It’s no secret that Dave Matthews Band has been one of the most successful bands since the 90’s. There’s just something about their music that connects with me on a very soulful level. Maybe it’s the unconventional singing voice of Dave himself. It could be the marriage of all those instruments that blend into a unified musical journey. There’s also the story-telling element of Dave’s lyrics that add depth to their content. In actuality, it’s truly a combination of all those things and more. While the live concert is where the band thrives, there’s no overlooking their roster of studio albums. There’s no real timetable for their next release, but there is and admirable library to pick from today so let’s take a look at how they rate.
Archive for the 'Top 10' Category
Given 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.
I likely saw more films in theaters in 2016 than I have any other year. And that includes when I used to work at a theater. Even with that, making a top 10 list still feels strange to me, as there are just so many films that I didn’t see that I really think I would enjoy. So, to avoid the perception of expertise, let’s consider this more of a Top-ish Ten-ish films/film-going experiences of 2016 that I had the opportunity to see. We will be starting off with a few worsts to set up a little contrast, then I will briefly discuss some honorable mentions, the films I didn’t get to see that appear to be things I would enjoy, and then the main course. Let’s go! Continue reading ‘Bron’s Top-ish Ten-ish Films of 2016′
Happy New Year! Here we are together again, and as promised, my Top-tastic films of 2016! Please keep in mind that I did not see as many films as I wanted to after August of this year due to several traveling commitments. I did catch up on a few more within the last couple of weeks but they may or may not have made it onto my list. I published my Top Blu-ray list a few weeks ago and none of those films made it onto this list either due to different scales of grading. You may notice a theme in this list and that’s what I went for this time out. It’s a more “fun” oriented list of flicks that captured my attention and made me have a good time – as crappy of a year as we had – I needed to laugh and be blown away. In any event, let’s get on with the show! Continue reading ‘Gerard’s Top-Tastic Films of 2016!’
It was certainly a turbulent year in the entertainment business as 2016 saw the passing of numerous stars. Bowie left us, then Alan Rickman and the list went on with Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds passing just days apart. While they have moved on to whatever the next stage may bring, we will always have them on film. Music and movies are two things that can bring people together so take a moment to remember those we admired while continuing to enjoy to the films we loved in 2016. Keep in mind this is not a list of the most artistic films of the year, just my personal favorites as well as a few that had me squirming in my seat in boredom.
The 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).
Of all my years of fervent movie watching, 2016 is by far my most proud. Thanks to my new home WhySoBlu.com and my weekly Encapsulated Movie Reviews column I’ve seen more films this year then ever before and it’s been very satisfying. As such my list of Top Ten films is a thoughtful, researched and wondrous hodgepodge of docs, genre flicks and interesting indies that some may not have heard of. And even though there’s not a big budget action yarn (Deadpool came very, very close!), either of the two fine films released by the great Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories still rules!) or a gaggle of year-end Oscar bait (La La Land was four out of five stars for me!) ever-present, rest assured I’ve tried to see them all. (I even checked out five unseen films recommended by my fellow site writers via their “so far” lists – I listened to EVERYONE!) In a year that had many fantastic flicks just under full marks for me, below is a bevy of strictly five-star stuff. Films that went that extra mile to make their cinematic wares truly warranted of movie mention and I’m proud to say I adore. But the love doesn’t stop there as I’ve also included an interview with the director of one of the films below – Ryan Schwartz helmer of the #8 selection – as an extra year-end bonus for all you WhySoBlu.com readers as a thank you for your continued support of the site. Love ‘em or hate ‘em (and you know my humble opinion!) here are my loud and proud…
