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Archive for the 'Editorials' Category

Detective Comics Issue #1000

It has been a long time in coming, about 80 years to give you an idea. That is no coincidence either. This year marks the 80th birthday of arguably the second most famous super hero in the world; Batman. While Action Comics got its start in 1938 and featured everybody’s favorite Kryptonian, it actually arrived more than a year after the debut issue of Detective Comics. However, that’s not to say Batman is older than Superman as far as publications go.  On the contrary, the Caped Crusader arrived in 1939, courtesy of writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane.  Fast-forward eight decades and it’s time to honor one of the greatest comic book characters around.

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‘Hotel Mumbai’ Delivers Intensity (Movie Review)

In 2008, a small but potent group of terrorists launched a well-coordinated, multi-wave attack on specific targets within the Indian city of Mumbai. The horrific events took place within a period lasting from November 26th to the 29th. This past weekend, the 123-minute feature film titled Hotel Mumbai, which retells those moments of those awful three days, had its national release. Starring Slumdog Millionaire lead, Dev Patel, along with Anupam Kher, Armie Hammer, Jason Isaacs, and the insanely beautiful Nazanin Boniadi.

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STAR WARS 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray: What I’d Like To See

No, Lucasfilm/Disney/Fox have not announced the release of Star Wars on the 4K UHD Blu-ray format yet. I apologize to anyone who quickly saw that and got excited, but I couldn’t think of any other way to title the piece. Clickbait was not my intention. But, now that you’re here, please stay for a while and participate! With the strong embrace of streaming from the mainstream, we don’t exactly know how embraced the 4K Ultra-HD format will be in the years to come. If there is one certainty from the format, its that the classic Star Wars films will one day make the jump to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. Every format and collector eagerly awaits the debut of these films as they usually take a few years before arrival. And each time has come with both excitement and light controversy. Star Wars has released in a similar “business as usual” fashion ever since the mid-1990s. With this article, I’m hoping to present a different method, one that breaks from their traditional release pattern and style. This isn’t going to be a history of Star Wars on home video as I’d done for Halloween, but what I’d like to see going into the next format. I’d also love for people to join in on the comments and suggest their own (somewhat realistic) ideas.  Continue reading ‘STAR WARS 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray: What I’d Like To See’

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The Golem (Film Review)

Every culture has its own mythological beasts. The Greeks had the Minotaur and Medusa. The Romans had the basilisk. The Chinese had dragons. One particular creature of the human imagination that has often been overlooked in mythology discussions is that of the golem, a creature made of stone or earth summoned to defeat evil…and maybe even go on an unintended murderous rampage. This product of Jewish culture has been traced as far back as the early years of Judaism with more prominent tales of the earthy monster taking place in the 16th and 17th centuries. It sounds like something ripe for the pickings of a movie. Screenwriter Ariel Cohen thought so too.

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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2019!

As promised after much delay, the annual wishlist is here! I’m actually glad I waited until the end of January to publish it, because in the time between November and now, many past wishlist titles have been announced for this coming year. So, we can scratch them off the list. There are titles that were originally on this list (Like Klute) that didn’t get a chance to be. The Blu-ray landscape began to evolve a lot in 2018, merely with the decision Warner Bros has made to license out movies to independent distributors like Criterion and Shout! Factory. Sony used to be strict about adding new features to their titles in licensing deals (Hence why many of theirs went to Twilight Time in the past), but appear to have scaled back and now we are getting better editions and titles companies want to pull the trigger on BECAUSE they can make the Collector’s Editions they were wanting to. Its becoming obvious with major studios that home video itself is pushing and moving toward streaming being the dominant format going forward and Blu-ray/4K UHD will go way of vinyl and be a collector’s medium. Premium prices will be more standard, but as long as the big studios are turning a corner like Warner Bros and your Arrows, Criterions and Shouts continue to put out top notch product, things will prosper for us fans of cinema and the physical media formats.  Continue reading ‘Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2019!’

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Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films of 2019 – A Month By Month Look

With many studio films with dates set in place and general knowledge that certain filmmakers have movies set to arrive sometime this year, there’s still a lot of challenge in selecting which movies I am most looking forward to. Of course, I may as well call this post “Godzilla and Some Other 2019 Flicks I Want to See,” but that would be underselling the excitement I have for a lot that is arriving in theaters (and presumably streaming) in 2019, big and small. There’s also the case to be made for all the films many of us do not even know about yet, given the nature of film festival debuts and other surprises. Regardless, this is a month by month look at what I am looking forward to seeing (links for trailers where available). Feel free to name the films you look forward to in the comments.


