Wednesday, July 20, 2011
The Criterion Collection
I would like to take this opportunity to say a few words of appreciation for the Criterion Collection. As any film buff worth his/her salt knows, the Criterion Collection is a wonderful company that started in the '80s releasing certain titles on LaserDiscs and one of the pioneers in including "special features" on home video releases. They have since segued into releasing DVD's as well Blu-Ray's but their commitment to quality still continues. Much of Criterion Collection's catalogue are composed of independent films, art films and foreign classics both famous and obscure. Many of them have tons of extra material: Commentaries, essays, documentaries, etc. They are like little film schools and are often the pride & joy of any serious DVD/Blu-Ray collectors. They even released Michael Bay movies like The Rock and Armageddon which helped subsidize their restoration of more obscure titles. They made Michael Bay not totally worthless.
Because of their attention to quality, they are pretty expensive, costing almost double the average DVD disc. However, sales happen all the time and film buffs like me go crazy over them. Barnes & Noble currently has a 50% off Criterion sale lasting until August 1st. Plus their catalogue is also now available on Hulu and Netflix.
Sure, they're not perfect. I mean, not every transfer of theirs are created equally. Masters of Cinema and Kino are also doing the same thing. Plus one thing that I dislike about them is their limited number of non-Japanese Asian films in their catalogue.
As a film lover, I must salute them for giving indie, foreign, obscure and art house films a wider audience that they deserve.