HCC Movie Awards 2018 Page 2


Night of the Demon: Limited Edition

We had long-hoped somebody would give Jacques Tourneur's 1957 horror classic the sort of quality Blu-ray release it deserved. Even so, never in our wildest dreams (or nightmares, come to that) did we imagine something as astonishingly comprehensive as the package Indicator put together for this Limited Edition outing.

Not content with summoning up four different versions of the film (original full-length, US reissue, UK theatrical and US theatrical cuts), the set also provides both 1.66:1 and 1.75:1 aspect ratio options for two of them. This devilishly good two-disc release then squeezes in copious extras, including an audio commentary, a retrospective Making of…, and eight new critical appreciations, with surprisingly little cross-over or repetition between them. Topping it off is a poster and book all housed in a striking slipcase.

Also nominated

Batman: The Complete Animated Series
Casablanca: Premium Collection
Night of the Living Dead


Night of the Living Dead

The Criterion Collection Blu-ray release of George A. Romero's legendary 1968 chiller isn't the first time the film has graced hi-def disc in the UK, but it's by far the best. While a copyright snafu had led to Night of the Living Dead quickly entering the public domain, allowing two different labels to tackle the film previously on Blu-ray, it seems nobody felt the urge to invest the money needed to restore it to its original glory; the resulting encodes were either framed incorrectly or had footage missing. Thankfully, for this release the Criterion Collection utilises a brand-new 4K restoration of the 35mm camera negative, and the new 1.37:1 Full HD presentation is nothing less than a revelation, breathing fresh life into the corpse of a genuine horror classic.

Also nominated

Distant Voices, Still Lives
They Shall Not Grow Old


Jackie Chan’s Project A & Project A Part II

This Asian action cinema double-header brings together new restorations of two of martial arts superstar Jackie Chan's best-loved movies in one must-own Blu-ray boxset. As well as looking better than ever, the two Project A films also sound up for the fight, with a choice of mono and 5.1 tracks in Cantonese and English. Generous extras include newly shot appreciations from genre expert Tony Rayns, an upscale of the alternate 'Export Cut' of the sequel, and various archival goodies.

Also nominated

Blade of the Immortal
Heimat: Limited Edition
Invention for Destruction


Batman: The Complete Animated Series

It's been a long time coming, but this 12-disc Blu-ray boxset collecting all 109 episodes of the acclaimed '90s Batman cartoon was definitely worth the wait. Beautifully restored from original film elements, the hi-def encodes far surpass the dusty old DVD transfers fans have previously put up with, and superbly showcase the series' distinctive 'Dark Deco' aesthetic. The set is also loaded with quality extras, including two spin-off movies and a 98 minute retrospective Making of… documentary.

Also nominated

The Breadwinner
Isle of Dogs
Mary and the Witch’s Flower

Ultra HD Blu-ray of the Year

Blade Runner 2049

Fans of the original worried it couldn't be done, but this astonishing sequel, which sees Denis Villeneuve pick up the directing baton from Ridley Scott, adds a thrilling extra chapter to the Blade Runner story while nailing the future noir aesthetic courtesy of best-in-class VFX – and this Ultra HD Blu-ray brings it home with aplomb.

Roger Deakins' award-winning cinematography looks sumptuous, the impactful lighting and colour choices captured by a faultless 2.40:1 4K HDR encode that crams detail into every frame. Joining these valiant visuals is a Dolby Atmos track of real beauty, with rich LFE notes, articulate ambient effects and soaring Hans Zimmer/Benjamin Wallfisch score begging you to play it loud. Awesome.

Also nominated

2001: A Space Odyssey
The Greatest Showman


Heimat: Limited Edition

Made back in 1984, Edgar Reitz's 15-hour TV drama charting the life of a family from a small German village between 1919 and 1982 looks fresher than ever courtesy of this superb Blu-ray release. Restored from the original camera negatives, the set's 1.66:1 1080i encodes find beauty in the show's mix of black-and-white and colour photography. Worthwhile extras include Reitz's two-part documentary 'prologue', a video essay by Daniel Bird, and a detailed account of the restoration process.

Also nominated

Batman: The Complete Animated Series
Blue Planet II 4K
The Expanse: Season Two


Five Tall Tales: Budd Boetticher& Randolph Scott at Columbia, 1957-1960

The past 12 months have seen indie Blu-ray label Indicator release a number of A-grade boxsets, every single one of which deserves a spot in your collection. Towering above them all, however, is this celebration of director Budd Boetticher and the Westerns he made with actor Randolph Scott. On top of gorgeous Full HD presentations of five of their films, there are bonus features a-plenty, including chat-tracks, archival interviews, video essays and an 80-page book. A peerless package.

Also nominated

Hammer: Volume Two – Criminal Intent
The Matrix Trilogy 4K
Woodfall: A Revolution in British Cinema


2001: A Space Odyssey

When it was announced that Christopher Nolan, the flagbearer for filmic authenticity, was to oversee an 'unrestored' restoration of Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi milestone, for both a theatrical re-run and Ultra HD Blu-ray release, expectations were high. Yet this platter lives up to the hype.

An 8K scan of Warner Bros.'s pristine 65mm assets leads to a 4K image that features thrilling detail, drawing you into Kubrick's painterly visuals and exquisite set-design. Colours meanwhile, now claimed to reflect the film's original theatrical look, are bold yet refined and emphasise the director's stylistic approach. Amidst all this, HDR10/Dolby Vision grading is beautifully applied, unearthing subtle highlights and adding a rich depth to the image. By the time Dave is crossing time and space in his escape pod, you'll be hoping Warner can work similar wonders on its other catalogue classics.

Also nominated

Mission: Impossible
Grease: 40th Anniversary Edition