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Will WB's Blu-ray decision impact Criterion?

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Will WB's Blu-ray decision impact Criterion?

Old 01-21-08, 09:17 PM
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Will WB's Blu-ray decision impact Criterion?

I have to say, as an owner of almost every single Criterion DVD, I am slightly disturbed to see that Blu-ray is/has won and now Criterion might drop DVD altogether for Blu-ray. I know they mentioned in the past that all of their recent releases were converted to HD.

Yes, I'm not a blu-ray enthusiast. I don't see the point really and am not looking forward to having my 3,000 plus DVD collection go defunct overnight. Plus, I hate Blu-ray packaging, it really makes me feel uneasy.

Has anyone heard anything about what might happen regarding Criterion?
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Old 01-21-08, 09:28 PM
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Why would they drop DVD completely for Blu-Ray? You're talking years before that would be financially feasible. Stop panicking.
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Old 01-21-08, 09:34 PM
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One can only hope . I am far from an insider (in fact, I'm as far away to having inside info, it's not funny), but from reading snippets on Criterion's position, I think they'll wait it out a bit more before they jump into the fray.
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Old 01-21-08, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Kerborus
not looking forward to having my 3,000 plus DVD collection go defunct overnight.
I'm curious as to how that happens. Do they self destruct? Set up a video camera and youtube that shit. You'd have a hit video on your hands.
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Old 01-21-08, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Kerborus
I have to say, as an owner of almost every single Criterion DVD, I am slightly disturbed to see that Blu-ray is/has won and now Criterion might drop DVD altogether for Blu-ray.
Have any of the other studios that support Blu-ray (or HD DVD for that matter) stopped making DVDs? No, they haven't.

I know they mentioned in the past that all of their recent releases were converted to HD.
HD transfers have been standard for a few years now, by all the major studios. Those HD transfers are then downconverted for DVD.

Yes, I'm not a blu-ray enthusiast. I don't see the point really
The point is better picture quality, just as it was when DVD came along in the VHS era. Have you watched a movie, and movie, on a good HDTV?

and am not looking forward to having my 3,000 plus DVD collection go defunct overnight.
Funny, all of my DVDs are still working, and reside happily with a few HD DVDs and Blu-ray discs slipped in among them. They all seem to get along.

Plus, I hate Blu-ray packaging, it really makes me feel uneasy.
You mean the packaging that is almost exactly like keepcases, except slightly smaller and a different color? Case racist. Casist.

And uneasy how? Like you worry they're going to attack you in your sleep?

Last edited by Mr. Salty; 01-21-08 at 11:36 PM.
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Old 01-21-08, 11:26 PM
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I like Blu-ray cases...

Also, I don't think Criterion will adopt HD for years. I think they correctly assume at this stage in the game, that no one is ready to pay $59.95 for a single Blu-ray disc (even one that bears the Criterion name).
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Old 01-22-08, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Dane Marvin
Also, I don't think Criterion will adopt HD for years. I think they correctly assume at this stage in the game, that no one is ready to pay $59.95 for a single Blu-ray disc (even one that bears the Criterion name).
That is a very good point I didn't even think about. I rarely purchase Criterion's to begin with because of the $39.99 price-tag, but there is no way I'd put down $40+ for any single movie...
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Old 01-22-08, 12:20 AM
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I had heard that the way Criterion wrangled Bottle Rocket rights (and probably other Sony titles not yet announced) was to commit to Blu-Ray whenever they release a hi-def DVD. So it's possible Criterion is already Blu, but there's just nothing to show for it (and no real sign that there will be anything to show for it for who knows how long). I mean, certainly Criterion did SOMETHING, because they've been trying to get BR rights for who knows how long, and there were stories in the old BR thread about how notoriously stingy Sony is with their film rights.

Perhaps Bottle Rocket will be their first dual-format release.
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Old 01-22-08, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kerborus
Yes, I'm not a blu-ray enthusiast. I don't see the point really and am not looking forward to having my 3,000 plus DVD collection go defunct overnight.
I find it funny that someone who prides themselves on owning almost every Criterion, a company whose very existence is predicated upon releasing films of artistic merit in the highest quality possible, would not see the point in high definition media.
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Old 01-22-08, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Kerborus
I have to say, as an owner of almost every single Criterion DVD, I am slightly disturbed to see that Blu-ray is/has won and now Criterion might drop DVD altogether for Blu-ray. I know they mentioned in the past that all of their recent releases were converted to HD.

Yes, I'm not a blu-ray enthusiast. I don't see the point really and am not looking forward to having my 3,000 plus DVD collection go defunct overnight. Plus, I hate Blu-ray packaging, it really makes me feel uneasy.

Has anyone heard anything about what might happen regarding Criterion?
Just think, you are in the same position people with huge Criterion Laserdisc collections were in at one point. I'm pretty sure all those LDs still work.

