Thursday, December 31, 2015

Phil sees TRAINWRECK from Universal Pictures-December 29, 2015

Let me first start this review off by making this very important statement: I love Amy Schumer. Seriously I love Amy Schumer. I think she's funny, sassy, and smoking hot. She has the sexiest legs I have ever seen. And those eyes; they look so sultry but yet tough and independent. She has more balls than most of her male comedian peers. She's fearless when it comes to her stand-up performances. And those legs. Good grief I love this woman! I love you Amy!! OK, sorry about that people. I just had to get that off my chest. Now all of this leads up to today's review of her film TRAINWRECK which I finally saw.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: Since she was a little girl, it's been drilled into Amy's (Amy Schumer) head by her rascal of a dad Gordon (Colin Quinn) that monogamy isn't realistic. Now a magazine writer, Amy lives by that credo - enjoying what she feels is an uninhibited life free from stifling, boring romantic commitment - but in actuality, she's kind of in a rut. When she finds herself starting to fall for the subject of the new article she's writing, a charming and successful sports doctor named Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), Amy starts to wonder if other grown-ups, including this guy who really seems to like her, might be on to something.

Also appearing in the film are Brie Larson (Kim), Vanessa Bayer (Nikki), Tilda Swinton (Dianna), Dave Attell (Noam ), WWE wrestler John Cena (Steven), Norman Lloyd (Norman) and LeBron James as LeBron James with cameos by Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei.

Amy Schumer is just laugh-out-loud hilarious in the film. Her performance as the swearing, drinking, pot smoking, rude, unapologetic, promiscuous, does whatever she feels like is so refreshing, honest and real. Now not only is she a really funny comedian and a talented actress but she also wrote the film as well! Her script is spot-on accurate with today's women who are just as rude, crude and sexist as their male counterparts. I had no problem laughing at the film. I think we need to see more female characters like Amy in today's films. We also get to see her grow as a person when she's caught off guard and falls in love with Bill Hader's character Aaron. It was interesting to see Bill play the straight guy cause usually he's the comic relief. When these two are on the screen together, there's magic right there. Their on-screen chemistry is perfect and we, the audience, fall in love with these crazy kids and we want them to be together. Truly, they are the perfect couple we can all relate to because they are us and vise versa.

Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed were the funny, eccentric and diverse supporting cast. Quinn's Gordon is a misogynistic, racist, inconsiderate douchebag father we all love to hate, but we really do love guy. Swinton's Dianna is pretty much just as bad as Amy but only with a sexy British accent. Lovable Norm is a lovable guy that we wish was our grandfather. Dave Attell is Noam, who is one funny bum that I would like to have drink and piss with in the back of an alley. But the biggest surprise is wrestling superstar John Cena has the big, buff, homoerotic bodybuilder who seems very gay. I only say this based on the freaking hysterical dialogue he says in the film, especially during the sex scene and again in the movie theater. Trust me when I say that it is some funny ass shit!

The film was directed by the very talented Judd Apatow, the man responsible for making THE 40 YEAR-OLD-VIRGIN, KNOCKED UP and FUNNY PEOPLE and produced  PINEAPPLE EXPRESS, BRIDESMAIDS and the ANCHORMAN films. Amy actually wrote the script with having Apatow directing it in mind so this was a match made in heaven. Great set-ups, awesome shots of New York and just overall an awesome and incredible director.

TRAINWRECK is my absolute favorite, laugh-out-loud, so funny my balls hurt, raunchy, vulgar, feel good, romantic comedy of the year!! So for all you ladies and couples out there who are tired of seeing the same old, boring, predictable rom-coms, then this film is for you! And don't forget to bring your box wine! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

TRAINWRECK is now available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. The movie is also available at your local Redbox as well as on Netflix and Video On Demand.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Phil sees ANT-MAN from Walt Disney Studios-December 24, 2015

There's nothing Marvel Studios can't do. Sure, they can make film adaptions of their biggest and most popular characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Avengers. But then Marvel took a huge gamble when they made GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, an obscure comic book to adapt for the big screen. However, with James Gunn at the helm, it became one of their biggest and most popular films, transforming Groot and Rocket into household names. Now, those crazy kids are at it again, adapting one of their oldest characters and a founding member of the original Avengers in the comics. So let's get down to the small talk and discuss their newest film in their Phase Three plan entitled ANT-MAN.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: Armed with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) must embrace his inner-hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), protect the secret behind his spectacular Ant-Man suit from a new generation of towering threats. Against seemingly insurmountable obstacles, Pym and Lang must plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.

The film also stars Evangeline Lilly (Hope van Dyne), Corey Stoll (Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket), Judy Greer (Maggie Lang), Michael Peña (Luis), David Dastmalchian (Kurt), Tip 'T.I.' Harris (Dave), Bobby Cannavale (Paxton), Abby Ryder Fortson (Cassie Lang), Martin Donovan (Mitchell Carson) and Marvel regulars Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson aka Falcon) and the beautiful Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter).

Once again Marvel's gamble has paid off both handsomely and financially. Casting Paul Rudd as our lead and hero was surprising to me initially but the man pulled it off fantastically. His portrayal of Scott as our everyday, down on his luck, trying to get a head, average guy who just so happens to be our only hope of saving the day works. His comedic timing is perfect and he gets to kick some ass as well. What's great about having Rudd as our hero is that you believe him. He feel sorry for him and we are right with him when he's playing hero. 

I never thought I'd see a Hollywood legend like Michael Douglas in a Marvel Studios movie. The man is an icon! The son of Kirk Douglas! He's starred in films like ROMANCING THE STONE, WALL STREET, BASIC INSTINCT, THE AMERICAN PRESIDENT, TRAFFIC  and indie films such as KING OF CALIFORNIA, SOLITARY MAN and BEYOND THE REACH. But he is great as scientist/former superhero Dr. Hank Pym. Smart, tough and he has some of the best lines in the movie. Together, he and Rudd have great on-screen chemistry. We get a mentor/student and father/son relationship and we see this grow throughout the film. They play off on another and it looks like they had a lot of fun making this movie.

Director Peyton Reed has a long list of credits to his name. From directing films like BRING IT ON, DOWN WITH LOVE and YES MAN to television shows like New Girl,The Weird Al Show, and Upright Citizens Brigade, this guy is very talented and also vercified. He can direct a romantic comedy and then turn around and make this funny action superhero film. He does an excellent job of capturing the humor and the edge-of-your-seat action that Marvel is known for. The film was originally going to be directed by Edgar Wright, the man who bought us SHAWN OF THE DEAD, HOT FUZZ and THE WORLD'S END but left the project citing creative differences with Marvel. However, they still used some of his ideas for the film.

