Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby stereosforgeeks on Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:46 am

Tyrone_Shoelaces wrote:Criterion working on bringing House (Hausu) to Blu-ray?

I'll buy just based on the fuct up trailer. Janus Films has a print of the flick making the rounds on the art house circuit, get more info here.


Hausu is an absolutely insane film. Its like a cartoon dayglow horror movie. It's ridiculously over the top in every regard but it works and is a really fun to watch.

Someday Id love to take some psychadelic drugs and watch this one ;). It's truly made for it.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby magicmonkey on Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:56 am

Tyrone_Shoelaces wrote:Criterion working on bringing House (Hausu) to Blu-ray?

I'll buy just based on the fuct up trailer. Janus Films has a print of the flick making the rounds on the art house circuit, get more info here.


I've seen this too, its pretty fooked up in a scooby doo/evil dead japanese way, they truly are WAY a(literally)head , I mean this was made in 1977(!!11!) by crazy communist experimentalist japanese film guru's. I watched Shutter Island recently and I gotta say I just felt like watching the WAAAYY superior (and silent) 1926 JAPANESE version called "Page of Madness". A film SOOOOOOOOOO ahead of its time it makes the INTERNET look stoneage.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby stereosforgeeks on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:42 am

magicmonkey wrote:
Tyrone_Shoelaces wrote:Criterion working on bringing House (Hausu) to Blu-ray?

I'll buy just based on the fuct up trailer. Janus Films has a print of the flick making the rounds on the art house circuit, get more info here.


I've seen this too, its pretty fooked up in a scooby doo/evil dead japanese way, they truly are WAY a(literally)head , I mean this was made in 1977(!!11!) by crazy communist experimentalist japanese film guru's. I watched Shutter Island recently and I gotta say I just felt like watching the WAAAYY superior (and silent) 1926 JAPANESE version called "Page of Madness". A film SOOOOOOOOOO ahead of its time it makes the INTERNET look stoneage.


Scooby Doo meets evil dead mixed with lots of LSD ;). You can completely see all of the experimental film techniques on display here.

Im going to have to check out Page Of Madness.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby magicmonkey on Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:59 am

stereosforgeeks wrote:
magicmonkey wrote:
Tyrone_Shoelaces wrote:Criterion working on bringing House (Hausu) to Blu-ray?

I'll buy just based on the fuct up trailer. Janus Films has a print of the flick making the rounds on the art house circuit, get more info here.


I've seen this too, its pretty fooked up in a scooby doo/evil dead japanese way, they truly are WAY a(literally)head , I mean this was made in 1977(!!11!) by crazy communist experimentalist japanese film guru's. I watched Shutter Island recently and I gotta say I just felt like watching the WAAAYY superior (and silent) 1926 JAPANESE version called "Page of Madness". A film SOOOOOOOOOO ahead of its time it makes the INTERNET look stoneage.


Scooby Doo meets evil dead mixed with lots of LSD ;). You can completely see all of the experimental film techniques on display here.

Im going to have to check out Page Of Madness.



I had the good fortune of seeing it projected, about 10 years ago now... and it really is amazing how much it was gutted for Shutter Island. But, I guess its the same with Ibsens stage play Enemy of the People and Jaws... There are only so many stories.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Seppuku on Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:20 am

I love A Page of Madness. There are shots and techniques in that film that later filmmakers still haven't quite picked up on 'til this day. If it had actually been released outside of Japan when it was made, it might have been as influential as Un Chien Andalou or some of Eisenstein's crazier shit. CGI's given us more benefits than it's taken away, but I miss playing "How the fuck did they do that?!" when I watch a film. This film is full of those moments. And you feel just a little bit loopy at the end of it, like all the inmates in the movie.

It's not for everyone, though. This is the only clip I could find of it on Youtube.

Dale Tremont Presents...

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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby stereosforgeeks on Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:31 am

stereosforgeeks wrote:
magicmonkey wrote:
Tyrone_Shoelaces wrote:Criterion working on bringing House (Hausu) to Blu-ray?

