Rave: The Dark Knight Rises

Who doesn’t love Batman? Whether you’re an Adam West aficionado, a fan of the classic DC comic books or secretly think Clooney was awesome (but then… who are you?), there seems to be a Batman for everyone. 


We were lucky, lucky, lucky to get a few passes to check out the advance screening last week. Instead of telling you straight up that we loved it, we thought it would be fun to bring back the ‘he said/she said’ style of film review. This time, Matt and Debra share their thoughts about the film. Enjoy! 



On Christian Bale:

She said: Sometimes I have a hard time getting over the whole
viral incident where you were a
complete nut job, but I think all is forgiven, Mr. Bale. You are my favourite
as Batman and I want you to win over the bad guys sooooo badly that I silently
cheered in my seat numerous times. I’d add a little warmth to your home, but
you’re a hot superhero and I like all your toys.

He said: Christian Bale and Christopher Nolan certainly work well together and definitely have figured each other out since making Batman Begins and The Prestige.
I’m not sure whose fault it is for the “bat voice”, but I hope that’s not what people condemn Bale or Nolan or this film (please note, I am referring to this as a film and not a movie. There’s a difference) for once they made that (mistake) in the first film it would be weird for him to drop it.
Bale is great as Wayne and as Batman, but I really feel more people will come away talking about Joseph Gordon-Levitt who really “bat” his role out of the park.


On Anne Hathaway:
She said: Babe. Babe. Babe. Anne Hathaway = Catwoman. Who
knew? You are so incredibly sexy and strong and you look so good doing it in
every, single, frame. The fact that you did your own stunts made me your
biggest fan, even if I really didn’t enjoy you hosting the Oscars. And your red
lipstick was perfect.

He said: When I heard that Anne Hathaway would be playing Selina Kyle (note – she’s never actually called Catwoman) I got really excited. I’ve always been a fan of her as an actor and an admirer of her beauty and both didn’t disappoint. She actually was purrfect. (don’t worry, I’m rolling my eyes at myself).


Special effects:
She said: I was blown away by the opening scene and then I
just kept being blown away again and again. Seeing this film in Imax is a must.

He said: This really did feel like a dramatic film (there’s that word again) with action thrown into it, instead of the other way around. When I read that back it may sound like it might be light on the gadgets and brawling, and it most definitely is not. It’s hard to really get into the SFX without spoiling the film, but let me just say that my mouth was agape for the whole film, especially the opening and closing sequences.


Romance:
She said: I’m told that the romance(s) are from the original
story – not quite sticking to the bible, but if you’re a comic book fan, no
surprises here.
  Nothing super sexy, but
it’s not what I came for.

He said: As with all good dramas, there definitely are some birds trying to hang with the Bat in this flick. But you know what they say about two birds….


Story & Script:
She said: I am not a comic book fan, so I just enjoy the
story for what it is. There were twists and turns and incredible acting. The
cast is crazy good: Marion Cotillard, Tom Hardy, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt… And all of those folks are from Inception, as well. Interesting,
n’est pas?
I found the villain, Bain (Tom Hardy), to be
absolutely terrifying and the anarchy that entails in Gotham to be equally
scary. I couldn’t understand Bain all the time, and he sounded a bit like a
muffled Sean Connery to me, but other than that, I couldn’t take my eyes off
him.  The design of that mask is so, so
creepy.
I got lost in the story for three hours (almost – 2
hours and 47 minutes, I believe) and could have watched more. And let me
qualify this by saying that I don’t sit still for three hours very often and I
don’t like having to commit to anything for that long.

He said: Nolan and his bros really handled the gravitas of making such a large film, as well as knowing it will be the last (for this creative team at least). The Burton and Shumacher era movies, were just that…big movies. Their stories were entertaining but they both achieved something comic book-ish. This felt as real as a story could be about a man who saw his parents killed, who was trained in an extreme discipline of martial arts, who decided to don a Kevlar suit shaped like a bat in order to fight for his city. As much as this is a story about Batman, it is also a very human story about trust, fear, friendship and life.

Does it live up to the hype/trailers?
She said: Yes.

He said: The only thing the trailers did for me was excite me that this was coming out, period. I would have to say that it surpassed the feeling any of the trailers hoped to achieve. I will be seeing this again.


