What's your next favorite movie? Join our movie community to find out
Image from: Life of Pi (2012)
Manage your own movie collection and always keep it with you with our Apps. Price track movies and get price drop notifications instantly. Become a member to take full advantage of all site features.
Huge Criterion Blu-ray Sale (Expired)
Posted June 11, 2013 03:46 PM by Webmaster
Best Buy is having a huge Criterion Blu-ray sale (over 200 titles) and Amazon has started to price match more and more titles and it seems likely that Amazon will continue to do so. Price-wise now is a good time to pickup the Criterion titles you want.
That's all Amazon is good at doing now, price matching. Amazon used to be the ones to set these low prices, but now follows them. And now that I have to pay sales tax on amazon.com, there's no incentive to buy from them. Best Buy it is.
Was going to hit B&N today to see if there was anything else, but looks like best buy will get the nod. Still a non-Criterion title or two via B&N's 40% off sale left in me though... (I'm in too many return mode at Amazon, so they're out for now.) Hope they are well-stocked.
The problem with Best Buy is that they are in financial straights. A lot of people say they probably won't be around much longer. And with Best Buy, their regular prices are high. Amazon for me has always come through on price, service and delivery. They are still the ones to beat, even with a sales tax!
dgness, you are missing the point. Amazon wouldn't have these prices if they weren't chasing Best Buy and price matching. If not for the Best Buy sale, the amazon prices would be high also. The other posters here are correct, amazon rarely initiates any deals anymore. And for that, I choose Best Buy whenever this happens.
Any clues which Criterion titles have chances to go OOP next? Speaking frankly the latest unexpected "OOP-drop" of Melville films sucked my wallet pretty badly :-( The worst part it was "multiple-at-once-OOP-drop". I guess such sales can be considered as opportunities to prepare for the future. Not to mention the fact the most desirable titles become more affordable.
Unfortunately, the posession to have the most rare titles of the CC is far beyond my control.
Thanks you Best Buy, for pushing Amazon - and giving international clients a piece of the Criterion Sale cake !
4 titles on their way, maybe more by Wednesday ("know yourself", enough anyway to realise resistance is unlikely to last a full three days)
Naked Lunch for me at the least. Any digital storehouses like Amazon now have to pay a tax like all retailers. Starts July 1 in MN. Best Buy is trimming a lot but they won't go out of business any time soon. Amazon getting taxed will at least change the landscape a little bit in favor of brick and mortar if only a little bit.
Hmmm, I purchased my Criterion from Amazon and didn't have any sales tax. S&H is free if you order over $25! Best Buy or Amazon, it doesn't matter who started the drop just as long as I can get Criterion from cheap somewhere...!!!
by the way (not having anything to do with the criterion sale): i went to best buy last year to look for 3D televisions, and found one that i wanted for about $3k. i went on my iphone and looked it up on amazon where it was listed for half the price. best buy matched it and now i have a beautiful 3d television for (relatively) cheap...!!!
Of course no sale on Bestbuy.ca – correct me if I am wrong, but I don't think there has ever been a sale on Criterion's on a Canadian retail site. $50.99 for Heaven's Gate blu, unreal... don't know how they sell anything at these prices. I just wait patiently for the B&N sales.
@RBBrittain - I'm sure they are. They used to carry lots of them, then carried NONE for awhile, then they started again recently getting lots of titles and fro the last couple months they've gone back to none.
Ditto. A lot of titles, but the prices are hardly any lower than what importcd.s sell these for all the time, on the newer releases they might even be more. No reason to go crazy with spending a lot here.
The Darjeeling Limited
Being John Malkovich
Paths of Glory
On The Waterfront
The Man Who Knew Too Much
The Seventh Seal
Amazon does have many great deals, you can see their record by clicking on price tracking on this Web Site. In fact, Amazon had Criterion's "The Game" recently for $16.49! I still like Best Buy too, but it' hard to beat Amazon, especially with Prime.
@jhunter1976: Since Amazon has now cut out most of its third-party media sellers, primarily where New Releases, many Criterions, TV on BD Season Sets, and other popular titles are concerned, the prices of these items no longer remain competitive. Amazon now creates high prices for these items and then, by cutting out their sellers, maintains a pseudo-inflated price that does not accurately represent what the item is actually worth.
AMAZON HAS BECOME A VERY MISERLY AND AVARICIOUS COMPANY! Greed breeds greed! Shame on you, Amazon! Bring back your third-party media sellers! I'm going to Best Buy from this point forward!!!
