Thursday, January 31, 2013

Phil attends the CINEQUEST MEDIA LAUNCH PARTY at the Silicon Valley Capital Club-January 29, 2013

Today was a big day for San Jose. This afternoon was the big Cinequest Media Launch Party in the Silicon Valley Capital Club in the heart of Downtown San Jose!

Started in 1990 by co-founders Halfdan Hussey and Kathleen Powell, the Cinequest Film Festival has grown to epic proportions over the years, bring new visions and voices from up and coming filmmakers while bringing new technology and films to the masses. Now in its 23rd year, the festival shows no signs of slowing down.

Cinequest co-founder and director Halfdan Hussey up to reveal this year's theme for the festival. UNLEASH will be the theme and then we were all shown a great video with Hussey telling us how Cinequest has reached out on a global scale to influence the idea that YOU can go out a create your film and have it been seen by people, who will then in turn become transformed by your film. A great message for all future filmmakers!

The Cinequest Film Festival 23 will be held from February 26 - March 10, 2013. Tickets and passes are now available so make sure you get them now because they are already moving fast. To learn more about the festival, film schedules and events, and to buy your passes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees LES MISERABLES at the Camera 7 Pruneyard Campbell-January 27, 2013

I woke up early Sunday morning because I was going to see a film that was about three hours long! The film has also garnered eight Oscar nominations! So I made my way over to the Camera 7 in the Pruneyard to see the film LES MISERABLES, which is based on the musical of the same name by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg which is in turn based on Les Misérables, the 1862 French novel by Victor Hugo.

Set against the backdrop of 19th-century France, this motion-picture adaptation of the beloved global stage sensation tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption--a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. After he breaks parole, ex-prisoner Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) is hunted for decades by the ruthless policeman Javert (Russell Crowe). When Valjean agrees to care for factory worker Fantine's (Anne Hathaway) young daughter, Cosette (first by Isabelle Allen as a child, then by Amanda Seyfried), their lives change forever.

I have never seen the play before, but I did the book back in high school. However at that point in my life, my world consisted of horror and B-movies, comic books, and punk/indie rock. Looking back it's a wonder I even grew up! Being older, I now appreciate the arts more; frequenting the San Jose Museum of Art, seeing stage productions throughout Downtown San Jose, and catching on reading the classics by John Steinbeck, Ernest Hemingway, and Jack Kerouac. I appreciate that arts now more than ever and I wish I had seen the stage production of this film!

Witnessing the film in a darkened movie theater was like experiencing an act of God or something to that extent. I have never seen a film of this magnitude; with its lavish production values, a magnificent ensemble cast, breathtaking directing, and beautiful songs, it's no wonder that film has been nominated for eight Academy Awards!

If I may be so bold as to jettison my usual tried and true critique and allow me to just say this: LES MISERABLES is my favorite film of 2013 and is one of the greatest films I have ever seen in my entire life!! Words cannot do this film justice! YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS FILM!! In fact, stop reading this review right now and go see it!! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

LES MISERABLES is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees HYDE PARK ON HUDSON at the Camera 3 Downtown San Jose-Jan. 26, 2013

For the fifth and final film I saw on Saturday, I made my way across the street to the Camera 3 to see HYDE PARK ON HUDSON, the latest film by director Roger Michell of NOTTING HILL, VENUS, and MORNING GLORY fame.

The film's synopsis is as follows: The weekend in 1939 when the King George VI (Samuel West) and Queen Consort Elizabeth (Olivia Colman) of England visited President Roosevelt (Bill Murray) in upstate New York, is told through the eyes of Roosevelt's distant cousin and lover, Margaret "Daisy" Stuckley (Laura Linney). The first visit to the U.S. ever made by a British monarch took place only months before the beginning of World War II, and commenced the budding "special relationship" between England and the U.S.

The film is based on Margaret Suckley’s private journals and diaries discovered after her death; about her love affair with and intimate details about President Roosevelt. Now there have been numerous allocations stating that the film took several extreme liberties with these historical facts. Also some complained that the film made FDR look like a philanderer.

The film does showcase some great acting. West's stuttering King George is the same one found in THE KING'S SPEECH, and does a great job of bringing depth and vulnerability to the role. Linney's Daisy is the impediment of innocence and naiveté. Her character could very well represent the innocence and naiveté of America at that time. In 1939, the United States had not yet entered World War II, and were somewhat unaware of the severe damage that the Germans were raging over Europe. Daisy is sweet, kind, and a loving individual, unaware of President Roosevelt's wandering eyes and other wandering parts. When she learns the truth about her president, her whole world comes crashing down, shattering the illusion of her perfect world.

Bill Murray does a fine job in the film portraying Franklin D. Roosevelt, however I couldn't get pass the notion that I was watching Bill Murray. I mean, I grew up watching him on the old Saturday Night Live, and seeing him in films like MEATBALLS, STRIPES, GHOST BUSTERS, and GROUNDHOG DAY. I saw him only as a comedic actor; that is until director Sophia Coppola cast him in her 2003 indie hit film LOST IN TRANSLATION. That film transformed the comedic Murray into an arthouse actor, appearing in films such as THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU, BROKEN FLOWERS, THE DARJEELING LIMITED and last year's MOONRISE KINGDOM. As I stated, I couldn't get pass the "That's Bill Murray" notion. In my eyes, he didn't disappear in the FDR role the way Daniel Day Lewis disappeared in LINCOLN.

Overall, HYDE PARK ON HUDSON is a fairly enjoyable film with some laughs and genuine emotions. It's worth a look if you are interested in the love affairs of our 32nd President of the United States. Good acting, solid directing equals an pleasant film. 3 out of 5 stars!!

HYDE PARK ON HUDSON is currently playing at select theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Phil sees MOVIE 43 at the Camera 12 Downtown San Jose-January 26, 2013

The fourth film I saw on Saturday over at the Camera 12 was the politically incorrect, toilet humored, foul mouthed, insensitive, offensive, raunchy comedy MOVIE 43. Now, I've seen the trailer for this film numerous times, and I was really hoping that it would be all it hyped itself to be. After viewing it, I found it to be mildly amusing.

The film's official synopsis: A series of interconnected short films follows a washed-up producer as he pitches hilarious and insane story lines featuring some of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

The film was directed and produced by Peter Farrelly, and written by Steve Baker, Rocky Russo and Jeremy Sosenko. It features twelve different storylines, each one done by a different director including Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Patrik Forsberg, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner, and Jonathan van Tulleken. It stars one of the biggest ensemble casts ever in film, including Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Anna Faris, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, and Kate Winslet.

