GIVEAWAY win passes to screen ‘Twenty Feet From Stardom’ Philly, PA

Twenty Feet From Stardom

Hey there MMT family!  I am very excited to announce that MusicMoviesThoughts has partnered with Allied-THA to giveaway passes for the hit film Twenty Feet From Stardom, which tells the stories of several well-known (& some maybe not as known) background vocalists who’ve complemented the likes of  Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, Luther Vandross, and Michael Jackson just to name a few.

I am so stoked about this film because it has two of my favorite female singers: Lisa Fischer and Judith Hill.  Lisa stole my heart as a background vocalist for the late Luther Vandross and when she released her solo effort, which included the hits “How Can I Ease the Pain” and “WildFlower,” I became a forever fan.  More recently, I fell head over heels in fandom with Judith Hill, who was hand-picked by the King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson, for what was to be his comeback tour.  Judith recently appeared on the current season of The Voice, and though she didn’t make it to the finale I believe there are great things in her future.

“Twenty Feet From Stardom” will screen here in Philadelphia on Monday, June 24th, and will open locally on Friday, June 28.  For your chance to win an admit two pass you must: 1) make sure you are signed up to follow this blog (see top right of page) and 2) send an email with your full name to thinkmusicmovies@aol.com with the subject line “Twenty Feet.”  Winners will be selected and notified by Friday, June 21.

You can read the synopsis and check out the trailer below, and go to the official website for additional info at www.twentyfeetfromstardom.com.

Good luck!  Until next thought family, Thomasena

TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM synopsis

Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. In his compelling new film TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM, award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others.  

These gifted artists span a range of styles, genres and eras of popular music, but each has a uniquely fascinating and personal story to share of life spent in the shadows of superstardom.    Along with rare archival footage and a peerless soundtrack, TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM boasts intimate interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting to name just a few.  However, these world-famous figures take a backseat to the diverse array of backup singers whose lives and stories take center stage in the film.

A Quick Review of The Purge & chat with producer Jason Blum

The Purge

Well MMT family, I have to confess that I am a “reformed” horror movie fan.  I was recently asked to explain this term by none other than Paranormal Activity franchise, history making, mega producer Jason Blum, whose recent film The Purge opens in theaters nationwide today.  I told Jason that “reformed” meant I was a huge horror fan as a kid growing up; but at my current age (I will be fabulously 40 in August thank you very much) and considering I only have the two furry gangstas (aka my cats) as my current home companions, “reformed” also translates to a more polite sounding version of CHICKEN!  I don’t do the demonic spirit movies anymore, although I admitted that those Paranormal Activity films looked like a great scare and Sinister looked really intriguing. But, I can still handle a good thriller (hence my current fascination with the Fox hit The Following and my fanaticism with CBS’ Criminal Minds).  So, I was really excited when I saw the trailer for The Purge, which is more speculative thriller than horror, although Jason prefers to describe it as a horror-thriller.

At the heart of The Purge stands the question: what would you do if one night a year you could commit any crime, even murder, and there were no repercussions?  The film follows one family over the course of a 12-hour period, in which American citizens are government sanctioned to “self-regulate.” Any and everything goes during this 12-hour, overnight period – no police, no hospital admissions, and no questions regarding whatever anger, revenge, or evil one wants to “purge.”  In an interview here in Philadelphia last April, Jason Blum,  founder and CEO of Blumhouse Productions, answered questions about the film and indulge me in a couple of special MMT inquiries.

Okay first question, very serious, (who do you like better) Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees?

(Jason laughs) Mike Myers, I think. You too? (as I nod in agreement)  Yeah, I like that.

What made you go with a thriller vs. horror?

I see it as a horror-thriller, there are scary moments in it.  What I really like doing with our company is make low-cost movies…that way we have total creative control. The movies are not made by committee, they’re made by the directors (and) they’re exactly the movies the directors want to make. And we like them to be movies that will be widely released, and go to the cineplex (versus) the arthouse. With that combination (low budget-wide release), mostly what we do is horror. We’re trying to take our model and tip-toe it to the corners of horror, which is how I would describe this movie.  Jason Blum

Your company is director driven, and all films have been original.  Would you consider producing remakes?