So once again San Francisco is our backdrop for the film. Now let me count how many films the city has been in this year alone: it's been in TERMINATOR: GENISYS, INSIDE OUT, SAN ANDREAS, VACATION, this film and it was also on the poster of PIXELS. Wow, things are getting crazy out here! But at least the filmmakers didn't do the whole "destroy the Golden Gate Bridge" thing again cause that shtick is getting really old fast.

Overall ANT-MAN is another worthy entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that fans will have fun watching! And it'll also be fun as to how he'll be interacting with the other actors in the upcoming CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR film. So we haven't seen the last of our super small superhero. So all you comic book fans out there, this is a must-see film!! 4 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommend!!

ANT-MAN is now available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. The movie is also available at your local Redbox as well as on Netflix and Video On Demand.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Phil sees STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS in 3D from Walt Disney Studios-December 21, 2015

When George Lucas sold his company LucasFilm to the Walt Disney Company back in October 2012, Disney wasted no time in announcing that they were going to make the next trilogy installments to the STAR WARS saga. The legendary episodes VII, VIII, and IX were finally going to be made after all. At first I was kinda hesitant. Lucas had created this universe that has been loved and cherished my millions of fans spanning generations. It seemed very odd to think of seeing a STAR WARS film that he wasn't involved in. However, the prequels that he released between 1999-2005 didn't exactly live up to audiences' expectations. So maybe it was a good thing that he sold his company and walked away. Now a new generation of filmmakers who grew up watching the original trilogy will be able to continue to tell the story that took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The first to take on this task was J.J. Abrams, the man who relaunched the STAR TREK franchise, would be the man who would direct the highly anticipated next chapter of the STAR WARS saga. For the past three years fans have been waiting impatiently for the movie to hit theaters. And now, the moment has arrived. This past weekend, I took my family to our local theater to finally see STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS in 3D.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: The Galactic Empire was defeated thirty years ago. The Galaxy is now facing a new threat: a new faction named the First Order. Their main mission is to rule the Galaxy and destroy all who oppose them. Their commander is a ruthless, mysterious, powerful Sith, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Kylo has an ambition to find and kill the last Jedi who is able to restore order and revive the Jedi ways, Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). Luke's unknown location is also a main concern for Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher), a General from the Resistance that now trying to find him too. Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) meet some new companions: Finn (John Boyega), a defective First Order Stormtrooper, and Ray (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger from the Jakku planet who acquired Luke's location through a BB-8 rolling droid. This unexpected team is forced not only to fight and resist the First Order, but also to find Luke Skywalker.

Also appearing in the film are original trilogy cast members Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), Kenny Baker (R2-D2) and new cast members Max von Sydow (Lor San Tekka), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Andy Serkis (Supreme Leader Snoke), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma), Lupita Nyong'o (Maz Kanata), Greg Grunberg (Snap Wexley), Bill Hader (BB-8) and special guest appearances from Simon Pegg, Judah Friedlander, Daniel Craig and voices from Frank Oz and Ewan McGregor.

First let me state that this is a SPOILER FREE REVIEW!! I will not reveal any part of the story or any of the surprises if you haven't seen the film yet (which begs the question why are you reading this and not going out to see the movie?). So now that I've made that announcement, let me take you all on a trip back in time for a bit. I will return to my review of the film after this important message.

When I was a small child in May of 1977, the world that I was growing up in was, how do I put it, still in a state of chaos. Nixon, Watergate, and the Vietnam War was still fresh in the minds of the American public. The gas crisis crippled this country for a bit, and the Jonestown Massacre shocked people into a state of disbelief and sadness. The United States, at that time, looked like it was about to spiral out of control. It was during this period of disenchantment that a little, low-budget, sci-fi film caught my eye and took me on an imaginary ride that forever changed my life for the better. Little did I realize, that same film would also inspire other people from all walks of life to shake off the shackles of responsibility, and for about two hours, let them feel like a child once again, to experience the wonders of the imagination. That film was STAR WARS, and it gave people the chance to feel free, and to feel inspired to create a whole new world for themselves. The STAR WARS saga defined a whole generation of people, and helped create a bona fide pop culture phenomenon that will last for as long as mankind exists. For myself, that night in 1977 forever ingrained that sense of wonder and hope.

Now I am older, wiser, and have responsibilities. Work, bills, the usual adult baggage that most of us have. A lot of my friends have children, and this new generation's world is in a sorrow state as well. The September 11 attacks, global warming, cutbacks on public schools while higher tuition costs for college students. Most recently, the Paris bombings and the unbelievable lack of gun control in this country has lead to an unfathomable amount of gun related violence and deaths. It seems that history does repeat itself, which is where this generation's imagination and hope resurfaced in a big way.

After the forgettable prequels left a bad taste in our mouths, J.J. Abrams came on board to do something to the STAR WARS franchise that hasn't been done in a long time: he brought back the magic, the imagination, and the wonderment that we needed so desperately. He made STAR WARS fun again. By telling a simply story of good versus evil but layering it with mythology, family issues, amazing characters, epic space fights and the power of the Force. And the use of real sets, practical effects combined with some CGI made it feel and look more like a real movie. That part I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing again. Suddenly, it was fun to go to the cinemas and be transported to another world in a galaxy far, far away. Watching this movie was like reliving my childhood of watching the very first film.

This now brings me to my review for the last film in the series. All I'm gonna say to all of you is this: STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS is one of the best films of 2015, and in the end, will be loved by audiences everywhere! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS in now playing in 2D and 3D in theaters nationwide. Check your local theater to see if it's playing near you.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees MINIONS from Universal Pictures-December 14, 2015

I saw DESPICABLE ME when it first came out back in 2010. It wasn't my favorite film but I did fall in love with those cute, little yellow minions. Apparently so did the rest of the world. Then DESPICABLE ME 2 came out and then the minion fandom really took off. There were toys, games, posters, rides, even a kids cereal! Soon it became clear that eventually Universal Pictures were going to release a minion movie to cash in on the popularity. And wouldn't you know it? They did release a minion movie entitled MINIONS. And it was a cute movie to watch too.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: Ever since the dawn of time, the Minions have lived to serve the most despicable of masters. From T. Rex to Napoleon, the easily distracted tribe has helped the biggest and the baddest of villains. Now, join protective leader Kevin, teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob on a global road trip where they'll earn a shot to work for a new boss-the world's first female super-villain-and try to save all of Minionkind...from annihilation.

