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The last emperor(Bertolucci) coming from Image/Criterion!!

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The last emperor(Bertolucci) coming from Image/Criterion!!

Old 04-11-07, 03:57 PM
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The last emperor(Bertolucci) coming from Image/Criterion!!

Image gains rights to Last Emperor, others
Movies to be released on DVD as well as in special edition by Criterion
By Susanne Ault 4/11/2007


APRIL 11 | Image Entertainment, which recently agreed to be purchased by investment group BTP Acquisition Co., has picked up North American home entertainment rights to Oscar winner The Last Emperor, among other films from Recorded Picture Company.

Recorded enlisted U.K.-based sales company Dreamachine to manage this licensing agreement with Image.

The movies, also including Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Hit and Insignificance, will each be released on DVD as movie-only editions by Image and as special editions by Criterion Collection. Image distributes Criterion product.

Street dates and pricing have not yet been set for the forthcoming DVDs.

Criterion and Dreamachine will create high-definition masters for the special edition releases.


There also are plans to release the films through broadcast and digital distribution later this year.

Of the batch, The Last Emperor is the most heralded. The 1987 film about China’s last emperor won nine Oscars, including trophies for best film, cinematography and director for Bernardo Bertolucci.

Merry Christmas stars David Bowie and chronicles four prisoners in a Japanese war camp during World War II. Hit stars Terrence Stamp as a former gangster, and Insignificance is a fictional story about Marilyn Monroe and other legendary figures.
“We are thrilled with this acquisition and look forward to developing and expanding this relationship,” said David Borshell, Image chief operating officer. “These films certainly enhance our library and heighten the profile of films Image will acquire and distribute in the future.”
Old 04-11-07, 04:03 PM
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Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and The Last Emperor to be released by Criterion!!!



For me at least, this is the best dvd release news this year! The Last Emperor desperately needs to be remastered and Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence speaks for itself. Awesome news!
Old 04-11-07, 04:13 PM
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I wonder if the DVD will feature both the director's cut and theatrical version of LAST EMPEROR or just one or the other.
Old 04-11-07, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Perkinsun Dzees
I wonder if the DVD will feature both the director's cut and theatrical version of LAST EMPEROR or just one or the other.
Hopefully both, although anything would be better than the current release.
Old 04-11-07, 05:49 PM
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Link for the press release:

http://www.image-entertainment.com/a...tors/index.cfm
Old 04-11-07, 06:38 PM
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Thank god, The Last Emperor is sorely in need of an updated version. I'd love to see both the theatrical and longer cut available.
Old 04-11-07, 07:17 PM
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Whaaaaa???

Fantastic news!
Old 04-11-07, 07:29 PM
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The movies, also including Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Hit and Insignificance, will each be released on DVD as movie-only editions by Image and as special editions by Criterion Collection. Image distributes Criterion product.
Good news .... BUT.... why CRITERION ????

Why must these titles endure having HIGH CRITERION PRICES - when all other major companies are able to release remastered titles at reasonable prices ??

Whilst I've waited to see a definitive version of THE LAST EMPEROR (with 5.1 sound and remastered anamorphic picture) - I am not pleased to see that any special edition will be released under the Criterion banner. If there were to be inclusions of the original and directors cut - and added documentaries - I can only envisage that this will probably be a 3 disc set - therefore about a $50-60 price tag.

** Hope I am wrong on the pricing for this title - but Criterion prices need to fall !!!
Old 04-11-07, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by tonyjg
Good news .... BUT.... why CRITERION ????

Why must these titles endure having HIGH CRITERION PRICES - when all other major companies are able to release remastered titles at reasonable prices ??

Whilst I've waited to see a definitive version of THE LAST EMPEROR (with 5.1 sound and remastered anamorphic picture) - I am not pleased to see that any special edition will be released under the Criterion banner. If there were to be inclusions of the original and directors cut - and added documentaries - I can only envisage that this will probably be a 3 disc set - therefore about a $50-60 price tag.

** Hope I am wrong on the pricing for this title - but Criterion prices need to fall !!!
I'm in basic agreement with your point. But the release did indicate that Image would be releasing movie-only editions, presumably at a much more reasonable price than the inevitable multi-disk Criterion.

