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Why Are Criterions STILL Overpriced?


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#21 of 71 OFFLINE   Josh Steinberg

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Posted March 12 2009 - 08:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McCart
$30 for Spartacus - even in SD - isn't a travesty. Criterion is a relatively small business and need all they can get to stay in the market.

+1

My Criterion edition of "Spartacus" is one of my very favorite DVDs. It's not my favorite movie or anything, but between the top-notch presentation (better than Universal's earlier DVD), the outstanding commentary track, and the additional commentary track featuring Dalton Trumbo's notes on a pre-release version of the film, it's probably the best special edition any Kubrick film has received. I hope their version makes it to Blu-ray eventually.

#22 of 71 OFFLINE   Kevin L McCorry

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Posted March 12 2009 - 08:47 AM

For the price being asked, these discs should be most impervious to rot but on the contrary seem more susceptible.

#23 of 71 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted March 12 2009 - 08:51 AM

I have to laugh when people say the higher prices are because they release rare films. Blah. Bergman, Kurosawa, Bunuel and those types have fans across this world and the majority of film buffs will also buy. Try being Kino, Flicker Alley, Blue Underground, Synapse, Severin or any of those guys. They release niche titles from the likes of Franco, D'Amato and various other names that even die-hard film buffs don't know and these companies don't have to charge $40+.

To me the extra money goes for the Criterion name. From day one they made their name stand for something and that's where the extra money is going. From the start they let people know the prices would be that high and they've stuck to their guns.

#24 of 71 OFFLINE   MichaelEl

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Posted March 12 2009 - 10:09 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by zackscott5
The titles that you have mentioned above (TIme Bandits, The Samuri Trilogy,etc) are title that were in Criterions first 100 releases back in the late 90's. These titles WERE remastered and restored with the finest technology available at that time. DOes it look like the picture of CItizen Kane? No! because the technology was not there as of yet. To say that these films did not receive any restoration is pure bull honkey!

It's a bit disingenuous to say the technology wasn't there, given the restoration work done on early releases like THE SEVENTH SEAL and THE THIRD MAN. It's clear that Criterion gives some films more attention than others, and as I said before, many titles don't appear to have had much - if any - restoration work done. KWAIDAN, for example, is incomplete, and has a lot of print damage showing, including one segment where a line runs down the middle of the screen for several minutes. There is an R2 release of this film which is apparently much better.

While it's true that newer releases generally have better image quality, some titles are still cropped at the sides - e.g., SANJURO - and show the same specks and other flaws that you see on standard studio releases. It's therefore simply not honest to act as if every Criterion title received a complete restoration.

Quote:
Also, the WIndow Boxed images were used given the fact that most households didn't have a widescreeen television or a televsion that produced little to no overscan. So to combat this, Criterion window boxed certain widescreen films so that you at home will be able to see the entire image.

Criterion only started pictureboxing Academy Ratio films in the last few years, and it was kind of ridiculous for them to start the practice when they did, given that tube TVs were rapidly disappearing from the marketplace. Actually, the only reason I can see for doing it was to give people a reason to triple dip on a BD. No doubt the Blu-Ray of M or THE VIRGIN SPRING won't be pictureboxed.

Quote:
Criterion does know this and has been re doing some titles with the current state of the art technology including High def masters, anamorphic widescreen (they did not do that until it think title 65) etc. Brazil is a great example for that. And with some prints, the picture that you see is from the best elements available.

A lot of titles also weren't transferred from the best available elements, and yet they are still being priced as if they were.

#25 of 71 OFFLINE   zackscott5

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Posted March 12 2009 - 01:02 PM

THe first edition of THe Third Man was Released on DVD 3-23-2001 and then remastered in Hi-Def and re-released on 5-22-2007. THe Seventh Seal was released on DVD on January 29, 1999 and has since not been given a high def remastering. These remasters both still have specs and scrapes on their original pressings. The master work of Lowry Digital (the restoration company that supervises the restoration of CErtain classic films) Didn't debut until the release of Citizen Kane in 9-25-2001. This created a new high water mark for film restoration and gave Criterion on their restoration process a run for their money.

