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View Full Version : DVDTalk's First Annual Criterion Challenge - September 2009


Trevor
08-30-09, 04:47 PM
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30 Days of Criterion
September 1st - 30th 2009

The Planning Thread (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/559273-anyone-up-1st-annual-dvdtalk-criterion-challenge.html)


The List Thread (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/560686-criterion-challenge-list-thread-september-2009-a.html)

<B>THE "RULES"</B>

This is not your father's Challenge. Think of this as an un-Challenge. The only goal is to watch Criterion content and share your experience with the rest of us. There is no specific number goal, no counting, no winners, no losers, no prizes.

This is not about bulk watching. Just watch however much you would normally watch in a month, but concentrate it on Criterion content as much as you can/want. In fact, bulk watching is discouraged, as that will limit your time for discussion and for immersing yourself in a film. Fully exploring a film is highly encouraged. Instead of racing through films and watching three or more in one day, why not fully experience each Criterion disc? Watch the film a second time with the audio commentary. Watch all of the special features on the disc. Read the insert booklet.

There will be a separate thread to include your lists as linked above. Be creative and personalize it however you wish - use one post for the whole month, daily posts, weekly posts, give reviews, provide IMDB links, add YouTube videos, add images, etc. It's recommended that you provide a link to your list(s) in your signature for easy access.

What qualifies? Any film, short, video or DVD supplemental feature that has been released by Criterion qualifies. The film does not have to watched on an actual Criterion disc. You may watch the film on any format imaginable, provided that it is the same film that Criterion has released. For example, the film Silence of the Lambs was released by Criterion on DVD. But you don't have to watch the movie on that particular DVD. You can watch it on VHS, on broadcast TV, on the internet, UMD, iTunes, or any of the various DVD releases SOTL has had. The only thing that won't count is the blu-ray version. Absolutely no blu-ray discs or even blu-ray players may be used in this Challenge.

Discussion and debate on how to change the Challenge is encouraged. We may not make changes in this current year, but there's always next year. The blu-ray comment was a joke.

<table border="1"><tr><td>A daily journal sort of entry is recommended for your list. Since counting is not required or "scored" in any way, you are free to be as creative as you wish in how you list items. Bolding of your item titles is encouraged, if only to make them stand out to allow others to quickly see if they have seen the same items and wish to comment. Give reviews. Even if it's just a mini-review, a simple :up: / :down:, or a one word description. How about this: Instead of a numbered list, we have a daily summary. Everyone has 30 entries (assuming it's done September) and reports what they watched that day. It could be the first disc of Berlin Alexanderplatz, the extras to Ran, the Man Who Fell to Earth novella, or the entire Cassavetes box set. There's no competition - it's just about exploring Example:

September 1st - Watched Silence of the Lambs. :up:

September 2nd - Watched all of the special features on the SOTL disc. (Insert in depth opinions here)

September 3rd - Snuck into the local mental institution and interviewed patients as if they were Hannibal Lector.

September 4th - Called my parents to bail my out of the local jail.</td></tr></table>

<B>Optional Checklist</B>

The checklist is completely optional. It is just a "fun" inclusion to give one a sense of accomplishment, or a guide on what to watch next.

Watch one film from every decade covered by Criterion.
--- 1920 - (insert film title here)
--- 1930 -
--- 1940 -
--- 1950 -
--- 1960 -
--- 1970 -
--- 1980 -
--- 1990 -
--- 2000 -

Watch films in at least five languages.
--- First language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Second language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Third language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Fourth language, (insert language), (insert title).
--- Fifth language, (insert language), (insert title).

