Disney and Lucasfilm today announced Star Wars Force Friday II, a global fan event celebrating the launch of new products inspired by the highly anticipated “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Toys, collectibles, books, apparel and more will go on sale beginning at 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2017, with stores around the world opening for a weekend-long celebration of all things Star Wars. “The first Star Wars Force Friday event was truly unique, uniting fans across five continents in an unprecedented global live unboxing event ahead of thousands of midnight openings at retail,” says Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media. “We’re excited to confirm that Star Wars Force Friday is back for ‘The Last Jedi’. Plans for this year’s world-wide event are top secret but expect something befitting the excitement around the next episode of the Star Wars saga.” Continue reading ‘STAR WARS: FORCE FRIDAY II Debut THE LAST JEDI Toys On September 1st!’
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The 2017 Sundance Film Festival has come to a close and it was interesting to actually be in Park City to experience an event I’ve only heard about all these years. So to finish off all things Sundance related below are seven final feature film reviews including Bitch, XX, Where Is Kyra?, The New Radical, Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker And Trials Of A Free Press, Axolotl Overkill and Gook, a short review with the apt title F@cking Bunnies, plus a Sundance Thoughts section where I get honest about everything from venues to the films that played. (Candid commentary alert!) Plus as an extra bonus I’m doing a retro-review on a Slamdance 2017 documentary that took both the Audience and Jury prize titled Strad Style. So slap on your snow boots and follow me into movie review territory for a final gander at all things Sundance 2017!
Well, my Narrative jury time and of course WhySoBlu.com coverage of all things Slamdance Film Festival 2017 is officially over and it’s been one hell of a fun ride. Not only did I get to watch tons of great films, brave the beauty of the snow and eat local food to die for (check out Freshies for amazing Lobster Rolls!), but I can now check being on a film jury off my bucket list. I was so very proud to be a part of a festival that prides itself on picking great films and it’s a cherished memory I will hold near and dear.
The illustrious Slamdance Film Festival 2017 is almost over and it’s been a wild ride. Movies, jury duties and reviews galore, have made the Park City excursion a memorable time indeed. But before we announce winners in Narrative (and the many other respective categories!) wanted to get up a few more reviews of flicks I saw outside my official duties. Strange mother/son stories, docs about strong gals and backward boys and flick about finding closure all adorn the four reviews enclosed. Check out the skinny on The Erlprince, Hotel Coolgardie, Supergirl and Suck It Up below.
Gotta say that in the Midnight section and late night movies line-up, Sundance has been surprisingly disappointing to me so far. (Sole exception being the five-star Northern Ireland revenge flick Bad Day For The Cut!) A handful of flicks dabbling in gross and disturbing plus a disappointing doc have brought the magnificent movie vibe to a low. (But rest assured I have film faith and many more to go!) So check out the skinny on some flicks that may or may not be hitting a theater near you – the review of the fearsome foursome via the Sundance Film Festival 2017 below! Continue reading ‘Sundance 2017 – Four Feature Film Reviews’
Things are moving at light speed here at Slamdance 2017 and with features, shorts and my own Narrative Jury duties it’s quite a haul. (But an amazing one!) First up are my reviews for a gaggle of shorts handed to me over my time here. Whether it was through a personal reach out by the filmmaker or one I saw before a feature, anyone who got their short into my movie loving hands has equal consideration below. So in various categories including animation, documentary, anarchy, experimental and simple block section, check out the massive twenty-two short film reviews below. (In keeping with the shorts theme each review is quick!) Plus hit the bottom for a little behind the scenes insight via my special Jury Section – enjoy!
Sundance 2017 – “Bad Day For The Cut” Director Chris Baugh Talks Revenge (Plus Bonus Five-Star Review!)
After a few underwhelming film false starts for me via the famed Sundance Film Festival 2017 (those reviews coming later!) I recently came upon a mecca movie here in Park City in the form of a five-star fabulous flick. The movie in question goes by the name of Bad Day For The Cut, but fortunately for film fans it’s proves to be one good night at the movies. An Irish import and official selection for this year’s Midnight Section, the film is about an average farmer who decides to seek some revenge for the murder of his mother. Steeped in bold black comedy, colorful kills and bloody satisfaction, Bad Day For The Cut also features tasty turns by leading man Nigel O’Neill as the payback seeking son and Susan Lynch as the truly nasty baddie of the piece. Continue reading ‘Sundance 2017 – “Bad Day For The Cut” Director Chris Baugh Talks Revenge (Plus Bonus Five-Star Review!)’
On 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.
I’m here is snowy Park City, Utah movie fans and it’s comfortably cold. (I’m originally from Canada, so this place is a piece of cake!) What am I doing in such a white mountain ridden place? There’s a movie buzz in the air and where there are films unspooling I will be there! (This year for the amazing WhySoBlu.com!) Plus ardent cinema lovers are acutely aware that in January the very busy high altitude town is the home of two very amazing film festivals including the…
It’s that time of year film festival fans – Park City movies time! That’s right, yours truly will be covering both the Sundance Film Festival (stay tuned!) and the even more illustrious Slamdance Film Festival for the great WhySoBlu.com to include reviews, interviews and even special stuff you won’t see anywhere else. (A very cool announcement coming this week!) But since the films are coming fast and furious (an on purpose movie pun!) even before the festivals star let’s get this ride underway!