Will Batman fans love this?
She said: I think the comic book Batman fans will have some
small issues with the storyline (again, so I’m told), but for those film lovers
who just love a good escape – yes – it is undeniable that you will love this.

He said: Fans of this trilogy will love this. Fans of great action/suspense films will love this. Pure Batman fans are going to have all sorts of issues that I overlooked only because the film is so good otherwise. 
You have to sorta forget what you already know if you know the book(s) and if you don’t know anything you’ll be way better off (though it will be handy to watch with someone who knows something about the other films, at least).

Final thoughts?
She said: My fave in the trilogy, so far. If you like Batman, RUN to
the theatre this weekend.

He said: I was worried about my bladder with the running time being almost 3 hours. But the only reason I came close to peeing my pants at several times throughout the film was because I couldn’t believe I was watching something that attacked me on such an awesome visceral level. 
I will actually get angry at people who tell me they don’t like it.

I am such a nerd.


Go see this film and tell us what you think with the hashtag #batweek: @rockitpromo, @debgee and
@mattyaustin.



All images courtesy of Warner Bros. 

DIY: Milkmaid braid

It’s an exciting day on the fourth floor – the launch of our first-ever video! Starring the lovely Andie and Natalie, they’ll take you through each step of creating an easy milkmaid braid.

What should our next video be about? Tweet us @rockitpromo or comment below to let us know.

Rave: The Right Hand

As mentioned back in August, we were quite excited for The Right Hand to debut this fall. We were fascinated by the offer of a behind-the-scenes look inside the porn industry, not to mention the 12 part series is co-created and directed by the fourth floor’s very own Matt Austin-Sadowski.

Brandon lights up the action, while Porno Dan supervises.

The Right Hand follows Ayr, Ontario-native Brandon MacIntosh as he embarks on his first job after graduating film school. After applying to an ad on Craigslist, MacIntosh finds himself working for Porno Dan. In case his name didn’t give it away, Porno Dan is the CEO of Immoral Productions, an adult film production company specializing in cross-platform XXX videos. We love a fish-out-of-water scenario, and a small town kid entering the notorious world of porn is about as out-of-water as it gets.

Unlikely buddies.
This reality/comedy series premiered this weekend on The Movie Network and Movie Central but the fourth floor was invited for a sneak peek on Thursday evening. While we really enjoyed a glimpse of two future episodes, the highlight of the evening was meeting the stars of the show in the flesh. Porno Dan, Brandon and starlet Jackie Daniels were all in town to celebrate the show’s premiere. We spent a fascinating night chatting about the inner workings of the industry. And boy, we learned a few things, like how fans usually prefer real breasts over fake ones, that a house in Vegas costs just $1000 a month to rent and that the girls who work with Porno Dan do so because they want to – not because they’re forced to. 
This article on The Grid does a fantastic job of summing up the evening’s events. Between our chats with Porno Dan and the scenes we saw, we can assure you that you don’t want to miss any episodes. You may not get to meet the stars of the show in person, but The Right Hand will to fascinate and entertain you just as much.

The Right Hand airs on Fridays and Saturdays on TMN and Movie Central. Check your local listings for airtimes as they change it up a bit from week to week. The first episode will be available on demand as of October 18.

Have any questions or comments for director Austin-Sadowski? Follow him at @mattyaustin.

A holiday message for you


Happy holidays from all of us on the fourth floor! 
Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy and fun holiday season.


xo
Debra and the team

From left to right, top row – Carly, Rachelle, Lara, Christina, Matt, Alana and Abby
Bottom row – Debra, Michelle and Lisa

Meet Our Team: Debra

Debra Goldblatt-Sadowski is our fearless leader, founder and president of rock-it promotions, inc. and Tastemakers. She has appeared as a PR expert on MuchMore Music, eTalk, ET Canada and Global News, and has been interviewed by The Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Toronto Life and many more.

Goldblatt-Sadowski attended Concordia University and graduated with a degree in Creative Writing. She is a published poet, a former performance artist and a produced playwright. She has no formal education in public relations. She founded rock-it promotions at the start of the new millennium in January 2000.
 
She’s known for her friendly and outgoing approach to publicity, stellar networking skills and having the ear of most media members in the city. She’ll rarely turn down an invite to a good party and has been known to throw a few fun shindigs herself.

