Quantcast

Archive for the 'Events' Category

BHFF 2017 Interview – “The Girl Who Invented Kissing” Actor Dash Mihok Talks Character, Honesty And Daring To Differentiate

For someone still early in their career, actor Dash Mihok has certainly wasted no time stacking up an impressive cache of credits.  And while most fans know Mihok from his prolific work as the flawed young brother Bunchy to Liev Schreiber’s Ray Donovan on the hit Showtime series, cinefiles like myself have also relished his various big screen endeavors.  Working with the likes of Baz Luhrmann, Terrence Malik and Wolfgang Peterson and playing memorable roles in notable flicks like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, The Day After Tomorrow and Silver Linings Playbook, Mihok is the epitome of the hard working actor who shows no signs of stopping.  But it’s his latest performance playing an over-protective brother who has become mentally challenged due to an accident in the new film from writer/director Tom Sierchio called The Girl Who Invented Kissing that could launch Mihok into a new category – award winning actor.  (He already deservedly nabbed the Best Actor Award at the recent Beverly Hills Film Festival 2017 for his performance – a sign of things to come for sure!)  His carefully constructed character is so utterly effective and at the same time so completely relatable that he almost steals the already amazing film.   Continue reading ‘BHFF 2017 Interview – “The Girl Who Invented Kissing” Actor Dash Mihok Talks Character, Honesty And Daring To Differentiate’

Share

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.

a Continue reading ‘NBFF 2017 Review: Animated, Irish & Horror Shorts’

Share

Beverly Hills Film Fest 2017 – Eight Feature Film Reviews

So many amazing film fests – so little time!  The recent star-studded 17th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival happened this past week (at the famed TLC Chinese 6 Theatres in Hollywood!) and it was a massive five day movie event indeed.  Not only were there amazing docs and features, but also a slew of short films in various genres guaranteed to please every moviegoers.  (There were a whopping 87 competition films!)  Of course it’s impossible to check out everything (again, I’m only a single movie geek!), but the power of a passionate one still prevails as I managed to check out eight feature film hopefuls.  From flicks about the pleasure of dream life and not giving up to docs about tigers, underdogs, former movie moguls and Aussie hotshots, we’re hitting the films of the BHFF fest hard and fast to provide some cinematic insight into what to possibly seek out in the future.  Check out the Encapsulated Movie Reviews of Zen Dog, The Girl Who Invented Kissing, John G. Avildsen: King of the Underdogs, Mable, Mable, Tiger Trainer, Golan A Farewell To Mr. Cinema, Rod Taylor: Pulling No Punches, Gun and Legendary AD below! Continue reading ‘Beverly Hills Film Fest 2017 – Eight Feature Film Reviews’

Share

NBFF 2017 Review: The Exception

Closing out the 18th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival is The Exception, a World War II drama that may as well be called The Good Nazi. Adapted from the novel “The Kaiser’s Last Kiss” by Alan Judd, the film tells the story of a German Nazi Captain who falls in love with a Jewish Dutch spy. The conceit is pulpy enough to fit right in with Paul Verhoeven’s great 2006 WWII thriller Black Book, but there is a major problem in the film’s attempt to be anything more than serviceable at best. Leave it to star Jai Courtney to make a film like this duller than it ought to be.

Continue reading ‘NBFF 2017 Review: The Exception’

Share

NBFF 2017 Review: The Hero

One of the advantages of seeing smaller films touring around festivals is having a chance to see character actors in lead roles. The Hero provides the great Sam Elliot this chance and it’s a joy to watch. No stranger to cinema, Elliot has been a stable presence in many films and TV shows for over 40 years. Here’s a film that gets to play with his image, while also challenging the man to be more than just a mustachioed character actor with a deep and wonderful voice.

Continue reading ‘NBFF 2017 Review: The Hero’

Share

NBFF 2017 Review: The Scent Of Rain And Lightning

There is a lot to get out of films surrounding family secrets. Ideally, you are gradually drawn into learning about who a family is, establishing various personas, only to have things turn around on you thanks to sudden reveals. It’s not a cheat to make these sort of twists, as you’ve been effectively coerced into feeling like a part of the family. The Scent of Rain and Lightning is a modern western with a mystery at its core. We are well aware that something bad happened early on, but the film wants us to continue questioning the validity of this fact throughout. Unfortunately, the results are not as effective as they could be, due to a disjointed narrative.