According to Farrelly the film, "was made over four years, and they just had to wait for a year or two years for different actors. They would shoot for a week, and shut down for several months. Same thing with the directors. It was the type of movie you could come back to."

So, the film was funny, but not, "Oh my God! I'm peeing my pants because I'm laughing so goddamn hard!!" The film had it's moments, but I forget what they were. Hold on a sec, let me see if I can remember........hmmmm......let me think.......OK I remember some of them.

1) Hugh Jackman having testicles dangling from his neck. That was pretty funny.
2) Naomi Watts as Samantha attempts to de-virginize her homeschooled son. I'm sorry but if Naomi Watts was my mom, I would have sex with her too!
3) Chris Pratt being hit by a car and crap exploding out everywhere! That was gross but pretty humorous.
4) The "iBabe" cutting off young boys' fingers and penises. *insert chuckle here*
5) The "Superhero Speed Dating" segment was overall pretty funny. I liked that sketch.
6) Hallie Berry with HUGE FAKE BREASTS!! Not bad.
7) Seeing an animated cat named Beezel masturbating to pictures of his owner Josh Duhamel. Funny.

So that's about it. Oh and MOVIE 43 wasn't really all that funny. Like I said, it had its moments but between those moments there was a bunch of crap that wasn't funny. Just watch the Red Band trailer for the film. It's a lot funnier than the movie itself! 2 out of 5 stars! It's a rental at best!

MOVIE 43 is currently playing at select theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees MAMA at the Camera 12 Downtown San Jose-January 26, 2012

Welcome back to my movie binge weekend! So for film number three I went and saw the new horror film MAMA, which was produced by Guillermo del Toro (CRONOS, HELLBOY, PAN'S LAYBRENTH) and made by first-time director Andy Muschietti. The movie was based on his 2008 Spanish-language short film of the same name. Now after burned by the forgettable TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D, I was really in the mood to see a pure, unapologetic horror film. Well, I'm very happy to report that I finally did!

The film's official synopsis is as follows: Sisters Victoria (Megan Charpentier) and Lilly (Isabelle Nélisse), abandoned in the woods after losing both parents in tragic circumstances, are found after 5 years in horrible conditions: feral and dirty, they crawl on four legs and move like an animal. Everybody assumes that the girls have survived one their own in the woods, but when their uncle Lucas (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and aunt Annabel (Jessica Chastain), helped by a shady psychiatrist, take them in, the frightening truth comes out.

This is one of those rare horror films that feature character development all throughout the film. Here we have the amazing Jessica Chastain, who is currently Hollywood's "It" girl, as our main protagonist. Chastain (who has been getting rave reviews for her performance as Maya in ZERO DARK THIRTY) portrays Annabel in the beginning as the hard nosed, punk rock bassist who has no intentions on becoming a mom. However fate steps in and she now must come become a stepmother to her boyfriend's nieces. Once reluctant to take on the role, but by the end she risks her life to save them. It's a gradual growth of Annabel that is interesting because it takes a while for her to assume the parental role that she's been avoiding with a passion. It doesn't just happen over night, which makes it more believable.

Both Megan Charpentier and Isabelle Nélisse turn in outstanding performances as Victoria and Lilly, respectively. Now horror films featuring creepy children has been a staple in the genre for some time now. However, thanks to the huge wave of J-Horror films that hit the states in the past decade, it seemed that every horror film and remake featured a pale, long-haired scary girl or boy and it had gotten over saturated. But in this film, because it features some fine acting, we see the evolution of Victoria and Lilly, and how their relationship with Annabel and their "Mama" become strained as both sister begin to split apart from one another and become their own individual.

With Guillermo del Toro as executive producer, we see some of influence within the picture, but credit goes to director Andy Muschietti, who does a tremendous job with creating some genuine chills, scares, and screams. This is another factor that separates this film from the rest of the pack. It's a film that takes its sweet time to tell its story; it doesn't rush itself and cram too many unimportant facts or unnecessary characters that would make it drag. Sure, there are some cliched "scare jumps" but on a whole, the film works. It contains a great story, relatable characters, and relies on mood and atmosphere to scare you, not gore! This is the big difference that really made an impact on me. It scared me because it was scary, and spooky, and it made my spine tingle. A lot of filmmakers forget that no matter what kind of horror that can put on the screen, it cannot match out own imagination. This is one of those rare times that my imagination was allowed to portray my own fears on the screen. I can't even remember that last time I was allowed that luxury!

As I am writing this review, the film earned $28.1 million on its opening weekend and debuted at #1. Unlike TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D, I am very happy to have contributed to this film's gross. For all of you horror fans out there, this is a film that you can get behind.

MAMA is the best horror film to be released thus far in 2013! If you're like me and you prefer old school thrills and chills over senseless gore and bloodshed, then this is the film you've been waiting for!! 4 1/2 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

MAMA is currently playing at select theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Phil sees THE LAST STAND at the Camera 12 Downtown San Jose-January 26, 2013

This past weekend I went on a massive movie binge! Because I've been so busy with my day job, I had fallen behind in my movie watching. So I went to the Camera 12 in Downtown San Jose and saw FIVE films on Saturday! The first film I saw the crime thriller GANGSTER SQUAD. After that I went and saw Arnold Schwarzenegger's big comeback starring vehicle THE LAST STAND. Now judging from the trailer, I had a feeling that this was going to be bad. After watching it, my first suspensions were correct.

Here's what the film is all about. Sheriff Owens (Schwarzenegger) is a former LAPD officer now posted to the sleepy, crime-free border town of Sommerton Junction. But after a spectacular escape from an FBI prisoner convoy, the most notorious, wanted drug kingpin in the hemisphere is headed his way, with Sheriff Owens and the whole of U.S. law enforcement making a last stand to intercept him before he slips across the border forever.

So, instead of doing my usual movie critique, I thought it would be more educational (and fun) to list what was so bad about the film.

