• Criterion Kicks Off 2024 with New 4K UHD and Blu-ray Upgrades and Debuts

    Posted Mon Oct 16, 2023 at 08:00 PM PDT by
    Trainspotting Danny Boyle

    Criterion's January titles include Chantal Akerman Masterpieces, 1968–1978 and Dee Rees' Mudbound on Blu-ray, Danny Boyle's Trainspotting, and John Sayles's Lone Star on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, and 4K upgrades of Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy and Joel and Ethan Coen's Blood Simple.

    Up first on January 2 comes Satyajit Ray's The Apu Trilogy making its 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray debut.

    The Apu Trilogy - The Criterion Collection 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

    The Apu Trilogy - The Criterion Collection - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 

    A breathtaking milestone that brought India into the golden age of international art-house film, Satyajit Ray’s The Apu Trilogy follows one indelible character, a free-spirited child in rural Bengal who matures into an adolescent urban student and, finally, a sensitive man of the world. Ray’s delicate masterworks—Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road), Aparajito (The Unvanquished), and Apur Sansar (The World of Apu)—based on two books by Bibhutibhusan Banerjee, were shot over the course of five years, and each stands on its own as a tender, visually radiant journey. These films—which have risen from the ashes in meticulously reconstructed restorations, after the original negatives were burned in a fire—are among the most achingly beautiful, richly humane movies ever made.

    4K UHD + BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

    • 4K digital restorations of all three films, undertaken in collaboration with the Academy Film Archive at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and L’Immagine Ritrovata, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks

    • Three 4K UHD discs of the films and three Blu-rays with the films and special features

    • Audio recordings from 1958 of director Satyajit Ray reading his essay “A Long Time on the Little Road” and in conversation with film historian Gideon Bachmann

    • Interviews with actors Soumitra Chatterjee, Shampa Srivastava, and Sharmila Tagore; camera assistant Soumendu Roy; and film writer Ujjal Chakraborty

    Making “The Apu Trilogy”: Satyajit Ray’s Epic Debut, a video essay by Ray biographer Andrew Robinson

    “The Apu Trilogy”: A Closer Look, a program featuring filmmaker, producer, and teacher Mamoun Hassan

    • Excerpts from the 2003 documentary The Song of the Little Road, featuring composer Ravi Shankar

    The Creative Person: “Satyajit Ray,” a 1967 documentary short by James Beveridge, featuring interviews with Ray, several of his actors, members of his creative team, and film critic Chidananda Das Gupta

    • Footage of Ray receiving an honorary Oscar in 1992

    • Programs on the restorations by filmmaker Kogonada

    • PLUS: Essays by critics Terrence Rafferty and Girish Shambu, as well as a selection of Ray’s storyboards for Pather Panchali

    Joel and Ethan Coen's Blood Simple will also lend on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on January 9.

    Blood Simple - The Criterion Collection 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

    Blood Simple - The Criterion Collection - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 

    Joel and Ethan Coen’s career-long darkly comic road trip through misfit America began with this razor-sharp, hard-boiled neonoir set somewhere in Texas, where a sleazy bar owner releases a torrent of violence with one murderous thought. Actor M. Emmet Walsh looms over the proceedings as a slippery private eye with a yellow suit, a cowboy hat, and no moral compass, and Frances McDormand’s cunning debut performance set her on the road to stardom. The tight scripting and inventive style that have marked the Coens’ work for decades are all here in their first film, in which cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld abandons black-and-white chiaroscuro for neon signs and jukebox colors that combine with Carter Burwell’s haunting score to lurid and thrilling effect. Blending elements from pulp fiction and low-budget horror flicks, Blood Simple reinvented the film noir for a new generation, marking the arrival of a filmmaking ensemble that would transform the American independent cinema scene.

    DIRECTOR-APPROVED 4K UHD + BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

    • Restored 4K digital transfer, approved by cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld and filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
    • One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
    • Conversation between Sonnenfeld and the Coens about the film’s look, featuring Telestrator video illustrations
    • Conversation between author Dave Eggers and the Coens about the film’s production, from inception to release
    • Interviews with composer Carter Burwell, sound editor Skip Lievsay, and actors Frances McDormand and M. Emmet Walsh
    • Trailers
    • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • PLUS: An essay by novelist and critic Nathaniel Rich

      Cover by Michael Boland

    John Sayles's Lone Star will arrive on Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on January 16.

