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Peter’s Picture Perfect Top Ten Movies of 2019

I’m calling it. 2019 was the best end of the decade year since 1999. If I had the time, I could have easily made a list of 25 or maybe even 50 films. The MCU came to a conclusion (for now) with the fantastic crowd pleaser and box office record-breaker Avengers: Endgame. Studio pics and one particular foreign flick had economic inequality on the brain with Ready or Not, Knives Out, and Oscar hopeful Parasite. We also saw the best teen film in nearly two decades (Ghost World was the last one). This was also another great year for women standing up for themselves, whether on the stage in Her Smell, on a different kind of stage in Hustlers, or on the streets of New York in Brittany Runs a Marathon. In the end, I try to have lists of ten that exemplify a range of what I love about movies. 2019 did not disappoint.

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Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films of 2020 – A Month By Month Look

I’ve assembled my list of Most Anticipated Films for 2020. It’s always fun to take a look at what’s going to be hitting theaters in the coming year. Sure, there are a lot of films that aren’t even on my radar yet, but I’m still plenty happy at seeing all of the current potential. Plus, with Disney having gone for a monster 2019, it feels like there’s just more room for some fresher ideas beyond massive live-action remakes and super sequels. Sure, there are some films of that nature to anticipate, but nothing is seemingly hogging up the atmosphere. 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 look forward to in the comments. Continue reading ‘Aaron’s Most Anticipated Films of 2020 – A Month By Month Look’

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BRANDON Is My Name, And Ten’in Up Movies Is My Game! (Brandon’s Top Ten Films Of 2019)

Here I am, returning once again for my seventh Top 10 Films list in my Why So Blu career. And like any other year, I feel like I have a good handle on things to make a top list until I actually go to write it. 2019, due to life things, was a year where I missed out on more than I normally would have and I thought the list would be simpler in the end. Turns out, it was just as hard as any other and my final pick was an incredibly tough choice to make among the ones fighting for that 10 spot. While the task to list out, narrow down, weed out and make excruciating cuts is a frustrating task, it makes me happy that I am enjoying so many movies to such degrees year in and year out. So many people poo poo the “current state of movies” and my honest advice that you need to do some work (Not hard work even) and seek out something you’re mildly curious on. Don’t feel handcuffed to blockbusters, stop judging thing so hard on the trailers you’re seeing and go see something out of your comfort zone. If it doesn’t work out, well, maybe it will next time. That’s the gamble and fun of movies. Follow things by creators (Directors, writers) and not genre. Don’t be afraid of challenging yourself once in a while. Don’t be afraid of watching something ridiculous once in a while (And appreciating what fluff is). Enjoy movies. All kinds. Explore. Remember…Star Wars was once something weird and new. Continue reading ‘BRANDON Is My Name, And Ten’in Up Movies Is My Game! (Brandon’s Top Ten Films Of 2019)’

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A New Year Miracle — Adam’s Top Ten Films of 2019!

2019 was an interesting year for me. I had a great dream realized that I thought would only happen in the form of Amazon or iTunes reviews — I was invited to write about movies here at WhySoBlu. This exceptional opportunity has afforded me the privilege to share with you my passion for film as a whole, to share a small dose of me with every article I write. This has been a dream for me as long as I can remember. With my last 2019 film list and my first official post of the year, I want to thank my colleagues Aaron, Brandon, Brian, Corey, Gerard, Gregg, and Peter. Thank you for giving me so many great reviews to read and to look up to. You all have wonderful ways with words and I hope that I find myself continually influenced by your work. I’d also like to give a shout out to my husband B. for his patience and understanding with my writing. He hears a lot about my critiques now and he’s been essential in sharing his opinions as well. We’ve become like a more amiable Siskel and Ebert at home. For all the readers of WhySoBlu, I thank you just as much for your continued reading, sharing and mutual love of film and physical media. I hope you enjoy reading about my top 10 films of 2019 and find a few surprises in there!

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Aaron’s Outstanding Top Ten Films of 2019

Here it is, my Top Ten Films of 2019! After plenty of viewing and consideration, I have put together my list of year-end favorites. This was another incredible year for film, and having watched around 200 2019 releases theatrically, as well as on various streaming services (though Netflix had another banner year), there was a lot to narrow down from. Some films were instant favorites, others stuck with me and only managed to grow on me over time. All of that in mind, the following is the list of films that resonated with me most, complete with runner-ups, honorable mentions, and more. (Reviews are linked when available. As per usual, I’ve also linked some fun Easter Eggs in all of the pictures. Enjoy!)

