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Criterion Announces March Titles

Posted December 16, 2013 05:09 PM by Webmaster

CriterionThe Criterion Collection has announced six titles for Blu-ray release in March: On March 11th, the studio will release David Gordon Green's George Washington (2000). On March 18th, it will release Akira Kurosawa's The Hidden Fortress (1958), and Errol Morris's A Brief History of Time (1991). And on March 25th, it will release Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor's The Freshman (1925), Ingmar Bergman's Persona (1966), and Paolo Sorrentino's The Great Beauty (2011).

George Washington

Over the course of one hot summer, a group of children in the decaying rural South must confront a tangle of difficult choices. An ambitiously constructed, elegantly photographed meditation on adolescence, the first full-length film by director David Gordon Green features remarkable performances from an award-winning ensemble cast. George Washington is a startling and distinct work of contemporary American independent cinema.

Special Features:
  • Restored high-definition digital transfer, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Commentary by director David Gordon Green, cinematographer Tim Orr, and actor Paul Schneider
  • Deleted scene, with commentary by Green, Orr, and Schneider
  • Two student shorts by Green: Pleasant Grove (1997), with commentary by Green, Orr, and Schneider; and Physical Pinball (1998)
  • Charlie Rose interview with Green from 2001
  • Interviews with cast members
  • Clu Gulager's 1969 short film A Day with the Boys, an influence on George Washington
  • Trailer
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Armond White and a director's statement
The Hidden Fortress

A grand-scale adventure as only Akira Kurosawa could make one, The Hidden Fortress stars the inimitable Toshiro Mifune as a general charged with guarding his defeated clan's princess (a fierce Misa Uehara) as the two smuggle royal treasure across hostile territory. Accompanying them are a pair of bumbling, conniving peasants who may or may not be their friends. This rip-roaring ride is among the director's most beloved films and was a primary influence on George Lucas's Star Wars. The Hidden Fortress delivers Kurosawa's trademark deft blend of wry humor, breathtaking action, and compassionate humanity.

Special Features:
  • New 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 5.1 surround soundtrack preserving the original Perspecta simulated stereo effects, presented in DTS-HD Master Audio on the Blu-ray
  • New audio commentary by film historian Stephen Prince, author of The Warrior's Camera: The Cinema of Akira Kurosawa
  • Documentary from 2003 on the making of the film, created as part of the Toho Masterworks series Akira Kurosawa: It Is Wonderful to Create
  • Interview from 2001 with filmmaker George Lucas about Kurosawa
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Catherine Russell
A Brief History of Time

Errol Morris turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs. An adroitly crafted tale of personal adversity, professional triumph, and cosmological inquiry, Morris's documentary examines the way the collapse of Hawking's body has been accompanied by the untrammeled broadening of his imagination. Telling the man's incredible story through the voices of his colleagues and loved ones, while making dynamically accessible some of the theories in Hawking's best-selling book of the same name, A Brief History of Time is at once as small as a single life and as big as the ever-expanding universe.

Special Features:
  • New, restored 4K digital film transfer, supervised by director of photography John Bailey and approved by director Errol Morris, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New interview with Morris
  • New interview with Bailey
  • One Blu-ray and one DVD, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic David Sterritt, a chapter from Stephen Hawking's 2013 memoir My Brief History, and a short excerpt from Hawking's 1988 book A Brief History of Time
The Freshman

Harold Lloyd's biggest box-office hit was this silent comedy gem, featuring the befuddled everyman at his eager best as a new college student. Though he dreams of being a big man on campus, the freshman's careful plans inevitably go hilariously awry, be it on the football field or at the Fall Frolic. But he gets a climactic chance to prove his mettle—and impress the sweet girl he loves—in one of the most famous sports sequences ever filmed. This crowd-pleaser is a gleeful showcase for Lloyd's slapstick brilliance and incandescent charm, and it's accompanied here by a new orchestral score by Carl Davis.

