We were excited to write about Trainspotting getting a Criterion 4K Blu-ray release last month and we even focused on the glow-in-the-dark packaging, which seemed like a highlight at the time. But now that it’s been released many people have complaints over how cheap the packaging is.
It should be noted that we write about upcoming Criterion 4K Blu-ray releases based off of findings on Amazon or the Criterion website. Criterion do not send us review products and they won’t even add us to their mailing list for press releases (we’ve asked many times). Same goes for Arrow Video and Shout Factory, who used to work with us but have gone quiet the last few months.
We only mention this to point out that we were unaware of how shoddy the Criterion Trainspotting 4K Blu-ray release packaging would be ahead of time and we would have mentioned it if we knew.
The issue with the Trainspotting 4K Blu-ray release
The Criterion Trainspotting 4K Blu-ray release currently has a 3 out of 5 rating on the Amazon Canada product page for it based off of 12 reviews. Most of the reviews point out the terrible packaging as the reason for giving it such a low rating.
“The discs are housed in a thin cardboard sleeve that folds out. There is no external hard-shell box to house the thin paper sleeve, so good luck with this release not completely deteriorating over time,” one verified purchaser writes. “The cardstock used couldn’t have cost Criterion more than 10 cents to produce,” they add.
“This film is presented in a super CHEAP, flimsy, outrageously bad, cardboard, thin box, which barely holds this disc inside,” another review states.
And it keeps going on and on like this with reviews from verified purchasers.
“I understand I purchased this for the disc inside, but for the price we pay for Criterion this packaging is unacceptable.”
“It’s basically a glorified unfolding Hallmark card.”
Besides it being “cheap” cardboard as many point out, it’s also not a normal size case so it doesn’t fit properly on a shelf with other titles.
“I almost want to return this, it looks so out of place on a shelf. It’s big and bulky. Easily the worst case I’ve seen from a [Criterion release].”
There is one reviewer that seems to like the packaging, calling it “very well designed” and saying it “goes great with the movie and the art.”
Home with Brian reached out to Criterion for comment and to see if they will be pulling the title from retailers over the concerns or releasing new packaging for it. They did not respond by our deadline.
In this day and age where most physical media is only available to purchase online (and with companies refusing to offer review titles to media that could help warn the public about these issues) it’s a real crap shoot of what you’re going to get at the door when you spend your $60+ on a premium Criterion title like Trainspotting.
We want physical media to succeed, which is why we write about 4K Blu-ray and vinyl releases. But this debacle makes us concerned. If a high profile company like Criterion is calling it in maybe it is time to reconsider promoting these upcoming titles.
If you purchased the Criterion 4K Blu-ray release for Trainspotting tell us what you think about the packaging in the comments below. And if you were on the fence about spending the $60+ will you risk it now?