How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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Bando
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#176 Post by Bando » Thu Jan 16, 2014 10:27 pm

Gary Gnu wrote:I bought a copy of The Ice Storm from Amazon two weeks ago. It had this thing that said "On the same page" on a white bar at the bottom of the cover. The art looked truncated, or something. It looked like a copy from the University of Berkley. (Maybe a school library copy??) I returned it, ordered another one, and it had the same white banner at the bottom and the truncated art. Is this a bootleg, or what?
Turns out these are legit. In 2008, all incoming Cal freshmen were sent copies of The Ice Storm.

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/berkeleyan ... page.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

They were all printed with the logo for their On The Same Page program. So there's a bit of a Criterion oddity!

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Charles
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#177 Post by Charles » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:30 am

I was just checking out a few "sell-us-back" values on Amazon and F.Y.E., and when glancing at the back of my Lord of the Flies DVD, I found the UPC block to be blank. It's just a plain white block with no printing. It's that way on the sheet; there are no labels or stickers or anything placed anywhere on the sheet or the case.

Didn't find any reference to known LotF bootlegs in this thread, so thought I'd ask if anyone knows what's up with this. I'm almost dead positive I bought this new way back when, mostly likely at a B&N store because it doesn't show up on any old online order I can find.

I've never suspected a Criterion, or anything else of mine, of being a bootleg. (But of course that's what they want you to think...)
Last edited by Charles on Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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matrixschmatrix
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#178 Post by matrixschmatrix » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:29 pm

Did copies that came from the Great Adaptations box set have blanked UPCs?

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colinr0380
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#179 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:33 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:Did copies that came from the Great Adaptations box set have blanked UPCs?
Yes, as do the copies of Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and The Most Dangerous Game in the same set.

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Charles
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#180 Post by Charles » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:25 pm

colinr0380 wrote:
matrixschmatrix wrote:Did copies that came from the Great Adaptations box set have blanked UPCs?
Yes, as do the copies of Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and The Most Dangerous Game in the same set.
My copies of those other three have the UPC.

So I got one from a box that had been broken down? Since I can't positively say where I bought it, I guess this is as far as I need pursue this.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#181 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:12 pm

It sounds like it. To add even more information to this, my copies of Great Expectations, Oliver Twist and The Most Dangerous Game from that Great Adaptations set all have horizontal white rectangles on the top right corner of the back cover. Lord of the Flies has a white rectangle on the top right of the back cover but it is vertical instead! I also have a separately bought copy of the original Lord of the Flies DVD and that one has the barcode in the vertical white box.

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Charles
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#182 Post by Charles » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:50 pm

Interesting. This empty white box is vertical, and the others are as you said.

Tiege
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#183 Post by Tiege » Sat Feb 22, 2014 4:37 pm

Can someone tell me the identification number (the number on the data side around the center hole) of Criterion's DVD Peeping Tom?

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jindianajonz
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#184 Post by jindianajonz » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:44 pm

I'm not sure which number you're referring to, but mine says PEE040DVD-L1 and HQ15601-L1. Each one occurs twice around the circle.

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Gregory
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#185 Post by Gregory » Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:57 pm

Mine has L807 7982 PEE0400 O0625-07 Y on one side and L807 7982 PEE0401 O90904-11 Z on the other.

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#186 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Fri Oct 10, 2014 11:38 pm

Bought a new copy of Le Million from an Amazon seller. The disc, insert, and cover art looked good, but the plastic wrap around the case looked like it was resealed. Included alongside the insert was a reprint of the poster on harder stock paper. The back of this reprint featured a smaller poster image of Le Jour Se Leve and some background information on that film. Did anyone else have copies that included this unique insert?