I'll buy just based on the fuct up trailer. Janus Films has a print of the flick making the rounds on the art house circuit, get more info here.


I've seen this too, its pretty fooked up in a scooby doo/evil dead japanese way, they truly are WAY a(literally)head , I mean this was made in 1977(!!11!) by crazy communist experimentalist japanese film guru's. I watched Shutter Island recently and I gotta say I just felt like watching the WAAAYY superior (and silent) 1926 JAPANESE version called "Page of Madness". A film SOOOOOOOOOO ahead of its time it makes the INTERNET look stoneage.


Scooby Doo meets evil dead mixed with lots of LSD ;). You can completely see all of the experimental film techniques on display here.

Im going to have to check out Page Of Madness.


A Page of Madness was awesome. Totally surreal. It was like watching a nightmare unfold in front of your eyes. I love all the cinematography tricks utilized to convey madness. This one is truly ahead of its time. Also the score they put to it is great and haunting as well.

There hasnt been a better score matching since Cinematic Orchestra did Man With A Movie Camera.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby magicmonkey on Tue Jul 20, 2010 10:35 pm

Bask in the beauty of Criterion case art
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby stereosforgeeks on Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:24 pm

magicmonkey wrote:Bask in the beauty of Criterion case art


Great art.

I love The Thin Red Line Box Art. Its very Nation Geographic-esque with magazine fold and everything.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby MacCready on Tue Jul 20, 2010 11:36 pm

But what did you think of the film? Just curious - I don't recall having seen it, and wonder if I should.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Peven on Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:43 am

MacCready wrote:But what did you think of the film? Just curious - I don't recall having seen it, and wonder if I should.



it seems to be one of those films that people either really like or don't care for at all......




....I really like it
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby magicmonkey on Wed Jul 21, 2010 2:07 am

MacCready wrote:But what did you think of the film? Just curious - I don't recall having seen it, and wonder if I should.


I'd say its totally worth your time if you fancy a meditative war flick, have you seen any of Kon Ichikawa's work? It's quite similar in tone.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby so sorry on Wed Jul 21, 2010 8:36 am

magicmonkey wrote:Bask in the beauty of Criterion case art



Gorgeous.

I'd love to see them do some porn though.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:37 pm

magicmonkey wrote:
MacCready wrote:But what did you think of the film? Just curious - I don't recall having seen it, and wonder if I should.


I'd say its totally worth your time if you fancy a meditative war flick, have you seen any of Kon Ichikawa's work? It's quite similar in tone.


It's one of my favorite war films. Up there with Ivans Childhood and Come and See
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:41 pm

From Vulture: How DVD Commentaries Were Born
"I knew the guy who was the curator of films at the LA County Museum of Art, and I brought him to New York to oversee color correction. He’s telling us all these amazing stories, particularly about King Kong, because it’s his favorite film. Someone said, 'Gee, we’ve got this extra sound track on the LaserDisc, why don’t you tell these stories?' He was horrified at the idea, but we promised we’d get him superstoned if he did, and he gave this amazing discussion about the making of King Kong, which we released as the second sound track." —Criterion Collection founder Bob Stein on the first-ever DVD extra [TripleCanopy]
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:23 am

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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:25 am

From Cinematical:
Criterion Corner: It's Cheaper Than Film School
David Ehrlich wrote:The Criterion Collection saved my life. It's not as if I was shot in the chest only to have the bullet stopped by the 'Grand Illusion' DVD I keep over my heart at all times or anything like that (although everyone knows that the U.S. army used laserdiscs as shields during the Gulf War), but ... Okay, the Criterion Collection never saved my life, but it sure played a role in shaping it.

A chance encounter with their initial 'Seven Samurai' disc some 11 years ago sparked a voracious and domineering appetite for film that -- 500+ Criterion releases later -- has still yet to be fully satisfied. That formative experience spurred me toward a number of film-related pilgrimages, including a quest to Ozu's grave in Kamakura, Japan which became the basis of my college admissions essay. Criterion -- as I would soon discover -- has become a more reliable, expansive and cost-effective education than the most esteemed film studies programs.

