Category Archives: movie

Top Ten Tuesday! 10 Movies Someone Should Re-Make

Sometimes a modern re-make of a classic movie works (Cape Fear, 1991) and other times, not so much (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, 2005). This list is the ten movies I’d love to see a re-make of.

10. An American Werewolf in London (1981): When I saw this movie about 35 years ago, it was awesome and the special effects were incredible. Now, in comparison with today’s CGI world, it looks cheesy. Great story would be even better if the visual effects were from the 21st century.

9,8,& 7: Back to the Future Trilogy: In 1985 we saw in Back to The Future II what they thought the future would look like in 30 years (2015). Why not re-make the trilogy in current time and project into the past and future from now?

6. Big: A Tom Hanks classic about a kid who wishes to be grown up and gets his wish. (BTW, remember he’s at an amusement park when he makes his wish using a Zoltar machine? I’ve been to that park and I’m still the same size and age. Anyway, I propose that they re-make it, call it Little and have an adult wake up as their childhood self but with their adult mind. This is a no-brainer. Stick Zac Effron in it and call it a hit.

5. E.T.: In my updated version of the remake, E.T. returns 35 years later and finds Drew Barrymore now playing all grown up Gertie but with her own kids who save the alien. Are you kidding me? This idea is gold and it would get Drew out of the horrible Netflix show she’s currently making. (Santa Clarita Diet)

4. The Goonies: No plot twists here. Just remake it with better make up for Sloth.

3. Stand By Me: In the re-make all the original actors, except River Phoenix return to their hometown for the funeral of River’s character. After the funeral the guys decide to embark together on the same journey that bonded them together as kids, including the run on the bridge with a train coming. They learn how much they’ve changed and how much they’re still the same and they fondly remember their friend and that fateful summer. It’s a new Big Chill, kind of.

2. Casablanca: Surprised you with this one, didn’t I? A classic love story so much better than the insipid tripe that has passed for love stories over the last 30 years. I don’t, stick Clooney and J-Lo in this and you’d have a winner.

1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Matthew Broderick returns to play Ferris Bueller in his 50’s taking a fake sick day off of work and trying not to get caught by the man. Again, this stuff writes itself and would still be a blockbuster today.

So, do you like my choices and my proposed updated plot lines? What other movies would you like to see re-made?

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Sharknado 5 is Coming!

Yes, the SyFy network has announced the release date for Sharknado 5. It appears the title will be Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. If you’ve never watched the Sharknado series of movies you’re missing out on a modern classic, tongue in cheek, campy, cheesy version of the disaster movie genre.

In 2013 the first Sharknado took the world by storm and it’s iconic, signature image was that of Fin Shephard (played by Ian Ziering) chainsawing his way out of a shark that had swallowed him and his chainsaw. The fact that a shark movie has a main character named Fin tells you this isn’t a movie that takes itself too seriously.

Here is the published synopsis of Sharknado 5: With much of North America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for the inevitable – a global sharknado. Fin Shepard and his family must put a stop to this disaster before Earth is completely obliterated. That just oozes with so much sharky goodness. I can’t wait.

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In addition to Tara Reid returning as Fin’s wife, part of the awesomeness of this movie series is the cavalcade of guest star cameo’s including Mark Cuban, Jerry Springer, Mark McGrath, Anne Coulter, Al Roker, Frankie Muniz, Vivica Fox, Gary Busey, Cheryl Tiegs, Steve Guttenberg, Carrot Top, and almost every pro wrestler, YouTube and reality TV star you can name. With #Sharknado5 going international you can bet that there will be an international cast of characters. Karl Stefanovic and Lisa Wilkonson of Australia’s The Today Show have already revealed that they have cameo’s in Sharknado 5 as have Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins, Kate Garraway, and Laura Tobin. British Olympic swimmer Tom Daley is also appearing in Sharknado 5.

Also, I have a special affinity for the movie series because two years ago #Sharknado actor and theme song musician Robbie Rist was interviewed here on #ThePhilFactor. I can’t make any promises, but I’m going to try to land an interview with someone else from the movie. Consider yourself on notice and clear your calendar for the evening of August 6th! Stay tuned!