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movielocke
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#187 Post by movielocke » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:33 am

There's an old thread called criterion postcards (I'm on my phone so can't link). But I thought they were of existing releases.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#188 Post by domino harvey » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:42 am

I checked my copy from the first run (there's an old school Criterion catalog included)-- no mini-poster/postcard/insert besides the booklet. As movielocke mentions, there was a time when Criterions came with random postcards featuring the cover art to assorted Crits. We had a thread where we chimed in with what we came across

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Professor Wagstaff
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#189 Post by Professor Wagstaff » Sat Oct 11, 2014 2:30 am

Criterion postcards seemed like a good guess, but it doesn't match the style of any of those I own already and exceeds the postcard size. I've attached some images for reference (forgive the picture quality) and you might notice the series of holes along the top, the purpose of which I'm uncertain.
Image

Image

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#190 Post by zedz » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:30 pm

Professor Wagstaff wrote:Criterion postcards seemed like a good guess, but it doesn't match the style of any of those I own already and exceeds the postcard size. I've attached some images for reference (forgive the picture quality) and you might notice the series of holes along the top, the purpose of which I'm uncertain.
Image

Image
Only just saw this post from way back (sloooowwww day at work). It looks to me like your insert is a page removed from a calendar or catalogue or somesuch (presumably of French movie posters) with a spiral binding: the next page would have featured the full-size Le jour se leve poster, with the info about it on the facing page (the reverse of this poster). Somebody must have carefully removed it from its parent publication and placed it in the DVD box before it was resealed and sold as new! Absolutely nothing to do with Criterion. Your disc has been preloved in a very special way.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#191 Post by Acebelladona » Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:58 pm

I honestly have no idea where else to post this...
I recently purchased a copy of "Hard Boiled" from an ebay seller, and it's pretty clear to me that something is up. They sent me pictures of the disc and it is different from the disc that I actually received (I'll attach them), but I'm still curious to know whether or not my copy of the movie is legitimate or not. I have searched online about this but have not managed to find anything. As you can see in the photos, the ring is silver rather than black, but it has the weird "Nimbus" on the inside along with the barcode. It looks fairly close to my copy of "Silence of the Lambs" in that regard, so I'm honestly not sure at this point. I was hoping someone could give me some closure here?

The copy I received:
Photos: http://www.photobox.co.uk/album/4165496553" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The photos I received from the seller:
Photo 1: http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/ ... G?set_id=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Photo 2: http://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MTIwMFgxNjAw/ ... G?set_id=2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#192 Post by cpetrizzi » Wed Jul 27, 2016 6:05 pm

I just compared your pics to my copy of "Hard Boiled," and you have an authentic disc.

The "NIMBUS" must look exactly like what's in your image for a disc to be authentic. Bootleggers try to "etch" NIMBUS into the DVD, but cannot exactly replicate it perfectly. Therefore, it's one of the best indicators of a fake

Also another indicator are the letters/numbers (very faint in your image) right under them. They match my disc.

If there are any misspellings on the cover insert, it's usually a fake. Also, if the cover insert has "rounded" edges, it's a fake. The authentic one has square edges. Of course, having the Amaray case is preferred, but that doesn't mean the disc would be fake.
Last edited by cpetrizzi on Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

The Collector
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#193 Post by The Collector » Sun Sep 11, 2016 5:55 pm

This thread has not received a reply in quite a while, and there was a time when I read its entire contents but decided to read again and reply today. My situation is unique, and I appreciate any information.

Every Criterion film I own is still sealed. Aside from a handful later than, I have almost every spine number from #1 to #30 sans #22, #27, #28, and #30. I purchase them all from eBay sellers, but always enquire to them beforehand about the following criteria: [a] condition of shrink wrap [fully intact or has rips/tears]; any and all stickers on the packaging; and [c] if the security seal is present. If a seller makes note of at least one rip or tear in the shrink wrap I refuse to purchase it. Likewise, if there is no security seal at the top I refuse to purchase it. I assume all first printings should always have the security seal. The reason why I enquire to the sellers is because I am blind thus am not able to see any pictures they may include with their listings. Every seller from whom I purchased was helpful, and I do not think I received any bootlegs. I do know for a fact spine #17 is legitimate because it has a Borders sticker, the black warning sticker, and jives with all the other things that signifies it is authentic.