Watch something from spine number range:
--- 001-050 -
--- 051-100 -
--- 101-150 -
--- 151-200 -
--- 201-250 -
--- 251-300 -
--- 301-350 -
--- 351-400 -
--- 401-450 -
--- 451-500 -
--- an Eclipse title -
--- a laser disc only Criterion from this list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Criterion_Collection_laserdisc_releases) -

Watch a film from the following genres:
--- Comedy
--- Drama
--- Horror
--- Science Fiction
--- Action / Adventure
--- Musical
--- Epic / Historical
--- Mystery / Thriller
--- War / Western
--- Documentary

--- Watch a film which won an Academy Award -
--- Watch a film with commentary -
--- Watch a short -
--- Watch a Criterion disc completely. Every part of it. -

(One film could fill multiple items. Example: Silence of the Lambs would qualify for a decade, language, spine number range, genre, Academy Award, and possibly more.)
(Change "---" to "-X-" or some similar mark when you have completed that line item.)

Wiki list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Criterion_Collection_laserdisc_releases) of Criterion laser disc releases, all eligible regardless of format.

Criterion TV schedule here (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/9676880-post126.html), courtesy of Mondo Kane.


For in depth discussion of a specific Criterion disc each week, see the Criterion Film Club thread (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/559529-criterion-film-club.html). Sign up to select a film for the group to discuss here (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/559588-click-here-join-criterion-film-club.html).



The challenge officially begins Tuesday, September 1, 2009 at midnight of whatever time zone you are in at the time, and ends on Wednesday September 30th, 2009 at 23:59:59 in whatever time zone you're in at that moment. Renting a fast plane could enable you to squeeze an extra 24 hours out of this thing.

Numes
08-30-09, 04:57 PM
Wiki list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Criterion_Collection_laserdisc_releases) of Criterion laser disc releases, all illegible regardless of format.


I don't own any laserdiscs, but I'm pretty sure they are legible. ;)

Trevor
08-30-09, 04:58 PM
I don't own any laserdiscs, but I'm pretty sure they are legible. ;)

Oops, I meant eligible. I need a logic check to go with the spell check. I'm sure there are at least two more mistakes.

chris_sc77
08-30-09, 05:03 PM
hmmmmm I am kinda wary about this now. If people are gonna be counting extras and such it doesnt really seem like a fair and appropriate "challenge".

Trevor
08-30-09, 05:06 PM
Repeat after me. There is no counting.

MTRodaba2468
08-30-09, 07:51 PM
I'll probably give it a try...

RodneyOz
08-31-09, 10:44 AM
I've finally registered after months of lurking and reading these forums, specifically because I was excited about this challenge. Excellent!

Trevor
08-31-09, 01:46 PM
List thread (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/560686-criterion-challenge-list-thread-september-2009-a.html) created.

Trevor
08-31-09, 04:58 PM
I've finally registered after months of lurking and reading these forums, specifically because I was excited about this challenge. Excellent!
Welcome to the forums Rodney! Does the prison library have a good selection of Criterions?

Trevor
08-31-09, 05:35 PM
Can anyone think of any good date-specific films? Like anything Labor Day oriented? Or 9/11?

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
08-31-09, 09:35 PM
Can anyone think of any good date-specific films? Like anything Labor Day oriented? Or 9/11?

Labor Day:
Falling Down

9/11:
United whatever the number was
Some firefighter movie about the towers, once again I don't know a name
LOTR: The Two Towers
Fahrenheit 911
Fahrenhype 911
Loose Change and other similar videos
W
Spider-Man 2 (in a way)

Cronenbergfan71
08-31-09, 09:38 PM
I'm pretty stoked for this since I bought over forty Criterions during that whole crazy B&N sale back in July. I now have ninety-five from which to choose and I've managed not to watch any since I bought them. This should be fun.

It's good to see that I can also watch things like The Princess Bride on BD since it was once a Criterion LD. Very nice. I just picked that up recently.

Trevor
08-31-09, 09:49 PM
Labor Day:
Falling Down

9/11:
United whatever the number was
Some firefighter movie about the towers, once again I don't know a name
LOTR: The Two Towers
Fahrenheit 911
Fahrenhype 911
Loose Change and other similar videos
W
Spider-Man 2 (in a way)

Did you forget what thread you're in MP?

