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Jake Lipson

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That sentence feels like a throwback to 1999 and Criterion's collaboration with Michael Bay.

People can't be more upset about "WALL-E" on Criterion than they were "Armageddon", can they?
Yeah, I don't understand that at all. I haven't seen anybody who is upset about WALL-E being included.

Also, most of the Netflix titles Criterion has released are arthouse titles. It's not like Criterion is just pumping out Blu-rays of every Netflix film. Roma, Marriage Story, Irishman and Power of the Dog are all auteur-driven prestige films and Best Picture nominees. I don't see why anyone should be concerned about Criterion allowing those films in. They are a credit to Criterion's catalog, and so will be WALL-E.
 

jayembee

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Yeah, I don't understand that at all. I haven't seen anybody who is upset about WALL-E being included.

I don't know if anyone here is upset that Criterion is releasing WALL-E. But for most of Criterion's existance, there have been self-imagined gatekeepers who think that Criterion should stick to more obscure arthouse fare than "popular films", even if some might have differing operational definitions of "popular".

And then, there are plenty of people who don't like it when Criterion has released BDs of film that had already been released on BD from the originating studios. If anyone is upset about them releasing WALL-E, I would guess that it's more because there's already a perfectly good UHD release of it from Disney.

As for the Netflix titles, that's probably less about the art vs. entertainment issue as it is people who have a bug up their butt about Netflix.

I confess that while it's interesting to see them release WALL-E on UHD, I would prefer that they'd invested their resources into releasing something else for the aforementioned reason in the second paragraph above. But I also understand that doing this, as well as previously releasing Michael Bay and Kevin Smith films in the past, helps support them so that they can release the more obscure fare without going broke.
 
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Lord Dalek

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They released Ghostbusters, Valley of the Dolls, and The Blob. To hell with what Niles Crane thinks the Criterion Collection should be.
 

Colin Jacobson

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I don't know if anyone here is upset that Criterion is releasing WALL-E. But for most of Criterion's existance, there have been self-imagined gatekeepers who think that Criterion should stick to more obscure arthouse fare than "popular films", even if some might have differing operational definitions of "popular".

Yup - the people who had conniption fits when "Armageddon" got a DVD.

IIRC, that backlash was intense enough that Criterion officially responded to it and indicated that they weren't just about "arthouse" flicks.

Though as others noted, Criterion did Big Popular Movies... well, pretty much forever.

Going back to LDs, we had "Ghostbusters" and "Close Encounters" and the Beatles movies and the 1st 3 Bond movies and on and on.

I think some viewed "Armageddon" - and "The Rock", though to a lesser extent - as a bridge too far because so many thought it was a terrible movie. While popular, the prior Criterion Big Popular Movies had critical acclaim, but the Bays? Not so much.

I thought - and think - it's great that Criterion doesn't just release black and white movies shot in Czechoslovakia in 1972 for $27 about the pain of the human condition.

The CC should represent the breadth of film, not just a certain niche.
 

jayembee

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They released Ghostbusters, Valley of the Dolls, and The Blob. To hell with what Niles Crane thinks the Criterion Collection should be.

And they arm-twisted the head of Paramount to let them do Robinson Crusoe on Mars, solely because it was the favorite movie of one of the higher-ups at Criterion.
 

jayembee

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Me too. I never did laserdisc. I assumed we were talking about, you know, modern times. 🤣
I've been in arguments discussions with people who suggest that laserdisc was long enough ago that it doesn't speak to the current times. My counterargument is that what they chose to release in that format is still indicative of their mindset with respect to what they think the Criterion Collection is supposed to be about.

Back in the early 90s, I was rather flabbergasted that Criterion chose to release John Woo's The Killer on LD. A Hong Kong action movie?! Really?! Not too long after, I happened to be passing the Brattle Theater (Cambridge, MA) just before the last showing on the last day of Woo's Hard Boiled. Figured "Why not?".

The next day I stopped into my local Tower Records and bought a copy of Criterion's The Killer, and became a big fan of Hong Kong films. I figure that is what the Criterion Collection is all about.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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I think more so than any other physical media label, Criterion has cultivated a sort of mystique (if they were a person, you might call it a cult of personality) where some of their fans act as though the film selections were handed down from upon high on these fifteen - no, wait, these ten - commandments :)

And I think sometimes when they make selections that seem more, well, normal/mainstream/modern, it kinda punctures that aura among that section of their fandom, and that’s when you get the strong reactions.

As for me, I’m just happy to see any player in the physical media business surviving and thriving, Criterion absolutely included in that.
 

jayembee

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Back in the day, in describing the Criterion Collection to someone who wasn't a laserdisc collector, I'd say that they were the closest thing the home video industry had to the Harvard Classics. Which in retrospect gives the wrong impression, because one wouldn't expect, say, a Stephen King novel to be a selection of the Harvard Classics. But if you're trying to create a shelf that displays a cross-section of notable 20th Century Literature (as opposed to "the best" or "most important" 20th Century Literature) a Stephen King novel would probably be a reasonable entry.
 

Colin Jacobson

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And they arm-twisted the head of Paramount to let them do Robinson Crusoe on Mars, solely because it was the favorite movie of one of the higher-ups at Criterion.

When Paramount put out "The Big Bus" on DVD, I was shocked. It seemed like a largely forgotten movie that came out of nowhere as a catalog release.

It hit a nerve with me because my best friend loved it so I was happy to give him my copy after I reviewed it.

I asked the Paramount rep at the time if he knew why that obscure movie got a DVD release. He wasn't sure but thought it was probably because some Paramount bigwig wanted it! :D
 

mskaye

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When Paramount put out "The Big Bus" on DVD, I was shocked. It seemed like a largely forgotten movie that came out of nowhere as a catalog release.

It hit a nerve with me because my best friend loved it so I was happy to give him my copy after I reviewed it.

I asked the Paramount rep at the time if he knew why that obscure movie got a DVD release. He wasn't sure but thought it was probably because some Paramount bigwig wanted it! :D
When that was released on DVD in the early 2000s, there was no one at Paramount that was present when that film was made. I doubt anyone advocated for it. This was still the era of video stores and Blockbuster etc. and all the studios were putting their catalogs out. It was guaranteed money. Maybe the film has become a bit of a guilty pleasure too. My point being that I doubt a random Paramount bigwig would demand a film to be released. Andrew Stanton is not a random big wig.
 

dpippel

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I've been in arguments discussions with people who suggest that laserdisc was long enough ago that it doesn't speak to the current times. My counterargument is that what they chose to release in that format is still indicative of their mindset with respect to what they think the Criterion Collection is supposed to be about.
Well, I was trying to be funny. Guess it didn't work out too well. ;)
 

Colin Jacobson

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When that was released on DVD in the early 2000s, there was no one at Paramount that was present when that film was made. I doubt anyone advocated for it.

A) You don't have to have been at the studio when the movie was made to be a fan and want it on DVD.

B) Just repeating what the Paramount rep at the time told me.
 

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