Minkin wrote:Personally, I'm going to keep my Criterion edition (which I just picked up in November) and not bother with the MoC, as I'd rather have Criterion's on disc extras than an extended book. Sure, Criterion probably could have dropped all disc supplements (which are all presented in 1080, thus eat into the disc space) and provided some minor improvement in AV quality, but I can't imagine that (despite what MichaelB is saying) that they would be enough to sway me to drop everything and go after the MoC (and I'm not interested in the Sobibor upgrade).
If people are happy with the Criterion, that's absolutely fine - my point is that if you haven't got either, there's a very strong first choice, and that this might surprise people who take the perfect scores for the Criterion as gospel.
I don't understand the minor AV quibbling which seems to be increasingly going on here and is the main event at sites like Capsaholic.
The differences aren't minor - which is what startled me. Put bluntly, the MoC looks like film, while the Criterion looks like video - and for someone who's grown up with film and spent the bulk of twenty years regularly handling 35mm reels (either for projection or examination on a Steenbeck) that's an important distinction. Although I appreciate that it's one that people are going to increasingly care less and less about - I suspect I'm part of the last generation who saw most things on film.
I might wonder who these people are who become so detached from a film that they become concerned with grain fluctuations and minor discrepancies (these are the same people who foam at the mouth over caps without ever seeing the film in motion, which often presents a different story).
Well, in my case because David did the encode and I did the QC inspection, so the technical presentation very much was our concern! Although I completely agree with you that it's a very bad idea to base an assessment purely on screencaps, especially with high-definition material - paradoxically, the better-defined the grain, the harder it is to appreciate how the image detail comes across in motion, simply because of the way film grain works.
There used to be people like HerrSchreck who would step in and put people straight regarding these minor differences (that the improvements from SD are so vast, that its now just splitting hairs). That isn't to say that companies shouldn't be berated for poor editions or vastly inferior AV quality (like Lola, Shout Factory's Herzog set, Universal's Hitchcock set) - complacency would be a bad trend for the home video industry when the quality deserves berating, but on the other hand I don't understand this "ideal" that many people here are in pursuit of - especially when you have to be sitting within a few inches of the screen to be noticing anyway.
Just to be clear, the Criterion is an excellent set, and I imagine at the time even people who were aware of the compression problems would rationalise them away as "they're unavoidable". And MoC has compression issues too, because to a certain extent they really are
unavoidable without extra discs. But I don't think it's "splitting hairs" to highlight the fact that the differences between the two releases are really quite striking at times.
Sorry for the tangent, it just seems that most threads here are turning into Capsaholic discussions of comparing minor transfer differences rather than discussing the film itself, or the extras, etc. All Blu-rays are going to be flawed regardless, as you can only hold up to 50GB of data. If you want to attain perfection, then buy a film reel and project it.
You wouldn't attain perfection with 99.9% of the film reels that I've handled! Which is of course the constant battle that we have to achieve a simulacrum of "perfection" - and to me, if one release manages to solve a problem that another one's clearly struggling with, that's certainly worth highlighting. Especially if both come from the same source, as is the case here.
After all, there's tons and tons of discussion out there about Shoah
the film (not least elsewhere in these forums, both earlier in this thread and in the thread dedicated to the Criterion release) - but the information presented in the last two or three pages of this thread is currently unique, at least until the review copies go out. But if you want to discuss the film, go right ahead - having watched everything in the package twice in the run-up to Christmas (two sets of subtitles for the main feature, two formats for the rest), I'm all too familiar with it right now!