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I thought it would be a good idea to make a tab for reviews of Criterion Collection DVDs/Blurays. I was thinking of the review to feature ratings for film itself, packaging, audio,picture,and special features, but review as you please.

I will be updating this post with a glossary that shows what Criterion were reviewed, by who, and on what page. Therefore if anyone wants to see what a MOFO thought of a criterion title they can just look through the glossary.

Then another idea I had for the future, if enough people participate, I can find average rating and edit this with average ratings for criterion titles which multiple MOFOs have seen.
For this to work I need enough people to review so please review away!

Glossary

Page 1
Diabolique (2011 edition)(Donniedarko)
Cul-De-Sac (Donniedarko)
Stagecoach (Rauldc14)
Man Bites Dog (Donniedarko)
My Own Private Idaho (Sexy Celebrity)
Royal Tenenbamus (Rauldc14)
The Killing (Donniedarko)
Breathless (Blu Ray)(DonnieDarko)

Page 3
Down by the law (sexy celebrity)
Branded to Kill (Tyler1)
Letter Never Sent (linesplay)
The Great Dictator (donniedarko)
Down by the Law (Tyler1)

Page 4
Simon of the Desert (donniedarko)
__________________
Yeah, there's no body mutilation in it



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



Diabolique (2011 edition)
1955, Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot

Film Review: "Some things you can't swallow, and I'm not talking about the fish." Clouzot is widely viewed as the French Hitchcock, Diabolique is like a French version of Vertigo with a touch of Psycho. Not only was this a fantastic horror with a hell of an ending, this did much more than scare. It was wonderful story telling with superb dialogue, countless amount of quotes to remember. This film ended telling you to please not babble about the ending, which was later used in Hitchcock's Psycho. Looking back at this film Hitch borrowed quite a bit from it. Vera Clouzot played a believable sick fearful woman while her counter part Nicole played by Signoret was cool and relaxed. This made a wonderful balance. The film started playing with your mind, you couldn't wait to see the end, when you see it your jaw is open and you have the feeling of clapping to salute Clouzot. It's unique and revolutionary towards the genre and I'm glad it has lived on all these years.


Audio: Very clear to here, and I wasn't even using the speakers for this one.


Picture: No complaints, looked crisp.


Packaging/Artwork: Beautiful illustrations, the cover was an improvement and the booklet looked nice. I'm not sure if this goes under artwork but the disc menu looked really cool too.


Special Features: The introduction really got you anticipating the film. The commentary was observant but kind of boring. The interview with Kim Newman was so so. The trailer was cool but nothing special. Nice little booklet that talked about the life of Cluzot and put murder in the same category as art.


Total:



Crap! Accidentally wrote my Diabolique review over Cul-De-Sac, I'll write what I can remeber.

Cul-de-Sac

1966, Directed by Roman Polanski

Film Review: Cul-De-Sac is Polanskis favorite film an its truly a unique and Ironic one. It was shot so perfectly,every single angle was perfect. Polanski created a new world on this island. A new isolated strange disastrous world. This is what shows that he is the bet director, ever. The plot is simple, a man who gets in "trouble" holds a married couple hostage. He ruins there telephone, chicken ken, and there relationship. The wife seems to wear the pants in the relationship and the husband is a coward. It is something new but it's not something great. Good but not great, as I would call his films of The Pianist, Rosemary's Baby, and Chinatown. It's Black & White which gives it a mediaeval effect which is reflected in the beautiful character of the wife, who was casted at the last moment. I can see why some call it the best and why some hate it, I certainly don't feel either. It is enjoyable and is the first and last of its type, therefore as an art house film it gets a positive rating from me.


Audio: Kinda jumpy at points, had to turn on subtitles, it got more stable later on though.


Picture: Not sketchy like many B&W films everything was clear.