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Peter’s Movies of the Decade: 2010s

The triumph of cinema for the 2010s has been varied, to say the least. While streaming became the medium of choice for millions, blockbusters still broke records, and smaller films, whether seen on a phone or big screen, created much by way of discussion. We close out the decade with the old “what is cinema?” question back in the conversation. True cinephiles would simply throw shade, offering their best Billie Eilish “Duh,” but for those who think of movies as merely “entertainment,” Martin Scorsese’s remark about the MCU films not being “real cinema” was a brain-busting WTF moment. Still, the decade began with business as usual (franchises, Oscar-bait). It ended with what felt, for some, like the very survival of more adult fare, which too was an overreaction. Along the way, great strides in diversity arrived by way of #OscarsSoWhite, the success of Black Panther, gender-focused shakeups, and more.

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Gregg’s Tremendously Tantalizing Top 10 Films of 2019

This list had me worried at the end of the summer.  It was rather sparse and I wondered if, for the first time, I wouldn’t have a sufficiently laid out list of top ten films on the year.  Once autumn arrived, however, movies started surfacing in theaters that would largely construct the upper half of the list below.  While I did miss out on Knives Out and Uncut Gems, I did manage to sneak in the Jumanji sequel at the end.  Funny and fun, yes.  As good as its predecessor, no.  Thus, those are three movies not on the list.  With that being said, there were plenty of others to pull from in the pool of 40+ films I experienced at the theater in 2019. Before we get to the ten on my list, here are some films that stood out in one form or another.  I laughed, I cried, I fell asleep.  We covered the emotional spectrum in films released this year.

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The Best Comics of 2019

I do long for the days of Robert Venditti writing X-O Manowar.  I also miss the ongoing Vader series dearly.  Alas, all good things must come to an end, but fear not!  Each year the comic book industry provides new surprises as well as continuity of greatness.  In addition, it is important to mention the case of two landmark achievements in 2019.  Both the series Detective Comics and Marvel Comics each reached their 1,000th issue this year and both were done very differently.  The former was a collection of short Batman stories, while the latter was a massive collection of one-page stories ranging from Daredevil to Darth Vader.  Personally, I found nothing to be gained by a story contained on a single page, but to each their own.  Enough talk, onto the awards!

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End of the Decade: Gerard’s Top Blu-rays of 2019!

Instead of writing a proper Top-10 list like normal this year, I’m just compiling some of my favorite Blu-ray sets of 2019. I’m almost certain I left some out due to me forgetting or not actually owning them. All of the titles listed here I own. One thing for sure, upon first and possibly second glance, is that it’s been a stellar year for boutique label releases. Shout Factory, Arrow Video, Criterion Collection, Eureka! Masters of Cinema, and Flicker Alley all make appearances here. I had a lot of fun putting this list together and hope that you enjoy it. Let’s get on with the show! Continue reading ‘End of the Decade: Gerard’s Top Blu-rays of 2019!’

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Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Spectacular Blu-ray Picks For 2019

“Next year I’ll narrow it down a little more.” Yeah, that’s what happened… Okay, so I thought I was going to make a simpler top ten Blu-ray list this year, but there’s a lot out there to enjoy, and I, apparently, just find it easier to go overboard. As it stands, Why So Blu’s Brian, Brandon, and Adam have their 4K setups, and Gerard has his region-free player for some imported choices to check out as well. As usual (see: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), this list has some rules. I have to have watched the movie for the sake of assessing the video and audio quality. Checking out the special features is essential as well. One last thing, I like to keep films that may appear on my upcoming “Top 10 Films of the Year” list separate from this one. All of this helps keeps this list interesting, and it all comes after plenty of bonus sections. So, here we go!

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And Now For Something Completely Different (Brandon’s Top 10 Blu-rays Of 2019)

Another calendar year has come and gone in the “death of physical media” era we’ve been living in for years upon years now. While I think in the eyes of those of us collectors who prefer ownership, things are still thriving and benefiting us immensely (You SPOIL us, Reverend Entertainment!), 2019 has seen the desire of the big studios’ future plans come more to fruition. At Why So Blu alone, there have seen severe disappointments with announcements of digital only 4K Ultra-HD releases (The Limey, in particular) and new beloved movies only getting a standard Blu-ray release with bare minimum bonus features (Midsommar). On the brighter side, stingy big studios allergic to sub-licensing their catalogs have begun to soften their stance and the unthinkable of Warner Bros, Paramount and Sony (Moreso in terms of allowing new bonus features, something they used to not do) started unloading onto us in 2019. Your move, Lionsgate (The most head scratching and frustrating studio with catalog releases). As I’ve been saying for years, I don’t see a death for physical media ever happening, it’ll just be changing and a smaller output that has standards already have been practiced for almost 10 years now. It’ll evolve to look more like the current state of vinyl records in its future, and that’s okay. The people who are still passionate about putting these out know how to blast excitement into it (I mean, who doesn’t get antsy about the Vinegar Syndrome Black Friday sale every year?). But, enough about the future, let us get to the now, my Top 4K Ultra-HD and Top Blu-ray titles released in the 2019 calendar year. Continue reading ‘And Now For Something Completely Different (Brandon’s Top 10 Blu-rays Of 2019)’

