Saturday, November 30, 2013

Phil sees BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR at the Camera 7 Pruneyard Campbell-November 9, 2013

The recently released foreign film BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR has been receiving a lot of controversy since its win at the Cannes film festival this May. Now with this in mind, I couldn't wait to see what the hoopla was all about. Now I thoroughly enjoy viewing foreign film because they are much more sophisticated and more mature; meaning their outlook on love, life, sex, and humor are treated with respect and splendor. So with all of this hype surrounding the film, I ventured over to the Camera 7 to see this latest French export.

The film's official synopsis: Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos), a 15-year-old girl dreaming of experiencing her first love, has an unsettling erotic reverie with a handsome male classmate that upsets the romance before it even begins. Adele fantasizes about Emma (Lea Seydoux), a mysterious, blue-haired girl she encounters in the street, and soon the confident older art student enters Adele's life for real, making way for an intense and complicated love story that spans a decade.

Based on the 2010 French graphic novel Le Bleu est une couleur chaude by Julie Maroh,the film has that look and energy of the French New Wave movement from the 1960s: filmed mostly hand held, shot on real locations, and portraying love and life as a celebration. This is something I believe that most American films lack: the spirit of human soul. The celebration of being alive and living in the moment.

Director Abdellatif Kechiche (he also wrote and produced the film) really crafted an amazing picture that really shows us that love knows no boundary and doesn't care if you're straight, gay, black, white, etc. Kechiche shot the film almost like a documentary, in that we see everything that happens to these two girls; the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly.

Kudos goes to both Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux for their award-winning performances as the two star-struck lovers. However, they go far beyond that, as they bare it all in one of the most passionate and explosive lesbian love scene that has ever been captured on film. Now I have seen my far share of queer love scenes, but this was just so graphic, raw, and realistic. I think the screen that I was watching it on began to melt because of the heat coming from the scene! It really was the most intense love scene I have ever witnessed.

So this is where the controversy comes in to play. Both lead actresses expressed disdain for Kechiche, saying they felt exploited during their love scene, complained about his behavior during the film's shooting and said that they would never work with him again. Several other crew members  accused him of "harassment, unpaid overtime and violations of labor laws." The film's been banned in several locations and theaters across the country.

Despite all this negativity, BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR is the most beautiful, breathtaking, poetic film about love that I have ever seen in my entire life! And let me just say this to those who only see the film as a lesbian/gay film: it is not a queer film. It's more than that simple definition. It's about your first love, and all the wonderment that comes with it. Who doesn't remember their first love? I still do and it still has the same affect on me now as it did when I was a young man. This is my pick for best movie of the year. So do yourself a favor and see this film while it's still playing in the theaters! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR is currently playing at select theaters nationwide, including the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Phil sees THOR: THE DARK WORLD 3D at the Camera 7 Pruneyard Campbell-Nov. 8, 2013

Do hear that? The clouds are rolling in. The thunder is getting louder. The lightening more frequent. You know what all this means? That's right! The God Of Thunder has returned! So I headed over to the Camera 7 in the Pruneyard Campbell to check out the film THOR: THE DARK WORLD 3D, the sequel to the 2011 film and the eighth in Marvel's film universe.

The film's official synopsis: Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Mighty Avenger, battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself, and restore order across the cosmos ... but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and his devious brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

The film is not only a sequel, but a continuation from last year's mega blockbuster THE AVENGERS. Like IRON MAN 3, it's a continuation of the bigger picture, meaning like the comic books, whereas there's an incident that happens in one book, it gets referenced in another. Same goes for this movie as well. So the film is another chapter in the massive story of the Marvel Universe.

What's interesting about this film is it builds up its characters and fleshes them out more. Hemsworth's Thor is more relateable; expressing more of an array human emotions and is more a well rounded character than in the first film. Portman's Jane is the victim that needs saving, but she really doesn't play it up, especially at the end where she helps Thor out. Their romance is what brings out the humanity in Thor, and it's his love for Jane that will transform him throughout the film.

The villainous Malekith is a worthy adversary for Thor: ruthless, intelligent, and without mercy. Eccleston's acting is simply bone chilling! Here we have a perfect example of ultimate evil; one that spells complete doom for the Nine Realms and it's really an outstanding performance on Eccleston's part. And speaking of evil, Loki returns once again, but what side is he really on? Once again Hiddleston brings his "A Game" and gives us comic fans a character we love to hate. Or do we?

