= google8f5ee720693b5c31.html> PhatFlix: 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

REVIEW: "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" -Bookworms & Emo chicks rejoice!

The many elated readers of the best-selling trilogy " GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO" should be stoked to see this faithful cinematic version, directed by David "Fight Club" Fincher, finally released in theaters.

The story centers around a freshly sued Swedish magazine publisher Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) who is commissioned to find the missing grand niece of retired CEO Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer)

Mikael recruits the covert geek squad services of freelance surveillance agent and researcher Lisbeth Salander (a brave performance by Rooney Mara) who is having some problems of her own. She is a ward of the state and her monitary allowance is given to her by a new guardian who sexually abuses her.

Mikael and Lisbeth end up having a sexual relationship and begin to suspect that they have stumbled onto the trail of a serial killer.

Violent and graphic for vanilla audiences waiting for a Jennifer Aniston cameo, this adult drama is all grown up and, apparently, follows the books pretty faithfully (Sorry. I wait for the movie like everyone else).

Fincher brings us another visually handsome film that sounds great, once again showcasing "Social Network" vets cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth and music directors Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.

Ms. Mara's portrayal of the "girl" is a fascinating study of inner struggle, able as she is vulnerable and hell bent on revenge. She brodens the scope of the classic cinematic heroine into a new contemporary style of brainy/bisexual/emo/warrior chic with a touch of punk. It seems as though she has successfully embraced the internal workings of an iconic literary character and channeled it into a riveting display for the camera.

The film moves as does a book (has a pacing, kinda long) and may not be the action shoot-em-up as suggested by the film's trailer. Yet it is well worth the admission $ for fans of the book and those who enjoy a more intense and well-developed film.

Golden Globe Nominations:



The presentation of “The 69th Annual Golden Globe® Awards” is on Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

THE ARTIST: Cast, score shine in new silent movie

It may be hard to imagine a full length, black and white silent movie as being an amazing and refreshing breath of fresh air in the current climate of Holiday popcorn fare.

But this awesome new silent "classic" film is not only a visual homage to the silent screen era, but a creative recognition of the artistic process and it's perilous pitfalls.

The story takes place in Hollywood, 1927.

Red-hot silent movie star George Valentin
(Jean Dujardin) enjoys his success until the arrival of talking pictures threaten to end his career.

George has an accidental photo op with a cute young flapper named Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo).

After he helps her get work on the set as an extra, she gets a big break in the "talkies", captures the nation's heart and catapults to stardom.

The story's villain is George's pride (yes, it has it's own music) that rears it's ugly head, causing George to downward spiral into a dark world of self doubt and bottles of booze.

But he is fortunate to have at his side his trusty limo driver (James Cromwell) and faithful co-star/pet dog (2011 Palm Dog award winner UGGIE) to help him regain his muse and return to the silver screen.

An amazing original score by Ludovic Bource weaves a sonic tapestry of Ragtime, Classical and Jazz into an audible narrative that advances the story at a comfortable pace. This serves as an impressive canvass by which to paint the extraordinary black and white cinematography.

Harnessing inspiration for performance and maintaining a "real world" sense of identity are two of the seldom seen burdens of the artist and, as the film warns, may be rough terrain to navigate for artists unprepared for drastic life changes.

TICKET WORTH: Full price. $12.50
RENT THIS MOVIE?: Yes without a doubt.
BUY THE DVD?: Yes. A soon as it's released.


Monday, August 8, 2011

ON SET PHOTOS: "Total Recall" remake-now shooting in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / July 27, 2011

Total Recall Remake TorontoAlthough the new monster-budget remake of 1990's Total Recall has been filming in Toronto for almost two months, thus far the action has been mostly confined to the sound stage at Pinewood Studios on Commissioners Street in the Port Lands. Earlier this week, however, the production got a whole lot more public. With stars Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel in tow, film crews descended on Lake Shore Avenue East to shoot one of what will likely be a number of chase scenes in the $200 million movie, the most expensive to be shot in Toronto to date.

I'm not one to gawk at celebrities, but I've always been fascinated by behind-the-scenes shots of film productions, particularly those which promise to feature gratuitous special effects. While I have little difficulty suspending disbelief in the theatre, it remains intriguing to see what the filmmakers and editors have to work with, even if it's invariably less exciting than the final product.

The stretch of Lake Shore where the filming took place is back open today, but one suspects this isn't the last time that the Total Recall cast and crew make an appearance outside the studio. Check out the photos below, and if you have shots of the production, send them to the blogTO Flickr pool. Lead shot by syfractal.

