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Criterion releases on Blu-Rays

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Criterion releases on Blu-Rays

Old 11-26-08, 08:52 AM
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Unless the packaging is likely to damage the discs, its not likely to prevent me from picking up a great film with a high quality technical presentation.

On the other hand, I do take issue with paying a premium for packaging alone (i.e. digibooks, steelbooks, etc.)
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Old 11-26-08, 09:08 AM
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Amazon.com cover art shows the little blue sticker, at least I hope that is a sticker.
http://www.amazon.com/Bottle-Rocket-...7707992&sr=1-1
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Old 11-28-08, 08:17 PM
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The Digital Bits review of Chungking Express.
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Old 11-28-08, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
The Digital Bits review of Chungking Express.
B- for Extras? He sucks.

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Old 11-28-08, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
B- for Extras? He sucks.

I'm looking forward to hearing Tony Rayns' commentary - I greatly enjoyed his contributions to the MoC Mizoguchi double features.
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Old 11-29-08, 01:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
Oh, I agree that those who bought Criterion DVDs in the past should want to upgrade them to BD. I was referring to an assertion that people who never bought them before would now be interested. That's what I doubt, but again, there are cases where it could happen: those who missed out on collecting because they were too young, or those who weren't exposed to world films at the time. People tend to assume that the BD buying sector is entirely made up of DVD veterans, when some of them may be those who are just at the point where they can collect movies for the first time. That's where I was when DVD hit, and why I didn't have a large VHS/DVD collection.
I don't know what people you are referring to but the majority of the posts that I've seen on this and other forums point to the fact that Blu-ray is overwhelmingly a PS3 format. I completely disagree with such an observation, due to the fact that it seems to suggest that PS3 users represent a specific age-group, hence the reason why I explained earlier why I think Criterion did not start a new numbering with Blu-ray. Simply put, with a few very minor exceptions, the Criterion catalog offers films that aren't affected by time, DVD collecting is. This means that there is, and will be, an entirely new generation of film buffs that will eventually look for them on BD. Reading your post, it seems to me you believe that Criterion's Blu-ray output won't appeal to brand new collectors. I disagree - as I mentioned before, there is a large group of people who have never owned a Criterion DVD that are apparently planning to test their BDs.

This being said, I think that the market is already in a transition mode (Which by the way is the reason why Mr. Kornbleau was talking about capturing the 15% of customers that drive DVD sales) as I see that many people simply won't buy DVDs anymore. And of course I believe that the richer the BD offerings become the larger the group of people I mentioned above will be. It is pretty much the same scenario we witnessed with VHS-DVD. Time is the only issue that separates the two.


Originally Posted by Drexl View Post
On the other hand, I have read some comments about certain kinds of movies "not needing to be in HD," such as dialogue-driven films. That could hurt Criterion a little, as some people flock to the action and sci-fi titles over human dramas or arthouse titles. I disagree with this notion, and I think that all films can benefit from HD, but I wonder if it won't be a determining factor.
It won't be a determining factor. These types of comments typically come from the same people who believe that Blu-ray thrives on PS3 owners without any interest in serious cinema. The larger the market growth the more obvious it will become that BR follows exactly the same progression patterns we witnessed with SDVD. Variety and color will arrive as the market expands, not before.

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Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 11-29-08 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 11-29-08, 02:27 AM
  #507  
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I did mention brand-new collectors, and that those are the ones I think could buy the Criterion titles out of those who haven't bought Criterions in the past. I was just wondering about those who have been buying DVDs but not Criterion titles, why they would start buying Criterion BD titles when they weren't interested enough to buy them on DVD.
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Old 11-29-08, 04:15 AM
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I see.

Probably for the same reason people who would have never bought Baraka (or Planet Earth) on DVD went out and purchased the BD - terrifically looking presentations allowing for a completely new viewing experience.

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Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 11-29-08 at 04:19 AM.
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Old 11-29-08, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post

Probably for the same reason people who would have never bought Baraka (or Planet Earth) on DVD went out and purchased the BD - terrifically looking presentations allowing for a completely new viewing experience.

Pro-B
guilty of both
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Old 11-29-08, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist View Post
I see.

Probably for the same reason people who would have never bought Baraka (or Planet Earth) on DVD went out and purchased the BD - terrifically looking presentations allowing for a completely new viewing experience.
Baraka and Planet Earth are films that soley rely on visuals. That's why they exist and they are showcases on Blu-Ray... people purchased them for that reason. Very few people who have no interest in foreign-language films are going to buy Criterion Blu-Ray's just because the films have a really nice HD transfer.
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Old 11-30-08, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Coral View Post
Baraka and Planet Earth are films that soley rely on visuals. That's why they exist and they are showcases on Blu-Ray... people purchased them for that reason. Very few people who have no interest in foreign-language films are going to buy Criterion Blu-Ray's just because the films have a really nice HD transfer.
Perhaps you are right. Both films do indeed rely on visuals. But so do a majority of Criterion titles (there are some experimental films in the collection). On the flip side, I refuse to buy (with a few extreme exceptions) anything on DVD by Antonioni, my second favorite director after Zulawski, unless it is in stellar condition. With other words, I won't buy Il Grido* no matter what. I guess what I am trying to tell you is that visuals is a very flexible term.

**Thankfully, MOC are bringing it to the UK in a deserving release.

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Old 11-30-08, 04:12 AM
  #512  
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Criterion releases first wave of Blu-ray titles
Packaging will not be traditional blue-colored boxes


By Laurence Lerman -- Video Business, 11/26/2008

NOV. 26 | The first wave of Blu-ray Disc titles from the prestigious Criterion Collection will finally be issued on Dec. 19, following delays from their original release dates set in October and November. As far as Criterion’s technical director Lee Kline is concerned, the wait will be well worth it.