After hours of research to no avail, I have some questions for anybody who knows their answers. Firstly, were all original authentic pressings of Criterion DVDs packaged in shrink wrap, or were some packaged in cellophane? If the latter, which were packaged in what material? Secondly, if an early title [e.g. spine #22 though it is still in print] packaged in cellophane, does that make it any less authentic if it is presumed every early title was packaged in shrink wrap? Thirdly, is it correct to assume all authentic releases do not have stickers aside from the security seal? For example, I recently negotiated both spines #21 and #55 for very reasonable prices, and the seller noted there were no stickers on the outside but do have the security seals under the shrink wrap which of course has no rips/tears.

I know it is very difficult to discern authentic from bootleg without opening anything, but that will not happen because these have far too much monetary value and I paid far below what many probably have and will for the same titles as a result of persistently negotiating. Another thing to note is I NEVER purchase from outside the USA with regards to Criterion releases. if are there any additional questions I should ask sellers please inform me thusly. I do not enquire for UPCs although I should because their prices before I buy them seem to be unreasonably high for a bootleg.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#194 Post by krx10 » Fri May 12, 2017 6:34 pm

Napier wrote:It's exactly the same as mine in every aspect you mention. I purchased it sealed, around 1999 or 2000. Sounds legit.
Since you own a legit copy of Fresh for Frankenstein purchased from then, can you confirm a Blood for Dracula ID legitimacy since you may have also picked this title up around the same time? The numbers seem very similar. I'm trying to verify a disc's authenticity prior to placing a purchase. The disc I'm considering has full bleed into middle ring. The following information stamped into the data side: 11.1.DV.CC1547D.1.S5A 87.40.5.A.A.02 deluxe®/AR

Any help sure would be appreciated.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#195 Post by Amazing Goose » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:54 pm

Well reading through this thread has ruined my peace of mind and I've since looked over all of my early spine numbers. Most look legit (including my copy of This is Spinal Tap that I managed to get for about $20 last summer) except for Nights of Cabiria (which I also grabbed last summer for around $25.) The label printing on the disc looks flat and uniform, while all of the other discs from that time seem to have printing that's slightly textured and unprinted for clear areas the design, letting the shiny surface of the disc show through; my Cabiria label doesn't have that. So that feels like a bootleg. (Cover and insert all look pretty legit...)

One question though: can someone explain exactly what the Nimbus logo is and where to look for it, as well what's meant by "frosted ring" vs. "clear ring" (and which one signifies what?) I've seen those mentioned around here ever since the days of Salo being OOP and going for hundreds of dollars on eBay but have never found a definition for what those all mean. (I recently found a copy of "Hard Boiled" at a reasonable price and that's what sent me here in the first place.)

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Roger Ryan
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#196 Post by Roger Ryan » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:36 am

Amazing Goose wrote: ...One question though: can someone explain exactly what the Nimbus logo is and where to look for it, as well what's meant by "frosted ring" vs. "clear ring" (and which one signifies what?)
The Nimbus logo/code is printed in very small lettering close to the center of the DVD/Blu-ray between the portion of the disc where the data is stored and the clear plastic inner ring directly surrounding the hole where the disc player's spindle is inserted into (you can Google an image by entering "DVD Nimbus code"). That clear plastic inner ring surrounding the hole can also be "frosted", or opaque, on some discs. I believe most Criterion discs have clear inner rings, not "frosted", but I'm not certain of this.

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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#197 Post by cpetrizzi » Thu Aug 17, 2017 11:47 pm

Amazing Goose wrote:Well reading through this thread has ruined my peace of mind and I've since looked over all of my early spine numbers. Most look legit (including my copy of This is Spinal Tap that I managed to get for about $20 last summer) except for Nights of Cabiria (which I also grabbed last summer for around $25.) The label printing on the disc looks flat and uniform, while all of the other discs from that time seem to have printing that's slightly textured and unprinted for clear areas the design, letting the shiny surface of the disc show through; my Cabiria label doesn't have that. So that feels like a bootleg. (Cover and insert all look pretty legit...)