Hi everyone, good to see some price drops there for international buyers with region-free players. Even though once upon a time amazon was the first to cut prices and not only matching other sellers' price drops.
Anyway, what would you guys suggest to buy in order of preference for 3-4 titles? I am not sure I love those too-art-housy films. I already own: The Game, Traffic, Paris, Texas, Battle for Algiers, The Red shoes and The third man.
'Seven Samurai' would be a must. It's a great movie with a lot of good bonus features that will help you understand a lot of other films.
'Beauty and the Beast' is an art house film but it's highly enjoyable.
'The Wages of Fear' is a great action movie with a lot of tension though nothing moves more than five miles an hour.
'Godzilla' is a great film and not at all the rubber suit monster movie the later films became.
'Gimme Shelter' is a personal favorite of mine for the way it shows the decline of America's counter culture.
"Just to clarify -- Amazon only charges sales tax in states where they have a physical presence (i.e. warehouses). So some of you will pay sales tax to Amazon, while others won't."
The first part of your statement used to be true but has now changed. Several governments in states where Amazon has no physical presence that used to have no sales tax charges have recently passed laws that now requires Amazon to do so. A similar law just got passed in the state legislature here in Minnesota. Call it a way to get additional taxes out of the citizens, call it a way to even out the playing field, or call it a way to protect local retail brick and mortar stores (both Best Buy and Target started here and both corporate headquarters are based in Minnesota), but regardless it is happening in more and more states now.
Is anyone else in Australia having problems ordering from Amazon? I have a cart full of Criterion titles and it wont let me order, saying that they cant ship to my address!!?? This is very odd as less than 24 hours ago I purchased 4 x CC titles with no problem.
@mikedx: I was already watching Badlands closely based on the blu-ray review and the fact that it's a Malick movie so I might give it a try! I'll check the reviews of the other ones to see how I feel about them.
@BHolst: I really enjoyed the emotions felt on Paris, Texas and it brought Wings of Desire a little higher on my must-see movie list!
@andyk69: black narcissus is really praised on a lot of websites but I am not sure if this is a movie that can be revisited that often; I might rent it
@Tadji Malik: Seven Samurai has several times been on my wish list but I never managed to let it on my final cart, so I might give it a go this time. Same thing for Godzilla that seems really interesting. I'll have a closer look at The Wages of Fear and Gimme Shelter as I don't remember having read a lot of things about them.
Guys, thanks a lot for those great movie suggestions! The hardest part now (as always) we'll be to choose
If you have a Discover card you can get 5% cash back at BestBuy.com. That, plus Rewardzone points, might make it a better deal for you even if you have to pay tax. By pennies of course, but as others have said, it's good to support the price cut leader than the follower. Best Buy is one of the few stores still keeping Amazon's prices down, it would be good to help keep them around for a while.
I picked up Repo Man and On the Waterfront. Thankfully those are the only titles I'm interested in. Otherwise this might have been ugly. I'm still sitting on a $35 gift card to Criterion.com with nothing to spend it on. Maybe the Safety Last poster?
Best Buy seems to shoot themselves in the foot. Their in store selection is beyond bad and I've had some damaged items shipped from them. Some people have commented on Amazon items being damaged, but I suppose some of it's luck and the way it's shipped. Easier and more convenient for me to order from Amazon, as I've always had a positive experience.
Granted, by purchasing best buy you support a B&M chain. But using Amazon you do support this web site which continually give up to date prices and tracking and other great services that many use daily. My choice is Amazon for blu-ray.com support (no I don't know any admins or anything I just like br.com )
@pmac - That's a good way to look at it. Supporting Amazon supports blu-ray.com. This is just the one time where the brick & mortar stores can get some of our support, too. I mean, can you even imagine a time where all of our shopping is online and you can't even go to a store anymore to browse the shelves?? Best Buy is clearly on its way out of business, hopefully they got a few more years left. It's the little deals like this that'll keep me supporting them.
@mreeves83 - Both are excellent movies , but Repo Man has more rewatchability . It has a great soundtrack and many good quotable lines. Videodrome is good , but is a very dark film. So in the end , it depends on what you prefer .
While Amazon's packaging quality have suffered a serious decline in the past year, I still trust them much better than Best Buy's plain flimsy envelopes. If they still had Criterion releases in stock at their brick & mortar branches, thus allowing me to select and pick my copies, I would have given them my money, but their recent restructuring has turned their movie section into a sad joke, with DVDs mixed with BDs but distributed into genres (so you can never guess where you will find any movie), a ridiculously small selection of titles, and NOT A SINGLE CRITERION in stock. Ok, I lie, they had BADLANDS. But that was it. And I am talking about their NYC "flagship", the 24-hour Union Square store.