    Lone Star - The Criterion Collection 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray

    Lone Star - The Criterion Collection - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 

    A keen observer of America’s social fabric, writer-director John Sayles uncovers the haunted past buried beneath a small Texas border town in this sprawling neowestern mystery. When a skeleton is discovered in the desert, lawman Sam Deeds (Chris Cooper), son of a legendary local sheriff, begins an investigation that will have profound implications both for him personally and for all of Rio County, a place still reckoning with its history of racial violence. Sayles’s masterful film—novelistic in its intricacy and featuring a brilliant ensemble cast, including Joe Morton, Elizabeth Peña, and Kris Kristofferson—quietly subverts national mythmaking and lays bare the fault lines of life at the border.

    DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

    • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director John Sayles and director of photography Stuart Dryburgh, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
    • New conversation between Sayles and filmmaker Gregory Nava
    • New interview with Dryburgh
    • Trailer
    • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • PLUS: An essay by scholar Domino Renee Perez

      New cover by Jacob Phillips

    The boxed set - Chantal Akerman Masterpieces, 1968–1978 - on Blu-ray on January 23.

    Chantal Akerman Masterpieces, 1968–1978 - The Criterion Collection 

    Chantal Akerman Masterpieces, 1968–1978 - The Criterion Collection 

    In the revolutionary first decade of her filmmaking career, Chantal Akerman devoted herself to nothing less than the total resculpting of cinematic time and space. Journeying between Europe and New York City, Akerman forged a highly personal style that fuses avant-garde influences with deeply human expressions of alienation, desire, and displacement—themes that she would explore in a series of increasingly ambitious shorts, documentaries, and features, including the towering Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles. With immersive rhythms that render the most minute details momentous, these landmarks of twentieth-century art continue to reveal new ways of experiencing cinema and framing reality.

    THREE-BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

    • New 4K digital restoration of Les rendez-vous d’Anna and 2K digital restorations of Saute ma ville; L’enfant aimé, ou Je joue à être une femme mariée; La chambre; Hotel Monterey; Le 15/8; Je tu il elle; Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles; and News from Home, with uncompressed monaural soundtracks
    • Hanging Out Yonkers, an unfinished film from 1973 by Chantal Akerman
    • Film-school tests
    • New program on Akerman featuring critic B. Ruby Rich
    • New visual essay on Akerman featuring archival interviews with the director
    • Autour de “Jeanne Dielman,” a documentary made during the filming of Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles, shot by actor Sami Frey and edited by Agnès Ravez and Akerman
    • Interviews with Akerman, cinematographer Babette Mangolte, actors Aurore Clément and Delphine Seyrig, and Akerman’s mother, Natalia
    • Appreciation by filmmaker Ira Sachs
    • PLUS: An essay and notes on the films by critic Beatrice Loayza

    On January 30, Dee Rees' Mudbound will be available on Blu-ray.

    Mudbound - The Criterion Collection
    Mudbound - The Criterion Collection
     

    In the Mississippi Delta of the 1940s, two farming families—one of white landholders, one of Black tenant farmers—are bound by the unforgiving soil they share as they struggle to survive amid the upheavals of World War II and the poisonous hatred of the Jim Crow South. Each family sends a young man off to battle; when they return home, scarred, and find a common bond, the community is ripped apart. Writer-director Dee Rees, with cowriter Virgil Williams, crafts a uniquely American tragedy, imbuing bitter historical realities with a timeless weight. Featuring bone-deep performances from her ensemble cast—including Carey Mulligan, Mary J. Blige, Jason Mitchell, Rob Morgan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, and Jonathan Banks—and backed by Rachel Morrison’s darkly burnished cinematography, Mudbound is a searing humanist study of inheritance based upon Hillary Jordan’s novel.

    DIRECTOR-APPROVED BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

    • New 2K digital master, supervised by director Dee Rees and director of photography Rachel Morrison, with Dolby Atmos soundtrack
    • New audio commentary featuring Rees
    • New documentary featuring Rees, composer Tamar-kali, editor Mako Kamitsuna, and makeup artist Angie Wells
    • New documentary made on set, featuring members of the cast and crew
    • Interview with Morrison
    • New interview with production designer David J. Bomba
    • Trailer and teaser
    • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing and English descriptive audio
    • PLUS: An essay by critic Danielle Amir Jackson

      New cover by Prinston Nnanna

    And last but certainly not least, Danny Boyle's Trainspotting will hit Blu-ray and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on the same date.

    Trainspotting - The Criterion Collection 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 

    Trainspotting - The Criterion Collection - 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray 

    A jolt of adrenaline shot straight to the heart of 1990s British cinema, this darkly funny adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s novel was a major breakthrough for director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, and screenwriter John Hodge. With live-wire energy and stylistic verve, Trainspotting bounces across the life and times of Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor), a Scottish heroin addict who, along with his misfit mates, gets high, gets in trouble, gets clean, and gets high again, all in a bid to outrun the banality of modern existence. Kinetically cut to an iconic soundtrack of techno, rock, and Britpop, this indie phenomenon chooses life in all its ugly, beautiful, terrifying exhilaration.