With my Blu-ray collecting cohort Brandon Peters having already covered all things Return Of The Living Dead 3 via the recent Vestron Video Collector’s Series release (check out his detailed review HERE!) it felt like all hope of obtaining my own cool copy was as illusive as fresh brains. But just like the creatures in the film you can’t keep a demonic dream down and desire of owning my own dose of Trioxin not only came to fruition, but it was signature city baby via the recent Return Of The Living Dead 3 Blu-ray Day! Yup, yours truly headed down to the genre happy Dark Delicacies for an amazing and star-studded event did not disappoint. On hand to sign both copies of the new Blu-ray as well as other collectable items from the Return Of The Living Dead 3 family included Director Brian Yuzna, Writer John Penney, Director of Photography Gerry Lively and iconic Make-Up Effects legend Steve Johnson. All signed stuff, chatted with fans and made the release of the new Collector’s Series all the sweeter. Below is a cool photo tour of the event from start to finish (ending with my own copy signed!), plus a short interview with the amazing Brian Yuzna to boot – read on return fans! Continue reading ‘Return Of The Living Dead 3 Blu-ray Day w/Brian Yuzna & Friends!’
The awesome and truly indie inspired Park City festival known for being self governed ‘By Filmmakers, For Filmmakers’ known as the Slamdance Film Festival will once again be taking place in Utah this January 20-26, 2017 for the 23rd Edition and we here at WhySoBlu.com are very excited. The fest has a history of discovering some of the best filmmakers in the business (see Christopher Nolan, Jared Hess and Oren Peli to name a few!) and embodies the spirit of originality in film – a feat that deserves be recognized and celebrated. We’re going to have announcements soon about our involvement in the upcoming fest (we’re so excited!), but needless to say we will be there to document and dissect cinematic pictures of all shapes and sizes in Park City for your movie pleasure. For now we’re revealing the upcoming slate of films in the two main fest competition categories – Documentary and Narrative features. (And with a whopping 19 films overall there’s no shortage of amazing flicks!) So check out 2017’s selected films below and then head over to www.Slamdance.com and get your tickets and passes now – see you there movie fans! Continue reading ‘Slamdance Film Festival Announces 2017 Competition Lineup’
It is irritating to see a filmmaker get close to putting something great out there, but still be ultimately undone by script issues. Split has the makings of a very clever and tense psychological thriller. A terrific turn from star James McAvoy certainly deserves plenty of praise. Still, for every new layer and reveal, there is a feeling suggesting how another look at this screenplay could have helped to better workout some of the old-fashioned ideas and configure a better resolve for the characters. Split does well to work in the moment as tense fun, but misses out on nailing what it promises in a better sense.
It would be interesting to account for the number of big moments found in all of Jim Jarmusch’s films. Paterson is the 12th feature film from the acclaimed indie director and it continues to show Jarmusch’s focus on existential drama, with an absence of much in the way of impactful moments. Give or take some gunfights found in Dead Man or Ghost Dog, the director’s style has always evoked a sense of minimalism. Featuring lead characters and their contemplative sense of self, surrounded by others who are more high energy and loaded with various idiosyncrasies, Paterson finds a way to balance a sense of repetitiveness with what kind of profound discovers can be made from jotting down poetry concerning what life has to offer. The film is slow, long and uneventful. I loved it.
The Salesman is another signifier of the kind of quality to expect from Iranian writer/director Asghar Farhadi. Sure, many of his films are bound to draw comparison to his acclaimed 2011 masterwork, the Oscar-winning A Separation, but having seen several of Farhadi’s films at this point, it is clear the man knows his way around gripping drama. Working to underplay his skill as a director, his films are not so much about clever cinematic construction (although there’s an argument to make there), as they are a careful examination of pure human response to what regular life brings upon people. Sometimes it can be unfair, sometimes different, but Farhadi’s The Salesman is just another look at what can come from circumstance.
Miss Sloane is the kind of film that can be championed, but called into question at the same time. On the whole, the film is a well-acted political drama that leans heavy on some pulp qualities. The film does away with overt statements arguing for specific causes, with the exception of calling out accountability and making a case for women in positions of power, who can be just as cold and calculating as men. That is still the kind of film that is not seen all that much and Miss Sloane does what it can to make its case, while providing some entertaining twists and turns along the way. I only wish the film was as smart as it thinks it is.
It takes a lot to make a dramatic feature, based on a true story, into something that hits in the right ways. Because a drama can have the intent to strike at certain chords to ideally generate emotions, there is often a level of manipulation to consider. Lion concerns the story of a lost Indian boy, who loses his family, gains another and then searches to find what he has lost. That is the sketch of a tale that will likely draw up various emotions, but the key is to earn it. The film’s success largely revolves around how it carefully navigates this story’s big moments that go from a more visceral adventure to a cerebral study of loss. It pays off big, as the film is quite the effective drama.
Looking at the documentary Mifune: The Last Samurai, I am reminded of Gimme Danger, the Jim Jarmusch documentary about Iggy & The Stooges, which I didn’t get around to reviewing. That film and this one, which details the life legendary actor Toshiro Mifune, have little to offer outside of an engaging, cinematic version of Wikipedia research, but there is plenty to enjoy. For Mifune, there is a bonus that comes in the form of hearing Spielberg and Scorsese share their insight, in addition to many others. Various clips and archival footage make a good case for why the actor deserves all his acclaim as well, regardless of whether this doc has any other impact outside its key subject.