Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Formidable 4K & Blu-ray Picks for 2022

I’ve joked in the past about trying to shrink this super-sized top ten post down. This year, I think I actually did it! Okay…so it’s maybe only a few titles shorter than usual, but that’s not nothing. Once again, I’ve had the privilege of taking in Blu-ray and 4K UHD releases all year, along with a region-free player, to enjoy import releases, much like my fellow Why So Blu writers, allowing me an optimal viewing experience to go along with these excellent releases. As usual (see: 2017201820192020, 2021), the final top ten list has a key rule – I have to have gone through the disc as far as assessing the audio and video quality, along with the special features available. There are some releases that I’m sure are terrific, but I just haven’t had the time to watch everything. With that said, I have plenty of bonus sections as well. So, let’s do this thing!

Box Sets

With so much stuff to dig into, it only made sense to represent what I could when it came to these nifty box sets from various distributors that didn’t quite land on my top ten.

[Note: Each title features paid links and links to reviews when available.] 

Columbia Classics Collection – Volume 3 – Sony making an event out of these deluxe releases suits me just fine, as we keep getting some very solid notable releases with stellar presentations.

The Halloween 4K Collection 1995-2002 – Well Scream Factory, you did it. You gave me a reason to own Halloween Resurrection on 4K. Not a bad deal considering the solid work going into the worst Halloween film and these other two for a solid collection.

The Infernal Affairs Trilogy – The Criterion Collection – The Hong Kong crime trilogy that would go on to inspire The Departed was a very cool selection for the Criterion Collection. While the video transfer was a bit under par, it’s still great to own this set of killer flicks.

The Police Story Trilogy 4K – Eureka had already released the first two Police Story films, but adding the original theatrical cut of Supercop to the mix is just awesome. Sure, getting First Strike would be a huge plus as well, but getting three of Jackie Chan’s best action flicks (featuring occasional humor) in a nicely packaged set rocks.

Shawscope Volume Two – If I had more time to go through Arrow’s second Shawscope release, it could have made the top ten. Honestly, just having a new version of my favorite kung-fu flick, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, makes this worthwhile, but I now have the sequels and plenty of other fun Hong Kong movies.

Sony Pictures Classics: 30th Anniversary 4K UHD Collection – It was pretty cool to see Sony put together another 4K box devoted to their indie releases from over the past few decades. Plenty of great films are contained within this set, all presented at their best. (Review)

The Criterion Collection

Each month features multiple terrific releases from The Criterion Collection. While I may have some saved for the top ten list, here are my favorite Criterion Blu-ray releases from the year, presented in alphabetical order.

Devil in a Blue Dress 4KIn a different world, this solid neo-noir starring Denzel Washington would have become a cool film series. As it stands, it’s a bit of a cult favorite that at least now has a 4K criterion release. (Review)

Double Indemnity 4KPerhaps tied with a few others as my favorite film noir, this Billy Wilder classic doesn’t have much more to deliver on as a home release, so a 4K release sounds about right.

Le Cercle Rouge 4KJean-Pierre Melville’s 1970 prison escape/gangster flick is given new life on Criterion thanks to this 4K release, and as one seeing it for the first time – what a picture!

Malcolm X 4KSpike Lee’s epic biopic is a terrific-looking movie. What better way to celebrate that aspect for its 30th anniversary than by delivering a fantastic 4K Criterion release? Plus, Spike is always fun with his interviews, and there are some new ones here. (Review)

Miller’s CrossingI’ve got a lot of noir in this lineup, so it seems, but why not? Here’s another – the Coen Brother’s tribute to the likes of Dashiell Hammett, among others. Happy to see it get a Criterion upgrade as it continues to climb up the rankings in the Coen oeuvre. (Review)

Mississippi MasalaHere’s Denzel popping up again, this time in a lovely romantic drama revolving around a culture clash, among other notable elements. An excellent fit for the collection when it comes to the more modern selections.

Night of the Living Dead 4KGeorge A. Romero’s horror classic made my top ten a few years back, and this 4K upgrade is worth noting as well, as the film that already looked better than ever on that Blu-ray now goes one step further.

The Piano 4K – The newly Oscar-minted Jane Campion now has a spot in the collection for her 1993 masterwork. A terrific period drama with plenty of extras to go with it. Another entirely fitting choice here.

Raging Bull 4KSpeaking of masterpieces, Scorsese’s brilliant examination of masculinity by way of an emotionally and physically brutal biopic comes to Criterion with a beautiful 4K transfer that makes an already incredibly cinematic effort shine even further.

Shaft 4KThis disc is one bad mother alright. Not only do viewers get to see this Blaxploitation classic in 4K, but they also get new extras and the bonus addition of Shaft’s Big Score! the (arguably) superior sequel. (Review)


On the one hand, A24 is getting away with a lot by charging on its own site for various books, movies, and other merch. However, the special editions of their films do come in cool packages with plenty of exclusive content. I have a few here that I quite enjoyed picking up.

