It’s 2022 and time to look back at the 4K UHD and blu-ray releases from 2021. Here are the Popcorn Cinema Blu-ray Awards 2021. As has become accustomed we will hand out awards highlighting the good and bad from the years film and television releases. So without further ado let’s get started!
Popcorn Cinema Blu-ray Awards 2021
Label That Goes The Extra Mile 2021
- Winner: Powerhouse Films aka Indicator
- Runner-Up: Arrow Video
This award seems to always be a straight contest between Arrow Video and Indicator. Both delivered a fabulous set of releases in 2021 with excellent picture quality along with an in depth set of extras.
However it’s the Indicator label that takes the 2021 award for Label That Goes The Extra Mile. Their Columbia Noir, Hammer and Mae West in Hollywood boxsets really impressed.
The Label With The Most Consistently Interesting Releases
- Winner: Powerhouse Films aka Indicator
- Runner-Up: Arrow Video
Powerhouse Films aka Indicator had another strong year in 2021. They released several excellent boxsets including Columbia Noir #2, #3 & #4, Hammer Volume Six: Night Shadows and Mae West in Hollywood, 1932-1943 boxsets to mention just a few.
Arrow Video mixed things up in 2021 with a combination of new titles and some 4K upgrades. Some of the more interesting titles included Years of Lead: Five Classic Italian Crime Thrillers 1973-1977, The Sergio Martino Collection and Vengeance Trails: Four Classic Westerns boxsets.
4K Blu-ray UHD Champion (Best 4K blu-ray Movies 2021)
- Winner: Arrow Video
Arrow Video seemed to be releasing all their previously 4K restored films on to actual 4K discs throughout 2021. Dario Argento fans were certainly the ones to benefit with the likes of Deep Red (1975) & The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971) both releasing.
Other films to get the 4K UHD treatment included Children of the Corn Trilogy, Demons and Donnie Darko and True Romance (1993).
- Winner: Studiocanal
In 2021 Studiocanal gave us a newly restored version of the classic thriller Basic Instinct arriving on blu-ray and 4K UHD. Another interesting title that they released was the cult film The Masque of The Red Death.
Favourite Blu-ray Release of 2021
- Winner: Hammer Volume Six: Night Shadows – Powerhouse Films (Indicator)
Powerhouse Films has done a fabulous job in releasing Hammer films over the years. Their volume six, Night Shadows boxset released in 2021 and became another must have for all Hammer fans.
Best of the Rest on Blu-ray in 2021
|Bill & Ted Face The Music (2020)||Warner Bros|
|Bless This House (1972)||Network|
|Buster Keaton: 3 Films (Volume 3)||Eureka Entertainment|
|Carlito’s Way (1993) – 4K UHD + Blu-ray||Universal Pictures|
|Doctor Who – The Collection Season 17 (Tom Baker)||BBC|
|Doctor Who – The Collection Season 24 (Sylvester McCoy)||BBC|
|Doctor Who – The Web of Fear||BBC|
|Futtocks End and Other Short Stories||Network|
|Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)||Powerhouse Films / Indicator|
|Harry Potter – Complete Collection: 20th Anniversary 4K UHD||Warner Bros|
|No Time To Die (2021)||Universal Pictures|
|Pig (2021)||Altitude Film Distribution|
|Prisoners Of The Ghostland (2021)||Elysian Film Group|
|The Little Things (2021)||Warner Bros|
|The Shawshank Redemption (1990) – 4K UHD||Warner Bros|
|The Unholy (2021)||Sony Pictures|
|Urban Legend Trilogy||88 Films|
|Willy’s Wonderland (2021)||Signature Entertainment|
Blurays from the Criterion Collection in 2021
|Merrily We Go To Hell (1932)|
|Bringing Up Baby (1938)|
|All About Eve (1950)|
|The Night Of The Hunter (1955)|
|Masculin Feminin (1966)|
|Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion (1970)|
|The Mirror (1975)|
|The Ascent (1977)|
|Tin Drum (1979)|
|Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)|
|Lost In America (1985)|
|Defending Your Life (1991)|
|Flowers Of Shanghai (1998)|
|The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)|
|Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese (2019)|
|One Night In Miami… (2020)|
You can find more infomation and links to these Criterion Collection releases over on our blu-ray release dates page.
Favourite Television Blu-ray Release of 2021
- Winner: Only Fools and Horses – The 80s Specials (Blu-ray) – BBC
Worst Film Watched On Blu-ray In 2021
- Winner: Survive the Night (2020) – German Blu-ray Import
Bruce Willis appeared in this truly awful 2020 thriller. The plot had more holes in it than a sieve and Bruce’s performance was pretty poor. The film has yet to receive a UK blu-ray release and for once that actually might be a good thing!
Most Anticipated Announced Blu-ray Releases 2022 (So far)
|An American Werewolf in London (1981) 4K UHD||Arrow Video|
|Buster Keaton: The Complete Short Films 1917-1923||Eureka Entertainment|
|Doctor Who – The Collection Season 26 (Sylvester McCoy)||BBC|
|Dune (2021)||Warner Bros|
|Father Brown Series 9||Dazzler Media|
|Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)||Sony Pictures|
|Halloween Kills (2021)||Universal Pictures|
|Hoffman (1970) (Peter Sellers)||Powerhouse Films|
|Mulholland Drive (2001)||Studiocanal|
|Phenomena (1985) 4K UHD (Dario Argento)||Arrow Video|
|RoboCop (1987) 4K UHD||Arrow Video|
|Shakespeare & Hathaway: Private Investigators: Series 4||Dazzler Media|
|The Blockhouse (1973) (Peter Sellers)||Powerhouse Films|
|The Devil’s Men (1976)(Donald Pleasence / Peter Cushing)||Powerhouse Films|
|The Green Mile (1999): Ultimate Collector 4K UHD||Warner Bros|
|The Lovers! (1973)||Network|
Popcorn Cinema Blu-ray Awards 2021 – Final Thought
2021 really saw more emphasis placed on 4K UHD releases than the previous year. Many previously restored titles received a 4K Ultra HD releases which is certainly welcome. What’s not so welcome is the now standard £25 price point which in our opinion is too much.
Whilst 4K is nice upgrade it’s hardly the jump that we saw when going from DVD to blu-ray. At the current price of 4K UHD blu-ray it’s hard to recommend over the standard blu-ray for all but the die-hard film buffs or collectors. Especially as many of us have already bought these films many times over on various formats.
Both Arrow Video and Powerhouse Films released excellent blu-ray boxsets and hopefully they will continue their excellent work into 2022 and beyond.
Overall another good year for film or movie lovers. What is better than blu-ray? Well that would have to be 4K UHD blu-ray! These disc based formats are still the best way to enjoy a film at home.
Streaming services may suit many but they still fall short in several important ways such picture quality and permanence. A movie or television series can simply vanish from your service without warning. Give me physical media any day!