DVDBeaver are proud to announce our voting results for Blu-ray and 4K UHD of the Year - 2022 Poll results. I would like to give a very appreciative thank you to those 119 individuals who participated. Everyone's votes were counted in the totals and, like every year, we are adding occasional quote comments!

This Year's Poll is, again, dedicated to... our Patrons - with great thanks. We would not exist without their support! To those that are unfamiliar, Patreon is a secure/verified third-party service where users can agree to a small monthly donation via credit card or PayPal by clicking the button below.

This year we welcome new participants - commentarists Mr. Alan K. Rode and Daniel Kremer! Selections this year spread to a huge diversity of genres and we welcome a few new boutique labels - the more the better! No one can see every release in the year and how we have 'good' opinions is to have lots of them.

NOTE: Again, this year we didn't publish the vote # totals - it just complicated our already bloated formatting.

BIG thanks to our own, and accurately labeled, 'Czar of Noir' Gregory Meshman (take a back seat Eddie) who continues to support us with content lists, updates - (Film Noir, and Giallo) and more... Colin Zavitz and Eric Cotenas providing further eclectic choices. Let's dive in:


TOP Blu-rays OF 2022

TOP 4K UHD of 2022

Gary's 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' list

Favorite Commentaries


Best Cover Design

'Black' and Blu (Film Noir on 2022 Blu-ray)

'Yellow' and Blu (Giallo on 2022 Blu-ray)

Notable TV on 2022 Blu-ray

Banner Guessing CONTEST

DVD - 'Will Never Die'

Uncensored Rants and Praise


THE WINNERS - BOXSETS (boxsets contain multiple films)

1) First place is Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather Trilogy [4K UHD] - It's no exaggeration to say that Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather (1972) has moved beyond the realm of mere cinema to become a slice of American mythology. There are so many indelible moments in this movie, it's hard to believe that executives at Paramount Pictures originally envisioned it as a quickie gangster flick, an even pulpier interpretation of Mario Puzo's wildly popular pulp novel.

The definitive saga of the Corleone family, overseen by director Francis Ford Coppola and based on the bestselling novel by Mario Puzo. A global cultural touchstone captivating fans across generations, the enduring cinematic legacy of THE GODFATHER has immeasurably influenced popular culture, and rightfully earned its legacy as one of the greatest in the history of motion pictures. Remastered and Restored in 4K UHD with HDR-10 and DolbyVision, this collection includes Academy Award winners for Best Picture THE GODFATHER and THE GODFATHER PART II, alongside the acclaimed conclusion MARIO PUZO'S THE GODFATHER CODA: THE DEATH OF MICHAEL CORLEONE. Includes both the Theatrical and 1991 Cuts of THE GODFATHER PART III, as well as a special features Blu-ray featuring all-new content.


"Restorations done with the utmost respect for the source, inclusion of the Coda version of the third film... An absolute must buy !" - Istvan Ribardiere


"A controversial choice perhaps given that the 4K release doesn't really add anything substantial in the domain of new extra features. However, the transfers are so revelatory in 4K that this is like seeing the films for the first time. An incredible showcase of what 4K UHD and a top notch television can do. " - Drew Morton



2) Second place from Universal Pictures, home of the monsters since the era of silent movies, comes a second volume of Universal Classic Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection [4K UHD] ,showcasing four more of the most iconic monsters in motion picture history: The Mummy, The Bride of Frankenstein, Phantom of the Opera, and Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Starring Boris Karloff, Elsa Lanchester and Claude Rains in the roles they made famous, these iconic films set new standards for horror with groundbreaking makeup, cinematography and special effects that have withstood the test of time.



3) This place is Severin's All The Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium Of Folk Horror.

The most comprehensive collection of its kind. Experience 19 of the best-known, least-known, rarely-seen and thought-lost classics of folk horror from around the world, all restored from the best available vault elements.

Special Features include short films, audio commentaries and exclusive featurettes. The ultimate genre exploration continues with the original WOODLANDS DARK AND DAYS BEWITCHED soundtrack by Jim Williams, a 2-disc reading of the classic short story 'The White People' by actress Linda Hayden with a new score by composer Timothy Fife, as well as a 126-page book curated by Kier-La Janisse, featuring new writings by renowned film scholars, authors and historians alongside a selection of archival writings, poems and folk tales.

12 Blu-rays, 3 CDs, 20 Feature films plus 15 hours of special features.

"THE release of the year for me. A whole new world, beautifully curated, gorgeously packaged. I haven't been disappointed by a film in the set yet - Australian films I didn't know about (I'm Australian and was wwwhhhhaaaaaa?)" - Seamus Kirkpatrick


"A thorough look at the folk horror genre including the documentary Woodlands Dark And Days Bewitched: A History Of Folk Horror (Kier-La Janisse, 2021). If you liked the film November (2017), or The Field Guide to Evil (2018), you should consider this or at least check out the documentary." - Ken Schwarz




4) Fourth place is Universal's The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection (Saboteur / Shadow of a Doubt / The Trouble with Harry / Marnie / Family Plot) [4K UHD]

Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, directed some of the most exciting and memorable films in cinema history. The Alfred Hitchcock Classics Collection features five films from the acclaimed director's illustrious career including Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, The Trouble with Harry, Marnie and Family Plot in stunning 4K resolution. Starring Hollywood favourites such as Sean Connery, Tippi Hedren, Shirley MacLaine, Joseph Cotten, Robert Cummings, Norman Lloyd, Teresa Wright, Bruce Dern and John Forsythe, this collection includes hours of bonus features and captures the artistry of one of the most innovative directors of all time.
"This second set from Universal didn't get nearly enough appreciation. SHADOW OF A DOUBT and SABOTEUR in 4K." - Peter Yacavone


5) Fifth place is Indicator's Columbia Noir #5: Humphrey Bogart 6 Blu-ray package.

A fifth foray into the film noir output of Columbia Pictures, but, this time, with a twist. Not only does this volume bring together six more gems from the studio's archives, but it also serves as a showcase for the great Humphrey Bogart.

Having established his stardom in the gangster pictures of the 1930s, Bogart fit easily into the world of film noir, where he was equally at home playing troubled servicemen, slick-talking lawyers, black marketeers, gambling den owners, or hard-up journalists.

Columbia Noir #5: Humphrey Bogart brings together five of the iconic actor's starring vehicles: John Cromwell's Dead Reckoning, Nicholas Ray's Knock on Any Door, Stuart Heisler's Tokyo Joe, Curtis Bernhardt's Sirocco, and Mark Robson's The Harder They Fall, plus Henry Levin's The Family Secret, a rarity starring Lee J Cobb and John Derek that was produced by Bogart's Santana Pictures, an outfit that regularly delved into the seedy, shadowy world of noir.

"Indicator's Columbia Noir #5: Humphrey Bogart Blu-ray package will be another fan favorite. It's less-noirish, overall, but heavy on the iconic Bogie. In 1999, the American Film Institute selected Bogart as the greatest male star of classic American cinema. Bogart signed a contract with the Fox Film Corporation for $750 a week, where he met Broadway actor Spencer Tracy. The two men became drinking buddies and best friends. In 1930, it was Tracy who first called him "Bogie". I was always a huge fan of Dead Reckoning and The Harder They Fall, but gained new appreciation for Knock on Any Door, Tokyo Joe and was surprised how much I enjoyed The Family Secret and its moral conundrums. It was my first viewing of that film. So... the best Blu-ray production company on the planet comes out with a Humphrey Bogart set. It stacked to the gills commentaries, new analysis and a 120-page booklet, plus the a/v has extensive advancement over the ancient DVDs. Yes, get excited - this is a must-own - limited to 6,000 copies. I wouldn't wait. Our highest recommendation!" - Gary Tooze

"Bogie surprises in the lesser-known flicks included here, such as 1951's 'The Family Secret' (new to Blu-ray, as is the better-known 'Sirocco', also 1951.) The accompanying book runs 120 pages." - Jeff Heinrich


"Not the greatest Bogart films, but a wonderful boxset with amazing extras: audio commentaries on all six films, documentary shorts, pieces by Tony Rayns, Geoff Andrew and, especially by the late-Bertrand Tavernier on Tokyo Joe and The Harder They Fall, and an essay by the great Imogen Sara Smith." - Peter Rist


"As a farewell twist, Indicator round off their series of Columbia Noir box sets by showcasing two classic star vehicles one rarity and three lesser films produced through Bogart's Santana Company. Assembled with exceptional flair this is a box set par excellence." - David Redfern


"The quality of the films may be a bit mixed, but this is a quality boxset overall." - BGM


"Nick Ray & Mark Robson, among others - the only set i felt worth purchasing in 2022, with a new to BD by Nick Ray, & the best edition of Robson's The Harder They Fall, Bogart's final movie & he's powerful, while i chanced to meet Mike Lane bumming on Venice Beach one night during the winter of 1964-65, 10 years after & at a time when he had no work, & he dug a very worn LA Times movie review clipping from his wallet to prove his worth, not knowing I'd seen the movie, where he was also made to appear a couple of inches taller." - Simon Cherpitel




6) Sixth place is Arrow's Shawscope Volume Two. Picking up where Volume One left off, this sophomore collection of Hong Kong cinema classics draws together many of the best films from the final years of the Shaw Brothers studio, proving that while the end was nigh, these merchants of martial arts mayhem weren't going to go out without a fight! Armed with stunning special features and ravishing new restorations, this boxset is even bigger and bolder than the last one.

We begin with kung fu master Lau Kar-leung's instant classic The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, in which his adoptive brother Gordon Liu achieved overnight stardom as the young man who unexpectedly finds spiritual enlightenment on the path to vengeance; Lau and Liu followed the original with two comically inventive sequels, Return to the 36th Chamber and Disciples of the 36th Chamber, both included here. Already established as a genius at blending dazzling action with physical comedy, Lau himself plays the lead role in the hilarious Mad Monkey Kung Fu, coupled here with Lo Mar's underrated Five Superfighters. Next, we once again meet Chang Cheh's basher boy band the Venom Mob in no less than four of their best-loved team-ups: Invincible Shaolin, The Kid with the Golden Arm, Magnificent Ruffians and culminating in the all-star Ten Tigers of Kwangtung, co-starring Ti Lung and Fu Sheng.
After Lau brings us perhaps his best high-kicking comedy with My Young Auntie, a playful star vehicle for his real-life muse Kara Hui, we see Shaw Brothers fully embracing Eighties excess in our strangest double feature yet: Wong Jing's breathtakingly wild shoot-'em-up Mercenaries from Hong Kong, and Kuei Chih-hung's spectacularly unhinged black magic meltdown The Boxer's Omen. Last but certainly not least, Lau Kar-leung directs the last major Shaw production, Martial Arts of Shaolin, filmed in mainland China with a hot new talent named Jet Li in the lead role; it is paired in this set with The Bare-Footed Kid, a reverent remake of a Chang Cheh classic with Johnnie To (Running Out of Time) in the director's chair and Lau back on fight choreography duties, in arguably the ultimate filmed tribute to Shaws' everlasting cinematic legacy.


"The complete 36th Chamber of Shaolin trilogy and 11 other action films, with many extras including music CDs, in a really beautiful package." - Peter Rist


"Tbh the first Shawscope set I was a little underwhelmed by but this set has so many films I would recommend to people if they asked which Shaw films to watch first. And great packaging, fun extras etc. etc." - Seamus Kirkpatrick



7) Seventh place is Imprint's After Dark: Neo-Noir Cinema Collection One. This six-disc limited edition collection brings together some of the best directors and actors in six crime-soaked tales of hard-boiled detectives, seductive women, mistaken identity, and suspense, in the best tradition of the shadowy world of Neo Noir Cinema!

Includes After Dark My Sweet (1990), Rush (1991), One False Move (1992), Mortal Thoughts (1992), Flesh & Bone (1993), and Twilight (1998).

Limited Edition 6 Disc Hardbox with 60-page booklet featuring essays from Film Critics Walter Chaw & Peter Galvin. 2000 copies.

"A fantastic set. As individual releases One False Move and After Dark, My Sweet alone would have been in my top 10 blu-rays of the year." - Tim Leggoe



8) Eighth place is Second Run's The War Trilogy: Three films by Andrzej Wajda.

Andrzej Wajda was a recipient of the Palme d'Or, as well as Honorary Golden Lion, Golden Bear and Oscar Awards, and was a prominent member of the "Polish Film School" which this trio of cinematic masterworks prominently ushered in. Second Run's The War Trilogy: Three films by Andrzej Wajda on Blu-ray should be a strong reason for celebration. Seeing A Generation, and, notably, Kanal (the first ever made about the Warsaw uprising) in HD with the inclusion of Ashes and Diamonds - always cited as one of the greatest Polish films ever made with the Blu-ray set inclusion of complete, satisfying, commentaries, past director interviews, new insightful introductions, three short films plus the booklet put this package in the 'must own' category, imo. Described on the Criterion DVD box, these films are a "testaments to the resilience of the human spirit, the struggle for personal and national freedom, and Wajda's unique contribution to his homeland and to world cinema." This deserves attention for Boxset of the Year in our annual poll. Our highest recommendation! - GT

"A late entrant. The third film in this set, 'Ashes and Diamonds', has already had a couple of worthy Blu-Ray releases but this set finally unites it with Wajda's two earlier films - 'A Generation' and 'Kanal' - along with some great extras."  - Calvin MacKinnon


"Just in time for Christmas gift-giving, a triple whammy of classic world cinema by the late Polish director, new to Blu-ray. Of the three, 'Kanal' looks especially good." - Jeff Heinrich


"Second Run outdoes big C by giving us the whole trilogy in one go with *three* newly researched commentaries by Michael Brooke (when it comes to eastern European film...) instead of warmed-over podcasts. Keep 'em coming." - Chris Browne



9) Ninth place is Sony's Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection Volume 3 (It Happened One Night / From Here to Eternity / To Sir, With Love / The Last Picture Show / Annie (1982) / As Good As It Gets) [4K UHD]

Six classic films with unforgettable performances. Experience these landmark films from Columbia Pictures like never before, now fully remastered and debuting on 4K Ultra HD. With movies that fearlessly portray the scope of human emotion and actors that memorably embody iconic characters - and with hours of special features and an exclusive 80-page book with unique insights and production detail about each of the included films - this third volume of the Columbia Classics 4K Ultra HD Collection is truly the best way to watch these treasured cinematic favorites.



10) Tied from tenth place is Indicator's Universal Noir #1 - a new series of box sets - following Indicator's acclaimed Columbia Noir series - focusing on the film noir output of another of the major Hollywood studios, Universal Pictures.

Starring such high-profile talents as Burt Lancaster, Joan Fontaine, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Vincent Price, Edmond O'Brien, Sterling Hayden, Gloria Grahame, and Jeff Chandler, the six films in this volume feature embezzlement and murder (The Web), confidence tricksters (Larceny), lovers on the lam (Kiss the Blood Off My Hands), an adoption racket (Abandoned), transatlantic criminals (Deported), and police brutality (Naked Alibi).

This stunning collection marks the UK Blu-ray premiere of all six films, and also features an array of fascinating contextualising extras, including newly recorded commentaries for each film, critical appreciations, archival short films, and a 120-page book.
"This set includes 'Deported' (1950), an unusual Hollywood noir almost entirely filmed on location in post-war Italy. Co-star Marta Toren, a 25-year-old Swedish beauty, tragically died of a stroke just a few years later." - Jeff Heinrich


"I may already own the movies individually but this was still a worthwhile up-grade for the extras and quality of the packaging. More convenient being region B also." - BGM



10) Tied from tenth place is Kino's Miklos Jancso Collection: The Round-Up, The Red and the White, The Confrontation, Winter Wind, Red Psalm, Electra, My Love.

Screenwriter and director Miklos Jancso was the creator of a unique film language centered around his mastery of the tracking shot. The first internationally recognized representative of modern Hungarian filmmaking, his extraordinary works examined oppressive authority and the mechanics of power. Kino Lorber is proud to present six of his classic features restored in 4K from their original camera negatives by the National Film Institute Hungary - Film Archive. The Round-Up (1966) depicts a prison camp in the aftermath of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution. A true classic of world cinema. The Red and the White (1967) is a haunting, powerful film about the absurdity and evil of war set in Central Russia during the Civil War of 1918. The Confrontation (1968) is a story of protest and rebellion set in 1947 Hungary, when the Communist Party has just taken power. Winter Wind (1969) consists of twelve fluid long takes that capture a mid-1930s group of Croatian anarchists. Red Psalm (1971) follows a group of farm workers who go on strike in 1890s Hungary, for which Jancso wont he best director prize at Cannes. Electra, My Love (1974) is a richly inventive adaptation of the Greek myth that consists of 12 single take, intricately choreographed set pieces.



"I don't think you'll find a better value release from this or any other year. Six restored Jancso films, most of which are making their HD debut, in a set that can often be had for less than $30. You'd forgive it being barebones, but Kino have generously saw fit to throw in some extras too - 7 short films and an audio commentary for each feature. Incredible." - Calvin MacKinnon



"Amazingly good value, with six films (including five of the director's best, with only Silence and Cry missing), and with audio commentaries on all six plus seven shorts." - Peter Rist



"Six films by the Hungarian master filmmaker which includes audio commentaries for each and seven short films at a very affordable price makes this easily the best boxset deal of the year." - James-Masaki Ryan



"Six masterpieces fully restored in 4K by the National Film Institute Hungary, loaded with short films, fantastic audio commentaries, and even a slim booklet (KINO?!) yet somehow Amazon is selling it for $25 most of the year. How is this not the greatest value proposition in the history of home video?!?" - Chris Browne



"I have my issues with Kino, but when they venture into the more interesting corners of the film world, it's rarely a fruitless effort. I'd be surprised if we didn't see all of these released by Second Run at some point too, but for now this is excellent." - Steve Rubin

NOTABLE BOXSETs in 2022 (but not in our Top 10) - in no order:

(CLICK Covers for more Information)



"Cinema of Discovery: Julien Duvivier in the 1920s (spectacularly evocative of a wide ranging imagination . Visually, evocative and extremely varied as to theme and subject matter ..and wonderfully restored)" - Lee Eiseman


"House of Psychotic Women (Severin) - God bless Kier-La Janisse. We don't deserve her. Let's hope we see another Severin box set supervised by her in 2023.
The Pemini Organisation (Indicator) - A fascinating set and an excellent outcome for this labour of love from Indicator." - Tim Leggoe


"Martin Scorsese's World Cinema Project, No. 4 (Criterion) - Good to have both BluRay and DVD copies of another six films, especially the Argentine, Prisonieros de la Tierra, a pioneering African film directed by a woman, Sambizanga, and the rare Indian musical epic, Kalpana.
Cinema of Discovery: Julien Duvivier in the 1920s (Flicker Alley) - an under-appreciated director, whose silent films are finally being given the respect they deserve." - Peter Rist


"Nobuhiko Obayashi's 80s Kadokawa Years (Third Window Films)
It has been something of an anomaly that, following what seemed like successful releases of Obayashi's debut feature House by Criterion and Masters of Cinema, neither followed it up with more of his works - nor did anybody else. Cut to 2021 and Third Window released his late masterpieces 'Casting Blossoms to the Sky', 'Seven Weeks', and 'Hanagatami' as part of a War Trilogy box set that I wholeheartedly recommend and they have now followed that up by going further back in his career.
Their '80s Kadokawa Years' set contains four key works that he did for the Kadokawa studios in the 1980s: 'School in the Crosshairs', 'The Girl Who Leapt Through Time', 'His Motorbike, Her Island', and 'The Island Closest to Heaven'. I understand that these films were (and are) massively popular in Japan, but for whatever reason have taken until now to be released in the West. 'His Motorbike, Her Island' is worth the price of admission alone - one of the finest films ever made in Japan, it's a flurry of emotion blown on screen in color, monochrome, and steel. Hopefully more releases of Obayashi's films will follow.