As with most kids movies, the plot is pretty straight forward and predicable but you know what? Who bloody cares! Why do I say this? Because it was a cute, sweet and funny movie that tickled my funny bone and me forget about life's problems for a while. Being an adult and parent, I have a lot to worry about stress over. There's work, bills that need to be paid, rent, car issues, groceries, laundry, etc. But when was the last time you indulged your inner child? Whenever I see a family film, I always like to stress that idea. Go ahead and just have fun watching a film that will make you laugh out loud with joy and care-free delight. After all, that's what being a child is all about.

The movie was directed by the combo of Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin, the later directed the DESPICABLE ME films. They keep the film light on its feet, the laughs frequent and the fun at full throttle. The script was written by one Brian Lynch, the man who wrote PUSS IN BOOTS, HOP and the upcoming Illumination Entertainment/Universal Pictures release THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS. Granted this isn't the best written story, but for the kids, they will eat it up. And I wouldn't be surprised if you and your family started quoting the movie as well. Plus, since the film takes place in 1968 (yup, this is a prequel), there's a lot of far out catchphrases to quote man.

Actress Sandra Bullock finally makes her villain debut as the infamous Scarlet Overkill who, along with her ultra groovy husband Herb (Jon Hamm),is in need of some henchmen to help her take over England. Bullock's portrayal of Scarlet is evil, nasty and hilariously entertaining to watch. She's just simply a cold-blooded monster that we get to laugh at. So she's a despicable villain that you'll love to hate. The great Michael Keaton and Allison Janney play funny villain couple Walter and Madge Nelson respectively, who pick-up our hitchhiking yellow friends and take them along to the super cool Villain-Con where they meet their new master.

Co-director Coffin provides the voices to out three favorite minions: Bob, Kevin and Stewart. They're cute, yellow, funny and lovable and are so mass marketed now that I'll make you sick. Seriously these guys are freaking everywhere. But that's OK cause that's Hollywood for you. But in all honesty, I really did enjoy the movie and all the wacky, crazy schenanigans these three get into. Kevin is the brave leader who must keep them together and focused on their mission of locating a super villain to work for. Stewart is the guitar playing, smooth talking ladies man who might love his bananas more. And then there's Bob. Yeah, I love Bob. He's my favorite minion just because he's so damn adorable! I just wanna pinch those fat cheeks of his and give him a whole barrel of bananas!! 

Overall MINIONS gets my vote for Best Family Film of the Year!! It'll warm your heart while make you laugh out loud with action and adventure that only a minion could have! So grab the family together and see this movie! 4 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

MINIONS is now available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. The movie is also available at your local Redbox as well as on Netflix and Video On Demand.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Phil sees AMERICAN ULTRA from Lionsgate-December 8, 2015

So, today's film has been receiving a lot of mixed reviews. Some have praised the film saying it's an action packed dark comedy that it'll entertain the hell out of you from start to finish, while others complained saying it wasn't at all funny and it's a BOURNE IDENTITY spoof. Regardless of these, when I saw the trailer for the film, I knew that I wanted to see it. Which leads me to today's review of the film AMERICAN ULTRA.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: Small-town stoner Mike Howell (Jesse Eisenberg) spends most of his time getting high and writing a graphic novel about a superhero monkey. What Mike doesn't know is that he was trained by the CIA to be a lethal killing machine. When the agency targets him for termination, his former handler Victoria Lasseter (Connie Britton) activates his latent skills, turning the mild-mannered slacker into a deadly weapon. Now, the utterly surprised Mike must use his newfound abilities to save himself and his girlfriend Phoebe Larson (Kristen Stewart) from getting wasted.

I can see why the film had received mixed reviews. The trailer doesn't do the film justice. This is funny film with lots of cool action, great characters and dark humor that will tickle your warped and twisted funny bone. This is not your Hollywood film by any means. Usually the only films that are like this are usually from the Coen Brothers. So viewing this film was a delight. It's so offbeat and not like those other action films. Think Quentin Tarantino film meets Cheech and Chong and you'll get the idea of what I'm talking about.

Director Nima Nourizadeh made his big screen debut with the 2012 film PROJECT X. Here he goes in a different direction; replacing teen shenanigans with off-the-wall action and comedy that propels the movie to another stratosphere. Nima keeps the film moving forward while giving us laughs, action and fun characters to root for. And there is a lot of cool action scenes that so bloody and violent that fans of the genre will love it.

As for the cast, the one that really stands out is Kristen Stewart. Yes I know, her acting in those awful TWILIGHT movies were just mind-numbingly bad, but since then her acting has become rather good. Here, her character is actually two different people: the sweet, funny naive girlfriend Phoebe and the bad ass, take charge, shoot 'me up FBI agent Pheobe. Her performance is great and she's doing most of her own stunts. So big props goes out to Miss Stewart. Love to see where her career goes now.

For some stupid reason, Lionsgate just dumped the film out to theaters without a lot of press or any kind of promotions. So it didn't even make its budget back. The film took in about $15 million total but it cost $28 million to make, so I don't understand Lionsgate's logic. But then, that's Hollywood for you. I guess they were too busy promoting some other film rather than give this on some love and attention it so rightly deserves.

So AMERICAN ULTRA is one helluva crazy, blood soaked, guns blazing, action packed dark comedy that will sure give you something to smile about! So if you're in the mood to see something rather different' then this movie is righ up our alley. 4 put of 5 stars!! Definitely worth viewing!!

AMERICAN ULTRA is now available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. The movie is also available at your local Redbox as well as on Netflix and Video On Demand.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Phil sees THE MARTIAN from Twentieth Century Fox-December 6, 2015

Can someone please explain to me why this country (and Hollywood) keeps spending millions of dollars on saving Matt Damon? He was first saved by Tom Hanks and his platoon in 1998 Steven Spielberg film SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. Then he had to rescued again in that other film a couple of years ago. Now in 2015, Damon must be resumed again, but this time he's stranded on the red planet of Mars. And thanks to the legendary director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN is now one of my favorite films of this year.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring "the Martian" home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney's safe return.

Based on the 2011 Andy Weir novel of the same name and adapted into a screenplay by Drew Goddard (THE CABIN IN THE WOODS, CLOVERFIELD, WORLD WAR Z), the film is a true testament of the power of film. It connects us on a basic human spirit. It can take us anywhere in time and space. Lastly,  film is universal. It tells us stories that we can all relate to. Plus having Ridley Scott, one f the most prolific and important directors of all time, in the directing chair, one can see how he incorporates all these aspects beautifully in each and every single frame. There is no shot wasted; every single scene is a word that tells the story of the human spirit overcoming adversity, taking whatever life throws at you and never giving up on yourself.