Kwaidan was released on october 10, 2000. Now was there an avaliable print of the longer version avaliable then that wasn't deteriorated? I don't know. HOwever I do know that Criterion released the longer version at 162 minutes compared to the original US Release of 125 minutes. So maybe (and I am assuming here) that Criterion did try to find the longer version and only came up with the 162 minute print. THen later someone found the longer print and was releassed on the Masters of Cinema collection in R2. It happens all the time in the world of classic cinema on Home Video. (DO you know the story of It's a Mad MAd Mad Mad World? ask Ron about it).

If you don't think that Criterions are not transferd from the best possible FILM elements, I ask you to go and see a screening of any criterion release at your local art house or on public television. The criterions are a lot better.

Criterion has been around for quite a while. almost 30 years. THat name has become synominous with quality in their video releases. They set the standard for supplemental features that we now take for granted today. They started the commentary track and celebration documentaries on the making of and chrishing of certain films be it The Seventh Seal or James BOnd. They cared about the films that they released unlike the major studios who think of film as product. They were always expensive (I paid $70.00 for a laser disc of Blade runner) but you knew what you were getting. I sometimes look back at the days of laserdisc fondly as the time when films were more archival and laugh at the people who complain about the high prices of certain special editions. Why I paid $125.00 for the 20th annivesary laserdisc of The Rocky Horror Picture show but with that money I got the film with an Audience participation commentary track, Creatures of the Night 2 by Sal Piro, a gold CD and a great documentary. All of that stuff was on the first incarnation of the DVD for $25.00 but it wasn't the same.

Sorry for the rant but when you are complaining about the $40.00 MSRP (cause you can buy them at the Criterion Store for $30.00, DVD Planet and Amazon for around $25.00 plus the Essental Art House collection for less than $15.00) I just have to laugh. Sorry.

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#26 of 71 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 12 2009 - 01:25 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Elliott
I have to laugh when people say the higher prices are because they release rare films. Blah. Bergman, Kurosawa, Bunuel and those types have fans across this world and the majority of film buffs will also buy. Try being Kino, Flicker Alley, Blue Underground, Synapse, Severin or any of those guys. They release niche titles from the likes of Franco, D'Amato and various other names that even die-hard film buffs don't know and these companies don't have to charge $40+.

To me the extra money goes for the Criterion name. From day one they made their name stand for something and that's where the extra money is going. From the start they let people know the prices would be that high and they've stuck to their guns.

Kino's prices are on the same level as Criterion, generally. Most of their releases have been interlaced, old transfers, PAL conversions, and bare-bones. They're still around $20 cheapest.

Criterion doesn't overcharge as long as you shop in the right places. I picked up Mr. Arkadin for $20 at Amazon during a sale, along with Elevator to the Gallows for $15.

One other thought is the effort into presentation. I think a few extra dollars is worth not having to wade through a lot of logos and warnings. When I put a Criterion DVD in my player, I look forward to the next thing I see being the main menu. I miss how DVDs from Warner and Image went right into the movie after their skippable logo.

#27 of 71 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted March 12 2009 - 01:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
Many of the nearly 500 films in the collection are all-time classics of world cinema, and are more or less required viewing for film students and for anyone with even a mild interest in film.

I won't disagree that there are classics among their titles but then you fold your argument by admitting these films are for "film students" and I would say most of their collection is certainly not for people with only a mild interest in film.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
Charging $30+ for these titles is elitist (i.e., it implies those who can't afford it probably wouldn't be interested in classic cinema anyway), and has the effect of preventing people of modest means from seeing a large body of quality films.

I think you are making a fairly strange case and certainly twisting (or cherry picking) some facts to make it. There is nothing elitist with trying to create a better quality product and then charging more for it. We are talking about DVDs here and not items that are required for people to get through their day...like say artificially raising fuel costs to $4.00 plus a gallon. Charging more for the disc does not imply that people who can't afford it would not like it...that's an enormous stretch and is one of many statements you've made that makes it appear you have an axe to grind and not a real point to make. It also does not prevent people from seeing it, we can all rent films for the same cost after all. The price may make somebody choose not to buy the film but this is not elitist. They have made the film available to the masses and in most cases with some very interesting special features. Also if somebody has to worry about if they have $30.00 to spend on a DVD then it would likely be pretty irresponsible of them to buy it in the first place. If you are in a cash crunch and $30.00 is a lot to you then so is $15.00 so it would still be irresponsible to spend money on a DVD if this is your situation. They likely have far better things to spend their hard earned cash on. A rental would be just fine, why do you have to own it anyway? This reeks of wanting to punish somebody because they have the gall to charge you more for something. You want to make them charge you less because you can buy other DVDs for less. Using this argument all DVDs should cost no more than 5 bucks because you can buy a DVD in a Wal-Mart dump bin for that cost so why should anybody be "allowed" to charge more? We do not live in a nation of film students, in fact far more people want to see the next episode of American Idol than want to watch Seven Samurai. If a lot of people wanted to buy Seven Samurai it would probably cost less but that's just not the case.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
I own several dozen Criterion discs

