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Best Music/Concert Release – The Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour & Yellow Submarine
It was virtually impossible to decide which of Apple’s two Beatles Blu-ray releases should get the Bitsy in this category, so we finally gave up trying.
Runners-Up: Also worth checking out are Peter Gabriel: Secret World Live and Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest from Eagle Rock, Criterion’s terrific Quadrophenia, Warner’s Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day (a Walmart exclusive) and Sony’s Neil Young Journeys and Paul Simon: Under African Skies.
Best Blu-ray 3D Release – Hugo: Limited 3D Edition
Directed by Martin Scorsese and released by Paramount, last year’s Best Picture winner remains the single best 3D experience we’ve seen on disc in the past year. The 3D effect itself is well and tastefully used to enhance the drama and the disc itself reproduces the theatrical experience of depth at home with near perfection.
Runners-Up: Other great 3D experiences from 2012 included Marvel’s The Avengers and Brave from Disney, Paramount’s Transformers Dark of the Moon, Titanic and The Adventures of Tintin, and Fox’s Prometheus. Special note should also be given to Universal for updating The Creature from the Black Lagoon in 3D (in the Universal Classic Monsters box) and to Warner for a similar upgrade of Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial “M” for Murder. Finally, it’s worth noting that James Cameron’s Avatar finally arrived widely in stores on Blu-ray 3D for the first time in 2012.
Best Psychotronic/Cult Release(s) – Scream Factory
This was another tough one. But as we were considering all the nominees in this category, one Scream Factory title after another kept coming up: They Live, The Funhouse, Terror Train, Halloween II, Halloween III: Season of the Witch. There was just no way to choose. So our hats off to everyone at Shout! Factory for a terrific line of mind-blowing cult classics on Blu-ray! It looks like their 2013 line-up is shaping up nicely too…
Runners-Up: We should also tip our hats to the fine folks at Kino Lorber for their excellent Mario Bava and Redemption Films BD lines, which were very highly prized here at The Bits in 2012 – Black Sunday was a particular standout. Other gems for the year include Anchor Bay’s Battle Royale: The Complete Collection, Universal’s Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Olive Films’ Johnny Guitar and Criterion’s World on a Wire.
And finally, here’s our Bonus category…
Most Unexpected Release – Stanley Kubrick’s Fear and Desire
This was a wide open category, but Kino Lorber narrowly edged out a win by delivering not just one but two of Stanley Kubrick earliest films to Blu-ray on this release (the second being The Seafarers). It’s admittedly for Kubrick diehards only, but if anyone had told us a year ago that we’d get to see these films in high-def, we’d have said they had a screw loose.
Runners-Up: Warner’s Little Shop of Horrors: Director’s Cut was a very close second in this category, given that none of us ever thought the deleted footage would be found in color. Also noteworthy are such gems as Flicker Alley’s A Trip to the Moon and This is Cinerama, Olive Films’ The Sterile Cuckoo, Warner Archive’s Gypsy (1962) and Twilight Time’s Lost Horizon (1973).
And that’s it for this year! We hope you’ve enjoyed our look back at the Best of Blu-ray in 2012. Bitsy will return this time next year for The 11th (Semi) Annual Digital Bits Bitsy Awards! Bitsy into Darkness perhaps?
- The Digital Bits