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Love, Brandon: Top 10 Films Of 2018

I’m not last, but posting the day after Aaron Neuwirth is a tough act to follow. He’s the most informed of us here and is able to see an impressive amount of films released in a given year. For me personally, 2018 felt like I didn’t see as much as I would have liked to in order to have formed a good opinion for a Top 10 for the masses (I still haven’t seen A Star Is Born). As a matter of fact, I almost bowed out of doing a Top 10 films of 2018. But I realized, at the end of the day my “I didn’t see as much as I’d have liked to” is still probably a lot larger sample of films watched in the year than a lot of people. And thus, this is my favorite of the boatload of films I did see. And crazy enough, I realized I had seen plenty when 2018 contained films from some my favorite filmmakers or collaborations that wound up not making the cut (Coen Bros-The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Wes Anderson-Isle of Dogs, Diablo Cody/Jason Reitman/Charlize Theron-Tully). And as much as I loved Mandy, that didn’t make it either. Worth noting too, that this is the first time in the Disney-Lucasfilm era that a Star Wars film didn’t make my list (And I did like Solo). But, enough rambling, here are my 10 favorite films of the year 2018. Continue reading ‘Love, Brandon: Top 10 Films Of 2018’

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Aaron’s Superb Top Ten Films of 2018

It’s the end of another year, and for whatever difficulties there have been, I certainly had a lot of movies to consider for my year-end list of favorites. I had a lot of fun putting together this final top ten list, knowing full well the strong set of contenders. Given that I’ve watched around 200 2018 releases theatrically and via Netflix and Amazon Prime, there was a lot to narrow down from, but here we are. Some films were instant favorites for me, some grew in my opinion over time, and a few lost a bit of their luster as the year went on. All of that in mind, here is the set of films that resonated with me the most in my official list for the Top Ten Films of 2018, complete with runner-ups, honorable mentions, and more. (Reviews are linked when available and, as per usual, I’ve also linked lots of Easter Eggs in all of the pictures, so enjoy that as well.)

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Gregg’s Tenaciously Transformative Top 10 Films of 2018

This year was the first time since I started doing this ten years ago where my ‘worst of the year’ list was compiled before my ‘best of’. Both have since fluctuated with the titles on those lists, but the moral of the story is that while 2018 had some great films, I never felt it was a great year for films. In the final weekend before this article was due, I crammed in four theater visits in 48 hours for the most accurate top 10 list I could compile (unfortunately Vice came out too late to be viewed for this list). Little did I know three of those four wouldn’t even come close to making this list (sorry, Aquaman, I’m elated you finally got a film but it’s just too long and the Black Manta actor was awful). Nevertheless, the films that did make this were very worthy of my movie-loving appreciation for any number of reasons. As always, here’s my disclaimer that this list isn’t claiming each of these films are super artsy or award-worthy. Some of them will likely walk away with a Golden Globe or Oscar. Others are just definitive popcorn movies that were pure fun. Either way, it’s quite a mash-up of action, emotion and great storytelling.

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I’ve Got 10 On It: Gerard’s Top-10 Films of 2018!

For some reason I thought I would be last out of the Why So Blu? crew in terms of listing our Top-10 films of 2018. Nope! Looks like I’m first, so my selections are on deck. As is customary with my Top-10 list of films – I was not able to watch everything I wanted to before my cut-off date. I’m going to list my Top-10 selections in a streamlined fashion and I will omit any honorable mentions due to time and scheduling. You want a Top-10 list, well, that’s what you’re gonna get! Without further ado, let’s get busy! Continue reading ‘I’ve Got 10 On It: Gerard’s Top-10 Films of 2018!’

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Hello. My Name Is Brandon Peters. This Is My Top Blu-rays List. Prepare To Read!

One of my favorite and most frustrating times of the movie writing season is the end of the year “TOP X” lists. They are a lot of fun, but also hurt the brain when trying to weed through all the releases and then put them in a specific order. When it came to 2018, the year was one full of significant and terrific upgrades of previously released titles. Whether it be the format jump to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray or a brand new Blu-ray release, the year showed that you’re doing more than just buying the same thing again for a new bonus feature. DVD and VHS brought about “double dipping” but in the case of standard Blu-ray, you’re actually getting an (ideally) improved picture and audio presentation to leap past your previous edition. It truly does fall under the term “upgrade”.  New 4K and 2K scan restorations have yielded some impressive results and “fixed” many collector’s issues with the previous versions of a film.  While us 4K Ultra-HD users pine for EVERYTHING to come to the format, many of the 4K restorations put on Blu-ray are keeping us satisfied with some of the smaller films for now. Continue reading ‘Hello. My Name Is Brandon Peters. This Is My Top Blu-rays List. Prepare To Read!’

