Archive for the 'Aaron Neuwirth' Category

‘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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Top 20: Aaron’s Odds & Ends of 2014

Photo Dec 25, 9 15 10 PMI enjoy putting together different year end lists, as they tend to function as a way for me to put emphasis on a lot of film that I would hope people check out at some point (or avoid, in the case of the ‘Worst of’ list).  This year, given how I have ranked a large number of films in an effort to put together an ultimate Top 10+ list, I wanted to spend time creating a list focused on a solid selection of films that I may not go all the way in pronouncing as my end-of-year favorites, but certainly want to bring as much notice to them as possible.  With that in mind, here is a list of 20 films in alphabetical order, consisting of comedies, horror films, genre fun, documentaries and more, which I have a high level of admiration for.

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Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Astonishing Blu-ray Picks For 2014

astonishing-194012This year I decided to go big with my list for the best Blu-rays.  Kicking off my Top 10 year-end lists for 2014 is an article devoted to what I consider to be the best the Blu-ray format has had to offer for this year.  These are films that I have been able to really dig into and see them as easy recommendations for anyone with the greatest home media format currently available.  Much like the previous years, I stayed true to some rules; I have to have actually watched the movie on Blu-Ray, recognize it for the quality of their video and audio transfers, delved into the special features, and attempt to keep off any film on this list that may also be on my “Top 10 Films of the Year” list,” which basically means no LEGO Movie.  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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SDCC 2014: Out Now Presents A Comic Con 2014 Recap

2014 WSB Comic Con CoverageSo there are plenty of ways I could go over the various panels I saw throughout my time at Comic Con.  I have done so in a number of articles already, but all of this work certainly takes a lot of work.  So, with that said, rather than recap the same panels in written form, which have been covered on the day and read by thousands already, I figured I would publish a couple podcast episodes featuring myself and friend/fellow movie lover/Comic Con veteran Alan Aguilera.  The two of us took the time, during Comic Con, to go over our experiences from Wednesday through Saturday.  These were recorded on Friday and Sunday mornings, with part 2 being a good example of how exhausted we were, after seeing so much.  Continue on to listen to a couple bonus episodes from Out Now with Aaron and Abe (the podcast I co-host), which features discussions of Marvel, Warner Brothers, Paramount Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Sony Pictures, Sin City, Batman the TV Show, 24, Sleepy Hollow, Comedy Central, Adult Swim, and many other panel presentations, along with various stories, showroom floor experiences, and the craziness that was the Hall H line this year.

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simpsons 19I wish I had time to check out a lot of other panels, but it is nice to be able to see some highlights, such as this.  I may not currently be watching The Simpsons, but I am sure a panel featuring the creators is a lot of fun.  Even better is having Homer Simpson make his Comic Con debut, which is what you can see in this post.  Continue on to see Matt Groening and Homer Simpson converse on stage at Comic Con and learn more about the upcoming season.




gothamI am very much looking forward to Gotham, when it debuts in the fall, but in the meantime, Fox is providing Comic Con guests and anyone who is in San Diego the chance to zip line through the city, which is pretty cool.  Check out this post to see what its like and learn how you can participate, if you are in the area!



SDCC 2014: Paramount Pictures – Hall H Recap

paramount_default_posterI have next to nothing to post, in regards to what happened in Hall H with Paramount, as I was not there.  That said, we do have a very basic recap of what happened, provided by Paramount, including a trailer and some images.  I wish this could be more all encompassing, but here we are:  Thursday in San Diego Comic Con’s Hall H, Paramount shared exciting news about its upcoming films SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS, TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, PROJECT ALMANAC, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2, HERCULES, and INTERSTELLAR.  Continue on to learn more.


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Comic Con 2014: Sony Pictures Panel: Pixels and Goosebumps

sony picturesEither Sony Pictures just could not get enough films together for panels this year or they are still recouping from the expenditures from Spider-Man’s appearance at last year’s Comic Con, but regardless, this was a pretty stripped down affair for a studio that currently has a couple square blocks devoted to a number of their upcoming features (Fury, The Equalizer, The Interview).  That said, while one of the two films presented had little to offer audiences, the other managed to have me more excited than I thought I would be.  So let’s dive in to this limited panel from one of the major studios appearing at this year’s Comic Con.

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Comic Con 2014: Comedy Central First Look: Moonbeam City

moonbeamI was happy to sit in on the Comedy Central panel at Comic Con and following a hilarious panel for the hit sketch show Key & Peele (I reviewed the Blu-ray for the first two seasons HERE), a special look at a new animated series took place.  Here’s the official word:  Today at San Diego Comic-Con Comedy Central unveiled the first look at “Moonbeam City,” the brand’s newest animated series debuting in 2015. “Moonbeam City” is an absurdist take on the gritty, sex-drenched crime dramas from the 1980s and follows undercover detective Dazzle Novak (voiced by Rob Lowe), a handsome idiot who commits more crimes than most criminals. The show also stars his tyrannical chief, Pizzaz Miller (Elizabeth Banks), who won’t get off his back and hotshot rookie Rad Cunningham (Will Forte) who is dying to see him fail. With the world against him, Dazzle is thrust into a living nightmare: having to do actual police work. “Moonbeam City” is executive produced by Will Gluck’s Olive Bridge Entertainment in association with Titmouse Studios. Comedy Central’s panel at Comic-Con today featured the series’ Executive Producers Scott Gairdner and Tommy Blancha.  Continue on to see a clip and some pictures from the show.

