GIVEAWAY: advanced screening for SPLIT on Tuesday, January 17 (Philly, PA)

Split

Happy Tuesday MMT Fam! I am so excited about this next giveaway, as I have been waiting to screen this film since I first saw the trailer a few months ago! We’ve acquired 30 admit-two passes for the Philly advanced screening of SPLIT, the M. Night Shyamalan film starring James McAvoy.

Want to put your name in the hat to win a pass? You must be subscribed to this website and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with the subject line “split” and your full name in the body. Thirty winners will be selected at random and notified on Sunday, January 15. And if you also follow MMT on Facebook, you will double your chances of winning!

I’ll definitely see the winners at this one! I love M. Night and if this is anything like the classic thrillers Raising Cain or Identity, which feature characters with dissociative identity disorder (what some still refer to as “split” personality), or even Frailty it should be one good ride!

You can read the synopsis and watch the trailer below, and get additional info about the film at the official website here. SPLIT opens in theaters nationwide on January 20.

Good Luck Family!  Thomasena

SPLIT synopsis

Writer/director/producer M. Night Shyamalan returns to the captivating grip of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs with Split, an original thriller that delves into the mysterious recesses of one man’s fractured, gifted mind.  Following last year’s breakout hit The Visit, Shyamalan reunites with producer Jason Blum (The Purge and Insidious series, The Gift) for the film.

While the mental divisions of those with dissociative identity disorder have long fascinated and eluded science, it is believed that some can also manifest unique physical attributes for each personality, a cognitive and physiological prism within a single being. 

Though Kevin (James McAvoy) has evidenced 23 personalities to his trusted psychiatrist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), there remains one still submerged who is set to materialize and dominate all the others.  Compelled to abduct three teenage girls led by the willful, observant Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy, The Witch), Kevin reaches a war for survival among all of those contained within him—as well as everyone around him—as the walls between his compartments shatter apart.

For Split, Shyamalan and Blum reassemble their core team from The Visit, the No. 1 – grossing horror film of 2015.  Their fellow collaborators include producer Marc Bienstock and executive producers Ashwin Rajan and Steven Schneider.

 

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening of THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR Tuesday, June 28 (Philly, PA)

The Purge: Election Year

Happy Wednesday MMT Fam! I’m excited about this next advanced screening giveaway because not only was MMT able to giveaway passes for both of the prequels, but I was able to interview both Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions and Frank Grillo for each respectively. And now the third film, THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR, is about to be released and it looks just as haywire – in a good way – as its predecessors.

Grillo reprises his role as Barnes, the former police sergeant who was out for vengeance in “The Purge: Anarchy.” This time he’s head of security for Senator Charlene Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell), the presidential candidate who’s vowed to eliminate the purge practice if she takes office – but her competitors have a different plan in mind for her on the upcoming purge night!

Want to put your name in the hat for an admit-two pass? Make sure you are subscribed to this site, and send an email with the subject line “Election Year” and your full name to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com. Winners will be selected at random and notified via email by Sunday, June 26.

You can read the movie’s synopsis and watch the trailer below, and get additional information at the official website here.

Good luck family! Thomasena

THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR synopsis

As a young girl, Sen. Charlene Roan survived the annual night of lawlessness that took the lives of her family members. As a presidential candidate, Roan is determined to end the yearly tradition of blood lust once and for all. When her opponents hatch a deadly scheme, the senator finds herself trapped on the streets of Washington, D.C., just as the latest Purge gets underway. Now, it’s up to Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo), her head of security, to keep her alive during the next 12 hours of mayhem.

 

 

MMT May 2016 Netflix Picks

Happy Sunday MMT Fam! I am composing this month’s Netflix Picks list with next week’s Memorial Day weekend in mind. One of the lucky ones that will have a three or four-day weekend to look forward and planning to catch up on some movies? Or looking for something interesting not yet listed in that queue? Well, here are my current recommendations:

  1. IP MAN (2008) – I am so surprised each time I speak with someone who professes to be an action/adventure film lover but has never seen the first IP MAN! Arguably one of the best martial arts films in recent times, this Donnie Yen starring vehicle is based on real-life martial arts grandmaster Yip Man – who is also famously known Bruce Lee’s mentor. Since a clip of IP MAN 3 went viral earlier this year (featuring a fight between Donnie Yen and boxing legend “Iron” Mike Tyson), I’ve recommended several people find this gem of a film currently streaming on Netflix, in addition to IP MAN 2 and IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT – which aren’t as extraordinary as IP MAN, but if you’re an action lover you will definitely be satisfied with the fight scenes.
  2. CARMEN JONES (1954) – Okay, here’s another film that you absolutely must watch if you’ve never seen it and call yourself a movie buff! Not only was this the film that late legend Dorothy Dandridge became the first African-American nominated for the Best Actress Academy award, but it has an all-star cast of legends – including Harry Belafonte and the late Pearl Bailey. Adapted from Bizet’s opera Carmen, the musical tells the story of a soldier (Belafonte) who falls for a seductive factory worker (Dandridge as Carmen). Tragedy proceeds as Carmen’s taunting faithlessness leads the soldier to a crime of passion. Some of you may remember that fias…ahem, that hip-hop remake featuring Beyoncé (Carmen: A Hip Hopera) several years ago; however if you’ve never seen the original, don’t let that update be your sole memory of this musical. And if you can find it on streaming services (if you have cable, try HBO since it was one of its presentations), look for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge starring Halle Berry – who also executive produced the project, which she put her entire bowed-leg in! Both she and the film were phenomenal – and she won an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG, and NAACP Image award for her outstanding performance in the lead role.
  3. HUSH (2016) – so this is a horror/thriller that I added to my Netflix queue with hopes that my sister, on her next Philly visit, would watch with me.  We were a horror film watching tag-team when we were younger – the original Halloween is still one of our faves. But alas, I no longer watch the extra spooky stuff – demon, ghoul (i.e. Paranormal Activity…some of you may remember me sharing this in my chat with Blumhouse founder Jason Blum) – and she can’t handle ANY of it! Understand, she is a fifth-degree black-belted martial artist – yep, I’m putting her on the spot and Front Street – yet, she will not have any parts of this slasher film with me! 🙂  Hush chronicles a deaf writer, who lives in total seclusion and finds herself stalked by a psychotic killer. Think she’s easy prey…a mark? Watch the film, and think again! I’ll leave it there, but note that the movie currently has a 100% fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes, and 76% audience approval. If you’re into thrillers, and/or suspense with scare, this one is for you. And if it’s not necessarily your cup of tea but you’re going to have company who’s game and that extra holiday day to recuperate, it just might be a good pick!

Alright family, those are my picks this month. Seen the films listed, but have a few suggestions of your own or have a few thoughts about those shared? Leave a thought or two in the comments section, I’d love to read them!

Until next thought, Thomasena

PS – don’t watch the last recommendation if the video below resembles you while watching suspense flicks!

 

GIVEAWAY: advance screening for “Oculus” Wednesday, April 9 (Philly, PA area)

Oculus (photo: Relativity Media)

Hey MMT fam, I’ve got another giveaway and this one’s for the brave!  MMT has partnered with Relativity Media for an advance screening of Oculus, the new horror movie by writer/director Mike Flanagan.  This is a Blumhouse Productions’ film, and you know I’m partial to Jason Blum because of “The Purge” (check out my interview with him from last year here). However, I don’t do the super spooky spirits, so I’ll leave it to y’all brave souls to tell me how this one is! 😛

To get passes, go to www.relativityscreenings.com/MMT and enter the code: MMT.  Passes and seating next Wednesday are not guaranteed and on a first come-first served basis.

Check out the below trailer and synopsis for “Oculus” and get additional info at the official movie website here.

Don’t forget to stop back and leave a comment or two about the film!

Until next thought, Thomasena

Oculus synopsis

Ten years ago, tragedy struck the Russell family, leaving the lives of teenage siblings Tim and Kaylie forever changed when Tim was convicted of the brutal murder of their parents. Now in his 20s, Tim is newly released from protective custody and only wants to move on with his life; but Kaylie, still haunted by that fateful night, is convinced her parents’ deaths were caused by something else altogether: a malevolent supernatural force unleashed through the Lasser Glass, an antique mirror in their childhood home. Determined to prove Tim’s innocence, Kaylie tracks down the mirror, only to learn similar deaths have befallen previous owners over the past century. With the mysterious entity now back in their hands, Tim and Kaylie soon find their hold on reality shattered by terrifying hallucinations, and realize, too late, that their childhood nightmare is beginning again…

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