Special Features:
  • New 4K digital transfer from a restoration by the UCLA Film and Television Archive
  • New orchestral score, composed and conducted by Carl Davis, presented in uncompressed stereo on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary featuring director and Harold Lloyd archivist Richard Correll, film historian Richard Bann, and film critic and historian Leonard Maltin
  • Lloyd's prologue to the film, created for the 1966 rerelease
  • Three newly restored Lloyd shorts: The Marathon (1919), with a new score by Gabriel Thibaudeau, and An Eastern Westerner and High and Dizzy (both 1920), with new scores composed and conducted by Davis
  • Big Man on Campus, a new visual essay on the film's locations by silent-film historian John Bengtson
  • Conversation between Correll and film historian Kevin Brownlow
  • Footage from a 1963 Delta Kappa Alpha tribute to Lloyd, featuring comedian Steve Allen, director Delmer Daves, and actor Jack Lemmon
  • Lloyd's 1953 appearance on the television show What's My Line?
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Stephen Winer
Persona

By the mid-sixties, Ingmar Bergman had already conjured many of the cinema's most unforgettable images. But with the radical Persona, this supreme artist attained new levels of visual poetry. In the first of a series of legendary performances for Bergman, Liv Ullmann plays an actress who has inexplicably gone mute; an equally mesmerizing Bibi Andersson is the garrulous young nurse caring for her in a remote island cottage. While isolated together there, the women perform a mysterious spiritual and emotional transference that would prove to be one of cinema's most influential ideas. Acted with astonishing nuance and shot in stark shadows and soft light by the great Sven Nykvist, Persona is a penetrating, dreamlike work of profound psychological depth.

Special Features:
  • New, 2K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New visual essay on the film's prologue by Ingmar Bergman scholar Peter Cowie
  • New interviews with actor Liv Ullmann and filmmaker Paul Schrader
  • Excerpted archival interviews with Bergman and actors Bibi Andersson and Ullmann
  • On-set footage, with audio commentary by Bergman historian Birgitta Steene Liv & Ingmar, a 2012 feature documentary directed by Dheeraj Akolkar
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film scholar Thomas Elsaesser, an excerpted 1969 interview with Bergman, and an excerpted 1977 conversation with Andersson
The Great Beauty

For decades, journalist Jep Gambardella has charmed and seduced his way through the glittering nightlife of Rome. Since the legendary success of his only novel, he has been a permanent fixture in the city's literary and elite social circles. But on his sixty-fifth birthday, Jep unexpectedly finds himself taking stock of his life, turning his cutting wit on himself and his contemporaries, and looking past the lavish nightclubs, parties, and cafés to find Rome itself, in all its monumental glory: a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Featuring sensuous cinematography, a lush score, and an award-winning central performance by the great Toni Servillo, this transporting experience by the brilliant Italian director Paolo Sorrentino is a breathtaking Fellini-esque tale of decadence and lost love.

Special Features:
  • New 2K digital transfer, approved by director Paolo Sorrentino, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Conversation between Sorrentino and Italian cultural critic Antonio Monda
  • New interview with actor Toni Servillo
  • New interview with screenwriter Umberto Contarello
  • Deleted scenes
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • One Blu-ray and two DVDs, with all content available in both formats
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Philip Lopate



Source: Blu-ray.com | Permalink | United States [Country settings]

News comments (93 comments)


vader4
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Fantastic announcement! Especially excited about The Hidden Fortress, Persona, and The Great Beauty.

Arkadin
 - Dec 16, 2013

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O.o some amazing titles--especially Persona.

repete66211
 - Dec 16, 2013

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No surprise with Persona, The Freshman or Hidden Fortress--which I'm glad to see--but A Brief History of Time? Wow, I never thought I'd see that one on Blu-ray.