Have a great Sharkday Sunday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! The Ten Best Movie Sequels Ever

With the recent debut of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. II and the return of the Alien movie franchise in ten days, I thought I’d explore sequels. Personally, I rarely like sequels. If you disagree with my list of the best sequels, please feel free to add your opinion in the comments, but if you want to add one to the list, say which one you’d take off the list.

10. Men in Black III: For the rest of this list I averaged the rankings of several websites and surveys, but this choice was all mine. If you enjoyed the first Men in Black movie, watch part two and then this one, MIB3. The last chapter in the trilogy ties everything together brilliantly with heart and humor.

9. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Like I said, from here on this list is an average from several sites. I don’t see this one ranking as an all timer. Sure, who doesn’t love Ricardo Montalban and seeing Spock buy the farm? But a top ten sequel? And seriously, how old were the people that ranked this movie this high?

8. The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers: I think the series as a whole should rank right up there on the list of all movie franchises. Honestly, they all blur together in my head and I can’t remember anything specific from any one of them. If the world says this was the best one, I’ll buy it.

7. The Dark Knight: Propelled by Heath Ledger’s brilliantly creepy Joker this film stands out as the best of the series.

6. Silence of The Lambs: Few people realize that this suspense/thriller is actually a sequel to 1986’s Manhunter that featured another detective on the trail of Hannibal Lecter.

5. Terminator 2: Judgement Day: I saw this. It was a good sequel, but I don’t know if it was top 5 all time. What do you think?

4. Aliens: Number two in the Alien series back when Sigourney Weaver was still kicking Alien ass.

3. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: In the first movie Princess Leia kisses her brother. This movie she kisses Han Solo. She was kind of an intergalactic slut don’t you think? Still everyone loves this because Luke got his hand cut off.

2. Toy Story 2: As good as the first, but for my money, I’d include Toy Story 3 in place of this. It’s hilarious.

1. The Godfather Part II: To be honest, I’ve never watched a Godfather movie from start to finish. I’m just not into blood and murder. I’m more of a comedy kind of guy. I do however know all the classic lines.

So, what movies would you put in your top ten sequels list, and which ones on this list would you take out?

Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

The 4th Annual Snap Judgement Oscar Awards!

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Tomorrow all the Hollywood types, that have yet to invite me into their exclusive club, get together in L.A. to pat themselves on the back. This is my wildly popular annual feature where I , without having seen any of the movies, suggest who should win all the major Academy Awards, otherwise known as The Oscars. Yes, I am able to let go of my grudge and any related animosity towards the Academy for never having given me an Oscar for blogging. I’ll start with the lesser categories, such as Losers  Best Supporting Actor and Actress and work my way up to Best Picture.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role: The nominees are: Mahershala Ali in Moonlight, Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water, Lucas Hedges in Manchester by The Sea, and Michael Shannon in Nocturnal Animals. Jeff Bridges and Lucas Hedges are both out because their last names are the plural of an inanimate object. Michael Shannon is out because his name is actually two first names and one of them is a girl. The winner is, drumroll please, Mahershala Ali because he might be the son or grandson of Muhammed Ali, who could probably still beat me up if I don’t choose his grandson.

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Best Actress in a Supporting Roll: The nominees are: Viola Davis in Fences,  Naomi Harris in Moonlight, Nicole Kidman in Lion, Octavia Spencer in Hidden Fences, Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea. My first instinct was to go with Nicole Kidman because she’s really attractive, but the fact that her hubby, Keith Urban always looks like his hair hasn’t been washed in months ruled her out. Next up was Octavia Spencer who almost won my Snap Judgement Oscar Award because Octavia sounds like a villain from a James Bond movie. I didn’t give Naomi Harris a single thought. Michelle Williams almost won because I first thought she was actress Kimberly Williams who is married to Brad Paisley. Drumroll please, the winner is Viola Davis, but in an upset, it’s not for her role in Fences but for her brilliant work as bad ass boss Amanda Waller in the Marvel comics Suicide Squad movie.

