I’ve blind bought a lot of them. The only one that I kinda, sorta regret is Walker.
I’m pretty choosy about which Criterion titles I buy, so I can’t think of any regrets. However, a good friend blind bought Salo, having no idea what it was… pretty sure she regret that.
Some Criterions I buy I have seen and some I have not. The only one that I can think of which might not have been the best purchase would be House. I bought it because of it’s cult film status and the fact that it was just being released in the United States. The ending is kinda interesting, but it’s really not that good. Probably wouldn’t get rid of it though.
The Long Good Friday.
I blind bought Downhill Racer, mostly because I love Redford, but I just couldn’t get into the film at all. I’m donating it to a good cause (ie. my local independent video store) because I’ll never watch it again, but maybe someone else will love it.
On the other hand, I blind bought Jeanne Dielman, The Hit, the William Klein set, and Science is Fiction as well, and loved all of them… Generally speaking, I have no concerns with blind buying a Criterion.
The majority of my Criterion’s have have been blind buys and the only one that I wasn’t to crazy about was Double Life of Veronique.
Just blind-bought Paris, Texas… hope it doesn’t disappoint!
still Mr. Arkadin…but im too lazy to sell it.
What?! That Mr. Arkadin set is a godsend!
For me it’s probably Twelve Monkeys. I was told that it’s a good sci-fi film and saw it in many lists and such so I bought the DVD. I watched it and just wasn’t really impressed. I ended up giving it to a charity in the end, I didn’t feel like I wanted it to be a part of my collection.
^ “12 Monkeys”
Do you mean La Jetee? I don’t believe that 12 Monkeys has a Criterion release (though I would love it if it did), but La Jetee, the film it was based on by Chris Marker, has a Criterion release paired with Sans Soleil
Yeah, I just checked. Definitely no 12 Monkeys criterion in existence. Though that would be pretty cool.
Goddamnit I hate De Palma.
Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot it was only for criterion releases. I meant 12 Monkeys with Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt. Nevertheless it was a blind-buy that I regretted.
I was least impressed with Red Desert, but I wouldn’t say I regret it. I would’ve regretted putting it off much more. I’ll keep it, and I’ve watched it about 4 times.
Actually it was 2 Or 3 Things I Know About Her that disappointed the most, though I’ll say the same thing: I’ll keep it and see it again.
The Moment of Truth…..some good bull fighting scenes but not much else…..I may donate it to the local library…..
I own somewhere between 125-150 Criterions and 90% of them have been blind buys. I’ve never bought a disc at full retail value, and a lot of them have been picked up at the B&N 50% off sales. So even if I was underwhelmed with a movie, I’m comforted knowing that a) I didn’t spend full retail price; and b) Criterions generally have a decent resale value in case I’m really displeased with the film. I guess what really hurts about disappointing blind buys is knowing that I should’ve gone with X movie which I knew was good.
On to the topic. Two recent disappointing blind buys were The Friends of Eddie Coyle and Last Year at Marienbad. FRIENDS was not the kind of caper film I expected and was pretty ugly to watch. And well-knowing about the French new wave and having seen HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR, I was still under-prepared to watch such a cryptic movie that was MARIENBAD. Nonetheless, giving credit to the special features and essays that accompany the discs, I’ve learned to appreciate these films now, but if I didn’t have the context, I’d think they were stinkers.
On rare occasion, I’ll rent a Criterion to decide if I want to buy and I’m so glad I did with GOMMORAH and REVANCHE. They’re not terrible films, but they didn’t meet my expectations either. I’m definitely glad I saved my money. Oh, and THE HIT was also one of those “Glad I rented first.”
It goes to show how powerful Criterion marketing and packaging is.
times a million, Blow Out.
2 or 3 Things I Know about Her
The only blind buy I truly regret is Identification of a Woman. I blind bought L’Enfance Nue, which I liked, but owning that one seems unnecessary. Also, I regret blind buying Sans Soleil (I’d already seen La Jetee) only because the blu ray was announced a week or two after I bought it during the November B&N sale.
@piscerising—I also blindly bought IDENTIFICATION OF A WOMAN and MAKIOKA SISTERS. I’ve yet to watch them though. I have the same problem of not watching my Criterions quickly after buying them as many people do.
Anyway, I’m wondering which edition (blu-ray or DVD) you bought of WOMAN and for how much? Despite being a blu-ray fan, I bought the DVD editions of WOMAN and M. SISTERS at the BN 50% off sale. Since they are $19.99 films, that brought them down to $9.99. Minus coupon and BN member discount, I paid around $7.00 for them each. For seven bucks I’m willing to risk the blind buy.
I’m planning to do the same for THE MOMENT OF TRUTH, which someone else posted as a disappointing blind buy, LETTER NEVER SENT, THE ORGANIZER, and THREE OUTLAW SAMURAI.
Paying a lower cost can soften the blow of disappointing blind buys.
I wouldn’t say I regret it per se, but I purchased the La Jetee/Sans Soleil combo because I love La Jetee and I just watched Sans Soleil for the first time yesterday and I feel like I really didn’t get it. It was interesting… but it just felt to me like metaphysical/philosophical ramblings set to voyeuristic footage of different cultures. I didn’t get much from it and I’d love to hear from someone who “got” this film.
Paris, Texas is my latest one. I bought it because I absolutely loved Wings of Desire and although Paris, Texas is not a bad film by any means, I felt like it just dragged…and dragged…and dragged on. For the entire 1st hour, literally all that happened was
1.) A guy is informed that his missing brother was found
2.) He picks him up, takes him back home
3.) He hangs out at the house with his son
And this is coming from a guy who genuinely loved Uncle Boonmee Who can Recall His Past Lives. I thought the ending was great when he finally met up with his wife but they wasted a lot of time getting there. Maybe I’ll do my own edit of the movie :)
But out of the 200+ Criterions I have, only 2 have been regrets. So those aren’t bad odds at all.
The Last Wave didn’t work for me. I like Weir, but it just didn’t work…
Traffic – because I realized I already owned a normal region 1 copy
Samurai I, II, and III – were interesting and very good looking, but not worthwhile.
Short cuts is the only thing I’ve ever really disliked. It even put me off Altman for a while. Note: Everything I’ve seen from him since has been pretty great.
THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU
The only scene that was remotely clever in that loser of a film was the cutaway side view of the ship’s compartments. That must have been in homage to the crew of ‘Das Boot’.
Darjeeling Limited & Shallow Grave. (Technically Life Aquatic counts, but it was only $1.50)
When is Wes going to admit he was so far up his own ass with that one.
I think the ones I have regretted buying are the ones that are still in its shrink wrap.