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December 10, 2004 11:54 PM   Subscribe

241 titles on 282 disks, just $4,995 (after discount). It's the Criterion Collection Holiday 2004 Gift Set, exclusive from Amazon, all of the series' published DVD's through October*. One wonders who has the money for such a thing. (Not many -- current sales rank 26,154). Heck, for that kind of dough you can get one of these contraptions. Or, alternatively, you could feed 72 third world children for a year. Now, Criterion does great work, but as the comments point out, this supposedly complete collection does not include its out of print titles like John Woo's "The Killer" (current eBay bid: $148) and, sadly, the beloved This is Spinal Tap (High bid: $61). (At least it's a good investment). So, subtract the ones I already own and love, like The Third Man and some that are simply awful you could probably save scads with some selective shopping. Sure, it would be satisfying to own so much great film, but I find more and more I have no use for re-watching movies, unless I am joined in my satellite of love by some good companions. Anyway, happy consumer month!
posted by Slagman (34 comments total)
But... You save $2,501.00 (33%)!

Another alternative for $4,995: 15 years of Netflix.
posted by agropyron at 12:05 AM on December 11, 2004

Who says Videodrome is "simply awful"? Good sir, I protest.
posted by zardoz at 12:40 AM on December 11, 2004

Wooo, if I had US$5k I might just buy that. Luckily my credit card limit isn't that high.

I already have one Criterion disk on order from Amazon... I could use the other 281, I'm sure.
posted by sycophant at 1:04 AM on December 11, 2004

If you're gonna break the bank on a DVD set, you really can't go wrong with the gift of Tribbles.
posted by Simon! at 1:06 AM on December 11, 2004

I got This is Spinal Tape on DVD at HMV in a 3 for $20 sale. It is everywhere around here (British Columbia). Not the Criterion Edition, but it is a good movie regardless.
posted by synecdoche at 1:11 AM on December 11, 2004

i love people who own dvds because "it's so great to always know that great movie is right there".

even if the Blockbuster is doing a perfectly good job of keeping it in stock for us.

but mostly i love them because theyre usually very eager to loan you one of their precious (and forgotten) discs for free.
posted by tsarfan at 1:42 AM on December 11, 2004

tsarfan: I only buy DVDs that I know I'll watch regularly.

Plus, it's also nice to not have scratches and other gunk on them.
posted by cheaily at 6:04 AM on December 11, 2004

I would love to hear the Criterion Spinal Tap commentaries. The "special edition" DVD I have has a cast commentary that's a complete riot: the actors are in character complaining about the movie the whole way. Is the Criterion one different?
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:23 AM on December 11, 2004

Only $4,995? I'll take two!

But seriously, as a huge Terry Gilliam fan, I must have the Criterion edition of Brazil.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:26 AM on December 11, 2004

I love Criterion as much as any movie fan, but I have to ask why the fact that they're having an inventory sale merits a MeFi post.
posted by languagehat at 7:33 AM on December 11, 2004

I'm also going to object to the "simply awful" comment, as I own that Videodrome dvd. Why not link it to this film?
posted by mikeh at 8:06 AM on December 11, 2004

tsarfan, lots of the DVDs my husband and I buy are not rentable at Blockbuster. Blockbuster's selection is abysmal, you have to drive out to rent and return movies, there are late fees. So we buy lots of movies, and we enjoy owning them and rewatch many of them regularly. And I'll only lend them out if you're completely trustworthy (i.e. won't lose or scratch it), and anyone with your attitude is out of the running for a lend immediately, since you're looking down on me and trying to scam me too.

On topic, mmm, that's tempting. We're only up to 11 plus the Antoine Doinel box set so far. Although I agree, not a very good post and frankly way too editorial - I hate overly editorial posts.
posted by livii at 8:08 AM on December 11, 2004

Yeah, 15 years of netflix/greencine would cover anything you'd want.
posted by destro at 8:14 AM on December 11, 2004

languagehat: I'd say it's because this isn't merely a post about an inventory sale, it’s a post about a holiday gift set that costs $4,995 dollars. It's a post about movies and consumerism, which is timely in these weeks leading up to Christmas.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 8:33 AM on December 11, 2004

I'm not a movie person, really. But I have a lot of books, and I much prefer buying a book I want to borrowing it from the library. Even then, I can't see myself every buying one of those one-full-bookcase classics sets, and I think that's where my inability to Get It applies to the Criterion set.

Buying everything at once would for me completely spoil the value of having an impressive collection of, well, anything.
posted by mendel at 9:42 AM on December 11, 2004

I have over half the Criterion Collection (including all but one of the out of print titles) but I'm with Languagehat. This post seems rather pointless to me.