@ Roy Batty: couldn't agree more. In my two stores in Knoxville, TN I try to run in at least once a week. For the past 3-4 months they've had a combined 1 copy of Rosemary's Baby and no other Criterion titles. The selection is beyond pathetic.
Wow, just going through some of the hidden and low rated posts...really? I can't fathom what was in there to be thumbed down, but...yeah.....Critiri-goosesteppers I guess. Some were just stating simple facts, lol.
Anyway, too bad for B&N, they are probably having a criterion sale sometime soon and should lose quite a bit of business. Hopefully they'll wait until the Ice Storm, Things to Come, and Lord of the Flies are out before they have one, I don't need much else now.
(it's the red button...the one on the right...no the OTHER right...geez)
I don't think anyone's stated anything conclusively, but since the sale originated at Best Buy, their history is that the prices drop on Sunday and change again on the following Sunday. They haven't made a big push about the sale, so don't bet on it continuing next week. Ask Best Buy customer service, but most likely they won't know.
I like BB better than Amazon, mostly because I have a franchise close to home and Amazon charges us sales tax as well. But I wish they would communicate more when they have great deals like this.
Also, just another guess... I would love to get Wild Strawberries for $20, but since the price is still pre-order high, that indicates to me that it the sale is probably ending SATURDAY. As I said, a guess.
I'm surprised at the comments claiming $20 per (average) title isn't low enough. I wait until B&N's twice-a-year "arthouse" sale to get them at these prices. Wait and wait and you're not likely to find most Criterion titles lower than $18, except for those barebones titles that are $15 now. Buy what you want or don't, but it's hard to believe you'll get a better deal than $20 apiece at Amazon, especially if yours is tax-free, since B&N isn't.
I picked up Repo Man and am interested in Seven Samurai, Godzilla, Badlands, On the Waterfront and Stagecoach. The last two would be upgrades and I don't exactly find myself playing the original discs too frequently though. To spend or not to spend?....
Best Buy went bust in the UK in 2011, taking down the whole of its European operation with it. Now, if anybody here in the UK logs on to their silly US site, the first thing you get to read is that they "welcome international customers", who, we learn, can have orders delivered to US addresses. And why would "international customers" want to do that? They want their orders shipped - wait for it - internationally. So for anybody outside the US, Best Buy's Criterion Collection bonanza is utterly useless.
However. Amazon.com does indeed ship internationally. And the real significance of this price-matching sale resides in the fact that, at $19.99 for the vast bulk of the catalogue on offer, it finally reduces CC editions to a figure in pounds sterling - around £13 - that fails to excite the normally punitive interest of Her Majesty's Customs and Excise (anything over £15 can be, and usually is, impounded and taxed, plus holding charges and additional postal levies, adding up to about an extra $20 on any one title and many days, perhaps weeks, of delay).
So: if it's in this sale at $19.99 (not, alas, Brazil or The Leopard) anybody here who can play Region A-locked discs should grab handfuls of the things while the most you'll have to pay is about £18 (including £5 for p+p) and our miserable HM Customs can't touch you for it. Eight on the way here for me, all ordered separately.
I just ordered Brazil from Amazon. About half price compared to the price in Canada if you can find even find it. Except for the big cities most video stores up here concentrate now on new releases of current movies only and ignore most catalogue releases. If not for Amazon I'd be hard pressed to find any catalogue titles. Thanks for bringing this sale to everyone's attention.
Just rec'd my purchase of "Two-Lane Blacktop" from Amazon. I don't understand why people are complaining about Amazon's packaging, as I've NEVER had a problem with orders from Amazon. In fact, I prefer their new packaging as it's far more eco-friendly and easy-to-open, without all that excess cardboard, "air-pillow" filling, and plastic. I popped into our local Best Buy to possibly grab me a couple more Criterions for instant gratification. Alas, their in-store selection sucks BIG TIME!!! All they had was "Badlands," and it was still listed at $27! Amazon's far easier and cheaper for those who still maintain the virtue of patience.... (Can't wait for "Fanny and Alexander" to get here...!!)
"I don't understand why people are complaining about Amazon's packaging, as I've NEVER had a problem with orders from Amazon."
