Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Double Dipped? Again?

My favorite film of all time is Carol Reed's masterpiece "The Third Man." I watched my VHS copy so many times I literally almost wore the tape out-- It really is that good. (I only ever did that to one other VHS tape-- Luc Besson's "The Professional")

The first time the film was released in a deluxe edition was in the initial wave of Criterion discs, back when Criterion was only releasing Laserdiscs. Now, I'm not old enough to have purchased Laserdiscs, but I know that they were somewhere near $100 bucks a piece. (Of course, now that Laserdiscs are laughably outdated, I was able to grab the disc on Ebay for about $8.00)

So, my first real chance at the Criterion disc for myself was when it was released on DVD. And you better believe I bought it right up-- despite it's $38.99 price tag. Hey-- I'm a hard-workin' guy, and as such, I treat my self now and again.

Cut to three years later, and I get news of yet another, newer Criterion release of "The Third Man." Hmm. Well, Like I said, it is my favorite film. So of course, when it came out, I bought it. Luckily I was able to nab it for a "steal"-- $32.99. And, though the disc does now include a really cool commentary by Steven Soderbergh, that's about the only change that I've noticed. = I really don't mind the double dip too much, because now I see that I am sort of collecting the various versions of the film-- (so far, VHS, Laserdisc, Criterion DVD 1, Criterion DVD 2.)

But now, we all know the new high point of home video viewing is Blu-Ray. And I admit, it is amazing. No argument. But (ahem) now they're rolling out the first wave of Criterion Blu-Ray discs, and guess what film is one of the first titles available. That's right-- "The Third Man."

So, here are my questions:

1.) Do I buy it? I mean, I'm anal, and it'll irk me that this would be the only version that I don't own. And though it's the exact same version as the second Criterion release, this one is blu-ray. You simply will not beat the picture and sound of a blu ray disc.

2.) Am I an idiot? I mean, am I playing right into the hands of the Home Video industry?

The sad truth is, I'm going to buy it. There never was a real doubt about that. But I'm still interested to see what people think about the double dip, or in this case, the double-double dip. Let me know where you stand by filling out your answer below. 

1 comment:

Bill O'Shea said...

Gotta get the Blu-ray. In for a penny, in for a pound.

I've never seen The Third Man. I've never been able to catch it on TCM or AMC. I love Citizen Kane, so I'm sure I would enjoy another Welles-Cotten flick.