With that fanaticism in mind, it's my overwhelming pleasure to welcome you to Criterion Corner, a new monthly Cinematical column dedicated to the wide and wonderful world of the Criterion Collection.

In their own words, the collection is a "continuing series of important classic and contemporary films, dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements."

Whereas most home video companies simply squeeze their films onto your TV, the noble folks at Criterion take the slippery and ephemeral experience of cinema and make it something to hold, keep and appreciate. Immaculately restored, beautifully packaged and stuffed with original bonus features, Criterion doesn't license films so much as canonize them. From established classics such as 'Seven Samurai' to rescued obscurities like 'Symbiopsychotaxiplasm' and modern masterpieces like 'Yi Yi,' Criterion gathers the very best of cinema. An enthusiastically fetishistic culture has formed around the distributor, and it's become impossible to understate Criterion's importance to film and fans alike.

Each month Criterion Corner will bring you the latest news, reviews of the month's new releases and a deeper look at Criterion culture, its trends and its resultant fandom. Ideally, this will also become an interactive space where Cinematical readers can come to share their love for all things Criterion, and we encourage you to submit anecdotes, links, questions, pics of your collection, suggestions for the column and anything else you want to CriterionCorner@gmail.com.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:01 am

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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby so sorry on Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:58 am




So I'm going to buy two of these bad boys today. But I have 4 in mind... what do you guys think?

Days of Heaven

Gomorrah

Paths of Glory

Seven Samurai
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby magicmonkey on Tue Nov 02, 2010 12:40 pm

so sorry wrote:



So I'm going to buy two of these bad boys today. But I have 4 in mind... what do you guys think?

Days of Heaven

Gomorrah

Paths of Glory

Seven Samurai


Definitely PATHS OF GLORY!!
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby so sorry on Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:14 pm

magicmonkey wrote:
so sorry wrote:



So I'm going to buy two of these bad boys today. But I have 4 in mind... what do you guys think?

Days of Heaven

Gomorrah

Paths of Glory

Seven Samurai


Definitely PATHS OF GLORY!!


Done. Also ordered Days of Heaven (everything I've read about this blu-ray transfer is glowing reviews) and Gomorrah.

So as sacrilegious as this sounds, I decided NOT to order the Seven Samurai!
Maybe next year...
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby stereosforgeeks on Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:10 pm

so sorry wrote:
magicmonkey wrote:
so sorry wrote:



So I'm going to buy two of these bad boys today. But I have 4 in mind... what do you guys think?

Days of Heaven

Gomorrah

Paths of Glory

Seven Samurai


Definitely PATHS OF GLORY!!


Done. Also ordered Days of Heaven (everything I've read about this blu-ray transfer is glowing reviews) and Gomorrah.

So as sacrilegious as this sounds, I decided NOT to order the Seven Samurai!
Maybe next year...


I really like Gomorrah but you bought 2 solid releases for sure.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:17 am

I'm debating if I should shoot the works and go for The Thin Red Line, The Darjeeling Limited, and House.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:52 am

Today is the last day for the sale.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby TheButcher on Wed Dec 22, 2010 3:29 am

The Playlist Exclusive:
Olivier Assayas’ ‘Carlos’ Headed To The Criterion Collection In 2011
Release Will Contain Both The Extended Television & Theatrical Cuts
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Ribbons on Wed Dec 22, 2010 4:43 am

Nice!
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby stereosforgeeks on Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:05 am

TheButcher wrote:The Playlist Exclusive:
Olivier Assayas’ ‘Carlos’ Headed To The Criterion Collection In 2011
Release Will Contain Both The Extended Television & Theatrical Cuts


Definitely good news. The movie is a bit bogged down but completely interesting from start to finish. though it lacks some of Assayas' trademarks you can still tell its him. Theres a sequence in the second part thats just great.