You just order some large book or some digipak BD instead of a standard, plastic case release, and you will see.
I have had to return for a replacement 9 out of 10 of my orders for the last year, and with some of them I simply had to quit, ask for a refund and buy elsewhere, for clearly they wouldn't be able to provide a copy packaged properly enough so that it would arrive in good condition.
@DFS61: I can't imagine what logic might lead you to conclude that flimsy plastic glued to paper - which can't be recycled since it's both paper and plastic, or at least isn't considered recyclable where I live - is more protective than stiff cardboard, much less is "far more eco-friendly" than cardboard which is universally recyclable. But, for years, I never received a single damaged shipment when amazon used cardboard boxes exclusively. In the past couple years since they switched to padded mailers, I've received over a dozen damaged BDs. One was a Criterion BD that was oddly split at the top. Pictures were posted in one of the discussion threads on damaged amazon shipments, if you need proof.
@ Roy Batty - I think its just look of the draw. I've ordered several actual books and many digibook blu rays from Amazon. Never had a problem with any of them (except for one of the digibooks did arrive with a very slight bend on one corner) Barely noticeable so i just kept it. I did have to have do a replacement order of the 'Forever Marilyn' blu ray set as it was damaged the first time, but considering how completely terrible the packaging is for that set, i couldn't really blame Amazon too much for that one.
So that's only 2 packages i've had issues with, and i've made probably close to 1,000 orders from them including all blu rays, dvds, and books that i have ordered over the years.
@Roy Batty: Well, Mr. Batty, I have, indeed, ordered items that were other than single-disc DVD/Blu-ray/CDs -- such as books and electronics -- and, like I stated, have never had any issues of damage. I've ordered thousands of dollars worth of items off Amazon with nary a hitch. Maybe it's just my good fortune; maybe it's your bad fortune. Whatever the case, I stand by my word. (And, too, I've also sold hundreds of CDs, DVDs and books on Amazon, as well...!) My order of "Two-Lane Blacktop" was placed on Sunday evening, and it was on my doorstep Wednesday afternoon when I got home from work. Again, no problems....
@MoulinBlu: I'm not sure what packaging you're talking about as (lately) my Blu-rays have arrived in 100% recycled, corrugated cardboard. There is a "wax-like" lining -- a part of the corrugation -- but it's 100% recyclable. There's not an iota of non-recyclable plastic. I'm not sure what you're talking about.... That said, personally, I've never had any issues with Amazon's box and plastic-pillow packaging either -- I simply found it to be a waste of product, as there were a number of times when I'd order one Blu-ray (or DVD, or CD) and it was packaged in a box that could've held a good half-dozen items! This new packaging is simple and tight to the size of the item and easy to open with a perforated tear strip. Fast, easy, perfect condition. Period. Maybe it's a South Florida-thing, as I've only lived here less than a year and this is the way my purchases have been arriving since moving.... Again, it's "eco-friendly" as far as South Florida is concerned; goes right into my recycle bin.... (Less the shrink-wrap that's around the item, of course....) (PS: And, no, I don't need any "proof" of your damaged goods. I believe you! Otherwise, why would you reprimand me, as such? I'll knock on wood that I've been lucky.... And the world continues to spin....)
@DFS61: I know the type of packaging you're referring to. Amazon's only used it with a couple of my shipments though, the last one being a couple months ago, and I get 1-2 shipments from them per week. They ship almost all BDs I order in standard padded mailers (aka bubble mailers): paper mailers lined with bubblewrap glued to the inside. They even shipped the Mad Max Trilogy with collectible tin that way this week and via economy smartpost shipping, even though I have Prime. Fortunately it arrived in perfect condition, no dents or anything.
"Lasership" has been leaving packages on my "front door" for weeks now. What I've tried to indicate to Amazon is that my "front door" is the sidewalk -- in downtown, in a major city. I have no stoop and it's not like I have a front lawn.
It's one thing to switch to a cheap shipper. It's another to trust your packages to random guys in vans who will leave things willy nilly anywhere near your house.
Anyway, I share your pain. Definitely something that Amazon (which is awesome 99% of the time) needs to fix.
@MoulinBlu: Oh, boy, I WISH I could afford "1-2 shipments ... per week" of Criterion Blu-rays...!!! Unfortunately, most of my money goes to my bromeliad collection and tropical landscaping.... (And my dogs....) Have a fantastic weekend...!