    FILMMAKER-APPROVED 4K UHD + BLU-RAY SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

    • New 4K digital restoration, supervised by director Danny Boyle, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
    • One 4K UHD disc of the film presented in Dolby Vision HDR and one Blu-ray with the film and special features
    • Alternate 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
    • Audio commentary featuring Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, screenwriter John Hodge, and actor Ewan McGregor
    • Nine deleted scenes with commentary from the filmmakers
    • Off the Rails: The Making of “Trainspotting,” a documentary featuring archival interviews with cast and crew and behind-the-scenes footage
    • Memories of “Trainspotting,” a documentary from 2008 featuring the filmmakers and actors McGregor, Kelly Macdonald, Ewen Bremner, and Robert Carlyle
    • Reflections from soundtrack artists Iggy Pop, Jarvis Cocker, Bobby Gillespie, Damon Albarn, Leftfield, Underworld, and more
    • Theatrical teaser and trailer
    • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
    • More!
    • PLUS: Essays by critic Graham Fuller and author Irvine Welsh, Welsh’s glossary of terms from the film and book, and glow-in-the-dark packaging

      New cover by Mark Blamire

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  • Criterion Collection Prepping Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits for July 14th release

    Posted Mon Apr 13, 2020 at 11:22 AM PDT by

    Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits

    On July 14th, The Criterion Collection will be releasing Bruce Lee: His Greatest Hits on a 7-disc Blu-ray set.

    In the early 1970s, a kung-fu dynamo named Bruce Lee side-kicked his way onto the screen and straight into pop-culture immortality. With his magnetic screen presence, tightly coiled intensity, and superhuman martial-arts prowess, Lee was an icon who conquered both Hong Kong and Hollywood cinema, and transformed the art of the action film in the process. This collection brings together the five films that define the Lee legend: furiously exciting fist-fliers propelled by his innovative choreography, unique martial-arts philosophy, and whirlwind fighting style. Though he completed only a handful of films while at the peak of his stardom before his untimely death at age thirty-two, Lee left behind a monumental legacy as both a consummate entertainer and a supremely disciplined artist who made Hong Kong action cinema a sensation the world over.

      Bruce Lee’s return to the Hong Kong film industry after a decade in America proved to be his big breakthrough, launching him to superstardom and setting a new standard for kung-fu heroics.

    In The Big Boss, he commands the screen with his gravitas and explosive physicality in the role of a Chinese immigrant working at a Thai ice factory and sworn to an oath of nonviolence. When he discovers that the factory’s ruthless higher-ups are running a secret heroin ring and offing their own workers, his commitment to pacifism is put to the test. With his undeniable charisma and fluid, lightning-fast martial-arts style, Lee is a revelation, blazing across the screen with a speed and power the likes of which had never been seen before.

    FIST OF FURY - Bruce Lee is at his most awe-inspiringly ferocious in this blistering follow-up to his star-making turn in The Big Boss, which turned out to be an even greater success than its predecessor. Set in 1910s Shanghai, Fist of Fury casts Lee as a martial-arts student who, after his revered master is murdered by a rival dojo of Japanese imperialists, sets out to defend the honor of both his school and the Chinese people, with his fatal fists as his weapon of choice. Elevating Lee to a hero of near folkloric proportions, this historical revenge fantasy blends its stunning action set pieces with a strong anticolonialist statement and a potent dose of the fierce cultural pride that the actor embodied.

    THE WAY OF THE DRAGON - After the back-to-back triumphs of The Big Boss and Fist of Fury, Bruce Lee was given the chance to write, produce, and direct his third outing as a martial-arts superstar. He used the opportunity to add a touch of goofily entertaining comedy to the typically action-driven proceedings in The Way of the Dragon, which finds him playing a rigorously trained martial artist who travels from Hong Kong to Rome to help his cousin, whose restaurant is being threatened by a gang of thugs. Reaching new heights of physical virtuosity, Lee unleashes an astonishing display of nunchuck-swinging, fly-kicking mayhem, all culminating in one of his most breathtaking fights: an epic gladiatorial death match with Chuck Norris in the Roman Colosseum.