Total Recall Toronto


Total Recall Filming

Photo by dtstuff9


Total Recall Remake Torontodtstuff9


Total Recall Remake Toronto

Photo by Max Quijano

Friday, August 5, 2011

DARK KNIGHT RISES: First Peek...Anne Hathaway as CATWOMAN

The Spielberg Curriculium: 206 movies u must see in order to work with him.

How Many of The Movies On This Arbitrary List of 206 Have You Seen?

Reposted from www.filmschoolrejects.com
By Cole Abaius on August 1, 2011 | Comments (5)

As do many things on the internet, this completely official-looking Google Document titled “Spielberg’s Curriculum” is working its way around twitter and RSS feeds like a beautiful virus.

It originated in some dark corner of the planet, but it was first written about by screenwriter Scott Myers over at Go Into the Story. It was sent to him by guest writer for the site/guy hustling hard to work in the business, Nate Winslow (who is sadly not Carl Winslow’s son). It was apparently sent to Nate by “someone” over twitter.

The point? It’s not exactly verified that this is the list that Spielberg uses to cut the wheat from the chaff (considering that he also famously shows people movies while working on movies with them).

But, all of that curriculum nonsense is just a hook for what turns out to be a phenomenal list of movies from 12 Angry Men to The Young Lions (alphabetically, not chronologically).

Check out that last link and see how many you’ve seen (my number was a paltry 121), and you can always brush up on older films by reading Old Ass Movies where we’ve covered a handful of the films on this thing.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

REVIEW-Captian America; The 1st Avenger

Viewing MARVEL STUDIO's latest installment in the "Avengers" saga made me feel good about the impending franchise and well assured that Hollywood understands the importence of making better movies.

Hopefully, the star-studded ensemble in "The Avengers" (coming May 2012) will be well worth the wait, if "Captian America" is any indication of MARVEL's continued excellence in scriptwriting, acting, editing and production design.

The film's premise centers on (our hero) Steve Rogers (played by CHRIS EVANS ; Fantastic Four) a puny-yet-determined Military enlistee who is deemed unfit for service.

After being noticed by a compassionate U.S. Scientist (played with heart by cameo Stanley Tucci), our man Steve volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America, a superhero dedicated to defending America's ideals.

What better actor to play the diabolical villian RED SKULL than our favorite MATRIX bad guy HUGO WEAVING (V for Vendetta) who potrays a disfigured Nazi official-gone-rouge, hellbent on harnessing the power of ODIN (Thor's father, for those of you playing at home) which is embedded in a desert artifact that crashed on earth years before.

Expect huge explosions, great car chases, amazing stunts and above average special effects. Also expect a bit of corny chiches and obvious comedic relief - but hey, it's summer, it's MARVEL and the word 'America" is in the title. Shut up and chew ya twizzlers.

Not only was it good to see Hugo Weaving chizel his mark in the movie villian's hall of fame (with Jack Nicholson's "Joker", James Earl Jone's "Darth Vader" and Terrence Stamp's "General Zod") but it was also refreshing to see Chris Evans in a role where he doesn't play a smarmy playboy with a cocky attitude.

I wonder if he begged for that role as a way to further develop his personal best as an actor. Maybe it fell in his lap. Either way, you can see him working from a different performance energy center, and that's a good thing.

Best wishes to MARK RUFFALO (The kids are alright, Shutter Island, Date Night) as he takes over the role of BRUCE BANNER in the Avangers movie. EDWARD NORTON is no longer huge and green.

Directed by popcorn vet JOE JOHNSTON ( Jumanji, Hildago, Jurrassic park 3) this film has the feel of a classic movie like "Raiders" with breakneack action sequences and slick production design. The costumes and shots of New York in the 40's were top-notch. Great use of REAL 3d tech from the first frame to the last. Worth the admission price.

TICKET WORTH: Full price (2D and 3D)
RENT THIS MOVIE?: Hellz yeah! Watch it with the kids.
BUY THE DVD?: Hellz yeah. Blue-ray, 3D - all the bells and whistles.


Monday, June 6, 2011

X-MEN: First Class- Prequel 101

X-Men: First Class takes a cue out of the franchise handbook like STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE and BATMAN BEGINS and returns to the story's beginning; the formation of the X-Men and how the future Proffesor X and Magneto met.