1) Arnold Schwarzenegger looks old in the film. Really, really old. Why you ask? Because he IS REALLY, REALLY OLD!!
2) Arnold's old, wrinkly, leather looking skin looks scary as hell in hi-def.
 3) What the hell is Forest Whitaker doing in this movie?!? The man is an Academy Award winner and has appeared in Oscar worthy films such as THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND. Forest, what the hell, man? Where you bored? Did you do it for the money?
4) The entire script was written on the back of a Bazooka Joe bubblegum wrapper.
5) Director Kim Jee-Woon has made some astounding films such as A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (a personal favorite of mine), THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE WEIRD and the underrated I SAW THE DEVIL. Those films were incredible! This movie sucked!
6) Did I mention that Arnold looked really, really old?
7) Why in the hell is Johnny Knoxville on the movie poster?!? Are you trying to tell me that Forest Whitaker is not worthy to be on the poster but Johnny Knoxville is?!? What idiot thought of that?!?
8) Yeah, Forest Whitaker was bored.
9) The only good thing about the film was the ending.
10) The credits were more entertaining than the actual film.
11) Yeah, Forest Whitaker did it for the money
12) I think I died a little inside from watching the movie.

THE LAST STAND is just a really, really bad movie. And not in a good way. It's just bad. Folks, let this be a lesson to you. If someone asks if you want to see this film, just say no! And then haul ass in the other direction! 1 out of 5 stars! Avoid at all costs!!

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

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees GANGSTER SQUARD at the Camera 12 Downtown San Jose-January 26, 2013

From the early 1940s to the late 1950s, a new film genre arose from the ashes of World War II. These films tackled crime and were filled with vice, femme fatales, and gangsters. This genre was called Film Noir and it laid the foundation for all crime thrillers and dramas to follow. Now in the 21st century, Hollywood still refers back to these classics for inspiration. The new Warner Brother's film GANGSTER SQUAD tips its hat to film noir movies of the past while maintaining modern filmmaking and sensibility.

The film takes place in 1949, post-WWII Los Angeles and Brooklyn born mob boss Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) has become the most powerful figure in the California criminal underworld, and intends to continue to expand his criminal enterprise across the Western United States, forcing out his rivals in Chicago. In order to stop him, Police Chief Parker (Nick Nolte) recruits gung-ho Sergeant John O'Mara (Josh Brolin) with creating a secret group of unorthodox officers to bring Cohen down by any means necessary. Soon, O'Mara and his squad Wooters (Ryan Gosling), Harris (Anthony Mackie), Kennard (Robert Patrick), Ramirez (Michael Pena), and Keeler (Giovanni Ribisi) begin destroying Cohen's empire. But when Wooters falls for Cohen's girl Grace (Emma Stone) and he discovers their identities, the squad must prepare for a war that will determine the fate of the city.

The film is loosely based on the story of LAPD officers and detectives forming a group called the "Gangster Squad unit" who attempt to keep Los Angeles safe from Mickey Cohen and his gang during the 1940s and '50s.

Director Ruben Fleischer is mostly known for directing comedies such as ZOMBIELAND and 30 MINUTES OR LESS. With this his third film, Fleischer tries to break out of his norm and attempt to stretch his wings out as a director. While some of criticized the film and its director, this reviewer found it very enjoyable. It was well directed, well paced with some great action sequences. The film is filled with car chases, shoot outs, Tommy guns, hard boiled detectives, sexy dames, and crime. Fleischer does a fine job balancing the action and the story as well as creating that 1940s feel. The movie really has that film noir sense to it.

Once again Sean Penn gives an outstanding performance as the ruthless gangster Mickey Cohen. Penn channels the heavies of film noir past and is completely lost in his role. Josh Brolin is equally intimidating. Though he's on the side of law, you won't want to get on his bad side. The last time we saw Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone snuggle on screen was in the 2011 film CRAZY STUPID LOVE. Here the chemistry is slightly off. Their acting in the movie is fine, but I felt their relationship was under developed and could've been more fleshed out.

While watching the film, the only thought that was running in my mind was, " I wish this was filmed in black and white." While it was fantastic to see the film in color, but given the film's setting and the genre, it would have been a real treat to have watched it in black and white.

The movie's first trailer was released on May 9, 2012, with the film to be released September 7, 2012. However, in the wake of the mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on July 20, the trailer was pulled from theaters and television. It was also removed from the Internet because of a scene in which gangsters are shooting submachine guns at moviegoers through the screen of Grauman's Chinese Theatre. About a week after the shootings in Aurora, Warner officially confirmed that the film would be released on January 11, 2013 and on August 22nd (my birthday), the cast reunited in Los Angeles to completely re-shoot the main action sequence of the film, which now takes place in Chinatown.

All in all GANGSTER SQUAD is a great crime thriller that keeps the film noir flame alive in this new century. If you love crime films, then I think you'll enjoy this one! 4 out of 5 stars! Recommended!!

GANGSTER SQUAD is currently playing at select theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Phil's Cult Classics: Phil reviews UHF (1989) from MGM-January 23, 2013

UHF DVD Cover (2002)
Starring: "Weird Al" Yankovic, Victoria Jackson, Kevin McCarthy, Michael Richards, David Bowe, Fran Drescher, Gedde Watanabe, Emo Philips, Billy Barty, Stanley Brock
Written by "Weird Al" Yankovic & Jay Levey
Cinematography by David Lewis
Produced by John W. Hyde & Gene Kirkwood
Co-produced by Kevin Breslin
Associate produced by Joe M. Aguilar & Becki Cross
Executive produced by Gray Frederickson
Directed by Jay Levey

Welcome to another installment of Phil's Cult Classics! Today's film bombed when it was first released but it's now one of the greatest cult classics from the late 80's! Starring the King of Parodies "Weird Al" Yankovic, the film UHF is as funny then as it is now!

In the film "Yankovic portrays daydreamer George Newman who becomes the new station manager of Channel U-62, a struggling UHF station that his gambling uncle Harvey Bilchik (Brock) won in a card game. He along with his best friend Bob (Bowe) begin to turn the station around with hilarious and unconventional programs such as Wheel of Fish, Town Talk, Raul's Wild Kingdom, movies such as CONAN THE LIBRARIAN and GANDHI II, and the popular Stanley Spadowski's Clubhouse, starring a pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards. However, George makes a powerful enemy in the form of R.J. Fletcher (McCarthy), the evil head honcho of the rival VHF network station Channel 8. Soon it's up to George to help save his TV station from Fletcher and also get back his girlfriend Teri (Jackson).

The movie was written by both Yankovic and his manager Jay Levey, who also directed the film. The idea was to create a platform in which "Weird Al" could do parodies of television shows, movies, videos, commercials and such. The duo were able to capture lightening in a bottle with their parodies of popular films and TV shows.

