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What are you favourite Criterion releases?

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Nic Rhodes, Mar 24, 2001.

  1. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I am a keen fan of the Criterion releases and now have a reasonable number, despite their cost. But the ones missing from my collection are generally the 'older' films. How do these compare with other Criterion Issues. What are peoples views?

    I particularly like in no particular order

    Armageddon (sorry!)
    Time Bandits
    Robocop
    Rock
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being
    Chasing Amy
    The Life of Brian
    Rushmore
    The Silence of the Lambs

    and of course Brazil

    But there are many others, what do people recommend?

    What about:

    The 39 Steps
    Mona Lisa
    Brief Encounter
    The Third Man
    For All Mankind
    Red Shoes
    Black Narcissus
    Henry V
    Oliver
    Great Expectations
    Hard Boiled
    A night To Remember
    Seven Samurai
     
  2. ptmbradley

    ptmbradley
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    I've only got The Rock but it is very nice.

    The only other one I really want now is the forthcoming Spartacus, but there's a mental block in me that stops me from forking out £30 for one DVD so unless I see it at a bargain price somewhere then I doubt I'll get it. [​IMG]

    Ptm

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  3. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    Hi,

    I own "Hard-Boiled", "The Last Temptation Of Christ" and "RoboCop". I have enjoyed each film a great deal, and would recommend any Criterion title, because they are excellent in both picture and audio quality, as well as having worthwhile extras, albeit not many of them. The only downside is that sometimes the audio isn't in 5.1 or DTS, as Criterion tend to stick to whatever format the original was recorded in, which for "Hard-Boiled" means a simple (but effective) Mono track.

    Pooch
     
  4. Guest

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    Can anyone here tell me how and who decides what movies get a criterion release. It just seems strange to me that films like The Rock, Armageddon and Chasing Amy etc get released in Criterion form yet other, "better" films do not. Don't get me wrong, I love The Rock and Armageddon and no, I'm not going to get involved in an arguement about the affor mentioned film.
    Cheers,
    Neil [​IMG]

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  5. gwbailey

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    I've only ever bought one, that was Manhunter and the picture and sound was pants!!
     
  6. tee

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    I've only got a few but would recomend all of them:

    The Rock
    Chasing Amy
    Robobop
    Silence Of The Lambs
    The Long Good Friday
    Do The Right Thing

    And finally, The Beastie Boys Antholgy which is quite simply one of the very best DVD releases of all time. Sensational.

    All are reviewed on my site.... [​IMG]

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  7. Confucius

    Confucius
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    I've got:

    The Lady Vanishes
    This is Spinal Tap
    The Silence of the Lambs
    RoboCop
    The Long Good Friday
    Armageddon
    Time Bandits
    Brazil
    Yojimbo
    The 39 Steps
    Monty Python's Life of Brian
    The Third Man.

    Only Life of Brian is a bit dissappointing (only in relation to the rest of their releases), due to a rather hollow sounding soundtrack.



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  8. Mattie

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    What do people think of the Criterion Silence of the Lambs? And where can I get one for a sensible price (MT charge £50.. is that sensible? I hope not).

    I only have a couple of Criterions (criteria?), just the Rock and Armageddon. Would Silence be a wise third addition? I also fancy Brazil (the Bay films aren't indicative of all my tastes!)

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  9. Rachael Bitchlist

    Rachael Bitchlist
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    Criterion is not a content owner, outside of some supplementary material they have produced for various LDs and DVDs. They have to lisence the rights to films from the major labels, and we all know how much fun that is! During the Laserdisc era the majors were generally willing to lisence LD rights to them since it was a minority format. However, here in the DVD age the majors are reluctant to throw them even a bone!

    I hope Criterion survives. They have been in some peril. Finding content to release has not been easy for them. Furthermore, their early DVD releases were not anamorphic and many folks simply won't buy non-anamorphic widescreen titles, myself included. Well, I might make a few exceptions for terrific content. Criterion is now comited to anamorphic but they don't have all that much to release.

    Criterion can't get the DVD rights to all the titles that they once had LD rights to. This is the case despite the fact that the rights holders may not even be releasing DVDs themselves. What a tangled web movie rights can weave! The music originally used in films, often times, was only lisenced for theatrical release. For home video the rights must be obtained again. Sometimes this is a problem that can take years to overcome. The probate of wills and lawsuits can bring things to a halt.

    I, for one, am rooting for the survival of Criterion, which is hardly guaranteed. Keep your fingers crossed!

    Some Criterion Laserdiscs that I highly recommend:

    THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD it has beautiful colour and very little apparent damage to the print. I think they digitally cleaned it up. The MGM release looks awful.

    DR. STRANGELOVE CAV looks great and has very intresting extras including: music video Teenage Fallout Queen, goverment defence film Duck And Cover.

    EL CID I know it's to come to DVD soon but it looks great and has AC-3 and intresting extras.

    ROBINSON CRUSOE ON MARS is fun and who knows when or if it will ever come to home video again.