Alan Taylor steps in the director's chair, replacing Kenneth Branagh, who directed the first film. This is Taylor's third full length feature (his other two films are1995's PALOOKAVILLE and THE 2003 IFC film KILL THE POOR). He's mainly known for directing television shows, and he has directed many episodes for amazing shows such as Oz, Sex and the City, The Sorpranos, Mad Men, Nurse Jackie, and Game of Thrones. Here Taylor does a fine job of balancing big action scenes with emotional content. Since he's directed episodes of the aforementioned Game of Thrones, you can tell he's comfortable in directing big battle scenes and he does a great job at it! Plus he ups the ante and the stakes are even higher, which makes it a better film than the first.

As I mentioned earlier, I saw the film in 3D and it really looked spectacular! The action literally leaps off the screen and lands in your popcorn! Now it is also in 2D so if you get really bad headaches from 3D, then this version is for you. But if you can, see it in 3D! Also, since this a Marvel film, there is a bonus scene at the end. Actually, there are TWO bonus scenes: one after the main stars credit, and one after the actual credits end. The first bonus scene will no doubt cause many comic book fans to wet their pants.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD is a worthy follow up and is this fall's best action packed extravaganza! Fans of the Marvel Universe will have a blast at seeing this and don't worry, The Mighty Thor will return again in THE AVENGERS 2. In the meantime, catch this film before it's gone! 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended!!

THOR: THE DARK WORLD is currently playing in both 2D and 3D in theaters nationwide, including the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Phil attends a special screening of INFINITY AND CHASHU RAMEN at the Camera 3 Downtown San Jose-Nov. 3, 3013

I am a big supporter of local indie films. It's so amazing to see people like you and me getting out their and telling their stories for all of us to enjoy. And this past Sunday I had the honor of once again see the great local film INFINITY AND CHASHU RAMEN at the Camera 3 in Downtown San Jose. To make the screening even more important, filmmaker Kerwin Berk and several of the actors were there to partake in a Q&A sessions and to sign autographs. The screening was sponsored by C.A.T.S., the Contemporary Asian Theater Scene. There were two screenings of the film: at 1pm and at 3:15pm. I attended the 1pm screening.

I had the privilege of seeing the film back in August at the inaugural CAAMFest Film Festival, which was held also at the Camera 3. In case you missed my review or it the first time around, here's what I wrote about the film:

"The first film I saw was INFINITY AND CHASHU RAMEN. Written and directed by local filmmaker Kerwin Berk, the film takes place in San Francisco's Japantown and follows two spirits: a wise but mischevious 400 year old man named Tenshi (Hiroshi Kashiwagi) and young naive woman from the 1940's named Lucy (Wendy Woo). Together, these two very different spirits help guide the lives of a dozen people in Japantown, as told in six interwoven vignettes.

This is a perfect example of the flourishing local independent movie scene here in the Bay Area. Berk really captures not only this independent spirit, but also captures the spirit of Japantown. The combination of a cleverly written script with very good acting makes this a winner in my book! The entire cast is great in the film! Both Woo and Kashiwagi play up the odd couple scenario perfectly, giving us some true laughs and sentiment. It's their on-screen chemistry that makes the film so much fun to watch. Definitely worth checking out!!" 

After viewing the film again a couple of months later, it was wonderful to see the film play to a large audience! People were laughing at the funny parts and were somber at the serious parts. Overall, the screening was a complete success!

After the screening, Kerwin came out along with several cast members and conducted a very breif Q&A with the audience. Afterwards, we were all in the theater lobby, hanging out with each other, buying DVD copies of the film and getting autographs. I congratulated Kerwin on all his success and then I left on such a high note that I went back home and watched my DVD copy of the film.

Now if you're interested in seeing the film, you're in luck! There is one more screening left (and it might be its last theatrical screening ever) and it'll take place on November 21st at 7pm at the California Theater in Berkley. So make plans to see this homegrown, locally made indie classic!

To purchase tickets for this screening, click here to get them before the sell out! To purchase a DVD copy, visit the film's official website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil attends the midnight screening of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at the Camera 3 Downtown San Jose-Nov. 2, 2013

Yes friends, after many, many months away, I returned to the Camera 3 to once again partake in a midnight tradition. Saturday night was my triumphant return to the monthly midnight screening of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, the ultimate cult classic and original midnight movie! And as always, my friends from Barely Legal Productions were there to bring the film to life! However, Saturday's show was no ordinary show, oh no! It was the first ever "Tacky Horror" show! The guys played the girl's parts and the girls played the guy's parts! Or as they BL crew called it, "It's genderbenderiffic!" The show was presented by The Camera 3 Cinemas and by Psycho Donuts as well!

