DVD Shopping Bag Column: Criterion Collection Blu-rays for the Summer - Mania.com

DVD Shopping Bag Column: Criterion Collection Blu-rays for the Summer

7 Comments | Add


Rate & Share:


Related Links:



  • Series:

DVD Shopping Bag Column: Criterion Collection Blu-rays for the Summer

Holding you off from one week to the next

By Robert T. Trate     May 08, 2012
Source: Mania.com

The summer blockbusters have arrived and each week we are faced with a variety of problems. What screening should I attend? How many snacks can I sneak in? Should I read the latest Mania article on it or should I wait until afterwards? My big issue with the summer movies is the down time. I love the midnight show. My favorite snacks are smuggled in at one third the price and of course there’s chiming in with my opinion as the gang sits around and discusses the film. Down time on the other hand drives me crazy. I know I’ll never get my wish of one summer blockbuster a day for the whole summer, but I can always dream. I try and get new and different films in each week. However, I also like all the hype and hoopla that goes with summer movies. Where do I turn? Criterion, of course. Not only are you going to get the best picture quality available but enough extras to satisfy that hype junkie that loves summer movies. 

So, where to start? Criterion Collection offers a variety of films to choose from. However, since this is the summer season and Mania, let’s stay close to the genre and epics. 

The Samurai Trilogy (June 26th, 2012)


That’s three movies starring Toshiro Mifune (yes, that Toshiro Mifune). An epic that can kill three weeks of down time and packed with enough sword swinging action to fulfill anyone’s needs. 

The Plot: “The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune, was one of Japan’s most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery. Based on a novel that’s often called Japan’s Gone with the Wind, this sweeping saga fictionalizes the life of the legendary seventeenth-century swordsman (and writer and artist) Musashi Miyamoto, following him on his path from unruly youth to enlightened warrior. With these three films—1954’s Oscar-winning Musashi Miyamoto, 1955’s Duel at Ichijoji Temple, and 1956’s Duel at Ganryu Island—Inagaki created a passionate epic that’s equal parts tender love story and bloody action”. - Criterion

Being John Malkovich (May 15th, 2012)


Who hasn’t wanted to walk, literally, in someone else's shoes? To have that chance to live someone else’s life? This crazy film delivers a unique blend of fantasy and comedy from the unique vision of Spike Jonze. 

The Plot:Have you ever wanted to be someone else? Or, more specifically, have you ever wanted to crawl through a portal hidden in an anonymous office building and thereby enter the cerebral cortex of John Malkovich for fifteen minutes, before being spat out on the side of the New Jersey Turnpike? Then director Spike Jonze and writer Charlie Kaufman have the movie for you. Melancholy marionettes, office drudgery, a frizzy-haired Cameron Diaz—but that’s not all! Surrealism, possession, John Cusack, a domesticated primate, Freud, Catherine Keener, non sequiturs, and absolutely no romance! But wait: get your Being John Malkovich now and we’ll throw in emasculation, slapstick, Abelard and Heloise, and extra Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich!- Criterion

Shallow Grave (June 12th, 2012)


Horror movies are an essential part of the summer. However, they are just never visualized as blockbusters. They try and keep those for the fall. Summer Horror movies are always small films that grow into something bigger. Shallow Grave is such a film. Not only did it help launch the careers of those involved, it gets under your skin. Questions about yourself and what you would do in such a situation will plague your very soul. A perfect horror if ever there was one. 

The Plot:The diabolical thriller Shallow Grave was the first film from director Danny Boyle, producer Andrew Macdonald, and screenwriter John Hodge (the smashing team behind Trainspotting). In it, three self-involved Edinburgh roommates—played by Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, and Ewan McGregor, in his first starring role—take in a brooding boarder, and when he dies of an overdose, leaving a suitcase full of money, the trio embark on a series of very bad decisions, with extraordinarily grim consequences for all. Macabre but with a streak of offbeat humor, this stylistically influential tale of guilt and derangement is a full-throttle bit of Hitchcockian nastiness”. - Criterion

These are great titles for the rest of the summer, but what can you get right now? 