Matt Damon is phenomenal in the film, but I loved about the film were all the supporting characters that made the story move forward. Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Benedict Wong, and the rest of the cast help propel the film forward by providing fun, interesting and sometimes eccentric characters that make the film come together.

Seeing as how this is a science fiction film and this particular genre requires special effects and CGI, I am proud to say that it looks amazing! Having bad CGI can ruin a film and it takes me out of it (TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN is a perfect example of this). Now the film is being screened in both 3D as well as 2D. My fiancee and I along with our friends saw the 2D version, which was fine by us. Some people I've spoken with loved the 3D effects but, to me, the whole 3D experience is kinda played out. Now it feels more like a marketing ploy to help sell their film. It doesn't matter to me much. The film has an all-star cast, one the best directors in the world and a great story. What more do you need?

THE MARTIAN is one of the best films of 2015 and I cannot recommend this film enough. It truly is an outstanding piece of cinema that you all need to see on the big screen. Because of the fast turn over of movies being released on Blu-Ray and DVD, this film won't be in theaters for very much longer so go see this movie now! 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

THE MARTIAN is currently playing in theaters nationwide. Check your local listings and theater to see if it's playing near you!

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Phil's Horror Watch: DEAD RISING: WATCHTOWER (2015) from Sony Pictures-December 1, 2015

Starring: Jesse Metcalfe, Meghan Ory, Virginia Madsen, Keegan Connor Tracy, Aleks Paunovic, Dennis Haysbert, Carrie Genzel, Rob Riggle, Julia Benson, Peter Benson, Harley Morenstein
Written by Tim Carter
Cinematography by Mahlon Todd Williams
Edited by Mike Jackson
Produced by Tim Carter & Tomas Harlan
Directed by Zach Lipovsky
Production Company: Legendary Digital Media, Contradiction Films, Dead Rising Productions
Distributed by Sony Pictures Entertainment

The majority of movies based on popular video games have been, shall we say, disposable train wrecks that almost ruin the game it's based on (remember MARIO BROTHERS and STREET FIGHTER). When the RESIDENT EVIL films came out, it seemed like the new trend in Hollywood was the game adaptations. Soon others followed like the HALO direct-to-video films and the atrocious HOUSE OF THE DEAD series plus those FINAL FANTASIES movies that people didn't like. Now there's a new game adaptation on the block making its debut and, to my surprise, is really awesome and very entertaining. So let's dive right into my review of DEAD RISING:WATCHTOWER.

The film's official synopsis: Set between the events of Dead Rising 2 and Dead Rising 3, The story follows online reporter Chase Carter (Jesse Metcalfe) and his camerawoman Jordan (Keegan Connor Tracy) as they cover the stories of the people inside of the walled-in quarantined area in Oregon, as the government (running an organization called FEZA—Federal Emergency Zombie Authority) attempts to contain a viral outbreak that turns people into ravenous zombies. An anti-viral drug called Zombrex, that keeps the virus at bay, is being administered to those infected. When it becomes clear that the drug is no longer effective and a zombie outbreak purges the town and infects its inhabitants, Chase, Jordan, grieving mother Maggie (Virginia Madsen), and survivor Crystal (Meghan Ory) battle their way out of the city before it gets firebombed. But Crystal has a dark secret, and the army has a hidden agenda.

Promotional Movie Poster (2015)
Unlike most films based on video games, this one is jammed packed with awesome action, cool characters, fun story, great directing, and very scary looking zombies. What I liked was that the film stated very faithful to the game, which is a rarity these days. Plus I liked that it fits into the game's continuity, which fans of the franchise will get a big kick out of. It's a long movie, which I found very satisfying because most films are really rushed and the filmmakers try to cram so much into their film. For some reason, filmmakers feel as if they need to tell it all in just 90 minutes. Where is that written in stone? Take the time to make a good movie and don't worry about the film's length. If the film's entertaining, the audience will go with you.

Director Zach Lipovsky does a great job of constructing some excellent set-ups, pans and clean narratives that keep the story moving forward. He builds tensions and scares with precise execution while giving the characters breathing room so we can get to know them better. And the action scenes with the zombies is spot-on; it looks like it was ripped from the video game. Every scene serves a purpose and it looks spectacular, especially the amazing bus scene where Chase is being chased by zombies in and around a school bus. That was an excellent scene!! That blew my mind away!! Great directing on the part of Mr. Lipovsky!!

The cast as a whole deserves nods from the horror community as well as from the game world. Jesse Metcalfe's Chase is the asshole you love to hate, but then cheer for at the end.
Meghan Ory pours on the mystery, the sexy, and the ass kicking as her character Chrystal is freaking awesome! And you can't help feel the sorrow of Virginia Madsen's character Maggie. No matter what role she plays, Madsen is one of the most underated actresses in Hollywood. Believe it or not I had the pleasure of meeting her at the Monsterpalooza convention back in 2013. She was such a sweet person that I found myself falling for her. Kind, considerate and very appreciative of her fans. She shows respect to her fans and that's why she is loved withing the horror community. One of the nicest women I have ever met! 

This was the first digital film developed by Legendary Digital Media, a division of Legendary Pictures. The movie premiered on Crackle, an online distributor of movies and television shows. Since then it's been released on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. It was announced recently that the sequel will premiere on Crackle in the spring of 2016.

DEAD RISING: WATCHTOWER is a worthy entry to the game's franchise as well as in horror fans' libraries. It's a bad-ass, zombie infested, blood stained, thrill-ride-of-a-flick that will definitely keep you entertained through the film's duration! So grab your self a bag a popcorn, some cold sodas and set back and watch this awesome movie! 4 out of 5 stars!! Recommended viewing!! 