I wish Criterion would release L'eau froide which is a pretty amazing film and not readily available.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Charlie Chaplin

Postby TheButcher on Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:15 am

From The Playlist:
The Criterion Collection Mega-Clue Hints At Polanski, Roeg, Cuaron & More
* The globe that the Monroe monster is bouncing is a nod to Charlie Chaplin‘s “Great Dictator.” It’s been public knowledge that Janus has secured the rights to a number of Chaplin films(they’ve begun to exhibit them theatrically), and last year saw the outstanding release of Chaplin’s “Modern Times.”


From Amazon:
Modern Times (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

From The Criterion Collection:
Modern Times

From Ropes of Silicon:
Blu-ray Review: Modern Times (Criterion Collection)
Brad Brevet wrote:About two years ago I started watching Charlie Chaplin films for the first time. I watched City Lights, The Great Dictator, The Kid, The Gold Rush and, of course, Modern Times. I didn't instantly take to his style of comedy or commentary, not the same as I instantly fell in love with Buster Keaton's work in The General, but as I watched each film my appreciation began to grow.

With only a few films under my belt when it comes to Chaplin and Keaton, I would probably still place myself more in Keaton's camp than Chaplin's. But with the thought of Criterion potentially adding the rest of Chaplin's classic features to their collection, and if the Blu-ray releases are as spectacular as their treatment of Modern Times, that won't stop me from wanting more, more, more.

Modern Times is the first Chaplin feature Criterion has added to their collection, and with Janus Film road-showing several new 35mm prints of Chaplin's classics from A Dog's Life to A King in New York I'd say it's only a matter of time before we see many more. However, Modern Times is probably the very best place to start and I assume it will be flying off the shelves, especially once word gets out as to how great it is.

First off, the transfer is superb. What I've really started to notice about Criterion's Blu-ray editions of black-and-white features is the balanced texture. Grain is often, if not always, present and it's rare for one scene to appear overloaded with grain while another is wiped clean unless it can't be avoided, such as an instance where the film stock may not be up to par with the rest of the print. In the case of Modern Times the grain levels are even throughout and will satisfy audiences looking for grain and won't bother those that would prefer the grain be scrubbed out. Additionally, the 1.0 monaural audio track is crisp, clean and perfect if you ask me and gone into in-depth with the film's music arranger David Raksin in a separate featurette.

On top of the film, the supplemental features are extensive, but not to the point of exhaustion.

Beginning with the brand new audio commentary recorded by Chaplin biographer David Robinson you can either start with this commentary and get a jump on the additional features, or listen to it last for a recap of most of the other features on the disc plus a helping of much more information. Robinson's commentary is a mixture of textbook and seemingly off-the-cuff comments and while he primarily sticks to the facts of the matter, it never comes across as overly professorial.

Next there's a batch of four featurettes, three that run around 16 minutes and a fourth clocking in at 21 minutes. One is the interview with Raksin I already mentioned that also includes a nine-minute selection from the film's original orchestral track. Raksin has plenty of good stories to tell ranging from the demands of Chaplin to just how much work on the film's music he's responsible for. "Modern Times: A Closer Look" is a solid visual essay of the film's production and "Silent Traces: Modern Times" reminded me a lot of the location featurettes I discussed on Kino's recent location featurettes on their Sherlock Jr. / Three Ages Blu-ray pointing out the locations where the film was shot.

However, the best of the four is undoubtedly "A Bucket of Water and a Glass Matte" in which Craig Barron (Oscar-winning The Curious Case of Benjamin Button visual effects supervisor) and Ben Burtt (sound designer on the Star Wars franchise) discuss the film's visual and sound effects. The segment breaking down Chaplin's roller-skating sequence in this featurette is brilliant.

Chaplin's skating skills are also on display in the 25-minute short "The Rink" and there's also a silent 8mm home video featuring Chaplin, Modern Times co-star Paulette Godard and journalist Alistair Cooke from 1933 in which the trio decide to make the most of a yachting trip. The 18 minute silent can also be watched with an optional score by composer Donald Sosin. A supplemental interview with Cooke's daugter, Susan Cooke Kittedge, is also available.