So, you've been supporting these elitists...

(Sorry, I had to do that...I was laughing when I read that.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
and have rented a number of others,

Did it cost you more to rent a Criterion than it cost you to rent a disc from Anchor Bay?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
and it's clear very few of these films recieved any real restoration work.


Ok, here you are again just sort of slashing away at Criterion and pretty much stating something that is not true. Most of their releases do in fact receive extensive attention and I think this again is leaning into axe grinding territory.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
In many cases, Criterion doesn't even use the best sources available (e.g., KWAIDAN, the SAMURAI trilogy) and the picture is often filled with the usual imperfections, cropped at the sides and/or severely pictureboxed (SPARTACUS, THE VIRGIN SPRING, respectively). Criterions of newer movies usually don't look as good as later mainstream releases (TIME BANDITS). I therefore don't buy the argument that Criterion sets a higher standard than other companies, at least with the bulk of their releases.


Careful with that axe, Eugene. Obviously you've really got it in for the Spartacus release as not only did you cite it for what they charge for it (interesting you would pick one of their most expensive single film releases to make your point) but also cite it as poor quality. There is the studio release which can be had for about $7.50 in many places so why not stick with that? Criterion is not preventing anybody from seeing Spartacus or owning Spartacus as you can get it cheap...you just can't get their version with all the bells and whistles cheap and this seems to disturb you. If as you say the bulk of their releases are not as good as other companies releases why do you care what they charge for their discs as its likely you would not want to buy such an inferior product no matter the cost. So by pricing them higher they really are doing you a favor because at a lower price you might be tempted to blow your cash on these inferior discs.



Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
I really can do without ANY special features if it will make a DVD of a quality film more affordable.


Well, Criterion is mostly a "special edtion" with "special features" kind of company and according to you their releases are not quality...so what is your interest in them? Could it be that they have made the effort to release some films nobody else has touched and have fairly limited appeal?


Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
The major studios usually offer people a choice between a two-disc SE and a lower-priced single disc with the same transfer. I don't see why Criterion can't do the same.

They have been doing this as well. You can get the special edition of Wild Strawberries for $31.95 or a plain edition for only $15.96 in their Art House Collection. They have more than one version of several films. So again you seem more than a little disingenuous here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
Anchor Bay offers a high quality, Divimax version of TIME BANDITS for $12.99, while the older, inferior Criterion version is still $35. Again, the argument that Criterion prices are due to higher quality just doesn't hold.

Interesting how you choose to quote certain prices but this seems to prove again that Criterion is not being elitist but offering their version of certain items at a different cost. You also seem pleased with the Anchor Bay disc so what does it matter to you what Criterion charges for their version?

Basically your argument seems pretty slanted toward just painting Criterion as bad guys for charging more and you've cherry picked evidence to support that. Honestly I don't think what you are saying is fair.

#28 of 71 OFFLINE   Reggie W

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Posted March 12 2009 - 01:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Zimmer
Beauty and the Beast? Seven Samurai?

I don't have a problem with that (the original Seven Samurai disc was sadly lacking in several areas), but the quoted section just isn't true.


I don't see your point, Mark.

#29 of 71 OFFLINE   zackscott5

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Posted March 12 2009 - 01:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
Criterion only started pictureboxing Academy Ratio films in the last few years, and it was kind of ridiculous for them to start the practice when they did, given that tube TVs were rapidly disappearing from the marketplace. Actually, the only reason I can see for doing it was to give people a reason to triple dip on a BD. No doubt the Blu-Ray of M or THE VIRGIN SPRING won't be pictureboxed.