DEAD RISING: WATCHTOWER is currently available on DVD by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Visit your local retailer and pick up your copy today. It can also be seen online on the Crackle website.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Phil's Porno Chic: THE YOUNG LIKE IT HOT/ SWEET LITTLE FOXES (2015)from Vinegar Syndrome-November 30, 2015

It's been a long time since I've done a Porno Chic installment here and today's review will hopefully rectify this oversight. Recently there has been a plethora of classic adult films being released on both Blu-Ray and DVD that will make fans very happy and excited to hear about. The reason these films have such a huge following and are so popular is quite simple really: they were real movies. They were shot on film stock, had budgets, interesting plotlines and stories, real world locations, nice looking sets, great acting, and of course, hot sex. By taking these factors into account, one can see why Porno Chic was all the rage and why the the period of 1972 through 1894 was called the "Golden Age of Pornography." These filmmakers were both pushing the sexual envelope of the times while exploring and experimenting with the fundamental techniques of filmmaking. And then there were those other films that were made just for profit and self gratification and you can tell the difference between them. Now there are films that are both erotic, silly and just fun to watch, which leads me to today's review. The fine folks over at Vinegar Syndrome has just released a fantastic limited edition Blu-ray/DVD combo of two films starring the angeliesque Hyapatia Lee as part of their Peekarama series. So let's travel back to the awesome 1980s to discuss THE YOUNG LIKE IT HOT/SWEET YOUNG FOXES Limited Edition combo pack.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1983)
Starring: Hyapatia Lee, Kay Parker, Eric Edwards, Joey Silvera, Shauna Grant, Herschel Savage, Linda Shaw, Mike Horner, Lili Marlene
Written by Gail Palmer
Cinematography by Jack Remy
Edited by Pearl Diamond
Produced by Gail Palmer
Directed by Bob Chin
Originally distributed by Caribbean Films

The film's official synopsis: Trouble is brewing at a small town phone help line. The girls have just found out that they are slated to be replaced by computers. Determined to show their bosses that technology is no match for their skills, they begin offering their callers erotic conversations the likes of which have never been heard before!

I've forgotten just how stunning Hyapatia Lee was back in the day. Beautiful smile, long dark flowing hair, stunning eyes, gorgeous brown skin and a tight, slim, sexy body that drive men crazy. With these attributes, the former Miss Nude USA dives right into her role as supervisor Lori, who loves to help out her fellow employees. Original MILF Kay Park sizzles up the screen by just being her sexy self. Plus the exquisite Shauna Grant and her radiant beauty reminds us all that this sultry and talented actress left us too soon. That's another reason why I enjoy these films. The women in these films look and sound like real women you'd meet in your everyday life. These ladies are sophisticated, attractive and smart and don't look fake like most of today's porn stars. Bob Chin does a great job of keeping the film moving at good pace while capturing some very hot sex scenes. The film is very light and has a funny, good-natured, comedic tone and it doesn't take it itself too serious. Overall, I miss this type of movie making and this is one adult classic that fans should really get acquainted with.

Theatrical Movie Poster (1983)
Starring: Hyapatia Lee, Kay Parker, Ron Jeremy, Eric Edwards, Cindy Carver, Cara Lott, Pat Manning, Bud Lee
Written by Deborah Sullivan
Cinematography by Jack Remy
Edited by Pearl Diamond
Produced by Elliot Lewis
Director: Bob Chin
Originally distributed by Caribbean Films

The film's official synopsis: A group of young Southern California co-eds spend their days and nights on the prowl looking for ways to satisfy their red hot passions! Laura, Maggie and Kimberly are the three luscious lasses whose lives are going through tumultuous changes. They decide to descend on a rollicking party to remedy their loneliness. At the party Laura meets a former schoolmate, giving old torches a reason to light up and burn fiercely. Meanwhile the virginal Kim enters full womanhood at the hands of a dashing young man bent on satisfying their mutual lustful craving. Finally, Maggie finds an intriguing older woman with whom she discovers another side of her sexual hunger. Sweet Young Foxes... ah how sweet!

Another great starring vehicle for Hyapatia Lee as college Freshman Laura, who is now on summer vacation and is wanting to have some fun. Her opening scene alone is worth the price of this double feature. Add the stunning Kay Parker as Hyapatia's hot mom Julie (her solo shower scene will fog up your glasses) and her two besties Kim (Cindy Carver) and Maggie (Carla Lott), and of course Ron Jeremy, you've got yourself a movie that will surely keep you busy for a while. Like the previous film, Bob Chin directed this one as well and was shot on location in San Francisco, the West Coast Capitol of the porn industry (long before it relocated to the infamous San Fernando Valley). While light on story, Chin makes up for it with fun, free spirited and the sex is off the charts. Lovers of classic adult films will have a field day watching this one.

Vinegar Syndrome has done a fantastic job of restoring these two adult film classics and it shows on both Blu-Ray and the DVD. Both films were restored in 2k from the original 35mm film negatives and they look and sound even better now than they did upon their initial releases. The special features included here are: interview with director a Bob Chin, interview with adult film historian and actor Bill Margold and the original theatrical trailers for both films. The double feature release is limited to just 2,000 units which makes this a very special collector's item for fans.

The PEEKARAMA DOUBLE FEATURE: THE YOUNG LIKE IT HOT/SWEET YOUNG FOXES is a fantastic edition to any adult film library collection! This release is a perfect example of the need for more restoration of these Porno Chic classics. They are time capsules of a by gone era, a time that will never return again. 5 out of 5 stars!! Highly recommended!!

PEEKARAMA DOUBLE FEATURE: THE YOUNG LIKE IT HOT/SWEET YOUNG FOXES is currently available for a very limited time on the Vinegar Syndrome website. To purchase a copy, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Phil sees PITCH PERFECT 2 from New Line Cinema-November 29, 2015

It's been two years since audiences were introduced to the world of acapella music, courtesy of the film PITCH PERFECT which went on to become a huge Hollywood hit. Those lovable bunch of misfit and stereotypical girls won the hearts of the world and sooner or later, we knew there would be a sequel. Well, here we are and we finally got the sequel we were promised. So loosen up your vocal chords, practice your choreography and mic up cause it's time to talk (or should I say sing) about the film PITCH PERFECT 2.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: The Bellas are back, and they are better than ever. After being humiliated in front of none other than the President of the United States of America, the Bellas are taken out of the Aca-Circuit. In order to clear their name and regain their status, the Bellas take on a seemingly impossible task: winning an International competition no American team has ever won. In order to accomplish this monumental task, they need to strengthen the bonds of friendship and sisterhood, and blow away the competition with their amazing aca-magic! With all new friends and old rivals tagging along for the trip, the Bellas can hopefully accomplish their dreams once again.

So let's discuss the film, shall we? It was pretty damn funny, but I felt that the story moved a little too fast. There were a lot of new characters introduced, a new romance, new adversaries and it just felt rushed. Granted the filmmakers could've made the film longer to compensate all these additions but they didn't. And that's a common problem with most sequels: the need to top the original and load up the sequel with new stuff. But that shouldn't have to sacrifice the integrity of the story nor the film as a whole. Just take the time and make the movie the way it should and let it unfold naturally, instead of trying to cram everything including the kitchen sink in it.

The whole cast comes back for this installment and nothing has changed much. Same typical girls with the same stereotypes. Beca is still a hot loner, Chloe is still uptight, Jesse is still a hopeless romantic, Lilly is still that weird Asian girl, Fat Amy is still...well...fat. Now there's a hilarious romance introduced when Fat Amy hooks up with Bumper. Yup, sparks fly when they shag like two dogs in heat! Now that was some funny shit!

