Criterion Laserdiscs

Discuss DVDs and Blu-rays released by Criterion and the films on them. If it's got a spine number, it's in here. Threads may contain spoilers.
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willoneill
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#151 Post by willoneill » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:01 pm

The biggest fucking digital disc you've ever seen. Bigger than your head, brotha!

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Brian C
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#152 Post by Brian C » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:26 pm

willoneill wrote:The biggest fucking digital disc you've ever seen. Bigger than your head, brotha!
Laserdiscs were analog, right? At least in terms of video.

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CSM126
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#153 Post by CSM126 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:05 am

MyNameCriterionForum wrote:What's a "laserdisc" ?
Imagine a DVD, only the size of a 12" vinyl record, with no menu screens, capable of holding only an hour of material per disc side (at best), and with the video resolution of a VHS, but uncompressed audio.

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MyNameCriterionForum
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#154 Post by MyNameCriterionForum » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:47 am

I was, uh, kidding. I have several of them hanging in my garden to scare birds away.

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perkizitore
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#155 Post by perkizitore » Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:57 am

I am willing to trade your Criterion lot with some vintage scarecrows, what do you think? :P

Zot!
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#156 Post by Zot! » Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:19 am

CSM126 wrote:
MyNameCriterionForum wrote:What's a "laserdisc" ?
Imagine a DVD, only the size of a 12" vinyl record, with no menu screens, capable of holding only an hour of material per disc side (at best), and with the video resolution of a VHS, but uncompressed audio.
Actually Laserdisc was an excellent format considering it was created in the 70s. The resolution was the same as DVD, but being analog, there was no compression and no digital artifacting. There were even a couple of anamorphic releases before the format died. Their biggest problem was that the quality of transfer had not progressed to what we have today. When DVDs first came out, they were no better than laserdiscs, albeit more convenient and cheaper. Only with quality digital transfers did DVDs really come into their own.

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starmanof51
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Re: 'Forthcoming' Lists Discussion and Random Speculation Vo

#157 Post by starmanof51 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:04 pm

CSM126 wrote:Imagine a DVD, only the size of a 12" vinyl record, with no menu screens, capable of holding only an hour of material per disc side (at best), and with the video resolution of a VHS, but uncompressed audio.
Except they did have menus if the disc publisher wanted to make a CAV disc (like Criterion did for supplements), and the resolution was substantially better than VHS, about 250 lines versus 425. And as you indicate, the audio on a laser title was often better than the dvd that replaced it, and the package art, like vinyl LPs versus CDs, had the advantage of being big n' splashy.

Don't diss the laser, it was a godsend in its day.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#158 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sun Jun 13, 2010 11:45 pm

What I want to know is, did they make good frisbee's?

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stereo
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#159 Post by stereo » Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:59 am

Does anybody still collect these? I assume someone does. I still have a few including a Seven Samurai still in it's plastic sealed wrap. Now if I could just find someone who cared.

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Matango
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#160 Post by Matango » Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:03 am

I have loads of Criterion laserdiscs (including several that cost me $100 and $120 each like The Red Shoes and Robinson Crusoe on Mars) and am moving house soon...wondering if they will ever become collectible or should I just turn the covers into a giant collage for my wall.

Zot!
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#161 Post by Zot! » Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:27 am

I was a big proponent of the format, but I'm afraid it is probably dead, even as nostalgia, now that the commentaries are being archived. There are a couple of them that are still definative (Song of the South), otherwise people might collect them for the cool oversized jackets, but that's about it. And they would make a terrible frisbee, they are too heavy and the edges are much too thin, you could easilly get hurt.

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MrGregoryArkadin
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#162 Post by MrGregoryArkadin » Fri Dec 31, 2010 4:54 pm

I just bought myself a Pioneer VP-1000, apparently its the first designed in America for mass consumption, as a joint venture with MCA Universal and Pioneer Electronics. I just picked up Last Tango in Paris, Man Bites Dog, Shampoo, and especially Dr. Stranglove on Criterion laserdisc along with the Henry Jaglom Deninis Hopper piece Tracks which I urge everyone to see immediately (Criterion oughta release it since its impossible to find otherwise)- but, I'm freaking out now a bit because I'm unsure how to access the audio commentaries and such once the Criterions come in the mail. The 'remote' in a sense is built into the console itself and there is no audio function at all sans left right channel. Anyone smarter than I please help? I was researching about an AC-3 RF modification that I can do, but I'm not THAT crazy to take it apart you know? The damn thing takes like six tries just to play a disc haha. If anyone could help I'd be grateful.
Thanks.

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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#163 Post by vadermccandless » Sun Feb 27, 2011 1:29 am

Anyone have suggestions for great LD-exclusive Criterion commentary tracks? I just bought FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE on ebay and am wondering about other Criterion LD titles. Gordon at http://www.hometheaterforum.com/forum/t ... on-dvd-yet" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; has a decent list, but I'm not sure about some specifics on it/how up-to-date it is. Anyways, if anyone has suggestions on some discs to seek out, I'd appreciate it. Been eyeing CAT PEOPLE on Amazon...

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#164 Post by matrixschmatrix » Sun Feb 27, 2011 9:05 pm

There's a non-Criterion one, Bruce Eder on Welles' Macbeth, that's on a relatively cheap laserdisc. Outside of that, I'd be really interested to hear more myself, since it seems to be almost impossible to find any outside a select few (Scorsese on Taxi Driver, Cronenberg on Crash, Gilliam on Fisher King) without actually hunting down and buying the laserdisc yourself.

Narshty
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#165 Post by Narshty » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:33 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:Outside of that, I'd be really interested to hear more myself, since it seems to be almost impossible to find any outside a select few (Scorsese on Taxi Driver, Cronenberg on Crash, Gilliam on Fisher King) without actually hunting down and buying the laserdisc yourself.
Found this on Google, so have no idea who to thank, but here's a still-live download link for Gilliam's Fisher King laserdisc commentary (185mb .rar file).