The was a huge crowd for the event, and our host was the always magnificent Nate McHavoc, who informed that crowd that he and his wife, the lovely and sexy Bridgid McHavoc, were at their friend's wedding and had a lot of champagne (and in Nate's case some tequila as well). These contributing factors made his intro all the more fun! He had all the virgins come up and do the butt dance (there were quite a lot of virgins), and then sent everyone under 18 years old back to their seats. Those who remained had to answer a his traditional contest which involves taking a basket, "And putting it between your legs." Yup, that never gets old! After humiliating the virgins, it was time to meet our cast!

Bridgid McHavoc & Lizzie Bernard.
I'm not gonna lie, it was freaking hilarious to see cast dressed up in each other's clothes!! This was the first time that my friend Lizzie Bernard (who mostly portrays Magenta at the shows) made her debut as the one and only Dr. Frank-N-Furter and she was awesome!! She really played up her performance and rightfully so. Lizzie is so full of energy that you cannot contain it. So she really went for it and made it so much fun to watch!And to make it even more fun, Lizzie's mom and sister were in the audience. Whenever Lizzie made a funny face or did something sexually provocative, her mom just smiled and said, "That's my girl!"

Another worthy performance that night was by Christy Robinson Mila, who portrayed handyman Riff Raff (a role done my Nate) and she was spot on! He behavior, he mannerism, she was Riff Raff and she was excellent!

After the show was all over, I was talking with Bridgid and I mentioned that this should be an annual event. So, it looks like it'll be back again nest year! But in case you can't wait till then, there is one more "Tacky Horror" show and it'll take place Saturday, November 9th at the Albany Twin Landmark Theater. So make plans for that show! In the meantime, The Barely Legal gang will return to the Camera 3 on Saturday, December 7th!! So come out next time and join in on all this ROCKY HORROR fun! You'll be glad you did! To learn more about future shows, and how you can become a cast member, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Phil attends the CREEPY KOFY HALLOWEEN HANGOVER SHOW at the Michaan's Theater-November 2, 2013

The San Francisco Bay Area has been the home to some truly unique and original local television shows that simply cannot be replicated or reproduced. Back in my youth, I grew up with the beloved KTVU Channel 2 show Creature Features, hosted by the late, great Bob Wilkins and the legendary John Stanley. These two individuals helped turn a whole generation of kids like myself into hardcore horror fans. When the show ended in 1984, there was a void that, for a very long period of time, was left unfilled. That all changed a couple of years ago when the KOFY TV20 station out in San Francisco unleashed upon an unsuspecting television audience Creepy KOFY Movie Time. Hosted by LIVE 105 deejay No Name and the demon called Balrok, the show features house band The Deadlies, the sexy Cave Girls, science wiz Dr. Scott Weitze, Webberly the Fact Rat, Slob, comedians, burlesque dancers, magicians, local bands, and other cool stuff while showing some of the best and worst horror films and trash pics of all times. Over the past couple of years they have made Saturday nights at 11pm a mandatory viewing. And this past Saturday night, they brought their show to the Michaan's Theater in Alameda for the first ever CREEPY KOFY HALLOWEEN HANGOVER SHOW! For this historic live event, they screened the 1964 stink bomb  crime thriller THE STRANGLER!

This was my first ever time visiting the Michaan's Theater and I have to say this was one beautiful looking theater. It's used to be the former Alameda Naval Air Station movie house out on Fort Mason. That night, the place was packed with CKMT fans, who where all dressed up in Halloween costumes (we CKMT fans celebrate Halloween all year round) and the energy level was high! Many friends of the show were there like the very cool folks from November Fire, who had lots of cool DVDs, posters, stickers, patches to sell. NF is owned and operated by the awesome couple Heather and Strephon Taylor. Also at the event were Jim Cravens Jr. and his fiance Catherine Benefield de Dood, the owners of the incredible Heroes and Villains Comics out in Pleasanton. And last, but certainly not least, the legendary John Stanley was in the house!

