With Watership Down being officially added to the Criterion Collection in a few months, I figured those of us interested in the collection could better discuss in its own thread.
For those who don't know, the Criterion Collection is a series of "important classic and contemporary films" aimed primarily at film aficionados. It features a wide range of movies of all genres and classifications, from renowned classics to international flavors to mainstream hits to independent treasures.
At present, there will be two animated features on the list: Watership Down in a few months and earlier there was Fantastic Mr. Fox (all Wes Anderson movies end up in the Criterion Collection, it's just a matter of when). Back during the laserdisc era, Akira was the only animated film on the list.
Also, the twice a year 50% Criterion sale at Barnes and Noble is running until Monday, December 1. Good time to stock up on some titles.
Lord Akiyama wrote:At present, there will be two animated features on the list: Watership Down in a few months and earlier there was Fantastic Mr. Fox (all Wes Anderson movies end up in the Criterion Collection, it's just a matter of when).
So, we had the Depressing one, and the Snooty/Insufferably-Quirky one.
Is Fantastic Planet on the Janus catalog, so they can have the Weird French one as well?
I still have several Criterion LDs, though I sold off Akira and a few more a while ago. Currently, I probably have about 30 DVDs and BDs from the Collection, with another 12 ordered from the current B&N sale, an order which just shipped yesterday. It had been a while since I'd made a Criterion splurge.
Collecting these has certainly broadened my appreciation for film. There is an amazing breadth of work there--- Chaplin, Hitchcock, Polanski, Truffault, so many more. In my order, I purchased everything from I Married a Witch to On the Waterfront, plus the Qatsi Trilogy, Heaven's Gate, The Devil's Backbone, the Japanese horror/sci-fi box set from the sister Eclipse label, and several others.
One of us should really put up a review of the Mr. Fox Blu-ray soon.
In the US, most of Criterion's back-catalog is available for streaming on HuluPlus (arguably the only reason for subscribing), and can give you a taste of film-appreciation broadening, without developing the purchase addiction that I've seen happen on other Blu-ray groups.
(Me, I've only ever bought three, and am still waiting for three other upgrades, two of which I'm not sure can ever happen.)
Looking over the list of films that they have currently set as only available on Hulu Plus at the moment, I know there are some titles on there that will eventually make their way to blu ray. I just know that Charlie Chaplin's The Kid is going to be a major blu ray release from Criterion, no chance they leave it a Hulu Plus only title.
I like buying up the blu rays because the picture quality is fantastic and the bonus features are just as fascinating. One of the more unique ones is for Fritz Lang's M, which includes the rare English dubbing track, so it's interesting to hear Peter Lorre speaking English for the first time.
Perhaps I might do the review for Mr. Fox.
I post up the finally tally of what I picked up this time around once the sale ends on Monday.
Lord Akiyama wrote:Looking over the list of films that they have currently set as only available on Hulu Plus at the moment, I know there are some titles on there that will eventually make their way to blu ray. I just know that Charlie Chaplin's The Kid is going to be a major blu ray release from Criterion, no chance they leave it a Hulu Plus only title.
Not talking about the exclusives, just talking about a cheaper way of feeding the addiction and "auditioning" purchases, even for the core titles (and even the not usually individually available Eclipse-box titles), at $8 a month instead of $30 a title.
Ohh, sure, it always starts with "I buy Blu-rays because they LOOK better!"...
Well, I have been buying Criterion before they went blu ray.
Yes, $8 a month to view nearly all of the films is a cheaper alternative to dropping a bunch on physical copies. But as mentioned, the bonus features are really neat to view as well and can sometimes make it worth forking the bucks.
Notable Examples: Monterey Pop features additional musical performances from the legendary concert, The Red Shoes includes an audio track where Jeremy Irons reads from the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, an excellent 3-hour documentary on the making of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, etc.
There is? I got that disc (Benji Button) but never looked at what was on it! Despite not liking the film much, a three hour doc sounds interesting...
I've been a Criterion collector since the Laser days, when Close Encounters and 2001 made their debuts. Baron Munchausen and a bunch more LDs kept me going until DVD came along, when I naturally carried on collecting...although not as many as long time collectors will have noted how long it took them to go anamorphic!!
I've probably got more on BD now than on any other format, though in total I'd say I had over 100, maybe near 150 Criterions across all three formats.
I wish I had access to Hulu, as I'd love ot "try" titles out, and view ones I can't justify spending the money on. But for titles I really want, I don't mind buying them. I do appreciate the better picture quality (I project), and always like to see the bonus fetaures. I have seen a few titles on Netflix here in Canada, though, but not too many.
Re: Benjamin Button
Yep, 3 hour doc. Like the Atlantis: The Lost Empire doc, sections can be viewed individually and are placed into four sections: First Trimester (Development and Pre-Production), Second Trimester (Production), Third Trimester (Visual Effects and Post-Production), and Birth (Premiere and Looking Back).
I have roughly over 200 blu rays and DVDs from the collection, not counting the Eclipse sets and the Red Balloon/White Mane set. I don't think I've seen half of them yet.
An interesting series of videos Criterion has been posting on their YouTube channel is when filmmakers and celebrities go through the Criterion Closet to pick out titles they want to get. Here's one with Guillermo del Toro.
For a moment there I wondered why he just didn't pick the whole shelf (!) but then he showed a little more restraint. This was a while back though...Paths Of Glory has been out for nearly a couple of years now.
I'm interested in taking up the offer. Furthermore, I've been meaning to put together an analysis comparing Disney's Beauty and the Beast and Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast, which is one of the treasures of the Criterion Collection and both are in my current Top 20 All-Time Favorites.