Criterion Collection

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Eyenixon, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. Eyenixon

    Eyenixon Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 11, 2008
    I've recently begun buying these DVDs.
    They're expensive as all hell and finding many of the more obscure films is one heck of an undertaking.

    However, the quality of the remasterings and the bonus content which far outdoes that of any regular studio release is entirely worth the $30-40 usually charged for each individual movie.
    They also come with awesome cover art, inside cover art, disc art, and inset art, well, the whole damn package usually just looks good.
    I've gotten quite a little collection so far.

    My two most recent purchases are -
    Jingoku -
    Brazil -

    Both of which are fantastic films, Jingoku especially surprised me, I'm not really one for Japanese horror (it rehashes itself far too often for my tastes), but the cinematography and helpings of surrealism really made it stand out and deliver a profound experience.

    Does anyone else have an interest in collecting Criterion Collection DVDs? I'm looking for some good recommendations available in their catalog, it's difficult to make up your mind on what looks the best for your next viewing.
  2. Stag

    Stag Guest

    I really like them but I can't for the life of me remember which ones I have.

    Oh, I have "The Man Who Fell To Earth" right here next to me. It's dope, if you like that movie. It even comes with the original novella.

    Really they're all good. If you like a movie, you will like the Criterion Edition of it.
  3. TwinkieGorilla

    TwinkieGorilla This ghoul has seen it all

    Oct 19, 2007
    I'm a Criterion/Film junkie in general.

    the amount of shelf and HD space i have dedicated to cinema is borderline ocd. it would help to know what you're into as far as directors to help with a jumping point in suggestions.

    to start off i'll tell you that one of my top 5 directors of all time is Luis Bunuel and anything on Criterion by him is worth the money. look him up on "" and read about him first though, to see if what he does fits into what you might be interested in.
  4. Yamu

    Yamu Le Fromage Vieux oTO Moderator Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Jul 26, 2003
    I'm a film junkie as well, and, for most of my life, a movie salesman by trade, and The Criterion Collection is just all class. The only real gripe I have is that once Criterion gets their hands on a title, it becomes next to impossible to find any other, cheaper versions-- but since I'm fully willing to pay good money for good movies, that's more of a nitpick than anything.

    Brazil is far and away my most prized Criterion, but you've already covered that. A good number of Akira Kurosawa's films are available through them, and all (imo) are worthy of your shelfspace.

    Oh, and if you don't own Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, you go to hell when you die.
  5. Stag

    Stag Guest

    Ah! I have that one, too. It's got really great Ralph Steadman boxart.
  6. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 3, 2003
    I have a few Criterions, but "collecting" them seems a bit vapid to me. I buy them when I get the chance and if the title interests me, I don't need to have their edition of a title if a good edition is available otherwise. Like Kurosawa's titles, I don't have a single Criterion edition of those but I do own a few of his films.

    They do bring it snazzy editions, that I'll admit. But I'm not made of money.
  7. TwinkieGorilla

    TwinkieGorilla This ghoul has seen it all

    Oct 19, 2007
    they really pay attention to the restoration a degree that fascinates me. there's a bit on Ingmar Bergman's "7th Seal" where they show the process that went into that particular restoration that nearly gave me an erection.
  8. M-26-7

    M-26-7 Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 20, 2008
    I have a friend with the complete Janus art house collection. I might have to murder him and steal it
  9. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 3, 2003
    Yeah I know. Though to be honest sometimes it's sad to see great restorations. I own paramount's special edition of C'era un volta il West, which at the time was the greatest remastering ever done, but somehow it loses part of the feeling by being so crisp

    But that's just nostalgia speaking
  10. Stag

    Stag Guest

    Dude, don't you work for UGO? How can you not make that dollar?
  11. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 3, 2003
    Work for UGO? *spits on the floor* Heck no. GameBanshee isn't a subsidiary of UGO, man, it's an independent site hosted by UGO.