In addition to being a great head honcho and PR maven, she is a wonderful mom to two-year-old Mila Raven, and happily married to film and television director Matt Austin-Sadowski

Twitter: @debgee


What song gets you out on the dance floor?
Anything from The Stones to Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros to Gaga. Doesn’t take much to get me dancing.

What can’t you leave the house without?
My BlackBerry during the week. My daughter on the weekends.

Best gift you’ve ever received?
Advice from my smart parents.   
My husband.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Us Weekly. Dexter. Gossip Girl. Vodka martinis with three olives. Dark chocolate. Dutch Dreams. And my toes are always painted something pretty. Always. 

What do you love most about living in Toronto?
My family and friends are all here. I love that I can always find something to do. It’s a little bit rock’n’roll, a little bit of country. I also really like that it’s a big city, small town. I am six degrees from almost anybody.

Best part about being a publicist?
I love helping businesses reach new levels of success through media exposure. I love crafting story ideas for journalists. I love to write. I love to talk.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: Apartmenttherapy.com (love the house tours).
Designer: Marc Jacobs.
Store: Holt Renfrew.
Book: Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller; Notes of a Dirty Old Man, Bukowski; and anything by Pablo Neruda and ee cummings.
Snack: Smartfood Popcorn.
Season: Summer.
Sexy: Confidence.
Inspiration: The memory of my mother’s hugs; the sound of my daughter’s laugh.
Drink: Aforementioned vodka martini with three olives, s.v.p.
Motto in two words: Rock it.

Yum, yum: Matt’s Mom’s Zucchini Quiche

We loved Matt’s mom’s banana bread so much that we wanted to share another recipe from her. She immediately responded “yes!” and sent us this lip-smacking quiche. We made it that night, and it turned out very well. Mom’s recipes always do.

She told us, “I love this recipe because it’s fast, and a nice, light meal served with a salad. Enjoy.”

Thanks, Mom!

Matt’s Mom’s Crustless Zucchini Quiche

3 cups (approx.) zucchini cooked, chopped and well drained*
3 eggs (well beaten)
½ cup oil
1 cup Bisquick or pancake mix
¼ cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (optional)
Salt, pepper, chopped fresh parsley and basil to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celsius.

2. Grease and flour bottom of baking dish (round or square, close to 8×8” size).

3. Sprinkle zucchini, onion and garlic on bottom of dish.

4. Mix all other ingredients together in a bowl. Pour over vegetables.

5. Bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until firm.

6. Cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.

*You can also use cooked mushrooms, leeks, chopped spinach or cauliflower, instead of zucchini.

Photo courtesy of  thelocalcook.com

Yum, yum: Matt’s Mom’s Banana Bread

For as long as I can remember, before I meet up with my parents for a birthday, Father’s Day – whatever, my mother always asks me if she can make me something. I always answer the same thing: “If you must, I’d love your banana bread.”




This banana bread is epic. Moist and delicious. Wherever I go, if it’s on the menu, I try it. Nothing has stacked up to my mom’s. And now, I share it with you. 


Never knowing the recipe, and being pretty savvy in the kitchen myself, I was a little taken aback when I saw how simple it was to make. I thought there may have been some mystery spice or secret ingredient. To the naked eye, it doesn’t look too special. Obviously, Mom puts a lot of love in it, and isn’t that the best tasting ingredient? (Insert ooohhhs and awwws.)

Matt’s Mom’s Banana Bread

½ cup margarine or butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups ripe mashed bananas
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour. Half whole wheat or spelt can be used
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
1 cup oatmeal
½ chopped walnuts or pecans or 1 cup mini chocolate chips or mixture of both


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celsius. Grease a 9-cup Bundt pan or two small loaf pans.
2. Cream together margarine or butter with sugar. Blend well.
3. Add eggs one at a time, and continue beating.
4. Add vanilla and mashed bananas.
5. Sift dry ingredients together.
6. Gradually mix in sifted dry ingredients, alternating with sour cream.
7. Stir in nuts, chocolate chips and oatmeal. Do not over-mix.
8. Pour into well-greased pan.
9. Bake for 50 minutes or until loaf tests done. You can use a tooth pick by inserting in bread. If it comes out dry, your loaf is done.


Ta da!

PR Tip: In our industry, saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ is utterly important. Nothing shows appreciation better than a freshly baked loaf of banana bread. If you aren’t a baker, send the recipe along with a thank you note next time!