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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (Blu-ray Review)

There is no mistaking the quality of programming that comes from HBO. Productions like Westworld, True Detective and Game of Thrones continue to wow audiences with their exceptional writing, acting and direction. As those series are currently some of the mainstays of HBO, it can be easy to overlook the original films that come forth from the cable giant. One such movie is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. There are a great deal of stories in our nation’s history that would never be told if it weren’t for the perseverance and preservation of a few determined folks. Mrs. Lacks’ story is one such case.

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Marvel Debuts Mace Windu / Captain Phasma Comics

Two Star Wars standouts got their own comic books this month and they were none other than Jedi Master Mace Windu and metallic marine Captain Phasma. To begin with, last week the (sort of) vice president of Jedi during the Clone Wars saw his own mini-series debut from Marvel. The five-issue series is written by Matt Owens and pencilled by Denys Cowan and features a story of Mace leading a small party of Jedi to the planet Hissrich to monitor the Separatists.

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The Movies That Got Away – How the Films We Missed Would’ve Changed Our Past Top 10’s

“There are only so many hours in the day.” That’s a statement we have all heard and probably even used ourselves. The same thing applies to movie watching and then some. There are only so many hours in a day and only so many movies we can get to in a year. Every year at least one person that sees my Top 10 list in January asks me, “Oh, so you’ve seen EVERY movie from last year?” No. Of course not.  That’s not realistic, but since I have a keyboard and an opinion, I’ll write about what I did see.  Still, that can leave a multitude of pictures out of a person’s viewing experience.  So what happens to those great films we missed?

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Gotham Throwdown! Riddler vs. Joker (Round 1)

Batman #25 came out in print and digital formats this past Tuesday, but it wasn’t the Caped Crusader that everyone was necessarily clamoring to read about this week. Turns out the greed of two of Batman’s biggest arch rivals have pitted their wits and forces against one another. Ladies and germs, this is a story that a lot of fans have been waiting for for sometime. In this corner, it’s the patron of purple pants! The man of masquerading makeup! The killer clown! It’s…THE JOKER! And over here in this corner, it’s the inquisitive interrogator! The curious questioner! The green gangster! He’s…THE RIDDLER!

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Cable Jumps Back to Save the Future

The son of the X-Men’s Cyclops will likely make his big screen debut in the next Deadpool film, but for now, all you fans of our favorite time-traveling mutant can whet their appetite on Marvel’s latest Cable series for 2017. Written by James Robinson and pencilled by Carlos Pacheco, Nathan Summers is back to start some ruckus! Don’t worry, he only destroys things for a good cause. In this case, it’s to save the integrity of the time continuum, so buckle up because we’re about to blast into the past with Cable.

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‘Shed’ Discards Typical Comic Book Feel

…and it’s a good thing. There are hundreds, even thousands of comic book titles published around the world today. Many come and go, while other stalwarts have staked their claim in fandom and become favorites of many. For those that are here today and gone tomorrow, however, it’s worth taking a look at why they disappear. Poor story, perhaps? Not enough publicity? I have no role in Shed‘s story, but I’ll do what I can to deliver the publicity because this title is so worth it.

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Imagine Dragons Releases Third Album

When their first album, Night Visions, was released in September of 2012, Imagine Dragons quickly started amassing a fanbase.  There are very few albums that not only grab, but retain my interest for months and years to come.  Night Visions did that in extraordinary fashion for me and many others and is still a record I go back to frequently.  Roughly three years later, the band came out with its sophomore album, Smoke + Mirrors.  For whatever reason, I never connected with it.  Nothing jumped out and grabbed me and I always found its debut track, “I Bet My Life,” to be rather noisy.  Critics were split on the record and I was bummed.  Still, it went gold in the U.S. and was successful overseas.  However, my musical concern grew.  Could they be the proverbial rookie flash-in-the-pan?  A one-and-done?

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‘Thrawn’ by Timothy Zahn

In 1991, author Timothy Zahn was tasked with the duty to write a trilogy of Star Wars novels that were the sequels to Return of the Jedi. From the get-go, these stories were magnificent and featured an array of new characters (Jacen & Jaina Solo) as well as ones we were already familiar with (Luke, Han, Chewie & Leia). One character that arguably stood out above them all in those books was the then newly created Grand Admiral Thrawn. He was such a hit with fans that even Disney couldn’t overlook him. It’s been out for about a month and a half now, but the alien commander has his own book.

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Friday the 13th – (PS4 Game Review)

In 1989, video game publisher LJN released the one and only Friday the 13th game for the NES. Based on the hit horror film franchise, you played as one of the Camp Crystal Lake counselors and made your way around the dreaded summer vacation spot to rescue children, kill zombies and ultimately face the man behind the mask himself, Jason Vorhees. Honestly, the game was done fairly well for its time and it was one of the earliest video games I beat.  Still, time marched on with gaming technology, but that late 80’s product was the only thing gaming fans of the demonic serial killer had.  Fast forward to May 26, 2017 and that appetite has been satiated.

