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Archive for the 'Top 10' Category

Godzilla Ranking: The Millennium Era (1999-2004)

Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse expands this Summer with Godzilla: Kong of the Monsters. As a huge Godzilla fan, I’ve been happy to put together some fun posts about the classic Kaiju franchise. Enjoy some fun facts here, but this post for Why So Blu continues what I started with my Heisei era ranking. Now, I have a look back at Godzilla’s Millennium period, which ran from the late 90s to the mid-2000s. Get ready for more rankings, trivia, and killer poster art.

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Godzilla Ranking: The Heisei Era (1984 – 1995)

This Summer, everyone will have a chance to see Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the latest entry in Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse. As a massive Godzilla fan, I’ve been doing my part to spread the good word on the classic Kaiju. Enjoy some fun facts here and eventually beginner’s guide on another site, but for Why So Blu, I wanted to put together a ranking of the films from a couple of key periods in the long-running franchise’s timespan. So, with this first of two posts (for now), enjoy this look back at the films from Godzilla’s Heisei period, which ran from the 80s to the mid-90s.

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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2019!

As promised after much delay, the annual wishlist is here! I’m actually glad I waited until the end of January to publish it, because in the time between November and now, many past wishlist titles have been announced for this coming year. So, we can scratch them off the list. There are titles that were originally on this list (Like Klute) that didn’t get a chance to be. The Blu-ray landscape began to evolve a lot in 2018, merely with the decision Warner Bros has made to license out movies to independent distributors like Criterion and Shout! Factory. Sony used to be strict about adding new features to their titles in licensing deals (Hence why many of theirs went to Twilight Time in the past), but appear to have scaled back and now we are getting better editions and titles companies want to pull the trigger on BECAUSE they can make the Collector’s Editions they were wanting to. Its becoming obvious with major studios that home video itself is pushing and moving toward streaming being the dominant format going forward and Blu-ray/4K UHD will go way of vinyl and be a collector’s medium. Premium prices will be more standard, but as long as the big studios are turning a corner like Warner Bros and your Arrows, Criterions and Shouts continue to put out top notch product, things will prosper for us fans of cinema and the physical media formats.  Continue reading ‘Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2019!’

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Jason Coleman’s Top Ten Films Of 2018 (w/Bonus #1 Destroyer Director Karyn Kusama Interview + Jason’s Final Farewell!)

This is it folks – all good things must eventually come to an end.  As such it’s with this final column that I Jason Coleman bid a fond farewell to both WhySoBlu.com and a career as a critic that has lasted over thirty glorious years.  So to make sure I go out with a bang below is jam-packed with goodies guaranteed to make your movie day.  First up is my Top Ten Films of 2018 and let me tell you film fans it was not easy to nail down.  A year with so many memorable and groundbreaking films made it hard to narrow the choices, but in the end my selections were made with both care and hopes of enlightening those who may have missed some great five-star films.  (Plus I’ve added three honorable mentions that on any other year would have made the top ten easy!)  After that a rare treat for fans – my exclusive one-on-one chat with the helmer of my #1 pick Destroyer Director Karyn Kusama (nothing but the best for this last hurrah!) for some added insight and finally my Final Farewell, a grand goodbye to readers highlighting the best of the best and shout outs to fantastic folks from all my years of cinema service.  So let’s get started – first up….Jason Coleman’s Top Ten Films Of 2018!

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Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films of 2019 – A Month By Month Look

With many studio films with dates set in place and general knowledge that certain filmmakers have movies set to arrive sometime this year, there’s still a lot of challenge in selecting which movies I am most looking forward to. Of course, I may as well call this post “Godzilla and Some Other 2019 Flicks I Want to See,” but that would be underselling the excitement I have for a lot that is arriving in theaters (and presumably streaming) in 2019, big and small. There’s also the case to be made for all the films many of us do not even know about yet, given the nature of film festival debuts and other surprises. Regardless, this is a month by month look at what I am looking forward to seeing (links for trailers where available). Feel free to name the films you look forward to in the comments.


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Love, Brandon: Top 10 Films Of 2018

I’m not last, but posting the day after Aaron Neuwirth is a tough act to follow. He’s the most informed of us here and is able to see an impressive amount of films released in a given year. For me personally, 2018 felt like I didn’t see as much as I would have liked to in order to have formed a good opinion for a Top 10 for the masses (I still haven’t seen A Star Is Born). As a matter of fact, I almost bowed out of doing a Top 10 films of 2018. But I realized, at the end of the day my “I didn’t see as much as I’d have liked to” is still probably a lot larger sample of films watched in the year than a lot of people. And thus, this is my favorite of the boatload of films I did see. And crazy enough, I realized I had seen plenty when 2018 contained films from some my favorite filmmakers or collaborations that wound up not making the cut (Coen Bros-The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Wes Anderson-Isle of Dogs, Diablo Cody/Jason Reitman/Charlize Theron-Tully). And as much as I loved Mandy, that didn’t make it either. Worth noting too, that this is the first time in the Disney-Lucasfilm era that a Star Wars film didn’t make my list (And I did like Solo). But, enough rambling, here are my 10 favorite films of the year 2018. Continue reading ‘Love, Brandon: Top 10 Films Of 2018’

