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Archive for the 'Editorials' Category

The Case of the Disappearing Drive-In

When I think of a drive-in movie theater, I used to often associate the image with the 1950’s and 60’s. Perhaps I’d mentally throw in a scene of a young couple watching The Blob while the young varsity jacket-wearing student would try and steal a kiss from his date. Such establishments serve as significant nostalgia for many in the U.S. The truth is, many of these have long since closed, going the way of the dodo. Heck, you’d have a better chance of finding a waitress on roller skates today than you would a drive-in movie theater.

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Super Blood Hockey (PS4 Game Review)

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love football, but I’m nuts about hockey. I’ll watch the sport at nearly any level, high school to pros, and enjoy every minute of it. When it comes to hockey in video games, Blades of Steel for the NES was an absolutely awesome game. Even today, that game still holds a special place for me. Sure, EA’s NHL series is the most accurate hockey simulation you’re going to play, but there’s something special about those arcade style games where you can throw every bit of reality out the window. Welcome to Super Blood Hockey.

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Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Mash-ups can be a slippery slope. It’s certainly not a new concept as I’ve been a fan of them since the early 90’s when I read Magnus: Robot Fighter vs. Predator, courtesy of Valiant and Dark Horse. That mini-series was, at least at the moment, exceptional. I haven’t revisited it since so who knows if it stood the test of time, but I digress. Others, like Robocop vs. Terminator, have been less memorable, though the title alone was enough to draw me in. In December 2015, another epic-sounding mash-up in comics arrived in the form of Batman vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The series proved to be an entertaining read that has since spawned two sequel mini-series, the latter of which, Batman vs. TMNT III, is ongoing as we speak. However, if that wasn’t enough to whet your Dark Knight/reptilian ninjutsu palette, then certainly a feature-length animated film would be.

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Godzilla Ranking: The Millennium Era (1999-2004)

Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse expands this Summer with Godzilla: Kong of the Monsters. As a huge Godzilla fan, I’ve been happy to put together some fun posts about the classic Kaiju franchise. Enjoy some fun facts here, but this post for Why So Blu continues what I started with my Heisei era ranking. Now, I have a look back at Godzilla’s Millennium period, which ran from the late 90s to the mid-2000s. Get ready for more rankings, trivia, and killer poster art.

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Godzilla Ranking: The Heisei Era (1984 – 1995)

This Summer, everyone will have a chance to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the latest entry in Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse. As a massive Godzilla fan, I’ve been doing my part to spread the good word on the classic Kaiju. Enjoy some fun facts here and eventually beginner’s guide on another site, but for Why So Blu, I wanted to put together a ranking of the films from a couple of key periods in the long-running franchise’s timespan. So, with this first of two posts (for now), enjoy this look back at the films from Godzilla’s Heisei period, which ran from the 80s to the mid-90s.

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Savage Avengers Makes Debut

Like Endgame or not, there is definitely a Marvel high that’s wafting through the air right now. Entering its second weekend, the final Avengers movie will, without question, continue to behave like a financial behemoth. Although this is the end for the super team, it’s certainly not the end for all things Avengers. New to comic book stores this month is a fresh take on the group, dubbed Savage Avengers! Issue #1 came out on May 1st and I had the privilege of feasting my eyes on it earlier today.

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A Legend Lost – Peter Mayhew Dies at 74

Farewell, Chewie. News broke today that the original actor who played everyone’s favorite Wookie passed away on April 30th. Peter Mayhew was 74 and died at his Texas home surrounded by family. Also an author, Mayhew was of course best known for playing rebel hero Chewbacca, famed sidekick of Han Solo. The 7’2″ actor filled a unique niche during filming of the original Star Wars movie in 1976 donning what looked to many then as a Bigfoot-esque costume who would be fighting for the good guys.

 

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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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