Actress Elizabeth Banks makes her feature length debut here and she does a great job directing this ensemble cast. Now she was one of the producers on the last film, and since these films are her baby, she took the next logical step in her career and helmed this latest chapter on the series. Recently a third film was announced and it looks like Mrs. Banks has signed on to direct that film as well.

PITCH PERFECT 2 will give you a warm fuzzy feeling if you're a hardcore fan of the series. Though it'll tickle your funny bone and put a smile on your face, I just wish it was more thought out and not so rushed. But that's just me complaining. I'm sure you'll enjoy this film. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars! It's worth watching!

PITCH PERFECT 2 is now available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. It's also available at your local Redbox as well as on Netflix and Video On Demand.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil's Horror Watch: LAST SHIFT (2014) from Magnet Releasing-November 29, 2015

LAST SHIFT Blu-Ray (2015)
Starring: Juliana Harkavy, Joshua Mikel, J. LaRose, Sarah Sculco, Kathryn Kilger, Natalie Victoria, Mary Lankford Poiley
Written by Anthony DiBlasi & Scott Poiley
Cinematography by  Austin F. Schmidt
Edited by Anthony DiBlasi
Produced by Michael Finn, Melissa Gruver, Andy Henry, Mary Lankford Poiley, Scott Poiley, Steven Shea
Directed by Anthony DiBlasi
Released by Magnet Releasing

Independent horror films can be hit or miss. There's a lot of outstanding ones out there that challenge the ideas and conventions of what a horror film could be while others are just as bad as the ones from the major studios. But those films made by filmmakers that want to tell something different are so interesting to watch because of their low budgets, they must be more creative and imaginative to tell their stories. A great example of this is the newly released film from Magnet Releasing entitled LAST SHIFT.

The film's official synopsis: Rookie police officer Jessica Loren (Juliana Harkavy) has been assigned the last shift at a closing police station and must wait for the Hazmat team to come pick up bio-hazard waste from the station's armory. But unbeknownest to Jessica, cult leader John Michael Paymon (Joshua Mikel) has haunted the department since he and his two followers Kitty (Sarah Sculco) and Dorthea (Kathryn Kilger) committed suicide a year ago to date. And now, Jessica is about to find out how dangerous they can be when she's left alone of this last shift.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2014)
Director and co-writer Anthony DiBlasi does an exceptional job of creating genuine chills and terrifying scares. Even with his low budget, he is able to take his one and only location and create a sense of claustrophobic doom that awaits our rookie heroine. DiBlasi grabs our attention by employing some of the oldest tricks in the book to scare us: strange noises and sounds, flickering lights, unsettling musical score and supernatural suspense. His directing style slowly unfolds the story fluently, all the while we're forced to witness Jessica's traumatic experience of her very first shift, which if she's not careful, could very well be her last.

Actress Juliana Harkavy first became well known for her portrayal of Rebecca in the DOLPHIN TALES films, but to genre fans she's best remembered for playing Alisha in the AMC series The Walking Dead. Here, Julianna is able to showcase her acting capabilities more in this her major starring vehicle. We witness her character development and growth in her performance as Jessica but then halfway through the film she begins decent into paranoia as her sanity begins to slip away. Her believability, vulnerability and fear is outright horrifying to watch as we become so emotionally invested in her that we cannot look away from the screen. An outstanding tour-de-force performance from Miss Harkavy!

And Joshua Mikel channels his inner Charles Manson to conjure up his portrayal of the psychotic and evil John Michael Paymon. His performance is really quite disturbing and very, very convincing. I got chills whenever he came on the screen. Just a really fantastic job from Mikel! A little trivia fact for you: the working title during the making of the film was JOHN MICHAEL PAYMON before the filmmakers decided to change it to its current title.

LAST SHIFT is a perfect example of how independent filmmakers are breathing new life into the horror genre! The film will get under your skin and will stay there until its gory, terrifying and unsettling conclusion! An indie masterpiece of contemporary horror cinema! 4 out of 5 stars!! Definately worth viewing!!

LAST SHIFT is currently available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. It's also available to stream on Netflix. To learn more about upcoming released from Magnet releasing, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil's Horror Watch: TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES (2015) from Universal Pictures-November 29, 2015

Starring: Michael Gross, Jamie Kennedy, Natalie Becker, Ernest Ndhlovu, Pearl Thusi, Zak Hendrikz, Lawrence Joffe
Written by M.A. Deuce,  C.J. Strebor, William Truesmith, John Whelpley
Cinematography by Michael Swan
Edited by Vanick Moradian
Produced by Ogden Gavanski, Lisa Gooding, Alan Shearer
Directed by Don Michael Paul
Released by Universal Pictures Entertainment

The last thing I would have ever guessed that would be resurrected would be the TREMOR series. Let's face it: it had a good run. While the 2004 prequel TREMORS 4: THE LEGEND BEGINS was so-so, it looked like the Graboids were finally put back into the ground forever. So it was very surprising to learn about the relaunch of this treasured franchise. And it was even more surprising how much I enjoyed the film. So my fellow horror hounds let me tell what I thought about TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES.

The film's official synopsis: The stakes are raised for survivalist Burt Gummer (Michael Gross) in his most dangerous monster hunt yet. When Gummer's hired to capture a deadly Assblaster terrorizing South Africa, he and his new sidekick, Travis Welker (Jamie Kennedy), engage in a battle of survival against the fiercely aggressive Assblasters and Graboids. Discovering the monsters have evolved into even more lethal creatures, their killer mission takes on a whole new level of unseen terror–far more than they bargained for.

Original Promotional Artwork (2015)
Believe it or not, I really liked this movie. For one, it was awesome to see Michael Gross return as the gun enthusiast, ass kicking, no nonsense Burt Gummer. It was the equivalent of visiting an old friend. Then add newcomer Jamie Kennedy's character Travis to the mix, whose liberal, free thinking personality clashes with Burt's conservative views make it interesting and fun to watch. Then we have the next generation of  Assbladters and Graboids that are really a clever combination of all the previous incarnations. And by taking the setting to South Africa, we get to see our lead protagonists somewhat out of their element. However, as one can expect, our survivalist friend Burt can adapt to any terrain and soon he, Travis and some of the locals take the fight to the Graboids and Assblasters.

Director Don Michael Paul has helmed several straight-to-DVD movies like LAKE PLACID: THE FINAL CHAPTER, SNIPER: LEGACY and JARHEAD 2 : FIELD OF FIRE. Here, Paul keeps the movie going at a well-even pace: setting up the story arcs while giving our characters time to catch their breathe before and after each Graboids attack and providing humor to release the tensions. The film isn't going to win any awards and Paul knows this, but he does a tremendous job of entertaining the fans who love this series. 

