It was raining on this particular birthday of mine. I remember that because I left my driver's side window down and my seat was drenched. Ever since then I have been anal of keeping my car windows closed whenever I leave my car..even if for a few minutes at a convenience store. Silly, I know.
Back to my point. My world changed when I unwrapped my gift to find The Criterion Collection: The Seven Samurai
. Not because I was just then a budding movie fanatic but because of three things:
A. I never saw The Seven Samurai before this and was blown away by the sheer artistry on display. The epic scope Kurosawa manged to capture on film left me awestruck. My Kurosawa's love-fest began that day.
B. I couldn't believe my wife nailed the perfect present for me then. She knew I was a fan of samurai lore but at the time, only through snippets here and there. While I'm not terribly finicky and appreciate anything given to me, that she just got it right was beyond satisfying.
C. The Criterion Collection on Laser discs, and DVD was and is the end all and be all of excellence on disc form. Period. To say the amount of work they do to preserve film at it's utmost pristine form is an understatement. From new to obscure, to beloved classics, to the sheer amount of foreign films The Criterion Collection introduced me, I was blown away.
Needless to say most of my collection is of their brand. You generally pay more for them. But man is it worth it. Their special editions make other special editions look pitiful. Hell their supplemental material on their regular releases make other special edition look pitiful.
So what's this all leading to? Simple.
Blu ray and movie fans rejoice. The Criterion Collection is moving to Blu ray. I have been chomping at the bit for this to happen ever since I picked up my PS3. Strolling through their website
on their banner at top I noticed with glee their Blu ray banner with this announcement: Starting in October these new editions will feature glorious high-definition picture and sound, all the supplemental content of the DVD releases, and they will be priced to match our standard-def editions. Here’s what’s in the pipeline: The Third Man Bottle Rocket Chungking Express The Man Who Fell to Earth The Last Emperor El Norte The 400 Blows Gimme Shelter The Complete Monterey Pop Contempt Walkabout For All Mankind The Wages of Fear Alongside our DVD and Blu-ray box sets of The Last Emperor, we’ll also be putting out the theatrical version as a stand-alone release in both formats, priced at $39.95. Our Blu-ray release of Walkabout will be an all-new edition, featuring new supplements as well as a new transfer; we will also release an updated anamorphic DVD of Nicolas Roeg’s outback masterpiece at the same time. HELL YES. BTW: all those movies rock. The 400 blows I will be posting in a future sideblog review.