The answer to that is easy, World on a Wire. World on a Wire, by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, is The Matrix before there was a Matrix. It is one man’s search for a murderer that leads him to question both his sanity and reality. A Sci-Fi film/ TV series (depending how you watch it) that was unparalleled until the adventures of Neo. 

The Plot: “World on a Wire is a gloriously paranoid, boundlessly inventive take on the future from German wunderkind Rainer Werner Fassbinder. With dashes of Stanley Kubrick, Kurt Vonnegut, and Philip K. Dick, Fassbinder tells the noir-spiked tale of reluctant hero Fred Stiller (Klaus Löwitsch), a cybernetics engineer who uncovers a massive corporate conspiracy. At risk? (Virtual) reality as we know it. Originally made for German television, this recently rediscovered, three-and-a-half-hour labyrinth is a satiric and surreal look at the world of tomorrow from one of cinema’s kinkiest geniuses”. - Criterion 

Join Criterion Collection today and set up a My Criterion page. It helps to keep you up to date on all the latest titles and what is to come. 



Front Line [DVD/Blu-ray Combo] Starring Shin Ha-Kyun, Ko Soo and Soo Go

Front Line Starring Shin Ha-Kyun, Ko Soo and Soo Go

Tigerland Starring Tom Guiry, Clifton Jr. Collins, Colin Farrell


Dirty Pair: Original Features DVD Collection Starring Kyouko Tonguu, Lara Cody, Pamela Lauer and Saeko Shimazu

Get Backers Complete Collection

Guin Saga: Complete Collection [Blu-ray] (2012)

Kanokon: The Girl Who Cried Fox TV & OVA Collection Starring

Queens Blade 2: The Complete Series Starring


Looney Tunes Show Starring Jeff Bergman, Bob Bergen, Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig


Clear All Wires! Starring Lee Tracy, Benita Hume, Una Merkel and James Gleason

Bright Road Starring Dorothy Dandridge, Philip Hepburn, Harry Belafonte

Desperate Search Starring Howard Keel, Jane Greer, Patricia Medina and Keenan Wynn

Exclusive Story Starring Franchot Tone, Madge Evans, Stuart Erwin and Joseph Calleia

If Winter Comes Starring Walter Pidgeon, Deborah Kerr, Angela Lansbury

I'll Wait for You Starring Robert Sterling, Marsha Hunt, Virginia Weidler

Westward the Women Starring Robert Taylor, Denise Darcel, Hope Emerson


Gremlins 2: The New Batch [Blu-ray] Starring Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, John Glover and Robert Prosky

Criterion Collection

La Haine (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] Starring Vincent Cassel, Hubert Kounde and Said Taghmaoui


42nd Street Forever: The Blu-ray Edition Starring Tisa Farrow, Christina Lindberg, David Hess

Don't Fall Asleep Starring Daniel Kent, Ashley Hinson and Ana Belibasis

Elvira's Movie Macabre: Wild Women Starring Elvira

Ganja & Hess: Kino Classics Remastered Edition [Blu-ray] Starring Duane Jones, Marlene Clark and Bill Gunn

Ganja & Hess: Kino Classics Remastered Edition Starring Duane Jones, Marlene Clark and Bill Gunn

Humans Vs. Zombies [Blu-ray] Starring Madison Burge, Melissa Carnell, Frederic Doss

Humans Vs. Zombies Starring Madison Burge, Melissa Carnell, Frederic Doss

Humans Vs. Zombies [DVD & Comic Book Insert] Starring Madison Burge, Melissa Carnell, Frederic Doss

Lady of the Dark: Genesis of the Serpent Vampire

Last Breath [Blu-ray] Starring Jeff East

Madison County (Unrated) Starring Ace Marrero, Katie Stegeman, Nick Principe

Mask Maker [Blu-ray] Starring Nikki Deloach, Stephen Coletti, Anabella Casanova

Mask Maker Starring Nikki Deloach, Stephen Coletti, Anabella Casanova

Mother's Day [Blu-ray/DVD Combo] Starring Rebecca De Mornay, Shawn Ashmore and Jamie King

Mother's Day Starring Rebecca De Mornay, Shawn Ashmore and Jamie King

Murder Obsession (Follia Omicida) [Blu-ray] Starring John Richardson, Stefano Patrizi, Anita Strindberg

