Let’s Get It Started!

2014 New Year Image

What’s New MMT Family?  So glad to greet you again in this new year!  2013 was great for this site, and I’ve declared that 2014 will be even greater!  And one of the things that I most love about the new year is when the creative communities gather to celebrate and honor those people and works they consider to be great.  So to make sure you have a heads up, here’s a list of dates and times for the most popular award ceremonies:

  • People’s Choice Awards – the 40th annual show, which honors the best in television, film and music according to public vote, will air Wednesday, January 8th at 9pm EST on CBS.  Hosting this year are Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs from the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls.
  • Golden Globe Awards – the 71st annual show airs Sunday, January 12th at 8pm EST on NBC.  Hosted again this year by comedy duo Tina Fey (30 Rock) and Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation), highlights will include actor, director and writer Woody Allen (Blue JasmineTo Rome With Love) receiving the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award.
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards – the 20th annual SAG awards will air live Saturday, January 18th on both TBS and TNT at 8pm EST, with lifetime achievement award honors going to the legendary Rita Moreno.
  • Grammy Awards – airing Sunday, January 26th at 8pm EST on CBS, the show’s previous February date was changed to avoid conflict with the 2014 Winter Olympics.  This year’s award ceremony will again be hosted by rapper/actor LL Cool J (Grudge Match, NCIS: Los Angeles).
  • NAACP Image Awards – the 45th annual ceremony, celebrating the best performances and outstanding achievements of people of color in the arts, has a new telecast home at TV One and will air live Saturday, February 22nd at 9pm EST.
  • BET Honors – this award ceremony pays tribute to distinguished Africans Americans performing at exceptional levels in the areas of music, literature, entertainment, media, service and education.   The show is scheduled to air on BET Networks on Monday, February 24 at 9PM EST with first-time host Wayne Brady (Let’s Make A Deal, How I Met Your Mother).
  • Academy Awards – the 86th annual Oscars will air Sunday, March 2nd at 7pm EST on ABC.   This year’s show will be hosted by academy veteran Ellen DeGeneres (The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Ellen).   Highlights will include actress Angelina Jolie (The Tourist, Salt) receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her philanthropic work.

Alright family, that’s the skinny through March and it should be enough of a heads up for those who enjoy the award season as much as I do!  And you know the drill, leave a thought or two in the comments and let me know what you’ll be watching. 🙂

Until next thought, Thomasena

The Importance of Now

Hey there Music Movie family!  How has 2013 been treating you so far?  Did anyone watch the Grammys or BET Honors earlier this month?  How about the Oscars last Sunday night?  I managed to catch all three, and a few of the other award shows, although this month has been extremely hectic for me.  In addition to travelling out-of-town to finish up a book edit,  I loss a very dear friend, and learned of the deaths of two others, earlier this month.  Coping with the deaths of loved ones is something we all must face at some point and, while it seems quite tragic when they leave at a young age or without warning, is a reminder of the precious importance of now.  What are those things in life you are passionate about but keep putting on the back burner?  What is that one thing you want to do but haven’t yet stepped out on faith to attain?

blackfilmavatar-300x300Local filmmaker, Reelblack founder, and friend Mike D. (Philly Boy and Ladies and Gentleman, Jordan Rock)  recently stepped out on faith and started an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds towards completion of a feature-length documentary on the state of African-American film called Black Film Now.   Let me further clarify – Black Film Now will be the FIRST full length documentary on this subject, and will include rare interview footage including chats with Spike Lee, Kimberly Elise, Kevin Hart,  Kerry Washington, Lee Daniels, Ava Duvernay, and Haile Gerima just to name a few.  I’m excited for Mike and the making of this film and I encourage everyone reading to share and support this campaign.  You can watch the video below and go to http://www.indiegogo.com/blackfilmnow  to donate.  Every amount counts, and for just $10 your name will be added to the end credits as a thank you for your support.   How cool is that?  There are 13 days left in the Indiegogo campaign, but after that you can check my blog roll (to the right) and click on the Reelblack link to get info on how to support.