Jonas Mekas - Diaries, Notes, and Sketches (re:voir)
A superb 8-disc set of films by the late Jonas Mekas, beautifully restored and transferred to Blu-Ray by re:voir. It contains a whopping 27 films, including his best-known masterpieces 'Walden', 'Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania', and 'As I Was Moving Ahead Occasionally I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty'.

The Other French New Wave, Vol. 1 (Canadian International Pictures) - I wouldn't call this a 'box set' per se, since it's all on one disc, but this release from new Vinegar Syndrome partner label Canadian International Pictures presents three examples of 60s Quebecois cinema, newly restored and accompanied by some bonus shorts. Excellent. I can't wait to see what future volumes bring - it's a national cinema that has been neglected on disc, outside of Criterion's release of Claude Jutra's Mon oncle Antoine many moons ago. Canadian International Pictures have put out some other fine releases this year, including 'Nobody Waved Goodbye' and 'The Ernie Game'. Hopefully 2023 brings us further volumes of 'The Other French New Wave' - I'd particularly like to see films by Michel Brault and Jean Pierre Lefebvre." - Calvin MacKinnon


"The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection (Centennial Edition) ClassicFlix
After many years of abject TV syndication and studio neglect this film comedy series produced by Hal Roach finally gets its dues with this box set of superb restorations. Enjoy!
The Pemini Organisation (1972-1974) Indicator Powerhouse
Yet another excellent archival release of a triptych of low budget British movies. Curated by the unstoppable Indicator Powerhouse." - David Redfern


"Nobuhiko Obayashi's 80s Kadokawa Years UK Third Window RB
Obayashi's four most well known features were still filled with his unique brand of creativity in this collection, aided by commentaries, interviews and more.
Toho Kaiju / Tokusatsu Japan Toho ALL
While Toho could have issued the lesser known "Varan", "Gorath", "Dogora", and "Space Amoeba" films in expensive individual Blu-rays, they decided to collect them together in a fairly affordable set, which not only included all the vintage extras, but some newly created ones as well as restored picture and multiple audio options.
Ghost Stories for Christmas Volume 1 UK BFI RB
This is a great start for the annual "Ghost Story for Christmas" series in HD with the initial episodes being remastered and collected in this set. With excellent restorations and having a wealth of informative vintage and new extras, this is easily one of the best if not the best television Blu-ray release of the year.
Ghostbusters Ultimate Collection Sony ALL
It may have been overpriced and too limited, but Sony's "Ghostbusters" collection was handsomely packaged and contained an incredible amount of extras." - James-Masaki Ryan


"The Films of Doris Wishman (AGFA) Strictly speaking three sets that combine to make one set. I have no understanding of how I have come to live in a reality where such a thing as this exists. I am so grateful every day.
Cinema's First Nasty Women (Kino Lorber) This is a bit of a cheat because my copy is in the post somewhere but judging this in advance based on the previous similar sets from Kino (e.g. Pioneer First Women Filmmakers) it's going to be excellent and I would hate to see it left off this list simply because it was released so late in the year.
Ghost Stories for Christmas Volume 1 (Bfi) FINALLY." - Seamus Kirkpatrick


"Directed by Jim Sheridan: Four Films (Imprint) - An uncommon choice, I'm sure. Three of the films already had blu-ray releases pretty easily available. But that fourth one is The Field, a film for which I never though there was a chance we'd see a blu-ray. Yes, I know that Depression era Irish land ownership is a niche genre, but this has to be the best in the class. And Richard Harris has a top performance. I don't mean for him; I mean for anyone ever. It's really quite something.
Cinema of Discovery: Julien Duvivier in the 1920s (Flicker Alley) - Every new Flicker Alley release is an unexpected delight. No exception here." - Steve Rubin


"INGMAR BERGMAN Volume 3 (BFI UK) - Absolutely blown away by this collection of Bergman films between 1960 and 1966. Sven Nykvist's high contrast monochrome cinematography is beautifully represented across these films (except 'All These Women' of course, which struggles to match the grade of its esteemed box set companions). 'Winter Light' has never looked better. The existential angst and search for true belief really struck me whilst viewing this set. Another great BFI release.
ALAN CLARKE AT THE BBC (1969-89) (BFI UK) - Blu ray upgrade for an already essential collection. This offers a near complete overview of Clarke at the Beeb; for some reason the excellent ROAD (1987) did not cross over to the BR box. A visionary director that explored the working class experience of Britons in these decades. Recommended viewing: Penda's Fen is one of the original folk horrors, Elephant is a Danny Boyle produced exploration of the Troubles and Christine is a film that needs to be seen for it's stunning exploration of teenage addiction and housing estate pavements. Fantastic." - Neil Williams


"The Little Rascals - The Complete Collection Centennial Edition (1929-1938) ClassicFlix. Generations of Americans have grown up watching the films in this collection, in theaters and on television. Over the years, they had been edited for content, cut down to make time for commercials and generally neglected when it came to preservation. ClassicFlix has stepped up and given all 80 sound of the Hal Roach produced Our Gang/Little Rascals sound shorts full restorations and packaged them individually and in this box set with all manner of extras including outtakes, home movies and interviews with grown up members of the gang. These comedies are more than just children's entertainment or nostalgia for a simpler time. They are timeless. They are cultural touchstones and part of our collective consciousness.
Edgar G. Ulmer Sci-Fi Collection (The Man from Planet X - 1951, The Amazing Transparent Man - 1960, Beyond the Time Barrier - 1960) Kino - Three silk purses (well, maybe two silk purses and a knockoff) courtesy of the master of the no budget film. The Man from Planet X is the most personal of the three, with its budget miniatures and its expressionist fog working overtime to provide atmosphere while obscuring the threadbare sets. The seriously creepy Tiki headed alien with the wooden visage and the dome light in his space helmet somehow triggers primal fear with his enigmatic and well-timed appearances. The Amazing Transparent Man, on the other hand, seems generic and uninspired. And finally, Beyond the Time Barrier is for me the jewel of the collection. Presented in High Def. for the first time, this the best it has ever looked on video. Along with Edward Bernds' World Without End (1956), it borrows heavily from H G Wells' The Time Machine. Both are prime examples of 50's B movie time travel. But whereas Bernds' film provides hope for its time travelers trapped in the future, Ulmer's film is darker, ending on a much less optimistic note- a vision of destruction and decay, and a warning to cold war audiences." - Ken Schwarz


*despite the debilitating loss of a serious reconstruction of The Crusades (1966), this is a mammoth archival preservation of the best of 60s Television. From the BBC's special restoration team.
*the usual suspects, plus MADAME BOVARY(1990) ! If only the early 70s period of LES MAINS SALES and UNE FEMME INFIDELE were not still for some reason blacklisted from appearing in high definition in the English speaking world." - Peter Yacavone




1) First Place is Masters of Cinema's Blu-ray of Carl Th. Dreyer's Vampyr which gains even more impact via this dramatically improved restored HD video presentation. Vampyr's disorienting visual effects and sound design advance the film to a profound level giving you an esoteric impression - as if the viewing belongs only to a select few. Truly unique and masterfully realized. As stated in the Masters of Cinema Blu-ray description; "Now unveiled for the film's 90th anniversary, one of the most visually and aurally distinctive horror films ever made finally comes to Blu-ray in the UK, in a definitive incarnation that achieves the full experience Dreyer intended audiences to have." No Cinephile's Blu-ray library will be complete without Vampyr... and the new restoration exemplifies that. Not to mention the book, new extras, inclusion of the two commentaries etc. The Masters of Cinema Blu-ray gets our absolute highest recommendation.
"...the definitive version on Dreyer's film's centenary, which could end up #1 me-thinks" - Peter Rist


"Another revisitation of this Dreyer mood piece - call it horror if you wish. And why not?" - David Redfern


"Happy to see such a great film looking better and better every time they restore it some more." - Seamus Kirkpatrick


"Perhaps the most remarkable & profound early & enduring cinema horror show given a restoration that returns the battered classic near to what was viewed 90 years ago." - Simon Cherpitel



2) Second place is Flicker Alley's Blu-ray of Alfred L. Werker's Repeat Performance. The most requested film in the early years of the Film Noir Foundation's restoration campaign, is finally available in digital form. An amazingly original hybrid of film noir, supernatural fantasy, and backstage melodrama, the film stars Joan Leslie as a Broadway actress who magically relives the previous year of her life, but can she alter the fateful mistakes and misjudgments that led to a New Year's Eve tragedy? Think of it as film noir's answer to It's a Wonderful Life or a full-length precursor to The Twilight Zone.

Produced as a rare prestige picture by fledgling Eagle-Lion Pictures, the movie features an array of vivid performances: 21-year-old Joan Leslie as Sheila Page; Louis Hayward as her husband Barney; Virginia Field as Sheila's personal and professional rival; Tom Conway as a suave stage producer; and Richard Basehart in his movie debut as poet William Williams.

In the years after its 1947 release, Repeat Performance seemingly vanished. For many who'd seen it, the film's startling premise and stunning set-pieces became merely a tantalizing memory. But thanks to the dedication and diligence of the Film Noir Foundation in collaboration with UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Packard Humanities Institute, Repeat Performance lives again.


"Have been waiting years to see this and was not disappointed. A good noir with a bit of fantasy thrown in." - BGM


"Rediscovered and restored this "film noir's answer to It's a Wonderful Life" is definitely high concept and worthy of our attention." - Ken Schwarz



3) Third place is Indicator's Blu-ray of Frank Perry's The Swimmer. The film remains as brilliant and impacting as it was over a half-century ago. It was shot on location in Westport, Connecticut, the hometown of director Frank Perry. The stylized sequences export a hallucinogenic tone of guilt, regret, delusion and inability to embrace mistakes. It really is timeless and is continued to be lauded as a masterwork of cinema to this day. The new, 2022, Indicator Blu-ray has the best image quality, a new commentary, other supplements and a limited edition booklet. It has our highest recommendation!
One of the few bona fide counter-cultural films to be produced by a major studio, The Swimmer is a sun-scorched and surreal suburban satire that boasts a fine performance from Burt Lancaster (Castle Keep, Buffalo Bill and the Indians) as Ned Merrill, the all-American man who one day determines to swim home to his Connecticut mansion via a series of pools in his neighbourhood.


"A great package for such a hypnotic movie." - BGM


"Stunning boutique package from a British label that really delivered in 2022. The blues of the swimming pools and Burt Lancaster's eyes really sparkled in an exemplary transfer that captured the film's shift from light to dark beautifully. Clearly a troubled production (I am a film editor and seeing three editors in the credits is always a sign of a difficult post-production narrative). Limited edition had great extras and extensive writing on the lost Barbara Loden scenes. I am a huge fan of Loden's 'Wanda' and if these scenes / the original cut could ever be recovered, then that package would be the release of the decade. Even so, this was easily my top BR release of 2022." - Neil Williams



4) Fourth place is Criterion's Blu-ray of Atom Egoyan's Exotica. A film about a father (Bruce Greenwood) grieving over the loss of his daughter - and his obsession with a young stripper, Christina (Mia Kirshner) who dresses in a schoolgirl uniform when she performs. It was inspired by Egoyan's curiosity at the role strip clubs play in society and the the ritualistic nature of table dances. Egoyan wanted to structure the story mirroring a gradually revealing striptease with the emotional stories of individuals being exposed through the course of the film. Remarkably Exotica had only a $2 million budget. Francis' (Greenwood) car was Egoyan's own 1990 Volvo 240 station wagon. It's a fabulous film about loss, obsession, dysfunction and how people survive in an over-sexualized culture. The Criterion Blu-ray is... perfect and will probably gets some year-end votes. Exotica is such a great film, finally done with deserved justice on a stacked Blu-ray. Strongly recommended!

One of the defining independent films of the 1990s, Atom Egoyan's mesmerizing international breakthrough Exotica takes the conventions of the psychological thriller into bold new territory-unsettling, dreamlike, and empathetic. At the neon-drenched Toronto strip club of the film's title, a coterie of lost and damaged souls-including a man haunted by grief (Bruce Greenwood), a young woman with whom he shares an enigmatic bond (Mia Kirshner), an obsessive emcee (Elias Koteas), and a smuggler of rare bird eggs (Don McKellar) - search for redemption as they work through the traumas of their mysteriously interconnected histories in an obsessive cycle of sex, pain, jealousy, and catharsis. Masterfully weaving together past and present, Egoyan constructs a spellbinding narrative puzzle, the full emotional impact of which doesn't hit until the last piece is in place.


"One of my favorite "new to me" films of 2022, Atom Egoyan's haunting and heartbreaking Exotica finds itself on the Criterion Collection with a solid commentary between the filmmaker and composer, a wonderful conversation between Egoyan and actor/filmmaker Sarah Polley, and a mix of Egoyan's short films and even a feature (CALENDAR). For a newbie to Egoyan's work like me? I felt like I had a crash course in his work by the end of this." - Drew Morton


"Criterion should have released this as a 4K UHD for better compression but this was one of the most anticipated releases this year and the transfer was - at last - worthy of a blu-ray". - Kevin Sunde Oppegaard


"Canadian content, universally done, directed by Atom Egoyan and co-starring a young Sarah Polley. The disc includes a bonus feature film (1993's 'Calendar'), three shorts, and more." - Jeff Heinrich



5) Fifth place is Arrow's Blu-ray of Tomu Uchida's A Fugitive from the Past. Considered the magnum opus of the five decades-long career of Tomu Uchida (Bloody Spear at Mount Fuji, The Mad Fox), the epic crime drama A Fugitive from the Past was voted third in the prestigious Kinema Junpo magazine's 1999 poll of the Top Japanese Films of the 20th Century. In 1947, a freak typhoon sends a passenger ferry running between Hokkaido and mainland Japan plunging to the ocean depths, with hundreds of lives lost. During the chaos, three men are witnessed fleeing a burning pawnshop in the Hokkaido port town of Iwanai. The police suspect theft and arson, and when Detective Yumisaka (Junzaburo Ban) discovers the burned remains of a boat and the corpses of two men, he sets about tracking the shadowy third figure.
Meanwhile, the mysterious Takichi Inukai (Rentaro Mikuni) takes shelter with a prostitute, Yae (Sachiko Hidari), a brief encounter that will come to define both of their lives. A decade later, long after the trail has gone cold, Yumisaka is called back by his successor Detective Ajimura (Ken Takakura) as two new dead bodies are found. Making its home video debut outside of Japan, this adaptation of Tsutomu Minakami's 1700-page novel is a landmark in master director Uchida's oeuvre. Its gritty monochrome photography has the immediacy of newsreel as Uchida uses the landscapes of postwar Japan to explore the massive social upheaval and unspoken legacies of the war, and create an unsettling karmic allegory of a man's struggle to escape his past sins.


"An absolute masterpiece that, if more widely available, would rank very high in lists like the BFI/Sight and Sound poll..." - Istvan Ribardiere


"I'm a big fan of Tomu Uchida's A Fugitive from the Past and Arrow's release this year was an unexpected treat." - Calvin MacKinnon



6) Sixth place is Fun City Edition's Blu-ray of Ivan Passer's Cutter's Way. A film considered the director's best American feature. He made noteworthy cinema like Born to Win and Intimate Lighting and this also gets better with each viewing. Originally Robert Mulligan was set to direct and Dustin Hoffman was going to play Alex Cutter. Cutter's Way seems a sad shift noting a counterculture disenchantment - a final, cynical, straw - a last gasp of idealism with Alex Cutter's experience in Vietnam - a lost eye, arm and leg - figuratively crippling him to battle the corruption of the system. This is an important film from the early 80s and I am very happy the Fun City Editions Blu-ray that incorporates essential a/v, new extras and combining many other supplements from past editions. Surely the definitive BD releases of this pessimistic, vital, masterwork. Strongly recommended!

Unambitious yacht salesman and gigolo Richard Bone (Bridges) skates on his good looks and avoids all responsibility. His best friend Alex Cutter (Heard) returned from Vietnam with his body ruined, but his mind sharpened and attuned to the injustices and politics that led to his predicament. After Bone witnesses a shadowy figure dump a young woman's body in the trash, he fingers local oil magnate J.J. Cord (Stephen Elliott) as the killer. As Bone backs away from this accusation, Cutter charges forward on a crusade to make Cord pay not only for this murder, but for all the other crimes fat cats like him have routinely gotten away with. Cutter's long-suffering wife Mo (Eichhorn), struggles to keep her own head above the surface, while steering the two men toward saner waters.

Based on Newton Thornburg's 1976 novel Cutter and Bone, and initially released under that title to poor reviews and box office, the film was reborn as Cutter's Way and became a highly acclaimed cult favorite. The lush, sunny Santa Barbara setting, luminously photographed by DP Jordan Cronenweth, is an ironic counter to the deeply cynical and tragic vibes of this neo-noir. The distinctly beautiful score by pop and rock maestro Jack Nitzsche ranks as one of his most stirring works. Helmed by Czech filmmaker Passer, Cutter's Way is one of the most impassioned & truthful critiques of the American hierarchy ever filmed.


7) Seventh place is Imprint's Blu-ray of Akira Kurosawa's Dersu Uzala. It is based on a 1923 memoir by Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenev. The title refers to the name of a native trapper. It shows a deep friendship of two men from totally different backgrounds. Dersu Uzala was filmed over two years in the far reaches of Siberia and won the Best Foreign-Language Film Oscar in 1976. It's a masterpiece and it's very gratifying to see a label fearlessly tackle the prevalent issue of the ineffectual film stock and boldly put it on a stacked Blu-ray with commentary, video essay and much more. This should garner some votes in our year-end poll for the film if not the image. For Kurosawa fans, and beyond, though this is a must-own. Thanks for the effort Imprint!
Dersu Uzala is the enthralling tale of an eccentric Mongolian frontiersman (Maxim Munzuk) who is taken on as a guide by a Soviet surveying crew. While the soldiers at first perceive Dersu as a naive and comical relic of an uncivilized age, he quickly proves himself otherwise with displays of ingenuity and bravery unmatched by any member of the inexperienced mapping team, on more than one occasion becoming their unlikely saviour. An amazing true story based on the memoir by Russian explorer Vladimir Arsenyev. Filmed in the far reaches of Siberia, it took over two years for Director Akira Kurosawa to complete this timeless masterpiece of cinema which was shot in 70mm and was honoured with the Oscar for Best Foreign-Language Film in 1976. Starring Maksim Munzuk, Yuriy Solomin & Mikhail Bychkov.


"This knocked the last snapper case DVD out of my collection, and that means a lot." - Steve Rubin



8) Eighth place is Second Run's Blu-ray of Jan Nemec's The Party and the Guests. A wonderful embraceable film experience. Second Run have treated us to another masterpiece of the Czech New Wave in 1080P with this astute political satire on Communism/Socialism. There are also elements defining the human condition with some surrealistic curiosities. A very unique, Bunuel-ian, film that we strongly recommend. Second Run's Blu-ray from the 2021 restoration is a huge update in a/v and has valuable extras including two commentaries and more. Absolutely recommended!

A group of friends on an afternoon picnic are accosted by mysterious authority figures and compelled to join a lavish banquet in the woods. Jan Nemec's surreal and sinister fable is a barbed satire of authoritarianism and conformity, as each of the 'guests' find their place among the revellers, succumbing to the will of their menacing hosts.

Distinguished by being 'banned forever' by Czech authorities, Nemec's disquieting film was considered the most politically dangerous film made during the short flowering of Czechoslovak cinema in the 1960's.

Our edition of The Party and the Guests also contains Jiri Trnka's renowned animated short film The Hand (1965), another surreal and savage indictment of totalitarianism (again banned by Czech authorities), making its world premiere on Blu-ray.


9) Ninth place is BFI's Blu-ray of Gary Oldman's Nil by Mouth. This intensely powerful and emotional landmark of British cinema has been remastered in 4K for its 25th anniversary by the BFI National Archive, and this release is the first time on Blu-ray anywhere in the world.