Packaging/Artwork: Great cover showing a notable scene in the film. The booklat looked very nice


Special Features: The booklet flipped the pages for itself. Documentary was very insightful. Trailers were kinda pointless though. The interview with Polanski was sorta boring. What it had was OK but I wish it had more


Total:



Stagecoach
1939, Directed by John Ford

This is the movie that literally catapulted John Wayne's career. The film follows a group of strangers riding on a stagecoach through dangerous Apache territory.
Although Ford had made many Westerns in the silent film era, he had never previously directed a sound Western. And with the 1930's being a bit of a downer as far a the Western genre goes, Ford delivered. Stagecoach was the first of many Westerns that Ford shot using Monument Valley, in the American Southwest on the Arizona-Utah border, as a location, many of which also starred John Wayne. All in all, it is a pretty well directed and well acted film, without me giving too much away.

Rating: 7/10

Audio: The audio did have a couple troubling points here and there, but nothing to crazy to complain about-- 7/10

Picture: The picture for a 1939 B&W film was shot pretty candidly.-- 8/10

Packaging/Artwork: Probably one of the biggest downfalls, really nothing to write home about. The packaging and artwork makes the film look old in itself, though that could have been the purpose anyways.-- 5/10

Special Features: I haven't gotten through them all, but there is a lot to be had in this department. Actually one of John Ford's earlier silent westerns are part of the special features, and I'd like to see that. 8/10 thus far.

Overall: 7/10



Man Bites Dog

Film Review (Also in Movie Tab II)
This film is violent, nasty, and has some of the best black humor since Dr. Strangelove. The serial killer being followed by the documentary crew in this mockumentary is Ben. He is an expert in killing, dirty jokes, and probably majored in philosophy in college. Which is probably why he steals to pay the bills. While I wouldn't rank this near the most disturbing film like many have, there were sequences of violence that were hard to watch. Most notably the rape scene, which had an even more gruesome aftermath than the one in A Clockwork Orange.

Ben killed 34 people in this film, one of them a child. We only saw one man escape from him. All the kills were unique, the three directors didn't reuse ideas. We can only assume the countless amount of people he killed before this showbiz crew somehow found him. While the serial killer is enjoyable to listen to the cast made sure you didn't forget how bad he really was. That's a problem with some of the films that follow purely the villain, you start rooting for him.

There were a few plot holes I spotted. Why wouldn't the police seize the documentary footage? It didn't really take much away but it could be the reason this is refereed to as an exploitation film. Which is not what the directors intended. The movie could bring humor into dark areas. It was even cartoonish in a sense, Ben looked at killing as if he was animating Tom & Jerry. This made it a unique and powerful film.


Audio- Crisp and clear, I'd even say perfect


Picture- I'm not sure if it was intentional but some points were kinda sketchy, wasn't bad but didn't go up to expectation for a criterion


Artwork- I wish they would've used something else for the booklet then they used for the cover. I like how the disc looked though


Special Features- A boring short film, short interview, decent trailer, and a thin booklet. The only actual good thing on here were the stills. I wish they had some more.


Total-



I got this today:



I reviewed the movie last year here. I didn't give it such a great review.

But this Criterion Collection edition is beautiful. Comes in a box with a thing you pull out and fold open to find two DVDs. Also comes with a book which features interviews. I have not watched any of the special features, which are on Disc 2, but I've gotta say, the box and the edition alone =
. Just from ... holding it. The whole thing is beautifully designed. One of the best DVDs I have just for the case alone. Maybe even THE best. All movies should come like this. The only flaw about this thing is that it's a DVD and not a Blu-ray, but I forgive it because this thing came out in 2004 (or 2005?).

And of course it's even better because it has two hot guys on the cover.

This is what the front accurately looks like:



I'll come back another time to review the special features. Maybe.



Royal Tenenbaums
2002, Directed by Wes Anderson

The story of an ill-fated man named Royal Tenenbaum (Gene Hackman) in an attempt to get his life back, pretty much. Along the way, trying to gain the respect of his 3 children as well as his wife. The cast has all-star written all over it, with Hackman, Huston, Glover, Wilson Brothers, Paltrow, and Stiller among others. Tons of chaos ensues. Without giving away more, it's a film that is highly liked yet it doesn't all come together (at least for me).

Rating: 6.5/10 (There's good and bad in it for me)

Audio: Crisp and clear, I really can't say that I had a problem with it. It didn't wow me, but it's not the movie where it really has too, either. 8/10

Picture: The picture was well shot to me. Used good locations for all of the filming. 8/10

Packaging/Artwork: Brilliant actually. It's what drew me to get it. 9/10

Special Features: I really didn't enjoy anything there was to offer in this. 4/10

Overall: 6.5/10 for the film- 7/10 overall for it as a criterion.