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How DC Saved Aquaman

Aquman SquareHe talks to fish. He carries an underwater pitchfork. He looks like Biff the water polo star. The character of Arthur Curry has been the butt of numerous jokes and criticisms over the years. He’s been the proverbial punching bag of readers and critics alike. Yet somehow, despite all the knocks and jabs, Curry (a.k.a. Aquaman) has survived several decades. Though the Aquaman title has not achieved the commercial print success as some of his peers (Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, etc.), it has grown substantially in popularity in recent years, establishing itself a prominent foothold in DC’s line of top tier heroes.

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Why ‘La La Land’ is Overrated

La La squareFinally. I finally saw La La Land this past weekend. I took my seat, and though I’m not a fan of musicals, went in with an open mind. After all, I have grown quite fond of An American in Paris, Nine and of course Singing’ in the Rain. These were all great works with the latter most being nothing less than pure brilliance. Unfortunately, the days of Gene Kelly have long since passed, which brings us to the courageous and creative Damien Chazelle who wrote and directed La La Land. Now that the movie is over, I can tell all the award ceremonies why they’re wrong.

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Dave Matthews Band – Ranking Their Studio Albums

DMBIt’s no secret that Dave Matthews Band has been one of the most successful bands since the 90’s. There’s just something about their music that connects with me on a very soulful level. Maybe it’s the unconventional singing voice of Dave himself. It could be the marriage of all those instruments that blend into a unified musical journey. There’s also the story-telling element of Dave’s lyrics that add depth to their content. In actuality, it’s truly a combination of all those things and more. While the live concert is where the band thrives, there’s no overlooking their roster of studio albums. There’s no real timetable for their next release, but there is and admirable library to pick from today so let’s take a look at how they rate.

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Gregg’s Best and Worst Films of 2016

Top 10It was certainly a turbulent year in the entertainment business as 2016 saw the passing of numerous stars. Bowie left us, then Alan Rickman and the list went on with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds passing just days apart. While they have moved on to whatever the next stage may bring, we will always have them on film. Music and movies are two things that can bring people together so take a moment to remember those we admired while continuing to enjoy to the films we loved in 2016. Keep in mind this is not a list of the most artistic films of the year, just my personal favorites as well as a few that had me squirming in my seat in boredom.

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Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2016

top tenIt’s been a while since I amassed a favorite Blu-rays of the the year list. There was one final title I wanted to check out before concocting my ten favorites. I enjoyed Suicide Squad in the theater earlier this year, but just in case I enjoyed it even more after a second viewing, I had to see if it was going to make my list. It did not. While entertaining, it just doesn’t possess greatness, but I digress.  Alright, enough rambling.  It was all for the sake of filling space here in the opening paragraph anyway.  I’ve kept Hollywood holding its breath long enough. Onto the list!

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Best Comics of 2016

Best Comics of 2016It’s been a great year for comic book readers and a momentous one as well. DC’s ‘New 52’ branding came to a close while their line of ‘Rebirth’ titles made a big splash in stores. Some said it’s a bad sign that DC has rebooted yet again within a 5-year span. Others say it’s not a reboot at all, just part of DC’s master plan. Either way, it was one headline in the industry that certainly made a lot of noise. Marvel made their own waves with the release of Civil War II and let’s not forget that Valiant’s lead-off title came to a fitting end. Yet amidst all the titles on store shelves, there can only be one in each category that rise above the rest. Read on to see who takes the cake this year.

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Countdown to Batman v Superman – Batman: Earth One

As we are coming closer and closer to the release of Batman v Superman, it is always important to pay homage to where these two caped heroes came from. No, I’m not talking about Krypton and Gotham, but the comic book pages from which they were spawned. Before they were in on screen in a $250 million film, they were in 25-cent comics (or $3.99 today) duking it out with armed thugs determined to thwart the justice and the American way. The next few days a few of us writers here at Why So Blu are taking a look at some of our favorite titles from either character.

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The 33 (Blu-ray Review)

When I first saw of this film’s title, I thought, “Wow! A movie about the Freemasons!” However, that was not the case. The 33 is in fact a film about the horrible Chilean mine collapse that took place in 2010, trapping 33 miners in its depths (200 stories down, to be exact). While these hard-working souls went into the belly of the earth to literally do the dirty work of others, it was an unbreakable bond that would soon forever bind the group of men as they attempted to survive being buried alive.

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Batman: Bad Blood (Blu-ray review)

The tandem of Warner Bros. Animation and DC Comics have churned out one animated feature after another. We have seen a number of titles featuring some of DC’s most popular characters such as the Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman features. There have even been a few featuring the Justice League in one capacity or another. I’m not sure of sales figures, but these things have to be successful or else they wouldn’t keep putting such strong efforts toward them. With their latest release, we look at Batman: Bad Blood, a new suspenseful 72-minute adventure and one that’s not meant for the kiddies.

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