Rounding out the bunch is a ten-minute short titled For the First Time in which Cuban documentarian Octavio Cortazar shows Modern Times to a group of moviegoers for the first time, some of which that have actually never seen a movie. The set is then completed with two deleted scenes, three trailers and a 40-page illustrated booklet featuring an essay by film critic Saul Austerlitz "Exit the Tramp", which you can read here, and Lisa Stein's essay "Chaplin Sees the World".

Modern Times is Chaplin's last outing as the Little Tramp and is often referred to on this disc as "the last great silent film to come out of Hollywood," and that is a theme that seems to run through the entire disc. I can't argue with the statement seeing how I don't have a massive amount of knowledge regarding silent films. But considering Modern Times was released in 1936, several years after talking pictures had become the norm, I think it's pretty safe to say it's a claim worth agreeing with and Criterion's presentation is one to add to the shelves.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby TheButcher on Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:03 pm

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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby stereosforgeeks on Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:11 pm

TheButcher wrote:From Collider:
ARMY OF SHADOWS Criterion Blu-ray Review


I picked this up on tuesday! It looks fantastic!
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby magicmonkey on Tue Jan 18, 2011 6:13 am

stereosforgeeks wrote:
TheButcher wrote:From Collider:
ARMY OF SHADOWS Criterion Blu-ray Review


I picked this up on tuesday! It looks fantastic!


Me wants!!1 Bad! Bad! :P :P
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Fried Gold on Sat Jan 29, 2011 8:56 pm

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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Ribbons on Sun Jan 30, 2011 1:24 am

Is that real!?
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Fievel on Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:45 am

Ribbons wrote:Is that real!?


http://fakecriterions.tumblr.com/
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Peven on Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:33 pm

Fievel wrote:
Ribbons wrote:Is that real!?


http://fakecriterions.tumblr.com/


I am so disappointed, I was looking forward to a great transfer along with an entire dvd of behind-the-scenes making-of stuff :(
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby TonyWilson on Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:30 pm

The art work on those covers is phenomenal - perfect encapsulation of Criterion style - the cayenne pepper on the front of the Mrs Doubtfire parody is genius.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:14 pm

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Re: Criterion Collection: King of the Monsters?

Postby TheButcher on Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:52 am

From Blu-ray.com:
Criterion Teases Gojira (Godzilla) Blu-ray
Matthew Smith wrote:Earlier today Criterion posted an image of a Toho film canister on their Facebook page that hinted they may be preparing the 1954 monster classic Gojira (Godzilla) for a future Blu-ray release.

The Ishiro Honda film, which began the long series of Godzilla monster movies and spin-offs, previously debuted on Blu-ray in a 2009 release courtesy of Classic Media, but has yet to undergo a full restoration. The film is also known as Godzilla, King of the Monsters, a re-edited North American version which featured Raymond Burr.

The tease leaves many questions unanswered since an official announcement from the distributor has yet to be made. A possible release date and answers as to what versions of the film will be included are now open to speculation. Pictured below is the image posted on The Criterion Collection's official Facebook page.


From The Good, The Bad and GODZILLA:
CRITERION PREPPING "GODZILLA" (1954)! - DVD & BD Release Coming Soon?

From Facebook:
The Criterion Collection's Photos - Wall Photos
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Re: Criterion Collection: King of the Monsters?

Postby so sorry on Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:45 pm

TheButcher wrote:From Blu-ray.com:
Criterion Teases Gojira (Godzilla) Blu-ray
Matthew Smith wrote:Earlier today Criterion posted an image of a Toho film canister on their Facebook page that hinted they may be preparing the 1954 monster classic Gojira (Godzilla) for a future Blu-ray release.

The Ishiro Honda film, which began the long series of Godzilla monster movies and spin-offs, previously debuted on Blu-ray in a 2009 release courtesy of Classic Media, but has yet to undergo a full restoration. The film is also known as Godzilla, King of the Monsters, a re-edited North American version which featured Raymond Burr.