As always when I do these “Best” lists, I ask two things of you, the reader. Take the words best or top and replace it with “favorite”. And importantly, number or ranking doesn’t matter, what is included does. 2016 was an interesting year for me, in that I feel a hair underqualified, but still, this is the best films of the ones I saw over the year. During the summer, I found myself purchasing a new home (still trying to sell the other) and all that sort of “real life” stuff preventing some trips to theater for me. Also, sometimes I was just flat out exhausted or just selfishly wanting some time to myself. Who knows. But, I figure, while I’m not Aaron Neuwirth, I probably did see more than the average bear through going to the theater, reviewing Blu-rays or renting. There were a lot of disappointments during this year in terms of highly anticipated blockbusters, but many bright spots as well as some I look forward to checking out next year that I wasn’t able to see (Edge of Seventeen; Scott, I friggin TRIED to get to it and Moonlight; the night I was gonna go was the first night it wasn’t playing). I realize though, that of the “prestige” films I may or may not have missed, high end critics will be talking about them and my picks may be more unique. Aside from my #1, a lot of these could swap around their functional order. Anyway…I’ll just shut my yap and get to the ten films that made my list when I sat down and had to choose. Continue reading ‘Top 10 Films Of 2016: A Brandon Peters Story’
It’s that time of the year again, and I’m not referring to the expensive Holiday season. I’m talking about the dreaded TOP 10 Favorite Films lists us reviewers annually face. While some of us love putting these lists together others I know absolutely dread it. It could be the notion of the extra work involved or just the burdened thought of the controversy and negative, judgemental comments these can carry. Therefore, Top 10 annual lists like this can be quite cumbersome, at least for me. The good thing about all of this is you the reader can definitely feel free to disagree with my choices below. You can also completely dismiss them too. For me, Top 10 Favorite Films lists are all about instilling and creating controversy in the critical sense. I don’t expect anyone to whole-heartedly agree with my choices. After all, the below selections as I’ll go on to explain are all very much personal ones. However, I believe as a reviewer it is your duty to stir that proverbial pot of controversy. You should desire to create that insatiable dish of debate that follows in the wake of such a list like this. That’s what the comments section below are all about. Down there’s it’s your turn to provide the voice of undeniable reason. Go for it! Continue reading ‘Brian White’s ‘Sin’sational TOP 10 Films of 2016′
For a thorough movie purist like myself putting together a year-end list of stellar standout performances is a truly taxing task. Not one to simply cherry pick from work within my Top Ten Films of the year, I scour movies in every genre and performances both big and small to bring the best of the best to the film forefront. As a result this year’s list of favorites I feel is my most eclectic yet – in some cases even elevating the subpar cinema that surrounds it. And while I did watch the year end group of Academy hopefuls (both Natalie Portman in Jackie and Jessica Chastain in Miss Sloane were good, but a tad one-note!) and critical darlings (Viggo Mortensen’s work in Captain Fantastic missed the list by a hair!), my findings are from a year-long dissection featuring five-star work that stands and delivers. From layered ladies to mysterious men, from bitter broads to silent but deadly equalizers these are tasty turns that deserve to be recognized for possessing a memorable character quality that’s undeniable. (At least in my humble movie geek opinion!) Proud to present my list of the…Top Five Male & Female Performances of 2016!
My adventures in Blu-ray purchasing/obtaining did not find me with a treasure trove of stellar finds this year, so I was able to craft a list of pretty much the only 8 Blu-rays I got that had a little bit of thought put into them and some care for the product. Though, having had the opportunity to read the lists of my colleagues on this site has certainly given me some good recommendations for my list of things to add to my collection. It is a treat to be in league with such robust cinephiles, even when we disagree about Batman V Superman. Anyway, list time! Continue reading ‘Bron’s Criterion-Heavy Top 8 Blu-Rays of 2016′
Its not like we’re winding down any time soon on films that still need to make it to the Blu-ray format. There are ah-plenty. Heck, there are films that still never made it to VHS or DVD. 2016 introduced us to 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays. The new wave, the new cream of the crop. And with that, Blu-ray starts repackaging and re-doing many of the older titles. However, we live in a really cool world now with boutique labels that go after these films that still haven’t been released or enhance the ones that did but left us wanting more. And while some may scoff and leave rude comments like “This again?”, in reality its not “this again”. These are getting delicious new transfers, having taken notes from the previous version’s mistakes and adding the extras that were not previously there or even adding an extra is adding something. What I’m getting at is that they are making it all worthwhile in terms of asking for more dollars from you. Then again, there are people that didn’t have it to begin with because they A) Hadn’t gotten to it yet or B) were holding out for something like this. Anyway, there were a lot of terrific releases in 2016. And since I cover 4K UHD, Blu-ray and also am Region Free, my list is expanded to 25 instead of just ten releases. Continue reading ‘Brandon’s 25 BEST Blu-rays Of The Double Dipping Year That Was 2016!’