The Green Knight 4K (A24 Shop Exclusive / Collector’s Edition)A favorite film last year, the original release already featured some solid extras, but this new release features more, along with a very cool short film set in the same universe.

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On 4K (A24 Shop Exclusive)Currently the only way to see the film via physical release, this sweet sorta-animated/sorta-documentary can be celebrated quite nicely thanks to this package.

The Souvenir Double Feature Blu-ray Set (A24 Shop Exclusive)The semi-autobiographical two-parter from Joanna Hogg got a nice double-pack Blu-ray release to make for a solid, complete collection.

Classics/Cult Favorites

With a year’s worth of releases from various studios, including Shout Factory, Kino, and Arrow, I wanted to highlight some very cool specialty releases and other classics.

Alligator 4K (Collector’s Edition)I’d somehow never seen Alligator until now, and I was happy to catch this deluxe 4K from Scream Factory, giving proper new life to the Jaws knock-off. Plus, there are some great extras here, including a wonderful interview with Bryan Cranston, talking about his early days as a P.A. on the film and meeting star Robert Forster. (Review)

The Apartment 4KOne of several 4K upgrades courtesy of Kino Lorber. A perfect movie, one of my favorites. Happy to present more Billy Wilder in this post.

Casablanca 4K (80th Anniversary Edition)Here’s looking at you 4K. (Review)

Coraline 4KOne of two Laika films given a 4K upgrade, and man, I don’t think a stop-motion animated film could ever look better than what we see here. (Review)

Drive 4KPerhaps not the Drive you’re thinking of, MVD has released a killer 4K package containing 1997’s surprisingly pretty good DTV buddy action-comedy featuring Mark Dacascos as a super solider gone rogue and Kadeem Hardison for comedic support.

Drive 4K (Limited Edition)This Drive should be more familiar, as it is the 2011 neo-noir starring Ryan Gosling. Second Sight delivered a killer 4K set complete with new features, a terrific transfer, and all kinds of additional goodies.

The Driver 4K (Steelbook Edition)To bring this Drive train full circle, how about Studio Canal’s killer new 4K release of Walter Hill’s The Driver, complete with new features involving Hill and some very slick packaging.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 4KMichel Gondry and Charlie Kaufman’s wonderfully loopy sci-fi romance featuring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet giving some of their career-best work. Happy to see this one receive the UHD upgrade.

Fright Night 4K (Steelbook)Tom Holland’s terrific horror-comedy about a teenage boy and the vampire next door gets another deluxe upgrade. Along with the 4K presentation, there are somehow even more substantial new extras to go along with it.

In the Heat of the Night 4KKino may not have all the extras that Criterion got a hold of, but along with the 4K upgrade, this set also includes the two sequels, They Call Me Mister Tibbs! and The Organization, which makes for one complete package. 

The Limey 4K (Best Buy Exclusive Steelbook)At long last, Steven Soderbergh’s brilliant arthouse noir arrives on 4K and in a fancy steelbook package, no less. (Review)

Miami Connection 4KI am still in disbelief that, of all films, Miami Connection, the 80s rock band movie/Taekwondo, ninja-filled action flick, has received an elaborate 4K release. However, leave it to Vinegar Syndrome to deliver the goods.

ParaNorman 4KLaika’s other 4K release from this year and one of my favorites, ParaNorman offers so much in all areas, and now it looks better than ever at home. (Review)

Pulp Fiction 4KQuentin Tarantino’s Oscar-winning hit would have easily found a spot on my top ten if it had more to offer beyond a new 4K upgrade. With that said, I’m happy to see the Big Kahuna Burger looking so tasty. (Review)

Reservoir Dogs 4K (30th Anniversary Edition)Tarantino’s debut film also made its way to 4K this year for its 30th anniversary, and there’s nothing wrong with getting to hear K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the 70s on this format. Now bring on Jackie Brown in 2023! (Review)

Some Like It Hot 4KNobody’s perfect, but Kino’s release of this comedy classic in 4K is another example of Billy Wilder getting the best treatment.

Honorable Mentions for New Releases

I couldn’t pass up mentioning one final set of new releases, as they deliver the goods in all respects when it comes to home media.

The Batman 4KMatt Reeves’ hit film that reestablishes the Caped Crusader in the grittiest of ways also delivered a stellar home release packed with extras and a terrific transfer. (Review)

Clerks 3 4KHere’s the thing, I don’t think Kevin Smith’s third Clerks film is all that good (better idea than execution). However, the best Smith releases are packed with worthwhile extras and a commentary track that delivers as many laughs as the amount of insight. This release fits that bill, and having a nifty 4K steelbook release doesn’t hurt. (Review)

Dune 4KWB knows what they’re doing when it comes to their blockbusters. Plenty to enjoy about this release of Dune: Part I. (Review)

Everything Everywhere All At Once 4KOne of the year’s best films also came with a great release digging into all that went into the making of this off-the-wall arthouse hit.