-jonny-
 - Dec 16, 2013

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I wish they would pass on new films in favor of catalogue titles.

pronggod13
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Dullsville!!!

kcm1986
 - Dec 16, 2013

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jw007
 - Dec 16, 2013

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A Brief History of Time from Errol Morris really is the stand-out here for me. This is something totally different for Criterion to release. And man, what a cool cover.

coljohnmatrix
 - Dec 16, 2013

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PERSONA!!! My favorite film. I have been waiting for years, as the MGM DVD is awful. Plus, I thought a standalone release of "Liv and Ingmar" was too much to ask for, but including it with Persona? It just couldn't get any better for Bergman fans. Cap it off with a diverse group of classics old and new, and you have an absolutely stellar month. And I thought last month's announcement was impressive!

Doomnaut
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Persona, The Hidden Fortess, George Washington! Great Month.

InspectorLupus
 - Dec 16, 2013

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We have Throne of Blood in January and now The Hidden Fortress in March! Whoohoo!

lokipei
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Hidden Fortress, Persona, and the Freshmen, fuck yeah!

fdm
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Idiot E. Que
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Thought we'd be waiting a while for more Kurosawa after Throne of Blood, and then BAM! Hidden Fortress. And Persona's been near the top of my Want List for a while. Plus The Freshman. What a month. *throws money at Criterion*

Namuhana
 - Dec 16, 2013

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I'm insanely excited for Persona! March can't come soon enough.

rollinwith26s
 - Dec 16, 2013

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I have wanted to see Hidden Fortress for a long time, now's my chance!

drak b
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Woo hoo! More silent comedy! I can't wait to get The Freshmen!

Atreyu
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Alright...more Harold Lloyd!!

AmazingRando
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Kurosawa and Bergman in the same month! I haven't been this happy since last month. Which doesn't sound like high praise, but hey, last month we had a 25-film Zatoichi box set. Criterion is bringing their A game.

The Hidden Fortress is way overdue for an upgrade, I'd say. Two Kurosawas in three months? Probably too much to hope for Madadayo by the end of the year.

I also enjoyed George Washington and always enjoy a good head-expanding documentary. Errol Morris is the most gifted documentary maker out there, in my opinion. All around good slate, very excited about these.

dclivejazz
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Looking forward to The Great Beauty.

BleachD
 - Dec 16, 2013

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I'm totally stoked for Persona, The Freshman and A Brief History of Time. My only complaint though is that A Brief History of Time is listed at an MSRP of 40$ and I feel like it should be a $30 release because it's only got 2 interviews (maybe they're really long interviews?) as special features and a booklet.

Ace_BB6
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Hidden fortress and George washington look awesome.

dannalexcon
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Persona on Criterion. Nuff said.

Grethiwha
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Thrilled to see another Kurosawa upgrade so soon after Throne of Blood; hopefully it won't be the last! Not my first choice but that's mostly because I already own the DVD. ...It's probably Kurosawa's most accessible and purely entertaining film; it's awesome.

Persona's gonna make a lot of people happy, and that's a classy cover... but it's probably my least favourite Bergman movie TBH.

Will have to check out the Errol Morris doc. Nice month.

Network23
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Nice group, ill be saving after January's new releases. So these FEb titles ill be adding in the next Barnes & Noble 50% off sale list.

mjcavinder
 - Dec 16, 2013

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A Great day to release more Criterion titles on bluray

Jumpman
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Hidden Fortress is a Day 1 purchase without question. Finally!

PBateman87
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Not the most exciting lineup but there are some definite purchases here.

nitin
 - Dec 16, 2013

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lol people are seriously disappointed by these announcements?? Unbelievable, 3 outright must sees and 2 very worthwhile if not legitmately great films.

vanscottie
 - Dec 16, 2013

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BluPix
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Looks as if Criterion is really pushing the blu-ray upgrades of their substantial collection of Bergman and Kurosawa films.

