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wtd: RoboCop Criterion DVD-r

 
 
Jesse Edwards
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      11-05-2003
Does anyone have the Criterion Version of RoboCop that I could get a
DVD-r copy of cheap? I want all the extras, menus, etc.. with it

 
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Murder
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      11-05-2003
http://www.velocityreviews.com/forums/(E-Mail Removed) (Jesse Edwards) wrote in news:1217-3FA878AE-407
@storefull-2172.public.lawson.webtv.net:

> Does anyone have the Criterion Version of RoboCop that I could get a
> DVD-r copy of cheap? I want all the extras, menus, etc.. with it
>
>



Y'know it's ironic. I got desperate a couple of months ago, and I was
going to sell my Criterion Robocop (among others) for about $6 at the
local used DVD shop, and they wouldn't take it at all. I explained that
it was an out-of-print Criterion edition, and they just sort of shrugged.
But that's Criterion's problem- they charge twice as much as the market
for movies that can scarcely be called Special Editions. The Criterion
Robocop has no features on it that are worth a second look. At one time
it could be explained that they released obscure movies that no one else
would bother with, but no more. Every week there are fairly obscure
movies that get SE releases that far exceed Criterion in quality extras
for $15-20. I say that it's time for Criterion to get in another line of
bussiness, or try competing with Image, Anchor Bay, etcetera. Or has
Criterion already folded?


The Castle Monster: http://www.processionofthedamned.com/diablo.htm
 
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jayembee
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      11-05-2003
Murder <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>Every week there are fairly obscure movies that get SE releases that
>far exceed Criterion in quality extras for $15-20.


Name them.

>I say that it's time for Criterion to get in another line of bussiness, or try
>competing with Image, Anchor Bay, etcetera. Or has Criterion already
>folded?


No, they are still going strong. They're up to 215 releases, and
counting. The fact that you don't recognize their value is irrelevant.

-- jayembee
 
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Douglas Bailey
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      11-05-2003
Murder wrote:
> But that's Criterion's problem- they charge twice as much as the market
> for movies that can scarcely be called Special Editions. The Criterion
> Robocop has no features on it that are worth a second look.


Well, except for the director's cut of the film, which I've found to be
worth a third or fourth look, easily.

(More on this below.)


> At one time it could be explained that they released obscure movies that
> no one else would bother with, but no more. Every week there are fairly
> obscure movies that get SE releases that far exceed Criterion in quality
> extras for $15-20.


Here's last week's release list, as posted in rec.video.dvd.titles:

<http://groups.google.com/groups?selm=vpuu0g81bsnra6%40corp.supernews.com>

Please feel free to point out the obscure $15-20 SE releases that surpass
Criterion's editions.

And the "obscure movies" thing still holds true: with or without extras, I
haven't seen any other companies in a big hurry to release _Schizopolis_,
just to pick a title off the top of my head. Or _The Passion of Joan of
Arc_.

In most of the cases where a film has been released by Criterion and
another company, whether in parallel (_Arma- *euch* -geddon_, _Fear and
Loathing in Las Vegas_) or in succession (_RoboCop_, _Sid & Nancy_), I've
found the Criterion editions to be either equivalent or superior to their
major-label counterparts, albeit sometimes on different grounds.

Let's look at _RoboCop_, your test case. There's the Criterion disc, the
MGM disc...and the old (OOP) Image disc, which I think we can safely say
isn't really in the running quality-wise.

The MGM disc has a newer transfer and it's 16:9-enhanced. It also has a
5.1-channel remix. And it lists for $20. That's nothing to sneer at. (I own
this disc, so I'm not just saying this out of politeness.)

But MGM's disc doesn't have the director's cut of the film, or his
preferred 1.66:1 framing, or the commentary track, or the original stereo
soundtrack. And those are things that I think are worth having.

It's quite true that the Criterion disc costs more: back when it was in
print, it listed for $40 (I'm sure it's more now on eBay). But I don't
regret having bought it.


> I say that it's time for Criterion to get in another line of
> bussiness, or try competing with Image, Anchor Bay, etcetera.


They *are* competing with Image, Anchor Bay, etc. And apparently they're
doing okay in that competition: if they weren't, I'd expect to have seen
some changes in their approach. Instead, they're releasing pretty much the
same mix of obscurities and foreign films (and a few mainstream flix) that
they've been doing since they moved into DVD.

"Competing with" doesn't necessarily mean "doing the same thing as."

doug

--

---------------Douglas Bailey ((E-Mail Removed))---------------
Ah, but I have secrets; and there's a story in me -- it starts...
--Wire
 
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ML-78
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      11-05-2003
> Y'know it's ironic. I got desperate a couple of months ago, and I was
> going to sell my Criterion Robocop (among others) for about $6 at the
> local used DVD shop,


Why would you do that when you can sell it on eBay for about $35-40?

> and they wouldn't take it at all. I explained that
> it was an out-of-print Criterion edition, and they just sort of shrugged.
> But that's Criterion's problem-


Your local shop's ignorance is their own problem, not Criterion's.