“If our Blu-ray discs are going to come out, then they’d better look right,” Kline told VB. “We had to make sure that the compression was right, that the audio encoding was up to par. And we had to make sure that the discs played on all players, particularly the older generation models, as well as PlayStation” 3.

Kline, who has been Criterion’s technical director for the past 13 years, is naturally excited about the high-end label’s entry into the high-definition market. He also is quick to point out that Criterion has been in the high-def business for the past decade with its library of standard-definition releases, approximately 90% of which are remastered in high-def and then down-converted for a standard-def release, giving them “a more film-like look.”

“We pulled the high-def masters that we’ve done [for the films in the first wave of Blu-ray releases] and looked them over—and we haven’t had to go back to change anything,” Kline said. “All the technology we’ve taken to make these high-def masters are still fine.”

Titles included in this first wave include Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket, Wong Kar-Wai’s Chungking Express, Nicolas Roeg’s The Man Who Fell to Earth, Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor and, most intriguingly, Carol Reed’s The Third Man, a 1949 film noir classic known for its Oscar-winning black-and-white cinematography by Robert Krasker. Kline said that he and his team are “really surprised” at the perception of black-and-white films such as The Third Man on DVD.

“Grain in black-and-white films is something that we think [DVD producers] have been trying to cover up, but we feel that grain is part of the original film, and we want to reproduce the film as it originally looked,” he said. “Now, we can calm it down a bit, but people who are expecting there to be no grain shouldn’t buy our DVDs—they should buy films that have been made over the past five years.”

In a notable packaging decision, Criterion’s Blu-ray discs will not be housed in the traditional blue-colored Blu-ray boxes that the major studios have adopted. Nor will they carry the Blu-ray Disc logo. Rather, the Criterion titles will carry a small credit on the back of the box indicating that the title is in the Blu-ray format, and there will be a blue sticker on the shrink wrap indicating the same. All the titles will be priced at approximately the same price point as their standard-def counterparts and include most of the same supplemental materials.

Criterion distributor Image Entertainment will make a noticeable initial push for the new Blu-ray titles in December and January. The releases will be highlighted on Amazon.com, and an AEC distributor “boutique” program will feature them on such retail Web sites as SamGoody.com, Blockbuster.com, Suncoast.com and CircuitCity.com, among others. Additionally, early January will see a Criterion Blu-ray sale at BestBuy.com.

According to Image, a group of bricks-and-mortar stores known for strong Criterion collections, such as Seattle’s Scarecrow Video, will support the product by doing special promotions and window displays devoted to the new line.
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Old 11-30-08, 11:37 AM
  #513  
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“Grain in black-and-white films is something that we think [DVD producers] have been trying to cover up, but we feel that grain is part of the original film, and we want to reproduce the film as it originally looked,” he said. “Now, we can calm it down a bit, but people who are expecting there to be no grain shouldn’t buy our DVDs—they should buy films that have been made over the past five years.”
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Old 11-30-08, 01:19 PM
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I hope that promised BestBuy is actually decent.
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Old 11-30-08, 01:52 PM
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It's Best Buy, so it won't be, but any visibility for Criterion Blu Rays should be good.
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Old 11-30-08, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt View Post
I hope that promised BestBuy is actually decent.
I doubt any Criterion sale can compete with DVD Planet in May and November.
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Old 11-30-08, 04:35 PM
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Yea, I'm not touching any Criterion title at MSRP. They will all be purchased during the bigger sales.
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Old 12-01-08, 10:49 AM
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some of the early reviews of 'Bottle Rocket' state the skin colours tend to be a tad too pink... interesting when the Sound & Vision article on Criterion and there first bluray titles, noted that one of the discussions by the two telecines was that same issue.
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Old 12-01-08, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by NoirFan View Post
I doubt any Criterion sale can compete with DVD Planet in May and November.
Indeed. That's where the majority of my collection came from. However, I will own The Third Man on Blu-Ray the day it is released, regardless of price. I might be able to hold off on the others.
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Old 12-01-08, 08:13 PM
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DVD Beaver review of Chungking Express.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:09 PM
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packaging pix and commentary from a forum member (neo_reloaded) at bluray.com




It is high quality card stock - it feels pretty solid, and is smooth and glossy.

The only thing that looks cheap about it is the fact that only one side of the cardboard digipack has the plastic inlay. Normally digipacks either have plastic on both sides, or there is a third wrap-around flap that keeps the whole package together. This creates a slight problem when trying to put the digipack back into the slipcover since the two sides don't stay lined up easily. One easy solution would be to issue these with a cardboard sleeve instead of a slipcover (i.e. like the Close Encounters set, where the digipack slides into the sleeve from the side, instead of from the top or bottom like a slipcover). This would also help keep dust out of the package since right now the whole top is exposed.

But that's a relatively minor quibble. These sets certainly look attractive, both by themselves and on my rack with the other BDs, and they feel very sturdy.
can't wait for my copy of the 75 year plan
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Old 12-01-08, 11:17 PM
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Yep - just Bottle Rocket for me.
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Old 12-01-08, 11:41 PM
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Love the packaging
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Old 12-02-08, 12:32 AM
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Now that I think of it, the packaging doesn't bother me as much as the goofy spine numbers. They should have started over at 1 or just got rid of them already.
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Old 12-02-08, 05:54 PM
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DVD Beaver review of The Third Man. Now this is what I've been waiting for!
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