The Killing

Movie: The early Kubrick film noir that inspired Tarantinos Resevoir Dogs, goes out of the norm for Hollywood. While a flop at the box office this drew a lot of attention to the crew among which is Sterling Hayden. The film followed five different views of a heist. Showing family lives and the heist itself. Personally I only felt a connection with George, who had the most personal and seem story. It felt bland in its narrative, but this changed after the heist was done. The concluding fifteen minutes were pure awesomeness. Especially the concluding scene will be remembered by me for awhile


Picture: no complaints, everything looks great no sketchy scenes


Audio: actually felt very jumpy for me, sometimes to loud sometimes to quite, and not just by croterion standards by general


Artwork/Packaging- everything looke beautiful, nice cover and inside te box artwork. Even on the discs, wonderful


Supplements- it was loaded, even came with another movie (killers kiss). Plenty of interviews and what not, but while quantitative not qualitative. Not to entertaining or valuable, but there's a lot. And the second movie wasn't anything good.


Total-

For a $30 release I think it's worth it, great for a Kubrick fan, who wants to see his earlier less acclaimed stuff, that led way to him being one of the elite directors of history



It felt bland in its narrative
Ah? Did you know the jumping around in this film influenced Reservoir Dogs and in turn Pulp Fiction?

Audio: actually felt very jumpy for me, sometimes to loud sometimes to quite, and not just by croterion standards by general
:/ My disc doesn't have this problem, that's odd.



Ah? Did you know the jumping around in this film influenced Reservoir Dogs and in turn Pulp Fiction?
I did, first sentence of my review "he early Kubrick film noir that inspired Tarantinos Resevoir Dogs, goes out of the norm for Hollywood." I felt like Trantinos was more lively

:/ My disc doesn't have this problem, that's odd.
Do you have the blu-ray by any chance?



I did, first sentence of my review "he early Kubrick film noir that inspired Tarantinos Resevoir Dogs, goes out of the norm for Hollywood." I felt like Trantinos was more lively
Damn I'm a bad reader apparently excuse me

Do you have the blu-ray by any chance?
Nope. Maybe that's it.



Breathless Blu Ray

Film:This is the first Godard movie I can say I was vividly entertained throughout the whole movie. A unique love story between a murderer and an American girl in France. Stuffed with memorable dialogue and every moment something was happening. Practically every single second was filled. I still hate Godard's cinematography style, it's annoying and confusing. Unlike the other Godard works I've seen though this one kept you into it, and started the French new wave.


Picture: Looked very nice for a B&W films I could practically see the colors on my own


Audio: Very nice audio too, everything was clear as water,


Packaging/Artwork: The outer artwork isn't all to great, but the inside screenshots are awesome, and I love those easy to remove easy to put in discs


Supplements: It is absolutely loaded, several enlightening interviews, and video essays. The documentary was cheesy and I actually couldn't finish it, also came with a decent short film. I haven't read the booklet yet but it is nice and thick


Rating:

Even though it's not my favorite film I've seen in the criterion this is the best criterion DVD/Bluray I have from what I've seen



This may be a good place to mention it but I feel that, even though it may not have been the case in the directors' heads, French crime films seem to me to be mockeries of crime films, and I mean that in the best way. Films like Breathless or Shoot the Piano Player etc (even Branded to Kill to some extent even though it's Japanese) only make sense if they are mockeries because the criminals are portrayed as total fools.



This may be a good place to mention it but I feel that, even though it may not have been the case in the directors' heads, French crime films seem to me to be mockeries of crime films, and I mean that in the best way. Films like Breathless or Shoot the Piano Player etc (even Branded to Kill to some extent even though it's Japanese) only make sense if they are mockeries because the criminals are portrayed as total fools.
I'm a but confused but at the same time agree with what you're saying. Do you mean like the character from Man Bites Dog?
I wouldn't call them fools, I don't even know the word, care free?

Edit: Goofball, that's the word I was looking for