My local Best Buy must have sent all the Criterion stuff back to the warehouse before this sale took effect, because they had zero supply. It was only about a month ago that I was going to pick up Badlands there for $26.99, but then I just picked it up on Deepdiscount for $20 with shipping during their $25% off sale.
However, I picked up Naked Lunch, Brazil, Fear and Loathing, and Repo Man on Amazon. They charged me for tax, but I managed to weasel another free try at Amazon prime, so I got two day shipping for free.
Ordered Repo Man, Badlands, Band of Outsiders, 3:10 to Yuma and Two-Lane Blacktop [upgrade]... Given the price of CC Blu on amazon.ca, ordering from .com really comes down to about 50% rebate here in Canada, even without free shipping and with the import deposit.. (of which they almost always refund a great deal of anyway). Thank You BB!
I ended up also biting on Badlands, Godzilla, and Paris, Texas, which I somehow didn't know about despite loving Harry Dean Stanton. I snapped up a cheap copy of Apple Dumpling Gang while I was at it. All of these are blindish buys for me, having only checked out the trailers and the cast / crew. Between these, Repo Man and the Mel Brooks Collection, my wallet will be very pleased for me to take a bit of a blu break! Unless of course, the Kubrick set goes on a really nice deal again.
@DFS61: Whether you pay sales tax or not depends upon whether Amazon (or whoever you're ordering from) has "nexus" in your state. If they have an office or warehouse in your state or if they deal with affiliates in your state, even if you didn't order from the affiliate, then they have to charge sales tax.
Some states (like New York, although Amazon charges sales tax in New York anyway) have come up with this new, completely ridiculous concept that if you buy something out of state for USE in New York State, you're supposed to voluntarily pay the sales tax when you pay your state income taxes. But you can voluntarily pay a set fee, which is very low, instead. I don't know how the courts let them get away with this stuff. If this is where the states are going, they should just change the law and make the taxes based on the ship to address instead of the ship from address. At least there'd be some logic to that.
If Criterion would just price them reasonably to begin with, they wouldn't have to slash prices to get people interested again.
I gave them WAY too much money for their over-priced Laserdiscs for too many years and I won't do that again.
Criterion is the cadillac of DVDs always has been and they are priced accordingly. Ive been with them since the Laserdisc days. You want quality you pay for it, you want crap stick with bargain basement dvds like ernest saves my colon , and the Dr.Giggles box set.
@DFS61: The Blob arrived today in guess what? they used the same packaging you described. They even sandwiched it between two more sheets of cardboard inside, which was good of amazon, as in the past this type of packaging has stuck to the BD shrinkwrap, practically removing the wrap for me, when I opened the package - no big deal if ordering for yourself, less so if it's intended as a gift for someone else.
@arisdisc: SRP for most Criterions is 39.99 - the same that most studios charge for new releases and catalog titles given a similar effort. It's the retailers that charge more, likely because of much lower demand: Even the bigger films in Criterion's catalog aren't widely known or huge sellers. Most people in the US have never even heard of The Seven Samurai, arguably the biggest film in their collection and according to a worldwide poll done in the 80's or 90's, one of the top two films ever made.
It also has to do with the perception of quality. People are willing to pay more because of Criterion's name, just like Harley Davidson, who charges $60 for a t-shirt or $18 for a pair of socks; people will buy it because of the name, even though it's still made in China. Criterion earned a reputation with LD, before studios really got behind going all out with their own releases, as collecting packaged media was still a niche market. DVD changed that, as studios saw big profit and value in home video as a collectable and with more resources and funds available to them, studios could do a more comprehensive job than Criterion could, for less. Sadly, that might not be the case much longer, as studios are turning their priorities toward growing their digital market.
Criterion still does a consistently better job of marketing their brand than anyone and show more love for the films, in the details, especially with their packaging - which studio packaging has degraded to a level of care more synonymous with the bootleg industry than officially licensed product. And the emergence of budget producers like Mill Creek and Echo Bridge and exploitation producers like Twilight Time has just made Criterion look even better.
@MoulinBlu: And, too, guess what? "Fanny and Alexander" just arrived yesterday in the same packaging, as well...! I placed the Amazon order on Wednesday, June 5, and the package arrived in perfect condition on Friday, June 8...!! Damn, that's fast service...!! (Pardon my language.)
I have splurged and I don't feel guilty at all, picking up "Black Narcissus", "Howards End", "The Lady Vanishes", "A Night to Remember", and "On the Waterfront."
