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Criterion Press Release: Modern Times (Blu-ray)


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#1 of 28 Ronald Epstein

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Posted August 16 2010 - 11:09 AM

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#2 of 28 dana martin

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Posted August 16 2010 - 01:03 PM

most criterion art is a wonder, but this is not good, wish they would have went with poster art instead


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#3 of 28 oscar_merkx

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Posted August 16 2010 - 07:34 PM

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#4 of 28 Adam_S

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Posted August 17 2010 - 08:30 AM

I'm thrilled, and that cover art is absolutely stellar.

 

You know what would be even better?

 

One Chaplin release a month without a break until they're all released. :D


 

#5 of 28 Jeffrey Nelson

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Posted August 17 2010 - 10:47 AM

The cover art is lousy; it's an altered photo of the Tramp that was taken long before MODERN TIMES was ever conceived.  But that doesn't really matter; the deal-breaker is this:

 

Like Warner/MK2 did a few years ago, Criterion is releasing the version of the film that was cut by Chaplin for its 1956 reissue, meaning that the wonderful final verse of the nonsense song has been lopped out with a chainsaw, ruining the rhythm of the scene and making it end abruptly.  This poor verse has been unceremoniously stuck in with the extras.

 

The film was released in a nice uncut transfer through Image in 2000 and is available used from Amazon sellers at prices not far removed from Criterion retail; if you want the film complete as originally released in theaters in 1936, before Charlie got his revisionist mitts on it twenty years after the fact, then your money is much better spent on a used Image DVD.  I feel sorry for Criterion, because the Chaplin Estate's wrongheaded attitude is going to cost them sales; they're only allowed to license the cut reissue versions of THE KID, A WOMAN OF PARIS, MODERN TIMES, A KING IN NEW YORK and most of the First National shorts.  They've already lost at least half a grand from me alone, as I've no need for cut versions of Chaplin films that I already own in uncut form in nice transfers.



#6 of 28 Brandon Conway

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Posted August 17 2010 - 11:48 AM

Personally, I don't mind the alterations of the films, aside from The Gold Rush, which will hopefully include both versions 1080p. I'd ideally want both cuts of all the films, but it is what it is. In most cases they are rather small changes, and as I only have the MK2/Warner releases I will be more than happy to upgrade.


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#7 of 28 Robert Crawford

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Posted August 17 2010 - 11:57 AM


Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeffrey Nelson 

 

 

The film was released in a nice uncut transfer through Image in 2000 and is available used from Amazon sellers at prices not far removed from Criterion retail; if you want the film complete as originally released in theaters in 1936, before Charlie got his revisionist mitts on it twenty years after the fact, then your money is much better spent on a used Image DVD.  I feel sorry for Criterion, because the Chaplin Estate's wrongheaded attitude is going to cost them sales; they're only allowed to license the cut reissue versions of THE KID, A WOMAN OF PARIS, MODERN TIMES, A KING IN NEW YORK and most of the First National shorts.  They've already lost at least half a grand from me alone, as I've no need for cut versions of Chaplin films that I already own in uncut form in nice transfers.


Wow, you mean I can sell my Image dvd and then buy this BRD with those profits.  Interesting that Criterion press release is indicating 87 minute runtime which is the same as the 2000 Image disc while the 2003 dvd release has a 83 minute runtime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#8 of 28 Jeffrey Nelson

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Posted August 17 2010 - 12:07 PM



Originally Posted by Robert Crawford 


Quote:


Wow, you mean I can sell my Image dvd and then buy this BRD with those profits.  Interesting that Criterion press release is indicating 87 minute runtime which is the same as the 2000 Image disc while the 2003 dvd release has a 83 minute runtime.

 

Crawdaddy
 


If you'd rather have a bastardized version of the film, yep, you could probably do that.  Now that the Estate has hamstrung yet another release of Charlie's films, the corresponding Image DVDs will be even more sought after.

 

The missing footage runs 30 seconds (albeit 30 extremely precious seconds), not enough to make them add another minute to the running time; the cut version was always listed as 87 minutes in prior VHS and CED disc incarnations.  Re: the shorter running time for the 2003 DVD, all the WB/MK2 Chaplin DVDs were mastered from PAL-to-NTSC conversions (rather lousy ones at that, DNVR'd to death and ghosting all over the place), and thus run 4% too fast.
 