    FORBIDDEN PLANET the extras may never be seen again.

    MONTY PYTON AND THE HOLY GRAIL has a Japaese soundtrack on one of the analog channels and commentary on the other. Nik is the same in Japanese. It has the deleted scene too and a few other goodies, very cool!


    On DVD I recommend:

    THE THIRD MAN you will be amazed at how well they digutally repaired this older film. The extras are extensive and very good.

    AMARCORD well, it's not anamorphic but the 1.85 to 1 transfer is quite good. Italian and English soundtracks. Better subtitles than their LD release. One of Fellini's best...

    BRAZIL everything you ever wanted to know about BRAZIL but were afraid to ask.

    M is a prime example of early German cinema.

    THE LIFE OF BRIAN has a superb package of extras!

    ROBOCOP and ARMAGEDDON are intresting but non-anamorphic, if that makes any difference in your set-up. The added footage in both films is appreciated, particularly in ARMAGEDDON.

    THE BLOB looks better than their LD and has digital sound now. It is a cheap, stupid film intended for drive-in theatres, but the blob attacking the movie theatre is a classic scene. Steve Mcqueen is practicing for real films in this one....

    I hope Criterion survives long term. Buying their releases might help that to happen. Best wishes from Laserland!



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  10. PoochJD

    PoochJD
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    GWBailey,

    You said you thought the quality of "Manhunter" was pants. If you mean the Theatrical version on disc one, then you must have a crummy copy, because mine looks as good as any other DVD version Anchor Bay have released.

    However, their version of Mann's Director's Cut was never going to be great, and here's why:- The Director's Cut was never (as far as I know) given a theatrical release in the US or UK). In the UK, it was only ever given two separate screenings, and both of those were for a Micahel Mann season at the British Film Institute in London, back in 1995/96. At this time, they used Mann's own print, which was never actually completed to the same "normal" standard as usual theatrical prints of movies. This is why their is large amounts of grain, and the sound is only in stereo. I don't know what Mann's plan's were for his longer cut of this brilliantly creepy thriller, but I don't think that he had any particular intention to give it an official release. However, I may be wrong on this, and my information is only as reliable as the sources it came from e.g. notes in film magazines, from the BFI programmes, etc, etc.

    I admit that the Director's Cut doesn't look good on DVD, but at least we all get the chance to see this "mythic" version of the movie, and I have always wondered what the difference was between the two. Anchor Bay actually had to use Mann's own copy of the longer version, because it was the only useable version that exists. And for that, they deserve appreciation. Bar Criterion, not many DVD companies would've bothered at all, and would probably have simply cancelled the whole release, or given us a 4:3, stereo version instead, just to really p*ss us off! (Well, that's what many R2 companies still do!)

    Hope this clarifies the matter for you a little.

    Pooch

    [This message has been edited by PoochJD (edited 27-03-2001).]
     
  11. Confucius

    Confucius
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    Ummmm..

    Manhunter (the DVD) wasn't a 'Criterion Collection' title, it was Anchor Bay.

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  12. Guest

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    Just found this thread on the search engine.

    Can you guys tell me whether the Criterion special edition of Brazil is anamorphic ?

    I've searched amazon, play247, dvdfile and others but cannot find any information.

    If it's anamorphic I'll start looking for somewhere that's still got the Criterion release in stock - I love Brazil :)

    Cheers,

    DF
     
  13. Guest

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    It's not anamorphic, but don't let that put you off.
     
  14. Guest

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    Many thanks Confucius, I'll check it out.

    Found it apparently in stock at DVD Mod if anyone wants it. I've used them before and they've been fine.


    DF
     
  15. Garrett

    Garrett
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    :confused: Can someone tell me politely what a Criterion release is, where to find more about them, and buy them?
    Fancy EL Cid in WS, not the 3:4 that’s available now.
     
  16. Guest

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    Well, first off a little background information:

    Criterions own website, and

    a Criterion 'fan page.

    Criterion are an independant company, they don't actualy produce films, who specialise in making very special edition laser/dvd releases, with an emphasis on 'World Cinema'. This of course would include 'foreign' (well, non English language anyway) films. They are American, though many of their releases are region '0' rather than R1, but all are NTSC. Many of their early releases are non-anamorphic. It's a long story but it was a decision to do this, not an oversight. (In a nutshell the bulk of American large screen TV's are 4:3, letterbox W/S gives a better picture on these than anamorphic discs.)

    They started out with Laserdiscs a long time ago. These features a great many CAV as opposed to CLV discs (CAV gave the ability to freeze frame on a particular film frame before the advent of digital freeze). Another attraction was the wealth of added extras placed on suplemental discs.

    They continued with the advent of DVD, with even more emphasis on classic films, those that are more cerebral than todays popcorn brain-dead blockbusters. (okay okay, they've done Armageddon and The Rock too ;) ).

    It has prob'ly been tough of late as more and more BIG studions have jumped on the SE bandwagon. Person'ly I think the bulk of this is down to the enthusiasm of Criterion.
     

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