The movie gets crazy dark & dramatic (which is why I believe it's being compared to Chris Nolan's "DARK KNIGHT" film) with minimal comedic dialogue and one cameo. Great effects and top-notch art direction (especially costumes; it's a period piece) made this a slick, glossy X-men film, unlike the dull, pathetic X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE that will probably go down in history as the worst MARVEL spinoff ever, next to (ex-lovers) ELECTRA & DAREDEVIL.

Talk about your super cast: Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto), Dr. Moira MacTaggert (Rose Byrne), Beast (Nicholas Hoult), Banshee (Caleb Landry Jones), Darwin (Edi Cathegi), Azazel (Jason Flemyng), Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), Sebastian Shaw (Kevin Bacon), Emma Frost (January Jones), Angel (Zoe Kravitz), Havok (Lucas Till), and Riptide (Alex Gonzalez).

Kevin Bacon does an ok job as laid-back villain Sebastian Shaw but the acting kudos mostly go to the awesome chemistry between James McAvoy & Erik Lehnsherr for their portrayal of Prof. X & Magneto's alliance and later separation of ideals. Notable mention go to Nicholas Hoult's Beast and Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique. played with charm & honesty.

This is not your average, teeny-bopper, popcorn flick full of fart jokes & homoerotic pranks. This well-groomed MARVEL epic is rife with the American politics of the 1960's; intercut with vintage TV footage of the cuban missile crisis (ask your parents, K?). I rather enjoyed the blending of historical fact and comic book fiction history as in the opening title sequence of Zack Snyder's WATCHMEN (which coincidentally was released early in 2009 to make way for other blockbusters like "STAR TREK" & "UP").

One thing I didn't like was how television commercials give visual spoilers of the finale action sequences. It makes me feel like I've seen the film already. It just sucks. Even so, I still thought it was badass. Hope you like it.

Running time: 2 Hours, 12 Minutes.

MOVIE WORTH: Full price
RENTAL? : Hell yes!
BUY THE DVD? Hell yes again!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


"Sucker Punch", the latest film by writer-director Zack Snyder ("300", "Watchmen") and is his first film that's based on his own source material.

This kick-ass popcorn epic is an action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl (Emily Browning) whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality.

Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what’s real and what is imaginary.

Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls—the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (a surprisingly good Vanessa Hudgens), the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung) and the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish)—to band together and try to escape their terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue (Oscar Isaac), Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino) and the High Roller (Jon Hamm).

The girls engage in Live-action-Anime style warfare against everything from giant samurais to zombie Nazi soldiers,. Forget NEO's classic "Guns...lots of guns" line. These pixie fem fatles cut down armies of hostiles with a virtual weapons arsenal.

Together, with the help of a Wise Man (Scott Glenn), they flip wigs and snap necks all the way to freedom...or do they?

If not for anything else, go to hear the awesome soundtrack featuring bad ass electronica remixes of ANNIE LENNOX, BJORK and others. See this in theaters NOW. It's worth it.


Ticket WORTH: FULL PRICE. Just pay it.

Rental?: Oh hell yeah.

BUY THE DVD?: Oh hell yeah. With all the bells & whistles.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Academy Awards 2011...what a classy gig!

James Franco and Ann Hathaway score a perfect 10 as presenters for the 2011 Academy Awards, filled with moments that are sure to make viral video history and give the event a much needed makeover.

Among the highlights:

  • Kirk Douglas (Michael's father- for all you newbies) presented the "PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE" to Melissa Leo (Treme) for her betrayal as the Boston mother/manager of an up-and-coming boxer in "The Fighter". After a hilarious intro by Mr. Douglas (age 94), a visibly shocked Ms. Leo accepted the award, then dropped the "F"-bomb. Ah...good times.

  • After a musical number by a tuxedo-wearing Anne Hathaway, co-host James Franco came on stage in drag, sporting a red strapless gown and blonde wig. “The weird thing is..." said Franco, "... I just got a text message from Charlie Sheen.”

  • A video mash-up of Bob Hope's first Oscar monologue was projected on a screen behind a podium, as the classic comedian's video image seem to present the "ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS" nominees. The award was presented to the team who worked on INCEPTION by the ever-charismatic JUDE LAW and ROBERT DOWNEY JR. .