The cast were another key ingredient in making the film so lovable. Yankovic proved that he was a solid comedy actor and could carry a movie on his shoulders. The lovely Victoria Jackson was a cast member of Saturday Night Live at that time and was the perfect love interest Al's George. Kevin McCarthy was a living legend, having starring in the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS. His performance in the film was perfect! He was evil, vicious, diabolical and just fun to hate! The big breakout star of the film was Michael Richards, whose comedic timing made him so much fun to watch. And if you look closely, you can see some of his Kramer signature moves, even though the movie was made way before Seinfeld.

Original Theatrical Poster (1989)
When film distributor Orion Pictures test screened the film to a focus group, it received some of the highest ratings ever since their 1987 film ROBOCOP. There were talks of sequels and other "Weird Al" projects. The film opened on July 21, 1989, however it was not the big hit that Orion was expecting. The summer of 1989 was one of the biggest blockbuster summers in cinematic history. That summer saw the releases of BATMAN, GHOSTUSTERS 2, DO THE RIGHT THING, HONEY I SHRUNK THE KIDS, LETHAL WEAPON 2, WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, and WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S. The film was completely lost and after only one month of screenings, UHF was pulled from theaters.

The film was released on VHS in North America as well as in Europe, but because it made so little money at the box office, it soon fell out of print. However, because it became out of print, the film developed a huge cult following, and fans began searching desperately for a copy of it. Prices skyrocketed, ranging from fifty to a hundred dollars or more on eBay. Yours truly was able to obtain a VHS copy at my local mom and pop video store for only $10!! Years went by with fans demanding it to be re-released. Soon their demands were answered when in 2002, the film was released on DVD from MGM and in its debut week it became a top ten bestseller in Variety. The DVD contains numerous extras including the UHF music video, a commentary track featuring director Jay Levey and Yankovic himself (with surprise guest appearances by costar Michael Richards and Emo Philips and a phoned-in appearance by Victoria Jackson), and a deleted scenes reel with Yankovic's commentary.

Almost 25 years after its original release, UHF is now beloved by millions of fans worldwide. Yankovic and his friends have created a cult classic that will entertain generations to come. The film is proof that sometimes even the underdog can come out a winner. 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

UHF is available on DVD and can be purchased at your local retailer. It's also available on the Amazon website at For all you "Weird Al" Yankovic fans out there, make you check out his official website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Phil attends the RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK/SUPERMAN Double Feature at the Castro Theatre-January 12, 2013

This past weekend I found myself once again at the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco. Reason being was that the theatre was having a once in a lifetime double feature that yours truly couldn't pass up! Joining me on this cinematic was my best friend Dave and his girlfriend Christine. This was their very first time at the theatre, so this was a double special occasion! So folks sit back, relax, and have fun with this review!

Theatrical Movie Poster (1981)
The first film up was producer George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg's 1981 action/adventure film RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The film starred Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones, a famed archaeologist who is hired by the U.S. Government to track down the famed biblical artifact called the Ark of the Covenant, which Adolf Hitler believes will make their army invincible. Joining Indy on his adventure is his old flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), as they all race to retrieve the Ark before Indy's nemesis Renee Belloq (Paul Freeman), his cohorts Colonel Dietrich (Wolf Kahler) and Major Arnold Toht (Ronald Lacey) and their Nazi Army can obtain it first!

Lucas' inspiration for the film came from his love of the old movie serials that he use to watch when he was a child. Fast forward to 1977 and Lucas is on vacation in Maui (trying to escape the enormous success of STAR WARS) and he runs into his friend and colleague Steven Spielberg, on vacation from work on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. He told Lucas about wanting to make a James Bond action film. He told him that he had the perfect character. The rest is cinematic history. The movie was released to theaters by Paramount Pictures on June 14, 1981. The $18 million budget film grossed $384 million worldwide throughout its theatrical releases. The film spawned four sequels, toys, comic books, video games, novels and a television series entitled The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, which ran from March 4, 1992, to July 24, 1993. The film was included in the INDIANA JONES: THE COMPETE ADVENTURES Blu-Ray Boxset, which was released on September 18th, 2012.

Click here to view the film's original trailer.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1978)
The second film on the double feature was the first ever superhero movie that captured audience's imagination everywhere. The film SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE was directed by Richard Donner and starred Marlon Brando as Jor-El, Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor, Ned Beatty as his sidekick Otis, Margot Kidder as Lois Lane, Marc McClure as Jimmy Olsen, Jackie Cooper as Daily Planet chief Perry White, Glenn Ford as Jonathon Kent, and an unknown actor named Christopher Reeve as both Clark Kent and Kal-El, better known to us as Superman.

Everybody knows the story of Superman; even those who had never read the comic book knows the Man of Steel's origin. Repeating it here would be unnecessary, as the film's plot stays very faithful to the comic. Instead let me shine some light on the production of the film. Produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind, Donner was directly both SUPERMAN and SUPERMAN II simultaneously. However, Tensions rose between Donner and the Salkinds, and a decision was made to stop filming the sequel and concentrate on finishing the first film so it could make its theatrical release date. Donner had already shot 75%, but the Salkinds fired him and brought in director Richard Lester, who who worked with the them on THE THREE MUSKETEERS and THE FOUR MUSKETEERS. Decades later, thanks to fans sending emails and petitions, Warner Brothers teamed up with Donner to release SUPERMAN II: THE RICHARD DONNER CUT. It contained the 75% footage that he shot and used other sources pulled to bring his version together.

SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE was released by Warner Brothers on December 15, 1978. It grossed $300,218,018 world wide. The film spawned three sequels, and was the inspiration for the film SUPERMAN RETURNS, which was directed by Brian Singer in 2006. In 2013, director by Zack Snyder and producer by Christopher Nolan will relaunch the franchise with the film MAN OF STEEL.

Click here to view the film's original trailer.

And there you have it! A great day of watching two of the greatest action heroes of all time! There's a ton of cool films being shown here at the Castro Theatre, so if one day you find yourself in the city by the bay and you're looking for something fun to do, definitely come here and see a movie! It will change your life forever! To view the Castro Theater's film schedule, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees HITCHCOCK at the Camera 3 Downtown San Jose-January 10, 2013

The very first Alfred Hitchcock film I ever saw was THE BIRDS. I was about seven years old and it absolutely terrified me! After seeing that film, I was scared to go outside and play with my friends. Since that fateful introduction, I began to seek out more films by the man known as The Master of Suspense. I've been very fortunate to see many of his films, including some of his earlier films such as the silent film THE LODGER (1927), both the silent and "talkie" versions of BLACKMAIL (1929) as well as his classics like THE 39 STEPS (1935), REBECCA (1940), and NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959). However it was his 1960 film PSYCHO that made a tremendous impact on me as well as the rest of the world. It is during the making of this masterpiece that director Sacha Gervasi's newest film HITCHCOCK is set.

