GIVEAWAY: advance screening of ‘ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.’ AT THE 26th Philadelphia Film Festival

Hey MMT Fam! We have a cool giveaway, courtesy of the 26th Philadelphia Film Festival (PFF), but you have to be quick! ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. was added to the festival line-up this Wednesday, October 25.

“Roman J. Israel, Esq.” is a dramatic thriller set in the underbelly of the overburdened Los Angeles criminal court system. Denzel Washington stars as a driven, idealistic defense attorney whose life is upended when a turbulent series of events challenge the activism that has defined his career. Colin Farrell costars as the ambitious, monied lawyer who recruits Roman to his firm.

To try your luck at an admit-two pass, click here to get to the Sony Pictures landing and select the “Get My Passes” prompt. Passes, like theater seating, are not guaranteed and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

You can watch the trailer below and get additional info about the film at the official website here. ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ. opens in theaters nationwide on November 10.

Good Luck!

 

MMT Talk with FENCES stars Russell Hornsby and Jovan Adepo

Russell Hornsby and Jovan Adepo

During the Philadelphia stop of the FENCES press tour, Thomasena sat down with cast members Russell Hornsby, who reprises his role of Lyons from the 2010 Broadway revival, and Jovan Adepo who plays Maxson’s (Denzel Washington) youngest son Corey in the film.

The big-screen adaptation of the August Wilson Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which centers on a black garbage collector named Troy Maxson in 1950s Pittsburgh, was both directed by and stars Washington. Resentful that baseball’s color barrier was broken after his own heyday in the Negro League and bitter with the circumstances of life, Maxson allows his frustrations and poor choices to negatively impact his relationships with those closest to him.

Both Washington and his co-star Viola Davis won Tony awards for their performances in the 2010 revival. Stephen Henderson and Mykelti Williamson also co-star and reprise their stage roles (Bono and Gabriel respectively).

You can click here to get to YouTube (newsletter subscribers) or watch the below video.

FENCES opens in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day.

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening of FENCES on Monday, December 19 (Philly, PA)

Happy Sunday MMT Fam! I have a special last-minute giveaway this evening, and it’s sure to make 10 people and their guests very happy! We’ve acquired 10 admit-two passes to tomorrow night’s screening of FENCES in Center City.

To put your name in the hat, you must be a subscriber of this website (remember: both Facebook and website followers always double their chances) and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with your full name in the body and the subject line FENCES. Ten winners will be selected and notified on Monday morning.

You can watch a snippet of my upcoming interview with “Fences” cast members Russell Hornsby and Jovan Adepo below, and get additional information about the film at the official website here.

FENCES opens in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day.

Good luck family! Thomasena

 

Are the Seven Magnificent? an MMT Quick Review by contributor Darryl King

Magnificent Seven

Never been much of a western movie fan.  Something about the exploration of the old west that just never appealed to me. Maybe it’s the melanin in me, LOL. But every once in a while, a film will come along in a genre that you don’t normally find exciting and it will make you wonder why you never enjoyed movies like these. Films like “Unforgiven” cause me to want to love westerns because of their sheer excellence. And so now, can THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN remake also incite such feeling?

Offered with all of the trappings of a blockbuster film, the “Magnificent Seven” has all the glamour and splendor that comes with big budget movies, yet it does so without sacrificing the basic story from the original.

The original “Magnificent Seven” is considered a masterpiece, inspired by and derived from the landmark Japanese classic “Seven Samurai” – a story which leans upon an age-old narrative about the good Samaritan – or in this case seven who come to the rescue.

As a community falls under the whim of an evil landlord hell-bent on destroying a village for personal gain, seven strangers are magically brought together to fight for people to whom they have no connection – just because it’s the right thing to do, even if it costs them their lives.

Undertaking the task of re-imagining a classic property from such iconic material while enlisting the talents of big name movie stars screams of a studio cash grab, or at the very least a weak adaptation or re-telling, but for this movie that is not the case.