Gobear
08-31-09, 10:03 PM
For 9/11, may I suggest Le Corbeau? The plot involves a town filled with fear and paranoia as the citizens accuse each other of spreading terror in their village through poison pen letters. It just seems to me that the theme of people regarding each other with suspicion links thematically with the post-9/11 political atmosphere.

Or one might watch The Thief of Baghdad, set in a kingdom ruled by an amiable dunce who is under the control of a profoundly evil adviser.

The Man with the Golden Doujinshi
08-31-09, 10:08 PM
Did you forget what thread you're in MP?

You mean Criterion hasn't put out Loose Change yet?

InnocentBlood
09-01-09, 02:24 AM
the fact that we can watch stuff found on that wiki list makes this a very interesting challenge/ non-challenge/ whatever :)

Trevor
09-01-09, 10:27 AM
Just a reminder that everyone is encouraged to join DVDTalk's Criterion Film Club (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-talk/559529-criterion-film-club.html), which has a weekly movie for in-depth discussion.

This week's film is F for Fake, thread here (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-reviews-recommendations/560653-criterion-film-club-week-three-f-fake.html).

And it's never too late to discuss the week two film, George Washington, here (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-reviews-recommendations/560305-criterion-film-club-week-two-george-washington.html), or the week one film, Empire of Passion, here (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-reviews-recommendations/559950-criterion-film-club-week-one-empire-passion.html).

Also, many people put their checklists in spoiler tags, to allow easier browsing of the list thread by others.

Also, if you are planning to reveal key plots points/endings in your mini reviews, you should put them in spoiler tags. Spoiler tags work like this:

[ spoiler] Remove the spaces to really hide something, like this Han shot first. [ /spoiler]

Dick Laurent
09-01-09, 09:21 PM
Hopefully I can post some watches. I'm transitioning to a new position at work, so free time is stretched pretty thin for me right now. (I know, a real DVD fan does not recognize any excuses ... I feel shame ... )

Numes
09-02-09, 12:49 PM
I have the non re-mastered versions of: Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and The Hidden Fortress.

I *think* these were all re-mastered and I was eventually planning on getting the new versions, but I was wondering if anyone here had any thoughts. If there is a huge difference, I will probably hold off.

hindolio
09-03-09, 01:00 AM
I have the non re-mastered versions of: Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, and The Hidden Fortress.

I *think* these were all re-mastered and I was eventually planning on getting the new versions, but I was wondering if anyone here had any thoughts. If there is a huge difference, I will probably hold off.

neither of use want this to turn into blu vs the world, but imho, a good flick is a good flick :D

Trevor
09-03-09, 09:07 AM
I'm adding a couple of things to the checklist (at the end of the spine # section) that I forgot to add last week.

I know it's late notice, so feel free to ignore them on your personal checklist.

--- an Eclipse title -
--- a laser disc only Criterion from this list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Criterion_Collection_laserdisc_releases) -

Giles
09-03-09, 09:45 AM
I'm adding a couple of things to the checklist (at the end of the spine # section) that I forgot to add last week.

I know it's late notice, so feel free to ignore them on your personal checklist.

--- an Eclipse title -
--- a used-to-be Criterion from this laser list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Criterion_Collection_laserdisc_releases) -


which would open the viewing possibilities ALOT - I'd watch Blade Runner, Menace II Society, Halloween, El Cid, From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Zulu (on bluray) Dersu Uzala (which seriousily needs a new dvd/bluray release mastered from a 65mm negative)

Giles
09-03-09, 10:37 AM
F for Fake (1973) - I'm very ashamed to say that I had never watched an Orson Welles film until now. Seriously, not even Citizen Kane.


well I'm just shocked! :D saw "Citizen Kane" for the first time this year for the Oscar Challenge.

Trevor
09-03-09, 11:07 AM
well I'm just shocked! :D saw "Citizen Kane" for the first time this year for the Oscar Challenge.
And you didn't comment on it in your Oscar list, what's up with that?