One question though: can someone explain exactly what the Nimbus logo is and where to look for it, as well what's meant by "frosted ring" vs. "clear ring" (and which one signifies what?) I've seen those mentioned around here ever since the days of Salo being OOP and going for hundreds of dollars on eBay but have never found a definition for what those all mean. (I recently found a copy of "Hard Boiled" at a reasonable price and that's what sent me here in the first place.)
I'll try to best answer your questions. I pulled these 3 spines out for comparison. They are all authentic Criterions.
Image
Here is the Amaray case for all three. Having this case is a strong indicator that you have an authentic disc.
You could of course possibly have a bootleg disc with an Amaray case, but it's been my experience that this almost never happens.
These particular cases are very unique to the early spines and obtaining one for a bootleg seems unlikely.
Image
Here is the front of The Killer DVD on top of its case. This is an example of a frosted inner ring.
Image
Here's the back of The Killer DVD. This is the exact font of how "NIMBUS" should look.
Also, notice the 8 dots grouped together to the left of NIMBUS. This is prevalent on The Killer, Blood for Dracula, Flesh for Frankenstein and indicates an authentic disc.
Image
Here's Salo and a close up of its inner ring and NIMBUS. Notice the 5-dot pattern on the front.
Image
Image
Here is Nights of Cabiria in its case. The front is raised and textured.
This is an example of a clear inner ring.
You can see right through it to the back of the Amaray case.
Image
I've included the back so you can compare markings and serial numbers.
Image
Image
Image

If you're interested in what other spines have frosted vs. clear inner rings I can take a peek at 2-51 sometime later. I know that others forum members have claimed of legitimate versions of The Killer with a clear inner ring, but the frosted one has always been preferred for authentication purposes since it's impossible to duplicate.

I don't know if Nights of Cabiria ever had a frosted ring or NIMBUS; my guess is no. Others can comment.

The actual labels on the DVDs for both Salo and Nights of Cabiria are definitely raised and textured. Only The Killer has a completely smooth surface. I would definitely question the authenticity of your copy of Nights of Cabiria if it's smooth, does not have similar markings around the back inner ring, and does not have the original Amaray case. Fair market price for this disc is around $60-80 used or $125-$150 new.

Hope this helps!
Last edited by cpetrizzi on Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:42 am, edited 4 times in total.

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cpetrizzi
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Re: How to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs

#198 Post by cpetrizzi » Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:48 am

First lesson in how to identify (and avoid) Criterion bootlegs....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/The-Killer-DVD- ... SwbopZh7bo

FAKE!

(click second picture, guy's not even trying)

AdamSmash
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Re: Criterion OOP (Orphic Trilogy)

#199 Post by AdamSmash » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:48 pm

Not sure where to post this or ask this question where it might be answered, but since the title in question is the Orphic Trilogy, and is OOP, I figured this would be the place to go.

I've been trying to track down a legitimate copy of this item, but there are some "irregularities" among the copies I've seen on E-Bay.

In particular:

1. The Spine of the Outer Box either has the Criterion # at the bottom of the box or the middle of the box. I'm assuming the one with the spine # at the bottom is the real copy, but I realize it's possible both are real. Copies with the spine # in the middle look very strange to me, with the the outer packaging looking like the artwork has been glued on to the box, and not always evenly.

2. The dvd art themselves don't always match the pictures posted on criterion.org, which is my usual go-to-place to compare for authenticity. Some copies of the discs have the titles of each movie printed at a perpendicular angle to the "Criterion Collection" line - other copies look as shown at Criterion.Org.

What's the story on both?

This would all be a lot easier if Criterion still owned the rights to all three movies in the set, and rereleased the box set, but that's neither here nor there.

Any information that anyone can provide - including pictures - is greatly, greatly appreciated.

And if I posted this question in the wrong place, my apologies.

Thanks!

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