It is only a matter of time till they start releasing on HD, but that doesn't mean they will completely stop releasing DVDs or that you have to upgrade all of your Criterions to HD. It is all up to you.
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Old 01-22-08, 07:56 AM
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I have been thinking on this, and yes, I do think WB's move will affect Criterion. I am hoping we start seeing Criterion on Blu by the end of the year.

I pretty much stopped buying their SD releases last year in anticipation, since they're all already mastered in HD.
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Old 01-22-08, 09:54 AM
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a Sound & Vision article on Criterion mentioned that they have done HiDef tests with a title and it was on Blu-ray
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Old 01-22-08, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Salty
You mean the packaging that is almost exactly like keepcases, except slightly smaller and a different color? Case racist. Casist.


I might be totally off the mark here, but I don't think Criterion would make much money from Blu-ray. The HD market is growing, but Criterion is a niche market to begin with, and I just don't see them making enough money off the HD format. Most A/V junkies like big explosions, car chases, gun fights, and loud music. I don't think soft music, deep character study, and brilliant performances are going to benefit from HD much. If you thought those Criterion DVDs were pricy now, wait until (if ever) they start releasing their films on Blu-ray.
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Old 01-22-08, 09:56 AM
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Does anyone remember what they did when they switched from LD to DVD? Was there an overlap of products or was it a hard switchover?
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Old 01-22-08, 10:00 AM
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If Wikipedia is correct, Criterion's last Laserdisc was Boogie Nights in 1998, and their first DVD was Grand Illusion in 1999. They were slower than most to embrace DVD.
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Old 01-22-08, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
If Wikipedia is correct, Criterion's last Laserdisc was Boogie Nights in 1998, and their first DVD was Grand Illusion in 1999. They were slower than most to embrace DVD.
Pretty sure that's not correct. Grand Illusion got the #1 spot but it came out a very long time after the first one. I think it was either The Lady Vanishes or Seven Samurai that was actually the first released.

As for the question at hand, I don't see Criterion going blu for a very long time.
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Old 01-22-08, 10:22 AM
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IIRC, Criterion had several DVD titles available when I got my first DVD player in December 98 (which was basically the second holiday season that DVD was available -- more or less equivalent in time frame to the availabilty of current HDM players and disks, but I may not be taking into account how DVD was launched vs HDM.)
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Old 01-22-08, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
If Wikipedia is correct, Criterion's last Laserdisc was Boogie Nights in 1998, and their first DVD was Grand Illusion in 1999. They were slower than most to embrace DVD.
According to my (I believe impeccable) records I purchased my first Criterion DVD of Hard-Boiled on 6/11/1998, so there were probably a few more released before/around that time (probably The Killer as well).
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Old 01-22-08, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Kerborus
Yes, I'm not a blu-ray enthusiast. I don't see the point really and am not looking forward to having my 3,000 plus DVD collection go defunct overnight. Plus, I hate Blu-ray packaging, it really makes me feel uneasy.
If you can afford a collection that large, I don't see what the problem would be in affording a blu-ray player. Then, not only will you be covered if Criterion switches over, but it'll also play your regular old dvds just fine - and even up-convert them to boot. I don't see what the problem is.

As for packaging, I'm sure Criterion will come up with something far more creative than the current blu-ray cases.
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Old 01-22-08, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dane Marvin
....I think they correctly assume at this stage in the game, that no one is ready to pay $59.95 for a single Blu-ray disc (even one that bears the Criterion name).
They assume correctly.
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Old 01-22-08, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by BuckNaked2k
They assume correctly.
I guess it would depend on the disc. Two Lane Blacktop? Yeah, I probably would blind buy it at that price...I mean, it stars Warren Oates...
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Old 01-22-08, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by slop101
As for packaging, I'm sure Criterion will come up with something far more creative than the current blu-ray cases.
I like the uniformity of most BD cases at this point and hope that doesn't go away. But still, you can't argue with having something cool like the Close Encounters of the Third Kind package in your collection either.
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Old 01-22-08, 01:12 PM
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People that are already paying higher prices for Criterion DVDs wouldn't pay more for Criterion BDs?

Not the first time I've questioned the Criterion fan thought process, but IMO this makes even less sense than usual. If the movie is that worthy, and Criterions treatment is also supposedly so worthy, why not pay extra for a true HD release?
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Old 01-22-08, 01:29 PM
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Criterion LD prices were $40-100 as I recall - and they were slow to adopt anamorphic video as well as DVD. Their approach to new technology has been rather conservative.
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Old 01-22-08, 01:37 PM
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Actually the CAV LD sets went up to $125. I have a few of those like Pulp Fiction, Seven, Bram Stoker's Dracula, etc. It's amazing what we consider expensive today.
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