"Black Swan"(Fox Searchlight)
"The Fighter"(Paramount)
"Inception"(Warner Bros.)
"The Kids Are All Right"(Focus Features)
"The King’s Speech"(The Weinstein Company)
"127 Hours"(Fox Searchlight)
"The Social Network"(Sony Pictures Releasing)
"Toy Story 3"(Walt Disney)
"True Grit"(Paramount)
"Winter’s Bone"(Roadside Attractions)

"Black Swan"(Fox Searchlight), Darren Aronofsky
"The Fighter"(Paramount), David O. Russell
"The King’s Speech" (The Weinstein Company), Tom Hooper
"The Social Network"(Sony Pictures Releasing), David Fincher
"True Grit"(Paramount), Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

Javier Bardem in "Biutiful" (Roadside Attractions)
Jeff Bridges in "True Grit" (Paramount)
Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network" (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Colin Firth in "The King’s Speech" (The Weinstein Company)
James Franco in "127 Hours" (Fox Searchlight)

Christian Bale in "The Fighter" (Paramount)
John Hawkes in "Winter’s Bone" (Roadside Attractions)
Jeremy Renner in "The Town" (Warner Bros.)
Mark Ruffalo in "The Kids Are All Right" (Focus Features)
Geoffrey Rush in "The King’s Speech" (The Weinstein Company)

Annette Bening in "The Kids Are All Right" (Focus Features)
Nicole Kidman in "Rabbit Hole" (Lionsgate)
Jennifer Lawrence in "Winter’s Bone" (Roadside Attractions)
Natalie Portman in "Black Swan" (Fox Searchlight)
Michelle Williams in "Blue Valentine" (The Weinstein Company)

Amy Adams in "The Fighter" (Paramount)
Helena Bonham Carter in "The King’s Speech" (The Weinstein Company)
Melissa Leo in "The Fighter" (Paramount)
Hailee Steinfeld in "True Grit"(Paramount)
Jacki Weaver in "Animal Kingdom" (Sony Pictures Classics)

"How to Train Your Dragon"(Paramount), Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois
"The Illusionist"(Sony Pictures Classics), Sylvain Chomet
"Toy Story 3" (Walt Disney), Lee Unkrich

"Alice in Wonderland"(Walt Disney), Production Design: Robert Stromberg, Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1"(Warner Bros.), Production Design: Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephenie McMillan
"Inception" (Warner Bros.), Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas, Set Decoration: Larry Dias and Doug Mowat
"The King’s Speech" (The Weinstein Company), Production Design: Eve Stewart, Set Decoration: Judy Farr
"True Grit" (Paramount), Production Design: Jess Gonchor, Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

"Black Swan" (Fox Searchlight), Matthew Libatique
"Inception" (Warner Bros.), Wally Pfister
"The King’s Speech"(The Weinstein Company), Danny Cohen
"The Social Network"(Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeff Cronenweth
"True Grit"(Paramount), Roger Deakins

"Alice in Wonderland" (Walt Disney), Colleen Atwood
"I Am Love" (Magnolia Pictures), Antonella Cannarozzi
"The King’s Speech" (The Weinstein Company), Jenny Beavan
"The Tempest" (Miramax), Sandy Powell
"True Grit" (Paramount), Mary Zophres

"Exit through the Gift Shop" (Producers Distribution Agency), A Paranoid Pictures Production, Banksy and Jaimie D’Cruz
"Gasland", A Gasland Production, Josh Fox and Trish Adlesic
"Inside Job" (Sony Pictures Classics), A Representational Pictures Production, Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs
"Restrepo" (National Geographic Entertainment), An Outpost Films Production, Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger
"Waste Land"(Arthouse Films), An Almega Projects Production, Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

"Killing in the Name", A Moxie Firecracker Films Production
"Poster Girl", A Portrayal Films Production, Nominees to be determined
"Strangers No More", A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production, Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
"Sun Come Up", A Sun Come Up Production, Jennifer Redfearn and Tim Metzger
"The Warriors of Qiugang", A Thomas Lennon Films Production, Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon

"Black Swan"(Fox Searchlight), Andrew Weisblum
"The Fighter"(Paramount), Pamela Martin
"The King’s Speech"(The Weinstein Company), Tariq Anwar
"127 Hours"(Fox Searchlight), Jon Harris
"The Social Network" (Sony Pictures Releasing), Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter

"Biutiful"(Roadside Attractions), A Menage Atroz, Mod Producciones and Ikiru Films Production, Mexico
"Dogtooth"(Kino International), A Boo Production, Greece
"In a Better World"(Sony Pictures Classics), A Zentropa Production, Denmark
"Incendies"(Sony Pictures Classics), A Micro-Scope Production, Canada
"Outside the Law (Hors-la-loi)"(Cohen Media Group), A Tassili Films Production, Algeria

