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 Post subject: Recommendations for "Best of the Best" in Criterion LDs
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2021, 07:50 
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Hi,
So similar topics have popped up here in the forums in the past but I was wanting to gauge the communities thoughts on the select few laserdiscs from the Criterion Collection that encapsulate the laserdisc collection best. I am in the process of collecting an approximation of what's the "best of the best" of the Criterion laserdiscs out there and wanted some other views on what I should maybe be looking out for. Maybe with a little rationale about why it's significant or where it stands uniquely in the collection or in the format of laserdiscs themselves.
Right now I've set my eyes on a few like Boogie Nights, Se7en, 2001 A Space Odyssey, but I'm curious to know your thoughts about what I should round out the collection with.
Look forward to hearing any recommendations!
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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for "Best of the Best" in Criterion LDs
PostPosted: 09 Nov 2021, 15:07 
Jedi Master
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Its really hard to say, I would say titles like 2001 the CAV box set are up there, but booklets are not as thick as ones today in DVD sets.
You have the real bare minimum and this isn't a bad thing it just makes you focus on actually enjoying the film more than reading about it.

Any of the box sets released in the USA are in my opinion pretty much the same quality, from sets like Criterions Lawrence of Arabia to even The Outer Limits.
Disney did do a little more with things like Fantasia that had prints etc.

Japanese boxes are another story.
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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for "Best of the Best" in Criterion LDs
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2022, 10:53 
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personally i would say the cav version of john woo's the killer but thats because its one of my favorite films but the ld version is one of the best versions out there so thats my recommendation
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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for "Best of the Best" in Criterion LDs
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2022, 13:04 
Jedi Knight
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Criterion isn’t about making the best version of something. They are more about filling holes in your library (your own or an actual public/university library) that would always exist if not for them. There are many Criterion LDs that are just…the movie, because in the 80s there were a lot of very significant films that had never been on video ever. Therefore some of the “best” Criterion LDs didn’t really use the best transfer or maybe had zero special features. You seem quite worshipful of Criterion but I’m not sure you get what they were doing back then. If you’re only after presentation you may be very disappointed in a lot of what they released on LD. It isn’t about 7even and Armageddon. Those are honestly closer to shark jumping, IMO. Just fancy versions of normal movies (too) easily found anywhere, more or less made to stroke the ego of the still living director who wants to see his stuff on the same shelf as his Kurosawa collection.

That being said, I think a really good Criterion LD based on your version of it would be the CAV version of Robin Hood. It looks about as good as it possibly could. It’s in CAV. It has a running commentary by a film nerd and the photos and videos contained in the extras section are very interesting and further one’s appreciation of the movie.

Also the giant version of Brazil will always be a favorite of mine. One of few LDs to have more than one cut of movie in it. The director was in on it, lots of test FX shots, commentary track, etc. Brazil was movie ruined by its own owners. This was the first way this excellent movie was available in it’s true form, so this is an example of Criterion doing what they do best.

I’ll vote for F for Fake because it’s an amazing movie that nobody else would release. I don’t think any of the features are super impressive, the movie is though.

Many early Criterion releases were like Annie Hall. Just a great movie, widescreen, nice sleeve, that’s pretty much it.
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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for "Best of the Best" in Criterion LDs
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2022, 13:10 
Jedi Knight
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atlas_obscure wrote:
personally i would say the cav version of john woo's the killer but thats because its one of my favorite films but the ld version is one of the best versions out there so thats my recommendation


This movie is so great that I’d love it in any version! Every one I’ve seen was pretty bad. I used to watch that one version where they called each other Mickey Mouse and Numb Nuts or something like that. So blurry it looked like it was underwater. It never matters. The hair stands up on my neck every time I see it. This is the truly inspired work of masters, the sort of thing Tarantino got rich from ripping off and approximating but never achieving.
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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for "Best of the Best" in Criterion LDs
PostPosted: 03 Jan 2022, 15:48 
Jedi Master
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The CAV of the Killer is really great, if its not too expensive get it.
That is one of the films I won't upgrade since the image is great on the LD and I can't worry about some new transfer, it would just
be computer enhanced and I don't care for that.
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 Post subject: Re: Recommendations for "Best of the Best" in Criterion LDs
PostPosted: 28 Jan 2022, 18:45 
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The Laserdisc of The Red Shoes (1948) holds up well despite Criterion releasing a 4K Blu-Ray version. Most of the supplements on the 4K set came from the Laserdisc set. If you don't have a 4K TV, I'd go with the Laserdisc for its PCM mono track.
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