This “Magnificent Seven” is a wonderfully entertaining, delightfully acted, and expertly directed film, as a further imagining of the original source material. Antoine Fuqua continues to adroitly bring powerful realism to the silver screen with his story telling and cinematic images. MGM/Columbia Pictures provided Fuqua with the budget to brilliantly showcase the beauty of the old west with impressive and, dare I say ‘magnificent,’ establishing shots.

But this movie leans upon the greatness of Denzel Washington. His acting acumen is on full display as he commands the camera and the story. Fuqua has been able to turn Washington into more than a master thespian but also a bona fide action star (Training Day, The Equalizer) without donning a superhero cape. Denzel’s expertise allows the viewer to forget race/racism of the old west and believe that one man’s conviction can make the difference.

Thankfully this film doesn’t rely upon one man as Chris Pratt offers his rugged, comedic leading man presence to balance this tale. Pratt continues to forge his place among the best actors working, exhibiting a certain coolness to his persona that is infectious and charming. Washington and Pratt are a stellar pairing that will make you forget any flaws in the film.

But it is Vincent D’Onofrio who disappears in his role and steals the show with his portrayal. D’Onofrio brings character to the movie without being over the top, or taking you out of the story. You almost want a prequel just based upon his character.

Peter Sarsgaard is credible as the bad guy, and he is aided by the story that draws upon and props up religious themes and concepts as a crutch, as an omnipresent type villain to justify good masking as evil.

In the end, and as the movie declares, they were ‘magnificent.’ The film hits all the marks for an action movie, with a predictable final standoff/battle that has me remembering the movie the “Three Amigos.”

The “Magnificent Seven” is fun ride through the desert and has us traveling the terrains looking for justice. On its own merit, it doesn’t do a disservice to the original material and continues the western movie genre’s resurgence – leaving us fully satisfied and ultimately inspiring us to attach our spurs, jump on our hearty steed, and ride off into the sunset.

Darryl King (photo courtesy of Darryl King)Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. In addition to his popular comic book movie reviews, you can check out his reviews of Sausage Party and Jason Bourne right here on MMT.

GET OUT AND VOTE – ELECTION DAY 11/6/12

Hey There Music Movie Lovers!

We are less than a week away from the Presidential Election here in the U.S., and I want to take time to first and foremost encourage everyone to VOTE!  There are some critical things (Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, and a woman’s right to choose to name a few) that will be greatly affected by the result of this election.  You cannot make an impact with non-action and judgement; and please do not be deceived by those who choose complacency, your vote counts!

I want to also recommend a movie that I viewed in limited release last July, that’s currently on Video On Demand and will be released on DVD next Tuesday, Election Day.  Written, directed by and starring one of my favorite actors, the Emmy award-winning Charles S. Dutton (Roc, The Corner), The Obama Effect is a dramatic comedy that highlights how important it is to create positive change within yourself, your family, as well as the world around you.  The film also stars Vanessa Bell Calloway (The Last Fall, A Beautiful Soul), Katt Williams (one word – HYSTERICAL!), Meagan Good (Jumping The Broom, Think Like A Man), Wesley Jonathan (The Soul Man, Roll Bounce), veteran actor Glynn Turman (Super 8, House of Lies) and IBF Light Welterweight and Welterweight boxing champion Zab Judah.  You can find out more about the film, as well as watch the film on VOD or pre-order the DVD, at www.obamaeffectmovie.com.

Okay family, off my soapbox :). But seriously, I am not telling you who to vote for, but am asking that you simply learn the facts and do it.  If you found yourself in Hurricane Sandy’s path, I pray that you and yours are safe and well.  The “furry gangstas” (a.k.a. my two cats) and I lost power for approximately 22 hours, but I am not complaining as I know it could have been worse. The storm, however, did prevent me from screening two movies I had scheduled, Flight and Skyfall.  I may get another chance to catch and review Skyfall in time for its release, but I’ll definitely catch the Denzel Washington driven vehicle Flight this weekend after it opens.  If you check it out as well, stop back by and let me know your thoughts!

Until next thought family, Thomasena