> they charge twice as much as the market
> for movies that can scarcely be called Special Editions. The Criterion
> Robocop has no features on it that are worth a second look. At one time
> it could be explained that they released obscure movies that no one else
> would bother with, but no more.


Who else has bothered with a special edition of The Devil and Daniel Webster,
just to take one of their more recent examples?

> Or has
> Criterion already folded?


Errm...


ML-78


 
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Murder
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      11-05-2003
jayembee <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed):

> Murder <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>Every week there are fairly obscure movies that get SE releases that
>>far exceed Criterion in quality extras for $15-20.

>
> Name them.



Well, I said they come out every week. It would be pretty silly to "name
them" for your benefit, wouldn't it? How about Kino's versions of Faust?
How about Kino's version of *anything*? How about Blue Underground?
Retromedia? Image? All specialize in obscure titles, all priced $15-20
dollars, with extras (except Retromedia titles which generally have no
extras, but are priced $10 or less).

But hey, don't let your feelings get hurt over my opinion. I don't care
enough about the subject to rassel over it. I'll just spend my money on
reasonably-priced DVD's, and have more of them!


>
>>I say that it's time for Criterion to get in another line of
>>bussiness, or try competing with Image, Anchor Bay, etcetera. Or has
>>Criterion already folded?

>
> No, they are still going strong. They're up to 215 releases, and
> counting. The fact that you don't recognize their value is irrelevant.
>



That sucks. I hate it when I hear about a title I covet being snatched
up by Criterion. That means it will be grossly overpriced and come with
extras that. typically, are utterly worthless (Fear And Loathing appears
to have some nice extras, but I can live with the Universal Edition that
I got for 1/4 the price of the Criterion). Other companies produce
actual featurettes and documenteries. Criterion gives you stuff that was
available, but that no one else would think of wasting disc-space on.

Their Carnival Of Souls has two different versions of the movie on two
discs, with a difference of about four minutes of scattered,
insignificant footage between them. They put two versions on the release
just to justify jacking the price way up. They basically did the same
thing with Haxan, throwing in Witchcraft Through The Ages in as the
alternate version. The trouble is, Witchcraft Through The Ages is the
only version of the movie that fans under the age of ninety are really
familiar with (I know I prefer it). As for Robocop, the "excessively
violent" extra footage only ads up to a few moments, as far as I can
tell. Aside from the commentary (which other companies also deliver,
remember, at half the price) the extras include an essay that could have
just as easily been put in the insert (who wants to read an essay on the
teevee screen?), some storyboards (Ooooo! Boy, that makes it worth
$35!), trailers (found on all but the shoddiest, bargain-bin DVD
releases), and, um, it's dual-layer (and what isn't, nowadays?). That's
why no one will buy the damn thing- because their databases tell them
it's way over-valued, and won't sell any better than the junk version.


The Castle Monster: http://www.processionofthedamned.com/diablo.htm


 
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ML-78
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      11-05-2003
> How about Kino's versions of Faust?

Good release but is available in a better version elsewhere.

> How about Kino's version of *anything*? How about Blue Underground?
> Retromedia? Image?


Good companies, although Retromedia has made some appalling releases. Most of
them are, however, not as consistently releasing high quality DVD's as
Criterion, who usually take greater care of their transfers (not saying the
other companies are not). Criterion has released several titles that were
previously available from Image and always improving them.

> That sucks. I hate it when I hear about a title I covet being snatched
> up by Criterion.


Do you hate seeing them improved over the version that was already available?

> Their Carnival Of Souls has two different versions of the movie on two
> discs, with a difference of about four minutes of scattered,
> insignificant footage between them. They put two versions on the release
> just to justify jacking the price way up.


No, they put both versions on there because true movie fans would want the
option of choosing either.

> They basically did the same
> thing with Haxan, throwing in Witchcraft Through The Ages in as the
> alternate version. The trouble is, Witchcraft Through The Ages is the
> only version of the movie that fans under the age of ninety are really
> familiar with (I know I prefer it).


Err, Witchcraft Through The Ages is just the shortened (about half an hour),
narrated version of the original film. No movie fan would care about it if the
choice was between that and the original, though they appreciate having them
both - just as Criterion made their DVD.


ML-78


 
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Murder
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      11-05-2003
"ML-78" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:boaf2s$1ali$(E-Mail Removed):

>> How about Kino's versions of Faust?

>
> Good release but is available in a better version elsewhere.



Oh? The Murnau version, or the Svankmajer version?


>
>> How about Kino's version of *anything*? How about Blue Underground?
>> Retromedia? Image?

>
> Good companies, although Retromedia has made some appalling releases.
> Most of them are, however, not as consistently releasing high quality
> DVD's as Criterion, who usually take greater care of their transfers
> (not saying the other companies are not).



Yes, I probably should have left Retromedia off. They've been swallowed
up by Image, anyway. I probably also should have mentioned that I am
mostly concerned with the horror genre, which is the only genre that Blue
Underground and Retromedia really deal in.


Criterion has released
> several titles that were previously available from Image and always
> improving them.
>
>> That sucks. I hate it when I hear about a title I covet being
>> snatched up by Criterion.