    ENTER THE DRAGON - At the height of his stardom in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee was called to Hollywood to make the film that, perhaps more than any other, defines his legacy. His electrifying fighting style and the deeply personal philosophy that guided it received their fullest expression yet in this thrilling tale of a Shaolin fighter who goes undercover to infiltrate a treacherous island presided over by a renegade monk turned diabolical criminal mastermind. Released just days after Lee’s tragic death, Enter the Dragon went on to become his greatest international success and one of the most influential action movies ever made, with its famed hall-of-mirrors finale bringing together the physical and intellectual dimensions of his artistry in one dazzling set piece.

    GAME OF DEATH - Released five years after Bruce Lee’s death, this eccentrically entertaining kung-fu curio combines footage from an unfinished project directed by and starring Lee with original material shot by Enter the Dragon director Robert Clouse to create an entirely new work that testifies to the actor’s enduring place in the pop-culture imagination. Using stand-ins, doubles, and archival footage to compensate for Lee’s absence, Game of Death follows a martial-arts movie star who, when he is threatened by a cutthroat crime syndicate intent on controlling his career, must take his skills from the soundstage to the streets. It all builds to an exhilarating climax that is pure Lee: a tour de force of martial-arts mastery in which the legend himself, clad in an iconic yellow jumpsuit, fights his way up a multilevel pagoda, with the towering Kareem Abdul-Jabbar among his formidable opponents.

    Follow the "Discs Mentioned" link for a full list of supplements.

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  • BONG JOON HO'S ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING PARASITE, MEMORIES OF MURDER TO JOIN THE CRITERION COLLECTION

    Posted Thu Feb 13, 2020 at 11:24 AM PST by

    Well, this is interesting - Neon and Criterion are teaming up for Bong Joon Ho's Parasite & Memories of Murder

    No word on release dates, specs or any of that as this was just announced - but these would be great releases to get the Criterion treatment. Here's the full press release for additional information:

    BONG JOON HO'S ACADEMY-AWARD WINNING PARASITE, MEMORIES OF MURDER TO JOIN THE CRITERION COLLECTION

     

    JOINS PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE

     

    New York, NY (February 13, 2020) – NEON and the Criterion Collection are excited to announce that Criterion will issue special editions of two Bong Joon Ho masterpieces, the four-time Academy Award-winning Parasite and the breathtaking crime drama Memories of Murder. Parasite just made history as the first foreign language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, and the first Korean film to win Best Director, Best International Film, and Best Original Screenplay. Parasite was also Nominated for Best Production Design and Best Editing, and previously won the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and Palme d'Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. 

     

    Bong Joon Ho brings his singular mastery home to Korea in this pitch-black modern fairytale. The film is set amidst the two families, the Parks, the picture of aspirational wealth, and the Kims, rich in street smarts but not much else. Be it chance or fate, these two houses are brought together and the Kims sense a golden opportunity. Masterminded by college-aged Ki-woo, the Kim children expediently install themselves as tutor and art therapist, to the Parks. Soon, a symbiotic relationship forms between the two families. The Kims provide “indispensable” luxury services while the Parks obliviously bankroll their entire household. When a parasitic interloper threatens the Kims’ newfound comfort, a savage, underhanded battle for dominance breaks out, threatening to destroy the fragile ecosystem between the Kims and the Parks. By turns darkly hilarious and heart-wrenching, Parasite showcases a modern master at the top of his game.

     

    Memories of Murder was released in 2003 and marked the first of Bong Joon Ho and Song Kang Ho's collaborations, and has gone on to be considered one of the most thrilling and haunting crime dramas released this century. NEON recently acquired the rights to the film and will be re-releasing the film in theaters before its home video release. 

     

    Parasite debuted at Cannes where it became the first Korean film to win the coveted Palme d'Or and has since gone one to play at festivals across the country, including Telluride, Toronto, and New York Film Festival. Parasite is being hailed by critics as the best film to emerge this past fall, earning 99% on Rotten Tomatoes. NEON released the film in theaters on October 6, 2019 where it has gone on to gross over $35 million, becoming one of the Top 10 highest grossing foreign language films ever released in the US. 

     

    Parasite was written and directed by Bong Joon Ho and features a SAG Ensemble Award-winning cast including his long time collaborator Song Kang Ho, Choi Woo Shik, Park So Dam and Jang Hye Jin. 

     

    ABOUT NEON

    A little less than 3 years since inception, NEON has garnered 10 Oscar nominations and already grossed over $150M at the Box Office. It continues to push boundaries and take creative risks on bold cinema such as Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite, which made history winning four Academy Awards®, becoming the first non-English-language film to claim Best Picture. The film, which also unanimously won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, has amassed over $38M at the domestic box office and broke multiple records including highest per screen average of the year and highest per screen average for a foreign language film of all time. Other noteworthy NEON releases include: Double Oscar nominee Honeyland; Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11, 2019's highest grossing documentary with a worldwide gross of $16M; Tim Wardle's Three Identical Strangers, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling which surpassed $13M at the box office; and Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, which garnered multiple Academy Award® nominations, one win for Allison Janney and amassed over $30M in domestic box office.