If you "Triple dip" from Criterion DVD to Criterion Bluray, Criterion will offer a rebate. YEs they are in business but they aren't a regular studio that is wanting you to double dip for that new extra. They do however want you to double dip for the best possible presentation that is available besides getting your own projector and a few reels of the 35mm print of a certain movie. And they'll pay you for it!
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#30 of 71 OFFLINE   MichaelEl

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Posted March 12 2009 - 03:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by zackscott5
THe first edition of THe Third Man was Released on DVD 3-23-2001 and then remastered in Hi-Def and re-released on 5-22-2007. THe Seventh Seal was released on DVD on January 29, 1999 and has since not been given a high def remastering. These remasters both still have specs and scrapes on their original pressings. The master work of Lowry Digital (the restoration company that supervises the restoration of CErtain classic films) Didn't debut until the release of Citizen Kane in 9-25-2001. This created a new high water mark for film restoration and gave Criterion on their restoration process a run for their money.

The original releases of THE SEVENTH SEAL and THE THIRD MAN actually hold up quite well even by today's standards. The same cannot be said of some other early Criterions. As I said before, it's obvious that Criterion doesn't apply the same standards to all films, even though they charge you the same high prices for everything.

Quote:
Kwaidan was released on october 10, 2000. Now was there an avaliable print of the longer version avaliable then that wasn't deteriorated? I don't know. HOwever I do know that Criterion released the longer version at 162 minutes compared to the original US Release of 125 minutes. So maybe (and I am assuming here) that Criterion did try to find the longer version and only came up with the 162 minute print. THen later someone found the longer print and was releassed on the Masters of Cinema collection in R2.

In the early days, Criterion supposedly had trouble getting quality elements from Toho, which would explain why KWAIDAN, the SAMURAI trilogy, and some of their original Kurosawa offerings look worse than other DVDs they produced at the time. Unfortunately, Criterion was (and is) charging the same price for these poor quality DVDs that they charged for DVDs that were produced from better film elements.

Quote:
Criterion has been around for quite a while. almost 30 years. THat name has become synominous with quality in their video releases.... They were always expensive (I paid $70.00 for a laser disc of Blade runner) but you knew what you were getting.

In recent years, I've bought countless studio releases that rival or exceed the quality of the Criterion discs I own, and for a lot less money. Again, the claim that Criterion = higher quality just doesn't hold anymore, not unless you're judging DVDs only by extras and not actual video quality.

BTW, do you actually like paying higher prices for Criterions?

Quote:
Sorry for the rant but when you are complaining about the $40.00 MSRP (cause you can buy them at the Criterion Store for $30.00, DVD Planet and Amazon for around $25.00 plus the Essental Art House collection for less than $15.00) I just have to laugh. Sorry.

If you had bothered to read my original post, you would've seen that I was complaining about the ~$40 price of Spartacus, which is in fact the discounted price, not MSRP. Most Criterions are $30-$35 discounted, which is still too much considering that many BDs are now under $30. I don't see how anyone can really justify a DVD costing as much or more than a BD.

Quote:
By the way, MichaelEL, Welcom to the Forum and may I ask when you got into the Home Theatre craze?

I never collected many videotapes and I never even owned a laserdisc player, mainly because I was smart enough to see that a format compatible with CD would eventually become the standard for home video. Holding out not only saved me a lot of money, but it also saved me the frustration of having to discard an expensive collection of tapes and LDs.

Of course it goes without saying that the DVD revolution has really been a godsend for people interested in building a home film library. The one sore point has been the high price of Criterions, and it is a sore point indeed, considering that the Criterion Co. holds the rights to many of the best films ever made.

#31 of 71 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted March 12 2009 - 03:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
...I never even owned a laserdisc player, mainly because I was smart enough to see that a format compatible with CD would eventually become the standard for home video. Holding out not only saved me a lot of money, but it also saved me the frustration of having to discard an expensive collection of tapes and LDs.
By that logic, you should have skipped DVD all together and waited for Blu-ray or downloads.

My laserdisc player is still something that I look back fondly on. While most people were watching pan and scanned versions of Star Wars or Halloween or Apocalypse Now or Alien or 2001, etc. taped off of HBO or their local affiliate, I spent years watching movies in their correct aspect ratio and in, what was at the time, a state of the art presentation. So I'm glad I was one of the people not smart enough to wait for a format that was compatible with CDs.