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Best Actor in a Leading Role: The nominees are: Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling in La La Land, Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic, Denzel Washington in Fences, Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea. I didn’t see Manchester, but Casey Affleck is ruled out because of that picture above. Who wants to see a movie featuring the less bad Affleck brother moping on a beach? Ugh. No thanks. Andrew Garfield got consideration due to his previous work as Spiderman, but he’s like 40 years old playing a 20 year old in the army. I think he has grandchildren. I didn’t know Ryan Gosling even acted. I thought he was just a stupid internet meme. Denzel? Look Denny, the ladies love you, and that should be enough. In an incredible twist, my Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Actor goes to Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool. Funniest movie of the year.

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Best Actress in a Leading Role: The nominees are: Isabelle Huppert in Elle, Ruth Negga in Loving, Natalie Portman in Jackie, Emma Stone in La La Land, Meryl Streep in Foster Florence Jenkins. Isabelle Huppert and Ruth Negga are both ruled out because I’ve never heard of them or their movies. No offense ladies. I’m sure you’re lovely, but if I haven’t heard of you or your movie then neither is good enough to win. Meryl Streep, sorry. You’ve already won too many awards. You’re too good an actress to win this. Natalie Portman does deserve one for her work as Princess Amidala in one of the Star Wars movies and if there’s any justice in this world she’ll return and replace Carrie Fisher in a gold bikini. That would win an award! The Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Actress goes to Emma Stone, not for La La Land, but for her work in two Spiderman movies and The Rocker, co-starring Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute from The Office.)

Here’s the big one…

Best Picture nominees are: Manchester by the Sea, La La Land, Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Lion, and Moonlight. Lion and Moonlight are out because the titles are too short and unmemorable. If they put them together and made the movie “A Lion in the Moonlight” I would go see that. Separately they just suck. Hacksaw Ridge and Hell or High Water both sound too violent. The world doesn’t need more violence right now. Manchester by the Sea? Puh-leez! Casey Affleck never even went in the Sea when he was in Manchester. The title is a lie. Hidden Figures? No thanks. I want movies about things I can see. La La Land? Nonsense titles are no good, just ask The Police (Da Doo Doo Doo..) and The Beatles (Obli de, Obli da…) . Fences? Enough with the building walls. Denzel Gorbachev Washington, “take down that wall”. The 2017 winner of The Snap Judgement Oscar Award for Best Picture is Arrival because it stars the adorable Amy Adams who played the girlfriend of Jim Halpert for a season on The Office.

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Feel free to share on social media! Have a great weekend! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! The Ten Best TV & Movie Lawyers

The courtroom scene is a staple of so many TV shows and movies, but who are the best fictional lawyers ever? Here are my Top Ten:

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Andrew Beckett: Played by Tom Hanks in the movie Philadelphia. Whatever Tom Hanks plays, he’s in the top ten.

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Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. He couldn’t handle the truth.

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Vincent Gambini: Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny. “The two yutes…” Maybe the funniest fictional lawyer ever.

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Harvey Specter: Played by Gabriel Macht in Suits. If you were to build a lawyer in a laboratory, this is what he’d look like.

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Denny Crane: William Shatner in Boston Legal. I always loved the end of each episode when he and James Spader’s character sat on the balcony drinking scotch, smoking cigars and talking about life.

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Saul Goodman: Played by Bob Odenkirk, he got Walter White out of trouble in Breaking Bad.

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Jackie Chiles: Play by Phil Morris, he was the funny Seinfeld parody of O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran.

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Jack McCoy: Played by Sam Waterston on Law & Order for 17 seasons. If I ever have to go to court I want him as my lawyer.

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Fred Gailey: Played by Peter Lind Hayes in the 1959 movie Miracle on 34th St. I contend that the courtroom scene where he proves his client to be Santa Clause is the best movie courtroom scene ever.

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Atticus Finch: Played by Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird. He named his kids Scout and Jem decades before celebrities were using stupid names for their kids. He may have been the first and most famous fictional lawyer.

Legal disclaimer: All pictures displayed are property of the networks and studios that produced them. I had to put that so that no real, and less appealing lawyers from the studios won’t drag me into court. I was on a jury once and trials are far more boring than TV and movies make them out to be. Feel free to offer your favorite lawyers in the comments if they’re not on my list. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Top Ten Tuesday! The Ten Best Christmas Movies EVER!