Gary Oldman revealed himself as a filmmaker of uncompromising talent with Nil by Mouth, his debut and so far only directorial feature. Set on a council estate in New Cross, south east London (the area where Oldman himself grew up), a dysfunctional family encounters domestic violence, drunkenness, drug addiction and petty crime. Featuring career-best performances from Kathy Burke (winner of Best Actress at Cannes), Ray Winstone and Charlie Creed-Miles, all superbly supported by Laila Morse and Jamie Foreman, Nil by Mouth was awarded Best British Film and Best Original Screenplay at the 1998 Bafta awards.

"The BFI's long-gestating release of Gary Oldman's Nil by Mouth is worth the wait. The new 4K restoration is terrific and the extras are worth the price of admission alone, including a new audio commentary with Oldman, the only surviving footage from a never-finished documentary Oldman was directing about his mother, and a HD transfer of Terence Davies' early film 'Children'." - Calvin MacKinnon


"Gary Oldman's one-film-wonder as writer & director stands the test of time as a brutal family drama, and the BFI's 2-disc release features an excellent 4K restoration plus a lengthy amount of excellent extras with Oldman's supervision and approval." - James-Masaki Ryan



10) Tenth place is Criterion's Blu-ray of John Waters' Pink Flamingos.

John Waters' Pink Flamingos is the first part of what Waters has described as his "Trash Trilogy", with Female Trouble (1974) and Desperate Living (1977). It was shot on a budget of only $10,000. It's famous for its grotesque, bizarre, and outrageously crude scenes. In 2021, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Waters recast the film with children and rewrote the script to make it kid-friendly in a 2014 project, Kiddie Flamingos. It would have been a cool supplement here. The scripts for Pink Flamingos, Desperate Living and Flamingos Forever (that was never made) were published in John Waters' 1988 book Trash Trio: Three Screenplays.

Criterion's 50th Anniversary Blu-ray of John Waters' Pink Flamingos will make fans very pleased - a total celebration of the the work modestly referred to as "an exercise in poor taste" - an understatement, indeed with exhibitionism, voyeurism, sodomy, masturbation, rape, incest, murder, cannibalism, castration, foot fetishism, and eating dog sh*t. There is nothing like Pink Flamingos - before or after. Certainly recommended to the right crowd that might appreciate its elevation as pioneering abject art.

Other Blu-rays with strong top 10 voting:

(in alphabetical order)


(CLICK Covers for more Information)



  "Days - Tsai Ming Liang 2020 (Grasshopper Films)
On my wish list last year and splendidly made true by Grasshopper Films. Not just the marvelous film itself but a 2nd disc with another film- Liang's 2015 documentary (Afternoon- 137 mins) with and about him & his long term collaborator/ actor Lee Kang- Sheng. Nothing in the history of cinema can come close to the life long collaboration between these two men who also live together, one gay and the other straight. A fascinating film about the comfort of male friendships.
(UK buyers- Grasshopper Films have a webshop and they will ship to you direct).
The Round Up - Milkos Jancso 1966 (Kino Lorber)
One of cinema's greatest masterpieces (never mind the 2022 Sight & Sound Poll) in a magnificent widescreen restoration by Kino Lorber, including short films and a 2nd disc of Jancso's The Red and The White which I am ashamed to say I still haven't found the time to watch although the Blu Ray was bought over 7 months ago!
Coach to Vienna - Karel Kachyna 1966 (Second Run)
Amazing that there are still films from the Czech and Slovakia new wave that I knew nothing about and that Second Run are on a mission to set right. The premise of this movie is simple but it takes great skill by Kachyna and his cinematographer Josef Illik to make an epic out of it. Just 3 actors but all of humanity's horror and goodness are shown in its economical 80 minutes." - Billy Bang


  "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931, Warner Archive): WA is knocking it out of the park with these loving restorations of pre-code horror (see also the Curtiz two-color Technicolor horror films from the last couple years)." - Drew Morton


  "The Night of the Iguana (1964) Warner Archive, Long awaited in a beautiful transfer with great extras

Shakedown (1950) Kino, a rarely seen noir gem in excellent image quality and great commentary" - Jay MacIntyre


  "The Wicker Man (Imprint) - The definitive release of one of the great horror films.
Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains (Imprint) - An extraordinary film, given the love and respect that it deserves from Imprint. Every supplement added something to my appreciation of the film.
Money Movers (Umbrella Ozploitation Classics) - A great early Bruce Beresford crime film rescued brilliantly from its DVD purgatory." - Tim Leggoe


  "Dick Johnson Is Dead A heartbreaking documentary - already available on Netflix, but the Criterion disc had Kirsten Johnsen's commentary, which I listened to immediately after watching the film. The supplements were a rare inspired Criterion collation. They used to be the leader at this.
The Draughtsman's Contract At last - a decent Peter Greenaway transfer!
The Quiet Girl One of the best films of the year.
Monsieur Hire Gorgeous Cohen Media Group release of a French classic, with a good set of supplements.
Parallel Mothers Sony has always provided faithful representations of arthouse cinema. One of the best films of 2022, another amazing film by Pedro Almodovar.
Love Affair Very nice Criterion release
Mad God Unexpected great release of an instant cult film
Daisies Now on Sight & Sound's 100 Greatest Films Of All Time list - great timing by Criterion and a great transfer!
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Warner Archive always deliver magica with their classic film releases" - Kevin Sunde Oppegaard


  "El vampire negro (Flicker Alley) - a long lost amazing (proto-feminist) Argentine remake of Fritz Lang's M, restored by Eddie Muller and the Film Noir Foundation with great extras, including "The Three Faces of 'M'," a critical comparison of the three versions of the child killer story.
Summertime (Criterion) - David Lean's favourite of his own films, which I had never seen, and which right now is my favourite, also (together with Brief Encounter). I love Venice, where the entire film (beautiful in colour) was shot.
La Llorona (Indicator, UK) - important Mexican film, historically, and culturally, with excellent extras.
Rouge (Criterion) - a fine Hong Kong ghost story/melodrama, beautiful in colour and with really good extras, including a rare, 1997 personal documentary by Stanley Kwan
Abshied [Farewell] (Kino) - extremely interesting early Robert Siodmak film from Germany, which in following the lives of various tenants of a working-class boarding house, pre-dates the Hollywood Grand Hotel
Boat People (Criterion) - I had seen this when it was released in Canadian theatres in the 1980s, and was astonished that a woman could have directed such a tough (action) film; the disc contains an excellent, rare, feature documentary on director Ann Hui
Running out of Time (RB, Eureka) - OK this includes Running Out of Time 2 and, therefore might count as a "box", but the first film is an essential Johnnie To (the finest contemporary genre film director in East Asia, maybe in the world)
Casanova (Flicker Alley) - Another great Venice film, this one, a French silent, starring the brilliant Russian emigre actor Ivan Mosjoukine, and director Alexandre Volkoff. It is great to see the hand colouring beautifully restored.
Crazy Thunder Road (Third Window) - one of Sogo Ishii's punk masterpieces, with expert Tom Mes commentary" - Peter Rist


  "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - 1931 / Warner Archive Collection. I first 'saw' this movie in Richard J Anobile's Film Classic Library in 1975. A complete reconstruction of a film in book form. It featured over 1,500 frame blow-up photos shown sequentially with dialogue. The new Blu-ray is a considerable advance on this.
The Wrong Arm of the Law / StudioCanal. One of several Vintage Classics by StudioCanal released this year. These are consistently fine releases." - Harvey Clarke


  "Boat People (Criterion) Criterion supplement their new restoration of Ann Hui's masterpiece with substantial extras, with Hui's own documentary self-portrait 'As Time Goes By' being a particular highlight.
When Tomorrow Comes (Kino)
In truth, this slot was a toss-up between a few wonderful Kino releases this year - I'd also like to highlight Frank Borzage's Little Man, What Now? and James Whale's By Candlelight - but I'd give the gold medal to their release of John M. Stahl's When Tomorrow Comes. The least well-known of the three Stahl films later remade by Douglas Sirk and arguably the best, it was rumoured that rights issues were preventing a home video release and so Kino's new Blu-Ray feels like a small miracle.
The Party and the Guests (Second Run)
Second Run are another label who did consistently good work in 2022. Their release of The Party and the Guests includes a new restoration of Jiri Trnka's The Hand - surely one of the best short films ever made.
Crazy Thunder Road (Third Window)
It was fantastic to see Gakuryu Ishii's Crazy Thunder Road get a release. Sadly rights issues are holding up some of his other classics but Third Window have already confirmed that they will be releasing his crazy (and crazy-good) Electric Dragon 80.000 V in early 2023.
Typhoon Club (Odessa Entertainment)
Shinji Somai's masterpiece finally gets an HD upgrade in what is a rarity: a Japanese Blu-Ray release that has English subtitles for the main feature.
Green Snake (Nova Media)
Tsui Hark's rubber snake has never looked so good.
Cain and Abel (Kani)
Thanks to the World Cinema Project's restorations of Manila in the Claws of Light and Insiang, Lino Brocka's cinema has had some international exposure in recent years but restorations done as part of the ABS-CBN Film Restoration Project have been harder to see. New label Kani Releasing put out a very welcome release of Lino Brocka's Cain and Abel and I do hope that they give similar treatment to other standout works of Filipino cinema such as Ishmael Bernal's Himala and Mario O'Hara's Three Years Without God. While we wait (and hope), several ABS-CBN restorations are available worldwide on VoD platforms like iTunes.
The Devil Probably (Gaumont)
One of my favourite Bresson films has finally got a worthwhile upgrade courtesy of Gaumont". - Calvin MacKinnon


  "Festen, aka The Celebration (Denmark, 1998) (Criterion). Finally, a Blu-ray special edition (two discs in minimalist packaging) of Danish director Thomas Vinterberg's first Dogma '95 film, a devastatingly dark dig at 'family values.'
Remember the Night (U.S., 1940) (Indicator) A jewel thief (Barbara Stanwyck) faces jail time but is sprung for the Christmas holidays by a friendly prosecutor (Fred MacMurray). Mitchell Leisen directs, beautifully. In a box with a poster and 80-page book.
Coach to Vienna (Czechoslovakia, 1966) (Second Run). So quietly riveting, this 80-minute road movie follows a young Czech widow kidnapped by German deserters fleeing the Red Army in 1944. Bonus extra: a 1949 propaganda doc.
Son of the White Mare (Hungary, 1983) (Eureka! Masters of Cinema). For animation fans, a lovely package consisting of feature, shorts and interviews with Hungarian helmer Marcell Jankovics, inspired by The Beatles movie 'Yellow Submarine.'
Larks on a String (Czechoslovakia, 1969) (Second Run). Jiri Menzel's dark comedy about Czech Communism is now available for the first time on region-free Blu-ray, spruced up in a 4K restoration showing hitherto hidden colour and detail.
Pastor Hall (U.K., 1940) (Indicator). Fascism is still with us, so it's worth revisiting this British biopic of anti-Nazi German clergyman Martin Niemoller, who died a martyr at Dachau. Comes with a 32-page booklet.
'Round Midnight (France, 1989) (Criterion). Bertrand Tavernier got bebop saxman Dexter Gordon to play himself - and his instrument - with stellar results in this atmospheric biopic. A Blu-ray for jazz completists.
Quiet Days in Clichy (Denmark, 1970) (Blue Underground). A time capsule of provocative late '60s sexploitation by a Danish director shooting in Nouvelle Vague Paris. Comes loaded with informative extras and a bonus disc in 4K UHD.
Diary of a Mad Housewife (U.S, 1970) (Indicator). Why this one? Because of its one-off celebrity star, Carrie Snodgrass, the 'maid' that singer Neil Young so needed, until he didn't. Comes with an old TV edit and a 42-page book." - Jeff Heinrich


  "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde(Paramount, Rouben Mamoulian, 1931) Warner Archive Collection
Using a surviving original camera negative reissue print combined with secondary material this is an astonishing uptick in both image and sound. The result demonstrates without doubt, a vintage piece of high craftsmanship from the old Hollywood studio system. Direction, set design, make-up, cinematography and sound are all peerless and this digital restoration does Paramount and Rouben Mamoulian proud.
Murder at the Vanities (Paramount, Mitchell Leisen, 1934) Kino Lorber
Kino have spent considerable time and money mining the pre-1948 vaults of Paramount and Universal studios. This pre-Code musical concoction from Paramount has been given a delightful facelift in the form of a splendid 2k transfer. A connoisseur's delight.
The Phantom of the Monastery (Mexico, Fernando de Fuentes, 1934) Indicator Powerhouse
Welcome release of a little seen but seminal Mexican horror flick. Interesting to compare with the Hollywood vogue for horror at Universal studios.
A Star is Born (Selznick International, William A. Wellman, 1937) Warner Archive Collection
At last, you can discard previous public domain copies of this much filmed scenario. The early 3-strip Technicolor nitrate print possesses vibrant hues of colour that are now there for all to see. Nice one Warner Archive!
Love Affair (RKO, Leo McCarey, 1939) Criterion UK
Fondly remembered tearjerker in which the two stars are at the top of their game. Thanks go to Lobster Films for their sterling restoration efforts and to Criterion for bringing this to the attention of collectors.
The Clock (M-G-M, Vincente Minnelli, 1945) Warner Archive Collection
Judy Garland plays opposite Robert Walker in a convincing dramatic role. No songs but excellent location shots of New York City often steal the attention away from the stars in this affecting romantic drama.
Summertime (London Films, David Lean, 1955) Criterion UK
Many reviewers have taken to task the aspect ratio used in this Criterion release. 1.27:1 seems fine to me. However, the release omits the original logo of the production company: London Films.
Hiroshima mon Amour (France / Japan, Alain Resnais, 1959) Criterion UK
A disturbing collage of visual and aural flashbacks in this avant-garde classic acclaimed by the French New Wave. A sombre and studious package from Criterion.
A Time for Dying (Fipco, Budd Boetticher, 1969) Indicator Powerhouse
Often talked about but seldom seen this final Budd Boetticher western is full of indulgences and playfulness on the part of its director. Essential viewing.
The Blockhouse (Clive Rees, 1973) Indicator Powerhouse
Something of a curiosity as this feature played at the Berlin Film Festival, but was little seen elsewhere. Shot in a documentary style this downbeat drama has an eclectic cast headed by Peter Sellers in a rare straight dramatic role. Kudos to Indicator for releasing this one." - David Redfern


  "The Warriors (1979, Walter Hill) Australia Imprint ALL
Imprint went all out with their release of "The Warriors", by including both cuts of the film plus extensive vintage and newly created extras for the most comprehensive package for the film, and we can absolutely dig it!
Love Jones (1997, Theodore Witcher) US Criterion RA
Criterion has given African-American cinema its well deserved attention in recent times, and thankfully they have given the underrated "Love Jones" an excellent Blu-ray release. It's also great to hear from director Theodore Witcher all these years later in the newly created extras.
Mad Dog Morgan (1976, Philippe Mora) US/UK Indicator ALL
A biopic in which the making-of was equally or arguably more interesting than the film itself, Indicator/Powerhouse's excellent Blu-ray release is packed with extras in a great package to encapsulate the madness that Dennis Hopper brought with it.
Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2021) Japan TC Entertainment ALL
The well-deserved Oscar winner received a number of nice Blu-ray releases from around the world, each with some differing extras. It's a beautiful and contemplative piece that expands the original short story, with excellent performances, a wonderful soundtrack, and great direction.
Nineteen Eighty Four (Rudolph Cartier, 1954) UK BFI RB
The television adaptation may be over half a century old and have minimal setpieces with its production, it was able to capture a strong sense of dystopia with the great performances and technical skills of the period. While the telerecording transfer may be difficult for the eyes at first, the restored scenes look incredible and the extras that the BFI have provided are excellent.
Sorum (Yoon Jong-chan, 2001) South Korea Korean Film Archive ALL
An unsettling and also personal work from director Yoon Jong-chan, KOFA has given the film a great new Blu-ray release with a 4K restoration transfer with a great number of extras including the director's student films.
Cloak & Dagger (1984, Richard Franklin) Australia Umbrella Entertainment ALL
While Vinegar Syndrome in the US gave the film a 4K release with some exclusive extras, the Blu-ray from Australia's Umbrella was not at all far behind with its unique extras from the late director's archive and more for this video game MacGuffin kiddie-Hitchcock thriller.
Sons of Steel (1988, Gary L. Keady) Australia Umbrella Entertainment ALL
A low budget Aussie metal musical time traveling science fiction feature that has a unique visual style was given new life by Umbrella Entertainment with input from the director and having a number of great extras. Easily one of the best and most enjoyable releases of the year.
Before the Revolution (1964, Bernardo Bertolucci) US Ripley's Home Video ALL
Bertolucci's second feature as a director quietly received a new Blu-ray from RHV this year, featuring a lengthy amount of vintage interviews and shorts, with RHV taking some notes from Criterion in their packaging, using a similar style and fonts in their inlay and booklet." - James-Masaki Ryan


  "I, The Jury - Lucky we live in the alternate universe where John Alton shot a noir... in 3D.
The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm - What was likely the most epic remastering effort in film history is somewhat at odds with the ("epic") content of the film, but isn't it great that we can now judge for ourselves?
The Devil's Trap - So Marketa Lazarova gets left off Sight & Sound AGAIN, but as a "Second Run" we get served up another Vlacil period piece in HD instead? Two out of three ain't bad: Valley of the Bees for 2023?
Dragon's Return - Cover image is apropos: blind buy (any and all) Second Run.
The Diamond Wizard - 3D Film Archive delivers again: film preservation for the ages.
The Draughtsman's Contract - BFI is typically my favorite label for choice in film and lavish supplements - brings me back to the glory days of >$100 Criterion laserdisc sets. To me this was their best effort of the year.
Ilya Muromets - Pulpy entertainment for Soviet youth, oh what could have been...
Bullfighter and the Lady - Best supplemented release for this classic
Delta Space Mission - Psychedelic Eastern European animation FTW" - Chris Browne


 "The Most Dangerous Game (Eureka)- Great movie. Great package.
Remember the Night (Indicator)- Maybe not as well known as it should be. Perfect viewing for this time of year and a comprehensive package.
The Scarlet Hour (Imprint)- Good movie and print. Had not heard of this movie before.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Eureka)- I think the best print yet of this 1923 classic.
Red Rock West (PlanB)- Possibly my favourite neo-noir with new extras, but could do with a new transfer.
The Girl Can't Help it (Criterion)- Never thought I would see this on BR. Wonderful 50's colour.
The Saphead (Eureka)- Not the best Keaton movie perhaps but a wonderful package.
The Devil Strikes at Night (Kino)- A bare-bones package but a real treat." - BGM


  "Daisies (Criterion) Anarchic young female energy which I have never seen captured in a film before. Looks great and love having the films in the extras
La Llorona 1933 (Indicator) Have seen a lot of Mexican films this year, a film culture which I figured must exist but which I had never seen. This is beautiful.
Lux Aeterna Ltd Ed (Yellow Veil) I'm such a sucker for contextualising elements in a package. This is a physically beautifully package with great extras.
The Wicker Man (Imprint) I've often felt a bit disappointed with Imprint's transfers BUT it's such a cool looking physical box and it's so good having the three different versions and I love this movie so much so what are you gonna do?" - Seamus Kirkpatrick


  "The Celebration (Criterion) - Fantastic film, perfectly appropriate minimalist packaging.
Pushing Hands (Film Movement) - Sometimes you have to wait a couple decades for a decent release of a freshman film from an important director. Worth it." - Steve Rubin