I'll be writing more in my list/journal, but I finally watched it yesterday. Amazing.

indiephantom
09-03-09, 12:21 PM
I really like how some people have begun their lists. Hope to get to a couple of films within the next week. I have so many unwatched Criterions. I'm probably going to buy a few new ones this month that I've got my eye on. I've already pre-ordered Homicide by David Mamet. I recall really enjoying this one way back when it first hit video. Since that I've become more of a Mamet aficionado, so I'm excited about seeing that one again. Criterion did a fantastic job with Mamet's House of Games which I strongly recommend for consideration by anyone participating in this challenge. One of the most compelling and disturbing crime films I've seen. Expect lots of great dialogue and intrigue, but in no way is it an action film.

Can I use this thread to request that Criterion please release Walkabout on Blu-ray? It was announced early that it might be among their first titles, but it has yet to surface. Sorry, but I just can't wait to view that in hi-def. I apologize if I'm not supposed to mention HD in here. -ptth-

Giles
09-03-09, 03:10 PM
And you didn't comment on it in your Oscar list, what's up with that?

I'll be writing more in my list/journal, but I finally watched it yesterday. Amazing.

I'm just aloof :)

I'm technically not supposed to open my LG bluray player til my attic home theatre system is all wired up and such - but I'm itchin to open it up this afternoon and watch a Criterion bluray disc - oh the temptation!!!

Giles
09-03-09, 03:46 PM
oh so wait, we can watch extras on non-Criterion discs - I'm referring to Trevor's watching 'The Battle Over Citizen Kane' (which is exclusve to Warners DVD special edition) - if that's the case, I can watch an extra on the import of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' - ??

Trevor
09-03-09, 03:52 PM
oh so wait, we can watch extras on non-Criterion discs - I'm referring to Trevor's watching 'The Battle Over Citizen Kane' (which is exclusve to Warners DVD special edition) - if that's the case, I can watch an extra on the import of 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' - ??

Oops, I didn't know it wasn't on the Criterion laser. I'll delete it from my list. Not that we're counting.....

Numes
09-03-09, 07:18 PM
--- a used-to-be Criterion from this laser list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Criterion_Collection_laserdisc_releases) -

Just to clarify, I think your intention for this checklist item is to watch one from this list that is also not on DVD/Blu-Ray? i.e. laserdisc only? Just clarifying because the list you linked to has titles that are also on DVD.

Numes
09-03-09, 07:23 PM
F for Fake (1973) (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072962/) - I'm very ashamed to say that I had never watched an Orson Welles film until now. Seriously, not even Citizen Kane. I'll save my comments on this film for the Criterion Film Club Week #3 thread here (http://forum.dvdtalk.com/dvd-reviews-recommendations/560653-criterion-film-club-week-three-f-fake.html).

Well, I have seen Citizen Kane, but I realized that when I watched Spartacus, that I had never seen anything with Laurence Olivier and the only thing I had ever seen with Peter Ustinov was Logan's Run!

I just noticed that Laurence Olivier is in Rebecca, for which I will be watching sometime this month.

Trevor
09-03-09, 08:30 PM
Just to clarify, I think your intention for this checklist item is to watch one from this list that is also not on DVD/Blu-Ray? i.e. laserdisc only? Just clarifying because the list you linked to has titles that are also on DVD.

Correct. Good catch, thanks. It shows which ones were later put on DVD or Blu, but was there a list of laser only? I'll change my links/wording.

Numes
09-03-09, 08:35 PM
Correct. Good catch, thanks. It shows which ones were later put on DVD or Blu, but was there a list of laser only? I'll change my links/wording.

I don't think there was a laser only list... at least that I saw. The list that you linked to was the same one I referenced a few posts back (and someone else did too.)