#9 of 28 Jeffrey Nelson

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Posted August 17 2010 - 12:15 PM



Originally Posted by Brandon Conway 

Personally, I don't mind the alterations of the films, aside from The Gold Rush, which will hopefully include both versions 1080p. I'd ideally want both cuts of all the films, but it is what it is. In most cases they are rather small changes, and as I only have the MK2/Warner releases I will be more than happy to upgrade.


If all you have are the WB/MK2 releases, then you don't know what you're missing, so perhaps that's why you don't mind the alterations.  Trust me, I'd bet that if you had the uncut versions, especially MODERN TIMES and THE KID, you wouldn't want to downgrade to cut versions.  The unaffected titles will hopefully indeed be an upgrade, if they aren't DVNR'd to death like the WB/MK2s.  I might pick up THE GOLD RUSH if the real film is once again included, and if it's been given a new hi-def transfer.  That's the only one of the WB/MK2s I picked up.



#10 of 28 Brandon Conway

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Posted August 17 2010 - 12:39 PM



Originally Posted by Jeffrey Nelson 




If all you have are the WB/MK2 releases, then you don't know what you're missing, so perhaps that's why you don't mind the alterations.


I don't own them, but I've seen them.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#11 of 28 Jeffrey Nelson

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Posted August 17 2010 - 01:02 PM



Originally Posted by Brandon Conway 
I don't own them, but I've seen them.



Ah well, then I guess you're a hopeless case.  ;-)



#12 of 28 Brandon Conway

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Posted August 17 2010 - 01:29 PM

/img/vbsmilies/htf/tongue.gif

 

Don't get me wrong - one day I may get around to owning the original cuts, too. But I like the altered cuts enough still to buy the Criterion releases when they come out.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#13 of 28 Guest__*

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Posted August 17 2010 - 01:43 PM

The international release of these on blu-ray look to be cropped a fair amount, according to the screencaps on dvdbeaver. Are these going to be the same transfers?



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Posted August 17 2010 - 01:48 PM

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#15 of 28 Brandon Conway

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Posted August 17 2010 - 01:54 PM



Originally Posted by Eric Scott Richard 

The international release of these on blu-ray look to be cropped a fair amount, according to the screencaps on dvdbeaver. Are these going to be the same transfers?


Unknown. I do know Criterion has done their own work on this release, but it may depend on what the Estate gave them to work with.


"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#16 of 28 Guest__*

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Posted August 17 2010 - 11:32 PM

I looked at the Modern Times caps again and I was wrong. The blu-ray is not cropped. The other title was.



#17 of 28 PaulaJ

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Posted August 18 2010 - 03:30 AM

*sigh*  Guess I'm sticking with my complete collection of Image Chaplin laser discs!

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#18 of 28 David_B_K

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Posted August 18 2010 - 05:02 AM



Originally Posted by PaulaJ 

*sigh*  Guess I'm sticking with my complete collection of Image Chaplin laser discs!


I am doing the same. I guess we should consider ourselves fortunate that there were some versions of Chaplin's work released before the estate went back to the crappy altered versions. I am less bothered by the editing of Modern Times than I am The Kid. Worst of all is The Chaplin Revue with its slowed-down extra-frames added speed.

 

I was fortunate to get several of the Chaplin IMage DVDs when they were still available. For Modern Times and The Kid/A Dog's Life, I authored my own DVDs from the laserdiscs. The only MK2/Warner title I bought was The Gold Rush for the original silent version.



#19 of 28 Russell G

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Posted August 20 2010 - 10:39 AM

I have the R1 warner sets for these which for me are good enough.  That said, I'll probably take a crack at this one, the extras intrigue me and Criterion usually does some good work.


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#20 of 28 Steve Christou

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Posted August 20 2010 - 10:49 AM

My favourite Chaplin film, and I'm not a big fan. I'll probably get this eventually.

 

I don't like the blu-ray cover though.

 


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