Mad God (Steelbook)Phil Tippett’s long in the making stop-motion nightmare-come-to-animated life is a real trip, and he happily made sure to give fans plenty of behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, along with a commentary track moderated by Guillermo del Toro.

Nope 4K (Collector’s Edition)Jordan Peele’s original Summer blockbuster has only been more rewarding on subsequent revisits, and the 4K home release does plenty to exemplify why the film works so well, in addition to a nice collection of bonus features. (Review)

Terrifier 2 4K (Collector’s Edition)Sadly, this is the one release I have not been able to dig into due to travel reasons, but knowing it is packed with extras makes me look forward to returning to the Clown Cafe for one of the year’s gnarliest films.

West Side Story 4KSpielberg has been knocking out great films these past two years, and his update of the classic musical was practically built to show just how great 4K can be for a lively movie such as this. (Review)

The Woman King 4KGina Prince-Bythewood made a warrior epic just as good as Gladiator. It arrived on 4K with excellent technical qualities to make this crowd-pleaser a film that can be easily watched again and again at home. (Review)

The Top Ten:

Here it is…

10. The Amusement Park (Review)

George A. Romero kicks off the top ten with a Blu-ray release of his “lost” film, courtesy of Shudder and RLJ Entertainment. The actual movie, which is a creepy take on elder abuse initially intended to play as a PSA, only lasts about an hour. However, that hasn’t stopped this release from delivering on many beneficial extras, providing plenty of insight into how The Amusement Park came to be, the production process, and more. Plus, as a film working on a low budget and coming from where it has, it looks and sounds pretty solid on Blu-ray. For such a strange experience that still feels entirely like Romero, this is a quality release undoubtedly worth praising.

Out there…there’s nothing… out there. (Order HERE)

9. Last Night in Soho 4K

Edgar Wright’s films do not disappoint when it comes to their home releases, and his supernatural ode to Giallo, 60s horror, and more falls right in line with his other releases. In addition to delivering another strong feature full of style, music, and other lavish qualities, all of the behind-the-scenes featurettes, commentaries, storyboards, and more round out what any film lover would want to know about the process of building a film like this. Destined to become a cult favorite (like other Wright films that would initially underperform in theaters), there’s so much to latch onto in regard to the work on display, and having a quality 4K release certainly helps. 

You could say Sandie died in that room. She died in that room a hundred times. (Order HERE)

8. Dog Soldiers 4K (Collector’s Edition) (Review)

It’s wild that I never actually saw Neil Marshall’s debut film until this year. I say that because it’s entirely up my alley. This is a wild combination of Marshall’s way around brutal horror violence and so many references to other genre films, particularly the attitude of The Evil Dead. Clearly, this is my kind of movie, and I’m glad I finally saw this tale of soldiers vs. werewolves. Also happy to know that after years of issues in getting a proper transfer for Dog Soldiers, this 4K is the best look people have had yet when it comes to getting a solid presentation for the film.  Probably the biggest surprise on this list for me.

My guts are out, Coop!
We’ll just put ‘em back in then!
(Order HERE)

7. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 4K (Paramount Presents) (Review)

I was excited to pick up John Ford’s classic western, as it is one of my absolute favorites in the genre. This all-star cast includes James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, and Lee Marvin, who are all on top of their game, and the film offers so much good stuff in the realm of white hats vs. black hats, an examination of the western hero, myth vs. reality, and more. It’s an excellent film, and this 4K release offers new extras in addition to its terrific presentation. Paramount Presents has been bringing out the goods for the past couple of years, and this release is no different.

I know those law books mean a lot to you, but not out here. Out here a man settles his own problems. (Order HERE)

6. Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 4K (Limited Edition)

Vinegar Syndrome pulled out the stops for Tobe Hooper’s gory sequel to his 1974 masterpiece. New interviews, a fancy new case, and an amazing new restoration allow this release to be the definitive version of a film that’s certainly earned plenty of attention. Speaking of, this Texas Chain Saw Massacre follow-up really is something. Opting to do a lot more showing when it came to the grizzly stuff, along with several unhinged performances, including Dennis Hopper,  and satirical elements, there’s so much to like as far as a horror movie so clearly driven by the filmmaker’s voice. And yes, having this ultimate version only keeps its esteem high.

No secret; it’s the meat. Don’t skimp on the meat. I’ve got a real good eye for prime meat. Runs in the family. (Order HERE)

5. Get Carter 4K (Limited Edition)

Sadly, director Mike Hedges passed away days before the writing of this post. Still, I was happy to see the British Film Institute put together this fantastic 4K set for Hedges’s classic British gangster film starring Michael Caine. It’s the sort of gritty film that set a standard while further establishing Caine as a force when he wants to be. Arriving in an elaborate package, so many new and old extras are featured here, along with additional perks like a study book and more. There’s a lot to like about this bleedin’ release.

