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Criterion and Janus films sold! (1 Viewer)

Sam Favate

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I get nervous whenever something is sold, but Bill Hunt of the Digital Bits says this is a good thing. The Variety article says nothing should change in the way films are distributed. We can only wait and see.

IMO, Criterion is the Tiffany of home video. It would truly be a shame if stopped being what it is.
 

Dr. Lejos

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From the information provided, the new partnership sounds less threatening and more supportive toward the concerns of the company’s disc distribution model which we’ve come to know and appreciate.

Frankly, its the changes which have apparently already been implemented at Criterion during the past few years, which appear to have altered the focus of selecting titles for distribution, which concerns me more. I miss the days when vintage foreign and studio classics were the majority (or at least a much stronger priority) of their output, which seems to have shifted now in another direction.

The name of Wes Anderson was mentioned as another beneficiary of the new partner’s interests, which is a context which sounds at least partially reassuring since Anderson represents both a high end of contemporary filmmaking … and a known supporter of artistic legacies inherent in motion pictures of the past as well.
 

BRAD1963

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It sounds good. There is promise only because it appears the new owners have a love for film, and it is not a profit motive. I'm more concerned about Paramount's future.
 

Thomas T

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Frankly, its the changes which have apparently already been implemented at Criterion during the past few years, which appear to have altered the focus of selecting titles for distribution, which concerns me more. I miss the days when vintage foreign and studio classics were the majority (or at least a much stronger priority) of their output, which seems to have shifted now in another direction.
Yes, I've noticed the "shift" also. I used to look forward to Criterion's selections of classic international cinema but the shift toward more contemporary international (and independent) cinema while admirable makes me long for the old days and I'm not a nostalgist but there are still so many foreign films from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s yet to make their physical media debuts in the U.S. or upgraded from DVD transfers.
 

jayembee

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I miss the days when vintage foreign and studio classics were the majority (or at least a much stronger priority) of their output, which seems to have shifted now in another direction.

The paucity of vintage studio classics started with the advent of DVD. Criterion made its name with laserdiscs, and the studios like Warner, MGM, Sony, and Universal were thrilled to license out their catalogs to Criterion. With DVD, they decided to do it themselves, and Criterion lost the rights to a boatload of studio classics.
 

Lord Dalek

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Not bad at all. I mean the Beckers basically just sold Criterion to Wes Anderson!
 

Angelo Colombus

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It was Criterion years ago that made me start my movie collection with laserdisc instead of VHS and to this day i still have my over 100 Criterion laserdiscs.
 

Ed Lachmann

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titch

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It was Criterion years ago that made me start my movie collection with laserdisc instead of VHS and to this day i still have my over 100 Criterion laserdiscs.
Same here. I now have 788 blu-ray spine numbers and 65 4K UHD spine numbers, since the first batch was released 16th December 2008.That's the whole collection, including this week's Three Revolutionary Films by Ousmane Sembène. The total number of films in the Criterion Collection are considerably more than 853; The Olympic box alone is 53 films and the Bergman box is 39, just to mention two.

If anyone is wondering what The Third Man, Bottle Rocket (look: A Wes Anderson film in their first blu-ray batch!) Chungking Express and The Man Who Fell To Earth cost back then, Amazon charged $42.85, plus shipping. And the Norwegian customs then added on 25% VAT + their processing charge. No 50% off Barnes and Noble sales back then. So for people complaining about the price of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid 4K, currently listed at $48.99 on Amazon, it is actually a lot cheaper than what the original blu-rays cost, 15 years ago!

There are a few inconsistencies - I've kept some individual titles, which subsequently were released in box sets. And almost all of the blu-rays, which Criterion have upgraded to 4K UHD, I've given away. But I haven't got rid of any Criterion titles, which other publishers have upgraded with new and better masters. I'll be keeping the horrible The Last Emperor blu-ray, because it was amongst the second batch to be released, on 6th January 2009.

And I did purchase Last Year At Marienbad twice, to have a sealed copy. Because the original cardboard cover was the stupidest design Criterion has ever done, from a storage point of view. The very first time I opened it, I managed to stain the cover (with blueberry jam)!

Looking forward to Criterion continuing to educate me! It's been a richly rewarding 15 years!

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cineMANIAC

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The only change I see is a heavier focus on Indian films. Outside of some Bollywood flicks I endured parts of (lol), can't say I'm familiar at all with Indian cinema.

Criterion is a label I've least looked forward to announcements from to be completely honest. I still have a sizeable Criterion library but I don't anticipate their monthly reveals like I do, say, Arrow's or Severin's. Good contemporary films are rare and I don't want to keep adding to my unwatched pile so their heavier focus on modern stuff doesn't work for me - not at Criterion prices.
 

cineescape

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The only change I see is a heavier focus on Indian films. Outside of some Bollywood flicks I endured parts of (lol), can't say I'm familiar at all with Indian cinema.

Criterion is a label I've least looked forward to announcements from to be completely honest. I still have a sizeable Criterion library but I don't anticipate their monthly reveals like I do, say, Arrow's or Severin's. Good contemporary films are rare and I don't want to keep adding to my unwatched pile so their heavier focus on modern stuff doesn't work for me - not at Criterion prices.
Plus, even after multiple inquiries, why they've (ShoutFactory, Universal, Sony) always insisted on locking out zooming of their BDs is bizarre and unfair-unlike Kino, defunct Twilight Time, Warners, Powerhouse/Indicator , et al. Granted, only a few BD players like Magnetar, most Pioneers like my Pioneer LX500 and library coded VLC player can zoom on BDs. But zooming can allow discovery of historic and other interesting details about the movie. Why else was zoom control found on nearly every DVD player's remote?
 

Bartman

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My story is a little different, I've purchased more Criterion laserdiscs than Blu-rays. The picture quality improvement on the laserdiscs was easily discernible. I remember the early Bond widescreen movies and impressing people. During the DVD era I rented from Netflix, they had nearly every title, so no need to purchase. I miss Netflix DVD. For the Blu-rays I've mainly purchased titles with a new scan, that's better than the previous scan (and not available to stream from ATV+). I wonder how many others took this approach.
 

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