Even though I bought the DVD-only version about a short year ago, it's nice to see George Washington receiving a hi-def upgrade. Aside from that I'm especially interested in Persona but, really, all six films are intriguing in some way.

mgza
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Still waiting for The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

tomrule123
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Hidden Fortress soon on Blu-ray! Awesome!

JohnnyFontane
 - Dec 16, 2013

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I KNEW Hidden Fortress would be released before Ikiru or Red Beard: 2 films which kick Hidden Fortress' behind. Oh well, I guess Criterion knows the masses want action, not intense drama. Besides High and Low, all the Kurosawa Criterion blu-rays are violent: Rashomon, Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Kagemusha, Throne of Blood and now Hidden Fortress. I hope Ikiru is announced next, then Red Beard.

ShellOilJunior
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Persona in the Criterion Collection in finally a reality. An easy day 1.

Next, let's get a spine for La Dolce Vita.

Scholer
 - Dec 16, 2013

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God! God! GOD! The Hidden Fortress!!!!!! God!!! It's true. Oh Criterion. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You. Thank You.

Blu Titan
 - Dec 16, 2013

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The Hidden Fortress...nuff said. I have been waiting for this release since 2006.

Blu Titan
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Hey johnnyFontany...please school yourself on Kurosawa films. Although, Red Beard and Ikiru (specially) are great films...they pale in significance to The Hidden Fortress.

Midnight Max
 - Dec 16, 2013

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The Hidden Fortress for myself. Now for Red Beard sometime in 2014...

RICKBONDOO7
 - Dec 16, 2013

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tru blu
 - Dec 16, 2013

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Hidden Fortress, Persona & The Great Beauty for me. I may blind buy George Washington.

EPICRAGE
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Happy for Hidden Fortress. Now I only need upgrades for Stray Dog and, more importantly, Ikiru and I will have all my favorite Kurosawas on bluray!!

Lao Che
 - Dec 17, 2013

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No Federico Fellini? One of the great masters of the cinema is passed over... again? Wow.

nathanp
 - Dec 17, 2013

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In for The Freshman, Persona and the Hidden Fortress for sure, probably get Brief History as well.

CoenP
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Another Kurosawa, I'm thrilled! Maybe one day I'll be able to see Stray Dog on blu.
Also happy about George Washington. David Gordon Green is a great cineast, love his movie Undertow

insomniac013
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Hidden Fortress!!!

Aw0n3
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Keep the Kurosawa coming. Throne of Blood and now Hidden Fortress, YES!

hookem2845
 - Dec 17, 2013

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First Throne of Blood now Hidden Fortress. Yes yes yes. Day 1 for both.

MoulinBlu
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Hidden Fortress! Finally!! Thanks Criterion!

dmarvin
 - Dec 17, 2013

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The people who are only waiting for Scanners and claiming to hate any month that doesn't include it should stop wasting their time poring over these monthly announcements. You aren't real Criterion fans; go away. Hidden Fortress getting announced only a month after Throne of Blood is a dream come true. And when I went to see the Alexander Payne film Nebraska, they showed a trailer for The Freshman and that got me psyched for this announcement. Great month!

howellsitgoin
 - Dec 17, 2013

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peterraes
 - Dec 17, 2013

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The Fresh Man and Hidden Fortress for me:)

danobre
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Another perfect month... after all it is Criterion! Every month around the 15th day I can't wait and check the CC website to see the if the post the announcements for upcoming titles. Never disappointed so far... A Brief History of Time - it's a pleasant surprise here!

jw007
 - Dec 17, 2013

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How many more times am I going to read "where is Life Aquatic?!?!!" or "where's Scanners?!?!" before I punch a hole in my f#cking wall! Enough is enough!

ufso
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Again, all I want is Monsters and Madmen (all 4 movies) in their OAR!!!