The tease leaves many questions unanswered since an official announcement from the distributor has yet to be made. A possible release date and answers as to what versions of the film will be included are now open to speculation. Pictured below is the image posted on The Criterion Collection's official Facebook page.


From The Good, The Bad and GODZILLA:
CRITERION PREPPING "GODZILLA" (1954)! - DVD & BD Release Coming Soon?

From Facebook:
The Criterion Collection's Photos - Wall Photos



Man in Blu-Suit! Man in Blu-Suit!

Cool news...I haven't watched a godzilla movie since I was a teenager. This might be worth having though.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby DennisMM on Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:14 pm

The library doesn't have a large Criterion Collection, but it does have one of my favorite suspense films, Peeping Tom. If you haven't seen the film, do.
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Re: Criterion Collection: King of the Monsters?

Postby TheButcher on Fri Nov 18, 2011 10:16 pm

From SciFi Japan:
GODZILLA from The Criterion Collection
SciFi Japan takes a look behind the scenes of the upcoming release with details on how Criterion acquired the film, the materials being utilized for the DVD and Blu-ray, an updated press release, and an interview with audio commentator David Kalat.
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Re: Criterion Collection: King of the Monsters?

Postby TheButcher on Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:01 am

From Blu-ray.com:
Gojira Blu-ray Review
Dr. Svet Atanasov wrote:Japanese director Ishiro Honda's "Gojira" a.k.a "Godzilla" (1954) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion. The supplemental features on the disc include Terry O. Morse's reworking of the original film, "Godzilla, King of the Monsters!" (1956); theatrical trailers; brand new video interviews with cast and crew members; video interview with Japanese cinema expert and film critic Tadao Sato; audio essay by historian Gregory M. Pflugfelder; featurettes; two audio commentaries by critic David Kalat; and more. The disc also arrives with an illustrated booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. Region-A "locked".

The story is legendary. After some nuclear testing, a giant monster, called Godzilla, emerges from the depths of the sea and heads towards Tokyo. The Japanese government sends the army to stop it, but it quickly becomes clear that it does not have the proper resources to do so. With panic quickly taking hold in the minds of the Japanese people, Dr. Serizawa (Akihiko Hirata, Zero Pilot, The Imperial Navy) reveals that he has built a powerful new weapon, the "Oxygen Destroyer", which could be used to destroy the monster. But respected paleontologist Kyohei Yamane (Takashi Shimura, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo) urges the government to form a research team and study the monster first before destroying it.

Japanese director Ishiro Honda's legendary film Godzilla is undoubtedly a product of its time. Completed only nine years after the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it embodies the fears of a country seriously concerned with nuclear experimentation. The film is slow and moody, at times more depressing than exciting, looking terribly dated. Most unfortunately, however, its message is still relevant today.

There is a fascinating sequence early into the film where the paleontologist speculates where the monster might have come from and why. Immediately after his report, high-ranking politicians begin arguing whether the information should be made public. Some believe that the public should be kept in the dark to avoid panic and preserve the economy; others believe that the information from the report should be made public right away. This specific debate appears awfully similar to the one Japanese politicians apparently had earlier this year after accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

The tone of the film, however, is not preachy; rather it is respectful and sensible. The various arguments and warnings heard after Godzilla's arrival make sense because they are grounded in reality, urging the viewer to consider the difficult dilemmas a serious nuclear disaster could create. Naturally, the real monster in the film is not the seemingly indestructible Godzilla, but fear.

In 1956, two years after director Honda's Godzilla premiered in Japan, an American adaptation of the film titled Godzilla, King of the Monsters! was completed. Codirected and edited by Terry O. Morse and starring Raymond Burr as a reporter on his way to Egypt who gets stuck in Tokyo when the monster appears, the films combines a large amount of footage from the Japanese film with new material which alters the original order of events. The American film begins after the monster's second attack on Tokyo and thus omits the linear structure of the Japanese film. Additionally, the American film also omits all of the important scenes that condemn the nuclear experimentations. Unsurprisingly, Godzilla and Godzilla, King of the Monsters! are two very different films. The former is a dated but socially conscious film with a meaningful message. The latter is a lighter and less ambitious film meant to entertain rather than raise awareness and spark debates.

