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Archive for the 'Events' Category

AFI Fest 2016: Paterson (Movie Review)

paterson thumbIt 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.

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AFI Fest 2016: The Salesman (Movie Review)

salesman 2The 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.

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AFI Fest 2016: Miss Sloane (Movie Review)

miss sloane thumbMiss 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.

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AFI Fest 2016: Lion (Movie Review)

lion posterIt 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.

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AFI Fest 2016: Mifune: The Last Samurai (Movie Review)

Mifune_HiResPosterLooking 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.

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AFI Fest 2016: Rules Don’t Apply (Movie Review)

rules dont apply posterIt is pretty fitting to see this year’s AFI Fest kick off with a film that tells the story of maverick filmmaker and business tycoon Howard Hughes. Produced, written and directed by Warren Beatty, nearly twenty years after his last directorial effort, Bulworth, the film serves as a semi-fictional biopic, a screwball comedy and a drama all rolled into one. Coming from an idea Beatty started developing 40 years ago, the film is a clear passion project and despite all the various issues involving tone and narrative construction, I dug it. Beatty and his four editors have assembled a messy film out of what is likely a ton of footage, but it was never uninteresting, features some terrific performances and even buries some interesting themes amidst all the Hughes-focused chaos.

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Free Horror Premiere “The Harvesters” in L.A. Tomorrow 10/18!

harvesters squareReady for a little LA premiere action – FREE for the little guy?  Well, for those in the city of angels tomorrow Tuesday, Oct. 18 get ready for a little frightful film fun with the premiere of the new horror film The Harvesters – and everyone is invited!

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De Palma On Blu-ray – A Father/Son Chicken Finger Trip Tribute

De-Palma-bluray-160x160Today is the day film fans!  The illustrious five-star career dissection doc De Palma all about the master of suspense hits Blu-ray today and even though there’s no formal fanfare via Lionsgate (no review copies here!) I’m still properly paying tribute.  (I give cinematic credit where its due people!)  So to celebrate the release I’m taking fans on a slightly related journey.  As any big Brian fan would know Raising Cain, starring John Lithgow as a wacko with multiple personalities, is one of Brian De Palma’s underrated gems.  So is a little (well, maybe not so little!) emerging fast food watering hole that puts its focus on quality food at a reasonable price – Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers!  (My Texas Toast!)  So me and my kid Will decided to combine our love of both by braving the super long, days ridden, overnight sleeping, multiple person line waiting (and yes there were weirdos with odd personalities to keep the Lithgow legacy alive!) event at a new location opening in Downey, California all in the name of De Palma and chicken.  The prize for the first twenty people in line?  Free food for a year!  So check out the picture tour below to see if we scored in our Mission: Impossible or if we failed like Mission To Mars – enjoy!

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Lunch With The ‘Don’t Think Twice’ Gang!

Don't Think TwiceWhat makes a good interview even better?  How about the addition of some good grub with a good group for good times!  Such is the situation recently when WhySoBlu was invited to celebrate the release of the second film by Sleepwalk With Me writer/director Mike Birbiglia called Don’t Think Twice (currently playing in New York and opening in LA & Chicago on July 29 from The Film Arcade) at a fantastic food spot known as Vintage Enoteca.

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SDCC 2016: Marvel & Netflix Have A Luke Cage Trailer And More

luke-cage-sdcc-trailerAudiences were given an introduction to Marvel’s Luke Cage already on the Netflix series Jessica Jones. This allowed Mike Colter to already make an impression as the character. However, this September, Luke Cage arrives on Netflix and looks to be kicking plenty of butt. That’s just one of the things Marvel and Netflix showed off at Comic-Con however, as there was also a first look at Iron Fist, as well as a teaser for The Defenders, which will combine all of these Marvel heroes from Netflix series into one team-up series. Check out all the trailers below.

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SDCC 2016 – The Walking Dead

walkingdeadtrailerThe second of two Comic-Con Hall H panels focused on The Walking Dead universe tool place on Friday, following what fans saw at the Fear the Walking Dead panel. Of course, many were far more excited about getting a look at the upcoming season of The Walking Dead, with the continuation of the Negan storyline, the introduction of The Kingdom and King Ezekiel, and of course a foll0w-up to who was killed by Negan’s barbed wire-wrapped baseball bat at the end of last season. The cast and crew were on hand, despite being very secretive about the upcoming season, but the first trailer for season 7 certainly set things up right.

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SDCC 2016 – Fear The Walking Dead

fear twd thumbFriday at Comic-Con presented fans with not one but two Walking Dead panels back-to-back and we get to start things off with Fear the Walking Dead, which will continue the second half of its second season starting this August. As you could expect, Talking Dead’s Chris Hardwick was on hand to moderate the panel, which featured the debut of the official trailer for season 2B as well as discussion from the cast and crew.

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Fox Home Entertainment at San Diego Comic-Con 2016

Deadpool Comic-Con 2016The day is finally upon us!  It’s Comic-Con 2016, baby!  And it starts today with this news!  Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment will cater to San Diego Comic-Con 2016 film fans of all ages and genres with a top-tier and wide-range of Comic-Con exclusives including a unique challenge room at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.  Content and programming will include the following below.  Exciting stuff! Continue reading ‘Fox Home Entertainment at San Diego Comic-Con 2016’

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OUTATIME Blu-ray Day Part 2 – The Interviews

Outatime Bluray squareWelcome back….to the future film fans!  We’re continuing our cool and comprehensive coverage going in Part Two of our OUTATIME Blu-ray Day Coverage celebrating the release of the new documentary OUTATIME: Saving the DeLorean Time Machine out today on Blu-ray, DVD and VOD with some filmmaker and head restoration team member insight via our own Q&A.  From their own fondness of all things Back to the Future and DeLorean Time Machine related to their thoughts on the restoration itself we’re chatting one-on-one with the guys who made it all happen doc Director/Producer Steve Concotelli and Head of Restoration Joe Walser – hit 88 and take it away guys!

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OUTATIME Blu-ray Day Part 1 – Restored DeLorean Photo Tour

Outatime Bluray squareFor all Back to the Future fans big or small, the famed DeLorean DMC-12 is by far one of the most recognized movie vehicles worldwide.  As the machine of choice for Doc Brown’s famed time machine, the DeLorean with its stainless steel body and futuristic gull-wing doors has been a symbol of fantasy and science fiction come to life.  A new documentary chronicling the restoration of the original A-car (one of three used the most in the original film) after years of being on display outside at Universal Studios called OUTATIME: Saving the DeLorean Time Machine is coming to Blu-ray (with tons of extras courtesy of Virgil Films!), DVD and VOD on July 19 and it gives fans a front row seat to the amazing reconstruction of one of the most beloved cars of all time.

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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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NBFF 2016 Review: Winter Light And Lightning In The Hand

WINTER_LIGHT_film_still_RaymondJBarry_barFor this last post concerning my coverage of the 2016 Newport Beach Film Festival, I wanted to take the time to dig into some of the short films presented. Thanks to a lovely programmer, I was able to attend a couple shorts programs. A few in particular really stood out and while it is great to see short films in general, I want to specifically get into the two shorts that functioned as westerns; each of a different sort.

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NBFF 2016 Review: Call Of The Void

Steve (Mojean Aria) - 4It can be fun to learn a neat fact from a film. Call of the Void is a solid neo-noir whose title is translated from the French psychoanalytical term l’appel du vide, which refers a person having a self-destructive impulse. Armed with a camera and a desire to make a film hearkening back to an older time and genre, writer/director Dustin Kahia has made an interesting, stylish effort.

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