We would.  We’re doing our first remake now, we start in three weeks.  It’s called “The Town that Dreaded Sundown,” and it was a movie that MGM made in the 70’s.  But, I don’t think remakes are so terrible.  Stories get reinvented all the time.  I think if you have a new spin on something that’s been done it’s (not) sacrilegious to do it again.

With a graphic and no holds barred depiction, The Purge challenges the audiences’ views on aggression and violence in American culture. Jason described how the film was screened for people with opposing political views and their subsequent, unanticipated responses. “We’ve shown it to right-wing people and left-wing people, and both sides say the movie affirms their beliefs. Right-wing people are like that’s why government should stay out of people’s lives, and left-wing people are like the purge (concept) is the worst thing in the world.” Jason states that The Purge is “a very violent movie that condemns violence,” and hopes that people will take that away after viewing, and that the movie will “keep people chatting.”

I think the premise is novel, and really enjoyed the story.  The film is not for the squeamish, it’s bloody violent, but if you can appreciate a good thrill The Purge is a great movie choice this weekend.  I believe it definitely will keep people chatting, and if you see it in the right theater, there will be some chatting during the film I’m sure, it’s that kind of movie!

Directed by James DeMonaco (writer of Assault on Precinct 13 and The Negotiator), The Purge is produced by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions (producer of the groundbreaking Paranormal Activity franchise, Insidious, and Sinister), Platinum Dunes’ partners Michael Bay, Brad Fuller and Andrew Form (The Amityville Horror, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), as well as Sébastien Kurt Lemercier (Assault on Precinct 13). The film stars Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Adelaide Kane, Max Burkholder, & Edwin Hodge.  You can check out the trailer below and find out more about the film at www.blumhouse.com/film/thepurge.

Side notes: Jason mentioned that Blumhouse has produced an erotic thriller called Plush, co-written and directed by Catherine Hardwicke, which is currently in post-production.  And for my old school horror fans, he also chose Leatherface and Pinhead over Kruger and Pumpkinhead respectively. Shout out to the old heads and horror fans who can appreciate those references!

Remember to stop back and share your thoughts if you go see the movie!  Until next thought, Thomasena

Go “Totally 80’s” at the Sugarhouse next Tuesday

Sugar House Totally 80's invite

Hey there MMT family, we’ve got a special invite from Sugarhouse Casino and Allied-THA.  For those in the Philly tri-state area, and those willing to travel in on a weeknight that have a thing for 80’s music, get ready to go Totally 80’s at Sugarhouse Casino on Tuesday, June 11 starting at 6PM!  Dance to 80’s music, watch a performance by legendary icon Jade Starling (remember that catchy tune “Catch Me I’m Falling?”), win tickets to Broadway’s Rock of Ages at the Merriam Theater and much more!  There will be one complimentary cocktail and hors d’oeuvres will be served!

The event is free, but you must RSVP by email at SHTotally80s@gmail.com.

Check out the video for the 80’s classic by Pretty Poison, featuring Jade Starling, below and get additional event details.

Until next thought family, Thomasena

SUGARHOUSE PRESENTS “TOTALLY 80’S” 

When: Tuesday, June 11 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Where: Sugarhouse Casino, 1001 N Delaware Ave  Philadelphia, PA 19125

Price: FREE

Invitation: SEE ABOVE

Website: www.sugarhousecasino.com

*MUST BE 21 or OLDER TO ENTER*

A Quick Review of After Earth

photo: Sony Pictures  www.afterearth.com
photo: Sony Pictures
http://www.afterearth.com

Hey there MMT family!  How many of you have already checked out the new Will & Jaden Smith joint, After Earth?   I would really love to hear your feedback, as I’m a little on the fence about this one.  For those who haven’t seen the trailer, Jaden Smith stars as Kitai Raige, who crash lands on Earth with his hero, warrior father Cypher (Will Smith) 1,000 years after the planet is declared “uninhabitable” for humans and all creatures remaining on the planet have evolved to “kill” humans. Based off a story written by Will Smith, who designed the story to be a trilogy and subsequent vehicle for son Jaden, the screenplay was co-written by the film’s director M. Knight Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village, Signs).