Frank wasn’t like that. I’m the villain in the family, remember? (Order HERE)

wall-e4. WALL-E 4K (Criterion Collection)

WALL-E is a perfect film from Pixar. It’s tied as one of my three favorites from the animation studio and remains a delightful combination between their attempts to experiment and the efforts to deliver a surprisingly emotional journey. Plus, it’s a clever sci-fi flick about a robot who finds love and inspires everyone around it to be just as curious as it is. Andrew Stanton truly delivered here, and it’s amusing to hear about how he just asked Criterion if this 2008 hit could be added to the Criterion Collection. I’m glad they complied, as the film looks and sounds better than ever, and there are so many new extras added on top of an already-packed list of extras. No foreign contaminants here, just great physical media goodies.

I didn’t know we had a pool! (Order HERE)

3. After Dark: Neo Noir Cinema Collection Two (1990 – 2002) – Imprint Collection

This impressive package includes Blue Steel, Internal Affairs, The Crimson Rivers, The Way of the Gun, The Yards, and Narc. A couple of those are making their Blu-ray debut, and all of them are well worth watching. Collection One had a few films I was interested in, but this package is full of greats, including two favorites for me, courtesy of Christopher McQuarrie and Joe Carnahan. Each movie comes in its own package, complete with new extras that are all worthwhile. Plus, the expanded booklet adding further essays and details for each release, is also a great touch. There’s been a ton of neo-noir represented on this list, and for good reason, as these are terrifically cinematic features earning their solid presentations to better bring to light what quality they offer.

The only thing you can guess about a broken-down old man is that he is a survivor. (Order HERE)

2. The Godfather Trilogy 4K (Review)

I mean, it’s The Godfather. How elaborate do I need to get here? Francis Ford Coppola’s brilliant trilogy, featuring two of the greatest films ever made, gets the exact treatment it deserves with multiple versions of this release featuring each film and each version, and loaded with old and new extras. As a crime saga, these films still offer all one could ask for when it comes to incredible cinema, including the third, which has only gained fans over the years. Regardless, there are still the first two offerings which are complete triumphs in every way, and now have amazing 4Ks to present them properly.

I make him an offer he don’t refuse. Don’t worry. (Order HERE)

1. The Warriors (Limited Edition)

What could possibly top The Godfather, you ask? Well, I’m letting Walter Hill answer that question with 1979’s The Warriors. This deluxe box set release from Imprint has everything I could ever want from a release of one of my favorite cult classics. Most importantly, a new presentation of the previously unavailable theatrical cut of the film, which I much prefer to the more comic book-influenced director’s cut. Both cuts are available on separate discs, both packed with new extras. It’s a truly remarkable release, for a movie that totally rocks. This story of a fierce gang trying to outrun all the other gangs of New York as they make their way back to their home turf holds plenty of meaning for me. Having a terrific deluxe release makes it worthwhile to have imported all of this greatness. And with that in mind, The Warriors topping this list feels exactly right.

Can you dig it? (Order HERE)



Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

4 Responses to “Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Formidable 4K & Blu-ray Picks for 2022”

  1. Brandon Peters

    I always look forward to diving into this piece every year! And it feels good that a load of my cuts make it here in a nicely curated recap of a good many things. Crossing my fingers for a 4K Paramount Presents of The Warriors next year to make me feel good about holding out LOL.

    One of the best things we both cross over on is the love for The Amusement Park. What a terrific top to bottom release of such of an obscure lost treasure.

    Here’s to 2023 which is already stacked in the first 2 months!!!

  2. Aaron Neuwirth

    Thanks Brandon, certainly put in the time and thought to curating something I felt was pretty neat and substantial. And yeah, RLJ, in general, has a pretty great record at delivering on packed discs for their cool titles – Amusement, Mad God, One Cut of the Dead. Glad to see obscure ones getting deluxe treatment. And you can’t get that specific Warriors set anyway, because you waited and it’s now sold out. :p But yes, thanks again and yeah, 2023 is already packed!

  3. Gregg Senko

    Wow, no one can accuse you of not having a comprehensive list! Dog Soldiers on 4k? Yes please!! And despite my lack of interest in most animated films, Wall-e still holds near and dear to me so I will likely be picking that one up after Dog Soldiers. And finally, ‘Nope’. I was so thoroughly entertained by it while many were beating it up in reviews. Sure it’s not Peele’s ‘Get Out’ but it was a dang good film nonetheless.

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    Nope being on so many Top Ten Critics lists makes me feel like Peele got the last laugh 😉

    Yes, Dog Soldiers!!!