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Aaron’s Superb Top Ten Films of 2018

It’s the end of another year, and for whatever difficulties there have been, I certainly had a lot of movies to consider for my year-end list of favorites. I had a lot of fun putting together this final top ten list, knowing full well the strong set of contenders. Given that I’ve watched around 200 2018 releases theatrically and via Netflix and Amazon Prime, there was a lot to narrow down from, but here we are. Some films were instant favorites for me, some grew in my opinion over time, and a few lost a bit of their luster as the year went on. All of that in mind, here is the set of films that resonated with me the most in my official list for the Top Ten Films of 2018, complete with runner-ups, honorable mentions, and more. (Reviews are linked when available and, as per usual, I’ve also linked lots of Easter Eggs in all of the pictures, so enjoy that as well.)

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Brian’s Top 10 “Brian” Films of 2018!

Top 10 Brian FilmsEvery year this Top 10 movie list gets harder and harder to write.  As the years go by I get the chance to see fewer and fewer movies theatrically.  Because of work, life and other commitments I feel like I’m constantly trying to play catch up and/or seeing most films some 3-4 months after they left the theater in my home.  It just is what it is and I’m doing my best to accept it as the norm growing up becoming a responsible adult.  I’m not trying to make excuses for any poor selections below, but instead instead I’m level setting expectations here and now.  I’m telling you all of this so you’re not expecting the usual Top 10 list of films that most critical reviewers will pump out this year.  The list as it reads below is a very unorthodox view of theatrical features culled from my simple mind, which were all released in the U.S. within the calendar year of 2018. Continue reading ‘Brian’s Top 10 “Brian” Films of 2018!’

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Gregg’s Tenaciously Transformative Top 10 Films of 2018

This year was the first time since I started doing this ten years ago where my ‘worst of the year’ list was compiled before my ‘best of’. Both have since fluctuated with the titles on those lists, but the moral of the story is that while 2018 had some great films, I never felt it was a great year for films. In the final weekend before this article was due, I crammed in four theater visits in 48 hours for the most accurate top 10 list I could compile (unfortunately Vice came out too late to be viewed for this list). Little did I know three of those four wouldn’t even come close to making this list (sorry, Aquaman, I’m elated you finally got a film but it’s just too long and the Black Manta actor was awful). Nevertheless, the films that did make this were very worthy of my movie-loving appreciation for any number of reasons. As always, here’s my disclaimer that this list isn’t claiming each of these films are super artsy or award-worthy. Some of them will likely walk away with a Golden Globe or Oscar. Others are just definitive popcorn movies that were pure fun. Either way, it’s quite a mash-up of action, emotion and great storytelling.

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I’ve Got 10 On It: Gerard’s Top-10 Films of 2018!

For some reason I thought I would be last out of the Why So Blu? crew in terms of listing our Top-10 films of 2018. Nope! Looks like I’m first, so my selections are on deck. As is customary with my Top-10 list of films – I was not able to watch everything I wanted to before my cut-off date. I’m going to list my Top-10 selections in a streamlined fashion and I will omit any honorable mentions due to time and scheduling. You want a Top-10 list, well, that’s what you’re gonna get! Without further ado, let’s get busy! Continue reading ‘I’ve Got 10 On It: Gerard’s Top-10 Films of 2018!’

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Jason Coleman’s Top Five Male & Female Performances Of 2018 (w/Bonus #1 Actress Nadia Alexander Interview!)

With only two more columns to go here at WhySoBlu, there is nothing more exciting to this humble movie critic than praising the work of actors who go beyond the norm.  Thespians who not only enhance the story of the project they are in, but mange to standout by creating an original performance filled with elements that make their characters utterly unique.  This year in particular saw some savory on-screen turns by actors in smaller films that I’m happy to highlight here loud and proud for those who may have missed them.  Plus as a goodbye bonus treat I’m joined a little later by my #1 pick in the female category Nadia Alexander for a little Q&A interview insight into both the roles that made her a standout this year.  So from undead teens to channeling Steve McQueen and everything in between here are my illustrious (and last ever!)…TOP FIVE MALE & FEMALE PERFORMANCES OF 2018.

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Hello. My Name Is Brandon Peters. This Is My Top Blu-rays List. Prepare To Read!

