What they were thinking? The Criterion Collection choosing Armageddon.

Kinda old news, but I just found out:

I was at the computer store this weekend and they had a booth of the Criterion Collection, Very special editions of great classic and groundbreaking movies like Ammarcord, Solaris (the original Russian film), The 400 Blows. Brazil, Lord of the Flies, Yojimbo, For All Mankind, The 39 Steps, Charade, Armageddon


The brain dead Armageddon???

Yes, that asteroid movie!!!

I was standing meditating and reading again the cover several times to see it was not placed on the booth by mistake, no, the cover clearly was marked “Criterion Collection”

It looks like the Criterion edition was released around 1998, and coupled with another very odd choice: The Rock! (1996) has made wonder:

Did producer Jerry Bruckheimer put a horse head in the bed of the Criterion Collection group? :wink:

Seriously: how did the otherwise fine Criterion Collection members excuse that choice?

Probably a money making exercise. They needed a popular popcorn-movie to attract people who would not normally buy a Criterion Collection dvd.

That’s what I think anyway.

My friends and I have often mused over who chooses the picks for the Criterion Collection.

We eventually decided it was a bunch of jaded film students who sit around smoking pot and laughing at the pople who watch the movies they pick. They chose Armageddon and the Rock just to be assholes, although if you ask them they’ll tell you that they contain important gender critiques or something.

A review.

It’s apparently meant to be a study in big-budget special effects films, and they totally realize that the plot was ludicrous.

I wondered the same thing, seeing discontinued Criterions (Criteria?) going for as much as $500 on eBay. Another doper suggested that the blockbuster sales subsidize the lesser knowns, but that doesn’t account for the fact that people will pay $200 to $300 for a Tati Criterion and $500 for Salo. Seems to be a pretty ill-conceived marketing strategy.

“Academy Award Playhouse presents… Hercules vs. the Martians.”

They were thinking, “Hey, the profits we make from Armageddon will pay for our work on Children of Paradise, Quai des Orfèvres, Umberto D., Taste of Cherry, The Passion of Joan of Arc and maybe five or six other titles that are deserving of our presentation but probably won’t sell as well!” Plus, Simon West was more than happy to work with them.

As for why some titles go out of print – I’m pretty sure that’s related to whatever licensing deal Criterion signed with the people who own the rights to each film. I’m not at all clear on the details, but I believe they can limited by number of copies they can press or by time they’re allowed to sell their version of the film.

Plus, many of the rights were negotiated back when they were producing laserdisc versions of the titles. When DVD really took off, and consumers demonstrated an interest in stuff like “director’s cuts” on every DVD, studios that were previously willing to let Criterion work on a deluxe edition brought that work in house.

Criterion’s a business like any other – some of their hits pay for some of the work that they love (and much of their work, of course, both pays and is loved). They don’t get to cherry-pick whichever movies they want to work on; they have to work out licensing deals with whomever holds the rights.

To each his own. ARMAGEDDON is one of my favorite movies. Very exciting, fun characters, good lines. I’d take it over 400 BLOWS, LORD OF THE FLIES or BRAZIL.