Every holiday season I post this list and it evolves based on readers suggestions and new movies that come out. If you have favorites that didn’t make the list please add them in the comments section and maybe you’ll influence next years list.

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10. Love Actually: (2003) This is the best Christmas movie there is about stodgy British people trying to get it on, but it’s a favorite with the ladies, so it made the list. Around the holidays the ladies get what the ladies want.

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9. Scrooged: (1988) A modern re-telling of the Charles Dickens classic starring Bill Murray. I think that even Dickens would agree that this is way better than the original.

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8. Die Hard: Yes, Die Hard is a Christmas movie. If the phrase Yippee Ki Yay M-F-er doesn’t make you think about Christmas, then I’m not sure we can be friends. And if Bruce Willis killing Professor Snape doesn’t make you want to sing Christmas carols, then you’re just not American.

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7. The Santa Clause: This 2004 movie starring Tim Allen screamed instant classic the first time I saw it. Also, any movie that includes Judge Reinhold is a must watch.

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6. The Nightmare Before Christmas: (1993) To be honest, which I always am of course, I’ve never seen this, but so many people talk about it, so I added it to the list. Is it good enough that I should make time to watch it this year?

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5. The Polar Express: (2004) Tom Hanks is a better actor even as cartoon character.

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4. Elf: (2003) Starring Will Farrell, this is the most quotable of all holiday movies. “I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.” or “Buddy the Elf. What’s your favorite color?”

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3. Miracle on 34th Street: (1947) I’ve never watched the crappy newer color version and I don’t plan to. I’ve loved this one since I was a kid, especially the brilliant court scene when Santa’s lawyer wins the case by having the postmen bring in the letters to Santa. Officially, that was the last time the post office delivered anything on time for the holidays.

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2. A Christmas Story: (1983) It is right and just that TBS plays this movie for 24 hours straight every year.

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1. It’s a Wonderful Life: (1946) Yes, I’m an old sentimental fool. I still love it everytime when Mary is hidden in the bush and has lost her robe and George says, “Now this is a very interesting situation.” Who doesn’t wonder where the movie might have gone had his friends not pulled up in the car at that moment. Bow bow chicka chicka… Also it’s pretty cool to me that the town of Bedford Falls is based on a small town in upstate New York that I drive through all the time.

Ok, that’s my list. What do you agree with or better yet, disagree with? What movies would you put on the list?  Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

Throwback Thursday! 6 Questions with Sharknado/TMNT/Brady Bunch Star Robbie Rist

This is maybe my favorite interview ever. We e-mailed back and forth for a week. He couldn’t have been nicer.

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For my readers who don’t know Robbie’s name off the top of your head, you no doubt have seen or heard him in something. Over the last forty years Robbie has been quietly woven into the fabric of American pop culture like few others. If you haven’t seen him in a movie or TV show, you’ve probably heard his voice as a cartoon character dating back to his work as Michelangelo for the 80’s cartoon and 1990 movie, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or the Final Fantasy X video game or more recently as Stuffy for the Disney channel’s Doc McStuffins.  He’s also appeared in too many shows and movies for me to list here.  Even better though, he has an awesome rock band, The Ballzy Tommorow! What gave me the idea to contact him for the interview was when it occurred to me recently that he has been part of two of the most iconic pop culture phenomena of my lifetime, The Brady Bunch, and Sharknado.

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Phil: Robbie, welcome to The Phil Factor and thank you for taking a few minutes for my readers. When you got the part as the bus driver in Sharknado, what did you expect would be the public reaction to the movie?
Robbie: Well, I had heard about the poster for the movie from a friend who had gone to the American Film Market here in Santa Monica (The AFM is like a micro Cannes. People try to sell films there) and both of us being genre fans, we kinda lost our minds at the thought of it. I have said that the title of Sharknado says more in three syllables than A Trip To Bountiful does in 6. Then I found out my friend Anthony C. Ferrante was offered it. Anthony and I were working on music for another of his films when he told me he was offered it and I told him, “I don’t know why or how, but I really think you should do this movie. Something about it feels…….like something….”. So, I guess I thought the response would be pretty great, considering the way people reacted to the name. I wasn’t expecting Twitter to explode over it…..