Mondo Kane
09-05-09, 03:47 AM
Anybody tried The Auters (http://www.theauteurs.com/films?viewable=1) yet? I might try a few of their "Free" selections soon.

manicsounds
09-05-09, 07:49 AM
I'm signed up at The Auteurs. I watched a little bit of "Housemaid" to check the quality and it was quite good. (I have the DVD, so only checked scenes for comparison.)

Since the Wii is now capable of flash on their Internet channel, it'll be good to watch these films on my TV as opposed to my laptop.

Numes
09-05-09, 10:51 AM
Normally I would just post this in my list thread, but I felt this required some additional viewing.

I watched Naked Lunch last night and I literally had no idea what the hell was going on. I'm not a Cronenberg novice, either, but I just didn't follow anything in this movie at all. I'll be listening to the commentary sometime this month, but wow...just wow I am kind of at a loss for words. Is this a case where I had to read the book this was based on or am I just missing something simple?

Gobear
09-05-09, 11:59 AM
Normally I would just post this in my list thread, but I felt this required some additional viewing.

I watched Naked Lunch last night and I literally had no idea what the hell was going on. I'm not a Cronenberg novice, either, but I just didn't follow anything in this movie at all. I'll be listening to the commentary sometime this month, but wow...just wow I am kind of at a loss for words. Is this a case where I had to read the book this was based on or am I just missing something simple?

Reading The Naked Lunch will not help; Burroughs is not an easily accessible author. These essays (http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/305) from the Criterion site (http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/769) and this NYT review (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/15/movies/15raff.html?_r=2) might clear up the movie's meaning for you.

manicsounds
09-06-09, 07:18 AM
I'm signed up at The Auteurs. I watched a little bit of "Housemaid" to check the quality and it was quite good. (I have the DVD, so only checked scenes for comparison.)

Since the Wii is now capable of flash on their Internet channel, it'll be good to watch these films on my TV as opposed to my laptop.

To quote myself, strangely, I tried to watch a movie through the updated Wii on The Auteurs, and this time, just a blank screen came up. I'm not sure on the specs of why. But on my computer, no problems.

CardiffGiant
09-08-09, 05:49 PM
I've also watched a few things on the Auteurs without problems. I'm not big on watching streaming films, but it's always good as a filler between Netflix rentals, or just checking out a film that I'm unsure about. Usually, I'll watch the first few minutes and then decide if I want to rent it.

Mondo Kane
09-08-09, 07:06 PM
I might give Auters a shot sometime by the end of the week.

Just want to say that the challenge has been going pretty well so far. I'm glad to have this opportunity to check out so many movies that I've either wanted to see, or to just hopefully uncover a newfound, cinematic jewel.

Numes
09-18-09, 09:18 PM
Well this sucks, I went to put in Spellbound and my PS3 wouldn't recognize it. I put it in my PC and nothing...nothing at all. No scratches or anything on the back of the disc. This is only the 2nd disc out of all my titles that I've had issues with. :(

Numes
09-19-09, 12:07 AM
I just wanted to chime in here to single out Notorious as an absolute masterpiece. No spoilers here, just want to say that I was absolutely blown away and I have *never* been on the edge of my seat as I was for this movie. I could hardly stand it I was so nervous. Fantastic. It's really too bad I will never get to experience that feeling when I watch the movie again.

Trevor
09-19-09, 10:04 AM
I just wanted to chime in here to single out Notorious as an absolute masterpiece. No spoilers here, just want to say that I was absolutely blown away and I have *never* been on the edge of my seat as I was for this movie. I could hardly stand it I was so nervous. Fantastic. It's really too bad I will never get to experience that feeling when I watch the movie again.
Thanks. I've been waiting for a good excuse to watch that film, maybe tomorrow night.

NoirFan
09-19-09, 11:03 AM
Other than Vertigo, it's Hitchcock's finest film. The complex relationship between Grant (never better) and Bergman is fascinating, and the climax is as tense as they come. The two commentaries are well worth listening to as well.

