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I mean, c'mon, Armageddon? Who would believe that?
December 16, 2010 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Do you enjoy The Criterion Collection's packaging design? Do you like Eric Skillman's design blog, where you've seen the process for such design as Night of the Hunter, Stagecoach, and Che? Have you already fallen in love with Sam Smith's design blog, where you've seen him work through things like Modern Times, House, and Everlasting Moments?

Then you will probably hate Fake Criterions, a Tumblr blog showcasing Criterion designs for such notable films as The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Ernest Goes to Jail, and Three Ninjas.
posted by shakespeherian (51 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
The Ernest Goes to Jail design needs a floppy baseball hat.
posted by DU at 7:30 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is this the thread where I can smugly talk about fonts typefaces and pretend to be a designer?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:31 AM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just clicked on Night of the Hunter and it was a fascinating read. It was about design, yes, but it was also about the film and the qualities that make it compelling.

Thanks!
posted by vacapinta at 7:34 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]




Let's not forget Neil Kellerhouse!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 7:38 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The Fake Criterion ones capture nicely a very specific aesthetic. Based on the SA thread, French == arty.
posted by kmz at 7:45 AM on December 16, 2010


Also the reverse works well too.
posted by The Whelk at 7:46 AM on December 16, 2010


Point Break needs sad Keanu.
posted by mooselini at 7:59 AM on December 16, 2010


This one made me laugh out loud.
posted by rollbiz at 8:01 AM on December 16, 2010


Tokyo drift really does deserve to be included in the collection. It is a seminal work in the genre.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:05 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, if Criterion saw fit to include Armageddon in its collection, I don't see why they shouldn't include Ernest Goes to Jail.
posted by Kattullus at 8:08 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does it make me a nerd if I saw the poster for "Three Ninjas" and the first thing I thought was, "Shouldn't that be 三人の忍者"?
posted by 1adam12 at 8:09 AM on December 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Meh.
posted by parmanparman at 8:14 AM on December 16, 2010


You know, if Criterion saw fit to include Armageddon in its collection, I don't see why they shouldn't include Ernest Goes to Jail.

They included Armageddon?!
posted by shakespeherian at 8:19 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


They included Armageddon?!

I think this line is said every single time Criterion is mentioned anywhere. They've gotta pay for the costs of the classy (and not as well selling) movies somehow. It's by releasing movies like Armageddon.
posted by inigo2 at 8:34 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Hey, I know Eric Skillman. He's pretty awesome.
posted by Diablevert at 8:39 AM on December 16, 2010


protip: read the post title
posted by shakespeherian at 8:41 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


In my first cinema class at college, we watched Armaggedon (the criterion collection version) and talked about why it was a great movie. We even had to read the Michael Bay extras.

It's a great example of the American Hollywood rugged-man-blow-shit-up movie. Watch it again.
posted by Michael Pemulis at 8:51 AM on December 16, 2010


The Criterion Contraption covered Armageddon. Conclusion: It's manipulative, thoughtless, and dumb. 'If you're willing to let go of outdated values like "coherence" and "narrative," you'll find plenty to love in Armageddon.'
posted by shakespeherian at 9:02 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


"They forgot..." ? Check!
"This other site is better." ? Check!
"Meh/Win/Fail" ? Check!
"It would be better with..." ? Check!

A perfect 4/4 in only 19 comments? Give yourselves a round of applause!
posted by Legomancer at 9:06 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's a great example of the American Hollywood rugged-man-blow-shit-up movie. Watch it again.

My favorite part is towards the end when Bruce Willis is standing there on an asteroid in SPACE and the wind is ruffling through his manly hair. The space wind. That wind you get in SPACE. I love that part.
posted by mygothlaundry at 9:24 AM on December 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Michael Pemulis: It's a great example of the American Hollywood rugged-man-blow-shit-up movie. Watch it again.

You know what? No. I am not. I sat through that terrible piece of dreck once and I'm not going to do it again. To much of my brain is taken up with memories of that awful shitdrenched celluloid garbage. Even if François Truffaut himself rose from the grave to tell me personally that Armageddon was a great movie I would not watch that felch again. If for no other reason that I would be frustrated that language would fail to give me the words necessary to just how godawful that elephant shithouse of a movie is. In fact, I would have to invent a new language with special verb forms that signify the utmost in dreadful quality and write a review with all the verbs in that form to fully do its wretchedness justice.
posted by Kattullus at 9:25 AM on December 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


My favorite part of Armageddon is still when Liv Tyler is making out with Ben Affleck and then they're going to have sex while her dad apparently watches and sings about how awesome it is.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:27 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know what? No.