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MrGregoryArkadin
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#166 Post by MrGregoryArkadin » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:46 pm

I must say that the Criterion laserdisc of The Fisher King is not only my favorite laserdisc I've come across from their early days- it's one of my favorite releases I've gotten from the Collection, period. The commentary is near perfect- Gilliam talks technical, how he conceived of the story, anecdotes from the set- near everything you would want from a commentary is there (unlike the commentary for the blu ray of "assault on precinct 13" I watched last night, Carpenter all but apologized for making the damn thing). The costume tests are a great find as are the deleted scenes (Gilliam's comments as to why he cut them out are interesting to boot) and the scene breakdowns are awesome. I wish they could re-release it (i doubt it will ever happen), but I'm more than content with this edition. Great to know even back in the day Criterion took great care with their releases.

The rare version of The Killer is enroute as I type this (the one with the alternate cover as opposed to the later LD and DVD) I hope that will be as good as Hard Boiled.

David M.
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#167 Post by David M. » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:51 pm

MrGregoryArkadin wrote:I just bought myself a Pioneer VP-1000 ... but, I'm freaking out now a bit because I'm unsure how to access the audio commentaries and such once the Criterions come in the mail. The 'remote' in a sense is built into the console itself and there is no audio function at all sans left right channel. Anyone smarter than I please help? I was researching about an AC-3 RF modification that I can do, but I'm not THAT crazy to take it apart you know? The damn thing takes like six tries just to play a disc haha. If anyone could help I'd be grateful.
I don't think the old DiscoVision players can access the digital audio tracks, only the FM analog track. In fact, you might find that you can ONLY hear the commentary, since they were most often stored on the analog tracks, with the digital track being used for the sound itself.

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jedgeco
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#168 Post by jedgeco » Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:17 am

David M. wrote:I don't think the old DiscoVision players can access the digital audio tracks, only the FM analog track.
In fact, you might find that you can ONLY hear the commentary, since they were most often stored on the analog tracks, with the digital track being used for the sound itself.
That's correct. I used to have an old Pioneer that was manufactured for classroom use that only decoded the analog tracks, not the digital.

Most discs had the same audio on the digital and analog tracks. Discs that had a commentary put the commentary on one track and a mono soundtrack on the other. Later, during the late days of LD, major releases had an AC-3 Dolby Digital track as one of the analog tracks.

If you can't find a way to switch between the tracks, you can always do it manually by unplugging either the red or white audio cord, as appropriate.

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MrGregoryArkadin
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#169 Post by MrGregoryArkadin » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:59 pm

David M. wrote:
MrGregoryArkadin wrote:I just bought myself a Pioneer VP-1000 ... but, I'm freaking out now a bit because I'm unsure how to access the audio commentaries and such once the Criterions come in the mail. The 'remote' in a sense is built into the console itself and there is no audio function at all sans left right channel. Anyone smarter than I please help? I was researching about an AC-3 RF modification that I can do, but I'm not THAT crazy to take it apart you know? The damn thing takes like six tries just to play a disc haha. If anyone could help I'd be grateful.
I don't think the old DiscoVision players can access the digital audio tracks, only the FM analog track. In fact, you might find that you can ONLY hear the commentary, since they were most often stored on the analog tracks, with the digital track being used for the sound itself.
I ended up getting a later model Pioneer from a school in upstate NY for a whopping 5 bucks- your right about the commentaries, I heard Sturges fight to be heard as the audio from Bad Day was coming out of one channel and he out of the right. Thanks for looking out though.

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Dona Santa
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#170 Post by Dona Santa » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:15 am

I had a couple of questions regarding thee SE7EN laserdisc from CC. I heard the transfer on the laserdisc is actually better than the transfer for the 2 disc new line platinum standard dvd set because it was struck from a silver nitrate print?

Also, do any of the deleted scenes or features not appear on either the platinum set or the blu ray?

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CSM126
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#171 Post by CSM126 » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:22 pm

"Better" is a relative term. It's truer to the theatrical look (I believe the DVDs and BR were made from a digitally tweaked master), but it lacks the resolution of course. I have it, I still watch it. It's quite good for the format.

The audio commentary on the LD is exclusive. Not sure about the other features.

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jedgeco
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#172 Post by jedgeco » Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:54 pm

The Criterion LD did have an exclusive transfer done from a silver nitrate print. It was state of the art for 1996, and was head and shoulders above the New Line LD and the first New Line "flipper" DVD. But, as CSM notes, it is 15 years old and limited by laserdisc's 425 lines of resolution. I haven't compared the two, directly, but the recent Blu-ray is very good and was supervised by Fincher. I'm sure that the extensive digital color correction more than makes up the difference.

The only deleted scenes that I recall from the LD are the alternate opening, which is on the DVD/BD, and a storyboarded alternate ending, which I believe is also on the DVD/BD. The LD did have alternate/early version of the opening credits, with commentary from the titles designer, which I don't believe is on any other format.

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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#173 Post by cdnchris » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:07 pm

Didn't the LD have a collection of the killer's note books as a photo gallery? I don't think those made it to the DVD or Blu-ray. I don't own the Blu-ray yet so can't confirm, but I don't see that listed anywhere and I know the DVD doesn't have them.

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The Narrator Returns
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#174 Post by The Narrator Returns » Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:16 pm


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jedgeco
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Re: Criterion Laserdiscs

#175 Post by jedgeco » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:14 pm

The Narrator Returns wrote:Yes it did.
The disc insert is also printed on a really nice reproduction of a collage of notebook pages.

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