Overall, TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES keeps the series going with all the fun, action and mayhem that we've grown to love. The film is just fun to watch and that's what I liked about it. While some may cringe about the idea of another installment, I seriously hope you give this movie a chance. I think you will really enjoy it. 3 1/2 out of 5 stars! Worth watching!

TREMORS 5: BLOODLINES is now available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. It's also available at our local Redbox as well as Video On Demand and Digital HD.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Phil sees SAN ANDREAS from Warner Bros. Pictures-November 27, 2015

It's been interesting to watch the career of Dwayne Johnson. Seeing him from his humble beginnings as Rocky Maivia in the then called World Wrestling Federation, to his metamorphosis into the wrestling icon The Rock, the transitioning into one of the most popular actors in Hollywood. Beginning with his big screen debut in THE MUMMY 2 as the Scorpion King, Johnson has grown leaps and bounds as an actor. With his latest action packed film SAN ANDREAS, he proves once again that the man was born to be a superstar.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: California is experiencing a statewide earthquake that goes on record as easily as the biggest earthquake in history. Ray Gaines (Dwayne Johnson) is a helicopter rescue pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department, who is trying to find his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who is in San Francisco amidst the chaos. Ray's estranged wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), is forced to turn to Ray for help, as he is her last resort. Together, they journey to save their daughter.

Johnson's character was custom made for him: good looking, born leader and a brave individual who's job lands him at odds with his soon-to-be ex-wife. Their situation is very common to those individuals whose careers put their lives on the line. Here, we see Johnson as a flawed man as he puts his job before his family, which in turn creates his present situation. Of course it doesn't help that he's missed out on a lot of his daughter's life, however, she still loves him but wishes he could be there more for her. With the massive earthquake tha ravaged the whole state of California, Ray must now step up to be the husband, father and protector he should've been by going off to find and rescue his family. Johnson does a terrific job at bringing a certain level of depth to his character and also making him a total badass simultaneously.

His lovely co-stars are just as wonderful as well. Carla Gugino is superb as his ex-wife Emma, who has a change of heart towards the end of the film. Hey, if you were married to Dwayne Johnson you'd reconsider too! Don't lie ladies! Gugino holds her own in her action scenes against The Great One. She dives off of collapsing rooftops onto hovering helicopter, jumping out of said helicopter, driving a speed boat through a tsunami flooded San Francisco, basically Emma is one tough mom that you probably wouldn't want to miss with.

And speaking of strong female character, Alexandrea Daddario's character Blake is one smart and tough teenager. When she gets left behind by her mom's lame ass, chicken shit of a boyfriend Daniel played by Ioan Gruffudd aka Mr. Fantastic from the FANTASTIC FOUR films (SPOILER: he dies in the film, but that shouldn't come as a surprise), she befriends British cutie Ben Taylor (Hugo Johnstone-Burt) and his younger brother Ollie (Art Parkinson). While they helped save her from being crushed from a collapsing parking garage roof, she spends the majority of the film saving them! How cool is that idea? The last time I saw Daddario was in the awful 2013 horror film TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D. Now I liked her a lot more in this film because her character was way more fleshed out. We care about her, she has depth and pathos and can hold he own against her male co-stars. Oh, and I love the fact that she's playing an eighteen year old but she's actually 29! Damn she's got some good genes!

And let me just say that Daddario has the most beautiful pure blue eyes I have ever seen. They're like two tranquil pools of water that I wish to swim in. I can look into her soul and see the meaning of life. I found happiness in those beautiful, piercing, aquatic, mesmerizing.........uhhhh......I'm sorry what was I talking about.......mmmmmmm.........oh my review. Sorry about that folks. Kinda lost my train of thought there for a bit. Anyway, Alexandrea Daddario and her amazing blue eyes were awesome in the film!

The movie was directed by Brad Peyton, who also made JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND which also starred Johnson. Peyton is son stranger when it comes to directing big time action films but he has a much larger canvas to work on (along with a much bigger budget). Disaster films are very difficult to helm as the director needs to find the balance between action and character development, thrills and calmness, moving the film forward without sacrificing the story. Peyton does an exceptionally marvelous job of creating a film that caters to these requirements and then some.

Oh and once again, San Francisco is in another Hollywood movie. Hey, I think I'm starting to see a trend here. What do you folks think about that? 

SAN ANDREAS get my vote as one of the best disaster films to come out in the past decade! Fans of this genre will be treated to movie that's filled with action, suspense, humor, interesting characters, spectacular cliffhangers, cool script and the best special effects I've seen in a while. 4 out of 5 stars!! Definitely worth watching!!

SAN ANDREAS is now available on both Blu-Ray and DVD at your local retailer. It's also available at our local Redbox as well as Video On Demand.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Phil sees VACATION from Warner Bros. Pictures-November 27, 2015

When the original NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION movie was released back in 1983, it became an instant comedy classic. The crazy, road trip shenanigans of Clark W. Griswold (portrayed by the lovable Chevy Chase) and his family as they drove across the country to the fun-filled amusement park Walley World struck a chord among fans and became a huge hit at the boxoffice, which in turned spawned a franchise. EUROPEAN VACATION came out in 1985, CHRISTMAS VACATION in 1989 (which has also become a holiday classic film) and lastly VEGAS VACATION in 1997. After that, it looked like the Griswold family would finally stay at home for good. Then it was announced that Warner Bros. were reviving the series and a new generation of fans were going to see a new Griswold family trek out to the infamous Walley World once more. So fasten your seat belts everybody, put on some traveling music and let's the open road as I review the new VACATION film.

Theatrical Movie Poster (2015)
The film's official synopsis: Hoping to bring his family closer together and to recreate his childhood vacation for his own kids, an adult Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) takes his wife Debbie (Christina Applegate) and two sons James (Skyler Gisondo) and Kevin (Steele Stebbins) on a cross-country road trip to Walley World. Needless to say, things don't go quite as planned.

Also appearing in the film are Leslie Mann (Audrey Crandall), Chris Hemsworth (Stone Crandall), Catherine Missal (Adena), Charlie Day (Chad), Norman Reedus (Truck Driver) and once again, Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo reprising their iconic roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold. 

