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Aaron’s Top Ten Films of Summer 2017 & More

Looking back through 2017’s Summer movie season, it is hard not to see it as a success. There’s plenty of talk of how box office totals were down, but absent a major August release that took over the charts (think Guardians of the Galaxy or Suicide Squad) and a couple of whiffs from franchises people are fairly tired of (think Transformers), the decline is easy to comprehend. The real thing to note is the quality of films both large and small. As opposed to last summer, where the number of successes was overwhelmed by the number of disappointments, this season featured plenty of well-liked movies. Thoughts on general movie goers and critics aside, people from all sides mostly enjoyed the movies they were able to see. Here’s my list of films I most favored this summer, along with some other notes on the season. Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments as well!

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Remastered ‘Close Encounters’ Continues To Deliver The Ultimate In Spielberg Wonder

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is important. It means something. The real wonder of this 1977 sci-fi classic persists to this day, capturing the imagination of many over the last 40 years. Now the film has been restored and remastered in 4K with a one-week re-release that will hopefully bring many back to the theater to see Close Encounters again, let alone inspire newcomers to take in a film so special to many.

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‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind’ 4K Re-Release & The Top 5 UFO Arrival Scenes

This week, Steven Spielberg’s science fiction adventure classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, returns to theaters for a 1-week engagement in celebration of the film’s 40th anniversary. The director’s cut has been restored and remastered in 4K, which will be shown on screens, before the arrival of the upcoming 4K UHD release. In anticipation of this release, I thought it would be fun to put together a list of some of the most memorable alien UFO arrival scenes in cinema. While there are a lot of fun options and I went with ones that stuck out the most to me, feel free to add further thoughts in the comments. Continue reading ‘‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind’ 4K Re-Release & The Top 5 UFO Arrival Scenes’

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Why So Blu Crew Recaps Comic-Con with Out Now with Aaron and Abe Podcast

I don’t often post episodes of Out Now with Aaron and Abe, the podcast I co-host weekly, but this was a special event. Given that a few members of the Why So Blu crew were at Comic-Con this year, it seemed right to record an episode where we could gather everyone’s thoughts about this year’s convention. So I was joined by Brian White, Jordan Grout, and Bron Anderson, along with my lovely girlfriend, Ana Bosch, as we dove into a discussion concerning the various panels, footage and more seen in sunny San Diego this year. In this episode, you’ll find us all talking about Marvel, Warner Brothers, Ready Player One, Stranger Things, Kingsman, The Walking Dead, Westworld, Gifted, Laika and so much more. Despite recording late at night, after a long day, we all had a lot of fun going over our experiences, despite being tired. So please listen in and enjoy.

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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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NBFF 2017 Review: Animated, Irish & Horror Shorts

Wrapping up my coverage of this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival, I wanted to shine the spotlight on some of the short film programs I was able to see. Thanks to some hype created by my lovely girlfriend, I was particularly excited to see the animated and Irish short programs but was also able to see a set of horror shorts as well. There is always plenty to admire in these films, as they must tell a full story in a limited amount of time while also showing off a level of cinematic talent from newer and veteran filmmakers alike. Here are some thoughts on the short films in particular that stuck out to me in the programs I saw.

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Lost In London: A Comedic Odyssey Matched With Experimentation

woodyOn January 19th, I was able to attend the screening of the first film to be shot live and broadcast simultaneously into theaters in England and the U.S. While one would expect an experience like this to be the brain child of some indie filmmaker making his name, a new, unexpected Cloverfield movie, or some found footage experience coming out of Blumhouse Productions, it actually came from the mind of Woody Harrelson. Lost in London is the result of an idea Harrelson had for a film, following an actual experience he had in London back in 2002. As the film opens, we are told “too much of this is true” and are then off and running on a unique odyssey shot in one take, with one camera.

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Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films Of 2017 – A Month By Month Look

kongGiven the research and only having so much to work with, this is always a tough list to put together. I see over a hundred movies a year theatrically and a lot of those films are ones I’ve been anticipating to some degree, while many others are smaller films that randomly arrive on the calendar months after the start of the year. There are many films in production and being completed in time for Cannes and other film festivals to keep in account, but I’ve provided a month by month look at what I’m looking forward to seeing (links for trailers where available). I am also curious to hear what others have to say as well, so feel free to add thoughts in the comments.

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Aaron’s Terrific Top Ten Films of 2016

767925_008The end of 2016 means an end to another year of great cinema. I had a tough time putting together this final list of films, as there was a strong selection to go through. Having watched over 175 films theatrically this year, it was fun to narrow things down to a final list of ten films. This is especially the case, given how hard I worked to keep in mind my personal thoughts on all aspects of each of these films and how they resonated with me in the time since seeing them. So here we go with my picks for the Top Ten films of 2016 and the ranked runner-ups. (As per usual, I placed lots of Easter Eggs hidden in all of the pictures).