     

    The company continues to be an impressive force at festivals, with recent Sundance acquisitions such as Max Barbakow’s sought after Palm Springs starring Andy Sambergwhich NEON acquired with Hulu, and Josephine Decker’s Shirley starring Elisabeth Moss. Recent releases include: the critically acclaimed Cannes hit Portrait of a Lady on Fire, which was nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes® and Independent Spirit Awards; Tamara Kotevska and Ljubo Stefanov’s award-winning and record-breaking Honeyland, which is the first non-fiction feature to land Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary and Best International Feature Film in the same year; Alejandro Landes’ cinematic thrillerMonos (the Colombian selection for the Academy Awards®); Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s horror film The Lodge starring Riley Keough; Julius Onah’s Luce starring Naomi Watts and Octavia Spencer; Tom Harper’s Wild Rose starring Jessie Buckley; John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm; Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency starring Academy Award® Nominee Alfre Woodard; and the electrifying documentary about Aretha Franklin, Amazing Grace.

     

    After their successful collaboration on I, Tonya in January 2018, 30WEST (Dan Friedkin's and Micah Green's strategic venture) partnered with NEON's Tom Quinn (Founder & CEO) and Tim League (Co-Founder) to become majority investors in the company.

     

    ABOUT THE CRITERION COLLECTION

    Since 1984, the Criterion Collection has been dedicated to publishing important classic and contemporary films from around the world in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements. No matter the medium-from laserdisc to DVD and Blu-ray to streaming on the Criterion Channel-Criterion has maintained its pioneering commitment to presenting each film as its maker would want it seen, in state-of-the-art restorations with special features designed to encourage repeated watching and deepen the viewer’s appreciation of the art of film.

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  • High-Def Digest's Best Blu-rays Of 2018

    Posted Mon Dec 31, 2018 at 08:34 AM PST by
    in the mouth of madness collector's edition - 4

    While 4K Blu-ray and streaming get most of the big headlines these days, 2018 was a great year for the Blu-ray format too. From new releases to definitive special editions, from dramas to classic to kid films and horror, there were too many incredible releases to list them all – but this gets pretty darn close!

    Here are our favorite 2018 releases available only on 1080p Blu-ray!

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  • Criterion Announces September Blu-rays

    Posted Tue Jun 16, 2009 at 12:00 PM PDT by

    The Criterion Collection has announced a September 22 Blu-ray release for 'Pierrot le fou' and 'The Complete Monterey Pop Festival.'

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  • Criterion Preps Two New Blu-ray Titles for August

    Posted Mon May 18, 2009 at 08:00 AM PDT by

    The Criterion Collection has announced a late August Blu-ray release date for 'Playtime' and 'Kagemusha.'

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  • You Can Help Choose the Next Criterion Blu-ray

    Posted Wed Apr 29, 2009 at 10:00 AM PDT by

    The Criterion Collection wants your vote for the next title to receive their high-definition treatment.

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  • 'Bottle Rocket' Set for November Blu-ray Launch

    Posted Tue Sep 16, 2008 at 08:00 AM PDT by Peter Bracke
    Bottle Rocket [Blu-ray Box Art]

    Criterion has announced another addition to its Blu-ray collection, bringing 'Bottle Rocket' to high-def in late-November.

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  • Criterion Brings 'Last Emperor' to Blu-ray this November

    Posted Mon Sep 15, 2008 at 06:00 AM PDT by Peter Bracke
    The Last Emperor [DVD Box Art]

    Criterion has announced the latest addition to their growing Blu-ray collection, bringing 'The Last Emperor' to high-def this November.

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  • Criterion Kicks Off Blu-ray Support with 'Third Man,' 'Man Who Fell to Earth'

    Posted Wed Aug 27, 2008 at 10:00 AM PDT by Peter Bracke
    The Third Man (1949)

    The Criterion Collection has announced their first wave of next-gen releases, bringing the classics 'The Third Man' and 'The Man Who Fell to Earth' to Blu-ray in mid-November.

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  • Criterion Launches Blu-ray Support

    Posted Thu May 8, 2008 at 10:50 AM PDT by Peter Bracke

    The leading distributor of classic cinema on DVD has gone Blu, with the Criterion Collection announcing the release of their first high-def titles beginning in 2008.

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