The film's synopsis is as follows: In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, are at the top of their creative game as filmmakers amid disquieting insinuations about it being time to retire. To recapture his youth's artistic daring, Alfred decides his next film will adapt the lurid horror novel, Psycho, over everyone's misgivings. Unfortunately, as Alfred self-finances and labors on this film, Alma finally loses patience with his roving eye and controlling habits with his actresses. When an ambitious friend lures her to collaborate on a work of their own, the resulting marital tension colors Alfred's work even as the novel's inspiration haunts his dreams.

Based on Stephen Rebello's non-fiction book "Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho," Gervasi does an extraordinary job of creating the world of 1960 and handling it with great care and accuracy. He uses simple set ups and camera angles to tell his story without calling attention to it. The storytelling is very smooth and seamless; these ingredients are what makes a great film great. Nothing is more distracting than a series of unnecessary swoops and panning, which also takes the viewer out of the film. Here Gervasi employs the basics to tell his story and the results are very satisfying.

Believe it or not, this is only Gervasi's second feature. His first film was the fascinating and hilarious documentary ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL. To go from making a documentary to directing HITCHCOCK is a major leap for this young filmmaker, and he is able to pull it off and make it look effortlessly. To direct major and talented actors and actress, have such lavish sets and props, and to have such a large budget to work with, Gervasi does an incredible job of telling the love story about a man and his wife, which is the real story that audiences will love to see.

Portraying Alfred Hitchcock is Academy Award winner Sir Anthony Hopkins, who channels the spirit of Master of Suspense himself in his performance. Cocky, arrogant, ill tempered, and yet there's a vulnerability in him. Hopkins showcases the massive pressure that Hitchcock was under while making his masterpiece. His obsession with the film leads him to converse with his imaginary friend; the infamous Ed Gein (Michael Wincott), who was the real life influence for the book and film, as well as other famous horror icons such as Leatherface from THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and Hannibal Lecter (which was one of Hopkins' best role ever) from THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Wincott is a dead ringer for the insane Gein, and the two actors share some memorable screen time together.

We also learn of Hitchcock's other obsession: falling for his blonde leading ladies such as the star of PSYCHO Janet Leigh, portrayed here by the stunning Scarlett Johansson. Her interpretation of Mrs. Leigh is subtle: kind hearted, sweet, thoughtful, and wiling to anything to make her director happy. Johansson does let out a few screams here and there, but I would've liked to see more personality in her performance as Janet Leigh. She made her seem a little flat; just wished she brought more to the character.

But the film is all about the relationship between Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville, who is brought to life by the talented Academy Award winning actress Helen Mirren. We learn that this great director had a great wife, who also lend her expertise in fleshing out scripts and can run a set just like any other male director. But her ability to write screenplays lures her old friend and colleague Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston) back into her life, which causes Hitchcock to suspect the worse. The on-screen chemistry between Hopkins and Mirren is electrifying. This reviewer found himself invested in the relationship, which is the focus of the film. The making of PSYCHO is the backdrop to this out of the ordinary love story, but the film does display the aspects of the production of the film from financing through casting, fighting with the ratings board and the limited release of the film in only two theaters nationally.

Rounding out the cast for the film and also giving great performances are James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins, Jessica Biel as actress Vera Miles, Ralph Macchio as writer Joseph Stefano, Toni Collette as Hithcock's assistant Peggy Robertson and Kurtwood Smith as ratings board guru Geoffrey Shurlock.

All in all HITCHCOCK is a wonderful piece of cinema that will entertain audiences everywhere this cold winter season! If you see this film playing in your city, take my advise and go see it! 4 1/2 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

HITCHCOCK is currently playing at select theaters nationwide, including at the Camera Cinemas here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Phil sees ZERO DARK THIRTY at the Century 20 Oakridge-January 7, 2013

Today's review is about a film that has been billed as "the story of history's greatest manhunt for the world's most dangerous man." It has received wide critical acclaim and has already earned four Golden Globe nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film has also received a great deal of controversy for its "allegedly pro-torture stance and for allegedly obtaining improper access to classified materials." However, all this aside, director Kathryn Bigelow's latest film ZERO DARK THIRTY is one of the most astounding films to be released in 2013 thus far!!

The movie's official synopsis: Maya (Jessica Chastain) is a CIA operative whose first experience is in the interrogation of prisoners following the Al Qaeda attacks against the U.S. on the 11th September 2001. She is a reluctant participant in extreme duress applied to the detainees, but believes that the truth may only be obtained through such tactics. For several years, she is single-minded in her pursuit of leads to uncover the whereabouts of Al Qaeda's leader, Osama Bin Laden. Finally, in 2011, it appears that her work will pay off, and a U.S. Navy SEAL team is sent to kill or capture Bin Laden. But only Maya is confident Bin Laden is where she says he is.

First off, let me tell you something about the beginning of the film. Now what I am about to tell you isn't a spoiler or anything. In fact, consider this a warning. In the first hour of the film, there are several scenes that feature the brutality of torture. Now if this makes you at all squeamish, then you'd might want to skip this movie. There has been a lot of controversy surrounding the film because of the allege pro-torture stance. This will divide the audience and as a result, some will say yes it does, others will disagree. Too be honest, I'm still on the fence about this topic myself.

However, controversy aside, Bigelow shows us once again just how talented she is as a director. While I thought it would hard to surpass her last film, the Academy Award winning film THE HURT LOCKER, she does the impossible and creates a stunning, tense, procedural drama that cannot be classified as an action thriller, a war film, or in this a war drama. Bigelow is one of the few directors that makes films for just sheer entertainment; her films go beyond the term genre and transcend into the realm of art. Like her previous film, Bigelow crafts this picture with precision, clarity, and structure with moments of humor to release the tensions that it builds.

Bigelow and her writer Mark Boal (a former journalist) were working on a screenplay that was about the Battle of Tora Bora, where bin Laden was once believed to be hiding. However, once the news broke the news broke that bin Laden had been killed, they immediately shelved that idea and started from scratch. Originally filmed as For God and Country, the title was changed to ZERO DARK THIRTY, which according to Bigelow means that, "it's a military term for 30 minutes after midnight, and it refers also to the darkness and secrecy that cloaked the entire decade-long mission."