>
> Do you hate seeing them improved over the version that was already
> available?



Fine, as long as there is another version out there to compare it to.
Criterion announced years ago that they were going to release Equinox,
which doesn't exist on DVD. That never panned out, I guess, but what
would be the point in doing a pain-staking transfer of a 1960's shlock
film that would only reveal all of the flaws? And I would trust Image's
Something Weird to have better extras. Criterion is all about styrofoam
popcorn rather than real content. Image would do a suitable transfer,
perhaps with a commentary, and invariably with lots of fun goodies, and
how much would they charge? $15! And how about the transfer for The
Seven Samarai? Not too good, as I understand it. Extras? Nada! Or
have I been misinformed?


>
>> Their Carnival Of Souls has two different versions of the movie on
>> two discs, with a difference of about four minutes of scattered,
>> insignificant footage between them. They put two versions on the
>> release just to justify jacking the price way up.

>
> No, they put both versions on there because true movie fans would want
> the option of choosing either.



Well, I happen to be a true movie fan, and that disc isn't worth $35. If
Herk Harvey were still alive, he would probably want to know why they
didn't just use his cut. You have to compare the versions very carefully
to find any difference, and then there would be the problem of getting a
life. You think if they had only included the Director's cut, and priced
it reasonably, that anyone would have really minded beyond the most
pathological geeks in need of intense psychotherapy?


>
>> They basically did the same
>> thing with Haxan, throwing in Witchcraft Through The Ages in as the
>> alternate version. The trouble is, Witchcraft Through The Ages is
>> the only version of the movie that fans under the age of ninety are
>> really familiar with (I know I prefer it).

>
> Err, Witchcraft Through The Ages is just the shortened (about half an
> hour), narrated version of the original film.



No action was cut, just the dull and overlong introduction, which is
narration accompanied by a lot of medieval illustrations. They were wise
to cut it. The speed-correction is where most of the missing time went.


No movie fan would care
> about it if the choice was between that and the original, though they
> appreciate having them both - just as Criterion made their DVD.



Bet they took a bath on it, though. I could hardly decide what pained me
more, the idea of spending $40 for it, or the thought of not having it on
DVD at all. I just sat through it tonight, and I have to admit that the
origianl, tinted version is kind of interesting, particualarly the
commentary. But then other companies are generally expected to provide
commentary at half Criterion's price.

I appreciate the hard work Criterion does on their transfers, but I think
their extras are standard to syrofoam, I deeply suspect their doubling-up
of versions of a film, and I pity the film connoiseurs, such as myself,
who have to work half a day to buy a title that could have been produced
by a company like Image with an adequate transfer, for half the price.

I just think that Criterion's market strategy is curious, and at times
rather obviously dubious.


The Castle Monster: http://www.processionofthedamned.com/diablo.htm

 
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ML-78
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      11-05-2003
> Oh? The Murnau version, or the Svankmajer version?

Spanish company Divisa Red released the definitive version of Murnau's film so
far. There's a comparative review here:

http://207.136.67.23/film/dvdcompare/faust.htm

It has original German intertitles (good thing), but unfortunately no English
subtitles. Transit will release it later on and I guess they'll include English
subtitles, and region 1 releases will probably follow at some point too.

> Fine, as long as there is another version out there to compare it to.
> Criterion announced years ago that they were going to release Equinox,
> which doesn't exist on DVD. That never panned out, I guess, but what
> would be the point in doing a pain-staking transfer of a 1960's shlock
> film that would only reveal all of the flaws?


That's exactly what the DVD media is about. Being a horror fan myself, I want
pristine copies of even the most obscure titles. I don't want cut and dubbed
versions of my films either - same thing.

> And how about the transfer for The
> Seven Samarai? Not too good, as I understand it.


The transfer is not bad, even though better ones have been made since. And
Criterion (who else) might release that at some point.

> Extras? Nada! Or
> have I been misinformed?


Apparently. It has a commentary track which is quite good.

> Well, I happen to be a true movie fan, and that disc isn't worth $35.


Carnival of Souls is available in several, cheaper versions. I gladly paid for
the Criterion one, avoiding those other low(er) quality releases. Why would I
want them taking up space on my shelf when there's a much better one around?

> You think if they had only included the Director's cut, and priced
> it reasonably, that anyone would have really minded beyond the most
> pathological geeks in need of intense psychotherapy?


That's exactly who Criterion appeal to.


ML-78


 
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Murder
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      11-05-2003
"ML-78" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:boan29$1mts$(E-Mail Removed):


>
>> You think if they had only included the Director's cut, and priced
>> it reasonably, that anyone would have really minded beyond the most
>> pathological geeks in need of intense psychotherapy?

>
> That's exactly who Criterion appeal to.



As long as I can find a cheap alternative to titles that I don't want to
spend forty bucks on, I won't complain. I wouldn't spend more than $15
on The Blob (for example), I don't care what extras are included. As far
as I know, the Criterion version is the only one.


The Castle Monster: http://www.processionofthedamned.com/diablo.htm
 
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