Popcorn Cinema Awards 2023 – Film, TV, 4K UHD, Blu-ray & DVD!

It’s 2024 and that means we can take time to look back at the best 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD releases from 2023. Here are the Popcorn Cinema Awards 2023.

I’ll be handing out awards for the best that 2023 had to offer from the film and television releases. Plus I will also naming the best UK Television Channel.

Popcorn Cinema Awards 2023

Popcorn Cinema Awards 2023

Label That Goes The Extra Mile 2023

  • Winner: Indicator
  • Runner-Up: Arrow Video

This award always seems to be a straight contest between Powerhouse Films, Indicator label and Arrow Video. Both delivered lots of 4K Ultra HD / Blu-ray releases during 2023. Furthermore they came with excellent picture quality and packed full of in depth extras.

However it’s the Indicator label that takes the 2023 award for Label That Goes The Extra Mile.

The Criminal Acts Of Tod Slaughter
Universal Noir 2 Blu-ray Boxset

The Label With The Most Consistently Interesting Releases

  • Winner: 88 Films
  • Runner-Up: Arrow Video

If your into Jean-Claude Van Damme and Jackie Chan movies then 88 Films had you covered in 2023 with titles such Double Impact (1991), Knock Off (1998), The Medallion (2003) and Twin Dragons (1992).

Horror films releases included The Bloody Judge (1970) (Christopher Lee), The Torture Chamber Of Dr Sadism (1967), The Whip And The Body (1963) (Christopher Lee) and Zombie Holocaust (1980) (Ian McCulloch) to name just a few.

There were also a several sci-fi horror’s with releases such as Hell Of The Living Dead (1980) and the Anaconda Collection 1-4 Boxset.

88 Films also released a few crime thriller’s such as D-Tox (2002) (Sylvester Stallone) and The Thomas Crown Affair (1999) (Pierce Brosnan, Rene Russo & Denis Leary).

In 2023, 88 Films always had something of interest arriving on 4K Ultra HD or Blu-ray. Furthermore if there announced 2024 titles are anything to go by then they could very well be heading for another outstanding year of releases!

Arrow Video had several interesting releases in 2023 such as Bruce Lee at Golden Harvest Boxset and the The Psycho Collection available on 4K and Blu-ray

Meanwhile the Enter the Video Store: Empire of Screams Boxset contained the following films, The Dungeonmaster (1984), Dolls (1987), Cellar Dweller (1988), Arena (1989) and Robot Jox (1989).


Best 4K Ultra HD Release 2023

  • Winner: Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection Volume 3 (Universal Pictures)
  • Runner-Up: The Wicker Man 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (Studiocanal)
Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection 4K Ultra HD Vol 3

A must have for most film fans, Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection Volume 3 breathes new life into these classic films.


Noteworthy Mention

  • Winner: Fabulous Films
  • Runner-up: Imprint

In 2023 Fabulous Films released many children’s television classics such as Camberwick Green, Trumpton, Chigley, Ivor The Engine, The Clangers, Bagpuss & Worzel Gummidge Down Under restored on both Blu-ray and DVD.

It really was a fabulous 2023 for many of us!!!

There were plenty of other interesting releases from them to with The Bionic Woman and The Six Million Dollar Man coming to Blu-ray and DVD.

The Bionic Woman & The Six Million Dollar Man

Meanwhile Imprint, which is an Australian label (Region B) has continued to release many interesting films on Blu-ray throughout 2023 which are yet to receive a official UK release. Furthermore most are available to purchase via Amazon.co.uk!


Favourite Blu-ray Release of 2023

  • Winner: The Criminal Acts Of Tod Slaughter (Indicator)

In November 2023 Powerhouse Films surprised us with this excellent release of a collection of Tod Slaughter films. The Criminal Acts Of Tod Slaughter: Eight Blood And Thunder Entertainments, 1935-1940 was yet another outstanding boxset release under the Indicator label.

