TweakTown's Digital Lounge Blu-ray Awards 2010
In a year that's seen a massive amount of quality Blu-ray products come to market, including a new line of Blu-ray 3D movies and an abundance of special collector's edition box sets and other high quality merchandise, it's very difficult to pick just one of these releases from each category to highlight.
But I'm always up for a challenge, so at the dawn of 2011, I thought it was high time to award the releases of 2010 and the distributors that produced them.
Best Image Quality
Criteria: Most impressive image quality based on quality of materials, devoid of sloppy DNR or other digital nasties, and with most efficient image encoding.
Winner: Avatar: Collectors Edition (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Why: Despite cramming three different cuts of the film on the same dual layer Blu-ray, the crystal clear, direct digital transfer of Avatar looks a million bucks, and is now my demonstration Blu-ray of choice. Full of appealing bright bold colours, with heavily saturated tones and compressed to perfection, one look is easy to see why it takes our award for this category.
Runner Up: Iron Man 2 (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Best Audio Quality
Criteria: Most immersive use of sound, with lossless audio being a must.
Winner: Beauty and the Beast (Disney)
Why: For a Disney musical, much rides on the quality of the audio track for Beauty and the Beast, but it doesn't disappoint at all. Disney sound engineers have crafted a sonically beautiful track, full of subtlety, bombast and throughout, crystal clear perfection. Simply put, it's a joy to experience.
Runner Up: Inception (Warner Home Entertainment)
Best Special Features Collection
Criteria: Based on quality and quantity of extra features, including audio commentaries, picture in picture video tracks and providing more than basic behind the scenes information.
Winner: The Alien Anthology (Paramount Home Entertainment)
Why: Disc producer Charlie de Lauzarika has once again excelled himself, producing another Alien boxset that's even more spectacular than the last. No stone is left unturned on the production of the four films, and by the end of it all you feel like you could have made it yourself. If only you had a fraction of the talent.
Runner Up: Avatar: Collector's Edition (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Best New Release Movie
Criteria: Best overall movie for a new release title released over the course of the year.
Winner: Avatar: Collector's Edition (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
Why: It's certainly not a perfect film, and it does lose out in the transition to a smaller, non-3D home screen, but there is something special and endearing about the experience of James Cameron's Avatar and as the newly crowned highest grossing motion picture of all time, it clearly means a lot to many movie-goers, hardcore and casual alike. The hard working, and notoriously demanding director poured his heart and soul into the picture, and it's obvious in every frame.
Runner Up: Toy Story 3 (Disney Home Entertainment)
TweakTown's Digital Lounge Blu-ray Awards 2010 - Continued
Best Vintage Catalogue Release
Criteria: Best visual and audio remastering for an older title, including quality of extra features.
Winner: Toy Story (Disney)
Why: Pixar animators went back to the original source files for the original Toy Story to re-render a new 1080p transfer, and the results speak for themselves. This is Toy Story like you've never seen it before. You'll see and hear things you've never experienced before, and the collection of new and vintage extra features is a joy to watch.
Runner Up: The Sound of Music (Twentieth Century Fox)
Best TV Series Release
Criteria: Best overall release of a TV Series property released over the course of the year.
Winner: Life (Village Roadshow Home Entertainment)
Why: The BBC's epic follow up to the lauded Planet Earth; Life is a truly amazing Blu-ray boxset. One part educational, one part fascinating and one part demonstration disc, Life shows the undeniable beauty of the world and the intricate balance that supports it.
Runner Up: V: Season One
Criteria: Consistence of quality releases is a must, including quality of image and audio quality, consistency of lossless audio and at the very least, including special features from DVD release, if not more.
Winner: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
Why: It was a bit hard to narrow just one studio down due to the consistently high quality of releases from many of the studios, but Twentieth Century Fox get the award this year. Giving top class treatment to new releases such as Avatar and The A-Team, and back catalogue films alike, including The Sound of Music and Moulin Rouge and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fox released a pleasing quantity and quality of films during the last year, with not too many missteps (although the re-release of Predator was an unfortunate blip on their quality control.
Runner Up: Disney Home Entertainment
Best Overall Release
Criteria: Best Blu-ray release based on image, audio and special feature quality, and quality of the movie in general.
Winner: The Alien Anthology (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
After much deliberation, I have decided to award the Alien Anthology Blu-ray boxset as the overall winner for 2010.
Why: For those that have seen the Alien films and to those that will now be introduced to the series via this high definition presentation , will know or find out that these films, and in particular, the first two films, are classics of the science fiction/ horror genre. The newly restored transfers of Alien and Aliens, undertaken by famed restorers Lowry Digital, are simply magnificent, revealing a beautiful image that whilst tastefully retains the emulsion of the film (otherwise known as grain), reveals a deeply detailed image with magnificent colour timing. The audio tracks too have seen a major sonic overhaul, revealing sounds and effects buried in the mix and probably not heard before.
However, the beauty at the core of the Alien Anthology boxset is the magnificent collection of extras assembled by Ridley Scott's DVD producer Charlie de Lauzarika which run the entire gamut of the series production over a 20 year timeframe. Of particular note is the documentary on the notoriously troubled Alien 3 production, entitled 'Wreckage and rage', which now includes some newly uncensored, brimming with tense on set footage, interview segments and recollections.
Runner Up: Avatar: Collectors Edition (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
We sincerely hope you enjoyed our content throughout the year. Please feel free to discuss this in our comments section below, and we look forward to the bounty of Blu-ray goodness in 2011!
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.co.uk
Australia: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.com.au
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon.ca
Deutschland: Finde andere Technik- und Computerprodukte wie dieses auf Amazon.de