I stand firmly with Kattullus here. A bunch of us tried to watch this . . . thing some years ago. At one point, I started chanting "Jump cut . . . jump cut . . . jump cut" at a two-second cadence. I was spot-on, albeit unintentionally. It's the cinematic equivalent of Lazer Metallica.
posted by Skot at 9:32 AM on December 16, 2010


Shouldn't it be called Fake Criteria?
posted by Ratio at 9:36 AM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


Shouldn't it be called Fake Criteria?

Oh Metafilter, never change.
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on December 16, 2010 [8 favorites]


I've Seen Everything
posted by Scoo at 9:40 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I will always love Armageddon solely for Owen Wilson's line about Jethro Tull. That pisses me off, too, man. That pisses me off, too.
posted by adamdschneider at 9:42 AM on December 16, 2010


Michael Pemulis: "It's a great example of the American Hollywood rugged-man-blow-shit-up movie. Watch it again."

As someone who loves that genre, I think Armageddon is a terrible example.
posted by brundlefly at 9:45 AM on December 16, 2010


I don't remember where I read it, but basically Michael Bay caught wind of the lavish packaging, design and extras that Criterion is known for, and offered a LOT of money for them to give Armageddon the same treatment. At a time when the company was seriously struggling financially. That's about the extent of it, and no one should blame them for that move. But it's not a classic by any stretch of the imagination.

Robocop also got a Criterion release, but from what I understand it really is brilliant.
posted by naju at 9:46 AM on December 16, 2010


naju: "Robocop also got a Criterion release, but from what I understand it really is brilliant."

Hell yeah. Robocop was absolutely worthy of the Criterion treatment.
posted by brundlefly at 9:50 AM on December 16, 2010


My favorite part is towards the end when Bruce Willis is standing there on an asteroid in SPACE and the wind is ruffling through his manly hair. The space wind. That wind you get in SPACE. I love that part.

Basic movie science blunder. Even schoolchildren know there's no hair on Bruce Willis's head.
posted by condour75 at 9:50 AM on December 16, 2010 [23 favorites]


I don't remember where I read it, but basically Michael Bay caught wind of the lavish packaging, design and extras that Criterion is known for, and offered a LOT of money for them to give Armageddon the same treatment.

From the comments of the Criterion Contraption linked above:
Actually, the only reason this was ever released on CC, the first being in its rare CC laserdisc form, is because Michael Bay and David Fincher do not/did not get along.

Up to that point, Fincher was flying high with Se7en and The Game, which were both released on laserdisc in full CC versions. Bay was like a little kid, and had to try and outdo Fincher.

Both Bay and Fincher came from Propaganda Films way back then and that's where their hatred for each other stemmed.
Interesting if true. Fincher's currently leading Bay by one: Se7en, The Game, and Benjamin Button against Armageddon and The Rock. If Bay still holds his anger dear, then we might see an extravagant Transformers box set at some point.
posted by Iridic at 10:05 AM on December 16, 2010


That box better turn into something.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:09 AM on December 16, 2010


I think Michael Bay and especially Armageddon is worthy of inclusion in any study of what cinema is.

When Dick Cheney wore an anorak and woolly hat to Auschwitz the horror and disgust I felt was tinged with fascination that someone could be so truly self-absorbed as to think, "Fuck Auschwitz, I'm cold!".

Armageddon is like that.

Bay put humanity into Pod A and out of Pod B came a facsimile stripped of anything meaningful, a monument to surface. He made a film about the extinction of life on earth and it has the emotional depth of a crowd chanting "USA! USA! USA!" Even the title is perfect. Armageddon, the end of all things. How someone can be competent enough to make that film and yet remove any trace of flesh is something worth knowing.

So, I can see why engaging with it on an emotional level can cause revulsion and the normal human response is to flee, but surely, like Cheney there is some desire to examine something alien.
posted by fullerine at 10:14 AM on December 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


That box better turn into something.

Hopefully ashes.
posted by inigo2 at 10:15 AM on December 16, 2010


Maybe I'm looking too deep here, but what's the reason behind giving Colbert top billing on Bewitched when Will Ferrell was the lead?
posted by bDiddy at 10:17 AM on December 16, 2010


That box better turn into something.
posted by adamdschneider


It turns into a garbage can to throw away the discs in dismay. But in its defence, the typeface is stunning.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2010


I've often wondered why there wasn't another company that did what Criterion does, but for movies that aren't as good, but that people really love. Like Back To The Future, or Clueless. You could probably finance the entire thing by releasing ever more deluxe versions of Scarface every year.
posted by billyfleetwood at 10:18 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


When Dick Cheney wore an anorak and woolly hat to Auschwitz the horror and disgust I felt was tinged with fascination that someone could be so truly self-absorbed as to think, "Fuck Auschwitz, I'm cold!".