Okay, so those are a few basics now let’s get to my thoughts.  First, I’m extremely proud of Will Smith and his whole Overbrook Entertainment production team, including Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, brother- in- law Caleeb Pinkett, and business partner James Lassiter.  The trailers and anticipation built for this movie was on point and I had very high expectations; not only because of the former but also due to the elder Smith’s reputation as a box-office phenom.  My love for I Am Legend and Hancock also added to the suspense.  Although I do believe Will created a great story, I wasn’t as enamored with the screen version.  I felt the story lulled at times, even with a short 100 minute run-time.  Yet, I did find myself rooting for young Jaden, excuse me Kitai, on his mission to signal for help after his father is injured in the crash landing (FYI: that’s not a spoiler, it’s on the official website!).

I believe part of the let down for me was the fact that Jaden carried a lot of the movie versus his father, who took a back seat but is still very much a pivotal part of the film.  I believe Jaden has already proven his ability as an actor, the Karate Kid remake was phenomenal, but this was a huge sci-fi/action undertaking and his overall performance was moderate.   In contrast, I did appreciate the father/son struggle within the film and the natural chemistry between both Smith men complimented that element of the story nicely.

What I loved?  The CGI was really cool, Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees, Hotel Rwanda) is always a dramatic force and Will Smith didn’t disappoint with what was required.  Well maybe he did with that horrible accent!  I hated the accents in this movie!  Some folk had them, some folk didn’t… I don’t know, apparently we left Earth and 1/2 of us adopted really bad accents in space, LOL!  Also, Zoe Kravitz (yes, baby girl of that super sexy..eh-hem…of Lenny!) had a good cameo as Kitai’s sister Senshi.

If I’m completely honest, I will note that Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was mostly assessed as the least favorable episode of the franchise, but that didn’t deter me from giving it and the others a chance.  I think I’ll give this After Earth series the same courtesy, considering it was really cool watching two African-American heroes on the screen in a sci-fi fantasy flick.  I’m hoping it does well enough that those sequels come to fruition.  I really would enjoy seeing what next becomes of the young Kitai Raige character, and how Jaden develops him.

Alright family, those are my thoughts.   After Earth was released nationwide in theaters today May 31st.  Please stop back and leave a thought or two about the film when you check it out!

Until next thought, Thomasena

Next Thought On Music – Glenn Lewis “Can’t Say Love” single available on Itunes May 28

Hey there family!  Last year, I promised I would keep you posted on when Glenn Lewis’ latest music would be released.  Well his single, “Can’t Say Love,”  from the forthcoming album Moment of Truth will be available on Itunes this Tuesday, May 28.  The album release date is August, 20th. Yo Glenn, my birthday is 8/28…think you can send me a CD as an early present?  What y’all?  It is written ask and you shall receive, LOL! 🙂

You can read the fun interview Glenn graced MMT with last year by clicking on the link below, and check out Glenn’s website glennlewisofficial.com to listen to the new single, and get official news and tour date info.

Until next thought family, Thomasena

Next Thought On Music – The Return of Glenn Lewis.

Will Smith walks BBC host Graham Norton and audience down memory lane (video)

Morning Music Movie fam!  I just have to share a video with you this morning that really made me smile.  Last Friday while promoting his new film After Earth on the BBC’s Graham Norton show with co-star and son Jaden Smith, Will Smith surprises the audience by performing The Fresh of Bel-Air theme song with DJ Jazzy Jeff.  But wait, there’s more!  Wait for Alfonso Ribeiro’s cameo and…oh, just watch the video, LOL.

I’m so Philly proud!  Until next thought, Thomasena

A Quick Review of Fast & Furious 6 (featuring guest reviewer Brian Henderson)

Fast & Furious 6 (photo: Universal Studios)

Hey Family,

Today marks a MusicMoviesThoughts first!  For the first time in almost two years, I am turning over the quick review of a movie, in this instance Fast & Furious 6, to trusted movie fan and MMT follower Brian Henderson.  Brian has been a long time supporter and is a HUGE movie fan.  Since I could not make the screening, I asked him if he would share his thoughts (minus spoilers of course) and he kindly obliged.

