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Archive for the 'Editorials' Category

Unnamed Footage Festival 2021 – Encapsulated Movie Reviews

What a difference 24hrs. makes!   The cinematic curtain has closed on a recent online fest that focused on a genre that has gotten a bit of a bad rap over the years – found footage.   The Unnamed Footage Festival, which started on March 26th, 2021 and ran a full 24hrs. long, highlighted not only found footage but also faux-documentaries, screenlife film and POV cinema all in an attempt to entertain and fundraise helping local movie theaters.  And for those who came, saw and witnessed UFF 2021 it was exactly as promised – a chaotic mix of everything first person including features, shorts, some Q&A material and block intros with goofball host Vernon Herman Salinger.  (Think William Castle meets SCTV!)

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Godzilla Ranking: The Showa Era (1954-1975)

It’s been a bumpy road for major releases, but Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse has a battle for the ages coming this Spring with Godzilla vs. Kong. After delivering my rankings for the Heisei Era and the Millennium Era, along with some fun facts and a beginner’s guide to the famed kaiju series, I took a bit of a break from huge Godzilla posts. However, it’s finally time to explore my ranking of the original period of Toho’s Godzilla films, the Showa Era, which ran from the 50s into the 70s, featuring a hefty 15 films. So, get ready for my ranking, fun trivia, and more.

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Jason Coleman’s Top Ten Memorable Movie Openings

Having recently witnessed the glorious opening slow-motion spectacle of Zack Snyder’s Justice League, complete with full man of steel angst and long-reaching death howl, it inspired me and reminded me just how powerful an effective opening scene can be.  Sometimes as the only saving grace of a flawed flick and sometimes an appetizer of tasty things to come, a good first scene impression is always welcome in the world of movie magic.  So I’m taking some time out to pay a little tribute to some of MY favorite first scenes that have long lingered with me even after the flick finished unspooling.  Take heed – these may not be the best film openings of all time (hence no Jaws, The Dark Knight, or 2001: A Space Odyssey here!), but these are the ones that personally made me excited both then and now.  So run hot, choose life, drive fast, feel melancholy, check the calendar, get arrested, prepare for 100% Alabama ass-kicking, get into a knockdown brawl, grab some hot jewels, and gain some serious deep reflection – here are my own…TOP TEN MEMORABLE MOVIE OPENINGS!

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Win A Copy Of PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN On Blu-ray With This GIVEAWAY!

Hi everybody! I have a really quick giveaway going on for Promising Young Woman on Blu-ray. All you need to do is watch the video below and follow the instructions. Have your entry in by Monday, March 15 (3/15/2021). I’ll be announcing the winner on my 4K BLUsday segment on YouTube the very next day, Tuesday March 16 (3/16/2021). Make sure you either subscribe to my YouTube channel or follow me on Twitter or Instagram @brandon4KUHD. Great film, not hard to enter, and a chance to take home a free copy of this wonderful Blu-ray. Why not give it a shot?

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‘HAHA’ is No Joke

A six-part mini-series from Image Comics that began in mid-January, HAHA focuses each separate issue on one clown’s story. The approach is not conducted in the vain of something like the Joker or killer clowns, rather, HAHA brings forth what are very grounded, real world tales but still fiction. As the series is currently two issues into its run, readers have become aware that while each issue can stand on its own, they are also connected, leaving some wonderment as to how this will all end once the sixth and final issue gets released.

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Black Radiant Glimmers in Debut

Image released their newest super hero title today, Black Radiant, and it’s already garnering plenty of five-star reviews, not to mention it is simply one of the most attractive comic book covers I have come across in recent memory. Appearances aside, the book itself does a great job for setting the stage of our main character while being cautious not to overflow the premier issue with too many additional characters. It also closes things out on the final page with a wide open sandbox for the writer and artist to play in. So what’s the book about, you may ask? Well don’t look at me. Comixology describes it as…

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Sundance Film Festival 2021 – Fourteen Encapsulated Movie Reviews

The 2021 Sundance Film Festival has officially closed its virtual curtains and it was an interesting one to say the least.  On the positive side one could not only check out various film fare from home but also skip past the way too revealing programmer intro so going into the movie cold was a blissful reality.  Downside is even though it was impossible to see everything (wasn’t able to see Coda and I missed the screening time for Knocking!) what I did see was a mixed bag.  While there were a couple of serious standouts, there were also some dismal outings that warranted a zero dog rating from yours truly.  It’s a strange thing to see such subpar stuff coming out of the iconic Sundance and maybe marks a need for a shift in those who program the fest.  (Weird doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better people!)  In any case taking on the good, so-so and very ugly I was able to check out a whopping fourteen titles over a week and the opinions are now live.  Docs about getting to the truth, tales of female empowerment, love during quarantine, the effects of trauma and so much more – check out our Sundance Film Festival 2021 Encapsulated Movie Reviews below!