I also cancelled my pre-order of "Shoah", which Criterion will release on June 25, because it's a $100 title, and I would rather get 50% off rather than just 30%. Can anyone tell me approximately when Barnes & Noble runs its semi-annual Criterion sale? I'd appreciate the information.
@arisdisc: Don't blame Criterion, blame the studios who own these films who refuse to put them out or refuse to produce a decent remaster because they don't want to make the investment. Criterion has to charge more because they have to pay a licensing fee back to the original studio (or current owner) AND they have to pay to remaster the movie. In addition, they put money into great booklets and documentation. And most of the films they produce are not exactly mass market titles, so they don't sell very many copies.
Since you probably paid $100 for many Laserdiscs, I don't how how you can complain about spending $25 now. And that doesn't even include inflation. I've written this before, but back in 1959, Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine would sell you 4 minutes of the silent Phantom of the Opera (from a really bad master) for $4.95. That's $39.55 in 2013 dollars: for a scratchy, 4-minute silent film! When VHS first came out, it used to cost $60 to $90 to buy a movie - that's why it was primarily a rental market until prices came down. While Criterion tends to charge more than other studios, it's still a freaking miracle that it's that cheap. The fact that we now have Blu-rays under $10 in many cases is also a miracle.
@MoulinBlu, I'm already aware of everything you said, however I don't agree with most of it.
I owned/ran a Laserdisc/DVD/CD store for over 10 years, and the markup is miniscule, so don't blame the retailers. Criterions wholesale cost to retailrs was higher than the rest, so I stocked very little as a result. It works both ways.
I still think they price them all too high. Especially with some companies (MGM & WB come to mind) who can give you an equally great product for half the price, and usually do.
I agree the Criterion's offerings are so superior to anything out there and I appreciate what they do. What I do is buy the must haves ( the films I cannot wait for) immediately and the rest I wait for sales like this and then buy in bulk. My only wish is that Criterion would combine their BR and DVDs into one offering like all the other companies do. That being said I say: Vive La Criterion! Or is it Le Criterion? :-)
Maybe someone might be able to answer this query: I recently watched Criterion's "Heaven's Gate" -- which got 5-stars for video and audio quality. Indeed, the picture quality was spectacular! (Although, there were still a few (inherent?) "blips," and a few of the scenes of fast movement -- for example, the scene in which Mansfield's fiddle-playing character zips around the dance hall on roller skates -- did have some "glimmer" (i don't know what the technical term for that is) around the characters.) I loved the removal of the intermission, as well. I also read that a few scenes were slightly altered -- I thought I noted a couple of scenes in the Harvard beginning. My only puzzlement was that there were no subtitles, nor was there a menu to turn it on. And, too, even though the audio got 5-stars, it was far more muddled than I was expecting, and the folks who watched the film with me said they had a hard time understanding much of the dialog. (Fortunately, I've seen it both in a theater, as well as on VHS and DVD, with subtitles, and knew what was being said.) So, I'm curious if anyone knows if the subtitles were removed, as I know when the film originally opened, there were a few complaints about the integrity of the subtitles? There was nothing in the booklet about the removal of the subtitles. Thanks! (Apologies for meandering to get to my query.)
@arisdisc: That's a good point that higher dealer cost has a factor to play too. But, when these 19.99 sales happen several times per year for titles that are typically priced 29.99 or higher, clearly the markup isn't miniscule. Even if 19.99 was dealer cost, which I'm sure it's not, normal markup would be 50% - a very respectable profit margin for mass consumed media.
MGM doesn't even do their own work, when it comes to home video, and haven't for many years now. Any praise of that studio from the past decade should be directed toward WB, Fox, or Sony. And when it comes to catalog product, all three of those are as hit and miss as anyone, negligently using masters they know to be outdated, recycling extras, basically putting out the BD release with minimal expense on their part, content with falling back on 10-15 year old work that was done for dvd, when HD was barely even on anybodies radar, premium catalog properties, like Lawrence of Arabia, or films that were mastered so long ago they're in desparate need of restoration, like The Searchers, being some of the few exceptions; and there are plenty of those that slip through the studios incredibly lacking quality standards, like Gladiator.
After reading all the comments, I can't believe no one is ordering The Royal Tenenbaums. I saw it once and thought it was a good film. I still have the Criterion DVD, however - is it worth the upgrade to Blu Ray?
@moviesmovie: Back in March, Amazon had The Royal Tenenbaums on the Gold Box deal for $17.49. That's when I picked it up. Maybe a bunch of other people picked it up then, as well. Was worth the upgrade, though.