As far it goes however, I may be tempted to pick up the Criterion if it includes an extended cut of TLE (and assuming the Image version does not). The other title that interests me here, INSIGNIFICANCE, I can certainly settle for in a non-Criterionized version. So all in all, I think this is probably good news, even for us "cheapskates."
Old 04-11-07, 09:49 PM
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I'm positively thrilled at the prospects of a quality release for The Hit!
Old 04-11-07, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by tonyjg
Good news .... BUT.... why CRITERION ????

Why must these titles endure having HIGH CRITERION PRICES - when all other major companies are able to release remastered titles at reasonable prices ??

Whilst I've waited to see a definitive version of THE LAST EMPEROR (with 5.1 sound and remastered anamorphic picture) - I am not pleased to see that any special edition will be released under the Criterion banner. If there were to be inclusions of the original and directors cut - and added documentaries - I can only envisage that this will probably be a 3 disc set - therefore about a $50-60 price tag.

** Hope I am wrong on the pricing for this title - but Criterion prices need to fall !!!
I totally agree. I love Criterion's releases and have a lot of them. But I would be much happier with another company releasing it just because it would be so much cheaper (I don't really care that much about extras). Criterion really needs to get with the program and lower the prices on some of their releases, at least some of the older ones. It seems like they are the only company in the world that hasn't changed their prices on any title in 10 years.
Old 04-11-07, 10:29 PM
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Great news - I've been waiting for a (I'm assuming) definitive version of "The Last Emperor" for quite some time. I can't wait to see what Criterion can do with the title.
Old 04-11-07, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Jackson_Browne
I totally agree. I love Criterion's releases and have a lot of them. But I would be much happier with another company releasing it just because it would be so much cheaper (I don't really care that much about extras). Criterion really needs to get with the program and lower the prices on some of their releases, at least some of the older ones. It seems like they are the only company in the world that hasn't changed their prices on any title in 10 years.
Since you don't care about extras, then you can purchase a barebones version from image. it' mentions this in the article I quoted in the very first post.
Old 04-11-07, 10:52 PM
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If you are paying list price for a DVD, than you have bigger problems on your hand. Higher tier Criterions are $25 and lower tier $19 online and that's not unreasonable at all, and is perfectly in step with or even cheaper than other art house DVD releases. There should be a moratorium enacted against ever bitching about the list price of Criterions when you know perfectly well no one pays list price for a DVD.
Old 04-11-07, 10:58 PM
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Yeah, 'get with it' Criterion and quit doing such great DVD's! :P
Old 04-11-07, 11:14 PM
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I don't think I ever paid list price for a Criterion, though IMO, many are definitely worth even that price.

This is some of the best news I've heard yet this year, after waiting patiently for what seemed like a decade. Good to see that this great film is getting proper R1 respect; I will definitely shell out the cash for the Criterion package.
Old 04-11-07, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by domino harvey
If you are paying list price for a DVD, than you have bigger problems on your hand. Higher tier Criterions are $25 and lower tier $19 online and that's not unreasonable at all, and is perfectly in step with or even cheaper than other art house DVD releases. There should be a moratorium enacted against ever bitching about the list price of Criterions when you know perfectly well no one pays list price for a DVD.

I feel the same way. I have never understood the bitching about Criterion's ostensibly high prices. I sometimes wonder if there are roving gangs of FYE/Suncoast employees across the country that round up unsuspecting customers kicking and screaming and force them to buy Criterion titles at full MSRP.

Last edited by starecase; 04-11-07 at 11:49 PM.
Old 04-12-07, 12:10 AM
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Well, I could really give a rat's about the cost. I too have been waiting for the Last Emperor and am extremely excited that Criterion has the reigns. Sure, it'll cost a little more but if their previous releases are any indication, this one will be a steal at any price.
Old 04-12-07, 02:12 AM
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Originally Posted by starecase
I feel the same way. I have never understood the bitching about Criterion's ostensibly high prices. I sometimes wonder if there are roving gangs of FYE/Suncoast employees across the country that round up unsuspecting customers kicking and screaming and force them to buy Criterion titles at full MSRP.
The fact is that almost the only place you will normally find Criterions at lower than list price is online. Not everyone is comfortable buying from e-tailers, and not everyone wants to wait for their DVD's to ship via the USPS rather than just going into a B&M and picking them up. So there's a little more to the story than just overpriced mall stores.