Actress Jessica Chastain did a fabulous job at portraying our main protagonist Maya. Head strong, confident, and resilient in her pursuit in locating the whereabouts of our antagonist Osama Bin Laden. Chastain appeared last year's THE TREE OF LIFE and THE HELP. Here she continues to play interesting, flawed, and relentless characters that are unique, thoughtful, and complex.

ZERO DARK THIRTY is one enriching, compelling, masterpiece of cinema that dares to be seen. Not for everyone's taste; it's slow pace builds up speed for the climatic ending; an ending we already know about. But in Bigelow's hands, this review found himself sitting on the edge of his seat. 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

ZERO DARK THIRTY is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including the Century Theaters here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Phil attends the first midnight screening of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW of 2013 at the Camera 3-January 5, 2013

This past Saturday night I one again did the Time Warp again over at the midnight screening of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW at the Camera 3 in Downtown San Jose! The show is presented by the Camera Cinemas and by Psycho Donuts and it features the cast of Barely Legal Productions, who have been carrying the ROCKY torch here in the Bay Area for the past 17 years! What made this show even more fun was that my best friend Dave along with his girlfriend Christine and her daughter Katelyn came out to join in on the fun!

What better way to ring in the new year with a midnight screening of ROCKY, which was Barely Legal's first show for 2013. The cast and crew once again did a wonderful job! Every time I attend these shows, the crowds get bigger and bigger, plus more and more "virgins" are attending these shows, which means the ROCKY virus is spreading to a whole new generation of kids. This makes me very happy, because it means that this midnight tradition, and the film, will be entertaining people for years to come. This is their mission: to keep the legacy of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW alive and well, and to make sure audiences have the best time of their lives at their shows. I always have a blast, and all my friends that I've been taking have all had fun and all have come back several times over.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1975)
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW is the alpha and omega of midnight movie; a cult classic that has no real equal. The film is in a class all by itself, far ahead of its time. The film was a bomb when it was first released. Now, it is part of the Library of Congress' National Film Registry. The film's message of "Don't dream it. Be it." has had a major influence on those who are different, the outcasts if you will. It resonates and has inspired many who felt that they didn't belong. Artists, punks, gays, lesbians, movie maniacs, college students, and everyone in between. The reason we love this film for more than just its obvious and fabulous over-the-top outrageousness. It speaks to us all to not give up on hope. To not give up on ourselves and to keep following our passions in life! Also the film is just one of the best films ever made!

So another great midnight screening has come and gone. But don't fret, the Barely Legal crew will be back in San Jose next month. They put on shows all over Northern California, so no matter where you live, there will be a show near you. 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!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Phil sees TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D at the Century 20 Oakridge-January 4, 2013

So my very first film of 2013 just happened to be a horror movie and I was very excited about this. If this is your first time reading my reviews, let me reiterate something that I have said many, many times prior: I LOVE HORROR MOVIES! I grew up watching these films, I have books about them, I have them on DVD and Blu-Ray, etc. So I made my way over to the Century 20 Theater in Oakridge Mall to see TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D, the latest entry in the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE franchise.

The film picks up where Tobe Hooper's 1974 original masterpiece left off; in fact several scenes from the first film are used in the opening credits to illustrate to the audience what happened the rest of the day after Sally (Marilyn Burns) escaped. Right when the opening credits end, the film begins as we see a vigilante mob of enraged locals surrounding the Sawyer house, burning it to the ground and killing every last member of the family (look for a cameo by genre actor Bill Mosley as Drayton Sawyer). Standing by is Sheriff Hooper (Thom Barry), who is outnumbered, overpowered, and unable to prevent this from happening.

Decades later a young girl named Heather Miller (Alexandra Daddario) discovers that she was adopted after she learns that she has inherited a Texas estate from her grandmother Verna Sawyer (Marilyn Burns once again). She decides to bring her boyfriend Ryan (Tremaine Neverson), and two other friends, Nikki (Tania Raymonde) and Kenny (Keram Malicki-Sánchez) along on the road trip to check out her inheritance. Upon arriving, Heather discovers that she has inherited a Southern mansion, however she is unaware of the terror that lurk in the basement below, namely her long, lost cousin Leatherface (Dan Yeager).

So before I get into my critique of the film, there are some interesting background and behind the scenes information that you should know about, especially if you are a fan of the series. First off is that in 2007, Platinum Dunes (Michael Bay's company that relaunched the series in 2003) announced that the company would not be producing a third film for the franchise. In October 2009, it was announced that Twisted Pictures and Lions Gate Entertainment were attempting to purchase the rights to the franchise, with Twisted Pictures producing and Lions Gate distributing. They negotiated a multi-picture deal with Bob Kuhn and Kim Henkel, who own the rights to the series. Lions Gate announced that it would be now partnering with Nu Image to produce the next film, and that John Luessenhop (LOCKDOWN, TAKERS) would direct the film. Producer Carl Mazzocone also announced that the story will pick up where Tobe Hooper's original film left off. Now that you're all caught up, please allow me to go on a rant for a bit. And this is directed solely towards the filmmakers of TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D.

TCM PART 2 Movie Poster (1986)
So now I'm supposed to ignore all of the other films and just pretend they didn't exist because this film is now being touted by you guys as "the official sequel" because it picks up where Hooper's original left off? And I'm also supposed to forget about the remake and its prequel as well? Let me explain something to you all. By doing this, you are dismissing and ignoring all of the contributions that these talented filmmakers did for this franchise. In fact, by doing so, you are spitting on all their hard work, their blood, sweat, and tears that they have put into the legacy of Leatherface and his films. Tobe Hooper's astounding THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE PART 2 is a brilliant film that commented on the mentality of greed that was predominate throughout the 80s Regan-era America. LEATHERFACE: THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE III was directed by the talented Jeff Burr, who had a helluva time making the film on schedule and then having to deal with the MPAA to get his film rated and shown. TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION boasts early film appearances by Renée Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey, who both turned in great performances in the film. For my generation, these three films helped add to the legacy of the series and helped turn Leatherface into a horror icon on par with his peers such as Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger.