#32 of 71 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted March 12 2009 - 03:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
I never collected many videotapes and I never even owned a laserdisc player, mainly because I was smart enough to see that a format compatible with CD would eventually become the standard for home video. Holding out not only saved me a lot of money, but it also saved me the frustration of having to discard an expensive collection of tapes and LDs.
So you're saying you're smarter than anyone who owned a laserdisc player?
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#33 of 71 OFFLINE   zackscott5

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Posted March 12 2009 - 04:30 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
T
I never collected many videotapes and I never even owned a laserdisc player, mainly because I was smart enough to see that a format compatible with CD would eventually become the standard for home video. Holding out not only saved me a lot of money, but it also saved me the frustration of having to discard an expensive collection of tapes and LDs.

Of course it goes without saying that the DVD revolution has really been a godsend for people interested in building a home film library. The one sore point has been the high price of Criterions, and it is a sore point indeed, considering that the Criterion Co. holds the rights to many of the best films ever made.

THen you, sir, definitely don't know the contribution that Criterion made to the advent of Home video Presentation especially in the days of laserdisc. Like I said before, if it wasn't for Criterion, you would probably not even have the wonderful special features or even films presented in their OAR by studio releasing. You would have a pan and scan bare bones edition like the early Universal DVD's of The Jerk, ANimal House, and Fletch. (I'm talking about the 1998 releases not the anniversary editions just to be clear here)

BY the way, Criterion only holds the right to distribute these films. Other studios can and do release the same films of criterion releases on their own labels(FEar and Loathing in Las Vegas, ARmageddon, THe Rock, Spartacus, The seventh Seal, Vampyr, Bottle Rocket, Brazil, THe Spy Who Came in from the Cold, Rushmore) and these are bare bones editions. Criterion gave you the extras for the true fans of the film who celebrate the film and cherish it. A Criterion treatment of your favorite film is quite a godsend for the film fan. The film's home studio can and does release it's own version on DVD if they feel that it would be profitable. More often than not that is not the case.

By the way how did you feel when you had to discard your LP or Casette version of your favorite album when C.D.'s came along and eventually dominated the market? PRogress!!!!
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#34 of 71 OFFLINE   zackscott5

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Posted March 12 2009 - 04:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
T
BTW, do you actually like paying higher prices for Criterions?


ANd yes I do! I'm not saying that I can afford each and every Criterion disc out there (because I can't) nor do I go around blind buying any new Criterion release (cause I would have to find a way to return Salo and Jubilee) BUt if I had a choice between a criterion release or a regular studio release of a film that I like...Criterion wins hands down.

BTW, did you star this thread because of the state of the economy now? I have noticed a lot of complaiining on this forum about how high prices are for certain thngs(especially with Blu-Ray).
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#35 of 71 OFFLINE   Brad Vautrinot

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Posted March 12 2009 - 04:45 PM

I don't mind paying a bit more for a Criterion release for several reasons:

1. The movie will be presented in its true aspect ratio and uncut.
2. If needed, it will have been restored.
3. They are always with the original soundtrack.
4. Supplemental material. Criterion usually puts together a nice addition of supplements that are not available anywhere else. Criterion doesn't license their supplements to anyone else, even when a film's license reverts back to the original studio. This makes a Criterion release a bit special.

I'm neither a film expert nor a film student. I don't own many Criterion releases:

Blast Of Silence
Brute Force
The Man Who Fell From Earth
Naked City
Night and The City
Overlord
Pickup On South Street
Robinson Crusoe on Mars
Straw Dogs
The Furies
The Lady Vanishes
Thieves' Highway
The Third Man
Traffic
Videodrome

I just ordered The Small Back Room - another outstanding Powell & Pressburger film. If it wasn't for Criterion this one would likely never see the light of day from any other studio especially with the accompanying supplemental material. For myself, it's definitely worth spending a few extra bucks.

I still have about 400 laserdiscs, a lot of which are still not available on DVD such as The Reflecting Skin, The African Queen, an uncut/uncensored Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and many others. I have no regrets at having plunged into LD's when they were in their glory. I've kept all my Criterion LD's.

