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 Posted:   Mar 14, 2014 - 10:03 AM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

So, anyone else having problems with recent Criterion batches? Four of the titles I've bought recently have issues, as follows:

1. BREATHLESS - DVD disc 1 has several very deep scratches on it. This is because it is impossible for the "bunkbed" spindle case to hold the top disc without the bottom disc damaging it. The top disc hovers only millimetres above the spindle that holds the disc below it in place. As soon as you try in any way to remove the top disc, it's going to touch the spindle below it. (This is unfortunate because there are DVD cases out there that double-decker like this but have a half-moon spindle for the disc below, which allows the DVD above it to clear this hard, damaging plastic.)

2. FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT - same as above.

3. IT'S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD - the paper slipcase this comes in has damaged not only all the DVDs (which are very easily scratched) but also one of the Blu-rays (which because of their extra coating are usually not that easy to scratch, but these horrid cases managed to do it anyway).

4. CITY LIGHTS - seems to have a slightly altered version of the "bunkbed" design but with a softer plastic and with a slight incline to the top disc holder. This has (for now) prevented the Blu-ray from being damaged by coming into contact with the DVD spindle below it, but unfortunately there's not enough room for the booklet, which was horribly mangled when I opened the case for the first time. (I requested a replacement copy from Amazon, which arrived with a similarly mangled booklet. Such a bummer, man. This aspect has always been a problem with Criterion titles, though.)

Criterion are the absolute tops when it comes to DVD and Blu-ray content, as well as in championing film restoration, but the choices they've made for the dual-format cases are an extreme disappointment, to say the least. I've sent correspondence to Criterion but so far no response.

Film preservation and restoration are definitely more important than cosmetics, no question, but if one's discs are badly scratched (either now out of the gate, or down the road when they've sat on a shelf or been put in and out of the case), the people who love them so much won't be able to actually play them any more. And by that time they'll either not be eligible for replacement or they'll no longer be in print.

As I mentioned, one of these discs was purchased on Amazon, but the rest were purchased at retail where they only get in a few copies. Waiting for my local store to get more copies in, hoping they're not scratched (unlikely to get one's hope up given this horrid packaging) is such a shame.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on this, wondering if any of you have experienced the same issues.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 14, 2014 - 3:11 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Hmmm. Never had a problem with a Criterion DVD or Blu-Ray.

Laserdisc, on the other hand....

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 14, 2014 - 3:14 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

DP

 
 Posted:   Mar 14, 2014 - 8:16 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

My only problem with Criterion is how overpriced they are.

 
 Posted:   Mar 15, 2014 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

My only problem with Criterion is how overpriced they are.

True. And now they're about to become overpriced table coasters - at least for me; I've so far had no response from Criterion customer service.

 
 Posted:   Mar 15, 2014 - 10:01 AM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

Hmmm. Never had a problem with a Criterion DVD or Blu-Ray.

Laserdisc, on the other hand....


As mentioned, it's the most recent batch and, I suspect, anything coming out in the dual-format.

 
 Posted:   Mar 15, 2014 - 3:00 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

I don't really see the point...I can see why you might want a "combo pack" of something like Frozen or Thor, but who wants an extra, unwanted DVD copy of something esoteric or obscure like King Of The Hill that Criterion specializes in?

 
 Posted:   Mar 15, 2014 - 3:19 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

The dual format exists because the blu-ray format never caught on that spectacularly like dvd did and many people are content with just a dvd. At the start of blu-ray, it made sense to do the dual format but nowadays I find it annoying to have an extra disc that is inferior in quality and basically a coaster.
I usually give the dvds away to friends.

As for the criterion releases, so far I've only bought 1 disc blu-ray releases they put out, so thanks for the combo warning. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 15, 2014 - 4:54 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Actually, I was glad they made films like "City Lights" and "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World" combo-packs. I didn't/don't consider them a waste at all.

BTW, anyone who doesn't want their superfluous DVDs from Criterion (or any other company, for that matter) can always send them to me.

 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2014 - 10:44 AM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

I also don't have a specifically fundamental problem with the dual format; my issue is the cases they've decided to use for them. Horrid and surprisingly lunkheaded choices for an awesome label like Criterion.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 18, 2014 - 1:32 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

I also don't have a specifically fundamental problem with the dual format; my issue is the cases they've decided to use for them. Horrid and surprisingly lunkheaded choices for an awesome label like Criterion.

Very true. I also hate that kind of packaging on so many modern music CDs, scuffing the playing surfaces, etc.. They usually play fine, but they look like they've been through a meat grinder sometimes.

 
 Posted:   Mar 21, 2014 - 1:10 PM   
 By:   Accidental Genius   (Member)

Finally managed to get all my scratched discs and mangled booklets exchanged. Luckily one retail store I bought titles from didn't mind exchanging one of the discs I bought at another retail store, since the latter wasn't getting more in for a long time.

In any case, for now I'm not buying any Criterion titles unless it's one I can't live without. Just too much hassle getting 4 of the 6 titles exchanged that I recently purchased.

 
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