Covers: The Advent of Criterion - High-Def Digest Forums
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Old 05-09-2008, 05:41 AM
Five Inches's Avatar
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Covers: The Advent of Criterion

Criterion has always stood for collectibles for me. Wheter the movie is (in my opinion) good or not, I could collect some titles just for the covers/posters. Everything from the cover to the disc art and menues have been thoroughly designed and implemented. The CC DVD collection saw two different designs before arriving at the current "C"-design (which I love).

Since I started collecting Blu-ray, the packaging have often been on par or sub-standard. Simple photography or simple photoshop composites. Sure there have been some covers above and beyond, but most of the rest I could've done in my sleep, if I had access to the photographic material.

Criterion re-imagines or creates a whole new concept for each of their releases, and I wish the big companies would follow in their wake, and create interesting packaging for the avid collectors. Warner's two-disc Academy Award editions on DVD spring to mind as some of the better ones from a big studio. The Vista series started out good, but went back to standard DVD-cases.

I hope that Criterion breaks out and creates the definitive standard for packaging on Blu-ray, because what I've seen so far has reminded me of the days when DVD was a young format. Big ugly banners, metallic swooshes. I'm not impressed. The blue cases makes for conformity, but they aren't exactly pretty to look at.

Not that I think Criterion will disappoint me. This plea is for the other companies; take good care of your precious movie treasures, give us a complete experience, from the packaging to the actual content. Let Criterion be a rule of thumb.

PS. Self-confessed Criterion fanboy, I am, and proud of it.
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:08 AM
e-x e-x is offline
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their packaging is definitely above and beyond and worth the extra money alone

it seems the studios are getting lazier and lazier ... the there will be blood cover is really pissing me off, there were a lot of great posters and other pieces created for the movie, both in north america and internationally, which could have been been straight ported into the blu-ray packaging and they would have been great ... but they decided to just use a photo with some generic text

i doubt the cc will set any kind of new standard for blu-ray, even if they make something sensational, because for the studios the bottom line is that the standard blu-ray cases are made to be mass manufactured at a very low cost
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Old 05-09-2008, 10:33 AM
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I completely agree about the packaging. What I'd like to see the major studios do is to mimic Criterion's supplement content. For example, take The Third Man. The extras that come with it are:

- All-new, restored high-definition digital transfer
- Video introduction by writer-director Peter Bogdanovich
- Two audio commentaries: one by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, and one by film scholar Dana Polan
- Shadowing "The Third Man" (2005), a ninety-minute feature documentary on the making of the film
- Abridged recording of Graham Greene’s treatment, read by actor Richard Clarke
- "Graham Greene: The Hunted Man," an hour-long, 1968 episode of the BBC's Omnibus series, featuring a rare interview with the novelist
- Who Was the Third Man? (2000), a thirty-minute Austrian documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew
- The Third Man on the radio: the 1951 “A Ticket to Tangiers” episode of The Lives of Harry Lime series, written and performed by Orson Welles; and the 1951 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of The Third Man
- Illustrated production history with rare behind-the-scenes photos, original UK press book, and U.S. trailer
- Actor Joseph Cotten’s alternate opening voice-over narration for the U.S. version
- Archival footage of postwar Vienna
- A look at the untranslated foreign dialogue in the film
- Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
- PLUS: A booklet featuring essays by Luc Sante, Charles Drazin, and Philip Kerr
- Also: a web-exclusive essay on Anton Karas by musician John Doe

Now that's a classy release! If you're a film enthusiast or student, these kinds of things are invaluable. If not, they still add so much more to the experience. As far as collectibility goes, Five Inches alluded to this in his post. I've seen factory sealed Criterion releases of Salo (long oop by C.) go for as much as $2,000.

Criterion has always issued top quality products starting with laserdiscs and continued through DVD's. There's every reason to assume this tradition will carry over to Blu-ray.

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Old 05-09-2008, 11:06 AM
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no offense, but i think a factory sealed salo is the worst investment one can make, since, basically, 99% of all criterion salo's are bootlegs (facets or otherwise), and you'd have to open it to confirm legitimacy.
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Old 05-09-2008, 11:25 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by Five Inches View Post
The blue cases makes for conformity, but they aren't exactly pretty to look at.
I think Blu-ray releases should always have some amount of blue in them to discern that its a Blu-ray product. It just makes sense in my eyes.
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