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Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Top-Quality Blu-ray Picks For 2018

Who’s ready for a killer Blu-ray list? Like previous years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), I’ve gone in-depth on what I enjoyed with this year in Blu-ray release. I still may not have a 4K setup like Why So Blu’s Brian and Brandon, or a region-free player like Gerard, but there was plenty to enjoy for a guy working with the regular old HD format. As usual, this list has a few rules that come with it. Regard for the film in question is obviously important. I have to have watched the movie for the sake of assessing the quality of the video and audio transfers. And I had to dive into the special features available. The last thing, I always try to keep films that may appear on my “Top 10 Films of the Year” list separate from the top ten Blu-rays. I do this to keep the post interesting, and I also have some extra sections to go over other highlights from the year. So, here we go:

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Coming in Hot: Gerard’s Top-10 Blu-rays of 2018!

Yes, it is one of my favorite times of the year – my Top-10 favorite Blu-rays of 2018 in full effect! My criteria are more of a how did the film look, sound, and was it fully loaded in terms of special features? That’s how I gauged if they would make it on the list or not.  The film in question could have been a stinker but how was the Blu-ray? That’s how I graded my selections. The good news is that they weren’t stinkers to begin with, so we all win! Without further ado come on in, have a seat, relax, and enjoy my Top-10 Blu-rays of 2018. Kick it!

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Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2018

This year every time a new month came in, my money went out. I found an impressive array of discs released in 2018 and there was definitely some jockeying for position that took place with this list since mid-summer. For instance, DC Comics’ Justice League had been a mainstay on here until recently when one release after another pushed it off the list. Still, that film does have my favorite steelbook to date, but we’re not counting points for artwork here. We’re looking at quality of the production and the library of content. Extras aren’t the be all end all, but they can make or break a title entering this list so let’s see who made the cut.

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Gregg’s 2018 Game of the Year

As the years have passed, I have drifted significantly from video games and focused that time more on boardgaming. I just find the ability to use my imagination and the skill of critical thinking far more engaging in something like Terraforming Mars or Memoir ’44 as opposed to the button mashing of Mortal Kombat or the run ‘n gun of Call of Duty. Nevertheless, there is that occasional title of pixel fun that just captures my attention and won’t let go. Whereas last year that honor went to the DC Comics street fighting game Injustice 2, this year just happens to be another comic book-influenced title.  No, that is not a requirement.  It’s just that this game was done so incredibly well, I almost want to use the word ‘perfect’ in describing it.

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Why So Blu at 10 Years and Counting

Over a decade ago, Why So Blu founder Brian White brought to my attention a website based out of Winnipeg that did reviews of recently released Blu-rays. When he asked the lone admin of that site how he accumulates the material to write about, Brian was rather surprised to learn that the film studios send them out. “Do you send them back when you’re done?” The answer was a simple ‘no’. As the gears started turning in Brian’s head, his love for movies started dating a knack for writing and it wasn’t long after that the two got married.

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The Best Comics of 2018

Whereas 2018 was not the best year for films (in my humble opinion), it proved to be an exceptional year for comics. The world of Spider-Man saw one massive tie-in after another between the PS4 game, the upcoming animated film and the Spider-Geddon series. Valiant did a slight but impactful retooling of its popular Ninjak series, now referring to him as Ninja-K, the eleventh assassin of his kind (A through K) in Her Majesty’s service. DC made their own statement with the Drowned Earth story arc, establishing the importance and strength of Aquaman as the half-Atlantean, half-human gets ready for his own feature film later this month. Long story short (too late), there was no shortage of entertainment from comic book publishers these past twelve months. You’ll see some familiarity from last year on this article and a few new titles that are certainly worth checking out. After all, why else would they be on this list?

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3 Bands, 3 Albums in 2018

Usually when any of my four favorite bands release a new studio album, I get a little excited. When three of the four release new albums in the same year, I climb to the roof and do repeated backflips off the chimney. Such was the case this year as Dave Matthews Band, Daughtry and Imagine Dragons all gave the public something new to rock to in 2018. Since my biggest regret was not addressing each release individually as they occurred, you now get them bundled and gift-wrapped in this neat little article. Please hold the applause until later. We’ve got some music to talk about!

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