TCM Remake Movie Poster (2003)
At the dawn of the new millennium, it looked like Leatherface was all but forgotten. However all that changed with 2003's THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake. Directed by Marcus Nispel and produced by Michael Bay, the remake was first met with controversy among horror fans, but it nonetheless was a huge commercial success. Plus it was the highest grossing film of the entire franchise! It reinvigorated the series and it reintroduced Leatherface into the 21st century and to a whole new generation of kids who had never seen the original movie. The film's boxoffice success was responsible for starting the trend of remakes of 70s/80s horror films that continues to this very day. The 2006 prequel, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE BEGINNING was a flawed film to say the least, but the tone of the movie works very well and actress Jordana Brewster was great in it.

In my opinion, all these talented people that worked in front of and behind the camera deserve more respect than this. Maybe I'm getting all worked up for nothing. Maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I feel like we, the horror fans, and the TCM fans, are being insulted, along with all those who made all the previous films that I mentioned. But like I said, that's how I see it and that's how I feel about all of this.

So now that I've had my say, let me tell you all what I thought about the film.

The film itself did absolutely nothing for me. The story was flat and added nothing new, all the characters were two dimensional and were about as deep as a child's waiting pool, and every single scare in it was predicable as well as recycled. There's someone being strung up on a meat hook, there's someone being chainsawed in half, and the ever popular body popping out of the icebox. Seen it!

Now there is something that I would like to point out that I noticed in the film, and it's a major continuity error. So if the beginning of the film takes place on the same day as the first film, logic dictates that it takes place in 1974. But when we skip forward and the audience is first introduced to Heather, she looks to be about 23 years-old. So my question is this: shouldn't Heather be about 40 years-old and not 23? Also, when she in the interrogation room at the police station and she begins to look through a box that contained all the files and newspaper articles about the burning of the Sawyer house, the date on the newspaper simply says, "August 18th." So now I assume that since there's no year, and since Heather is so young, we are now lead to believe that the events did not take place in 1974, but now it all happened sometime in the late 1980's? Now who was the idiot that thought of that? I'm sorry but I don't think even Sherlock Holmes could figure out this continuity mess!

The only redeeming aspect of the film was that the special effects were done by the great KNB EFX, so at least the death scenes were gory and bloody. Also Alexandra Daddario's acting was decent in the film. Now I've seen her in other films like THE BABYSITTERS, PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTENING THIEF, and HALL PASS. She is a talented and very beautiful actress, but as to why she signed on to appear in this film I have no idea.

Oh I almost forgot, the 3D effects were atrocious and only made the film even more hideous looking than it already was. As I write this review, the film grossed $23 million dollars during its opening weekend. I'm sorry to admit that I helped contributed to that.

Even though we're only a few days into the new year, TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D gets my vote as worst movie of 2013! The film doesn't bring anything new; in fact the only thing it did do was officially kill the franchise! So it is with heavy heart that I say goodbye to Leatherface. It's been swell knowing you! 1 out of 5 stars!! Avoid with extreme prejudice!!

TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D is currently playing in theaters nationwide, including the Century Theaters here in the Bay Area. To view showtimes, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Phil's Top Ten Films of 2012-Jan. 5, 2013

Hello again and welcome back! Now I saw a lot films last year, at least over 100 of them!! Now that is a lot of movies to see in one year! Now I couldn't see every single film that was released, but over 100 movies is still pretty damn impressive! But remember, I am a professional and it's my job to see these films for you. So without further adieu ladies and gentlemen, here are my Top Ten Films of 2012!

1) LINCOLN: This is a perfect example as to why I love going to the movies! Actor Daniel Day-Lewis embodies Lincoln like no other actor has done before. Wise, compassionate, at times very humorous, and also determined to end slavery in America. When you watch the film, you don't even see Day-Lewis at all, there in only Abraham Lincoln. Let's face it, the man actually and physically looks like Lincoln. The resemblance is truly uncanny! His performance is worthy of an Oscar nomination all the way! Also giving stellar performances was Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, and Hal Holbrook. Directed by Steven Spielberg, this is without a doubt THE BEST FILM of 2012. If you don't agree, then you should see it again!
2) THE DARK KNIGHT RISES: Director Christopher Nolan concluded his Dark Knight Trilogy with this film. Set eight years after THE DARK KNIGHT, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) comes out of retirement to save Gotham City one last time against the deadly terrorist named Bane (Tom Hardy). Aiding Batman are Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway), his trusted butler Alfred (Michael Caine), and Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman). Weaving such real world issues such as terrorism, economic collapse, social structure, class warfare, political injustice and anarchy, the film firmly takes place in the here and now. Just an incredible job by Nolan and the rest of the cast and crew! One of the greatest film trilogies of all time comes to an end!
3) ARGO: Based on true events, six Americans manage to slip away from the U.S. embassy in Tehran which has been over by the Iranians. Held up at the home of the Canadian ambassador, CIA specialist, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) concocts a risky plan: pretend to be a Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran and smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. Directed by Affleck, the film is filled with drama, tensions, and a few laughs, courtesy of Alan Arkin and John Goodman. With this film, we see Affleck's true calling: a fantastic and gifted director. Also make sure you stay in the theater to watch the credits. You'll see some real photographs and clips that mirror Affleck's film and actors.
4) THE AVENGERS: The film that every Marvel Comics geek had been waiting for! Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Tom Hiddleston, and Samuel L. Jackson, the film was written and directed by Joss Whedon, who pulled off the impossible! This ultimate battle between good and evil broke records all across America and around the world. In the end, the film made over a billion dollars!! As you may already know, Whedon has signed on to do the sequel, so look for more Avengers in 2014!! Also make sure to stick around for not one, but two bonus scenes at the end of the film! And on a side note, the film looked freaking awesome in 3D!!

5) TINKER TAYLOR SOLDIER SPY: This film came out all the way back in January, and some of you out there might have forgotten about this extraordinary movie! Based on author John le Carré's groundbreaking cold war bestseller and directed by Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson, the film features a stellar cast consisting of Gary Oldman, Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Firth, Toby Jones, Ciaran Hinds, and Mark Strong. There is nothing that I can say that will give these fine actors enough praise. This is not your typical spy film. This is a beautifully played and observed spy film, one that makes you think while watching it, enticing you to unravel the mystery along with our protagonist. It's simply a masterpiece of incredible intelligence. Do yourself a favor and check out this superb spy thriller.

6) MOONRISE KINGDOM: Directed by Wes Anderson, this film lovingly tells the tale of first love, in a humorous and whimsical way one would expect from Anderson. Set in 1965 on the fictional New England island called New Penzance, the film's about two 12 year-olds who fall in love and run away together: "Khaki Scout" orphan and misfit Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and the disenchanted Suzy Bishop (Kara Gilman). When their disappearance is discovered, the grown-ups begin the search for them. Also featuring Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, and Bruce Willis, the film has all the bizarre, the eclectic, the witty, and the eccentric that one expects to find in Wes Anderson's films!