Godzilla was lensed by acclaimed Japanese cinematographer Masao Tamai, who contributed to various films directed by Kenji Mizoguchi, Hiroshi Inagaki, and Kon Ichiakawa. Tamai's most prolific work, however, was with director Mikio Naruse (Meshi, The Thunder of the Mountain, When A Woman Ascends The Stairs). The special effects in Godzilla were directed and overseen by Eiji Tsuburaya. In 1954, the film won Best Special Effects Award at the Japanese Academy Awards.

Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.37:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Ishiro Honda's Godzilla arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Criterion.

Criterion's presentation of this classic Japanese film is leaps and bounds ahead of Classic Media's presentation (see review here). Not only are detail and clarity dramatically improved, but there are entire sequences where it literally feels as if a filter of some sort has been removed - the effect is most obvious during the nighttime sequences, even though Criterion's high-definition transfer is notably darker than the one used by Screen Media (compare screenshots #5 and 7 with screenshots #1 and 3 from our review of Classic Media's Blu-ray release). Furthermore, contrast levels have been carefully elevated and colors rebalanced, while brightness levels have been toned down. Some careful noise corrections have been performed, but the fine grain has been retained (the Classic Media transfer has been severely degrained and as a result an enormous amount of detail has been lost). Various stabilizations have been performed as well, and when Godzilla enters Tokyo it is very easy to appreciate them. This being said, small scratches and damage marks still remain, but these are inherited source limitations that obviously could not be addressed without affecting the integrity of the image. All in all, Criterion's presentation of Godzilla is enormously satisfying, and I feel comfortable speculating that it will be considered the definitive presentation of the film for years to come.

Also included on this Blu-ray disc is Terry O. Morse's Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. I don't currently have a copy of this film in my library to do some direct comparisons, but I highly doubt that there is a DVD release which comes close to matching the quality of Criterion's Blu-ray release. Detail, clarity and especially color reproduction are quite impressive. When projected, the film also conveys very pleasing depth. Additionally, when compared to Godzilla there appear to be far less damage marks and scratches.

(Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).

There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: Japanese LPCM 1.0, for Godzilla, and English LPCM 1.0, for Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. For the record, Criterion have provided optional English subtitles for both films.

I have a feeling that a lot of people, and especially those who know Godzilla well and have owned it on DVD, will be genuinely surprised with the quality of the Japanese LPCM 1.0 track. The opening credits with that heavy thumping followed by Godzilla's roar have certainly never sounded this lush and well rounded before; on DVD, the audio has always been a mixed bag, compromised by various stability issues, distortions, and weak dynamics. In the beginning of chapter 3, for instance, the clarinet and the violins are extremely easy to identify, while the dialog is completely free of background hiss. It is clear that additional stabilizations have also been performed to ensure that the dynamic progressions in Akira Ifukube's legendary music score are as effective as possible. The English LPCM 1.0 track from Godzilla, King of the Monsters! is equally pleasing. The dialog is clean, stable, and very easy to follow.

    * Trailer - the original theatrical trailer for Godzilla. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (3 min, 1080i).

    * Commentary - a new audio commentary by critic David Kalat, author of A Critical History and Filmography of Toho's Godzilla Series. Mr. Kalat's commentary is informative but admittedly too emotional and ultimately quite difficult to endure. The structural analysis and the examination of the socio-political conditions Godzilla represents, however, are very good.

    * Cast and Crew - four interviews with cast and crew members recalling and discussing their contribution to Ishiro Honda's Godzilla. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles.

    -- Akira Takarada (actor). Recorded in 2011. (13 min, 1080i).
    -- Haruo Nakajima (actor). Recorded in 2011. (10 min, 1080i).
    -- Yoshio Irie and Eizo Kaimai (effects technicians). Recorded in 2011. (31 min, 1080i).
    -- Akira Ifukube (composer). (51 min, 1080i).