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Sky Sharks (Blu-ray Review)

Truth be told, I have never seen a Sharknado film in its entirety, though I have seen my fair share of campy movies. There never seems to be a shortage of the style which can be a double-edged sword. Some are just bad they are funny and some are just so bad that they’re, well, bad. The first low-budget campy title of 2021 is none other than Sky Sharks, directed by Marc Fehse (The Power of Soul). Fehse and crew take viewers on a 106-minute romp that combines sci-fi with humor, action and gore…plenty of gore. A film that is definitely not for the squeamish at heart, or the prude at heart for that matter, Sky Sharks deliberately delivers as an in-your-face production.

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Director John Badham Career Interview: On Casting, Characters and Killer Chemistry

While some may not instantly know the name John Badham (shame on you!), chances are you have definitely seen one of his many hit films.  The prolific director has helmed so many memorable movies (Saturday Night Fever, y’all!), worked with a gaggle of notable actors early in their careers (how about a young Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy in the 1983 classic War Games!) and has created so many magical movie moments and lines that linger (“Number 5 is alive!”) that his vast body of work undoubtedly stands the test of time.  Currently the filmmaker has the second edition of his book “John Badham on Directing” (available now in both Kindle and Paperback) out for fans and film students alike who are interested in knowing the ins and outs of working as a director in the business, plus last October saw a Kino Lorber special Blu-ray release of his 1991 flick The Hard Way featuring a very entertaining (yes, I listened to the entire thing!) full-length audio commentary track with Badham.  (Both are available through Amazon!)

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‘Wayne’ Successfully Balances the Heartfelt and the Visceral (TV Review)

How does one describe this series currently found on Amazon Prime? It is certainly a menagerie of emotions that effectively collide and mingle in the ten-episode run of season one. Originating from YouTube and then being picked up by Prime, the show was created by Shawn Simmons, known for his writing credits on smaller productions such as the School of Rock series and the 2018 film Now We’re Talking. As 2019 rolled around, Simmons got the chance he was looking for in this series he passionately pitched to YouTube not all that long ago.

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‘Amped’ Gets Juiced in Debut Issue

From publisher Absolute Comics comes the brand new series, Amped. With literary duties provided bywriter Brian Augustyn (The Flash, Lady Death), Amped puts a unique spin on the super hero team genre which seems to have been done time and again. Still, Augustyn finds a way to inject some much needed creativity into this realm and makes it work quite well to say the least. With effective visuals from artist Pasquale Qualano (Doctor Who, Heavy Metal), we get a cognitive effort here from the pairing which delivers a solid premier. So what’s it all about anyway?

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Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films of 2021 – A Month By Month Look

This should be interesting. I’ve assembled my annual list of Most Anticipated Films for 2021, but it comes with an interesting change. While it’s always fun to look ahead at the films set to arrive this year, this is coming after a year where many releases were delayed. As a result, films from last year will appear on this list as well, but I’m going to put a larger focus on films I didn’t spotlight in last year’s list. With that in mind, I’m also well aware some films aren’t even on my radar yet, but I’m still plenty happy at seeing all of the current potential. Regardless, this is a month by month look at what movies I am looking forward to seeing this year (links for trailers where available). Feel free to name the films you are all looking forward to in the comments.

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Peter’s Top 10 Video Games of 2020

Sooooo (again), 2020, amirite? If there ever a year to lose myself with a controller and 4K TV, this was it. I spent the better part of the year obsessing about playing many great games. Then September arrived, and like many nerds, I became more obsessed over securing an online order for a PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. True, I was initially bummed I wouldn’t be going to my local Gamestop at midnight on Nov 10th and 12th, but in the interest of being safe, I was fortunate enough snag a preorder. Then I just needed to wait eight weeks to greet my neighborhood FedEx peep with social distancing in place. The actual games to play on these big consoles (looking at you, PS5) were the best kind of pricy distractions. More web-slinging! Thrills involving a nemesis! An island full of wisecracking animals! And an ever relatable tale about a pandemic that turned everyone into polarizing monsters. That last one was just the reaction to the game on social media.