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Comic Con 2014: Batman ’66 Panel

batman 66There are a lot of things to see at San Diego Comic Con every year and while I am certainly excited to see a number of the high profile panels taking place this year, I am not overstating it when I say that a Hall H panel focused on the 60s Batman television series definitely had my attention.  After years of waiting, the entire series is finally going to be released onto Blu-ray and DVD this November and apparently Comic Con was the place to reveal the details of the upcoming set.  Not at all hurting was the presence of Adam West, Burt Ward, and Julie Newmar, who were game to share some stories, while audiences were also treated to clips from the newly remastered episodes.

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‘BOYHOOD’ Press Conference Highlights And More!

boyhood whysoblu 3-001A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to not only see the new Richard Linklater film, Boyhood, but attend a press conference for it, featuring writer/director Linklater, along with stars Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke, Ellar Coltrane, and Lorelei Linklater.  Boyhood was shot intermittently over the course of 12 years, as the story follows a boy, Mason (Coltrane), from 6 to 18-years old, and depicts his life with his family along the way.  I will have a review of the film posted later in the week, but this post contains the highlights from the press conference, along with the audio from it.  Continue on to learn more about the film, the stars, Linklater’s filming process, and more!

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LA Times Hero Complex Film Festival: Gremlins’ Director Joe Dante Q&A

Joe DanteWhile seeing How to Train Your Dragon 2 was a neat departure for the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival, it seemed fairly in line with the fest to watch a film like Gremlins on the big screen. The holiday-horror-comedy classic celebrates its 30th Anniversary this year and fans were treated to both a screening of the film, as well as a Q&A with its director and horror-comedy fan-favorite Joe Dante. Dante talked about the surprise hit that Gremlins became, the making of the film, a possible reboot, and other things that don’t come anywhere close to nitpicking the rules of the Mogwai.

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LA Times Hero Complex Film Festival: How To Train Your Dragon 2 Q&A

1884116_CA_hero_AC_Hero Complex is essentially a genre media-themed offshoot of the Los Angeles Times newspaper and they have been holding a film festival in Hollywood for the past few years. While the films screened are always classics from the past, this year featured a screening of How to Train Your Dragon 2. I will post a review of this film soon, but following the screening, a Q&A was held with writer/director Dean DeBlois and stars Jay Baruchel (Hiccup) and America Ferrera (Astrid). The trio had plenty of admiration for a series they have heavily involved themselves with for the past seven years and were happy to share their thoughts.

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NBFF 2014 Review: ‘Arlo & Julie’

arlo and julie whysoblu thumbThe final film I was able to see for the Newport Beach Film Festival was this fun little indie called Arlo & Julie. I really enjoyed it. With a neat story, very likable characters, and a soundtrack consisting mostly of old jazz to better evoke some specific films and filmmakers that I see as likely influences, Arlo & Julie has a lot of what I like to see in smaller films that I can only hope to see reach a larger audience at some point. It does just enough to set it apart from other films, but also has plenty in common with the quaint little indies that I tend to like a lot.

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NBFF 2014 Review: ‘Follow Friday The Film’

ff the film whysobluSo what is all this Twitter business? Wednesday at the Newport Beach Film Fest afforded me the opportunity to check out a documentary that would have made more sense to see on a Friday. At least I now know what I can recommend via #ff on Friday, as Follow Friday the Film is an enjoyable documentary about Twitter. While not an instructional guide and more of an interesting look at how society is evolving, with a specific focus on popular social media, the film is not attempting to force Twitter on its audience, but instead invite folks to see the deeper value in typing a certain amount of characters into a program at any time. It helps that the film is structured together through a road trip, with plenty of interviews to really provide a broad perspective on the subject. As a person that uses Twitter plenty, I was happy to find a group that put out a film explaining this microblogging service so simply, yet in a charming manner.

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NBFF 2014 Review: ‘Unforgiven’

unforgiven whysoblu thumbMonday night at the Newport Beach Film Festival saw a film that I have been anticipating for some time be represented as the Japanese Spotlight feature of the night. I was quite happy to have seen it. The Japanese remake of Unforgiven makes a good case for why I am never against the idea of a remake, before I actually see it or have enough information to pass judgment. Clint Eastwood’s 1992 Best Picture winner is the film I consider to be his best work as a filmmaker (and as an actor, for that matter), so the concept of remaking his film should presumably strike ire in the hearts of those that claim remakes are always terrible. Of course, hypocrisy is a funny thing, as the reaction to Ken Watanabe starring in a samurai version of the same story seems to have made most skeptics excited about this particular idea. Still, this is not about the public at large, it is about what I thought of the film, which basically amounts to being an interesting remix.

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