is an example of a film where I kind of prefer a non-Criterion/"as the director intended" version. I know the yellow/red tint was an intentional stylistic choice but I find it a bit overbearing

Criterion also often has much better subtitles

Wait did they change the colour on DTRT without Lee's input? Or am I misreading that?

Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #22 on: December 02, 2020, 02:49:17 AM »
Wait did they change the colour on DTRT without Lee's input? Or am I misreading that?

I think it probably happens a lot. There's quite a bit of difference between the four versions shown here http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film2/DVDReviews46/do_the_right_thing_blu-ray.htm but I think the Criterion one is the closest to his original vision. I kind of like the Universal one without the yellow though.

Mister Six

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #23 on: December 02, 2020, 04:21:40 AM »
Wait, they did or didn't involve Lee in it?

Chedney Honks

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #24 on: December 02, 2020, 08:17:42 AM »
Got the Bruce Lee Boxset for Christmas. Legend.

Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2020, 08:35:20 AM »
Only have a couple of theirs (Hausu and the Lady Snowblood collection) but yeah, really nice to see cult films like those get the treatment they deserve. The accompanying material is fantastic and the films themselves are presented about as well as you could possibly hope for.

All that talk of them doing justice to public domain fodder like NOTLD reminds me I really should get my hands on their edition of Carnival of Souls which looks to have a similarly pristine transfer.

wasp_f15ting

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2020, 11:21:58 AM »
This YT channel seems to be really good for suggestions.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD_zfOIElbhL0BibQ4Yx5gQ

It is a shame that Criterion still wont release certain region A releases in the UK :(

Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2020, 11:36:36 AM »
Wait, they did or didn't involve Lee in it?

I don't know, but probably not for all of them since they vary quite wildly. A lot of directors like Scorsese don't watch their own films after they're finished (barring premieres) so unlikely they'd be able to oversee an entire transfer.

Chedney Honks

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2020, 01:40:08 PM »
This YT channel seems to be really good for suggestions.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCD_zfOIElbhL0BibQ4Yx5gQ

It is a shame that Criterion still wont release certain region A releases in the UK :(

You might also like this fella, Waspy:

https://www.youtube.com/c/DaisukeBeppu

My favourite cinema YT dude.

wasp_f15ting

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Re: The Criterion Collection
« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2020, 02:07:07 PM »
Cheers - Thank you subscribed

I have got a few from the sale.

Really looking forward to seeing Metropolitan though it looks rather fuzzy
Tokyo Drifter looks really stylistic so also very intrigued in seeing that
Sleep with anger is one which I have not seen yet, but the trailer looked interesting

I hope they start dipping their toes into 4k at some point

What happened to Jutl he got me into Criterion all those years ago!!

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