Here is Brian’s synopsis of Fast & Furious 6:

“OMG!  First off, Fast & Furious 6 was so action-packed, I didn’t go to the bathroom!  It’s definitely a great movie; (the kind) when you don’t want to get up and miss anything.  I was so excited to see the whole crew (cast) back again.  The acting was awesome, and I really liked the intense connections that everybody seemed to have with each other; if they weren’t in a movie together you could still imagine them all hanging out.  

Tyrese was funnier to me this time around.  Ludicris had several funny parts, where Tyrese and him (joked) back and forth with each other.  The action scenes  were done perfectly and will have you on the edge of your seat.  Michelle Rodriguez had the best fight scene in this movie, and it was so amazing the audience jumped up and down.  Vin Diesel did a great job, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was excellent as usual.  My son, Taj, couldn’t keep still and neither could my friend (and long time MMT supporter) Carolee.  It almost felt like we were on a rollercoaster ride!

The film wasn’t too long, as some movies are, so I didn’t feel sleepy when I got home. We constantly talked and compared notes on the car ride home.  I definitely will go to see this movie again this weekend when it comes out. If you want an action-packed movie that will keep you jumping up and down ,and  have you screaming with excitement, go see this movie!  Two thumbs up!”

Well family, I think Brian gave a great synopsis of what to expect from Fast & Furious 6.  I will give the disclaimer that Brian is a fan of the series and I know he enjoys action films; so if you are more on the tame side of movie viewing, and constant action isn’t your thing, this may not be the film for you. But if you enjoy thrills and edge of your seat excitement, I think Brian has given you a great movie choice for this weekend. 🙂
Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson lead an all star-cast in Fast & Furious 6, which opens today 5/24/13 nationwide.  You can check out the trailer below and visit the official website for more info at www.thefastandthefurious.com.
A big thanks to Brian Henderson for sharing his vivid thoughts and excitement about this film!  I’m looking forward to MMT’s next guest review…will it be you?
Until next thought family, Thomasena

A Quick Review of PEEPLES

Peeples opens Friday May 10th (Photo: Lionsgate)

Hello Music Movie family!  Well it’s official, the success of Iron Man 3 last opening weekend has kicked in the door and ushered in the summer blockbuster season.  And I must admit, it is a very good film and well worth the penny to view in theaters.  But if you’re looking for a more comedic romp, or a fun date movie this weekend, I would highly recommend Tyler Perry presents PEEPLES, written and directed by Tina Gordon Chism (ATL, Drumline) and starring Craig Robinson (The Office, Hot Tub Time Machine), Kerry Washington (Scandal, A Thousand Words), and David Alan Grier (In Living Color, The Woodsman).

Robinson stars as lead character Wade Walker, an “average Joe” who decides to surprise his girlfriend Grace (Washington) and propose during a holiday weekend in the Hamptons with her affluent family.  Problems arise, mostly due to the tension that brews between Wade and his girlfriend’s father, played hilariously by David Alan Grier.  I must admit when I first saw the trailer for this movie, I thought it was going to be “Jumping The Broom meets Meet The Parents.”  The film, however, does stand on its own merit by bringing some new things, and laughs, to the table.  There were a few moments of cheese, especially the Moby Dick Day scene (you know I won’t spoil!), but I really did enjoy most of the movie overall.

I also enjoyed the chemistry between and the variety of the film’s cast, including Wade’s brother Chris (played by the very funny Malcolm Barrett) and the divine S. Epahtha Merkerson as family matriarch Daphne Peeples rocked!  Ms. Merkerson’s comedic timing was spot on, and she even belts out a tune.  There were also great cameos by legendary, veteran actors Melvin Van Peebles and Diahann Carrol.  And it was really cool to see former child star Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris, Let It Shine) as Grace’s younger, socially misfit brother Simon.

In short, I would give PEEPLES  a B- for great laughs, a fantastic cast, and an overall fun story. The movie opens today, May 10, nationwide.  You can get more information about the film and view the trailer at www.peeplesmovie.com.  Make sure to stop back by and share your thoughts if you go check it out!