You're forgetting the hiking boots. The SOB had on hiking boots at Auschwitz.
posted by blucevalo at 10:22 AM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's an impassioned defence of Armageddon on the Criterion site by one of his former film professors. It basically boils down to "Suck it hipsters, don't hate him because he's popular!" What it fails to really address though is that there are many, MANY people who are better at making entertaining genre pictures who only seek to entertain and many better examples of this sort of movie than Armageddon.
posted by haveanicesummer at 10:24 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, the idea that Michael Bay can consider himself an equal or rival to David Fincher is just ... well words fail me. Seriously, the primal, guttural scream of "Detective" by Spacey as he begins the final stanza of his opus compared to, um, a really fucking big digital clock?

Bay is the 80s in human form.
posted by fullerine at 10:26 AM on December 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I like how a page starting with the much-loved Criterion Collection (except for a lingering resentment that, though the artwork had been investigated, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover has yet to see a release) ends with me wondering if there is an approved Holocaust site dress code that I had somehow managed to overlook for these many years.

Despite that, Bay's dislike of Fincher means that I may have to rank Fincher a bit higher than before.
posted by adipocere at 11:17 AM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Personal trivia: my first cousin once removed was in Armageddon. He was the little kid of one of the guys.
posted by epersonae at 11:38 AM on December 16, 2010


what? no time walker? man, that movie had everything ...mummies...zombies...aliens...coeds...um, green goo...
posted by sexyrobot at 11:52 AM on December 16, 2010


adipocere: "I like how a page starting with the much-loved Criterion Collection ... ends with me wondering if there is an approved Holocaust site dress code that I had somehow managed to overlook for these many years."

Looked it up myself, adipocere:
"At [the January 2005] gathering of world leaders in southern Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the United States was represented by Vice President Cheney. The ceremony at the Nazi death camp was outdoors, so those in attendance, such as French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin, were wearing dark, formal overcoats and dress shoes or boots. Because it was cold and snowing, they were also wearing gentlemen's hats. In short, they were dressed for the inclement weather as well as the sobriety and dignity of the event.

"The vice president, however, was dressed in the kind of attire one typically wears to operate a snow blower."
(WaPo)
posted by Songdog at 12:51 PM on December 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like other attendees, the vice president was wearing a hat. But it was not a fedora or a Stetson or a fur hat or any kind of hat that one might wear to a memorial service as the representative of one's country. Instead, it was a knit ski cap, embroidered with the words "Staff 2001." It was the kind of hat a conventioneer might find in a goodie bag.

Christ, what an asshole.
posted by Iridic at 12:56 PM on December 16, 2010


I've often wondered why there wasn't another company that did what Criterion does, but for movies that aren't as good, but that people really love. Like Back To The Future, or Clueless.

I think of these as movies-you-have-to-keep-watching-if-you-catch-them-on-TV, even though you've seen them a million times.

I don't watch TV randomly like that anymore, so the only time this happens to me now is when I go home for Christmas. This always gives me a warm homey feeling I'd never get if I decided to watch them on Netflix streaming.

(This year will it be Dave, Tootsie, or The Hunt for Red October? I can't wait to find out.)
posted by nev at 4:38 PM on December 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Urotsukidoji cracked me up.
posted by clarknova at 5:32 PM on December 16, 2010


Even if François Truffaut himself rose from the grave...

You know, if you're on the prowl for mash-up source material, that SA thread is pretty brilliant. I took a long look at this image and found myself dreaming up a (better) movie based on my expectations of the director and a metaphorical interpretation of the title.

The story would be some sort of LaBute NYC apartment-and-office dramedy involving a hedge-fund manager and his out-of-touch wife. She comes from money and always-already has more money than he will ever have, but her father insists that he prove himself as a man, while she keeps her trust-fund all to herself.

Someone will die as a result of his rapacious plunder or her thoughtless consumption. A factory-worker might follow one of them home, and case their home for a robbery. A minority might be involved, if only to point-out the racial and class differences between the protagonists and the secondary characters.

The movie will end on a bitter note about America, cultural privilege and externalized labor. It will be shot entirely on location in Manhattan. Or Brisbane. Or Wellington, NZ -- wherever the tax-credit is best. There may or may not be zombies and parts for Will and Jaden Smith or Betty White.

(Is this idea worth creating a Metafilter project page for?)
posted by vhsiv at 11:42 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It was Groundhog Day.
posted by nev at 7:09 AM on December 28, 2010


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