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Peter’s Top 10 Films of 2020

Sooooo, 2020 amirite? I’ve never been happier for a year to end. Of course, with the pandemic still ongoing and awaiting a vaccine to reach millions, this was the first time I haven’t seen 70-100 movies in theaters since…. I dunno, the 90s? I have loved reviewing theatrical releases for this site and hope to do so again before 2021 ends. Were there great films in 2020? Of course. Did I miss a ton of them? I did. This past year, in lockdown, I spent more time with games than cinema. So by December, I found myself perusing other best-of lists to see what I missed. So, while the following shows that there was a lot to love creatively, I really miss seeing these films on the big screen. I did see a few like Birds of Prey and Emma. pre-lockdown, in actual theaters, but the art of the movies overall was appreciated via VOD and streaming services this time around.

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Aaron’s Expansive Top Ten Films of 2020

Even in a year where the theater-going experience was compromised by an ongoing pandemic, I found no shortage of quality releases for my list of the Top Ten Films of 2020. Between streaming services and films available on VOD for less than the price of a movie ticket, studios may have been challenged when it came to the box office but could still lean on the many smaller-scale options available for release. If anything, given the ease of watching even more new films this year (250+ by my count), I can only hope putting a spotlight on less commercial releases can open some eyes to the many ambitious filmmakers out there who absolutely want to contribute something fresh to the world of cinema. So, here is my full list of favorites for the year 2020, with plenty of runner-ups and honorable mentions, followed by the top ten. Enjoy! (Reviews are linked when available AND, as per usual, I’ve also linked some fun Easter Eggs in every picture you see.) Watch Small Axe!

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Brandon’s 10 Favorite Films Of 2020!

I’ll spare you the “What a crazy year this was!” jargon as you already know. You lived through it, too. Like every cinephile, I sure do miss going to theaters and oddly not having that option made me feel like I saw a lot less “important stuff” or “contenders” this year. Yet, at the same time, I kind of did? There were many films at the time of this writing I wasn’t able to get to, didn’t have access too, or hadn’t ponied up $20 for VOD rental or whatnot. Plus, at the start of 2020 I was making a concentrated effort to not cram down films/television so much as I have in years past. Take my time, relax, not hurry. Let the ones I do watch soak up and think about them more. For better or for worse, I’d like what I take in to keep some staying power in my brain. I’m older, I have small children and my short term memory isn’t always what it used to be. However, when crafting my list I was very happy with it in the end, and I do have strong feelings toward every single one of the films on it (plus many of the ones cut) quite a bit. Despite many big films getting moved, the year was still littered with great material. A lot of which, I wish the opportunity to see it in the theater would’ve been an option. Then again, I have some rather against the grain picks this year and I’m pretty satisfied with that. Continue reading ‘Brandon’s 10 Favorite Films Of 2020!’

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Gregg’s Top Five Films of 2020

I certainly don’t need to go into detail on how upended this year was. TV and film production came to a grinding halt which effectively shut down cinemas across the country as well. That being said, this will be my first ‘best films of the year’ article that isn’t the normal top ten. Rather, with the abridged film viewing in the dumpster fire known as 2020, the following will present my top five favorite films of the year. It is just an unfortunate combination of less content to watch and not being overly thrilled with a lot of what was out there. On the bright side, I did discover Schitt’s Creek this year and thoroughly loved it, but with it being a show and not a film, it won’t find a home on this list. I really want to say without further ado let’s skip all of this and just get to 2021, but there were still a number of great projects to watch this year.

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The Best Comics of 2020

Covid-19 may have stopped the movies in 2020, but it didn’t stop comic books. Sure, things were delayed for a bit when comic book distributors pumped the brakes in getting product from the warehouse to your local comic book shop, but that was short-lived, though it felt like an eternity when it occurred. Nevertheless, here we are in December and there were a number of fantastic titles the filled the hands of readers everywhere this year. Though most of us cannot wait to escape 2020, let us take our annual trip down comic book memory lane and see who topped the charts in each category.

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