Time 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:
It’s that time of year – a look back at the the best of what 2016 has to offer. This time out posters are the subject of the day, but first a little past history insight. I’ve been a movie geek for a long time, but been a movie poster collector since I could walk. Sharing the passion for posters with my equally film obsessed father, we were so cinematically dedicated that we were even featured in The Financial Post Magazine way back in October of 1990 for our crazed and comprehensive collection. We were photographed in front of two of our favorites (Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much and the rare style one-sheet of the original Die Hard) for the mag spread – two generations of movie art love on proud display.
It’s been a while since I amassed a favorite Blu-rays of the the year list. There was one final title I wanted to check out before concocting my ten favorites. I enjoyed Suicide Squad in the theater earlier this year, but just in case I enjoyed it even more after a second viewing, I had to see if it was going to make my list. It did not. While entertaining, it just doesn’t possess greatness, but I digress. Alright, enough rambling. It was all for the sake of filling space here in the opening paragraph anyway. I’ve kept Hollywood holding its breath long enough. Onto the list!
Another year-end Top Blu-ray list is upon us. Again, like last year’s Top Blu-ray list, I have removed the order of titles in terms of numbering system, with the exception of the #1 spot. We have a clear winner in that department and it is a doozy. All of the other titles are placed in no particular order. I should also clarify and say that if you don’t see a Blu-ray or Blu-ray set on this list it that you may think deserves to be on here – it may be because I have not watched it. I have a backlog of titles that I’ve yet to watch, so it’s nothing personal. Without further ado, I present my Top Blu-ray list of 2016! Continue reading ‘Gerard’s Top Blu-ray List of 2016!’
Unlike last year, this was a brave, bold, new world for me in terms of Blu-ray collecting. I upped my game as I stepped into the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray arena. I took on the combatants (HDMI handshake and audio sync issues being most problematic) like a champion and came out unscathed. You can read all about my trials and tribulations with my new 4K Ultra HD gear (my first setup) right here. Being the only reviewer on the staff here for a long time with 4K Ultra HD compatibility has been both a blessing and a curse. It put me in a situation of being the proprietary reviewer of all 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray titles (see an archive of reviews here). I have to admit though, it enables me to grow my 4K collection cost-effectively and an accelerated rate. So there’s always that. However, it does mean regardless of what title it is, you’re stuck with reviewing it no matter how painful the viewing experience is. I’m looking at you Ice Age: Collision Course (thank you Brandon), Independence Day: Resurgence, Warcraft and The Huntsman: Winter War. You have to be able to take the good with the bad and appreciate what you have in life. So that’s what I do! Continue reading ‘Brian’s TOP 10 Favorable 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Titles of 2016′
Barring some sort of super late rush surprise announcement, 2016 for the year of Blu-ray is pretty much in the books. And as always, looking back, it was another terrific year. Many more Wishlist films from years’ past were granted on Blu-ray and some that were being prepped for this list got announced before it was time to write it and publish it (Punch Drunk Love and Duck Soup, for example-yes, I have this article in mind year round). There were also many other great surprises. 2016 also brought us a new format, 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray, which I’ve been fortunate to have been able to dabble with in year 1. Its far too early and easy to do a wishlist for that format, we’ve still got plenty to do for good ‘ol Blu-ray. This year’s list will be only 10 films because I had to scale back at some point, the years are counting up too high! While the picks aren’t all this way, I found myself getting slightly more filmmaker focused this year. Some great directors are missing films from their filmography on the format and would be a great addition to work to complete their catalog and just good movies in general to have on the format. Continue reading ‘Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2017!’