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Angry the Clown

The Criterion Collection (Blu-ray) thread

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Another Barnes & Noble 50% off Criterion sale is forthcoming. Begins Monday and ends on the 21st of November so Three Colours, Fanny & Alexander, Rules of the Game...etc pre-orders should all be inclusive to the deal, but Rushmore...etc will not. I suspect there will be a code for an additional 10% off as well.

 

 

 

Are there any rumours of Criterion licensing Being John Malkovich from Universal? The studio has released it to Blu-ray here in the UK but I am reluctant to go near it on account of Universal's dodgy history of catalogue material, and wondering whether Criterion might do it better in the states.

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I have to admit to having some morbid curiosity about Salo, and $15-16 seems like a very reasonable price. Is this more along the lines of The Human Centipede or A Serbian Film (which I have no interest in seeing)?

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I've since discovered that it (Malkovich) was amongst the films Criterion selected for their All Tomorrow's Parties screenings last month. Most people seem to be taking that as fair indication of a 2012 release. What do you think? Fingers crossed.

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Are there any rumours of Criterion licensing Being John Malkovich from Universal? The studio has released it to Blu-ray here in the UK but I am reluctant to go near it on account of Universal's dodgy history of catalogue material, and wondering whether Criterion might do it better in the states.

The latest Criterion newsletter has a clear hint that this is indeed on the way.

wackymonkeymarionette.jpg

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Yup, caught that myself. Very pleased. I'm surprised Adaptation was licensed by Sony to Image and Criterion didn't get to handle that one themselves (ditto Fisher King which had a nice Criterion laserdisc back in the day).

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For the next twenty-four hours at Criterion.com, all in-stock Blu-rays and DVDs will be 50% off the suggested retail price (SRP). Just enter the promotional code INGRID on your shopping cart page to apply the discount.

If you need some help deciding what to buy, we’ve created a real-time dashboard where you can see top sellers and what’s running low, plus categories like samurai films, essential art-house, collector’s sets, and more. And we’ll be adding new themes every few hours.

The code expires at noon EST tomorrow, so don’t delay!

 

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Picking up anything? I'm unsure of Criterion's overseas shipping policy so I am going to wait until the next Barnes & Noble sale online. Been a while since I had a Criterion binge and there are a number of titles I need to catch up on adding to the collection.

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Picked up many of the titles that have been released since the last BN sale:

Seconds3 Films by Roberto Rossellini Starring Ingrid BergmanThe Big CityCharulataAutumn Sonata, Slacker.

 

Especially looking forward to the Rossellini set.

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Coincidentally I got around to watching the Criterion Blu of Blow Out at last tonight. Great, great fun; nobody chews scenery quite like John Lithgow.

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I am sure there is another Barnes and Noble sale coming in a month or two, but with a birthday coming up I have The Great Beauty, Jules and Jim, Hidden Fortress, Band of Outsiders, The Killing/Killer's Kiss, Throne of Blood and Quadrophenia on the way. B&N ceased marking their shipments overseas as "books" last summer so anything coming into the UK was at higher risk of being caught with customs and duty fees, though I got very lucky with my big order from them last winter (actually it is never those fees that bother me but the ludicrous additional fee Royal Mail then hit you with as a clearance charge). I've used Amazon.com and their global shipping method that allows me to pre-pay customs and duty instead. If the fees end up higher than the estimate they charge you then they pay the balance. Seven discs shipped via courier with fees paid for a little over £160 suited me just fine. Good £/$ ratio at the moment helps.

 

Wanted to order Godzilla but held off for now as I may risk a B&N sale in future, or pounce if Amazon ever stage one again. I'm gradually catching up with my backlog of desired Criterions though.... well... catching up on a wish list of 76 remaining titles as best as one can that is. 

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IMPORTANT!

 

It would appear that several Blu-rays from the Criterion collection, run from select batches in reproduction and possibly from a specific manufacturing plant, are showing signs of rot, identifiable by a "browning" effect to the underside of certain discs. This results in playback issues. Worryingly this is affecting some OOP titles. I've just sat and gone through every title in my collection and, for now at least, appear to have dodged a bullet with the likes of Pierrot le Fou which is apparently one of the commonly affected discs. All of my discs seem to be okay.

