Archive for the 'Gregg Senko' Category

American Underdog (Blu-ray Review)

There are three universal things that are known to unite people; music, food and sports. The third of those three has not failed to produce a number a timeless films in the genre such as Field of Dreams, Miracle and Sandlot, just to name a few. Every once in a while, the great sport of American football gets its due on the big screen. In the vain of gridiron greats such as Rudy and Friday Night Lights comes American Underdog, the biopic of Hall of Fame quarterback Kurt Warner, and yet, this film could be best described as not being a sports film and that depth proves to be a good thing.

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‘Feel Like Making LIVE! Bob James Trio’ (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

For Jazz enthusiasts and those in the music industry, the name Bob James rings true with that of an accomplished musician and composer. For the unfamiliar, it likely sounds as the most common of names. Rest assured that his accomplishments and skill are not of the common variety though. The 4k UHD Blu-ray release, Feel Like Making LIVE! Bob James Trio, both recaps his background and highlights his band’s talent, with a certain emphasis on the latter. Let’s delve into the DNA of this ultra high definition disc and breakdown the anatomy of its delivery.

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Gregg’s Best and Worst Films of 2021

2022?! But we just started 2021! Yes, time does seem to be flying by awfully quick these days, but I’ll take it considering the further we move ahead, the more we can eventually put Covid-19 in the rear view. Speaking of which, before we get to the films on the list, can we just look at how much better things are right now than they were twelve months ago? Yes, I’m aware numbers are spiking, but the things we can do in society today that we couldn’t a year ago is quite the positive upswing. In over a decade of writing for Why So Blu, last year was the first time my Top 10 list was shrunk to a mere five films. This was of course due to the tremendous lack of new releases combined with the closures of cinemas across the country. But, here we are.

We persevered and leapt over another covid hurdle. Theaters are bustling and streaming is more like a tsunami when it comes to new, big budget films. Productions like Netflix exclusives The Harder They Fall and Red Notice are just a few of the streaming-specific movies that completed a list of what to watch in 2021. While I did not get to see The Last Duel or Nightmare Alley, and this list was due before The King’s Man is to be released, I am feeling rather confident about the placement laid out here before you.

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The Best Comics of 2021

Here we are about to wrap a bow on 2021 and some things have certainly improved from twelve months ago while some of this all feels the same. One aspect which hasn’t changed is the unfaltering delivery of our shows, our films and our comic books to dodge and parry the current norm. We’ve all still managed to find our escapes through these various media, and not only that, but some have gone beyond just good entertainment or solid reads. Some, such as the comic books you’re about to become acquainted with, rose to that tier for one reason or another. We can agree, we can disagree, but we can all be entertained by them.

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‘DC vs. Vampires’ Debuts in Time for Halloween

In 2019, DC Comics released a six-issue mini-series titled DCEASED, which was, if nothing else, one of the most gripping storylines the publisher has released to date. If it was described to you simply as DC’s most famous super heroes fight zombies, you might immediately revert to the thought of Marvel Zombies. However, this couldn’t be further from the reality of DCEASED in which many DC characters transformed into the undead. Building on that age old notion of the animated post-living, DC now brings us its latest mini-series, DC vs. Vampires.

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Netflix Gets Praise with ‘Midnight Mass’

Tis the season! October brings about more than just a slew of purple and orange decorations or the numerous Spirit Halloweens that temporarily occupy vacated buildings. It’s also that time of year when horror films hit the big screen and mini-series fill our televisions. Such has been the case on Netflix, especially since 2018 when The Haunting of Hill House made its debut. For this unfamiliar, the ten-episode series was the first of now three ‘season’ production. Similar to American Horror Story, each season is disconnected from the previous in story, though you’ll find a lot of the same actors recast in new roles. Two of those thespians that have appeared in all three shows include Henry Thomas (E.T.) and Kate Siegel (Hush).

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The Bad Batch: Season 1 in Review

With episode 16 and thus season one of Disney’s The Bad Batch in the books, now seemed like an appropriate time to review where Dave Filoni’s latest creation took us over the past few months. Initially making their debut in the final season of The Clone Wars, the Bad Batch refers to five reject clone troopers and one somewhat mysterious clone that only bear slight physical resemblances to their mass-produced brethren. Each one of the specialized platoon featuring a unique attribute. Fives, originally a normal clone, is now cybernetic. Wrecker possesses abnormally great strength. Crosshairs is the sniper that cannot miss. Tech knows his way around any gadget or computer system. Hunter is the John Rambo of the group, both in leadership and appearance. And last but not least, Omega, who we are still getting to know.

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Masters of the Universe: Revelation (Review)

After much ado the past few years about a Netflix-exclusive He-Man project, the moment finally arrived last week when the five-episode animated series debuted on the ever popular streaming service. With a cast that features the likes of Mark Hamill, Lena Headey, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Liam Cunningham, Justin Long, Jason Mewes, Chris Wood and Henry Rollins, viewers certainly cannot cite a weak roster for any problems with the production. So big names aside, just how strong is this show?

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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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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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‘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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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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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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Shadow Service #1 from Vault Comics

A small yet potent comic book publisher, Vault Comics made its industry debut in 2016 and prides itself on publishing “original, creator-owner science fiction and fantasy comics” as mentioned on the company’s website. Vault has an already impressive array of titles which continues to grow. One of the more recent of those is an ongoing series titled Shadow Service.

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7500 (Movie Review)

As movie theaters are on the advent of opening in the very near future, one could not squander an opportunity for something new until that happens. The German film 7500 starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Inception, 500 Days of Summer) was actually released in 2019 but is just now making its way to North America. Directed and co-written by Patrick Vollrath (Ketchup Kid), the 92-minute drama features a minimal cast on a short budget, though it manages to make the most out of everything.

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