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Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Finest Blu-ray Picks For 2016

960Time to kick off some lists! First up we have the Blu-ray list. Like previous years (2013, 2014, 2015), I have decided to tackle every aspect of what I enjoyed about this year in Blu-ray. This list consists of what I consider to be the best 2016 had to offer for the Blu-ray format based on what I’ve seen, with a few rules to go with it. Going by the same standards as before, I have to have actually watched the movie on Blu-Ray, recognize the quality of the video and audio transfers, delved into the special features, and attempt to keep off any film that may also be on my “Top 10 Films of the Year” list in the final top ten for Blu-rays. I followed these rules for the sake of keeping my list interesting, along with creating some extra sections to provide even more highlights of the year. I may not have a fancy 4K setup like Brian and Brandon, but this works for me, so here we go:

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Aaron’s Top Ten Films of Summer 2016 & More

Captain America Civil War 1The summer of 2016 was a weird one.  While there was plenty of anticipation for potential big hits, more than a few of the supposed blockbusters ended up underwhelming. Some of the expected hits delivered as well, but there was plenty of disappointment among the big hits. As usual though, many of the smaller films and arthouse fair ended up being the most satisfying. Now it is time to take a look back at what the summer had to offer and which films stood the highest (and the lowest). Of course, feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments as well!

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DEADPOOL 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Demo Event

deadpool 4kA week after the release of Deadpool on Blu-ray (review) and 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, I was invited by 20th Century Fox to attend a demo event at the Fox Innovation Lab that would help explain the process of delivering what is currently the best possible home viewing experience for new releases. The result was an interesting look at another side of the hit superhero film, which allowed for a better appreciation in all that goes into crafting the film in its life both before and after its theatrical release.

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Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films Of 2016 (Based On What’s Scheduled)

panther-001This is always a tough list to put together. I see over a hundred movies a year and a lot of those films are ones I’ve been anticipating to some degree, while many others are smaller films that randomly arrive on the calendar months after the start of the year. I am aware there are a lot of directors I admire who have films being completed in time for Cannes and other film festivals and are expected to be in theaters sometime this year as well, but I’ve decided to only go with what has been scheduled so far and go month by month. I am curious to hear what others have to say as well, so feel free to add thoughts in the comments.

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Aaron’s Top Ten Films Of 2015

doof warrior2015 has come to an end and now I get to post my favorite films of the year. This is never an easy list to put together and having seen 150+ films theatrically this past year, it was a challenge, but it is always fun to do and I’ve come up with a ranked list of 30 films. I am very satisfied with this final list I have put together, mainly because it is a reflection of my own opinions that I am happy to share.  So here we go with my picks for the Top Ten films of 2015 and the runner-ups. (As per usual, I placed lots of Easter Eggs hidden in all the pictures).

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Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Killer Blu-ray Picks For 2015

Whiplash-ScreamI have gone and done it again with this Blu-ray list. Much like last year, I have decided to tackle every aspect of what I enjoyed about this year in Blu-ray. This best-of list consists of what I consider to be the best 2015 had to offer for the Blu-ray format, with a few rules to go with it. Much like the previous years, I have to have actually watched the movie on Blu-Ray, recognize the quality of the video and audio transfers, delved into the special features, and attempt to keep off any film that may also be on my “Top 10 Films of the Year” list in the final top ten for Blu-rays.  I followed these rules for the sake of keeping my list interesting, along with creating some extra sections to provide even more highlights of the year, so here we go:

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‘Black Sea’ Interview with Director Kevin Macdonald

black sea whysoblu kevin 2Black Sea is a heist film with an interesting twist.  It features Jude Law as a submarine captain, who is recruited to lead a crew of men in one submarine to the bottom of the Black Sea in order to recover lost Nazi gold from a sunken U-Boat.  I have a review for this film HERE, but Black Sea is a solid entry into the heist genre, with an emphasis on how obsession and distrust can overtake logic and reason, even in the most dire of scenarios, when teamwork is most important.  The film was directed by Kevin Macdonald (Touching the Void, The Last King of Scotland), who I had the pleasure of interviewing.  Continue on to learn more about his influences for the story, his favorite submarine movies, the nature of filming with real submarines, and more!

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Top Ten: Aaron’s Favorite Films of 2014

you-went-to-rehab-photo-u1The year of 2014 is literally coming to an end, but I am not letting it end without putting up a list of my favorite films of the year.  This is never an easy list to put together, but somehow I have not only listed my Top Ten favorites, I have actually managed to rank my top 30 films of the year.  Having seen 150+ films theatrically, there are certainly a lot of films to consider, but developing a master list of year-end material and then narrowing it down from there, basically led to me having a ranked list of 30 films.  Ultimately I went through a process of figuring out which films got the greatest response out of me and stuck with me throughout the year, in an effort to get the final ten films in order.  With that in mind, I am very satisfied with this final list that I have put together, mainly because it is a reflection of my own opinions that I am happy to share.  So here we go with my picks for the Top Ten films of 2014. (As per usual, I placed lots of Easter Eggs hidden in all the pictures).

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Top Ten: Aaron’s Most Disappointing Films & The Worst Of 2014

jaiNever a post of joy, but every year does see the release of films that are not very good.  I never seek out films with the purpose of hating them and a majority of these are not without redeemable elements, but if I have at least 10 films on a list that I consider better than the rest I saw this year, then this is a list that features at least 10 films I would say are worse than everything else I saw.  I have also included the films I was most disappointed in, which are not necessarily bad movies, but not ones I would say lived up to their potential.  Final note:  this is my list, meaning I only saw so much of what was generally considered ‘terrible,’ basically meaning that I was not racing out to see Blended or I, Frankenstein, while I was also fine with certain ‘alleged’ atrocities, such as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Trans4mers, so they won’t be anywhere near this list.  And with all that said, let’s dig into the bottom of barrel.

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