I too love Criterions, and have nearly 100 of them in my DVD collection. But because of their higher price point, many of the Criterions I have (or still want) end up at the bottom of my wish list until I am a bit more flush with funds. I would venture to say that is the case for a lot of DVD collectors.

And there are several DVD labels out there these days that are putting out as good editions of their titles as Criterion does, and at a sight less than the retail price Criterion typically asks.

Not bagging on Criterion here, just saying that the criticisms of Criterion's prices are by no means unfounded.
Old 04-12-07, 05:18 AM
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If you are uncomfortable buying from respected online merchants at this point, it's your own business. If you are unwilling to wait for the shipment to come in, it's your own business. The fact is that most DVD collectors have abandoned overpriced B&M merchants in favor of online deals.
Old 04-12-07, 05:31 AM
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Originally Posted by domino harvey
Higher tier Criterions are $25 and lower tier $19 online and that's not unreasonable at all,
Can you please provide some Criterion titles at these price ranges ???


2 disc Criterions - such as KAGEMUSHA are RRP at $39 (DDD has this for $31) - 3 discs - such as THE LEOPARD are RRP at $49 (DDD has this for $39)

One would expect THE LAST EMPEROR to be either a 2 or 3 disc set.

I'm not necessarily 'bitching' about Criterion prices - hey - will a collection here of 1200 discs - and about 12 Criterions - I've spent a fair bit. My small gripe is that if other companies - even like Anchor Bay - are able to come up with the special editions at REASONABLE PRICES then I would hope that with these upcoming titles that IMAGE and CRITERION can see fit to get these titles released at more reasonable prices.
Old 04-12-07, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by tonyjg
Can you please provide some Criterion titles at these price ranges ???
Kagemusha for $25.97 http://www.dvdplanet.com/details.cfm?info=HVD001775
The Hidden Fortress for $19.47 http://www.dvdplanet.com/details.cfm?info=HID040DVD

Those are just two examples. All of the other $39.99/$29.99 MSRP titles should be priced at the same level at DVDPlanet.

Last edited by Detective Thorn; 04-12-07 at 06:47 AM.
Old 04-12-07, 08:01 AM
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This is the BEST NEWS I have heard ALL YEAR!!

BTW - DVD Empire sells all Criterions at 35% off all the time.
Old 04-12-07, 08:51 AM
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It's about damn time for a re-release of The Last Emperor.

And a Criterion release too, I'm already foaming at the mouth for this.
Old 04-12-07, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by tonyjg
Hope I am wrong on the pricing for this title - but Criterion prices need to fall !!!
If Criterion didn't charge so much for movies that they don't own and, thus, have to license, and share profits for, they wouldn't be able to afford to release movies like 'The Last Emperor'. They wouldn't be able to afford to track down the best possible elements (I really don't know of any other company which has put releases on hold for months when better elements were found and gone to the trouble of integrating them), restore the films fully *and* accurately (how many times have we read about companies deciding to vastly change the color scheme of old movies, or even just doing so out of ignorance of the correct look), commission newly corrected subtitles which actually make sense. And if you think that any other studio would address various faulty discs as quickly as Criterion does for movies as niche as Criterion releases are, you're fooling yourself.

The fact is that almost the only place you will normally find Criterions at lower than list price is online.
While that is largely true, most B&M stores don't carry Criterion discs anyway. Oh, they'll have 'Chasing Amy' and 'The Royal Tenenbaums', but they won't have 'Tunes of Glory' or 'Playtime'. The only B&M stores that have significant Criterion selections are places like Virgin or (RIP) Tower, both of which charge full list price for *everything*, not just Criterion discs.

And the reason that B&Ms charge full price on the Criterion discs they do get is that the titles are usually not destined to be huge sellers. Thus the B&M orders less copies of the discs. Thus they can't get a bulk discount. (Nor would niche-market movies be a good loss leader.) DVD Planet does order lots of copies and, thus, can afford to charge a lower price. I would've thought this was basic economics, but I guess people love to bitch.

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