"Barney's Version' (Sony Pictures Classics), Adrien Morot
"The Way Back"(Newmarket Films in association with Wrekin Hill Entertainment and Image Entertainment), Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng "The Wolfman"(Universal), Rick Baker and Dave Elsey

"How to Train Your Dragon"(Paramount), John Powell
"Inception"(Warner Bros.), Hans Zimmer
"The King’s Speech"(The Weinstein Company), Alexandre Desplat
"127 Hours" (Fox Searchlight), A.R. Rahman
"The Social Network"(Sony Pictures Releasing), Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

"Coming Home" from "Country Strong" (Sony Pictures Releasing (Screen Gems)), Music and Lyric by Tom Douglas, Troy Verges and Hillary Lindsey
"I See the Light" from "Tangled" (Walt Disney), Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Glenn Slater
"If I Rise" from "127 Hours" (Fox Searchlight), Music by A.R. Rahman, Lyric by Dido and Rollo Armstrong
"We Belong Together" from "Toy Story 3" (Walt Disney), Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

"Day & Night" (Walt Disney), A Pixar Animation Studios Production, Teddy Newton
"The Gruffalo", A Magic Light Pictures Production, Jakob Schuh and Max Lang
"Let’s Pollute", A Geefwee Boedoe Production, Geefwee Boedoe
"The Lost Thing", (Nick Batzias for Madman Entertainment), A Passion Pictures Australia Production, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann
"Madagascar, carnet de voyage (Madagascar, a Journey Diary)", A Sacrebleu Production, Bastien Dubois

"The Confession" (National Film and Television School), A National Film and Television School Production, Tanel Toom
"The Crush"(Network Ireland Television), A Purdy Pictures Production, Michael Creagh
"God of Love", A Luke Matheny Production, Luke Matheny
"Na Wewe"(Premium Films), A CUT! Production, Ivan Goldschmidt
"Wish 143", A Swing and Shift Films/Union Pictures Production, Ian Barnes and Samantha Waite

"Inception" (Warner Bros.),Richard King "Toy Story 3"(Walt Disney), Tom Myers and Michael Silvers "Tron: Legacy"(Walt Disney), Gwendolyn Yates Whittle and Addison Teague "True Grit"(Paramount), Skip Lievsay and Craig Berkey "Unstoppable" (20th Century Fox), Mark P. Stoeckinger

"Inception" (Warner Bros.), Lora Hirschberg, Gary A. Rizzo and Ed Novick
"The King’s Speech"(The Weinstein Company), Paul Hamblin, Martin Jensen and John Midgley
"Salt"(Sony Pictures Releasing), Jeffrey J. Haboush, Greg P. Russell, Scott Millan and William Sarokin
"The Social Network"(Sony Pictures Releasing), Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick and Mark Weingarten
"True Grit" (Paramount), Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter F. Kurland

"Alice in Wonderland"(Walt Disney), Ken Ralston, David Schaub, Carey Villegas and Sean Phillips
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1"(Warner Bros.), Tim Burke, John Richardson, Christian Manz and Nicolas Aithadi
"Hereafter" (Warner Bros.), Michael Owens, Bryan Grill, Stephan Trojanski and Joe Farrell
"Inception" (Warner Bros.), Paul Franklin, Chris Corbould, Andrew Lockley and Peter Bebb
"Iron Man 2" (Paramount and Marvel Entertainment, Distributed by Paramount), Janek Sirrs, Ben Snow, Ged Wright and Daniel Sudick

"127 Hours" (Fox Searchlight), Screenplay by Danny Boyle & Simon Beaufoy
"The Social Network" (Sony Pictures Releasing), Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
"Toy Story 3"(Walt Disney), Screenplay by Michael Arndt, Story by John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich
"True Grit" (Paramount), Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
"Winter’s Bone"(Roadside Attractions), Adapted for the screen by Debra Granik & Anne Rosellini

"Another Year"(Sony Pictures Classics), Written by Mike Leigh
"The Fighter"(Paramount), Screenplay by Scott Silver and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson, Story by Keith Dorrington & Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
"Inception"(Warner Bros.), Written by Christopher Nolan
"The Kids Are All Right"(Focus Features), Written by Lisa Cholodenko & Stuart Blumberg
"The King’s Speech"(The Weinstein Company), Screenplay by David Seidler