I'm surprised to see so few mentions of the Barnes & Noble sale, which should (assuming they follow the normal trends) be happening in less than a month. Personally, I'm holding out for that for a few reasons:
1. For as much talk as there is here of Best Buy needing support, all indications are that Barnes & Noble needs it even more; I want them to continue to stick around, as there aren't a lot of bookstore options left.
2. Unlike Best Buy, who only ever carry the most popular Criterion titles in-store, Barnes & Noble (at least around here) keeps a large stock in which they usually have nearly every title in print (and, in fact, increase their in-store stock at Criterion sale time).
3. With my Barnes & Noble membership, they'll be even cheaper in-store there (titles that are $20 at Best Buy now will be $18 at Barnes & Noble, etc.). If you buy enough Criterion titles in these sales (I do), the amount saved in a single B&N sale more than covers the cost of a membership for the entire year. (I'm hesitant to mention additional coupons because it seems like B&N has significantly changed how they handle coupons recently, but there may be some additional coupons too...)
I just hope that Best Buy doing this sale now isn't going to have too much of a negative impact on Barnes and Noble's sale, either in the timing of it or its successfulness.
For books, I too will be genuinely sorry to see BN go, should that ever happen. However, I would imagine all the other book store closings might have helped BN enough to stay afloat, barring mismanagement akin to Circuit City and possibly Best Buy, though I think the later to suffer as much from bad press than actual mismanagement, at least I did, until their recent genius move to reduce stock in stores of physical media in favor of Samsung kiosks.
Unfortunately BN's nearest store is an hour away, so a membership isn't practical for me for the in store discount and it's not justified by their online prices even after coupons, nor is it justified by the amount of Criterion's I buy. I've also had too many shipping problems from BN in the past - one where a brand new BD I ordered from them arrived open and without a disc inside, which was rather inexcusable that it slipped by packaging inspection. And BN's returns process is long and unreliable: I even had to contact my credit agency once, because BN was unresponsive and still hadn't sent me a refund a month after I returned a damaged copy of Deadwood on BD. They didn't even respond to the cards inquiry for a full month, so 2 months after I returned the item and 3 months after I ordered it, I finally got my money back from the credit agency, with no help from BN whatsoever.
@arcane: B&N sucks when it comes to Blu-rays. They have the occasional sale but the rest of the time their prices are MSRP. As BB has finally learned, when your prices don't react to the online marketplace you aren't going to be around much longer. I support BB because they've finally woken up to reality. I will support B&N when they do the same.
As for the B&N membership, you have to spend $250--13 half price Criterions--before you break even. So that's just not a factor to be taken into consideration when it comes to comparing prices.
There are some coupons that can make the B&N membership pay off more quickly but you are correct that it takes a while and may not be worth it for some folks. Also, some of their employees can be real jerks when it comes to coupons, making up their own rules not printed on the coupon about what they can be used for. Sometimes they will back off if you're assertive, but not always.
kinda sad to see alot of people ragging on amazon. i live in florida and no sales tax for me. i actually prefer amazon over best buy. and i have bought vinyls from them and they come in perfect condition.
We'll all be paying internet tax sooner or later. Unfortunately, rather than offsetting taxes by trying to be the price leader they were just a few short years ago, amazon's answer to the future playing-field-leveler (taxes) is to be the first online company to offer same day delivery. Instead of saving the consumer money - which is why most people started buying online over a decade ago - they're reportedly banking on a massive distribution chain of new warehouses to be able to offer consumers more immediate gratification like they get from buying locally. I still can't imagine how they hope to deliver something the same day people order it without charging an arm and a leg, when they're reportedly losing money on prime 2-day shipping even now - today, you can live right next door to a warehouse and still not get your order any faster than someone 100 miles away - but maybe they have a plan for that too. But, that's their vision of the future that was reported in the news a couple years ago, and their prices have been climbing ever since: A relatively tiny amazon market-place vendor should not have the buying power to offer movies at a greater discount than amazon, yet amazon doesn't offer the best price on most of the items they sell, despite the high commissions they charge on third-party sells.
And it's amazing how many items have "mistakenly" inflated SRPs on amazon. A mug found commonly at Walmart for $2 now costs $6 on amazon. It used to be only about 2-3 bucks on amazon too, when part of their add-on item program. Then they removed the $25 minimum order requirement and jacked the price; apparently they can't afford to sell it without double charging on shipping. Coffee makers that sold for less than $20 a year ago, are now as high as $40 or full SRP, assuming you believe amazon's SRP over other online vendors. There's no end to the examples. Personally, I think they're in store for a rude awakening if they think the majority consumer is going to pay more for the convenience or priviledge of buying from amazon.