One of my favorite and most frustrating times of the movie writing season is the end of the year “TOP X” lists. They are a lot of fun, but also hurt the brain when trying to weed through all the releases and then put them in a specific order. When it came to 2018, the year was one full of significant and terrific upgrades of previously released titles. Whether it be the format jump to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray or a brand new Blu-ray release, the year showed that you’re doing more than just buying the same thing again for a new bonus feature. DVD and VHS brought about “double dipping” but in the case of standard Blu-ray, you’re actually getting an (ideally) improved picture and audio presentation to leap past your previous edition. It truly does fall under the term “upgrade”.  New 4K and 2K scan restorations have yielded some impressive results and “fixed” many collector’s issues with the previous versions of a film.  While us 4K Ultra-HD users pine for EVERYTHING to come to the format, many of the 4K restorations put on Blu-ray are keeping us satisfied with some of the smaller films for now. Continue reading ‘Hello. My Name Is Brandon Peters. This Is My Top Blu-rays List. Prepare To Read!’

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Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Top-Quality Blu-ray Picks For 2018

Who’s ready for a killer Blu-ray list? Like previous years (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017), I’ve gone in-depth on what I enjoyed with this year in Blu-ray release. I still may not have a 4K setup like Why So Blu’s Brian and Brandon, or a region-free player like Gerard, but there was plenty to enjoy for a guy working with the regular old HD format. As usual, this list has a few rules that come with it. Regard for the film in question is obviously important. I have to have watched the movie for the sake of assessing the quality of the video and audio transfers. And I had to dive into the special features available. The last thing, I always try to keep films that may appear on my “Top 10 Films of the Year” list separate from the top ten Blu-rays. I do this to keep the post interesting, and I also have some extra sections to go over other highlights from the year. So, here we go:

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Coming in Hot: Gerard’s Top-10 Blu-rays of 2018!

Yes, it is one of my favorite times of the year – my Top-10 favorite Blu-rays of 2018 in full effect! My criteria are more of a how did the film look, sound, and was it fully loaded in terms of special features? That’s how I gauged if they would make it on the list or not.  The film in question could have been a stinker but how was the Blu-ray? That’s how I graded my selections. The good news is that they weren’t stinkers to begin with, so we all win! Without further ado come on in, have a seat, relax, and enjoy my Top-10 Blu-rays of 2018. Kick it!

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Brian’s Top 10 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Releases of 2018!

Brian's Top 10 2018 4K ReleasesFor me the highlight of 2018 on the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray format were the great catalog releases we received.  We expect our 2018 theatrical releases to look pristine and sound great on 4K UHD Blu-ray (with some Disney ones being the exception to that rule).  However, it’s the catalog releases that always manage to surprise and delight the film “collecting” (that’s for you Brandon Peters) folks like me on the 4K format.  Sure it sucks having to double dip on titles you already own sometimes on multiple formats, but like my 4K collector peers J.G. Molina and Robert Jaros always say “I want to own the best version of the movie.”  Although I will debate forever with anyone that says Oblivion is better on the 4K format compared to Blu-ray, but I digress.  So yeah that ultimately means sucking it up and laying your hard earned money down on titles you probably own on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray already.  We all do it.  It feeds our passions!  That’s who we are. #NoExcuses Continue reading ‘Brian’s Top 10 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Releases of 2018!’

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Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2018

This year every time a new month came in, my money went out. I found an impressive array of discs released in 2018 and there was definitely some jockeying for position that took place with this list since mid-summer. For instance, DC Comics’ Justice League had been a mainstay on here until recently when one release after another pushed it off the list. Still, that film does have my favorite steelbook to date, but we’re not counting points for artwork here. We’re looking at quality of the production and the library of content. Extras aren’t the be all end all, but they can make or break a title entering this list so let’s see who made the cut.

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Gregg’s 2018 Game of the Year

As the years have passed, I have drifted significantly from video games and focused that time more on boardgaming. I just find the ability to use my imagination and the skill of critical thinking far more engaging in something like Terraforming Mars or Memoir ’44 as opposed to the button mashing of Mortal Kombat or the run ‘n gun of Call of Duty. Nevertheless, there is that occasional title of pixel fun that just captures my attention and won’t let go. Whereas last year that honor went to the DC Comics street fighting game Injustice 2, this year just happens to be another comic book-influenced title.  No, that is not a requirement.  It’s just that this game was done so incredibly well, I almost want to use the word ‘perfect’ in describing it.

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The Best Comics of 2018

Whereas 2018 was not the best year for films (in my humble opinion), it proved to be an exceptional year for comics. The world of Spider-Man saw one massive tie-in after another between the PS4 game, the upcoming animated film and the Spider-Geddon series. Valiant did a slight but impactful retooling of its popular Ninjak series, now referring to him as Ninja-K, the eleventh assassin of his kind (A through K) in Her Majesty’s service. DC made their own statement with the Drowned Earth story arc, establishing the importance and strength of Aquaman as the half-Atlantean, half-human gets ready for his own feature film later this month. Long story short (too late), there was no shortage of entertainment from comic book publishers these past twelve months. You’ll see some familiarity from last year on this article and a few new titles that are certainly worth checking out. After all, why else would they be on this list?

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