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Archive for the 'Editorials' Category

‘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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BRANDON’S TOP BEST FAVORITE BLU-RAYs & 4Ks OF 2020!

I’m not the first person to tell you 2020 has felt like forever and a day and then forever again. We were fortunate to have still been given a constant flux of new 4K Ultra-HD and standard Blu-ray releases despite the global pandemic. Heck, When charting back for this list, I was stunned at some of my contenders, having them feel like they came out last year because it felt so long ago. In a positive perspective for 2020, in regards to home video collecting, the year has relieved and renewed my faith in studios to keep delivering and finding new ways to build excitement with collecting. Disney aside, every studio has shown new strategies and refreshed dedication in backing physical media. Warner Bros has continued sub licensing, but also seems to be putting a little more effort into the bonus materials for Warner Archive. Paramount has released the Presents line as well as just shooting out some bare bones releases of stuff never on the format before with new regularity. And that’s not even to begin discussing the continued excitement from the likes of Shout! Factory, Blue Underground, Vinegar Syndrome, Severin Films, Arrow Video and more as they all have invested in 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. In other words, it was a pretty damn good outing for physical media in 2020, even if it wasn’t for the health of the global population. Continue reading ‘BRANDON’S TOP BEST FAVORITE BLU-RAYs & 4Ks OF 2020!’

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Super-Sized Top Ten: Aaron’s Awe-Inspiring Blu-ray Picks For 2020

“But if I just focus on a top ten, and then add some honorable mentions, that will save me some time.” Famous last words… This year’s top ten Blu-ray list didn’t get any more streamlined, but there’s a lot out there to enjoy, so get ready to go on a tour of physical media from my point of view. The good news is, I have joined my fellow Why So Blu writers in the world of 4K (in addition to a region-free player), allowing me the optimal viewing experience to go along with these terrific releases. As usual (see: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), this list has some rules. I have to have gone through the disc to assess the audio and video quality, along with the special features. It’s also important for me to separate films that may appear on my upcoming “Top 10 Films of the Year” list, though given the unexpected twist regarding this year’s theatrical films, that’s not so much an issue. Regardless, this ideally keeps the list interesting and comes with plenty of bonus sections. So, here we go!

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ManEater (PS5 Review)

While many Sony fans are still in hot pursuit of the brand spankin’ new PS5 console, some have been fortunate enough to get their hands on one despite Sony’s poor planning at launch. For those that do have the newest Playstation, there is no mistaking the shortage of titles currently available for it, yet this was not necessarily unexpected. Games like Godfall have bedazzled players with next gen graphics while familiar faces like Mortal Kombat continue to wow with its consistently solid play and upgrade of sights and sounds. One release that many gamers may not be familiar with, however, is the new ManEater from developer Tripwire Interactive.

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Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2021!

That time of year is upon us again, as we take a look at films that have still yet to arrive on Blu-ray in the year 2020. Looking ahead to next year, there are STILL so many terrific and worthy films of the format upgrade. Things seem to be shifting too, and we are in a spot where the home video landscape is pushing more toward the collector than ever before. Aside from Disney, the studios seems to be recalibrating their efforts in bringing more titles and better versions of those titles to our players. Paramount especially has been active this year with both its Paramount Presents label and just getting some stuff the hell out regardless (IE: The Two Jakes, Private Parts). The independent studios are getting the reigns on bigger titles and the studios themselves are putting in a bit better effort. Sony is killing it with polling collectors for the Columbia Classics line which hopefully becomes an annual set. I ask those who cry out to proclaim the death of physical media regularly, then why am I increasingly happier and happier year in and year out? Continue reading ‘Brandon’s Blu-ray Wishlist For 2021!’

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4K BLUsday for 11/3/2020 – THE ADDAMS FAMILY 4K Digital Code GIVEAWAY!

4K BLUsday returns on election day in the United States (Please get out and VOTE). A rather ho-hum release day in terms of both announcements from the past week as well as movie coming out today. Still there is plenty to be excited about. We are about to enter that weird late December through February period where the studios aren’t going overboard after their big holiday releases hangover. On the YouTube Channel I have our Full Metal Jacket contest winner as well as a new contest for a digital code of 2019’s The Addams Family animated film. Please note, that code is an iTunes exclusive and not redeemable through other digital services. Listen to the podcast, watch the video, more details below!

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4K BLUsday for 10/27/2020 – FULL METAL JACKET 4K Digital Code GIVEAWAY!

4K BLUsday is back yet again! You’ll find out who won the Whiplash 4K digital code contest on the YouTube Video Companion to find out!  This week I’m continuing my GIVEAWAY streak with a 4K digital code for FULL METAL JACKET! On the podcasts, we have a slew of January slates to go over as well as a few more nifty 4K UHD Blu-ray announcements. This week’s new release slate includes the debut of The Flintstones: The Complete Series and The Ipcress File on Blu-ray. My vintage pick of the week is a favorite Italian horror film of mine that I watch every Halloween night. In addition I showcase a couple other goodies from the director. So much fun to be had. Listen to the podcast, then head over to YouTube to check out the video companion and enter to the WIN the 4K Digital FULL METAL JACKET! Continue reading ‘4K BLUsday for 10/27/2020 – FULL METAL JACKET 4K Digital Code GIVEAWAY!’

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4K BLUsday for 10/20/2020 – WHIPLASH 4K Digital Code GIVEAWAY!

4K BLUsday returns for more! Who won the BACK TO THE FUTURE: ULTIMATE TRILOGY contest? Check out the YouTube Video Companion to find out!  I’m also giving away a digital code for WHIPLASH! The past week’s news has a whole Criterion slate to go over as well as some more cool 4K UHD Blu-ray announcements. This week’s new release slate includes the debut of Back To The Future on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray. My vintage pick of the week is actually quite vintage this time too. There is a lot of fun, as always. Listen to the podcast, then head over to YouTube to check out the video companion and enter to the WIN the 4K Digital Whiplash!

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Screamfest 2020 – Best Of Fest ‘Wrap Up’

Fright fans – it’s awards time!  The amazing SCREAMFEST HORROR DRIVE IN FILM FESTIVAL 2020 has passed, we have done our own comprehensive coverage (six articles in total!) and it’s time for a little credit where credit is due time.  In our many ‘Best’ categories we pay tribute to the brightest that Screamfest had to offer in 2020 and the winners certainly kept us turning in our movie graves.  For your consideration – it’s the…

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Screamfest 2020 – Final Film Reviews

With the latest SCREAMFEST HORROR DRIVE IN FILM FESTIVAL 2020 over it’s time to clean up the movie review aisles for this year.  So were giving critical skinny on the last two feature films to give fans a complete picture of the crop of 2020.  So before we end our review coverage, here are two…Final Film Reviews!

 

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