  "The Night of the Iguana - John Huston: WARNER ARCHIVE - the finest playwright of the 20th Century (or "modern" day) - Tennessee William's last great play & poetic & comic dialogue given a rare sense of authenticity by Huston shooting on a Mexican location literally as remote as the one in the play, with a top cast of Burton, Kerr & Gardner giving some of their best movie performances, & throwing in Sue Lyon as a more mature Lolita for the young lions.
Twilight - Robert Benton: KL (release date tomorrow) - Paul Newman is more entertaining that in Nobody's Fool as a noirish sometimes tongue-in-cheek PI flashing back to his Ross Macdonald movies in as close a Macdonald 'family tragedy' the greatest mystery writer never wrote, a latter day "Harper" laced with James Garner, Gene Hackman & Susan Sarandon, & a fitting climax to Newman's leading man career.
Rose Tattoo - Daniel Mann: IMPRINT - another Tennessee Williams capturing Magnani's classic beauty & performance & an over-the-top comic Lancaster... the dialogue & character dynamics are why Williams will live on as America's greatest playwright thus far.
The Girl Can't Help It - Frank TashlIn: CRITERION - maybe the director's most delightful live action 'cartoon' with probably the highest production values awarded to performances by early rock'n'roll icons." - Simon Cherpitel


  "The Party and the Guests (Second Run UK) - A film I had always wanted to see but never had the opportunity until Second Run's exquisite restoration. The film itself is another allegorical tale about the state of our nations (in these troubled times, we are looking for fables that represent the human condition). Fantastically detailed commentary by Jonathan Owen plus a second by Mike White's fabulous Projection Booth crew, who were clearly passionate about this long banned film. The inclusion of a booklet of essays plus the BR debut of Tmka's animated surreal short 'The Hand' (1965) made this a powerful, timely release.
MEMORIA (Sovereign Films UK) - It was looking unlikely that this would get a physical release (this may still be the case in the States) at the behest of the director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, who wanted this to remain a theatrical experience. This collector's edition is a memorable package that mesmerises this viewer at home as much as it did in the cinema. Lots of interviews in the extras add deep insight into this enigmatic arthouse treat and help peel away the mystery of this enigmatic film text (although not entirely). I have spent a lot of 2022 exploring Weerasethakul's dreamy back catalogue and this first venture outside Thailand promises some exciting future slow-burn treats.
ARREBATO (Altered Innocence US) - Another challenging film text, but this release was a cinephile's dream (or nightmare). 2022 was a year that the power of the podcast took hold of me and my desire to see this film was aroused by Elric Kane's impassioned review of this film on the Pure Cinema podcast. Arrebato is a landmark film of Spanish cinema that confuses, frustrates but ultimately delights. Zuletta's film looks stunning in this 4K restoration and it's themes of addiction to film creativity have resulted in me needing a kick from this blu ray every few months. Utterly hooked.
PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES (Kino Lorber US) - The picture quality of this release is out of this world and depicts Bava's sci-fi vision beautifully. The narrative does lack some atmosphere but this is a perfect alien invasion of your screen. The extras, including a fabulous commentary by Bava biographer Tim Lucas, adds a further cosmic dimension. Stunning.
THE APPOINTMENT (BFI Flipside UK) - This unusual film oddity never got a theatrical release but has been subject to much speculation around its cult appeal. Meanders in the middle but the prologue and epilogue are really special and a testament the efforts of the BFI to trace an existing copy of this disturbing film and to allow the director Lindsay Vickers the opportunity to relate his experience in the comprehensive extras.
THE CURIOUS DR. HUMPP (101 Films UK) - Another oddity, that was also thought long lost. This blu ray release looks gorgeous and the package provides the original Argentinian cut to contrast alongside the sexed-up US version. These great extras also include a riveting audio commentary by Frank Henenlotter. My curiosity is sated.
PICKPOCKET (BFI) - My pick from a trio of Bresson blu rays released by the BFI. Superb special features include Schrader (of course) and a typically eclectic collection of documentaries and public information films on the subject of pickpocketing. I recommend you open your wallet for this release. What do you mean it's empty...
DELIRIUM (88 Films UK) - Another podcast led me down this exploitative road. This time the excellent Video Archives podcast with Tarantino and the Averys. I have watched many of the films featured because of their breathless enthusiasm for their analogue library. I don't really like this film but the transfer is excellent and enables me to explore lost worlds as they were meant to be seen.
ENTER THE VOID (Arrow UK) - Like The Swimmer this is a consummate Limited Edition. Another film that is not perfect but this package contains so many excellent features that you can immerse yourself in Noe's mind. I just need a good wash afterwards." - Neil Williams


  "Dementia (aka Daughter of Horror) (John Parker, 1955) Cohen - Part Luis Bunuel, part noir ala Orson Welles' Touch of Evil, and part avant-garde Twilight Zone, this is perhaps the world's first feature length experimental film. This unique movie has a nightmare realism that is based on a real dream starring the person who actually dreamed it! It is truly a one of a kind experience, with evocative lighting, expressionistic camera angles, seedy locations and over-the-top disturbingly dark Freudian symbolism that makes that of the average psychological thriller look like Forbidden Planet.
Casanova [Deluxe 2-disc Blu-ray/DVD Edition] (Alexandre Volkoff, 1927) Flicker Alley - A witty and wicked take on the exploits of legendary adventurer Giacomo Girolamo Casanova in 18th century Venice, this production is a rambling, picaresque chronicle of a larger than life figure at the center of a lavish, flamboyant, and flirtatious lifestyle. The sprawling narrative involves action adventure, romantic dalliance, and international political intrigue on a scale both intimate and epic. The scenes of Carnival in Venice are absolutely jaw dropping. The spectacle of masked revelers parading and partying through the streets and water ways of the city rivals the scale of Griffith's Babylonian sequences in Intolerance and are additionally impressive when one considers that the multitudes of costumed extras are recreating history in the same teeming metropolitan location where it took place. There is so much to admire in this film- from the extravagance that perfectly captures the milieu of the time, to the sophisticated episodic storytelling and Ivan Mosjoukine's wonderfully droll portrayal of the titular character. It would seem the greatest scandal surrounding Casanova is that more people have not heard of this classic or given it the recognition that it deserves.
Rain (Lewis Milestone, 1932) VCI - Although I still prefer the 1928 silent version of this story, (the Gloria Swanson/Raoul Walsh collaboration, "Sadie Thompson"), this beautiful new 90th Anniversary restoration of Rain released by VCI has considerably enhanced my appreciation of this Lewis Milestone/Joan Crawford production. After over half a century of public domain dupes of dubious quality, we can finally see this film pretty much as looked at the time of its theatrical release in 1932. The clarity of the improved image highlights the stylish direction and the performances of leads Joan Crawford and Walter Huston.
The Silent Enemy (H.P. Carver, 1930) Flicker Alley - Native American actors of the Ojibway tribe recreate their traditional way of life before the arrival of European settlers in this docudrama which deals with their struggle to secure food before the onset of winter and the arrival of the silent enemy, hunger. This film is virtual time travel, an authentic document of a people revisiting their heritage and traditions.
The Northman [Collector's Edition, [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital] (Robert Eggers, 2022) Universal - When Robert Eggers directs a historical drama, you can be sure that the details will be accurate right down to the way the clothes are fastened. The dialog will be based on historical texts and the events will reflect actual happenings and cultural mythologies - to the point that they bleed into the everyday reality of the story. In other words, if we are in Eggers' Puritan New England of the 1600's, The Witch that lives in the woods and kidnaps children, and the Devil who comes to visit our farm in the form of a billy goat are real possibilities, as real as the heathen tribes across the way that threaten our settlement. So when he helms a Viking saga based loosely on Hamlet, you can bet it will involve berserkers, details of the medieval feudal system and plenty of Norse mythology. This makes for a unique and fascinating (for me) kind of poetic naturalism. This is a hallmark of Eggers' style and it constantly teeters on the verge of excess. But it also provides tension and gives us some incredible moments in this film, like the Valkyrie's ride to Valhalla or the final duel inside of a volcano. And how can you not like a Norse Saga that features Bjork as a weirding woman/shaman?
The India Tomb (Joe May, 1921) Kino - Captivating escapist fantasy scripted by a young Fritz Lang who would revisit the material again at end of his illustrious career. This version, efficiently directed by Joe May, possesses a charm that is both seriously entertaining and quaintly disturbing. "- Ken Schwarz


  "The HALLELUJAH TRAIL: (Sturges 1965) (2K:RE) (Kino) :
*Most will have missed this remaster kino following a single-layer disaster from Olive about five years ago. John Sturges has a unique sense of humor, both dry and epic. For Western aficionados, this ought to be seen in the company of the Russians are Coming and other such large-scale farces.
* the very first of the fabled Lupin series of theatrical anime. Discotek never gets enough credit for their dedication to the art from and to physical media.
TWELVE ANGRY MEN (Friedkin 1997):
*A superlative adaptation of a milestone work, updated by its original author, Reginald Rose" - Peter Yacavone



1) First Place is Criterion's 4K UHD of Billy Wilder's Double Indemnity. It is Noir royalty. The suspense is a slow build with the interplay of two self-serving characters remains an essential and integral part of the cycle. Lust, obsession, greed, femme-fatale enticement and there devastating unconscionable consequences permeate the sly dialogue. It's a masterpiece of dark cinema. The Criterion 2160P encode with Dolby Vision HDR has similar contrast (brightness / darkness) as Criterion's new (and included) Blu-ray - it may be a semi-tone darker - richer, more consistent grain support and the best image for this classic - ever on digital. The bigger you project, the superior the visuals appear over every edition image to date. The 4K package is 3 discs - the 4K UHD with the highest resolution - it includes the Schickel commentary and the two Blu-rays (and supplements.) A Noir must-own.
"The essential film noir given the respect it deserves from Criterion." - Tim Leggoe


"This movie got me hooked on noir many years ago-from the very first scene- so seems only fitting it goes to the top of my list." - BGM



2) Second Place is Masters of Cinema's 4K UHD of Robert Wiene's "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". This was a very highly anticipated release. It is the quintessential work of German Expressionist cinema. The film's extravagant twisted graphic style with obtuse angles and streaks of light painted directly onto the sets is the stuff of filmic legend. It is one of THE films you want to see in its best video presentation and this 4K UHD is it. The new Masters of Cinema edition has the best ever video, a new audio score option, a thorough new commentary, Kim Newman - the other older valuable extras, including the video essay and long documentary plus it offers a 100-page book. It is a must-own. Don't hesitate getting this for yourself for the Holidays.

"A first dip into the 4k disc market with this welcome reissue of a much-discussed European classic. It has never looked so good and has excellent extras which provide pertinent context. This experience gives me confidence to explore further 4k Ultra HD discs." - David Redfern


"A few new supplements (additional commentary, a book, and a new score) plus the fact that this is the first silent film released on 4K propel this one up the list. Holding it back from the top: sans HDR this wasn't a night and day upgrade over the 2014 BD of the same 4K remaster. Also it also misses out on Kino's DJ Spooky score (cineasts deserve no less! :p)" - Chris Browne


"Sometimes this looks like a moving painting. Amazing. So beautiful. Like nothing I had ever imagined (at the risk of being hyperbolic, well no, being hyperbolic, don't care :) ). THE 4k release of the year for me." - Seamus Kirkpatrick



3) Third Place is Warner's 4K UHD release of "Casablanca". This package has only the significant upgrade - in video. More modern and mainstream film friends would ask me what 'the greatest film of all time?' is - and, of course, it depends on many factors, but I usually say "Casablanca" to put the topic to rest. I think luck played a part and the universal tumblers clicked into place - it had contributions for a variety of writers and even with an exceptional A-level cast - none involved with the production expected it to reach the iconic status that it has. Bogie was at his most cool and Alpha-male charismatic, Bergman her most jaw-dropping-ly photogenic with additional unselfish support from Rains, Greenstreet, Lorre, Veidt - as there were an abundance of European exiles and refugees who were extras or played minor roles. The "duel of the anthems" sequence had many of the actors shedding tears reminding them of their own personal circumstances caused by WW2. Casablanca was nominated for eight Academy Awards, and won three - Best Picture, Director and Screenplay. This 4K UHD transfer is easily the best and most film-like. It's never looked better on a home-theatre system. A bona-fide reason to become an adopter of this format. You will never regret it. This is an absolute must-own.
"No new extras but a step-up in picture quality for this classic." - BGM


4) Fourth Place is BFI's 4K UHD of Mike Hodges' "Get Carter" - a film that has been enshrined in the lore of British cinema... and has, certainly, passed the test of time with continued high praise. It's goal was to create a more realistic portrayal of criminal behavior than had previously been seen in British cinema. The plot is slowly revealing building upon the revenge factor and exemplifying Caine's anti-hero protagonist's remorselessness. It touches upon Britain's class structure with a dour look at life in the north. Other actors were considered for roles; Telly Savalas, Joan Collins, Barbara Parkins etc.. Hodges wrote the screenplay with Ian Hendry in mind for Carter - he eventually played 'Eric'. The character of the assassin was only seen as a "J" initial on his ring. It was Carl Howard's only film role. BFI's 4K UHD release of "Get Carter" is brilliant in terms of its film-like image, and has a plethora of supplements from the new, and older, commentary, interviews, 80-page booklet and more. Very strongly recommended!

"A super restoration of a British classic - approved by the still-vital 90 year old director!" - Kevin Sunde Oppegaard


"A timeless gangster film that eluded audiences in its initial run but thankfully found a cult following, and is now regarded as one of the greatest British films of all time. The BFI's 4K restoration is an absolutely packed set with new and vintage extras." - James-Masaki Ryan



5) Fifth Place is Criterion's 4K UHD of Martin Scorsese's magnum opus Raging Bull - a pure example of the great American tragedy - a searing biographical sports drama. No film, before or since, has come close to its visceral impacting level on boxing or any other sport. Yes, Chapman's 'extraordinarily tactile black-and-white cinematography' and Schoonmaker distinctive editing buoy the exceptional performances (casting many lesser-known actors and actresses - ex. Pesci was a struggling actor was working at an Italian restaurant in New Jersey) of a brilliantly written and magnificently realized story. Undeniably spoken with The Godfather as the greatest American film ever made in the last 1/2 of the 20th Century. De Niro read the La Motta autobiography on the set of The Godfather Part II and became fascinated by the character. He loaned the book to Martin Scorsese. The rest is cinematic history. Raging Bull in 4K UHD is the pre-eminent reason to adopt the new format for those serious home theatre aficionados who have delayed, what is, inevitable for them. We can't give a higher recommendation.
"Black and white in 4K with HDR doesn't seem to get the same level of love - but this release makes yet another strong case for why it should." - Drew Morton


6) Sixth Place is Kino's 4K UHD of Orson Welles' Touch of Evil - a film noir masterpiece whose Hollywood backstory is as unforgettable as the movie itself. Starring Charlton Heston (The Big Country, Ben-Hur), Janet Leigh (The Manchurian Candidate, Psycho) and Welles himself, this dark portrait of corruption and morally compromised obsessions tells the story of a crooked police chief who frames a Mexican youth as part of an intricate criminal plot. With its iconic ticking-bomb opening shot, shadowy cinematography by Russell Metty (Spartacus), evocative score by Henry Mancini (Arabesque) and memorable supporting turns by Akim Tamiroff (The General Died at Dawn) and Marlene Dietrich (Desire), Touch of Evil is a stylistic triumph that stands the test of time. This 3-disc special edition features 4K restorations of three versions of the film: the Theatrical version, the Preview version and the Reconstructed version based on Orson Welles' original vision.

"Welles in 4K. Film Noir in 4K. I don't have a better sell for you. It has all three versions, all the legacy special features, and a couple new commentaries. But we all know why you're getting it already – 4K high contrast cinematography in HDR!" - Drew Morton


"An outstanding overall package." - BGM



7) Seventh Place is Arrow's 4K UHD of David Cronenberg's "Videodrome". It was the first film by the director/writer to gain backing from any major Hollywood studio. It was lauded for its "techno-surrealist" aesthetic, and its cryptic, psychosexual themes. It is now hailed as a cult classic, one of Cronenberg's best, and an unforgettable example of the science fiction and body horror genres. On the Criterion director commentary Cronenberg stated that the idea for Videodrome came from his childhood. Cronenberg used to pick up American television signals from Buffalo, New York, late at night after Canadian stations had gone off the air. He would be concerned that he might see something disturbing or unusual. Arrow's 4K UHD release is a towering package offer both cuts in 2160P, a Tim Lucas essential commentary and a mass of other extras including a booklet, poster etc. For the director's fans this alone would be a reason to upgrade to a 4K system. It has our highest recommendation!
"Arrow keep doing their marvellous work with cult movies in 4K and I hope that Canada's greatest director will get more releases of his oeuvre on this label, many of which have been lacking decent transfers for years." - Kevin Sunde Oppegaard


8) Eighth Place is Kino's 4K UHD of Stanley Kubrick's "The Killing". It has the highly notable video upgrade - rife with grain and vastly superior contrast, plus the highly valuable commentary (there was none on the Criterion or Arrow Blu-rays.) "The Killing" was written by Kubrick and Jim Thompson and based on the novel Clean Break by Lionel White (James B. Harris bought the rights before United Artists, and Frank Sinatra.) Kubrick and Harris moved from New York to L.A. to shoot the picture, and Kubrick went unpaid during the shooting, surviving on loans from Harris, but it helped establish Kubrick's reputation. The lines in "The Killing" are so Noir:
"You'd be killing a horse - that's not first degree murder, in fact it's not murder at all, in fact I don't know what it is... killing a horse out of season."
Sherry: "You don't understand me Johnny. You don't know me very well."
Johnny: "I know you like a book. You're a no good, nosy little tramp. You'd sell out your own mother for a piece of fudge."
It has a dark cinema dream cast and is filled with wonderful self-serving characters. A masterpiece that is a must-own in this 4K UHD format. Don't hesitate.

"Another outstanding release of a top noir." - BGM


9) Ninth Place is Second Sight Films's 4K UHD of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive (2011.) A laconic best in the business getaway driver with a strict professional code has his loner lifestyle turned upside down when he falls for his neighbour Irene. With her ex-con husband owing protection money she's drawn into a dangerous underworld and only the driver can save her.


"The cult favorite finally arrives with a gorgeous 4K HDR transfer and Atmos remix, bringing Nicolas Winding Refn's neon soaked Los Angeles and Cliff Martinez's Vaporwave synth pads to their highest highs. There's also a nice mix of new supplementary materials as well from a new commentary and a conversation between Refn and Martinez. The now out of print version also came with a beautiful booklet of essays and a reprint of James Sallis's original novel. Like all of Second Sight's work, a gorgeous doorstop of a release." - Drew Morton

"I'm not the biggest fan of the film, but this is about as thorough a release of a film that it's possible to do. EVERYTHING that can possibly be said about Drive is in this set." - Tim Leggoe


"For their limited editions, no one puts together a better overall package. Absolutely gorgeous." - Steve Rubin



10) Tenth Place is Severin's 4K UHD of Dennis Hopper's Out of the Blue. It's been called "shocking" (Film Comment), "blistering" (Filmmaker) and "a flat-out masterpiece" (The Playlist) yet remained virtually unseen for over 40 years. Now experience this "haunting portrait of juvenile delinquency that ranks among the most powerful in American cinema" (Chicago Reader) from actor/director Dennis Hopper as it's never been seen before: Linda Manz "gives one of the greatest teenage performances of all time" (Film Comment) as a 15-year-old who idolizes Elvis, punk rock and her ex-con father (Hopper), is surrounded by junkies and predators, and follows them all down a one-way road to oblivion. Sharon Farrell (THE STUNT MAN), Don Gordon (THE LAST MOVIE) and Raymond Burr co-star in "a film about extremes, directed by an extremist" (Time Out) featuring music by Neil Young.

