It’s that time of the year when we take a look back at all the titles released on Blu-ray and hand out a couple of awards including best label and name a few of my personal favourite releases. There will also be an award for the most disappointing Blu-ray release of 2017. So without further ado let’s get started with the Popcorn Cinema Show Blu-ray Awards 2017.
Blu-ray Awards 2017
Label That Goes The Extra Mile
- Winner: Arrow Video
- Runner-Up: Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
Arrow continues to release an excellent range of titles on Blu-ray with many receiving 4K Restorations. The extras provided are excellent often including new interviews and documentaries along with interesting booklets and reversible sleeve covers. In fact Arrow Video seems to improve year on year, may that continue in 2018 and beyond. As you will see later Arrow Video feature heavily in my favourite Blu-ray titles of 2017.
A few of those standout titles include films such as John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982), A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and Ronin (1998) all of which received 4K restorations. These Blu-ray releases look absolutely fantastic, the picture quality is simply breathtaking.
The Label With The Most Consistently Interesting Releases
- Winner: Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
- Runner-Up: Arrow Video
I’ve gone for Powerhouse Film’s Indicator label because I am continually pleased by their monthly output of films. 2017 has seen some truly awesome titles release including The Sinbad Trilogy, The Wonderful Worlds Of Ray Harryhausen, Volumes 1 & 2 and Hammer Volume One: Fear Warning. Then we had the classics such as the Charles Bronson movie The Stone Killer (1973), The Last Detail (1973) starring Jack Nicholson and The Anderson Tapes (1971) from director Sidney Lumet that stars a certain Sean Connery plus The New Centurions (1972) starring George C. Scott and Stacey Keach.
I could go on as I’ve not even mentioned the John Carpenter films Vampires (1998) & Ghosts of Mars (2001) but I leave it there for now. Fortunately not only are their choices of films excellent but the picture quality is also excellent which is the most important part when releasing a film on to Blu-ray. There’s little doubt 2017 has been a stellar year of Blu-ray releases from Indicator and 2018 already has some interesting films listed for release.
Studiocanal continued to impress with many high quality releases during 2017 with the Hammer films my personal favourites, Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb (1971), Scars Of Dracula (1970), Demons Of The Mind (1972) & Fear In The Night (1972), I’ll have reviews of these titles on the site very soon. The picture quality on their releases is generally excellent and the good news continues with several more Hammer films due out at the end of January 2018.
Favourite Blu-ray Film Releases of 2017
|A Fish Called Wanda (1988) (4K Restoration)||Arrow Video|
|The Thing (1982) (4K Restoration)||Arrow Video|
|Carrie (1976) (4K Restoration)||Arrow Video|
|Ronin (1998) - (4K Restoration)||Arrow Video|
|The Day Of The Jackal (1973)||Arrow Video|
|Psycho II (1983)||Arrow Video|
|The Stone Killer (1973)||Indicator (Powerhouse Films)|
|The New Centurions (1972)||Indicator (Powerhouse Films)|
|The Sinbad Trilogy||Indicator (Powerhouse Films)|
|Hammer Volume One: Fear Warning||Indicator (Powerhouse Films)|
|Blood From The Mummy’s Tomb (1971)||Studiocanal|
|Scars Of Dracula (1970)||Studiocanal|
|Hell Drivers (1957)||Network|
|The Amityville Horror (1979)||Second Sight Films|
|Buster Keaton: 3 Films (Sherlock Jr., The General, Steamboat Bill, Jr.)||Eureka Entertainment|
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Favourite Blu-ray Television Releases of 2017
|Hammer House of Horror: The Complete Series||Network|
|Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased)||Network|
Network continues to impress with many of their releases such as the recent restorations of the brilliant TV series Randall And Hopkirk (Deceased) and Hammer House of Horror: The Complete Series. Make no mistake they look terrific and I consider them must have Blu-rays. However one thing Network seem to do is lose focus from time to time announcing releases without them seemingly coming out, for example The Sweeney Complete Series One came ages ago with the rest coming soon. My hope is Network continue their good work and release the rest of The Sweeney on Blu-ray during 2018.
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Most Disappointing Blu-ray Release of 2017
- Winner: The Vikings (1958) Eureka Entertainment
The Vikings is a really good film with an excellent cast of Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis however the Blu-ray release by Eureka Entertainment was huge disappointment. The picture quality is pretty awful and has all the same problems as the DVD. In fact the increased resolution is not really that noticeable and all the same large black marks still remain. It’s really clear this film is badly in need of restoration be it 2K or 4K. I’ll have my review up shortly and put a link to it here.
This is one Blu-ray I would steer clear of if you already own the film on DVD. It’s a real shame as Eureka Entertainment have released a couple excellent releases this year including the three film Buster Keaton boxset.
Blu-ray Awards 2017 Final Thought
In many ways there hasn’t been a better time to be a film lover / collector with so many quality titles being restored and released on to the Blu-ray format. It just goes to show despite all the new forms of watching movies such as various streaming platforms there is still a huge demand for physical media providing the films are restored and look fabulous. The market share may be smaller with competition from those new platforms but companies such as Arrow Video, Powerhouse Films, Eureka Entertainment, Studiocanal, Network, Second Sight Films and 88 Films prove it’s still a worthwhile one, long may it continue.
That concludes my Blu-ray Awards 2017 it’s been an excellent year and fingers crossed 2018 will be as good if not better.
Happy New Year!!!