They still have some good deals, especially when they're pricematching, even if only for those of us who don't have to pay taxes yet. But, you can't justify a prime membership based on how much you're saving anymore. Once more people start paying taxes, they'll probably re-evaluate how much they're really saving vs buying locally and realize that amazon isn't what it once was.
It's absolutely idiotic to think amazon is expensive compared to retail scum such as walmart even if there is a sales tax added. If walmart is selling a mug for two dollars cheaper than amazon for example you can rest assured that they're more than making up for it on the rest of the crap they're peddling off to the unsuspecting customer.
@TaxiTodd: I certainly have no love for walmart. But, a major reality check is in order: amazon is following walmarts lead to a T, from pricing, to misleading representation, to reports of poor working conditions in their warehouses. They got us hooked with aggressive pricing - in amazon's case, taking advantage of their lower overhead and tax-free status - but now that they're "established", they're more about pretense and profits. Walmart surprisingly killed amazon, along with everyone else - last week with their Oz pricing: 19.96 minus a widely available $7 coupon for 12.96 plus tax out the door vs 27.99 (amazon pricematched Target) minus a $5 coupon only available to those who knew about it and preordered months ago, for the pitiful two weeks it was available, long before the title was even announced. With media, ALL new-release deals on amazon are SOLELY a product of amazon price-matching "retail scum" like Best Buy, Walmart, and Target. And at least half of their other movie deals are prompted by the same. Amazon has rarely been the first to offer the lowest price on new release media in over two years, nor have they offered a lower price than BB or Target on a single new-release title in the same time. They ONLY pricematch their very biggest competitors for new release movies. If not for Best Buy and Target, we'd be paying a lot more for our movies today. And it's not just that way with media. A few years ago, I too went around blindly assuming I was getting the best deal at amazon. And, I usually was. But to do so today would be far too expensive. Their prices are all over the place: one week you might be getting a good deal, the next they're charging more than what the manufacturer lists as full SRP. That's an extreme example, but I've seen such cases aplenty. Obviously it varies by product and product category, but I've witnessed it to be true of media and electronics, to appliances, and even shoes and dogfood which I can buy by the case even at PetSmart, which is rather expensive compared to Walmart and Food Lion, for less than amazon's subscribe and save program, where it's nearly doubled in price since I first subscribed and the subscription discount has fallen from 15% to 5% with less flexible shipping.
@jadasneez: Yeah, BB's packaging is pretty insulting. When are online vendors going to get that shipping in thin, unpadded, mylar bags just sends the message that they don't care. It doesn't matter if they offer great customer service or will make it good or not; it's an unreasonable burdon for the consumer having to deal with the aggravation of a return or exchange, when they're just asking for problems with such utterly non-protective packaging.
Maybe it's the warehouse amazon is shipping from, or maybe amazon places higher value on Criterion BDs than even 3D combo packs, but of the four Criterions I've ordered from this BB pricematch promotion, three shipped in laminated cardboard, and the fourth shipped even better: in a box. In the same two weeks, I've received six other, non-Criterion BDs from amazon, all shipped in padded mailers via USPS, where the Criterions shipped UPS.
I feel guilty not supporting the company that's responsible for the deal, knowing that the endgame of pricematching is to eliminate competition - at the very least when everyone buys from the pricematcher or copycat it just discourages such future promotions from the originator of the sale. But, BB is too far away to shop at regularly, I've had a lot of points saved up and several giftcards on amazon, and after BB shipped my DKR steelbook in the same plastic bags, arriving with one of the discs broken halfway from the center to outer edge - not that I haven't had more than my share of damaged amazon shipments - as much as I want to support them, BB doesn't make it easy to. And I'm still rather PO'd that they have the nerve to expire rewards points we earn, even when some were just earned the month before their annual points cleaning goes into effect.
With what little funds I have at present due to buying too many other things I've picked up Badlands, Quadrophenia and The Man Who Knew Too Much. Maybe I'll pick a couple more up. A few I picked up from the B&N sale sometime last year. All at the current sale prices.
Looks like Best Buy may be listening to the packaging complaints: I just received the second half of my 2 for $10 BD order on select Sony titles from BB; it arrived in the same laminated cardboard packaging that amazon's been using, unlike the first part of the order that arrived just a week earlier in a mylar bag.