Criterion Going Blu-Ray this Fall

jackie-chan
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Criterion Going Blu-Ray this Fall

The Criterion Collection goes next-gen this October as the company is set to release its first wave of high-definition Blu-Ray titles.

In a post on their website earlier this month, the company listed the following titles as "in the pipeline," with only a general October roll-out planned. No official release dates are set as of now.

The Third Man
Bottle Rocket
Chungking Express
The Man Who Fell to Earth
El Norte
The 400 Blows
Gimme Shelter
The Complete Monterey Pop
Contempt
Walkabout
For All Mankind
The Wages of Fear

Some interesting titles there, to be sure, including Wes Anderson's Bottle Rocket, long-rumored to be slated for a standard-def release from Criterion. Also worth noting that this will mark triple-dips from the company for The 400 Blows and Wages of Fear.

Known for lavishing attention on highly-regarded but often under-released films and filmmakers, the company is also widely recognized for sticking to price points that are antiquated at best, perhaps fiscally elitist at worst. Will they keep their promise to hold BR prices in line with their standard-def releases? If so, it would seem a small step in the right direction. Suppose we must wait and see. Criterion joins a growing number of boutique labels dipping their toes into the BR market, including Anchor Bay / Starz, Blue Underground, and BCI / Eclipse.

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The announcement
Criterion online

Ard VijnMay 20, 2008 10:26 PM

Elitist or not, Criterion does a stellar job finding the best prints possible, commentaries, booklets, other extras etc.

And all that as a small company for a niche market, but with a hell of a brand name (they basically invented the "special edition").

So I don't really begrudge them their high prices.
With their low print ranges and the amount of effort that goes into them, for once they're probably justified.

Collin ArmstrongMay 20, 2008 11:13 PM

Ard you are definitely right - Criterion does a fantastic job, digging up troves of material for some very out-there titles... but then again so do Blue Underground, Dark Sky, and Synapse. The quality of their releases is often on-par with Criterion's, yet you won't pay over $20 for any of their releases if you shop smart. Are the films of the same caliber? All depends on who you ask - what you can't say is they don't lavish equal attention on prints, commentaries, etc. Why no premium there?

Just a counterpoint.

I own a ton of Criterion titles, and will be investing in their Blu-Ray line-up, so I'm no hater. Just a little puzzled at times by how they continue to charge an arm and leg, when others ask only a toe (or two).

SwarezMay 20, 2008 11:24 PM

I think there is just a larger marked for Blue Underground films and they can afford to cut the prices, wether as Criterion is much more a hard core niche marked. Plus I think they keep the number of copies down to make them more limited, thus cater to the collector's.
That's why they sometimes release bizarre discs such as Armageddon and The Rock that move units and maybe steer new people to their collection.

Kurt HalfyardMay 20, 2008 11:42 PM

In non-Blue-Ray News, GUY MADDIN's BRAND UPON THE BRAIN! is getting a Criterion Release. JOY!

http://www.rowthree.com/2008/05/20/maddin-joins-criterion/#comment-9517

momodotcomMay 21, 2008 12:46 AM

Does anyone know what Criterion will do with their number order on Blu-ray?

Ard VijnMay 21, 2008 12:49 AM

No, they haven't said yet. Inside rumor has it they're still discussing what to do about the numbering.

Peter van der LugtMay 21, 2008 2:12 AM

Yay, Criterion on Blu-ray. Count me in!!

The VisitorMay 21, 2008 7:54 AM

the interesting thing about Chungking Express is which version Criterion will be releasing. the original Hong Kong cut, seen in theatres there, has long been unavailable. i forget what the difference was with the other cuts, but friends say it's considerable.

whatever it is, i think it's safe to say Criterion will release a DEFINITIVE version, with WKW's direct involvement.

also, i read that Criterion's The Last Emperor four-disc edition will also be on Blu Ray.

jailMay 21, 2008 11:37 AM

STALKER!!!!!!