7) BULLY: I was fortunate to see this incredible documentary during the Cinequest 22 Film Festival back in March, and I was extremely excited to see it in theaters a month later! This powerful and disturbing film follows five kids from Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma, Iowa and Mississippi who are victims of bullying as well as their families. Filmed during the 2009-2010 school year, we see the ramifications of bullying and how some schools ignored the problem, which caused some students like Tyler Long and Ty Smalley (their families are focused in the film) to commit suicide. Director Lee Hirsch really captures the living Hell that these kids go through every single day of their school year. One of the most important documentaries that you and your family must see!

8) BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WIND: Directed by Benh Zeitlin and written by Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar from Alibar's one-act play Juicy and Delicious, the film's about a six-year-old girl named Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis), who along with her sick and dying father Wink (Dwight Henry) live in "The Bathtub," a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. But when her father becomes terribly ill, the forces of nature begin to unravel simultaneously. The film is a powerful example of experimental filmmaking while at the same time confronting social, political, and enviormental topics such as extreme poverty, alcoholism, global warming, and child neglect. One of the most mesmerizing, striking, and poignant films I have ever seen before!

9) TED: The directorial debut film by Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth McFarlane, the film focuses on the deep bond of friendship between a grown man named Jack (Mark Wahlberg) and his teddy bear Ted (voiced by McFarlane). The film is politically incorrect, offensive, vulgar, filled with juvenile toilet humor, profanity, and sexual situations that some might find repulsive. So of course I laughed the whole way through the damn movie! I mean c'mon! It's a giant walking teddy bear that swears, drinks, and likes prostitutes! However, underneath all of this immature humor, MacFarlane crafted a really solid script that contains good character development, a nice three arc story, and an emotional ending that tugs on your heart strings.

10) THE CABIN IN THE WOODS: The ONLY good horror film to be released to theaters in 2012! And that is so damn sad to say because I am a huge horror fan, and I felt really let down last year. This was the only saving grace for theatrical horror films. Joss Whedon is simply a genius and has made a career breaking genre rules and making them up as he goes along. The man can take any genre and break the confines of its basic structure and rebuild it to his own likings. As both writer and producer of the film, he is in complete control and it shows not only that he's a talented individual, but also as a force to be reckon with. Drew Goddard not only co-wrote the script with Whedon, but it also marked his directorial debut. It's faced paced, has smart and funny dialogue, and contains enough scares, gore, and bloodshed to make horror fans around the world very happy.

And there you have it! My Top Ten Films of 2012! This was a hard list to put together, but these were films that really made an impact on me, and I sincerely hope you enjoyed reading my picks. So if by chance there are films here that you haven't seen yet, I encourage you to check them out. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by them!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil wishes all of you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!-January 1, 2013

Me at Cinequest 22 Film Festival in San Jose.
Hello everybody and welcome to 2013!! The Mayans predicted the end of the world would arrive on December 21, 2012, but here we all are!!

The year 2012 will go down as one of my busiest years of all time. Since launching my movie blog back in March of 2011, I was able to attend several film festivals! My very first festival that I covered was also my most favorite of all: The Cinequest 22 Film Festival! This film festival is my absolute favorite fest to attend and since it's right here in my hometown of San Jose, it felt like I was coming home. During Cinequest I attended 56 screenings in 13 days!! This was an all-new personal best for me! Let's see if I can top that at this year's festival! Keep your fingers crossed for me and hope I don't go blind!!

With friends Jason Weiner & Elijah Berry at the SF Silent Film Festival.
After Cinequest 22, the floodgates opened and I found myself at a plethora of film festivals and events: A week after Cinequest ended I was at the 30th Annual San Fransisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF), then I was at the magnificent art deco Paramount Threatre in Oakland attending the exclucive 5 1/2 hour epic screening of Abel Gance's 1927 long, lost silent film classic NAPOLEON!!

Me & Rena Riffel at the SHOWGIRLS 2 show at the Castro,
In April I was back out at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum attending their 10th Anniversary celebration of Gilbert Anderson aka Broncho Billy and the Essanay Studios coming to Niles as well as their Annual Earthquake show. There were a lot of other cool events at the museum, such as their Charlie Chaplin Days, their world famous Broncho Billy Silent Film Festival, their encore screening of Sutro's Baths documentary, as well as their weekly Saturday Night shows!

Other festivals and events included the 17th San Francisco Silent Film Festival, Miss Misery's 5th Annual Nightmare To Remember International Horror Film Festival, the Midnites For Mainacs movie events and the Peaches Christ Experience shows at the historic Castro Theatre in San Francisco! I was also at the RiffTrax Live broadcast events at the Cinemark Century 20 Oakridge Mall, the Indiana Jones Marathon at the AMC Mercado 20, the very first Miss Misery's Days Of Terror Horror Convention at the at the Scottish Rite Center in Sacramento, the Back To The Future trilogy at the Retro Dome in Saratoga.

Me & actress Debra Lamb at Miss Misery's Days of Terror Con.
I also found myself being contacted by directors to review their films. Director James Cullen Bressack contacted me through Facebook and asked me to review his new horror film entitled  HATE CRIME. In my review I stated that, "No other horror film has left me this disturbed in quite some time."Well, turned out that Bressack liked my review and he used that particular quote in the film's trailer!! This was truly a memorable moment for me as a film reviewer and a movie blogger!!

In October I once again did my annual horror movie marathon, where I watched and reviewed one horror movie throughout the month. This has inspired me to one again rethink about relaunching my horror movie blog The Midnight Horror Sinema Show! So look for that happening in the next few months!

Me & Horror Movie Hostess Miss Misery at the SJ Toy Fair.
Then there were all the movies I saw at the Camera Cinemas in both Downtown San Jose and in the Pruneyard Campbell. It was at the Camera 3 where yours truly hosted the Cult Move Series and I was there for almost all of the Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings, hosted my good friends Barely Legal Productions!!

Overall 2012 was a epic year for me. It goes without saying that 2013 will be an even more exciting year! And of course, I would like to thank all of you who joined me on my cinematic adventures!! I hope you enjoyed my reviews and thoughts. Now let's say goodbye to 2012, and welcome 2013 with a bang!!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!