Trevor
09-24-09, 02:28 PM
I feel like I need to apologize for being a very mediocre Challenge lead. It's been a rough month for me and I haven't watched nearly as much as I normally do, and am pretty much done for the month as I'm leaving on a cruise in a couple days and still need to prepare for that. But even without watching, I should have put some effort into formatting these threads, making things interesting, bumping, discussion, etc. And since I'll be gone until the 5th of October, and the Horror Challenge will be full swing by then, I probably won't be doing a results/wrap-up post or thread.

I have enjoyed reading much of your comments in the list thread, although I've had to skip a lot of the comments since I haven't seen the films yet. I've also watched a few incredible films for the first time, including Citizen Kane and The Third Man.

So again, I apologize for the ramshackle condition of these threads, and for being an invisible Challenge starter. I'll make more of an effort next year, unless one of you (please!) takes it over.

Oh, and I think I have bingo.

Numes
09-24-09, 03:14 PM
Other than Vertigo, it's Hitchcock's finest film. The complex relationship between Grant (never better) and Bergman is fascinating, and the climax is as tense as they come. The two commentaries are well worth listening to as well.

I am a commentary nut, and have listened to both commentaries already and the one by Marian Keane is *ok*. She is way too technical for me. It may be a good commentary for film majors or people who make films, it isn't really that interesting to me. She also did the commentary for The 39 Steps. Once again, very technical and not much behind the scenes stuff, so just alright for me.

The Rudy Behlmer commentary was amazing. Top notch stuff there. A lot of behind the scenes information on the actors, the production, and just the making of the movie in general. He also does do some screen-specific commentary at certain parts so it's not just one-dimensional.

I also listened to the Lux Radio Theater broadcast. Obviously not nearly as entertaining as the movie, but it was cool that Bergman reprised her role and Joseph Cotton was Devlin. The breaks were hilarious with their "interviews" leading to ads for Lux flakes or other Lux brand items. I had A Christmas Story moment listening to those ads.

To Trevor - No worries on anything! Even though the discussion thread wasn't too lively, I had a great time with this challenge! I can't believe I waited so long to watch those Hitchcock movies. Notorious alone was worth the whole challenge. I have plenty left for next year, that is for sure.

Fist of Doom
09-24-09, 03:19 PM
I feel like I need to apologize for being a very mediocre Challenge lead...

Bollocks. This challenge has been a good kick in the pants for me to go through a lot of extras I paid good money for. :up: to ya for creating it. (It turned out to be more of a reading challenge than a film-watching challenge for me).


I've also watched a few incredible films for the first time, including Citizen Kane and The Third Man.

The Third Man is one of my favorite films. If you haven't listened to it already, I highly recommend the commentary with Steven Soderbergh and Tony Gilroy. Enjoyable and informative.

Giles
09-24-09, 03:44 PM
Bollocks. This challenge has been a good kick in the pants for me to go through a lot of extras I paid good money for. :up: to ya for creating it. (It turned out to be more of a reading challenge than a film-watching challenge for me).


'The Third Man' is one of my favorite films. If you haven't listened to it already, I highly recommend the commentary with Steven Soderbergh and Tony Gilroy. Enjoyable and informative.

I've been enjoying reading the booklets myself. As for the challenge, been loving the fact that I've been watching my bluray collection... finally - only had to rent one from the video store - 'Pierre Le Fou'

NoirFan
09-24-09, 05:37 PM
If you haven't listened to it already, I highly recommend the commentary with Steven Soderbergh and Tony Gilroy. Enjoyable and informative.

Soderbergh always gives good commentary - casual, yet in-depth. He's also very skilled at getting other directors to open up. Check out his tracks on Point Blank and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

hindolio
09-24-09, 09:16 PM
I feel like I need to apologize for being a very mediocre Challenge lead...

meh, we are all just as guilty, trev. any one of us could have (still could?) step up and do more to spark interest and discussion. like i mentioned, this is a good idea and im sure it will take off in the future :D

Greg MacGuffin
09-24-09, 09:58 PM
No worries, Trevor. This challenge has been a great excuse for me to watch some terrific films, many for the first time. Right now, I've got Mike Leigh's Naked on pause as I type this. Looking forward to doing this again next year.