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Phil: You obviously were absolutely right. The name caught my eye and ear and I decided, good or bad, I had to see it. Doing music for movie soundtracks isn’t your only musical outlet. Could you tell us about your band? What kind of music do you play? What has been your best gig?

Robbie: Well, we have gone through a name change after losing an original member (Pandora’s bassist/drummer Karen Basset) so now we call ourselves Ballzy Tomorrow! As far as style, I have pretty much been doing the same kind of pop/country/psych thing for decades. It’s that kind of power pop music no one likes but I get a kick out of it. Best gig ever was playing The Rally in The Alley in Buffalo NY in the 80s. It was, like 20,000 people. Played with Spirit. Fun day.

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Phil: Aww,  it’s too bad I didn’t know about it. At the time I lived about ninety miles east of Buffalo and could have come out to see your band. If Ballzy Tomorrow, The Mockers, or the band you produce every come out East, let me know. Robbie, You’ve had a very diverse career. What’s your favorite thing you’ve done?

Robbie: Tough to say. I just like to make stuff. I mean, I am super proud to have been a part of so many things that hit the zeitgeist super hard like The Brady Bunch and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. But I think I am most proud of Doc McStuffins. Apparently it is set to cause a spike ion the amount of young women (specifically African American young women) who go into studying the sciences, especially medicine. Considering that almost every cartoon on the planet, McStuffins included, is in existence to primarily sell toys, I would call this a solid fight from the inside victory.

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Phil: When Sharknado just blew up and became this huge thing, did anything changed for you?

Robbie: Well, not as far as my bank account goes, but some really great stuff happened like…..I had never had one of my songs re-mixed before.

Also, some young people did a vocalese version of the theme (which I couldn’t find). So, did I get more work out of it? Not really. But sometimes art is its own reward. Some people really reacted favorably to it.

Phil: The Brady Bunch and Cousin Oliver. How do you feel about people bringing that up constantly?

Robbie: Great! Hey. It’s on the resume. I respect the right of somebody to not want to be bothered but I don’t get that considering most people become performers to get attention.

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Phil: We know what you’ve done and what you’re doing. What’s coming up for you in television or movies? Where and when is your band playing next?

Robbie: The band is actually two bands. We do songs that we write but we also do a weekly half 70’s tribute band/ half live band karaoke thing at a restaurant out in Moorpark California called Red Ball’s Rock and Roll Pizza. Happens every Friday. It’s pretty out of control. The original band plays a once a month residency at Canter’s Kibitz Room in Los Angeles.

I just finished three songs for the Sharknado 3 soundtrack!

Phil: Yes, you heard him right folks, if you haven’t followed my Twitter or Instagram, there will be a Sharknado 3 this summer! So, besides creating awesome music for awesome movies, what else?

Robbie: I have also been doing some comedy writing and performing with an artist out here named Lisa Orkin. She has a website called HonestlyLisa.com that is a comedic relationship thing. Every week we do these little minute long audio bits based on her real dating life. She’s pretty much a genius.

I also have a (what we hope is) comedic talk podcast called The Spoon which can be found at www.thespoonradio.com.

I’m gonna be producing a band from Barcelona in a couple of months called Suzy & Los Quattro. This will be my third go around with them. I’m also gonna be on an acoustic tour of Spain in October with my friend Seth Gordon from The Mockers

(Hey folks, don’t worry, The Mockers and Suzy & Los Quattro will be my next two Music Monday features ~Phil)

Robbie: As far as the acting side, I just won the gig as Mondo Gecko in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. Doc McStuffins is going into its last year so…….I have no idea what is gonna come next. It seems to always be something…..I guess I can always go back to college…….

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Phil: Awesome! Congrats on the Mondo Gecko role and congrats on the continued success of all your music ventures. Thank you again for taking the time you did. In the future, anything you’re working on has a home on #ThePhilFactor. If you want to follow Robbie on social media you can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can also support Robbie by downloading the Sharknado soundtrack.

Have a great Thursday! ~Phil