dkelly26666
 - Dec 17, 2013

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@jw007,

I was about to say the same thing!!! There are lots of great releases coming out lately from Criterion, and coming up soon, as well. But there are these guys who are "disappointed" every month's announcement because there is no "Scanners" or David Lynch or whatever yet. They will get to that! Criterion is definitely releasing "Scanners" and "The Brood"! As well as other Cronenberg titles, I suspect. They are also definitely releasing some Lynch stuff, too. And I am positive that they will eventually get to "The Life Aquatic" on blu, too! BUT, in the meantime, the announcements don't suck just because those films aren't out yet. There are many, many great things coming out in the meantime. I think the problem is that, by Criterion releasing these horror/cult titles, they are bringing out a select group of horror fans that only care about horror films and nothing else, and so they are getting an unusual backlash for them. Several boutique labels such as Shout! and Scorpion are struggling because only the horror fans are attacking voraciously, while their non-genre fare is barely getting noticed/selling poorly. This costing all of his with different tastes in films (I like good films in ALL genres), because the labels are forced to put all of their might behind just genre/horror stuff, even if they don't want to. In short, the horror/convention nerds scream the loudest. Criterion, on the other hand, will never become a label like that. So, we'll just have to listen to the nerds piss and moan about where's "Scanners" all the time and talk about how "boring" Altman's "Nashville", Mann's "Thief", Polanski's "Tess", and Kurosawa and Bergman films are. The rest of us KNOW how exciting these announcements are. I think "Scanners" is great. I think "Eraserhead" is great. But I also think "Persona", "Throne of Blood", and "Jules and Jim" are great, too. If not GREATER.

popoboy
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Please release "Summertime" Been waiting for ever for a BD of this title

RichardP
 - Dec 17, 2013

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…Seriously? "An Essay by Armond White" on George Washington?

Did their April Fools joke just come early? Why even give that lonely ass troll the time of day?

Chouan
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Way too pleased with the release of Persona to question the need of a blu-ray/DVD combi release.

AND still secretly hoping Criterion (or anybody, for that matter) will pick up Aleksandr Rogozhkin's Chekist (1992). Am I the only one?

Tom Servo
 - Dec 17, 2013

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The Freshman for me, that's about it. Am I allowed to only want one of these, or will that incur the wrath? I'm so uncultured.

MikeyHitchFan
 - Dec 17, 2013

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faornelas
 - Dec 17, 2013

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@MikeyHitchFan
I agree! I love Bergman and Kurosawa, but it is about time for Criterion to expand more the range of filmmakers.

TheBigBang
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Kurosawa's Hidden Fortress for me. I'm a little ashamed to admit I haven't heard of any of the other titles here.

jw007
 - Dec 17, 2013

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@ dkelly26666

Thank you! I wanted to go back to re-edit that post because it seems like I came off as angry (of course I won't punch a hole through my wall...but in my mind I might). I think these nerds you speak of have tunnel vision of some sort and think one or two dimensionally. Until they get a few specific titles that they're craving, they'll never be satisfied. Seriously, are DVDs not good enough until the wait is over? They should be happy there are at least DVD releases of Scanners and The Life Aquatic! There are plenty of films that I wish were even available on DVD, much less blu-ray (such as "City of Hope" by John Sayles or "SubUrbia" by Richard Linklater or "Gulag" featuring Malcolm McDowell or "Break" featuring Stephen Rea or "Ruby in Paradise" starring Ashley Judd....yes, all decent films and no BDs or DVDs of any of them available!). Criterion is releasing many fine titles every month and I honestly think they're getting better and better at it. They have refined their selections and streamlined their company. They release movie titles that don't just fall into a niche market (such as Scream Factory, Blue Underground or Grindhouse Releasing) and cater to most or all genres (avoiding "blockbuster" type movie releases). Anyway, kudos for understanding.

JRob
 - Dec 17, 2013

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"Persona" is a must-buy for me. Wants "Scanners" and "The Brood" on blu right now? Go region-free.

crazyman
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Bit of a shame they haven't licensed the extras from the MGM DVD of Persona.

bluknight1
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Yes!! We will finally be getting The Hidden Fortress!!!!