    Though I was offered a job by UGO. Turned it down.
  12. Sander

    Sander This ghoul has seen it all
    Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Jul 5, 2003
    Yes, we all know that game journalism is a path of life paved with gold.
  13. Eyenixon

    Eyenixon Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 11, 2008
    I love Luis Bunuel as well, I have That Obscure Object of Desire on Criterion.
    In a similar vein, I really wish Alexander Jodorowsky would pop up on Criterion, I own Fando Y Lis, El Topo, and The Holy Mountain in that three-part collection (which Amazon has on sale for a giant discount by the way: EDIT - Ugh, massive link broke tables, just look it up yourselves) but they scream for the Criterion restoration treatment.

    I understand this, Tron didn't feel the same when crystal clear in the Anniversary release.
    However, after awhile you start to prefer the remasters, simply because it makes watching the film easier, you see better, you hear better (which is very important) and the director most likely would've preferred the same quality when he initially created the film.
    I also have to agree with Once Upon A Time In The West, that Special edition is one of the best collections I've ever bought, the remaster is great, and it's just so damn cheap. I got it for seven bucks off of Amazon, even in the overpriced Borders it was just ten bucks.
  14. Stag

    Stag Guest

    Hahahahahahaha, trolled.

    What'd UGO want you for?


    Why the fuck is there a Criterion for Armageddon?

    I thought the Criterion was a measure of quality not only in presentation but of the movie presented. *sigh*
  15. Brother None

    Brother None This ghoul has seen it all
    Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Apr 3, 2003
    What was amazing about that remaster was that it was during the days when only Criterion and the Superbit collections took remastering seriously, and Paramount did a fantastic job.

    I still miss the graininess :(

    None of your beeswax.

    It is what it is.
  16. Eyenixon

    Eyenixon Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 11, 2008
    There are a few other questionable films on there as well, I can't name them off the top of my head, but I've definitely noticed a few that made me "Huh?" while I was browsing.

    I saw this one while browsing and it looked interesting, David Bowie is always a plus, I'll consider placing it as a priority the next time I go out looking for DVDs.
  17. TwinkieGorilla

    TwinkieGorilla This ghoul has seen it all

    Oct 19, 2007
    "Bad Timing" is another excellent film by Nicholas Roeg. Highly Recommend it.
  18. Dragula

    Dragula Stormtrooper oTO Orderite

    Nov 6, 2008
    Can you please elaborate on what's so special about these criterion dvds?
  19. M-26-7

    M-26-7 Still Mildly Glowing

    Jul 20, 2008
    They're like the headies of the film world.
  20. Eyenixon

    Eyenixon Vault Senior Citizen

    Apr 11, 2008
    Each Criterion DVD comes with a great package, usually there's some form of extra inside, sometimes as simple as just a small pamphlet with some information and quotes on a film, sometimes as elaborate as a whole collection of awesome junk (such as miniature posters from several countries, information booklets on the film, etc.).
    So you get a really nice looking package that sits perfectly on your shelf, with those wonderful Criterion C's etched on the side so everything is uniform.

    But the best thing about Criterion DVDs is that they're usually releases of the greatest films that have been cleaned up to an extraordinary degree. The remasterings are bar none the best, Criterion DVDs have the crispest image quality, the most audible and clear audio quality, and they're typically at the highest bit rate for the greatest quality in general.
    Not only that, but the extras usually included are wonderful, rare commentaries (such as Gilliam's commentary on Brazil), tons of essays, scripts, screenplays, alternate versions of a single film, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes documentaries, so on and so forth and typically each DVD is chock full of this stuff.

    Sometimes you have to decide between a cheaper version or the full-fledged collector's set, for example, Brazil has two different releases from Criterion, a simple one with commentary and an essay (maybe some other extras I forgot) then another collector's edition that has a crapload of extra junk, that one goes for about $50 or so I think, in comparison to the $30 that the regular edition goes for.

    Of course, they're not cheap at all, as I've said, most of them go for $30-40, however the price is usually worth it.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, Criterion Collection disks are also the most respectful to the creators of the films, so there are no lame cuts, everything is always what the director wanted to get out of it, Terry Gilliam himself oversaw the Brazil cut on the Criterion release so that it would be perfectly aligned with his vision.