    * Photographic Effects - a short featurette focusing on some of the unique visual tricks in Godzilla. Introduced by effects director Koichi Kawakita and SFX cameraman Motoyoshi Tomioka. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (10 min, 1080i).

    * Tadao Sato - in this video interview, Japanese cinema expert and film critic Tadao Sato discusses Godzilla, its production history, and cultural significance. The interview was conducted in 2011. In Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (15 min, 1080i).

    * The Unluckiest Dragon -
    a 2011 illustrated audio essay, featuring historian Gregory M. Pflugfelder of Columbia University, discussing the tragic fate of the fishing vessel Daigo fukuryu maru (Lucky Dragon No. 5), a real-life event that inspired Godzilla. In English, not subtitled. (10 min, 1080p).

    * Godzilla, King of the Monsters! - the 1956 feature film codirected and edited by Terry O. Morse. In English and Japanese, with optional English subtitles. (81 min, 1080p).

    * Trailer - the original theatrical trailer for Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. In English, not subtitled. (2 min, 1080p).

    * Commentary - a new audio commentary by critic David Kalat. The audio commentary was recorded exclusively for Criterion in 2011.

    * Booklet - an illustrated booklet featuring an essay by critic J. Hoberman.

Fans of Japanese director Ishiro Honda's hugely influential Godzilla will be enormously pleased with Criterion's upcoming Blu-ray release. In terms of quality, it is leaps and bounds ahead of all previous commercial releases of the film, including Classic Media's recent Blu-ray release. In addition to a wealth of brand new supplemental features, Criterion have also included Terry O. Morse's Godzilla, King of the Monsters!. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Re: Criterion Collection: King of the Monsters?

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jan 11, 2012 6:19 am

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Re: Criterion Collection: Charlie Chaplin

Postby TheButcher on Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:09 am

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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Mon Jul 16, 2012 2:46 am

Criterion is 50% off at Barnes & Noble until July 30.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:50 pm

April titles just announced

Richard III
Gate of Hell
Naked Lunch

Eclipse Series 38: Masaki Kobayashi Against the System
Repo Man
Pierre Etaix box set
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby so sorry on Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:46 am

Hmmmm, Badlands coming out in March. Gonna put that on my wish list.
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Re: Criterion Collection: 2013

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:03 pm

Criterion Collection: 2013 Puzzle
Anna Karenina, Flight, Wreck-It Ralph, Little Mermaid 3D, Criterion 2013 tease & more!
Bill Hunt wrote:And Criterion has begun teasing its 2013 Blu-ray and DVD release slate by releasing a drawing with clues to upcoming titles. Among the possible suspects include James Marsh’s Man on Wire, Harold Lloyd’s Safety Last!, David Lynch’s Eraserhead, Guillermo del Toro’s The Devil’s Backbone, Mike Leigh’s Life is Sweet, Teinosuke Kinugasa’s Gate of Hell, Gabriel Axel’s Babette’s Feast, Delmer Daves’ 3:10 to Yuma and possibly David Cronenberg’s Scanners. I’d sure like to see the Zatoichi films and Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou in the mix for 2013 too. Fingers crossed.

The Blob March 12 2013
On the Waterfront February 19 2013
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby so sorry on Fri Jun 07, 2013 11:01 am

Best Buy is having a huge Criterion BluRay Sale

Half off those bad boys...stock up!
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Tyrone_Shoelaces on Thu Jul 18, 2013 3:34 pm

Barnes & Noble 50% off sale is on until July 29.
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Re: Criterion Collection: Best of the Best?

Postby Spandau Belly on Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:43 am

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Criterion has released the best Zatoichi film collection yet. I think this set includes all of the films from the original run of the series (omitting Takeshi Kitano's reboot and the Rutger Hauer update, BLIND FURY). I honestly had no idea how many films there were in this series. This might be my Christmas gift to myself this year. I think I'd have fun working my way through this series.
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