The show had everything that fans wanted and more. The Deadlies rocked the house with their sets! Jim Sweeny was there with three lovely burlesque dancers from the Hubba Hubba Revue! There was standup comedy by the very funny Anna Seregina! Also Dr. Scott was there with another informative Science Time! The Cave Girls looked fabulous and sexy as always!! And our hosts Balrok and No Name kicked ass always! And then, there was the movie!
Theatrical Movie Poster (

THE STRANGLER is about a fat, lonely, fat, sweaty looking lab technician named Leo Kroll (Victor Buono) who has serious mommy issues and loves to collect dolls. He strangles several female nurses as a way to cope with his overbearing mother, who is sick in the hospital. While the police is trying to identify this mysterious serial killer is, Leo falls in love with a young girl named Tally Raymond (Davey Davison), who works at one of the amusement park booths where he wins his dolls. Things go from bad to worse for poor, sweaty Leo, and soon the police are hot on his trail, but not before he pays his sweet Tally a visit!

The film was inspired by the killings of the Boston Strangler, who made headlines during the early 1960s. However, after watching the movie, it's clear that director Burt Topper and screenwriter Bill S. Ballinger took inspiration from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 masterpiece PSYCHO. It's all right there: and overbearing mother, a son with serious mommy issues, doesn't have great repoire with the ladies, a real loner, and likes his mother's clothing. Oh and he likes to kill too!

Actor Victor Buono appeared in a number of films such as WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, HUSH...HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE, and THE MAD BUTCHER. But he's really well known for his role of King Tut on the 1960's Batman television show. Davey Davison has appeared in a slew of daytime and regular television shows like Bonanza, Days of Our Lives, The F.B.I., The Virginian, Cannon, and The Streets of San Francisco to name a few.

What a night that was!! It was so much fun!! I got see all my friends again, saw some sexy ladies, heard some great music, took lots a pics, drank a few beers, and saw a bad movie! It was the perfect Saturday night! And speaking of Saturday nights, make sure you check out Creepy KOFY Movie Time at 11pm on KOFY TV20 on Channel 13 here in the Bay Area! It's a party for your TV!!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Phil wants you to check out the new horror short film M IS FOR MISCARRIAGE for the ABC'S OF DEATH 2 contest-November 1, 2013

Hello again my fellow horror hounds! As you may or may not know, there was contest that was held just last month in search of the 26th director for the film ABCs OF DEATH 2, the next installment of the series. According to the official website:

"THE ABCs OF DEATH became one of the most talked about genre films of 2012/13. Hugely ambitious and immensely challenging, it was unlike anything fans had ever seen. Many loved it and a hell of a lot detested it - but the film was such a creative and financial success that Timpson Films, Drafthouse Films and Magnolia Pictures set forth on the creation of a sequel. The producers signed up 25 of the most exciting and innovative genre directors from around the globe... but there are 26 letters in the English alphabet - and once again, we find ourselves searching far and wide to find… THE 26TH DIRECTOR! One lucky winner will become the ABCs OF DEATH 2"s 26th director, receiving five thousand dollars cash and having their work included in the finished feature film alongside some of the world"s best talent. But even if you don't win, you could be discovered through this competition! Every submitted short will be featured on the ABCs OF DEATH 2 website to intrigue, sicken, terrify and crack up audiences across the globe. Also, a selection of the audience favorites will be included on the DVD/Bluray."

The contest has inspired many genre fans to create some truly amazing short films, which according to the rules must begin with the letter "M." Two of these talented people are Reyna Young (late TV horror hostess Miss Misery of Miss Misery's Movie Massacre) and Maureen "Mo" Whelan (director of the short film A SIN THAT CANNOT BE FORGIVEN).  Together, these ladies have made the surreal and horrifying film M IS FOR MISCARRIAGE. Pulling no punches, the film deals with one of the most devastating incidents that can ever happen to a woman who is pregnant.

The film deals with a very serious issue which will no doubt hit the viewer in the gut with the force of a sledgehammer. The film was written by Young, and both she a Whelan share directing duties. Young also acts in the short along with Marv Blauvelt. It's the first joint venture between Young's Last Doorway Productions and Whelan's Modragonfly Productions.

To watch the film, click on the link here and to vote for it, click on the "Like" button. Voting ends on November 14th so act now before time is up!

Horror fans are extremely excited about the latest installment of this new, promising horror anthology. Now you can make one inspiring horror filmmaker's dream a reality. So go vote now and help make horror film history!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!