In addition, the Amazon 33% off price is hardly great when you consider that DVD Planet offers 35% off of every Criterion title any day of the year.
posted by dobbs at 9:54 AM on December 11, 2004

> Or, alternatively, you could feed 72 third world children for a year

Yes, right. The only acceptable thing to do with your money is to give it away.
posted by spincycle at 10:15 AM on December 11, 2004

So, who does the Amazon(tm) referral code belong to?
posted by O9scar at 10:38 AM on December 11, 2004

the Amazon 33% off price is hardly great when you consider that DVD Planet offers 35%

If you have an Amazon credit card you get an additional %3 discount .. plus if you use, Amazon automatically knows this through cookies and gives you another %2 discount (it was %1 then I got %2 so maybe the more you use a9 the more discount? Its nice to be bought off).
posted by stbalbach at 11:12 AM on December 11, 2004

Just checked and the discount bonus is %1.57 plus the %3 credit card bonus (of the total sale) comes to $4772.90 (free shipping) which is $19.80 a title or $16.92 per disk -- seems pretty cheap for Criterion.
posted by stbalbach at 11:20 AM on December 11, 2004

$1000 - PC with a DVD burner
$100 - 250 blank DVD-Rs
$0 - copy of DVD Shrink
$500 - 2 Netflix memberships

Copy 2 a day. Put one on before you leave for work, another on before you go to bed. In a year, you've got them all, and can watch them on whatever schedule. You probably need 2 Netflix memberships at once to keep 2 new DVDs at the house every single day.

$1600 - and you get to keep the PC.

If you're a stickler about getting all 9+ gigs of every title, you could do it all on DVD9. That would (currently) raise your media costs to something like $2500. You could probably do better than that buying in volume. But even so, your final total is only $4100 and you keep the PC.
posted by scarabic at 11:21 AM on December 11, 2004

[pedantic] $4,995 ÷ $17.99 per month ÷ 12 months per year = 23 years, 1 month of Netflix, by which time the service will surely be long forgotten, replaced by internet movie downloads, if not something even more advanced. [/pedantic]
posted by designbot at 11:22 AM on December 11, 2004

"only" 26, 154 sold?

26,154 * 4999.95 = $130 million. Sounds good to me. How many were they expecting to sell?
posted by TimeFactor at 1:07 PM on December 11, 2004

videodrome is NOT SIMPLY AWFUL.
posted by glenwood at 1:30 PM on December 11, 2004

Just $0 (after internet discount)
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:32 PM on December 11, 2004

I'm with O9scar, aren't referral links against the rules here?
posted by billsaysthis at 5:18 PM on December 11, 2004

billsaysthis and O9scar, if there's a referral link you should take it to Meta. I tried to determine if there was one but it didn't look like it to me (I compared it to my own referral links and it looked very different) but then I don't really understand the Amazon url.
posted by dobbs at 5:34 PM on December 11, 2004

Yes, right. The only acceptable thing to do with your money is to give it away.

Of course not. Nobody was suggesting that -- thus the use of the word 'alternatively'.

It would, however, be the best thing to do, in the sense that 'best' is the superlative form of 'good'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:25 PM on December 11, 2004

Uh huh. Ok, lessee...

Anyone who has actually bought a Criterion disc knows that (apart from the fact that the titles are pretty much available nowhere else) the draw of these discs are the supplimental materials - commentaries, documentarys, etc. Criterion's latest releases have been 2 discs minimum. So.

Since DVD-R are not multilayer, let's reconsider this:


Disc 1: Director's Cut
Disc 2: Directors Cut Commentary track with Gilliam
Disc 3: Television Cut
Disc 4: Television Cut Commentary track with Stoppard
Disc 5: The Battle of Brazil Criterion Doco, "What is Brazil?"
Disc 6: Production Notebook , Interview with Stoppard

and of course the step through script, storyboards and still are lost entirely.

And there you go - that's one copied.

Criterion discs are the only discs I have in my collection (with the exception of those LOTR megasets) I couldn't imagine even trying to copy.
posted by Perigee at 5:17 AM on December 12, 2004

dobbs, I'm pretty sure there's a deleted comment in this thread which had the referrer codes in them as well but I'm not sure how to find it (lofi.mefi doesn't show them if my memory is correct that there was one). And perhaps I was wrong but isn't the ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl74/102-6164106-9664953 portion of the first link in the FPP a referral link?
posted by billsaysthis at 11:38 AM on December 12, 2004

billsaysthis, it appears that the ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i2_xgl74 is some sort of internal referer code for amazon to keep track of where people are redirected from, as there are different codes for when you search, browse a wishlist, browse categories, etc. (though I can't figure out what it derives from)... generally speaking, referer codes owned by individuals end in "-20."
posted by Frankieist at 10:04 PM on December 12, 2004

I could sell my copy of The Killer for $148? Thanks for the tip!
posted by scottq at 10:15 AM on December 13, 2004

My bad.
posted by billsaysthis at 10:26 PM on December 13, 2004

I got This is Spinal Tape on DVD at HMV in a 3 for $20 sale

Was it in Dobly?
posted by TheDonF at 8:32 AM on December 16, 2004

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