Ginwen
09-25-09, 12:14 PM
I appreciate you setting this up, even though not too many people took part. Thanks to this I may finally get my unwatched bunch down to 0 by the end of the year, and I've seen a ton of great movies I'd just never gotten around to watching.

Mondo Kane
09-25-09, 01:32 PM
I also want to give props to Trevor for the idea. But I, too, am gonna halt the challenge a few days early (I'm viewing one last batch for tomorrow or sunday, and saving a couple of Criterion-Horrors for the Halloween marathon)

But as was already said, this has been a very good marathon. So many movies that I wanted to check out have finally been scratched off my must-see list. I'm about to start work on a fan-vid compilation of all the movies I watched. We'll see how that goes..

Numes
09-26-09, 01:01 AM
The more and more I watch my Criterion titles, the more I enjoy everything about this challenge. I have *tried* to keep with the intent of this challenge and focus on the movie plus the supplements to every title. I've done very well with all the commentaries, and I have done *ok* with the rest of the supplements, but it's just so tempting to watch another movie when it comes right down to it.

The good news is that I have plenty of titles ready for next year, and I have put a quite a few titles on my wishlist. I need to get the anamorphic version of Brazil and the remastered version of The Seven Samurai. I don't have the Criterion version of Hard Boiled and was VERY disappointed to discover that the version I do have (the Fox Lorber version) was non-anamorphic. I have seen The Killer twice now and was really hoping to make it a double feature with Hard Boiled, but I just can't bring myself to watch any of my non-anamorphic titles.

I did manage to finish all the extras on Rebecca, which was no small feat. I listened to all 3 radio adaptations. I must say that the Orson Wells version (prior to the movie release) was good, the 1941 version with Ronald Colman and Ida Lupino was very good. Judith Anderson reprised her role as Mrs. Danvers in this version. In all actuality, I think in a radio adaptation, Mrs. Danvers is probably the most important character to cast, with the possible exception to "I". Speaking of which, the 1950 version was quite lacking. Laurence Olivier reprised his role as Maxim, but Vivien Leigh was just not as innocent and believable as Joan Fontaine, and whomever played Mrs. Danvers was just not good at all. She was completely wrong for the part and didn't have that eerie/uncomfortable vibe that Judith Anderson so perfectly exemplified in both the movie and the 1941 radio adaptation.

Final thought on Rebecca - Make sure and check out the "How Did You Like the Picture" tallies on the second disc. There was one person on their thoughts about Judith Anderson that made me laugh outloud.

sleepyhead55
09-26-09, 07:15 PM
I just saw The Ruling Class and thought it was a good movie. It was a tad too long and I felt they should have just scrapped the Ripper part or focused on it a bit earlier. I loved how it made jokes at the upper class and yet showed how desperate these people were to retain control and continue their lineages. Suprisingly, I enjoyed most of the musical numbers and thought some of them were rather funny. I really felt sorry for the Doctor at the end because he really did have good intentions.

Peter O Toole's performance was convincing as he had to play two different characters in the film. I also liked the servant as he served as the chorus for most of the film. Recommended.

caligulathegod
09-27-09, 04:11 AM
I didn't get to much, but I did pull out my laserdisc player and watched the Taxi Driver commentary, which I haven't watched in maybe 15 years. It was what actually helped me to appreciate the film in the first place. Back then commentaries weren't on every disc, so when they were there it was worth it. They were very informative rather than chatty like they are now. One thing that amused me was how critics of Quentin Tarantino always mention how all he does is "quote" past movies and genres and then Marty Scorcese spends half the movie, "Oh, I took this from Goddard. This, I took from Val Lewton," etc. Also surprising was how he said he put it together like it was a Horror film, with all the same beats. Of course his idea of Horror was 40s stuff from when he was a kid.