The Criminal Acts Of Tod Slaughter

Favourite Television Blu-ray Release of 2023

  • Winner: Doctor Who The Collection Season 9 Limited Edition (BBC)
  • Runner-Up: Ghost Stories for Christmas Volume 2 (BFI)
Doctor Who The Collection Season 9 Blu-ray

Best DVD Release 2023

  • Winner: Dad’s Army: The Missing Episodes (BBC)
Dad's Army The Missing Episodes

Best UK Television Channel 2023

  • Winner: Talking Pictures TV (Freeview 82, Sky 328, Virgin 445, Freesat 306)
  • Runner-up: That’s TV (Freeview 65, Sky 183, Freesat 178)
Talking Pictures TV

Talking Pictures TV is the obvious choice for me, it shows many forgotten films and TV series. If like me you’re a fan of Laurel and Hardy, horror, sci-fi or any films from the 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, 70’s and 80s then this is the channel for you.

Friday is horror night, whilst Saturday mornings are packed full of classic children’s TV. There’s always something of interest on each day so head over now to the UK’s best TV channel!

2024 sees Dixon of Dock Green from 1956 arrive on the channel every Saturday at 7:20pm. This channel seems to get better each year and long may it continue!

Thats TV Channel - My Name Is Harry Worth
Picture Credit: That’s TV

That’s TV continues to grow its line-up and now has a second channel That’s TV 2 for 2024. My favourite TV series in 2023 on the channel included My Name Is Harry Worth and Good Night Sweetheart.

2024 has already seen The Likely Lads and Bread added to the schedules.


Most Anticipated Announced 4K UHD/Blu-ray Releases 2024 (So far)

Doctor Who Season 15
– Blu-ray

Tom Baker
BBC
Carrie (1976)
Limited Edition
– 4K Ultra HD
Arrow Video
Mean Streets (1973)
– 4K Ultra HD
Second Sight
Night Of The Comet (1984)
– Blu-ray
88 Films
Peeping Tom
(1960)
– 4K UHD / Blu-ray
Studiocanal
Thelma & Louise (1991)
– 4K UHD / Blu-ray
Criterion
Gold (1974)
– Blu-ray
88 Films
Thanksgiving (2023)
– Blu-ray
Sony
The Amityville Horror
(1979)
– 4K Ultra HD
/ Blu-ray
88 Films
Father Brown
Series 11
– Blu-ray
Dazzler
Count Dracula
(1970)
– 4K Ultra HD
/ Blu-ray
88 Films
Witchfinder General
(1968)
– 4K Ultra HD
/ Blu-ray
88 Films

Popcorn Cinema Awards 2023 – Final Thought

2023 had vast amounts of 4K Ultra HD releases. Whilst this is always great to see I do think its coming at the expense of films that have yet to come to Blu-ray / 4K UHD.

I hope we see far more variety of classic titles on Blu-ray from the likes of Arrow Video.

88 Films, Arrow Video and Powerhouse Films continued to release high quality 4K UHD / Blu-ray titles and that looks set to continue into 2024.

Radiance Films has found its niche with lots of foreign and cult classics arriving on Blu-ray.

Meanwhile Fabulous Films brought several children’s tv classics such as Camberwick Green, Trumpton, Chigley, Ivor The Engine, The Clangers, Bagpuss & Worzel Gummidge Down Under to both Blu-ray and DVD with more slated for 2024. Oh and let’s not forget Bionic Woman & Six Million Dollar Man which came to Blu-ray!

Sadly Network Distributing Limited ceased trading in June 2023 which came as a massive blow to many of us. Network released so many classic television series and films, some of which where restored and released on to Blu-ray. Its unclear whether any of the other British Blu-ray / DVD labels will fill the void let by Network.

With so many streaming services and none of them making any money other than Netflix if recent reports in the media are to be believed, it can’t be long until several decide to merge? That said I did predict that happening in 2023 and so far all the big players remain.

There have been reports in the media that physical media sales of 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD are on the up after several years of decline.

In July 2023 Empire Cinemas went into administration and immediately closed several UK locations.

Looking at television we see Talking Pictures TV is still very much on the up and getting better every year! They have been joined by That’s TV in offering classic British TV series. Both channels are proving there’s a large audience wanting classic film and television.

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