"While Out of the Blue wasn't quite the forgotten masterpiece I had expected based on assessments from friends and colleagues (I found it a bit too melodramatic - still a bit too much like an after school special at times), the special features on the Severin disc helped me make sense of the very raw and real portrait of a young woman from a broken household. Of course, most of those features were about star Linda Manz, who I only knew from DAYS OF HEAVEN. She's a firecracker here - and her performance alone makes the film worth seeing." - Drew Morton


"Last year, the BFI put out a superb release of Dennis Hopper's Out of the Blue on Blu-Ray that I thought was one of the best releases of 2021. I didn't expect Severin to go one better less than a year later. Not only does it get a nice 4K bump but Severin further lengthen the extras list with additional interviews and Leonard Yakir's short film Mainstreet Soldier. Definitive and essential, it's one of the most comprehensive releases ever centred on a single film." - Calvin MacKinnon




(CLICK Covers for more Information)



"TENEBRAE (Synapse): Top three Argento here with three commentaries, a feature length doc, and an incredible Dolby Vision transfer.
ROAD HOUSE (Vinegar Syndrome): The cult classic neo-Western gets a substantial upgrade from the already loaded Shout set with new bonus features and a stunning Dolby Vision transfer, all wrapped up in a beautiful box with a booklet of essays.
THE FRIGHTENERS (Turbine): Six discs may seem obscene for this solid Peter Jackson horror comedy, but let's not forget that this is the home video release where PJ's obsession with documenting every aspect of the production process began. The 4.5 hour documentary from the LaserDisc/DVD comes along for the ride (still in SD - which is probably as good as it gets) and gets an additional 90 minute documentary of the cast and crew looking back on the legacy of the film, primarily conducted over on Zoom. There's two cuts of the film (director's and theatrical), both in 4K with Dolby Vision, and a new open matte version (HD only).
TOP GUN: MAVERICK (Paramount): Demo quality sound and vision right here - no surprise.
THE BATMAN (Warner Bros.): Gorgeous, inky, blacks. A 4K release designed for an OLED. Just wish that director commentary wasn't only on the iTunes version only!
ALLIGATOR (Scream Factory): Yes, it's a profoundly dumb monster movie. Yes, Michael V. Gazzo's eyebrows look like they're about to take flight. But ALLIGATOR is so goddamned goofy and Robert Forster is so magnetic that you don't care. A great B-movie that gets the red carpet treatment on 4K thanks to Shout, who even got Bryan Cranston to record an interview about his time as an effects assistant." - Drew Morton


"God Told Me To (Blue Underground) - This 4K should help brush off any belittling tags, such as b/drive-in movie. An all-time great New York film. John Carpenter's works have rightly been reappraised in recent years - do Larry Cohen next.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Turbine Media) - A belting Dolby Vision/Atmos presentation. Almost looks beautiful...almost." - James Laycock


"La Regle du Jeu / Rules of the Game, J. Renoir - ESC
The world-premiere issue of Renoir's masterpiece in 4K UHD. Unmissable ! Beware : the accompanying Blu-ray is sub-par...
Out of Sight, S. Soderbergh - Kino Lorber
Gotta love this sequence that intertwines present-time and flash-forward which expresses the anticipation of the couple for more intimacy..."
- Istvan Ribardiere


"4K UHD Reservoir Dogs - Not since the LaserDisc release, has there been a home video release worth purchasing. The blu-ray was an unwatchable DNR'd mess. The level of detail on this 4K UHD is amazing.
4K UHD Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Kino Lorber have really done what Criterion should have done earlier on - licensing the best of the MGM/Focus Features library and releasing consistently pristine 4K UHD transfers from them.
4K UHD The Last Waltz - One of the few Criterion releases this year, which I really anticipated and which didn't disappoint. One of the greatest concert films ever made, up with Stop Making Sense - and it really rocks on this disc.
4K UHD Sony Picture Classics: 30th Anniversary Collection - An arthouse lover's dream come true! I only wish it had been possible to release all 30 films currently streaming on the Criterion Channel!
4K UHD Singin' In The Rain - Thank you Warner! More please, from your huge library of classic Technicolor musicals!
4K UHD The Limey - I rarely bothered to choose SteelBooks over plastic cases before, but this is a very inspired example. A top-notch transfer of an underrated Steven Soderberg classic sealed the deal - it has been available in France for a year and Lionsgate did it so much better." - Kevin Sunde Oppegaard


"The Proposition (BFI) - Great under seen Australian film given an unexpectedly comprehensive (and beautiful) package from BFI.
Wall-E (Criterion) - The most perfect fit for Criterion of any Disney release and they made the most of the opportunity."
 - Tim Leggoe


"Belle (2021, Mamoru Hosoda) Japan VAP
With an amazing soundtrack and wonderful visuals that will linger long after the credits roll and will guarantee to bring tears of joy with how beautiful the music is, "Belle" was the best animated film of the previous year and the 4K release was an absolute essential package with a perfect transfer and lengthy extras.
The Inugami Clan (1976, Kon Ichikawa) Japan Kadokawa
Technically a 2021 release but it was released at the end of December so it's being included here. "The Inugami Family" is a film I've personally championed for years and wished for international audiences to be able to experience director Kon Ichikawa's most popular film. It's a solid murder mystery with comical touches, shocking violence, with a brilliant cast and tons of twists and turns, and given a beautiful 4K restoration by Kadokawa.
Last Night in Soho (2021, Edgar Wright) Universal
You can always count on Edgar Wright for his works to get excellent home video releases, and "Last Night in Soho" is great as expected, with multiple commentaries and numerous featurettes plus a top notch transfer.
Bob James Trio - Feel Like Making Live! (2021) Evosound
What would it be like to see and hear Bob James perform in a small and intimate setting? The live recording which was carefully and intricately set up for surround sound features Dolby Atmos, Auro-3D plus a standard 2.0 stereo mix is as close as one could get to being there in person.
The Proposition (2005, John Hillcoat) UK BFI
A modern classic that is brutally violent and emotional, showcasing an intense outback west with stellar performances and wonderful direction. The BFI has done an exceptional job with the 4K restoration of the film with this stacked package.
Devil in a Blue Dress (1995, Carl Franklin) US Criterion
An overlooked film noir on its initial release, Criterion has given the film an excellent 4K upgrade with new and vintage extras.
"Raging Bull" returns to the Criterion lineup long after its Laserdisc debut, featuring an excellent 4K transfer with a very lengthy amount of extras. - James-Masaki Ryan
The Piano (1993, Jane Campion) US Criterion
Jane Campion's breakthrough received its 4K debut from Criterion in a basically perfect release with its transfer and its extras.
Everything Everywhere All at Once (2021, The Daniels) US Lionsgate
A surprise indie smash that defied all expectations, the 4K release was not only great in its transfer for video and audio, but featured a nice selection of humorous extras as well." - James-Masaki Ryan


"Singing in the Rain (Warner)- My favourite musical, which has a good story for this genre.
Killers Kiss (Kino)- A short film but one full of style. An incredible print.
To Kill a Mockingbird (Universal)- Big improvement over the old BR plus new extras.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (Paramount)- New extras and great print, although there has been some debate about grain, or lack of.
Shadow of a Doubt (Universal)- No new extras but a step-up in picture quality for Hitchcock's own favourite.
The Trouble with Harry (Universal)- Not Hitchcock at his best but this is the sort of colour movie that benefits from 4K." - BGM


"Shaft (Criterion) This looks so chunky and thick. Again, just beautiful. Great extras too.
Phenomenon Ltd Ed (Arrow) Looks great. ALL the versions.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy 2011(StudioCanal) Love this film. Looks great, sounds great.
The Police Story trilogy (Eureka) Jackie in 4k. Yes."
- Seamus Kirkpatrick


"Thriller (Vinegar Syndrome) - Great alternate version included for those who aren't fans of hardcore pornography taking a big part of the runtime!" - Leif F.


"Dune: Part 1 [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Denis Villeneuve, 2021) Warner Bros. - I haven't, as of yet, made the move to 4K UHD. I still have not found an affordable projector that meets both my technical and spatial requirements. However, I did get the opportunity to watch the Ultra High Definition disc of Villeneuve's opus projected large on a 120-inch 1:1 high gain matte screen, and I can say, truthfully, that this viewing really fired up my interest in the format and motivated me to renew my search for a workable 4K solution. It significantly enhanced by appreciation for a movie that I've seen several times before, with the UHD image ideal for rendering the rich details and textures of the film's epic scale. This release could serve as a demo video for the 4K UHD format." - Ken Schwarz


"THE LOST HIGHWAY (Criterion):
*an obvious choice, but I can remember a time when this film had no fans other than myself. Obviously mass opinion has changed.
*one of the greats, finally getting the treatment it deserves, from the underrated Joseph Sargent. Its famously thick visuals were never going to be perfectly captured on digital; this is still fabulous.
*Perhaps the unlikeliest 4K resurrection of all, here is, again, a masterpiece that was totally discounted for decades. Time will out. Studiocanal should be worshipped.
*the most pleasant surprise of the year, this underrated, intelligent fantasy tale with typically marvelous Henson work and the very late Angela Lansbury and David Warner."

- Peter Yacavone

Gary's 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' list

Some titles come out late in the year and aren't seen, or get swept under our collective radar under, deserve more attention or I just liked. This is my 'coulda, woulda, shoulda' list of a few under-announced Blu-rays and a couple of 4K UHD titles that, I think, some genre-fans, cinephiles etc. may wish to take a second look. For myself, they have appeal for various reasons (in alphabetical order):
Adoption [Blu-ray] (Marta Meszaros, 1975) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Angela Mao: Hapkido (1972) & Lady Whirlwind (1972) [Blu-ray] - RB UK Eureka Entertainment (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Appointment [Blu-ray] (Lindsey C. Vickers, 1982) RB UK BFI (BEAVER REVIEW)

Arsenic and Old Lace [Blu-ray] (Frank Capra, 1943) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Beverly of Graustark [Blu-ray] (Sidney Franklin, 1926) Undercrank Productions (BEAVER REVIEW)

British Film Noir [Blu-ray] - Dancing with Crime (John Paddy Carstairs, 1947) / The Green Cockatoo (William Cameron Menzies, 1937) Cohen (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Brute [Blu-ray] (Gerry O'Hara, 1977) R0 UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Capture [Blu-ray] (John Sturges, 1950) Film Detective (BEAVER REVIEW)

Cloak & Dagger [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Richard Franklin, 1984) Vinegar Syndrome (BEAVER REVIEW)

Come Drink with Me [Blu-ray] (King Hu, 1966) Arrow US (BEAVER REVIEW)

Le Corbeau [Blu-ray] (Henri-Georges Clouzot,1943) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Creature from Black Lake [Blu-ray] (Joy N. Houck Jr., 1976) Synapse Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Creatures the World Forgot [Blu-ray] (Don Chaffey, 1971) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz [Blu-ray] (Luis Bu�uel, 1955) VCI (BEAVER REVIEW)

Cure [Blu-ray] (Kiyoshi Kurosawa, 1997) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Curious of Dr Humpp [Blu-ray] (Emilio Vieyra, 1969) RB UK 101 Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Days [Blu-ray] (Ming-liang Tsai, 2020) Grasshopper Film (BEAVER REVIEW)

Dead Mountaineer's Hotel [Blu-ray] (Grigori Kromanov, 1979) Camera Obscura (BEAVER REVIEW)

Dementia [Blu-ray] (John Parker, 1955) Cohen (BEAVER REVIEW)

Diary of a Mad Housewife [Blu-ray] (Frank Perry, 1970) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

Don't Let the Angels Fall [Blu-ray] (George Kaczender, 1969) Canadian Int'L Pics (BEAVER REVIEW)

Dressed to Kill [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Brian De Palma, 1980) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Edgar G. Ulmer Sci-Fi Collection [Blu-ray] (The Man from Planet X - 1951, The Amazing Transparent Man - 1960, Beyond the Time Barrier - 1960) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Execution in Autumn [Blu-ray] (Hsing Lee, 1972) RB UK Eureka (BEAVER REVIEW) Entertainment

The Films of Doris Wishman: The Twilight Years [Blu-ray] - American Genre Film (BEAVER REVIEW)

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell [Blu-ray] (Terence Fisher, 1974) RB UK Second Sight Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

French Noir Collection [Blu-ray] [Speaking of Murder / Back to the Wall / Witness in the City] (AKA Le rouge est mis / Le dos au mur / Un temoin dans la ville) - Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Ghost and the Darkness [Blu-ray] (Stephen Hopkins, 1996) Shout! Factory (BEAVER REVIEW)

Ghost Stories for Christmas Volume 1 [Blu-ray] - Whistle and I'll Come to You (1968) | The Stalls of Barchester(1971) | A Warning to the Curious (1972) | Lost Hearts (1973) - RB UK BFI (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Great Escape [4K UHD Blu-ray] (John Sturges, 1963) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Jigsaw [Blu-ray] (Val Guest, 1962) Cohen (BEAVER REVIEW)

Lancelot of the Lake [Blu-ray (Robert Bresson, 1974) Gaumont (BEAVER REVIEW) (technically came out in Nov. 2021)

Larks on a String [Blu-ray] (Jiri Menzel, 1969) R0 UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Laughing Woman [Blu-ray] (Piero Schivazappa, 1969) Mondo Macabro (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue [Blu-ray] (Jorge Grau, 1974) Synapse (BEAVER REVIEW)

La llorona [Blu-ray] (Ramon Peon, 1933) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

Lost Highway [4K UHD Blu-ray] (David Lynch, 1997) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Man on a Swing [Blu-ray] (Frank Perry, 1974) Imprint (BEAVER REVIEW)

Man Without a Star [Blu-ray] (King Vidor, 1955) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

Marnie [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964) Universal (BEAVER REVIEW)

Miller's Crossing [Blu-ray] (Joel Coen / Ethan Coen, 1990) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Monster [Blu-ray] (Patty Jenkins, 2003) RB UK Second Sight Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Morvern Callar [Blu-ray] (Lynne Ramsay, 2002) Fun City Editions (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Most Dangerous Game [Blu-ray] (Irving Pichel / Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1932) RB UK Masters of Cinema (BEAVER REVIEW)

Mr. Klein [Blu-ray] (Joseph Losey, 1976) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Mummy [Blu-ray] (Terence Fisher, 1959) RB UK Second Sight Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

Mystery Men [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Kinka Usher, 1999) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Natural Enemies [Blu-ray] (Jeff Kanew, 1979) Fun City Editions (BEAVER REVIEW)

Nightmare Alley [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Guillermo del Toro, 2021) 20th Searchlight Pictures US (BEAVER REVIEW)

Nineteen Eighty-Four [Blu-ray] (Rudolph Cartier, 1954) RB UK BFI (BEAVER REVIEW)

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman [Blu-ray] (Albert Lewin, 1951) RB UK Screenbound Pictures (ALT-BEAVER REVIEW)

The Party and the Guests [Blu-ray] (Jan Nemec, 1966) R0 UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)

Paths of Glory [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Stanley Kubrick, 1957) Kino

The Pemini Organisation 1972-1974 [Blu-ray] (Hunted, Assassin, and Moments) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

Pickpocket [Blu-ray] (Robert Bresson, 1959) RB UK BFI (BEAVER REVIEW)

Planet of the Vampires [Blu-ray] (Mario Bava, 1965) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Play For Today Volume 3 [Blu-ray] (Edna, the Inebriate Woman, Just Another Saturday, Bar Mitzvah Boy, The Mayor's Charity, Coming Out, A Hole in Babylon) RB UK BFI

Rain [Blu-ray] (Lewis Milestone, 1932) VCI (BEAVER REVIEW)

Rebels of the Neon God [Blu-ray] (Ming-liang Tsai, 1992) Big World Pictures (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Red Angel [Blu-ray] (Yasuzo Masumura, 1966) Arrow US (BEAVER REVIEW)

Rouge [Blu-ray] (Stanley Kwan, 1987) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Shadow of a Doubt [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Alfred Hitchcock, 1943) Universal (BEAVER REVIEW)

Sky West and Crooked [Blu-ray] (John Mills, 1966) RB UK Network (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers [Blu-ray] (Lewis Milestone, 1946) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

Summertime [Blu-ray] (David Lean, 1955) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Swimmer [Blu-ray] (Frank Perry, Sydney Pollack, 1968) RB UK Indicator (BEAVER REVIEW)

Szerelem (Love) [Blu-ray] (Karoly Makk, 1971) R0 UK Second Run (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Tales of Hoffmann [Blu-ray] (Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger, 1951) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Tangerine [Blu-ray] (Sean Baker, 2015) RB UK‎ Second Sight Films (ALT-BEAVER REVIEW)

Three Films by Mai Zetterling [Blu-ray] (Loving Couples / Night Games / The Girls) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Two Undercover Angels / Kiss Me Monster [Blu-ray](Jesus Franco, 1969) - Vinegar Syndrome (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Unguarded Moment [Blu-ray] (Harry Keller, 1956) Kino (BEAVER REVIEW)

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman [Blu-ray] (Christopher Petit, 1982) Indicator UK (BEAVER REVIEW)

El vampiro negro (The Black Vampire) [Blu-ray] (Roman Vinoly Barreto, 1953) Flicker Alley

Voices [Blu-ray] (Kevin Billington, 1973) Indicator US (BEAVER REVIEW)

A Walk in the Sun [Blu-ray] (Lewis Milestone, 1945) Kit Parker Films (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Werewolf Versus the Vampire Woman [4K UHD Blu-ray] (Leon Klimovsky, 1971) Vinegar Syndrome (BEAVER REVIEW)

The Whistle at Eaton Falls [Blu-ray] (Robert Siodmak, 1951) Flicker Alley

Wim Wenders | A Curzon Collection [Blu-ray] (22-disc collection encompasses the 50-year career) - RB UK Curzon

The Worst Person in the World [Blu-ray] (Joachim Trier, 2021) Criterion (BEAVER REVIEW)

Favorite Commentaries of 2022:


There were so many commentaries in 2022 by Kino, Indicator, Imprint etc. for their consistent inclusions. Criterion, the pioneer of the feature, still appears to be distancing themselves from new commentary track supplements.

Whenever we start naming names we run the risk of forgetting someone - so I will apologize for that immediately. I also didn't hear every commentary made in 2022, but I did listen to about a hundred. I appreciate and respect commentarists very much. We trust you never feel it is a thankless job. We will always support your efforts.


Winner for the second year in a row is:


Imogen Sara Smith (Touch of Evil 4k, The Devil Strikes at Night, Killer's Kiss 4k etc.)


Multiple mentions for:


Tim Lucas (from 2022 - Touch of Evil 4k, Shock, The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu (1929) + The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu (1930), Samson and the 7 Miracles of the World, Night Gallery - Season Two + Three, Count Yorga, Vampire, Repeated on new issues of Planet of the Vampires, Videodrome 4k, For a Few Dollars More 4k, A Fistful of Dollars 4k)


Alan K. Rode (The Turning Point, The Rose Tattoo, Detective Story, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, The Scarlet Hour, The Killing 4k, The Boss, Dead Reckoning etc. etc.)


Kim Newman and Barry Forshaw (Barabbas, Silent Running 4k, Conquest of Space, Get Carter 4k, Voices, Sword of Sherwood Forest, Madigan, Abandoned, Planet of the Vampires, Man Without a Star etc.)


David Del Valle (The Unguarded Moment, The Web, The Amazing Transparent Man, Son of Samson, Terror Out of the Sky, Gypsy Wildcat, Mata Hari, Golden Earrings re-issues on Count Yorga, Vampire + The Return of Count Yorga etc.)


Howard S. Berger, Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson (The Cop  The Body of My Enemy, Grand Slam etc.) plus plenty of mix-n-matching;

Steve Mitchell and Nathaniel Thompson (The Taking of Pelham One Two Three 4k, Escape from Alcatraz 4k, High Plains Drifter 4k, In the Heat of the Night 4k)
Howard S. Berger, Sergio Mims and Nathaniel Thompson (Gambit)
Nathaniel Thompson and Bruce Holecheck (The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue)

*Nathaniel is the most active commentarist - bravo!

Troy Howarth always gets a lot of love (Hitchcock's Rich and Strange, By Candlelight - and with Nathaniel Thompson on Naked Alibi and Contraband etc.)


Daniel Kremer (He Who Must Die, Deported, Breaking In, North Dallas Forty)


Julie Kirgo (The Counterfeit Traitor, So Proudly We Hail!, The Rainmaker etc.)