Such a shame they never brought this to DVD. It even has a music only track. The other thing that surprised me was how bad laserdisc looks now. I'm spoiled by Blu-ray, but even in comparison to DVD and digital cable, LD looks pretty bad. It's just that at the time, it was so much better than VHS and also it was on standard def TVs. HDTV brings out the weaknesses of LD, such as the lower color resolution and analog picture. I did take advantage of having the LD player out and watched a few of my other LDs like The Compleat Beatles and most of my Compleat Tex Avery. I didn't get to my Criterion Pink Flamingos or Criterion Polyester like I planned. Oh well.

Mondo Kane
09-29-09, 09:07 PM
I watched a couple more during the weekend before the Halloween challenge starts, but was too lazy to list them. It sure was a great marathon though.

I'm about to start work on a fan-vid compilation of all the movies I watched. We'll see how that goes..

Hope you enjoy!
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Cronenbergfan71
09-30-09, 10:29 PM
I really enjoyed this and look forward to doing it next year. I didn't get to watch nearly as much as I wanted because I had a lot of commitments and didn't have the time. I bought 41 Criterions during the B&N sale and barely touched on those, which was disappointing. Good news is that I will have a lot more time for the horror challenge this coming month.

I would like to say thanks to Trevor for getting this up and running and if it happens again next year I will hopefully have more time to devote to it. I am glad that I got to watch what I did and it gave me a great excuse to get through a good many extras. Anyway, I hope the turnout is a little better next year and I plan to participate again.

CardiffGiant
09-30-09, 11:15 PM
I liked this challenge even more than the Academy Awards Challenge, which is the only other challenge I participate in. I usually watch a lot of Criterions, but it was nice to explore beyond my "normal" focus of films and also look at some of the additional materials that I have overlooked from time to time. I actually wish it wasn't ending, I'd really just like to keep a running journal of all the Criterions that I watch.

I suppose I could do that, but people here push me to watch more.

Also, I will echo the thanks to Trevor. I enjoyed working on the checklist...mainly to diversify time periods.

Numes
10-05-09, 06:42 PM
I meant to chime in earlier on this and also throw in a big thanks to Trevor for starting this challenge. I wasn't sure how this would go for me, but it went quite well and I had a blast watching the movies I did. I especially was happy to watch 4 Hitchcock movies that I had never seen before (it would have been 5, but my Spellbound DVD doesn't work.) The good news is that I still have plenty of titles left for next year and have a few on my wishlist anyways.

hindolio
10-06-09, 01:14 AM
yep thanks trev and everyone else involved!

i had a paltry list, so am looking forward to doubling it next year lol :D

Trevor
10-07-09, 01:05 PM
Hope you enjoy!
Wow. Awesome work there Mondo! I wish I had the patience and industriousness to do stuff like that.
I actually wish it wasn't ending, I'd really just like to keep a running journal of all the Criterions that I watch.
There's always the monthly unwatched film threads, or the other Challenges.
I suppose I could do that, but people here push me to watch more.
I agree. Making our hobby a sort of group exercise makes it more enjoyable.
I enjoyed working on the checklist...mainly to diversify time periods.
I keep telling myself to stop doing checklists, as my OCD really takes control, but I can't stop. Now I'm wrapped up in the much larger Horror Challenge checklist.

You're welcome to everyone for the thanks for my very minimal effort in getting the Criterion Challenge started. Thanks you all for participating, I really enjoyed all the discussion and your lists. See you next year, and feel free to volunteer to run this thing.

Don't forget about all the other Challenges. Feel free to join them just to watch a few Criterions of that particular genre.

NoirFan
10-07-09, 05:12 PM
I was able to get through a large chunk of my Criterion backlog, as well as quite a few extras. I'd definitely take part next year.