Criterion Blu-ray Movies Detailed, Priced Same As DVDs

The film buffs over at Criterion Collection (not to be confused with game developer Criterion Games) have finally announced the details to their much-anticipated Blu-ray releases. Those of you who know Criterion know their prices ain't exactly mainstream, but surprisingly, Criterion Blu-ray releases will be priced the same as DVD releases. Amazon has the following for preorder for $27.95: The Last Emperor, The Man Who Fell to Earth, Chungking Express and Bottle Rocket. We noticed that the price for the The Last Emperor on DVD is more, at $39.99! You are better off preordering The Third Man from the official Criterion site though, who has it for $31.96. The new Criterion releases Chungking Express and Bottle Rocket are headed our way on November 25th, while existing releases The Last Emperor, The Third Man and The Man Who Fell to Earth will land on Blu-ray on November 18th.

Criterion has also promised to use the current DVD numbering and beautiful packaging for the Blu-ray releases, "with the only physical difference being the use of the blue Blu-ray case," according to What if I have the DVD version already?! There is an upgrade program available for $25, where you send in the original DVD in exchange for the Blu-ray. That seems a little pointless though, when the discs can purchased at $27.95.

Finally, special features and bonuses for each movie are after the jump:

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'The Third Man' (1949) will featured a restored high definition transfer in 1.37:1, and an uncompressed mono soundtrack. Extra features include:

  • Video introduction by writer-director Peter Bogdanovich
  • Two audio commentaries: one by filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Tony Gilroy, and one by by film scholar Dana Polan
  • Shadowing "The Third Man" (2005), a ninety-minute feature documentary on the making of the film
  • Abridged recording of Graham Greene's treatment, read by actor Richard Clarke
  • Graham Greene: The Hunted Man," an hour-long, 1968 episode of the BBC's Omnibus series, featuring a rare interview with the novelist
  • "Who Was the Third Man? (2000)," a thirty-minute Austrian documentary featuring interviews with cast and crew
  • The Third Man on the radio: the 1951 "A Ticket to Tangiers" episode of The Lives of Harry Lime series, written and performed by Orson Welles, and the 1951 Lux Radio Theatre adaptation of The Third Man
  • Illustrated production history with rare behind-the-scenes photos, original UK press book, and U.S. trailer
  • Actor Joseph Cotten's alternate opening voice-over narration for the U.S. version
  • Archival footage of postwar Vienna
  • A look at the untranslated foreign dialogue in the film
  • A booklet featuring an essay by Luc Sante

'The Man Who Fell to Earth' (1976) will feature a high definition digital transfer approved by director Nicolas Roeg, and an uncompressed stereo soundtrack. Extra features include:
  • Audio commentary by Roeg and actors David Bowie and Buck Henry
  • New video interview with screenwriter Paul Mayersberg Performance, video interviews with actors Candy Clark and Rip Torn
  • Audio interviews with costume designer May Routh and production designer Brian Eatwell
  • Audio interview from 1984 with author Walter Tevis, conducted by Don Swaim
  • Multiple stills galleries, including Routh's costume sketches; behind-the-scenes photos; and production and publicity stills, introduced by set photographer David James
  • Gallery of posters from Roeg's films
  • Trailers
  • Booklet featuring an essay by critic Graham Fuller

'The Last Emperor' (1987) features a high definition digital transfer approved by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro, and a stereo track in DTS-HD Master Audio. Extras include:
  • Audio commentary by director Bernardo Bertolucci, producer Jeremy Thomas, screenwriter Mark Peploe, and composer-actor Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • The Italian Traveler: Bernardo Bertolucci, a 53-minute film by Fernand Mozskowicz, tracing the director's geographic influences, from Parma to China
  • Video images taken by Bertolucci in China
  • The Chinese Adventure of Bernardo Bertolucci, a 52-minute documentary that revisits the film's creation
  • A 47-minute documentary featuring Storaro, editor Gabriella Cristiana, costume designer James Acheson, and art director Gianni Silvestri
  • A 66-minute documentary exploring Bertolucci's creative process and the making of The Last Emperor
  • A 30-minute interview with Bertolucci from 1989
  • A new interview with composer David Byrne
  • A new interview with Ian Buruma examining the historical period of the film
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Booklet featuring an essay by critic David Thomson

'Chungking Express' (1994) features a restored high-definition digital transfer, as well as a remastered lossless soundtrack supervised by director Wong Kar-wai. Extras include:
  • Audio commentary by noted Asian cinema critic Tony Rayns
  • U.S. theatrical trailer
  • New and improved English subtitle translation
  • Booklet featuring a new essay by critic Amy Taubin and excerpts from a 1996 Sight and Sound interview with Wong by Rayns

'Bottle Rocket' (1996) features a new, restored transfer supervised by direct Wes Anderson and a lossless soundtrack. Extras include:
  • Commentary by director/co-writer Anderson and co-writer/actor Owen Wilson
  • The Making of "Bottle Rocket": an original documentary by filmmaker Barry Braverman featuring Anderson, James L. Brooks, James Caan, Temple Nash Jr., Kumar Pallana, Polly Platt, Mark Mothersbaugh, Robert Musgrave, Richard Sakai, David and Sandy Wasco, Andrew and Luke and Owen Wilson, and Robert Yeoman
  • The original thirteen-minute black-and-white Bottle Rocket short film from 1992
  • Eleven deleted scenes
  • Anamorphic screen test, storyboards, location photos, and behind-the-scenes photographs by Laura Wilson
  • Murita Cycles, a 1978 short film by Braverman
  • The Shafrazi Lectures, no. 1: Bottle Rocket
  • Booklet featuring an essay by executive producer James L. Brooks, an appreciation by Martin Scorsese, and original artwork by Ian Dingman