Universal Pictures and AMC Theaters partner to give free ‘Thank You For Your Service’ tickets to US service members and veterans

In a display of gratitude, Universal Pictures and AMC Theatres have announced that, on October 26, up to 10,000 free tickets will be presented to U.S. veterans and active-duty servicemembers for DreamWorks Pictures’ Thank You for Your Service—at more than 400 AMC locations nationwide.  Each of the first 25 servicemembers (per location) with valid, government-issued ID who request a ticket will be given one free admission to the 7:00 p.m. preview screening.

“Once we began a discussion with AMC about how we could embody the spirit and message of Thank You for Your Service, they stepped up to the plate in a major way,” said Jim Orr, Executive Vice President, General Sales Manager, Universal Pictures.  “We are honored that up to 10,000 U.S. veterans and active servicemembers will be among the first to experience this riveting film from our partners at DreamWorks.”

Thank You for Your Service reminds us all of the tremendous sacrifice made by America’s servicemembers and their families,” said Elizabeth Frank, EVP Worldwide Programming and Chief Content Officer, AMC Theatres.  “AMC is pleased to partner with Universal Pictures to offer veterans and active servicemembers the opportunity to attend this preview screening at no charge.”

From the writer of American Sniper and the studio that brought you Lone Survivor, the film follows a group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq who struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield.  Thank You for Your Service arrives in theaters nationwide on October 27.

This promotion will be available at all AMC Theatres playing the film.  Free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and may only be picked up at the AMC box office on October 26.  Each guest must present a valid government-issued military ID to receive their ticket, with a limit of one free ticket for each military ID presented, while supplies last.  This offer is valid for the 7:00 p.m. showing of the film on October 26, only.

For more information and a list of AMC Theatres participating, please visit www.ThankYouForYourService.com.


Need an Exit Strategy this Valentine’s Day?

cast of Exit Strategy from left: QDeezy Harris, Kimelia Weathers and Jameel Saleem, with Brother Marcus (103.9 fm)

For some, Valentine’s Day is a day to bestow pink or red roses, chocolates or truffles, floral, citrus or musk fragrances, or maybe even Vickie’s Secret to their sweethearts.  For others, it’s a stinging reminder that they need to make that move and exit, stage left, out of their current relationships.  So it’s with the latter folks in mind, and those like myself who enjoy romantic (or well um, unromantic) comedies, that I recommend going to see Exit Strategy, which opened last Friday (and is playing in the Philadelphia area at both AMC Franklin Mills and AMC Loews Cherry Hill theaters).  As the title suggests, the story is about a guy named James (Jameel Saleem) looking for a way out of his relationship after moving in with his girlfriend of three months Kim (portrayed by Kimelia Weathers) and quickly learning she is not the type of woman he thought nor wants.  But there is one problem, well actually three… he was evicted from his place, has no money, and has no other place to stay.

Jameel Saleem and myself

Saleem developed the screenplay from a web series, of the same name, in which both he and Weathers co-starred.  A native of the Germantown section of Philadelphia, he passed the script on to friend, fellow Philadelphian, and local radio personality for Hot 107.9, Quincy “QDeezy” Harris.  Harris, in turn, recruited his (then) boss nationally syndicated radio personality Kurt “Big Boy” Alexander, who went on to serve as executive producer of the film.  Harris, who also serves as producer, plays James’ best friend Carvelle, one of several characters in the movie that attempt to help James come up with a plan to break up with Kim and still remain “on her couch.” Side note: Kimelia Weathers played the psychotic girlfriend role so well, I mean her character put the coo coo in cocoa puffs!  But seriously, the chemistry between the two lead actors and the lack thereof between their respective characters made for some great laughs.  If you’ve ever been in a bad relationship and viewed this film I’m sure you’d be able to relate to James misery :).

I took the opportunity to speak with Jameel after the première and his excitement at having his first feature film screened local with friends and family present was heartfelt.  When I inquired how he felt about the positive energy received during the screening, he humbly expressed that he was still taking it all in and was sure he would do more so as the days passed.

The passion to get this project made despite a budget of under $100,000 is evident by all the major supporters who added their gifts, including director Michael Whitton and the cast (whom I’m told wore multiple hats to keep production on point).  And then there’s North Philly native, comedian Kevin Hart, who cameos and gives a serious ROTFL performance that he actually did with 20 minutes to shoot and in two takes (I mean the man is just comedy).   The result is a high quality production, that was blessed further by becoming part of the AMC Theaters focus on independent film and being released in select theaters this February.

Me and "QDeezy"

At a time when it is still hard to get a big budget film, romantic or otherwise, with African-American leads greenlit and distributed, Exit Strategy has defied the odds.  What’s needed at this point is your support.  We, the moviegoers, dictate what types of movies get made with our ticket sales.  If you are not in the Philadelphia area, check out www.fandango.com  to find theater locations for Exit Strategy near you.  You can also find out more about the film at www.exitstrategy-themovie.com.

Leave me a comment after you check out and support independent film!

Until next thought family, Thomasena