Continue reading ‘NBFF 2017 Review: The Scent Of Rain And Lightning’

Share

NBFF 2017 Review: Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton

The tagline for this year’s Newport Beach Film Festival is “Go Deeper” and that is certainly fitting for the Opening Night premiere film. Take Every Wave: The Life of Laid Hamilton is both an extreme sports film, featuring some breathtaking footage, and a solid biographical study of big-wave surfer and ocean pioneer Laird Hamilton. This documentary from director Rory Kennedy certainly does take us deeper, as we spend nearly two hours watching the story of a fearless and quite affable athlete who has pushed himself hard to find various successes throughout his life, while also experiencing some literal and emotional tough breaks.

a Continue reading ‘NBFF 2017 Review: Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton’

Share

Audience Awards Film Festival 2017 – Horror Shorts Reviews, Shout Outs & Award Winners Announced

The Audience Awards Film Festival wrapped this past weekend in North Hollywood, CA and it was a real hoot.  Not only did yours truly get to represent the great WhySoBlu.com by hosting and moderating a Q&A for the Project Earth Doc Challenge, but I also got to meet the illustrious Effie T. Brown and take in a gaggle of horror shorts to boot!  (That’s an evening!)  In any case thought I would pay tribute to the new fest by taking an “Encapsulated” look at the six flicks that made up the Horror Shorts program, give a few shout outs and post the release of the winners to which the fantastic festival gave over $100,000 in cash and prizes – read on!

 

Continue reading ‘Audience Awards Film Festival 2017 – Horror Shorts Reviews, Shout Outs & Award Winners Announced’

Share

TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON Opens 18th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival

For everyone looking to head to SoCal and check out some films this April, the 2017 Newport Beach Film Festival begins on the 20th. Additionally, the NBFF has announced TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON as its opening night film. The screening will take place on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 7:30pm at Edwards Big Newport in Newport Beach, followed by a gala reception at Fashion Island, also in Newport. The 18th annual NBFF will run from April 20 – April 27, 2017. Continue on to learn more about the upcoming opening night event, the film festival in general and where to find out more about the films being screened and how to purchase tickets.

Continue reading ‘TAKE EVERY WAVE: THE LIFE OF LAIRD HAMILTON Opens 18th Annual Newport Beach Film Festival’

Share

STAR WARS: FORCE FRIDAY II Debut THE LAST JEDI Toys On September 1st!

Force Friday ThumbDisney 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!’

Share

Sundance 2017 – Seven Feature Film Reviews + Final Fest Thoughts

sundance squareThe 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!

Continue reading ‘Sundance 2017 – Seven Feature Film Reviews + Final Fest Thoughts’

Share

Slamdance 2017 – Narrative Feature Winners Are Announced!

Slamdance Square copyWell, 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.

Continue reading ‘Slamdance 2017 – Narrative Feature Winners Are Announced!’

Share

Slamdance 2017 – Four Feature Film Reviews

Slamdance Square copyThe 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.

Continue reading ‘Slamdance 2017 – Four Feature Film Reviews’

Share

Sundance 2017 – Four Feature Film Reviews

sundance squareGotta 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’

Share

Slamdance 2017 – Twenty-Two Short Film Reviews

Slamdance SquareThings 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!

Continue reading ‘Slamdance 2017 – Twenty-Two Short Film Reviews’

Share

Sundance 2017 – “Bad Day For The Cut” Director Chris Baugh Talks Revenge (Plus Bonus Five-Star Review!)

sundance squareAfter 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!)’

Share

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.

Continue reading ‘Lost In London: A Comedic Odyssey Matched With Experimentation’

Share

Slamdance 2017 – Jason Is On The Jury!

Slamdance Square copyI’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…

Continue reading ‘Slamdance 2017 – Jason Is On The Jury!’

Share