Although it’s hard to understand the losses, I’m grateful for the reminder that I must appreciate now more.  Thank you Mike D. for being a current example of the power of now, and for the passion you exude to bring good Black film to the masses.  To Bridgette and her family, and to the memory of Karen and my dear friend Shelice, I simply say God is still in control.

Until next thought family, Thomasena

Grammys and BET Honors, Oh My!

Grammy pic

Good Morning Music Movie Family!  So the 55th Annual Grammy Awards will air tonight 8pm EST on CBS, and to be honest I’m not overly excited.  But, there are a few moments I am looking forward to, including the Sting, Bruno Mars, and Rihanna performance.  Why you ask?  Well I don’t know about you but every time I hear “Locked Out of Heaven,” I’m wishing that “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” follows!  Don’t necessarily know how Rihanna fits into the Grammy equation; but I guess we will all find out tonight won’t we?

I’m also looking forward to the Song of the Year category and would love to see Miguel win for “Adorn,” but am feeling the songwriting team behind that Kelly Clarkson hit “Stronger” or Carly Rae Jepsen, songwriter of that bubble gum hit “Call Me Maybe” heard EVERYWHERE, might walk away with the award. You can check out the rest of the Grammy nomination list at http://www.grammy.com/nominees.

Chaka-Khan-BET-Honors-2013

What I’m most excited about is one of my all time favorite singers, the legendary Chaka Khan who celebrates 40 years in the music industry this year, receive her tribute on tomorrow’s BET Honors. The broadcast will air Monday night at 9pm EST on BET.  Now there are several artists who performed and paid tribute to the honorees, including Brandy, Mint Condition, Alicia Keys, and the SOS Band featuring Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.  But my girls Erykah Badu and Ledisi were also in the house, and I’m willing to bet they sang the heaven into a Chaka song!  Can’t wait to see, how about you?  Also included this year as BET Honorees are Halle Berry, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Lisa Leslie, and music industry legend Clarence Avant (if you don’t know his name, look him up!).

Alright that’s it for me Music Movie Lovers.  Stop back by and let me know what you liked, or didn’t, about the shows.  Going to leave you with some of that Bruno Mars below 🙂

Until next thought, Thomasena

Why are “good” shows airing so late on “African-American Networks”?

Music movie lovers please allow me to full-out vent this week, as I am greatly confused.  For years I’ve been an avid supporter of the missing and exploited children campaign and make it a point to send emails, spread by word of mouth, etc, when black children are missing, as we DO NOT get the same press attention as our white and hispanic counterparts. So I was excited when TV One announced they would air the new show Find Our Missing on Wednesday nights at…wait one minute because excitement quickly diminshed…10 PM!  What the heaven?  Why so late Cathy Hughes?  This a prominent cable network geared towards airing entertainment and NEWS relevant to the African-American community. We finally get a show that talks about our missing persons and many of us won’t watch, and a lot of that can be attributed to the time.  I understand that you don’t want to go up against let’s say CBS’s Criminal Minds series at 9pm, because that would be surefire show suicide.  But moving the series to let’s say 7pm, instead of those Living Single re-runs for one night, might make more sense in terms of viewership.

Next up, BET.  Why in all of God’s creation would you choose to air the UNCF An Evening Of Stars this Sunday January 29th at…wait for it….it’s really ridiculous…11pm!!!  What board room brainiac thought of this one?  I can remember being a child, watching the late Lou Rawls host this education telethon with family members for most of the day.  Narrowed by BET to a 2 hour pre-taped televised event of performances, I’m scratching my head trying to understand how an 11pm airtime, on a Sunday, would allow adequate viewership/ratings for this program.  Just in case you are up watching, scheduled performances will include Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Anthony Hamilton, Marsha Ambrosius, and Musiq Soulchild, and a powerhouse duet featuring Ledisi and Patti LaBelle.  For those who wish to view the telethon in its entirety, it will air on Saturday January 28th (check local listings for times).