Until next thought family, Thomasena

GIVEAWAY: Win passes to screen Fast & Furious 6 on Tuesday, May 21st (Philly, PA)

Fast & Furious 6 (photo: Universal Studios)

Music Movie family, I know we’ve had a lot of giveaways as of late; but hey, who in his or her right mind would complain about “too many” free movies?  That’s what I thought, certainly not anyone who follows this site! 🙂  With that being said, Music Movies Thoughts, in conjunction with Allied-THA, is giving away passes to screen Universal’s Fast & Furious 6 on Tuesday, May 21.  This highly anticipated sequel has an all-star cast that includes leads Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

For your chance to win, you must be a follower of this site and send an email to thinkmusicmovies@aol.com, with “FAST & FURIOUS 6” in the subject line and your full name in the body of the text.   Anyone who follows me on Twitter, @ledfarr, has a double chance of winning!

You can read a synopsis of the movie below, and go to the official website at www.thefastandthefurious.com to view trailer and get additional info.  Winners will be announced by Sunday, May 19.

Good luck family, Thomasena

FAST & FURIOUS 6 Synopsis

Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the returning cast of all-stars as the global blockbuster franchise built on speed races to its next continent in Fast & Furious 6. Reuniting for their most high-stakes adventure yet, fan favorites Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Elsa Pataky are joined by series newcomers Luke Evans and Gina Carano. 

Since Dom (Diesel) and Brian’s (Walker) Rio heist toppled a kingpin’s empire and left their crew with $100 million, our heroes have scattered across the globe. But their inability to return home and living forever on the lam have left their lives incomplete. 

Meanwhile, Hobbs (Johnson) has been tracking an organization of lethally skilled mercenary drivers across 12 countries, whose mastermind (Evans) is aided by a ruthless second-in-command revealed to be the love Dom thought was dead, Letty (Rodriguez). The only way to stop the criminal outfit is to outmatch them at street level, so Hobbs asks Dom to assemble his élite team in London. Payment? Full pardons for all of them so they can return home and make their families whole again. 

Building on the worldwide blockbuster success of Fast Five and taking the action, stunts and narrative to even greater heights, Fast & Furious 6 sees director Justin Lin back behind the camera for the fourth time. He is supported by longtime producers Neal H. Moritz and Vin Diesel, who welcome producer Clayton Townsend back to the series. 

GIVEAWAY: screening passes for PEEPLES with Craig Robinson Q & A (Philly, PA)

Peeples opens Friday May 10th (Photo: Lionsgate)

Hey Family, I’ve got a great opp for you this time!  Who’s been waiting for the new comedy PEEPLES by writer/director Tina Gordon Chism?  I enjoyed the trailer for this Tyler Perry presents production when I caught it in the theater, and am really excited to see it.  I’m even more excited that MusicMoviesThoughts has acquired passes from Allied-THA for the Wednesday, May 1 screening. The best part about this giveaway?  There will be a Q & A with star Craig Robinson following the screening.

For your chance to win an admit two pass, send your full name with the subject line PEEPLES to thinkmusicmovies@aol.com.  Blog followers will be given first preference, and chances are doubled if you also follow me on twitter @ledfarr.   All new blog subscribers will receive a confirmation email after they sign up (so make sure to click link and confirm!).  Winners will be notified by Sunday, April 28.

You can read the synopsis below and get additional information about the film at the official website www.peeplesmovie.com.  PEEPLES opens in theaters nationwide Friday, May 10.

Good luck everyone!

Thomasena

PEEPLES Synopsis

Sparks fly when Wade Walker (Craig Robinson) crashes the preppy Peeples annual reunion in the Hamptons to ask for their precious daughter Grace’s (Kerry Washington) hand in marriage. Wade might be a fish-out-of-water among this seemingly perfect East Coast clan, but he’s not about to let himself flounder. Instead, in a wild weekend of fun, dysfunction and hilarious surprises, Wade is about to discover there’s room for all kinds of Peeples in this family, no matter their differences. Writer and first-time director Tina Gordon Chism (writer of DRUMLINE) joins forces with Tyler Perry to present a laugh-out-loud look at the family ties that freak us out . . . but bind us together with love.