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#36 of 71 OFFLINE   Michael Elliott

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Posted March 12 2009 - 07:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick McCart
Kino's prices are on the same level as Criterion, generally. Most of their releases have been interlaced, old transfers, PAL conversions, and bare-bones. They're still around $20 cheapest.



I'm just going by retail price and not the deals you can find. You'll often find me complaining about the price of Blu-rays but I've yet to pay over $15 for any of the 20 titles I have. Waiting and looking for deals is what I try to do but I'd rather buy stuff right off the bat.

Kino has had its share of problems but a company like Criterion isn't going to release that stuff. They fit right in with majors when it comes to silents even though their one release was one of the greatest (THE KING OF KINGS) of all silent releases. There are still thousands of films out there to be rescued but they haven't stepped up to tackle any of them.

I'm not meaning to say they're a bad company because they certainly aren't but at the same time their reasons for the high prices are a joke because other small labels are releasing Special Editions of titles that might only sell a few thousand copies and they can release them with brilliant transfers and multiple audio selections for $20 retail.

To me the extra money isn't in presentation but Criterion just selling their name.

#37 of 71 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted March 13 2009 - 06:38 AM

I should note that many Criterion Laserdiscs have content that were not ported over to DVD (and likely never will be for legal reasons among other things)

I'm happy to have purchased a Pioneer DVL-909 11 years ago, and I kept a good pile of those lasers for archival and film education purposes.

A brief list of what prompted me to keep those, starting with the Criterion LDs:

Close Encounters (Criterion CAV Edition with many exclusive interviews)
Dead Ringers (Laserdisc included "Crimes of the Future")
Bram Stoker's Dracula
The Fisher King
Forbidden Planet (this one didn't get supplanted until 2 years ago)
Ghostbusters (many exclusive interviews)
Halloween (nice to have the initial Criterion work on it)
It's A Wonderful Life
The Magnificent Ambersons
Midnight Cowboy (Exclusive commentary that wasn't ported over)
The Player
Raging Bull
Silence of the Lambs
Silverado
Taxi Driver
Tootsie (Exclusive Commentary not ported over)

and also these non-Criterion specials:
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Disney Archive Edition)
The Idolmaker (widescreen edition with Taylor Hackford commentary)
Rocky Horror Picture Show (the same set with the gold CD - I still love it)

#38 of 71 OFFLINE   MichaelEl

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Posted March 13 2009 - 06:45 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Reuben
So you're saying you're smarter than anyone who owned a laserdisc player?

Let's just say it seemed obvious to me that LDs - due to their size and cost - would eventually be replaced by a better optical format, and that my money would be better spent replacing and extending my LP collection with CDs.

#39 of 71 OFFLINE   zackscott5

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Posted March 13 2009 - 07:46 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelEl
Let's just say it seemed obvious to me that LDs - due to their size and cost - would eventually be replaced by a better optical format, and that my money would be better spent replacing and extending my LP collection with CDs.

A HA!!!! Progress!!! You did have to waste money due to format upgrades just like us with Laserdisc-DVD-Blu Ray!
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#40 of 71 OFFLINE   haroldS

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Posted March 13 2009 - 07:49 AM

Compared to pricing in general, Criterions are overpriced, but unless it is a collection of catalog previously released titles, all DVDs are overpriced. But that is not a reason not to buy Criterion, or single them out to complain about pricing. First, I would observe that if you wait for a sale, the price could be half of the list price, then it would be only slightly higher then major distributors' titles. And none of Criterion titles are new releases, so immediate purchase is not necessary. Second, the quality seems uniform, which is worth paying a little bit more so as to avoid time lost, as proven with the deplorable recent MGM Hitchcock release. Third, the major distributors, like Fox and Paramount, are doing the same thing; taking catalog titles, adding a few extras and raising their prices by five to eight dollars list. Just look at MGM's confusion and release of Yentl at an intended $15. list, but coming out at $30. list.

It's the "extras" on the Criterion that I find fault with the pricing. Many of the these "extras" are archival. Not that they are bad, because they are clearly relevant and detailed, but most other major distributors, like Fox and Warners, use newly produced appropriate documentaries. Yes, Criterion does put the effort into finding them, but aren't most out of or non-copyrighted?

In short, their pricing isn't going to change because of my opinion and I would, or need, the opportunity to obtain their titles that I can not get no where else.


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