Adrian Martin (Remember the Night, Kuhle Wampe, Liv Ullmann's Faithless, The Man Who Loved Women (Blake Edwards remake of Truffaut) for Umbrella Burt Reynolds boxset) - a personal favorite - why isn't he doing 50 commentaries a year?


Bill Ackerman (Natural Enemies, Heartbreakers)


Honorable mentions: Amanda Reyes, Samm Deighan, Kat Ellinger, Alex Cox, Troy Howarth, Steve Haberman, Constantine Nasr, C. Courtney Joyner, Michael Brooke, Lee Gambin, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas + Josh Nelson, Jason A. Ney, Glenn Kenny, Farran Smith Nehme etc. etc. etc..


Comments of 'Favorite Commentaries' from 2022 include:

"It was great to see Julie Kirgo get back into the commentary business this year. Ms. Kirgo joins Tim Lucas and Imogen Sara Smith as the only commentators whose presence on a Blu-ray disk will automatically ensure that I purchase it."

- Gary Slatus



"Damn the Defiant! Get Carter, Creatures the World Forgot - anything with Kim Newman"
- Nick Garlick



"Kat Ellinger (The Laughing Woman)"
- Lance Goldenberg



"Raging Bull"
- Warren Ketter



"The Daniels on Everything Everywhere All At Once"
- Dan Hassler-Forest



"Gary Oldman, nil by mouth"
- Paul Ben



"Nick Pinkerton & Glenn Kenny on Arrow's Wolf of Wall Street 4K."
- James Laycock



"David Flint on Mondo Macabro's "Love Brides of the Blood Mummy", David Flint and Adrian J. Smith on Mondo Macabro's "The Horrible Sexy Vampire", Amanda Reyes and Ewan Cant on Vinegar Syndrome's "Don't Open Till Christmas", and Michael Brooke on Second Run's "The War Trilogy"."
- Eric Cotenas



"1.) Julie Kirgo on Kino's release of "The Rainmaker"
2.) Imogen Sara Smith on Kino's release of "The Devil Strikes At Night"
3.) Tim Lucas on Kino's release of "Touch Of Evil"
4.) Drew Casper on Imprint's release of "No Man Of Her Own"
5.) Glenn Kenny and Farran Smith Nehme on Powerhouse's release of "The Harder They Fall""
- Gary Slatus



"Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains - Lee Gambin and Allison Wolfe"
- Tim Leggoe



"Kirsten Johnsen on Dick Johnson is Dead"
- Kevin Sunde Oppegaard



"For discs I haven't mentioned: Aaron Gerow's brilliant scene-specific commentary on Arrow UK's (region B) A Fugitive from the Past; Carl Franklin's (1999) commentary for Indicator UK's (region B) Devil in a Blue Dress; and, someone I didn't know, Felicia Feaster on Tangier (1946), for Kino Lorber's "Film Noir: The Darkside of Cinema IX."
- Peter Rist



"Indefatigable horror buffs Stephen Jones and Kim Newman indulge themselves in a brisk knockabout commentary for The Most Dangerous Game.
Joseph McBride The Sun Shines Bright Astute, well-informed and as casual as ever.
Chris Petit for his quirky piece to camera on why he chose A Time for Dying as being on his selection of Sight and Sound Best films list.
Anthony Slide for informing us on his commentary of Murder at the Vanities that the risqué number "Sweet Marijuana" drew the attention of that august body: The League of Nations!"
- David Redfern



"John Sayles/Bill Forsyth/Daniel Kremer on Breaking In (1989), David Del Valle on Golden Earrings (1947) and The Unguarded Moment (1956), Bill Ackerman on Natural Enemies (1979), Daniel Kremer and Daniel Waters on North Dallas Forty (1979), Daniel Kremer on He Who Must Die (1957), Samm Deighan is generally a favorite commentator, along with Scout Tafoya."
- Charles Thackeray



"Michael Brooke's sprawling academic effort spread across four films between the (Kino) Jansco and (Second Run) Wajda sets. Making up for lost time - somebody give this man an honorary film / history degree or two?! He puts in the work, and it shows."
- Chris Browne



"Samm Deighan: Ebola (Vinegar Syndrome) A foul and unforgivable Cat III Hong Kong film which is expertly contextualised by this commentary and yes Anthony Wong is really one of the greats and how had I never seen that??"
- Seamus Kirkpatrick



"Imogen Sara Smith for Touch of Evil (Kino)"
- Paul Todd



"Once again I say the voice I want to hear bringing me insight belongs to Imogen Sara Smith. Anything she does is gold. If I have to pick one, I'll go for Touch of Evil.
- Steve Rubin



"Julie Kirgo - (& the late Nick Redmond, God bless him) - eg: the 2022 BFI Beat the Devil - she's personal, friendly, speaks clearly & is always delightful with her personal honest appraisals & detailed comments, never stooping to filling time/space with the stats anyone can get from the IMDb, which too many commentarians load their yabber with to the point of boring blabbering. I cannot understand why she's not commissioned to do more, except perhaps her honesty prevents her from endorsing & saying good things about movies she doesn't like.
For commentaries from directors, Robert Altman's are the best we've heard, for much the same reasons as Julie's, exceptional & endearing among directors in adding value & understanding to what he's shot."
- Simon Cherpitel



F"RANK HENENLOTTER - "The Curious Dr Humpp"
TIM LUCAS - "The Planet of the Vampires"
MIKE WHITE, SAM DEIGHAN & KAT ELLINGER (Projection Booth) - "The party and The Guests"
- Neil Williams


For 2022 we exceeded last year's "Favorite Label" votes in our poll, so we are using that as the determination of the ranking. Here are the TOP 10 mentioned Blu-ray / 4K UHD Production labels:

1) Kino Lorber

2) Criterion

3) Indicator (Powerhouse)

4) Second Run

5) Imprint (Via Vision)

6) Eureka (Masters of Cinema)

7) Fun City Editions

8) Flicker Alley

9) Second Sight Films

10) TIE: Deaf Crocodile / BFI


Kudos, obviously, to Kino Lorber - a powerhouse of production volume - fine transfers, commentaries and venturing to 4K UHD with important classic cinema, Criterion for their extensive catalogue of releases, Second Run, Second Sight Films and Fun City Editions for making new gains travelling up the list and to newcomer Deaf Crocodile!


Comments (most responses were just the name of the company but here are a sampling of some of the comments balloters made):

"Between Criterion, Arrow, Kino, and Severin"

"Indicator - for consistently rescuing lost gems"

"Deaf Crocodile (runner up: Mondo Macabro)"

"Kino Lorber Studio Classics (Great titles, ALWAYS great transfers, great ORIGINAL studio artwork)"

"Second Sight, for the amount of care they lavish on every release they put out."

"Overall, its got to be Criterion this year. Expanded the catalogue into new and diverse areas, while also getting the balance right with their choices of established, canonical "classics" - especially on 4K UHD. Presentations/extras have been top notch too."

"Second Run for consistently introducing (or reintroducing) little-seen arthouse classics with an emphasis recently on Czech, Slovakian, and Hungarian cinema."

"Potemkine - This French company does a great job : Russian directors, Kieslowski 4K UHD premieres of the 3 Colors trilogy and Veronique, Nick Roeg's films, silent films, etc. most of them in exceptional transfers with valuable extras and sometimes collectibles. I would buy every single release if they weren't so pricey..."

"Second Run, for its continuing good taste in unearthing gems from Eastern Europe like 'Coach to Vienna', its close attention to English subtitles, its minimalist packaging design, and its indie spirit."

"Via Vision Imprint is my new favorite label. They release an interesting selection of films and titles which often seem to be unavailable to their U.S. competition. And they include great commentaries with their films. And they're Region A."

"Kino Lorber because they don't sit on their licenses and thereby suppress their releases for years on end. When Kino makes a deal with a studio, the movies are released in a rapid burst over a few years."

"Kino Lorber, they release so many fine titles if excellent transfers at reasonable price."

"Imprint. The sheer quality and quantity of Imprint's 2022 releases makes this a no contest. An exceptional year from a label which has rapidly become the one whose releases I anticipate more than any other."

"Kino Lorber - Consistently stellar 4K UHDs of classic films, without slathering everything with HDR"

"Kino Lorber for the great range of their offerings and really good pricing; and, Indicator for all of their extras."

"A tie between 2 U.K. distributors: Second Run, for their unearthing of Slavic gems like 'Coach to Vienna', region-free discs, accurate English subtitles, minimalist packaging design, and spirit of independence. Indicator, for their ambitious deep dives into back catalogues, exhaustive extras, lovingly prepared books and boxsets, and rediscovery of under-appreciated directors like Mitchell Leisen."

"Indicator Powerhouse - For meticulous care and lavish attention of their releases. Several titles this year shone a welcome light on forgotten films and neglected filmmakers. They also continue to go the extra mile in devising their much-appreciated box sets. Indicator maintain a substantive lead in boutique physical media and give competitors such as Criterion a run for their buck."

"Kino Lorber, Imprint, Indicator."

"Imprint. Australian distributor Via Vision's Imprint label has really made a name for themselves, with great packages for films with new extras and many receiving worldwide Blu-ray debuts. And with an announcement of going ahead with the 4K UltraHD format with "War of the Worlds", they will be a label to continue to watch for both Blu-ray and UHD in 2023."

"Kino Lorber for a second year in a row! Not only do they continue to release the lion's share of catalog films, they now seem to be getting a crack at the most wanted 4K licenses. This time out they even outdid Second Run with a career-spanning Jancso set."

"Deaf Crocodile- because they've dug up some glimmering jewels which many of us had either written off or plain forgotten about."

"Like last year, Kino takes the honours due to the volume of their output, range of titles, and the use of original poster art on their covers."

"A huge cheat here but AGFA and Bfi Flipside for the same reasons. A stable, steady release schedule (I can actually keep up with all of them) - each release a lovingly curated gem - wonderful contextualising extras and some that are just fun - if I had a label this is exactly how I would want to release things - it feels like every release is a mix tape made by a good friend. I have every release and I love them so."

"1) Panorama Entertainment  2) Kino Lorber 3) Gold Ninja 4) Severin 5) Indicator"

"Kino Lorber (for sheer volume and quality)"

"When I factor in everything I care about - film quality, film transfer quality / restorations, commentaries and extras, packaging and design, quantity of releases, customer service, price, sale events, catalog staying in print - I remain convinced that Criterion cannot be beat. Second Sight and Indicator have more beautiful packaging, Kino releases more, etc. but when I rank everything, they're high enough in every category to maintain the top spot."

"Amazingly KL - A special re-appreciation of sometimes maligned KL (especially for their terribly botched BD of the Kramer movie above [Pride & Passion]) for providing a plethora of middle-line, watchable 'old' movies whose pleasure increases as current cinema continues veering in continuing meagerly plotted or 'comically' over-plotted & ultra-portrayed or thinly-sketched directions."

"I was going to say INDICATOR as I love their Autumn sale that always ends up bolstering my collection with many British classics and they have produced some stunning Limited Edition releases. However, looking at my final selection it has to be the BFI - they keep delivering excellent physical releases with imaginative extras."

"Second Sight who not only dedicate themselves to restoring holy grail titles, but also convinced me to finally get a region-free player."

"Indicator (because I wait with baited breath for every monthly announcement of future releases)"

"Kino - On the whole, when it comes to presenting masterpieces and classics of world cinema in quality editions with excellent restorations, superb authoring and the inclusion of supplementary materials, nobody surpasses Criterion. But this year my vote for favorite label goes to Kino because of the sheer volume of their output. There may not be a plethora of Criterion-like super restorations or editions with extras up the wazoo (many Kino releases are pretty bare bones), but for diversity of content their catalogue can't be beat. This year's releases ranged from classics like William Wyler's Detective Story and Rouben Mamoulian's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to a special edition of Jack Cardiff's hallucinatory Girl on a Motorcycle (aka Naked Under Leather), a box set of French Noir, Nadav Lapid's Ahed's Knee and Bedtime for Bonzo, all presented in affordable editions with excellent looking transfers. In 2022, Kino also brought out an impressive array of 4K UHD titles including Tropic Thunder, Touch of Evil, Dressed to Kill, Escape From Alcatraz, and The Apartment."

"Criterion - The gold standard for consistently high quality videodisc releases since the early days of laserdisc at the dawn of the Age of Home Video. They pioneered the concept of video extras, commentary tracks and supplementary printed materials in their editions and have maintained their quality output over the years. This year was no exception as they continued to move forward with 4K UHD releases of The Piano, Double Indemnity, Lost Highway, Night of the Living Dead and The Last Waltz among others, along with their regular schedule of quality Blu ray editions."

"Masters of Cinema - Sometimes perceived as the "British Criterion" because of their similar exemplary quality products and tastes in cinema, they are perhaps the closest in matching the Criterion standard of consistent uniform quality in their output. Started as a website to discuss the cinema of leading international filmmakers, the cinephiles at MoC reviewed the work of their favorites available on home video, in much the same way as DVD Beaver does. And later, to make more of this cinema available to the public in the best editions with explanatory supplements, they worked with Eureka! Video to curate a series of top-of-the-line releases under the Masters of Cinema banner. In 2022, they have continued this legacy with, among other things, the definitive restoration of the 1923 Hunchback of Notre Dame (at least until someone locates some 35mm source material), along with deluxe releases of Vampyr, The Most Dangerous Game, Johnnie Guitar, The Sun Shines Bright and a 4K UHD Limited Edition Box Set of Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari."

"Flicker Alley / ClassicFlix - In 2022, Flicker Alley continued their commitment to Noir and ClassicFlix brought us the comprehensive collection of Our Gang/Little Rascals sound comedies."

"Honorable Mention: VCI - Another company long familiar to collectors, VCI staked out their territory in the '70s as a home for orphan films, older movies abandoned by their legal owners. At a time when home video costs were prohibitive for the average viewer and most consumers rented movies at video stores, VCI provided these older, generally lesser-known and mostly unrestored titles at affordable prices. They grew from these humble beginnings, acquiring the rights to British titles and independent films. More recently, they've released a series of Mexican Cinema Classics, partnered with the Mary Pickford Foundation to present some of her features, and released several restored rare Universal cliffhanger serials. This year they moved even further beyond just the preservation side of things with a major 90th Anniversary restoration of Lewis Milestone's 1932 Rain and a 2-disc "Definitive Restoration" Collector's Set of Milestone's A Walk in the Sun.

Special Recognition: Undercrank Productions and Grapevine Video - I would like to give a special shout-out to these two companies who, with a whole hearted dedication to collectors and movie buffs, and comparatively meager resources, embody the Cinephile DYI spirit, committed to bringing old movies (mostly from the silent and early sound eras) out of the archives and private collections and onto home video where they can be (hopefully) cleaned up somewhat and made generally available. Although Grapevine Video appears to be a full time business whereas Undercrank Productions is a project of Ben Model, a renowned silent film accompanist and historian, both companies have similar M.O.'s. Both specialize in old movies that are rare, of special interest, generally unavailable and either not high profile enough or in a pristine enough condition for general release by a major company. In other words, releases that would not be considered commercially viable. Both companies use crowd funding to help finance their efforts and both utilize private and public collections (such as the Library of Congress) for source material, be it 35mm camera negatives or, more often, 16mm prints struck for private viewing. This year Grapevine brought out films featuring Olive Thomas (Out Yonder, 1919) and Colleen Moore (Twinkletoes, 1926), as well as rough around the edges editions of much talked about but seldom seen classics like From the Manger to the Cross (1912), Howard Hawks' A Girl in Every Port (1928) featuring Victor McLaglen and Louise Brooks, and the 1926 Raoul Walsh version of What Price Glory. Following the previous year's award winning box set of Edward Everett Horton Silent Comedy Shorts, in 2022, Undercrank released two Marion Davis films (Zander the Great, 1925, and a full restoration of Beverly of Graustark, 1926), along with a Frank Borzage double feature (Back Pay and The Valley of Silent Men, both 1922), and a collection of early Lon Chaney appearances (Before the Thousand Faces, vol. 2).

"(1) STUDIOCANAL- What a job they are doing with their catalog! Perpetually underappreciated.
(2) KINO LORBER Any reasonable person would find it impossible to judge whether Kino Lorber today is slightly inferior or slightly superior to Criterion. The latter's 4k releases this year are revelatory; but Kino's choices were also brilliant, and when it comes to blu-ray the put out more, and often make better choices.
(3) CRITERION is sitting on too much great stuff. But their 4K choices were spot on.
(4) SHOUT FACTORY- the 4K lineup was fantastic!
(5) THE FILM DETECTIVe- doing great with the resources they have!"

"BFI is typically my favorite label for choice in film and lavish supplements - brings me back to the glory days of >$100 Criterion laserdisc sets."

TV (on Blu-ray)

Countless TV-based entertainment came to disc this past year - mostly recent series, and Dr. Who etc., we mostly focus on older series. Here are a few that received mention in our poll (and six made-for-TV Movies):


(CLICK Covers for more Information)




A few TV Movies on Blu-ray that we reviewed in 2022:

Film Noir on Blu-ray (and a few on 4K UHD)

Film noir, proto-noir, and near-noir (1936-1965) released on Blu-ray in 2022 (in alphabetical order) BIG thanks to Gregory

Abandoned (Joseph M. Newman, 1949) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
All My Sons (Irving Reis, 1948) Kino Lorber [DVD review]
Back to the Wall (Le dos au mur) (Edouard Molinaro, 1958) Kino Lorber
Behind the High Wall (Abner Biberman, 1956) Kino Lorber
The Black Vampire (El Vampiro Negro) (Roman Vinoly Barreto, 1953) Flicker Alley
The Boss (Byron Haskin, 1956) Kino Lorber
The Capture (John Sturges, 1950) Film Detective
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942) 4K UHD Warner
Chicago Confidential (Sidney Salkow, 1957) Kino Lorber
The Counterfeit Traitor (George Seaton, 1962) Kino Lorber
Dancing with Crime (John Paddy Carstairs, 1947) Cohen Media
Dead Reckoning (John Cromwell, 1947) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
Dementia (John Parker, 1955) Cohen Media
Deported (Robert Siodmak, 1950) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
The Desperate Hours (William Wyler, 1955) Kino Lorber, R0 Australia Imprint
Detective Story (William Wyler, 1951) Kino Lorber
The Devil Strikes at Night (Nachts wenn der Teufel kam) (Robert Siodmak, 1957) Kino Lorber
The Diamond Wizard (Dennis O'Keefe, Montgomery Tully, 1954) Kino Lorber
Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944) 4K UHD Criterion
Enter Arsene Lupin (Nicholas Ray, 1944) Kino Lorber
The Family Secret (Henry Levin, 1951) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
The Fearmakers (Jacques Tourneur, 1958) Kino Lorber
Flesh and Fury (Joseph Pevney, 1952) Kino Lorber [DVD review]
The Green Cockatoo (William Cameron Menzies, 1937) Cohen Media
The Guilty (John Reinhardt, 1947) Flicker Alley
The Harder They Fall (Mark Robson, 1956) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
High Tide (John Reinhardt, 1947) Flicker Alley
The House Across the Lake (Ken Hughes, 1954) RB UK Network
I, the Jury (Harry Essex, 1953) 4K UHD ClassicFlix
I Was a Shoplifter (Charles Lamont, 1950) Kino Lorber
Jigsaw (Val Guest, 1962) Cohen Media
Johnny Stool Pigeon (William Castle, 1949) Kino Lorber
Killer's Kiss (Stanley Kubrick, 1955) 4K UHD Kino Lorber
The Killing (Stanley Kubrick, 1956) 4K UHD Kino Lorber
Kiss the Blood Off My Hands (Norman Foster, 1948) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
Knock on Any Door (Nicholas Ray, 1949) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
Lady on a Train (Charles David, 1945) Kino Lorber [DVD review]
Larceny (George Sherman, 1948) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
The Last Train from Madrid (James P. Hogan, 1937) Kino Lorber
Lonelyhearts (Vincent J. Donehue, 1958) Kino Lorber
Love on the Dole (John Baxter, 1941) US Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
The Man Who Finally Died (Quentin Lawrence, 1963) RB UK Network [DVD review]
Native Son (Pierre Chenal, 1951) Kino Lorber
Naked Alibi (Jerry Hopper, 1954) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
No Man of Her Own (Franklin Adreon, 1954) R0 Australia Imprint
Orders to Kill (Jerry Hopper, 1958) US Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
Peking Express (William Dieterle, 1951) Kino Lorber
The Raging Tide (George Sherman, 1951) Kino Lorber
Repeat Performance (Alfred L. Werker, 1947) Flicker Alley [DVD review]
Saboteur (Alfred Hitchcock, 1942) 4K UHD Universal
The Scarlet Hour (Michael Curtiz, 1956) R0 Australia Imprint
Shadow of a Doubt (Alfred Hitchcock, 1942) 4K UHD Universal
Shake Hands with the Devil (Michael Anderson, 1959) Kino Lorber [DVD review]
Shakedown (Joseph Pevney, 1950) Kino Lorber
Singapore (John Brahm, 1947) Kino Lorber
Sirocco (Curtis Bernhardt, 1951) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)

The Sleeping Tiger (Joseph Losey, 1954) RB UK StudioCanal
Speaking of Murder (Le rouge est mis) (Gilles Grangier, 1957) Kino Lorber
Square Jungle, The (Jerry Hopper, 1955) Kino Lorber
Stage Fright (Ralph Nelson, 1962) Warner Archive [DVD review]
Storm Center (Daniel Taradash, 1956) R0 Australia Imprint
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (Lewis Milestone, 1946) Kino Lorber, R0 Australia Imprint
Street of Chance (Jack Hively, 1942) Kino Lorber
Take One False Step (Chester Erskine, 1949) Kino Lorber
Tangier (George Waggner, 1946) Kino Lorber
Temptation (Irving Pichel, 1946) Kino Lorber
Time Out of Mind (Robert Siodmak, 1947) Kino Lorber
Tokyo Joe (Stuart Heisler, 1949) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958) 4K UHD Kino Lorber [old Blu-ray review]
The Trial (Orson Welles, 1962) 4K UHD StudioCanal [old Blu-ray review]
The Turning Point (William Dieterle, 1952) Kino Lorber, R0 Australia Imprint
The Unguarded Moment (Harry Keller, 1956) Kino Lorber
The Web (Michael Gordon, 1947) RB UK Indicator (Powerhouse Films)
Witness in the City (Un temoin dans la ville) (Edouard Molinaro, 1959) Kino Lorber
A Woman's Vengeance (Zoltan Korda, 1948) Kino Lorber
World in My Corner (Jesse Hibbs, 1956) Kino Lorber

Giallo on Blu-ray in 2022 (and on 4K UHD)

The term "giallo" (translated literally as "yellow") refers to a particular cinematic form of, mostly, Italian-produced murder mystery films that can blur the line between art and exploitation. There are new Giallo Blu-ray releases in 2022 (in chronological order) BIG thanks to Gregory!

