Although very few, there are some Criterion DVDs i have thoroughly disliked.
Besides The Rock and Armageddon, which I’d imagine many don’t care for, the 1956 film Crazed Fruit by Ko Nakahira stands out for me. It’s been a couple years since I watched it but I remember thinking it was the longest 80 or so minutes I’d ever sat through. I found it visually uninteresting and silly.
What are some other films unworthy of the Criterion release?
The Long Good Friday, but only because it has no special features and the print is pretty much identical to the Cult Films edition which is available for $9.99 as opposed to Criterion’s $39.99 treatment.
I was pretty disappointed with Mona Lisa, as much as I love Neil Jordan and Bob Hoskins. It just didn’t “do it” for me. I’ll take some heat for this, but I couldn’t even get through 30 minutes of one of the Seijun Suzuki flicks…I think it was Tokyo Drifter. I was bored stiff and totally unengaged. Alphaville was slow and disappointing. I love Terry Gilliam, but Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is just a big mess. In terms of the DVD itself, it’s a shame that Criterion used the shortened version of the wonderful Kwaidan. That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.
Let’s not forget Robocop.
Although the premise is compelling — the film itself? ehhh.
But I’d have to agree, Armageddon takes the cake as the official worst.
Not a Verhoeven fan, but I’ll stand up for Robocop. It’s my favorite of his American films. I forgot to mention my least favorite Cronenberg film, Naked Lunch. The DVD set is outstanding, but the film itself (aside from being visually inspired) does absolutely nothing for me.
Armageddon and The Rock are the only two movies I can claim to be unworthy of the collection. There are other films I don’t care for, but I understand their worth to others. I’m glad no one has mentioned Chasing Amy. I hate when it comes up in this conversation as it is one of my favourite films.
SOMEONE TOLD ME SOMEONE IS TRASHING ROBOCOP IN A FORUM!!!
Who is it? Come on… talk now… was it you Ashkin?
“You have 10 seconds to comply…”
“I’d buy that for a dollar!”
I hate to admit it too, but Criterion does have a few dogs. I managed to watch Powell-Pressburger’s “49th Parallel” and couldn’t believe how bad it was.
my least favourite, of the ones i own at least, is the beastie boys anthology. i just dont like them musically very much. robocop is not as bad as i expected, i only picked it up originally as it was out of print and i found it cheap, but fully enjoyed it.
I’d spend my life savings to buy that!!!!!
And I would use it on the streets to create chaos and hysteria.
Youth of the Beast was a real disappointment. I can see where people are coming from and I understand the aesthetic of the movie, but it’s jangly plot and threadbare connections between any of the scenes was a bit maddening for me.
I don’t know why but I was never able to get through “The Bank Dick”. Not sure if that makes it unworthy or not but thats all I can recall
There’s quite a French and Japanese bias in the movies Criterion chooses, for whatever reason. I’m waiting for “The Friends of Eddie Coyle”- that’s an uncharted masterpiece, unseen for so many years, and I’m sure Criterion will do the business in making this film an essential addition to their collection. Less French and Japanese please… it’s too crowded with these countries as it is.
AKBAR, you don’t like ‘The Bank Dick’?
“Had a cod liver oil mine up in Cape Cod. Snowed all winter. We did alot of boondoggling. Ever boondoggle, Joe?”
I can’t remember any other film I really disliked on Criterion besides “George Washington” it came off as very pretentious to me, and really not that interesting or engaging. Although I love “Insomnia,” the Criterion of it hasn’t been treated that well. It was, and still is (as far as I know), the only American release of the film, so I guess they didn’t feel compelled to put a lot of work into it and add any decent extras.
I honestly did not enjoy “The Thief of Bagdad”. It was an unbelievable transfer and the extras were great. I just could not enjoy the film.
Andrew Kay — I totally agree with you. I love Japanese and French cinema, but it seems Criterion is so focused on these that other countries get lost in the wake. Of course, there are a number of Italian, Spanish, and English films, but still… I’d like to see a lot more from other places. China. India (why is there nothing by Satyajit Ray?). Brazil. etc.
George — I think one of the points of George Washington was that it was not supposed to be pretentious! It was made on a super small budget with non-professional actors, and it uses real locations (no sets) and everything is shown as dilapidated as it really is in the south.
6 Short Films By W.C. Fields. Love the shorts, hate the total absence of extras.
The Rock and Armageddon, not doubt. But tecnically the transfer of the wonderful “I Know Where I’m Going” is very bad!
It’s a little off-topic but I went to see a restored print of David Lean’s ’Hobson’s Choice’ last night and am now very much looking forward to Criterion’s forthcoming DVD. It’s a wonderful film, full of joy and pitch-perfect performances.
F for Fake by Orson Welles. I was watching late at night, so I nodded off for litlle bit but woke up. Watched a few more minutes and went to bed. Think I’ll try to watch it again…and at an earlier time, too.
I’ll agree with Naked Lunch and Videodrome.
Cronenberg does little for me at best.
Aside from the Michael Bay films:
A Lot of Prople Like Green For Danger but I didn’t
Started out not liking Metropolitan, but very much liked the ending
Chasing Amy is a good movie but doesn’t deserve to be on the list
House Of Games
The bay films should not be up there. I do have a problem paying top dollar for bare bone dvd’s, and they do have a few.
“Worst Criterion DVD” makes sense to me as a premise but I can’t really go along with the “unworthy of Criterion release” notion. It’s their company and they set the criteria! I don’t know much about the inner workings of their business but it seems to me that they have gone through some ups and downs that probably necessitated (for financial reasons) both the inclusion of Michael Bay and Kevin Smith films and the release of several “bare bones” titles in the early 2000s (like Good Morning, Variety Lights, Insomnia and others) where the expense of putting decent extras together may have been more than they could muster. Nowadays it seems like Criterion is doing rather well, at least judging by the quality of their packaging and supplementary features. I think they are due to lower the list prices on some of those older editions because it’s really hard to justify paying $30 or $40 when you can get much better bang for the buck in the newer releases.
for whatever reason, “I’d buy that for a dollar!” makes it into my conversations on a daily basis and I haven’t seen Robocop in nearly a decade. weird.