Lastly, BET will air the BET Honors on Monday February 13th at 9pm.  A 9pm time by itself isn’t so bad, but since it is a two-hour show on the first work night of the week, I believe it displays a classic case of bad timing.  This show not only honors entertainers who have excelled in their respective crafts, but also celebrates African-Americans in other disciplines who’ve excelled and made extraordinary contributions such as 2012 honorees The Tuskegee Airmen.  Also being honored this year are Dr. Maya Angelou, Spike Lee, Beverly Kearney,  and one of my all time favorite singer/songwriters the incomparable Stevland Hardaway Judkins, aka Stevland Morris, also and more famously known as Stevie Wonder 😉  Performances will be given by Jill Scott (this Philly shero stays busy doesn’t she), Jennifer Hudson, Common, Kelly Rowland, Willow Smith, and living legends Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle.

Alright people thanks for letting me veer off the music/movie issue a little and get some stuff off my chest 🙂   I’m asking each of you to support the TV One show Find Our Missing and please visit the Black and Missing Foundation’s website (see link below) to see missing person profiles.  The vast majority of African-American missing persons have trouble getting local attention, let alone national press, so it is important to seek out and share this information with each other.  I dedicate the song link below to those reading this who have or know others that are waiting for loved ones to return.  Until next thought family, Thomasena.

Black and Missing Foundation website: http://www.blackandmissinginc.com/cdad/

You Are Not Alone, Michael Jackson (Epic, 1995 ): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ito5ELbyyxs

What’s New Music Movie Lovers?

The Boss Ms. Ross posing in a Bob Mackie at her last concert tour!

Happy New Year Everybody!  I am so glad to see the start of another year, and feel even more blessed that I can do what I love, and I absolutely love blogging about movies and music.  So, it goes without saying that I am thrilled about the upcoming award show season and with several upcoming tv and film projects.  First, I am soooo ready to see Red Tails, the action-adventure movie opening January 20th that depicts the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all Black aviator regiment that fought in WWII.  Executive producer George Lucas invested 93 million (58 for budget and 35 for distribution) to make sure this movie was made; despite and because of the long-held Hollywood belief that an action movie featuring an African-American cast would not fare well.   The cast includes such heavyweights as Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Terrence Howard, and also co-stars singer/actor Ne-Yo, Method Man and Tristan Wilds.  Let’s spread the word and support this film people (see link below to view the trailer).

Now I must admit I am not necessarily going to rush out to this next film, but since it stars two divas, one a country music legend and the other hip-hop royalty, I simply cannot overlook!  Yes, I am referring to Joyful Noise, which stars Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah, as well as KeKe Palmer and Jeremy Jordan.  The trailer shows a lot of singing, comedic tussling between Dolly and Latifah, and what seems to be a mix of inspirational and pop songs thrown in for good measure. It also opens this month on the 13th, and is rated PG-13 (some adult language).

Okay and this has nothing to do with movies or music, except for the fact that songstress Brandy will be guest starring this season, but Game On!!!!  Yes, I am very much a follower of The Game series on BET, which has its 5th season opener this Tuesday January 10th.

Lastly, here is a list of upcoming award ceremonies: Golden Globes (Sunday January 15th), Screen Actors Guild Awards (Sunday January 29th), 54th Annual Grammys (Sunday February 12th), 2012 BET Honors (February 13th), and the 84th Annual Academy Awards (Sunday February 26th).

PS – A HUGE SHOUT OUT to the person responsible for Gil Scott-Heron being posthumously honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Grammy ceremony.  The incomparable Diana Ross (see my personal photo above from her 2010 concert) will also receive a Lifetime achievement statue, and Steve Jobs will be posthumously honored with a Grammy Trustees statue.

Alright people, that’s it for this posting.  Keep checking in for regular film and music news. Better yet click the follow tab (for most viewers will be top left, but also appears in bottom right with some browsers) to receive notifications for new postings. What films are you looking forward to seeing this year?  What award shows will you watch.  Talk to me in the comments section. 🙂

Until next thought, Thomasena

Red Tails official trailer (Lucasfilm, 2012): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpA6TC0T_Lw