Playback [Blu-ray] Starring Christian Slater, Ambyr Childers, Toby Hemingway

Playback Starring Christian Slater, Ambyr Childers, Toby Hemingway

Poe Starring Stelio Savante, David Fine, Gene Silvers and Sal Landi

Psychotica [Blu-ray] Starring Megan Hutchings and Tara Joshi

Seattle's Loch Ness: The Lake Washington Sea Monster Starring Graham Greene

Shock Labyrinth Starring Ai Maeda, Suzuki Matsuo and Shoichiro Masumoto

The Shrine Starring Aaron Ashmore, Meghan Heffern, Cindy Sampson

Shock Labyrinth [2D/3D Blu-ray + DVD] Starring Ai Maeda, Suzuki Matsuo and Shoichiro Masumoto

Underworld: Awakening (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray 3D] Starring Kate Beckinsale, Michael Ealy, India Eisley and Stephen Rea

Underworld: Awakening [Blu-ray] Starring Kate Beckinsale

Underworld: Awakening Starring Kate Beckinsale


Tora Tora Tora [Blu-ray] Starring Joseph Cotten, Martin Balsam, Leon Ames and So Yamamura


Cypher Starring Jeremy Northam

Lexx: Complete Season 2 Starring Michael McManus, Nigel Bennett, Brian Downey


The Big C: The Complete Second Season Starring Laura Linney and Oliver Platt

Chuck: The Complete Fifth Season Starring Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski and Adam Baldwin

Chuck: The Complete Fifth Season [Blu-ray] Starring Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski and Adam Baldwin

Fantasy Island: The Complete Second Season Starring Ricardo Montalban and Herve Villechaize

Tim & Eric's Billion Dollar Movie (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] Starring Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, Will Ferrell

Tim & Erics Billion Dollar Movie Starring Tim Heidecker, Eric Wareheim, John C. Reilly

The Twilight Zone: More Fan Favorites Starring Bill Mumy, Buddy Ebsen, Buster Keaton and Cliff Robertson

Vegas: The Third Season, Volume 1 Starring Tony Curtis, Robert Urich, Greg Morris and Bart Braverma


Underworld: The Legacy Collection (Underworld / Underworld Awakening / Underworld Evolution / Underworld: Rise of the Lycans ) [Blu-ray]

The John Wayne Film Collection Starring John Wayne, Ian Keith, Tully Marshall and El Brendel

Robert Trate writes three weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag, the Toy Maniac, and The Geek Life. Follow Robert on Twitter for his for Geek ramblings, Cosplay photos and film criticisms.



Showing items 1 - 7 of 7
jedibanner 5/8/2012 5:52:46 AM

Hey Robert, with all your connections and stuff, would you know WHEN or IF Bad Boys II will ever come out on Blu-ray?

Love Criterion...believe it or not, Armageddon and the Rock were Criterion DVD's....I own both....

RobertTrate 5/8/2012 9:19:05 AM

 I'l keep an eye open for them. For the record I have both of Bay's criterions as well. 

domino2008 5/8/2012 11:11:42 PM

I was trying to get Robinson Cruise on Mars from 1964 , gosh for the Criterion  edition was $30 on Amazon . way  too much for my pockets .Ill wait till i find it on TCM channel .

millean 5/9/2012 9:36:12 AM

Being John Malkovich is one of the worst movies of all time.  I don't care what anyone says.

RobertTrate 5/9/2012 10:42:11 AM

 domino2008, wait for a Barnes and Noble 50% off Criterion Sale. They have occasionally. I heard the next one is at the end of the summer. Probably will be soon. 

hanso 5/9/2012 3:25:30 PM

 I posted this in another thread but it's probably more fitting here.

Amazon currently has a sale going where you get $10 coupon to buy a movie ticket for Battleship, Snow White or Bourne Legacy, if you buy a blu/dvd from the sale selection they got.  Some of the flicks are less than $10, so if you were planning to seeing any of those flicks then it's worth it cause you'll get in for cheaper and get a movie for your collection as well.

RobertTrate 5/11/2012 9:13:40 PM

 So they are universal Blu-rays. Battlsehip, Snow white and I think Bourne... all Universal



You must be logged in to leave a comment. Please click here to login.