The cast looks like they had fun making this film and it shows. I love Christina Applegate's Debbie as she is both the glue that holds the family together while trying to keep herself happy for her husband. The youngest son Kevin can give South Park's Eric Cartman a run for his money, as he's one of the most fouled mouth pre-pubescent little shit I've seen in a movie. He's the youngest and he bullies his older brother, calling him a pussy and writing "I have a vagina" on his guitar. Ed Helms makes this incarnation of Rusty so-so. I don't recall if Rusty was really this much of a loser in the previous films. I guess he changed a lot when he got older. And it was freaking awesome to see Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo return as the parental units once more. Even though Chevy's Clark is only a cameo, he makes the most of it as he reminds us just how funny he is.

First time directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein attempt to recapture the magic from the first film while trying to create a film that both stands on its own and stays in the continuum of the series. The guys do a great job of capturing the zany wackiness that transpires for our new family with fluid directing and great set-ups. The car scenes made me feel like I was there along for the ride, especially when Rusty would sing along to Seal's "Kiss from a Rose." They guys also were able to capture a lot of beautiful scenery that our favorite family travel to: from Chicago to the Grand Canyon and, of course, Walley World and even San Francisco too.

At this time I would like to point out that once again we see San Francisco in another movie. Yup, this is like the fourth time I saw the city in a movie. Let's see, this year San Franciso has appeared in TERMINATOR: GENISYS, ANT-MAN, SAN ANDREAS, and now this one. Oh, and it was on the poster for PIXELS as well getting eaten up by Pac-Man. So yeah, take that Los Angeles! San Francisco and NorCal are now where the action's at!!

Both Daley and Golstein also wrote the script as well, bringing to it a newer, more raunchier level that modern audiences seem to enjoy. Now this works twofold: the first being that it will appeal to fans that like those raunchy comedies like THE HANGOVER, THIS IS THE END, BORAT, and TED. It's loaded with fowl language, sexual situations, grotesque racial profiling and over-the-top toilet humor. So yes it was hilarious!! I laughed so hard during the entire movie. From the awesome credit intro (courtesy from the awesome people at to my favorite scene where Debbie tries to relive her sorority days and just fails miserably. Knowing this information, it makes the film work if you were expecting this type of comedy.

Now the downside is that fans of the original films will be disappointed if they were expecting something that resembles the film's they grew up with. This could alienate those hardcore fans as well as those who like their comedies more subtle and less raunchiness. Personally, it didn't bother me at all. I thought the film was funny as hell but then again I'm a weird kinda guy. I mean, I watch Troma movies for crying out loud, so this was actually tame compared to some of the other films I've seen.

So this VACATION was a blast to watch as it both honors the series while simultaneously made me laugh my ass off. That is the soul purpose of making comedies: to make us laugh and to forget about our problems for a bit. And this film did just that and then some. A great addition to this series and one you all should see. 4 out of 5 stars! Definitely worth seeing!!

VACATION was just released on both Blu-Ray and on DVD and is available at your local retailer. The film is also avaibable at your local Redbox and on Video On Demand.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Phil attends the ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES show hosted by Peaches Christ atthe Castro Theatre-November 21, 2015

Castro Theatre Marque for the Peaches Christ Show.
It's been far too long since I've been to San Francisco, let alone seeing a movie here in the city. So tonight I finally made my triumphant return to one of my favorite theatres of all time: the historic Castro Theatre! To make this even more extraordinary, tonight's event was the film ADDAMS FAMILY VALUES hosted by none other than San Francisco's favorite drag queen superstar Peaches Christ!! And as an added bonus, my fiancée "Lola" and our friends "Hunter and Piper Chase" came out to the screening as well. Now this was their very first Peaches Christ show ever!! So I had the pleasure of popping all three of their cherries, Castro Style!!

We pulled up to the theatre and got our tickets for the 8pm show (there was a 3pm showing earlier that afternoon, but as everyone know, that late show is where all the fun is). We walked in the front lobby and it was electrifying! The front lobby was packed and there wasn't one empty seat in the theatre! The crowd was getting rowdy, people were screaming, the excitement was off the charts! My friends couldn't believe just how crazy these shows get and they were getting all excited as they were about to see one the greatest shows on Earth! We made our way to our seats and around 8pm the lights dimmed at it was finally showtime!!

Promotional Poster (2015)
As with all Peaches' screenings, there was an incredible pre-show before the film and what a pre-show it was! Tonight was the return of the infamous Sharon Needles (RuPaul's Drag Race season four winner as the sexy Morticia) along with Jinx Monsoon (Debbie), Qween (Fugsley), Heklina (Uncle Fister), Manuel Caneri (Comez), Peggy L'Eggs (Trandma Ma & Becky Cranger), Redwood (Felch), Chaka Korn (Amanda), Rory Davis (Miss Thing) and last, but certainly not least, Peaches Christ as Thursday!! Plus, let's not forget the excellent dancers L. Ron Hubby, Velveeta Whoremel, Roxanne Redmeat and Michael Turner!! Whew!! Now that's one outstanding cast to have!!

The pre-show started with the now iconic Addams Family theme song and the audience was clapping along. The out came Thursday and Fugsley and the audience screamed with delight. Soon the whole Addams Apple Family was on staged and the screaming and cheering for Sharon Needles was deafening! The Addams Apple Family were rejoicing the birth of their new baby boy, which meant that Morticia and Comez had to hire a nanny to help out. Enter the deranged, maniacal and hilarious Debbie, who goes in for the kill by sending Thursday and Fugsley off to summer camp and convinces Uncle Fister to marry her and cut off the rest of the family! Eventually entire family comes together and they all live unhappily ever after!! A fantastic and crowd pleasing pre-show from start to finish!! My friends and I loved it!!

After the pre-show, my friends and I were able to meet some of the cast members and were able to get some awesome photos. I personally would like to thank Heklina, Peggy L'Eggs, Manuel Caneri and Redwood for taking the time to take these amazing pictures and just being really cool, down-to-earth people. And because I am all for giving credit where credit is due, here are some of the pictures we took with them:
Hunter, Heklina & Piper at the Castro Theatre.
Lola & myself with the great Manuel Caneri.

Piper & Hunter with Peggy L'Eggs.

Peggy L'Eggs posing with Lola & I.
Piper & Hunter with the manly Manuel Caneri.
Lola & I with the very tall Redwood.
What an extraordinary night we all had! Another fantastic Peaches Christ show has come and gone! But don't you fret my friends! While this was her last show for 2015, her next show will be the totally radical 80's flick TEEN WITCH with lead actress Robyn Lively live in-person! That event will take place on January 8, 2016 at the Castro Theatre! So make sure you come check that show out! And if you are interested in becoming a fan of Peaches Christ, or want to view her upcoming shows, visit her website at To view the Castro Theater's film schedule, visit their website at

Thanks for reading, and enjoy the show!