Libido (Ernesto Gastaldi, 1965) Severin
In the Folds of the Flesh (Sergio Bergonzelli, 1970) Mondo Macabro
Four Flies on Grey Velvet (Dario Argento, 1971) 4K UHD Severin
Knife of Ice (Umberto Lenzi, 1972) RB UK 88 Films
Smile Before Death (Silvio Amadio, 1972) Arrow Video UK, US
A White Dress for Mariale (Romano Scavolini, 1972) Vinegar Syndrome
Tropic of Cancer (Edoardo Mulargia, 1972) Vinegar Syndrome
The Weapon, the Hour, the Motive (Francesco Mazzei, 1972) Arrow Video UK, US
The Killer Reserved Nine Seats (Giuseppe Benati, 1974) Arrow Video UK, US
Footprints on the Moon (Luigi Bazzoni, 1975) Severin
All the Souls... Except the Dead (Pupi Avati, 1977) RB UK 88 Films
Nine Guests for a Crime (Ferdinando Baldi, 1977) Vinegar Syndrome
Hotel Fear (Francesco Barilli, 1978) Mondo Macabro
The Sister of Ursula (Enzo Millioni, 1978) Vinegar Syndrome
Giallo in Venice aka Gore in Venice (Mario Landi, 1979) Full Moon
The Scorpion with Two Tails (Sergio Martino, 1982) Full Moon
Tenebrae (Carlo Vanzina, 1985) 4K UHD Synapse US / Arrow Video UK
The Killer Is Still Among Us (Camillo Teti, 1986) Vinegar Syndrome
Arabella, Black Angel (Stelvio Massi, 1989) Vinegar Syndrome

Best Cover Designs:

Another year for impressive artistic covers whether from new inventive artists or replicas of vintage posters! Arrow, Criterion, Kino, Masters of Cinema, Indicator and a few other labels getting a fair share of votes. So many inventive covers, often chosen from extensive, artistic, old poster designs.

Some Steelbooks (often exclusive) were chosen, if most not enough votes to make the listing.

Many are collectable in their own right. (Mostly in alphabetical order! - each received 4 or more votes!)








This year we had three prizes - Criterion's Blow Out 4K UHD, Arrow's Silent Running 4K UHD and Kino's French Noir Blu-ray boxset - and a much harder contest. Of the 208 films, David H. got 198 correct, Geoff D. got far less and Norm B. had even less again. I, myself, cannot remember #189 if anyone solves it - please let me know. So, David, a 3-time winner now, gets first choice of the disc prizes, Geoff can pick between the remaining two and Norm gets the last one. Thanks to all who participated.


1) Jigsaw
2) Marnie
3) Footsteps in the Fog
4) Dirty O'Neil
5) Savage Sisters
6) In the Mood for Love
7) Dersu Uzala
8) Deep Red
9) Citizen Kane
10) Sirocco
11) The Girl Can't Help It
12) Blonde Venus
13) Written on the Wind
14) Deep Thrust (Angela Mao)
15) Spanish Fly
16) The Playbirds
17) Caged Heat
18) White Goddess (White Savage)
19) Creature with the Atom Brain
20) The Swimmer
21) The Body of My Enemy
22) One-Armed Boxer
23) The Bridge on the River Kwai
24) Touch of Evil
25) For a Few Dollars More
26) Monsieur Beaucaire
27) Monsieur Beaucaire (again)
28) Monkey Kung Fu
29) The Great Moment
30) Raging Bull
31) The House Across the Lake (aka Heat Wave)
32) Galaxy of Terror
33) Mulholland Drive
34) The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue
35) Massacre Time
36) Shaft
37) Sukkubus
38) Double Indemnity
39) Audrey Rose
40) The Tales of Hoffman
41) Wild Strawberries
42) The Swindle
43) Deadly Weapons
44) Violent City
45) A Time for Dying
46) The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
47) Cain and Abel
48) Le Cercle Rouge
49) The Monolith Monsters
50) Night of the Living Dead
51) The Men
52) The Laughing Woman
53) The 8 Diagram Pole Fighter
54) Tarantulas: The Deadly Cargo
55) Miracle in Milan
56) Morvern Callar
57) Berserk!
58) Privilege
59) Born to Win
60) Invasion of the Body Snatchers
61) Grand Slam
62) Blood of the Vampire
63) The Flight of the Phoenix
64) Mr. Klein
65) Bride of Frankenstein
66) The Bridge on the River Kwai (again)
67) Voices
68) Vampire Circus
69) God's Gun
70) Killer's Kiss
71) Versus
72) Written on the Wind (again)
73) The Apartment
74) Two Undercover Angels
75) Tokyo Decadence
76) The Green Cockatoo
77) The Wicker Man
78) Gypsy Wildcat
79) Nightmare Alley
80) Sirocco
81) War of the Worlds
82) Back Street
83) The Godfather
84) Berserk!
85) The Sun Shines Bright
86) Naked Alibi
87) Double Indemnity (again)
88) And God Said to Cain
89) The Fearmakers
90) 'Round Midnight
91) The Party and the Guests
92) The Killing
93) Nightmare Alley
94) The Piano
95) Miracle in Milan (again)
96) Deep Red
97) The Climax
98) The Return of Dr. Fu Manchu
99) The Killing (again)
100) Dementia
101) Gambit
102) The Pumpkin Eater (again)
103) A Fistful of Dollars
104) Night Creatures
105) Zombie of Mora Tau
106) Murphy's War
107) The Stylist
108) Virgin Witch
109) The House Across the Lake (again)
110) The Capture
111) Marooned
112) The Killing (again)
113) In the Heat of the Night
114) Chicago Confidential
115) L'Enfer aka Torment
116) The Piano (again)
117) A Fistful of Dollars
118) Double Indemnity (again)
119) The Indian Tomb
120) In the Mood for Love (again)
121) For a Few Dollars More
122) Red Angel
123) Son of Samson
124) The Coca-Cola Kid
125) Creature from the Black Lagoon
126) Without Warning
127) The Phantom of the Monastery
128) Beyond the Time Barrier
129) Monster on the Campus
130) Fragment of Fear
131) Horror Express
132) Kill Them All and Come Back
133) Blood of the Vampire
134) Invasion of the Body Snatchers (again)
135) Jigsaw (again)
136) Son of Samson
137) Deep Red (again)
138) Miller's Crossing
139) Shanghai Express
140) Conquest of Space
141) Come Play With Me
142) Fire in the Sky
143) The Harder They Fall
144) The Razor's Edge
145) Outside the Law
146) Bandidos
147) Adoption
148) The Devil Strikes at Night
149) Come Drink with Me
150) Mr. Klein
151) The Mummy
152) La llorona
153) Beat the Devil
154) Creature with the Atom Brain
155) Berserk!
156) Forbidden Love
157) Girl on Chain Gang
158) Summertime
159) An American Werewolf in London
160) Vampyr
161) Parallel Mothers
162) Zombies of Mora Tau
163) Night Gallery
164) Love Slaves of the Amazons
165) Raging Tide
166) Shadow of a Doubt
167) Bride of Frankenstein (again)
168) Mulholland Drive (again)
169) Reform School Girls
170) Hotel Fear
171) Love on the Dole
172) The Out of Towners
173) The Untouchables
174) Massacre Time
175) The Great Escape
176) Love Affair
177) The Body of My Enemy (again)
178) Shadow of a Doubt (again)
179) The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (again)
180) Crazy Mama
181) Shock
182) The Pumpkin Eater
183) Love Slaves of the Amazons (again)
184) Planet of the Vampires
185) The Man from Planet X
186) Man Made Monster (aka The Atomic Monster)
187) A Hard's Day Night
188) Breakout
189) ???
190) Get Carter
191) Love (Szerelem)
192) Rain
193) Saboteur
194) Johnny Stool Pidgeon
195) Curse of the Crimson Atlar
196) Man Without a Star
197) Creatures the World Forgot
198) Night Key
199) A Walk in the Sun
200) Paranoiac
201) The Round-Up
202) Mad Dog Morgan
203) Nightmare
204) Where There's Life
205) The Brain from Planet Arous
206) Casque d'Or
207) Remo Williams
208) Man on a Swing

"Reports of the death of DVD are greatly exaggerated"


Again, we had a few DVDs selected this year - rare vintage serials, documentaries, kickstarter, and other, silents, public domain content, shark movies, older TV series, westerns, peplum etc, - the format is far from dead. I still have many DVDs in my 'rewatchable' shelf including The Fountainhead, Impact, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Strange Illusion, Day of the Triffids and many more, that may never be on Blu-ray.







"1. The Valley of the Giants 1919 was a Kickstarter by Ed Lorusso and it's on Grapevine Video DVD and Blu-ray

2. The Apple Tree Girl 1917 was a Kickstarter by Ed Lorusso

3. Beverly of Graustark was a Kickstarter by Ben Model and it's on Undercrank Productions DVD and Blu-ray

These were a few of the Kickstarters I backed this year."

 - Elliott


"1. BEVERLY OF GRAUSTARK, Marion Davies, 1926, Sidney Franklin, Kickstarter/Undercrank, DVD

2. BACK PAY / THE VALLEY OF SILENT MEN, 1922, Frank Borzage, Kickstarter DVD"

- David T. Steere Jr



"I am Alfred Hitchcock - May have been released earlier but only in zone 4 2022. Love anything Hitchcock.
Still buy DVD's on occasion and have been picking up a few TV shows and westerns."




"Journals of Jean Seberg - Mark Rappaport: KINO CLASSICS - riveting examination of a tragic celebrity life from 1995, before such docudramatisations were a flavor of the month."
- Simon Cherpitel



"I bought some DVDs this year, but none were new releases. I do have a correction for last year though! I thought I hadn't bought any, but Kino's British Noir III snuck past my notice, so that gets my retroactive vote for DVD of the (last) year!" - Steve Rubin

Notable Rants and Praise


This is going to be a controversial opinion, but I don't think every film benefits from a 4K release. I'm just glad that I can own certain titles without having to have a 4K player, despite the fact that I do have a few 4K titles. - David Hollingsworth

Praise for BFI Flipside, for bringing forgotten films back to the light, and for supporting them with such wonderful extras! - Nick Garlick

Criterion has decided UK buyers of their releases have no need for the 4K disc option . Hence it you wanted Double Indemnity with that option, you had to look to buy the US version. I waited close to 6 months for a reasonable price drop to get it that way from US Amazon

Thanks for everything
Billy Bang

Why hasn't someone started a petition to CANCEL the Warner Bros. home video cover art department? Everything they release is an abomination, particularly Casablanca and Green Mile. Warner Bros. early 1980s oversize VHS cases had more aesthetic appeal. - Warren Ketter

First, I'm so happy to see some half-assed HD transfers get fixed up for 4K (looking at you, RESERVOIR DOGS and OUT OF SIGHT). But, as great as some of these 4K remasters are, the studios really need to do the work and carry over all the archival extra features so completists don't have to keep three versions of the release around.

Second, can we make dual-format or at least digital codes a norm on releases? That SONY PICTURES CLASSICS set is beautiful - but it's 4K only!

Also, less of a disc label issue and more of a hardware issue - but LG needs to release new firmware for their OLEDs that doesn't get so aggressive with protective screen dimming (auto static brightness limiter - ASBL). Watching the awful 4K remaster of HEAT was like squinting through shadows because of the combo platter of a crap transfer and the agro ASBL function and it flat out ruined beautiful moments in THE GODFATHER. Finally, can Sony finally give us Dolby Vision support on the PS5? It's 2022 now for crying out loud.

- Drew Morton

I decided not to highlight studio releases, due to the sheer number of incredible boutique offerings in 2022 - but it was a great year for top quality 4K discs. Nope, Giant, Poltergeist, The Batman all stood out.

Some labels have taken criticism for their approach to UHD upgrades. If someone forked out big money for a "Limited Edition" blu ray, they're entitled to be a bit annoyed to have to pay again. For me, maybe what Capelight in Germany do would be a solution -offer a disc only option at reduced cost. That being said, Arrow's 4K presentations of Robocop/Videodrome were outstanding and I'd much rather have them with the same extras as the blu, than not have them at all.

Special shout out to the Disc Connected on YouTube. Those kind of channels "aren't my cup of tea", but Ryan knows his stuff and did some great interviews this year. My go-to to keep up to date with all things physical media- DVDBeaver aside.

- James Laycock

We're nearly seventeen years into the Blu-ray format and seven years into the UHD format. Someone create a resume play script for use with BD-Java disc authoring for &*$@'s sake.
- Eric Cotenas

In France, Umiversal released their second set of 4K UHD Hitchcock titles only as a 9 discs affair, which meant every cinephile with 4K capabilities wanting to get Shadow of Doubt et al had to buy Vertigo, The Birds, Psycho and Rear Window a second time... Seriously ?!?
- Istvan Ribardiere

RANT: It's been great during the past few years for Paramount to reenter the physical media business. However, it's a bummer that their focus has been on modern mediocrities and that films like "The Shootist", "Donovan's Reef" and "Cheyenne Autumn" (even mediocre John Ford is historically significant) have thus far been ignored.

RANT: Criterion sits on their licenses for years before releasing them. Many of us will likely die of old age before seeing all of our favorite films released in HD.

RANT: I view Criterion as both a blessing and a curse to physical media collectors. There's little doubt that the product Criterion produces is head and shoulders above the competition ("film school in a box"), and I personally included six Criterions in my vote in this year's top ten.

So many of Criterion's selections in 2022 seemed like they were driven by a non-cinematic agenda. It seems evident that many releases were based more by the race, gender and sexual orientation of the filmmaker, rather than by superlative artistic quality or the historical significance of the film.

That's not to say that the Criterion releases in question haven't been good. "Devil With A Blue Dress" and "Eve's Bayou" are legitimately great movies. And certainly Shaft, while not a great film, is a lot of fun and of sufficient historical significance to merit the Criterion treatment. Indeed, all of the films in question that I'm criticizing here are, in fact, good movies.

However, it's dispiriting that so many classic films which have stood the test of time have continued to be ignored by Criterion. In 2022, these films have languished for yet another year:

Adam's Rib,
After Hours,
The Alamo,
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore,
The Bad Sleep Well,
Ball of Fire,
La Bête Humaine,
Big Deal On Madonna Street,
The Big Sky,
Bondu Saved From Drowning,
Bringing Out The Dead,
The Devil and Daniel Webster,
Le Deuxieme Souffle,
Drunken Angel,
Les Enfants Terribles,
Fallen Idol,
49th Parallel,
Green For Danger,
Gunga Din,
Hobson's Choice,
I Know Where I'm Going,
I walked With a Zombie,
Knife In The Water,
Lone Star,
The Lovers,
Miracle at Morgan Creek,
Mr. Arkadin,
Murmur of the Heart,
Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid,
Pepe le Moko,
Red Beard,
Ruggles of Red Gap,
Salvatore Giuliano,
Samurai Rebellion,
The Search,
The Seventh Victim,
Shoot the Piano Player,
Small Back Room,
The Spirit of the Beehive,
Stray Dog,
The Thief of Baghdad,
Thieves Highway,
Trouble In Paradise,
Unfaithfully Yours,
Winchester '73,
Wise Blood,

And more classic Japanese films than you can shake a stick at.

Criterion is a private company. As such, they have no fiduciary obligation to any shareholders and have every right to release whatever they wish. One has to wonder, however, what the underlying business rationale has been in having so many "identity" releases during the past few years while continuing to sit on so large a number of classic releases for such a very long a time.

RANT: Warner Archives: same rant as Criterion sitting on their films for years. Warner Archive's philosophy of only releasing beautiful restorations on Blu-ray is highly praiseworthy. However, 15 years after the advent of the Blu-ray disc, they still haven't made much of a dent in what is truly an enormous back catalog of Warner, MGM and RKO films. It would be great if Warner Archives would consider licensing out more of their material to a company like Kino or Powerhouse. Maybe then what would be released wouldn't be 100% stunning, perfect restorations, but, say, 80 or 90 percent quality would be sufficient to make many people happy. My fantasy would be a label like Powerhouse or Kino pumping out multiple box sets of Warner/RKO noirs within a matter of a few years (a la Columbia and now, Universal).
- Gary Slatus

It has never been a better time to be a film collector! This year had a huge amount of releases, both top-notch 4K UHDs and blu-rays. So many boutique labels giving Criterion and the Hollywood studios a run for the money. How is it possible to whittle down ten releases from all the ones I purchased this year? I haven't even had time to see every release either! I seem to be changing out my entire library of blu-rays for newly remastered 4K UHDs!

Next year Criterion will be in the running for the top spot for the 4K UHD box of the Three Colors trilogy. The French 4K UHDs have enormously improved transfers, compared to the blu-rays. What other treasures will be released in 2023 to beat this?