 

An example of what to look for:

 

tumblr_nbpj5sG1941qa6obyo1_1280.jpg

 

http://blog.criterioncast.com/post/97171117196/are-your-criterion-collection-blu-rays-browning?utm_content=buffer3dac4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

 

 

Criterion has yet to publicly acknowledge this issue, however have seemingly addressed it with one customer over the phone who has been told Criterion WILL be dealing with this (save for affected OOP discs) and plan to address it on a customer by customer basis. This will take some time given the small staff and the fact they have already received over 1000 emails, AND are having to deal with a fault to the new Eraserhead disc before they tackle this other growing problem.

 

Criterion have also responded to some customers via email:

 

 

 

We are aware of this issue, which appears to affect a number of titles pressed four or five years ago at a pressing plant that we no longer use, and we are currently working on a solution. Please be assured that we are dedicated to your satisfaction and will be replacing defective discs. As soon as we have a system in place to handle exchanges efficiently, we will send out a link with instructions on how to receive replacement discs. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we work through this issue. 

 

So, first things first, CHECK YOUR DISCS, chiefly ones from Criterion's 2009-2010 releases. If any of them are bad just hold off until we have about the official replacement process. There has been suggestion that they might offer those with bad OOP discs the option of another title from the collection but at this point nothing is final or official.

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Criterion have initiated the replacement procedure:
 
 

We have confirmed that certain Blu-ray discs pressed at a replication facility that we used for a period in 2010 have become defective, showing a noticeable bronze discoloration on the underside and developing playback problems. We have confirmed the problem on seven titles, though not on all copies of those titles. All of these titles have since been re-pressed at a different pressing plant, and the vast majority of discs in circulation should not be affected.

The potentially affected Blu-ray titles are:

Howards End
M
Paris, Texas
Pierrot le fou
The Seventh Seal
Summer Hours
Walkabout

If you have found that your Blu-ray copy of one of these titles does not play, please send your disc to the following address for a replacement:

Jon Mulvaney
The Criterion Collection
215 Park Avenue South
5th floor
New York, NY 10003

Please include only your disc—no packaging—along with the address to which you’d like us to mail your replacement. We will not be replacing or exchanging packaging. There is no need to email us in addition.

If we learn that other titles are similarly defective, we will add them to this list and continue to replace them as well.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.



Curiously that would indicate that they CAN replace Pierrot le four and Howards End (both OOP).

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Clues for some 2015 titles from the New Year's newsletter:

 

 

Wacky_New_Year_2015_large.jpg

 

Inside Llewyn Davis is a curious one. No idea what, if anything, Criterion would improve upon compared to the existing disc. Looks like we'll finally see Moonrise Kingdom this year. Although the eye throws me a bit, the man with the crown in the boat is The Fisher King (Gilliam confirmed some months ago that he'd just finished approving the Criterion Blu-ray here).

 

The ship apparently represent's Malick's The New World as the Warner disc is OOP, and Criterion are known to have acquired it.

 

I'm hoping the two suns, juxtaposing the Moonrise Kingdom moon hint, is Two Days, One Night. 

 

I'm wondering if the eye might be One Eyed Jacks. Is the woman standing Joan of Arc perhaps? It'd be nigh on impossible to beat the Masters of Cinema release of that one.

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It's an interesting one. From what I have seen of it I'd place it ahead of the New Line US disc (obviously) but perhaps behind the UK disc. It looks to depend on your preference of the colour grading I suppose (both were GDT approved, so I am not sure what has provoked his want for the green tint and black crush of the Criterion). 

 

http://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=8960&d2=8962&c=3620\

 

 

The packaging of the box set is rather lovely, even if it is an infuriatingly awkward case size. 

 

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The color grading reminds me quite a bit of Crimson Peak (a movie I would *love* to see in 4K HDR!). Perhaps there was still remnants of that film in his mind that played into his color choices for this transfer?

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