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Gregg’s Top 10 Blu-rays of 2019

Happy Holiday, folks! This time of year means the WSB staff opens the floodgates on their top 10’s. While I didn’t experience the treasure trove of films in the theater this year I had hoped for (by quality, not amount), the list of quality Blu-rays was lengthy, but alas, narrow it to ten we must. I did finally experience what WSB-founder Blu-ray Brian has been stating for some time now about Disney Blu-rays. While I absolutely loved Captain Marvel as a film, the audio on its Blu-ray release was incredibly mundane and severely disappointing. Shame on you, Disney. Off the list it went. Rest assured, however, there were plenty of titles clamoring to make our lists and while Captain Marvel on disc was left in the dust, there is more than enough entertainment to fill out ten impressive releases.

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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist for 2020!

Welcome back to another edition of Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist. The second one this year as 2019’s had to be pushed to January last time. But alas, I’m back and on time here with another set of 10 films or TV programs that have yet to be blessed/restored/made-over with the Blu-ray format (Or 4K Ultra-HD now for that matter). The usual rules apply as always. To appear on the wishlist, a title cannot have been released anywhere on the globe (If its only in another region, its STILL on the format). Also, if it has been announced in some sort of professional or reliable manner (IE: Peter Jackson has discussed that Meet the Feebles and Bad Taste ARE getting released). After the list, in the comments, list of some of theme you’re hoping finally see the light of day or you are STILL waiting to see the light of day in the comments (We are already WELL aware of The Abyss and True Lies, so lets get a bit more creative, shall we?). Continue reading ‘Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist for 2020!’

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Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order (PS4 Review)

“It will be a day-long remembered.” While Darth Vader can be quoted as saying that, I want to borrow it for the recent release of the latest Star Wars game, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order from EA. When attending Star Wars Celebration this past April in Chicago, I had the privilege of attending the live panel discussing the game. It is, after all, Star Wars, so it’s going to have that massive attention right there. On top of that, fans of the franchise have wanted a solo player game for ages. The last Star Wars title I can remember that fit the bill was Force Unleashed II and that was nearly a decade ago. Games like the recent Battlefront and Battlefront II had single-player scenarios, but those titles are online multi-players more than anything. Ask, and you shall receive, though, as we now have the solo Star Wars game we have been after. Now that it has been out slightly over a week, here’s a look at Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

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‘Coin’ Spends Talent on Great Music

A few months ago I wrote about Fitz & the Tantrum’s new album and how I discovered this impending release after seeing them live this past summer. The band that had opened for them was a group out of Nashville called Coin. I was already an established Fitz fan, but Coin was previously an unknown ensemble to me. That evening certainly changed a few things in my musical world.

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DC Delivers ‘Year of the Villain: The Joker’

DC has been releasing one-shot issues of various villains throughout 2019, each a single tale dedicated to one baddie. All going under the heading Year of the Villain, we have thus far been graced with issues covering the Riddler, Black Adam, Sinestro, Black Mask and Lex Luthor. The latest addition to this doom-dealing lineup is none other than the most popular DC villain, the Joker. Hot on the heels of the successful motion picture of everyone’s favorite clown (sorry, Pennywise), we go back to the ink and paper roots for Batman’s arch nemesis.

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Fitz and the Tantrums has ‘All the Feels’ …Or Does It?

It’s been a week since I’ve had a chance to digest All the Feels, the latest release from Fitz and the Tantrums, which is the band’s fourth studio album. I’ve been a mild fan of them for the better part of five years now and finally got to see them live this past summer when I definitely got the Fitz fever. Without question, they put on one of my favorite performances I have had the privilege to experience in person. Their energy is infectious, but does this latest recording bring that same positive punch?

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Manor Black + Dark Horse = Shadowy Goodness

At the end of July, Dark Horse Comics released issue #1 of a mini-series that made its debut with little fanfare. Manor Black came out on July 31st and holds this aura of a small independent film in the sense that it may not have widespread notoriety, but it serves up one very engaging story. Written by Cullen Bunn (Deadpool Kills the Marvel Universe) and Brian Hurtt (The Damned), and its eerie visual tone courtesy of Tyler Crook (Harrow County), the four-issue tale is currently halfway through its release, but what is Manor Black all about?

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