HelmutNewton
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Hidden Fortress at last!

Sopranogl
 - Dec 17, 2013

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TheDean
 - Dec 17, 2013

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Jr7936
 - Dec 18, 2013

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still waiting on the apu trilogy. and other then the announcement of blue is the warmest color, it seems criterion announcements don't seem as exciting as they once were. either just upgrades of films they had on dvd mainly at least this month. i honestly can't remember when i have been super excited over a whole month or almost a whole month for a long while

TheHighRoller
 - Dec 18, 2013

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Nothing for me that month.

DjMethod
 - Dec 18, 2013

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Persona... it is about time!!!

The Freshman is such a pleasant surprise. Definite purchase for me.

Criterion, I love you.

michaeljoo
 - Dec 18, 2013

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Yes, Hidden Fortress!!!

leeving
 - Dec 18, 2013

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Still no Good Burger??? Count me out this month.

Russell_L
 - Dec 18, 2013

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Hidden Fortress--about time!!!!!!!!!!!

repete66211
 - Dec 18, 2013

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@dmarvin, jw007, et al: Welcome to the Criterion thread. Be it here, Facebook or somewhere else, a significant number of posts are nothing more than bitching and moaning about how a cult director's or someone's obscure pet movie hasn't been released.

fdm
 - Dec 18, 2013

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@JohnnyFontane Ikiru I liked, Red Beard dunno didn't do much for me (might be my least fave Kurosawa, but haven't seen them all just yet).

Al_The_Strange
 - Dec 18, 2013

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Yes! The Hidden Fortress, finally! Take that, George Lucas!

davidthenikonuser
 - Dec 18, 2013

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Nothing for me this month.

THUNDERSTRUCK
 - Dec 18, 2013

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vanscottie
 - Dec 18, 2013

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@howellsitgoin, why would you want/need a Criterion release of Close Encounters. The 30th Ann edition is amazing as testified to here on this site

http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Close-Encounters-of-the-Third-Kind-Blu-ray/529/#Review

How about we get some new releases of masterworks before the ridiculous double dips hit Criterion of all places!

howellsitgoin
 - Dec 19, 2013

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@vanscottie, I own that version. Yes it is pretty awesome, just upset that Criterion released a laserdisc version and then put it aside. Unless their contract was up, I was surprised it wasn't released on dvd years back.

Filmninja
 - Dec 19, 2013

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vanscottie
 - Dec 19, 2013

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Yojimbo
 - Dec 19, 2013

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@Filmninja, Not sure what you're talking about. Both have plenty left to be released, especially Kurosawa.

Wolvie
 - Dec 19, 2013

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@vanscottie, it's a cost-savings move (read on). Criterion announced it back in August about the dual-format switch. In short, it's more cost-effective for Criterion to release a combo pack under one SKU vs multiple SKUs that cost twice as much (i.e, one each for DVD and BD). And the pricing remains the same (typically, $39.95) so no cost increase to the consumer.

http://www.criterion.com/current/posts/2873-why-dual-format

vanscottie
 - Dec 19, 2013

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Thanks Wolvie, I guess if their numbers bear it out it works for them. It just seems hard to believe that there's any true Film Connoisseur/Enthusiast/Snob left in 2014 who loves films so much he buys Criterions but is so cheap he hasn't bought a Blu-Ray player yet...but I guess they're out there

stairfox
 - Dec 20, 2013

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Persona, finally!
I think that 2014 is going to be another great year for Criterion releases.

doctorsteve
 - Dec 20, 2013

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*cough* Fishing with John *cough*

jaypippin89
 - Dec 20, 2013

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Just take my money, damn you!

amlaube
 - Dec 20, 2013

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Persona.... finally!!!!

tylergfoster
 - Dec 21, 2013

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The Great Beauty is from 2013, not 2011.

mport5150
 - Dec 22, 2013

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Definitely The Hidden Fortress for me!


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