Biggest disappointment: every other Paramount 4K UHD. What the hell are they doing?! All the other labels have learned from the early days of blu-ray and 4K UHD and seem to be releasing film-like versions of classic movies in 4K UHD. But Paramount go and release the year's single most atrocious 4K UHD: Trains, Planes & Automobiles. We've been waiting for years for this to be redone properly, but in vain. They are degraining their masters and adding fake grain back (The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, 48 Hrs.). Some Paramount 4K UHD releases are stellar - Top Gun - Maverick, Pulp Fiction. I have now stopped preordering Paramount 4K UHDs and wait until I read reviews, before pulling the trigger. Criterion's Miller's Crossing was an edited version (which they never disclosed) of the old blu-ray from Fox, with an identical transfer. Pointless.
- Kevin Sunde Oppegaard

Another brilliant year here in the UK, with most boutiques digging really deep to unearth some gems, and some astounding and sometimes unexpected 4K restorations cropping up. Exciting times too, with big shifts in the UK market: Eureka continue to mine the Hong Kong action whilst also delivering one of the most diverse Masters of Cinema lineups in recent memory (and some other genre affair too...spaghetti westerns are finally back in fashion!), Indicator maintaining what they do best (great box sets and very special editions of classics, both well renowned and cult, and some surprises too...early Mexican cinema, for example!), Arrow are firing out some huge individual titles but also not forgetting what they're now strongest at (massive crowd-pleasing box sets), Second Sight working hard at no-holds-barred, director-approved editions (particularly impressed with Drive, The Witch and Tangerine), BFI delivering their expected assortment of deep cuts (including some much-awaited Bresson titles, which I was very happy about).

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the year though is Fran Simeoni of Arrow Video leaving that label after over a decade of service to set up his new venture, Radiance Films. The initial slate was already very exciting and with more brilliance promised, it's already shaping up to be a promising influence on both the British and North American home video scene over the next few years. They're even distributing 'hosted labels' much like Vinegar Syndrome in the US, including US label Fun City Editions and brand new UK label Mawu Films (who will mostly be concentrating on Latin American and African cinema.) Exciting stuff!
- Ben Keeler

Thanks for continuing to serve two masters: the DVD producers and willing consumers. How about considering some sound files as well as frame grabs?

- Lee Eiseman

Just one gripe: some distributors have stopped sending actual discs out for review (even simple 'check discs') and instead offer, as Disney puts it, 'gratis digital copies that deliver the film to you sooner." Thanks, but that's missing the point: the physical media we reviewers take the time to appreciate contain so much more than the film itself. Besides the video and audio special features on the disc itself, there's the booklet, the cover (reversible, if it's an Arrow release), the box, everything that goes into a unique package that is tangibly different from what streaming provides and, ultimately, is a much richer experience.

- Jeff Heinrich

Please bring back the category of BEST DVD. An awful lot of good stuff is coming out via Kickstarter and such.

- David T. Steere Jr

The slip disc packaging of the landmark Technicolor Hollywood drama A Star is Born issued by Warner Archive was rather disappointing. Those egregious yellow font subs are still being used on their current releases. Urgh!
Welcome back George Feltenstein and take a bow! Collectors of vintage Hollywood studio films hope 2023 will witness Warner Archive pressing ahead with their excellent program of digital restorations using the best possible source material.

Joint award to Jack and the Beanstalk (Exclusive, Jean Yarborough, 1951) ClassicFlix, and The Saphead (Metro, Herbert Blaché, 1920) Eureka Masters of Cinema. Neither film showcases the talents of Abbott and Costello or Buster Keaton in any exceptional way. However, each disc is packed with irresistible extras. Jack and the Beanstalk being a 70th Anniversary Limited Edition permits a dozen extras. This includes Jack Theakstron's brief history of Cinecolor that demonstrates the color process using rare extracts. The Saphead has similar voluminous extras including three rare Keaton interviews. Impressive background information on the stars, production histories and historical contexts of both films on these exceptional discs.

- David Redfern

This was the year that confirmed- though it was already obvious- that having physical copies of movies and shows was a vastly superior strategy than having "digital access" or streaming availability. Whole chunks of animated titles are effectively gone thanks to corporate incompetence but if you were able to get the DVDs of INFINITY TRAIN... well, the impact is lessened.

The speed at which things are going OOP is a bit bewildering. I went looking for THE HANDMAIDEN and the De Palma / De Niro set and the prices started at '1 Kidney.'

We might be in the Golden Age of the Box Set but man is it murder on the pocket book.

Corollary to the Above: I do hope many of these same boxsets are broken into single releases. Some of the reasons certain films are collected are done so under "iffy" reasons.

How does Disney get away with NOT doing a disc of BARBARIAN, one of their sleeper hits from 2022?

If you'd told me in 2017 that ALLIGATOR or TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 would have 4K discs before SOUND OF MUSIC or MASH, I'd have asked your family to have you committed to Arkham Asylum. How are the boutiques, especially the boutique labels that specialize in "junk cinema," lapping some of the major studios when it comes to physical releases? (Well, I have ideas but I also hope this text will get published.)

Might as well repeat my hopes that TRUE LIES, THE ABYSS, and STRANGE DAYS get upgraded releases.

And my plea that THE DEVILS get a top-flight release with all the cuts. So many layoffs at Warners and somehow the prude (seriously, apparently it's one guy) that holds it back is still there.

I'd like to shine some light onto Deaf Crocodile for their releases of some insanely rare Soviet films and express my hopes for more.

In fact, I love Vinegar Syndrome's 'Partner Labels' program. Lots of cool labels and one place to find them.

I admire A24 for their efforts on some of their titles, but for crying out loud, could you make some that fit on my shelves?

Speaking of which, who has the best shelves? Seriously, the physical media shelf is a lost art.

- Gabriel Neeb


With upgrades from DVD to Blu-ray to 4K UHD, it can be disappointing when previously released extras are not ported over to the next generation format. Baffling were the UHD upgrades such as "Giant", "Singin' in the Rain", "Reservoir Dogs" to name a few that were lacking many of the previously released extras.

The BFI licensed the audio commentary by Sergio Mims for "Mary, Queen of Scots" from the 2020 Kino Lorber Blu-ray release. This was one of the worst commentaries I've ever heard, with poor audio quality, a number of factual errors, completely unorganized, and with Mims giving up 4 minutes before the end of the film. Cheaply done supposedly "expert" commentaries are popping up on a number of discs recently, and some have been a waste of time and effort due to budget cuts, lack of time for research and organization, or just plain sloppiness.

While Imprint gets credit with a number of amazing releases this year, there have been some disappointments with titles having no extras at all, such as "The Road Home", "Golden Boy", "Storm Center", and "I Am the Law".


France's Carlotta has been releasing some incredible boxsets in world cinema this year, with director boxsets of Kinuyo Tanaka, Satyajit Ray, Pier Paolo Pasolini and more with excellent transfers and lengthy extras.

Sony, has been pushing their 4K UltraHD format heavily with their many releases over the year, as well as indies like Vinegar Syndrome, 88 Films, Eureka Entertainment, Kino Lorber, Shout! Factory and other labels also putting effort into 4K releases for worthy upgrades. Physical media may be on the downward trend for the mainstream, but thankfully there are a number of companies and fans keeping the trend alive.

- James-Masaki Ryan

Completing a ballot for '22 is simultaneously the easiest and most difficult to date. The boxed set selection was the clearest cut in years, meanwhile 2022 saw 4K catalog releases come into their own (and how does one rank these? On the film's merit? The significance of the visual upgrade? The definiteness of the total package? Are 4K film series grouped into "boxed sets" supposed to challenge against the supplementally and curatorially superior - though visually out-classed - standard BD entries?). As a result standalone BD releases suddenly become a deep dive without any clear target. Is best to single out one entry from each of the top ten labels and call it a day? I might just do that for 2023. I guess it's further testament to the embarrassment of riches we continue to reap... and just think, Radiance hasn't even gotten started yet.

Also, I don't know why this bothers me (well, yes, it bothers me because I don't have 4K players scattered around the house) but the lack of standard BD discs on 4K sets is getting on my nerves. Standard operating procedure should be one 4K disc with the feature film / audio commentaries - all video-based supplements should be relegated to the "backup" BD along with a copy of the feature film.

- Chris Browne

Gary, I hope you don't mind my mentioning it, but I think your overburdening and disrupting the flow of your 4K UHD reviews with the large red and white text list in the middle, that details the 4K UHD packages you have reviewed to date. I'm sure your discerning readers are able to discover these for themselves.

- Harvey Clarke (ed. Harvey - you are right!)

Much deserved praise for "filmmuseum" DVDs. This year's releases that I bought, include #121, Lav Diaz's Batang West Side produced by the Austrian Film Museum (a double disc), and #119, a double disc of two documentaries on Alice Guy Blaché, and a number of her shorts, produced by the Munich Film Museum. I usually get these at one of the Italian archival festivals (Bologna in June and Pordenone in October), but they can be ordered online.

I find that although Criterion are continuing an excellent schedule of releases, they are a bit too expensive. And for my interests, even though I live in North America, I continue to buy a lot of UK discs, especially from Indicator, Eureka, and Second Run, because they are so good.

- Peter Rist

It was far more challenging to whittle down the long list of candidates into their respective "10 Best Slots" than in previous years. That alone is proof-positive physical media is flourishing now more than ever before. And just about every label has continued to produce great releases, with rare exceptions. In fact, this may be the first time since I began as a collector in the mid-1980's that the great titan in physical media, Criterion, has fallen out of my Top 3 of boutique distributors.

If there was room on my ballot, I would have heaped even more praise onto Kino Lorber for its commitment to preserving the staples of cinema history, along with furnishing us lesser-known genre films of all kinds. Highlighting their stellar lineup was a trio of Kubrick gems from his formative decade of the 1950's - "Killer's Kiss," "The Killing" and "Paths of Glory." And to continue the auteur momentum, a pair of seminal Billy Wilder masterpieces - "Some Like it Hot" and "The Apartment." Not to be outdone, 2022 also saw Orson Welles' genre re-defining "Touch of Evil."

All six of the aforementioned films made their worldwide debut onto the 4K format, and in stunning transfers. Bravo Kino!

Kino Lorber was also responsible for resurrecting the great noir maestro, Robert Siodmak, with a trio of his films: "Devil Strikes at Night," "Farewell (Abschied)" and "Time Out of Mind." Additionally, Kino Lorber distributed no less than a half dozen boxsets devoted to film noir, along with countless individual releases.

Flicker Alley released several noir gems in their own right: "Repeat Performance," "The Guilty/High Tide," and "El Vampiro Negro," as well as Siodmak's "The Whistle at Eaton Falls."

Indicator continued its devotion to film noir with the release of "Columbia Noir #5: Humphrey Bogart" and "Universal Noir #1." And the rest of their output was second to none among boutique physical media distributors.

It was a particularly strong year for auteurs (the aforementioned Kubrick, Welles, Wilder and Siodmak), with many releases celebrating the grand masters, along with some fringe names ripe for discovery. For example:

AGFA: Three Doris Wishman boxsets: "The Twilight Years," "The Moonlight Years" and "The Daylight Years."

Artificial Eye: the mammoth "Wim Wenders: A Curzon Collection" boxset, "Wings of Desire" 4K Steelbook, "The Essential Tavernier" boxset, and "The Essential Becker" boxset.

Robert Bresson: "L'Argent" (BFI), "Pickpocket" (BFI), "The Trial of Joan of Arc" (BFI) and "Le diable, problament" (Gaumont/France).

Walter Hill: "The Warriors" (Blu-Ray Imprint LE) and "The Driver" (4K Studiocanal UK).

Mike Hodges: "Get Carter" (4K BFI LE) and "Croupier" (4K Arrow UK LE)

Lewis Milestone: "Edge of Darkness" (Warner Archive), "Rain" (VCI) and "A Walk in the Sun" (Kit Parker Films).

Directed by Jim Sheridan: Four Irish Films boxset (Blu-Ray Imprint LE).

"Jerry Lewis at Columbia" (Imprint LE) and "The Ladies Man/Jerry Lewis: The Man Behind the Clown" (Umbrella).

"Edgar G. Ulmer Sci-Fi Collection" and "Damaged Lives" (both sets from Kino).

There were boatloads of truly great boxsets that debuted as well: "All the Haunts Be Ours: A Compendium of Folk Horror" (Severin), "The Alfred Hitchcock Collection (Volume 2)" (4K Universal), "Shawscope: Volume 2" (Arrow), "Herzog: A Collection, Volume 2" (Shout Factory), "Rainer Werner Fassbinder Collection: Volume 3" (Arrow UK), "The War Trilogy: Three Films by Andrzej Wajda" (Second Run LE), "Essential Film Noir: Volume 3" (Imprint), "30 Years: Sony Pictures Classics" (Sony), "Vengeance Trails: Four Classic Westerns" (Arrow), "Lies and Deceit: Five Films by Claude Chabrol" (Arrow), "Rogue Cops and Racketeers: Two Crime Thrillers" (Arrow), "The Eurocrypt of Christopher Lee: Collection 2" (Severin), "Universal Classic Monsters: Icons of Horror Collection (Volume 2)" (Universal), "Gothic Fantastico: Four Italian Tales of Terror" (Arrow), "The Sonny Chiba Collection" (Shout Factory) and "The Infernal Affairs Trilogy" (Criterion).

Perhaps it would be a good idea to expand the Top Boxsets category to 10 in future polls?

I would also like to pay tribute to two underseen gems that made their worldwide debut on Blu-Ray this past year: "He Who Must Die" (Kino Lorber), one of Jules Dassin's most personal films, and "Natural Enemies" (Fun City Editions), in my estimation one of the most underrated American films of the 1970's, directed by journeyman Jeff Kanew.

This past year also marked the 4K UHD debut of the great Luis Bunuel's sublime late-period masterpiece, "The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (Studiocanal UK). Speaking of which, how is it that not a single Bunuel film made it onto Sight and Sound's 2022 Critics' Top 100 Poll? Might be reason enough to sour many cinephiles on that publication's "authority" going forward (although the Directors' Top 100 List from the same poll somewhat ameliorated that glaring omission by at least including "Viridiana"). There are many such oversights, but that's a discussion for another time and place.

I'd be remiss if I didn't bring up my one qualm about these year-end polls, namely: why isn't there a Top TV Releases category? With the proliferation of so many streaming platforms producing high quality content these days (both in the States and internationally), in addition to the hundreds of classic television shows that get released onto physical media annually, surely there is enough room in our "cinematic" sensibilities to bring to light praise-worthy television programs?

In this post-Covid digital age, wherein the majority of people watch all their entertainment at home, it makes sense to celebrate this new golden age of television programming taking shape over the last couple decades.

Regardless, if I could cast a vote for the top TV release of the year, hands down it would be "Better Call Saul: The Complete Series" (Blu-Ray/Sony Pictures). This equally impressive prequel to arguably one of the greatest television crime series produced this millennium, "Breaking Bad" (perched alongside The Sopranos, The Wire and True Detective).

And what would a summation of 2022 in physical media be without making special mention of the 4K UHD debuts of two of the most beloved American film classics: "Casablanca" (Warner Bros. UCE Steelbook UK) and "Singin' in the Rain" (Warner Bros. UCE Steelbook UK)?

Pretty amazing year in physical media.......since you asked me!

- Anthony Dugandzic

Studios/labels that keep releasing the same movie over and over, in different packaging, without any upgrade in transfer or extras.
The normal rant about Disney and their hold on the Fox titles. It should not be allowed!
Thanks to all the labels and studios that continue to support physical media. There is no better time to be a collector and 2023 is shaping up to be another great year with some of the announcements I have seen so far.
The studios and labels that use original poster art on their covers. I love the old movie posters. They were so creative, and in some cases a bit daring.
Love what Warner Archive is doing but with so many great titles in their catalogue maybe they need to licence out more of them. Would love to see more Blu-rays from their noir boxsets, such as The Narrow Margin, Crime Wave and Decoy.


As it becomes clear to me that the physical media market is increasingly geared toward collectors, I'm both heartened and saddened. We are gaining access to lesser known films, that even just a few years ago I think even most aficionados wouldn't have heard of or at least agreed that we'd never see good releases. The other side of that coin is the necessary evil of funding these obscure releases, through collector gimmicks (I'm looking at you slipcovers), 4K hype (when it's great, it's undeniably great, but the temptation to mess with color grading and DNR is often too strong to resist, leaving us with mixed results), the releasing of not so great films, and rereleasing of the same films from different labels over and over (has anyone not done a film noir box yet?). I'm enjoying the good parts of this while they last, but I remain concerned that the industry will implode. This tactic has led to that result for every other collectible I can think of before, and I don't see why this won't be different for us.

In a perfect world, best of the year lists (for anything) wouldn't come out until the following February or March, giving people time to digest late entries, catch up on purchases, and so on. I understand why it works as it does, of course. But that does leave some releases in limbo, either because I haven't purchased them yet, I have but they haven't arrived yet, or occasionally, they aren't released until the last couple weeks of the year. So here are some honorable mentions to a few that I think could have been contenders had they been released earlier in the year.

Honorable Mention Blu-ray: Twilight (Kino)

Honorable Mention 4K UHD: The Trial (Studio Canal), Casque d'Or (Studio Canal)

Honorable Mention Box Sets: Michael Haneke Trilogy (Criterion), The War Trilogy: Three Films by Andrzej Wajda (Second Run), Cinema's First Nasty Women (Kino), Three Films by Hong Sangsoo (Cinema Guild)

Steve Rubin

My selections are limited to 'new on BD' titles unless they are such an upgrade as the MoC Vampyr. 2022's 'list' is the easiest ever to determine, as there were sadly so few new-1st-time BDs of classic titles, & i was able to replace only 6 of my remaining 130 DVDs with BDs, while there were too many new BD releases offering various meagre improvements over previous editions.
- Simon Cherpitel

LOVE these Podcasts: THE VIDEO ARCHIVES, PURE CINEMA, COLORS OF THE DARK & FILM GRAZE. Has introduced ne to lost gems and forgotten treasures.

LOVE the TARANTINO book 'Cinema Speculation' (although having no index is infuriating and has meant I have had to develop an elaborate system of post-its to find the films/chapters)

LOVE the continued coverage of all things Blu Ray by DVD Beaver. I am in there foraging at least once a week.

CONFUSED by the Sight and Sound/BFI poll of Best 100 Films of All Time - feel that Critics box-ticking has created an unbalanced list. I LOVE JEANNE DIELMAN. But it is not the number 1 film of all time. The Directors' List was a lot more interesting. Still - at least it got people talking about Cinema.

HATE the Criterion UK release pattern. The film choices are bizarre and need to be more considered. More cinematic canon.

Here is my annual call for BEATS (2019) . Director Brian Welsh's personal coming-of-age and hallucinatory trip into the Scottish Rave Scene deserves a Blu Ray release. A day-glo Trainspotting that deserves to reach a wider audience.

We may need to add a VHS category next year after hearing Tarantino and Avery's argument about the strengths of the format on their Video Archive podcast!

-Neil Williams

-The cover art for Ordinary People... speaks for itself.
-Arrow UK's limited Wolf of Wall Street for being the first blu-ray package to include drug paraphernalia.
-HOT TAKE: 2007 Godfather remaster > 2022 Godfather remaster
-Will Arrow ever start including essential titles in their Essential Gialli sets?
- Leif F.

My praise is all for you, DVD Beaver. You consistently review and highlight the best out there, without bias or favour. My screen watching experience would be a fraction of what it is without your existence. Long may you flourish and continue!

- James Kemp

*The worst crime of the year was another BD of the Lady from Shanghai instead of a 4K release. Damn them.
*CRITERION, don't save your your TOHO and NIKKATSU titles for streaming!! RELEASE THEM on blu-ray!
*Where are Chabrol's early 70s films?
*The Film Detective did a great job releasing part of the Wade Williams catalogue. Now how about releasing the good ones, like CHAMPAGNE FOR CAESAR. And CAPTAIN KIDD for good measure.

- Peter Yacavone

ALL THE HAUNTS BE OURS (Severin Films US) - Haven't seen it because it is not released outside the States. Please, please, please release this in the UK. We invented Folk Horror for Pagan God's sake! I can see how good it is from the description and reviews. It deserves a place on my reinforced shelves... - Neil Williams

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