It’s 2020 and time to look back at the Blu-ray and DVD releases from 2019. These awards come little later than intended but nevertheless let’s praise those whom excelled. As has become accustomed it’s time to dish out a few more awards highlighting the good and bad from film and television. So without further ado here are our Popcorn Cinema Blu-ray/DVD Awards 2019.
Popcorn Cinema Blu-ray/DVD Awards 2019
Label That Goes The Extra Mile 2019
- Winner: Indicator aka Powerhouse Films
- Runner-Up: Arrow Video
This award seems to be a straight contest between to fabulous labels. Both are worthy of this award for consistently providing excellent Blu-ray releases with excellent picture quality any incredibly interesting extras.
However I’m going to give it to the Indicator label for their excellent extras especially those on the latest Hammer boxset – Volume Four: Faces of Fear.
The Label With The Most Consistently Interesting Releases
Runner-Up: Powerhouse Films aka Indicator
Network started 2019 off with a string of hugely popular titles including Man About the House (1974), The Likely Lads, both Sweeney films. They continued the year with several other impressive releases such as Mystery Junction (1951) and of course the complete series of Monty Python’s Flying Circus all on Bluray.
Winner: Second Sight Films
Second Sight Films seem to release a few really interesting and restored films each year. 2019 saw a couple of horror classics with, The House That Dripped Blood (1971) and Asylum (1972).
Release That Blew My Mind
This brilliantly animated horror documentary from Ashley Thorpe is simply astounding. Make sure you purchase this one on Blu-ray and ensure you find the time to watch it. I’m sure you wouldn’t be disappointed!
Favourite Blu-ray Release of 2019
- Winner: Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Complete
Network really deserve praise for this excellent Monty Python release as it’s a must have for every fan of the series.
I should also mention the sad news of the passing of Python Terry Jones who died on the 21st January 2020.
Best of the Rest on Blu-ray (By Label)
|Doctor Who – The Collection – Season 10 (Jon Pertwee)||BBC|
|Doctor Who – The Collection – Season 18 (Tom Barker)||BBC|
|Doctor Who – The Collection – Season 23 (Colin Baker)||BBC|
|Doctor Who The Macra Terror||BBC|
|Fawlty Towers – The Complete Collection||BBC|
|Red Dwarf Series 1 – 8 Boxset||BBC|
|The Far Country (1954)||Arrow Academy|
|An American Werewolf in London (1981)||Arrow Video|
|Horror Express (1972)||Arrow Video|
|Weird Science (1985)||Arrow Video|
|Opera (1987) (2K Restoration)||Cult Films|
|Stan and Ollie (2018)||Entertainment One|
|Buster Keaton: 3 Films||Eureka Entertainment|
|High Noon (1952)||Eureka Entertainment|
|The African Queen||Eureka Entertainment|
|Man About the House (1974)||Network|
|Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Complete||Network|
|Mystery Junction (1951)||Network|
|Sweeney 2 (1978)||Network|
|The Likely Lads||Network|
|Hammer Volume Four: Faces of Fear||Indicator|
|Asylum – Limited Edition||Second Sight|
|The House That Dripped Blood – Limited Edition||Second Sight|
|Don’t Look Now (1973)||Studiocanal|
|Lust For A Vampire (1971)||Studiocanal|
|Prince of Darkness 4K Collector’s Edition||Studiocanal|
|The Halfway House (1944)||Studiocanal|
|Detour (1945)||Criterion Collection|
|Scarface (1983) – 35th Anniversary||Universal Pictures|
|The Mule (2018)||Warner Bros|
|The Wizard of Oz: Anniversary Collection||Warner Bros|
Favourite Television Blu-ray/DVD Releases of 2019
- Winner: Monty Python’s Flying Circus – Complete Series (Blu-ray) – Network
This oustanding release is a must for all Python fans.
Another worthy mention is that of the BBC. They are currently in the process of bringing several classic television series to the Blu-ray format. Offerings such as Red Dwarf series 1-8, Fawlty Towers and several classic Doctor Who seasons are already available on Bluray having been cleaned up and released packed full of extras.
Most Disappointing Blu-ray Releases of 2019
Both of these titles suffered from a lack of any restoration work resulting in a generally poor viewing experience. In the case of The Dark Half there are marks throughout the film’s two hours that are more than a little annoying.
It’s a tough call as to which of these is the worse but I’m going to give this award to Eureka Entertainment’s The Dark Half Blu-ray release. Let’s hope 2020 brings more quality control.
|Doctor Who – The Collection – Season 26 (Sylvester McCoy)||BBC|
|Doctor Who – The Collection – Season 14 (Tom Baker)||BBC|
|Father Brown – Series 8||Spirit Entertainment|
|Anatomy of a Murder (James Stewart)||Criterion Collection|
|Beat the Devil (Humphrey Bogart)||BFI|
|Buster Keaton: 3 Films (Volume 2)||Eureka Entertainment|
|Fail Safe (1965) (Henry Fonda)||Criterion Collection|
|Frozen II||Walt Disney|
|Joker (Joaquin Phoenix)||Warner Bros|
|Jumanji: The Next Level||Sony Pictures|
|Le Mans ’66||20th Century Fox|
|Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Katharine Hepburn)||Eureka Entertainment|
|North Sea Hijack (Roger Moore, James Mason)||88 Films|
|Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker||Walt Disney|
|Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep||Warner Bros|
|Sunday Bloody Sunday||BFI|
Final Thought – Popcorn Cinema Blu-ray/DVD Awards 2019
There have been some fantastic releases especially on Blu-ray in 2019. Hopefully there’s still several years left for physical media. That might be given a lift with the release of the new game consoles from Sony and Microsoft. Both are set to include 4K Blu-ray players meaning the amount of people able to take the jump to 4K will increase a little.
DVD Only Releases in 2019/20
That said many television series still only receive a DVD release and sadly the UK is treated poorly on the film front too. Want the latest Nicolas Cage movie on Blu-ray then there’s a 50/50 chance. Companies such as Spirit Entertainment and Lionsgate to name just two think it’s ok to release these brand news films purely on DVD in the UK. Meanwhile other countries are treated to a Blu-ray release. This has to stop, people are slowly moving from HD to 4K and yet these companies still insist on releasing an inferior less than high definition product to UK film lovers.
Retailer HMV Back In Action
In the previous Blu-ray/DVD awards I reported on HMV going into administration. Thankfully they are back from the grave for now at least. I really do hope they manage to find the right balance to keep enough stores open on the high street. Furthermore did you know they have many exclusive Blu-ray titles? They really don’t seem to make enough noise about these. Sometimes it’s easy to think a film isn’t available on Blu-ray by doing a quick search online at the likes of Amazon. So better advertising of what HMV does have might just help them find and keep a few customers.
That concludes the Popcorn Cinema Blu-ray/DVD Awards 2019 fingers crossed 2020 delivers an even better year of releases.
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