GIVEAWAY: exclusive prize pack for THE SNOWMAN movie opening October 20

Happy Friday the 13th MMT Fam! The Snowman, a terrifying thriller based on the novel by Jo Nesbø, is being released on Oct 20th. In the film, a sociopath who calls himself “The Snowman Killer” has targeted the one person for whom he wants to show off his methodical, unthinkable skills: the lead investigator of an élite crime squad. With cunningly simplistic baits, he begs to have a worthy opponent to play his sick game.

To celebrate the release of this horrifying film – starring Michael Fassbender and Rebecca Ferguson – we’re giving away Snowman Killer prize pack which includes:

1 – Limited Edition Snowman Plush Doll: This limited edition Snowman has a run of only 200 pieces worldwide. It is a replica of the killer’s Snowman and features a detachable head and the Snowman logo on the bottom.

1 – The Snowman Official Promo Shirt: An official promo T-Shirt featuring The Snowman logo on the front and the signature design on the back.

1 – Replica Snowman Killer Letter: A replica of the Snowman killer’s note, sealed.

To enter the contest, you must be subscribed to this website –  if you also follow MMT on Facebook, your chances of winning always increase – and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with the subject line “Snowman” and your full name and address in the body. One winner will be selected and notified by Friday, October 20.

For an extra thrill, you can check out the Snowman blog app and test how well you know America’s most notorious serial killers. Click the hyperlink or photo above to:

  • Take the quiz and help Harry Hole find the Snowman killer by matching serial killers to their dark crimes.
  • Take your investigative eye to the next level and dive into Killer Files to learn more about serial killers and their gruesome ways… if you can handle it! Be be cautioned, it’s #NSFW (not safe for work).

You can also read the synopsis and watch the trailer below, and get additional info about the film at the official website here. THE SNOWMAN opens nationwide on October 20.

Make sure to tag @musicfilmdiva and @thesnowmanmovie on Twitter or @MMThoughts on Facebook when you share this post to increase your chances of winning the limited edition Snowman Prize Pack!

Good luck family!

About The Snowman

When the next snow falls who will he take?

Based on Jo Nesbø’s global bestseller, The Snowman stars Michael Fassbender (X-Men series) and Rebecca Ferguson (Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation)

When an elite crime squad’s lead detective, Harry Hole (Fassbender) investigates the disappearance of a victim on the first snow of winter, he fears an elusive serial killer may be active again. With the help of a brilliant recruit (Ferguson), the cop must connect decades-old cold cases to the brutal new one if he hopes to outwit this unthinkable evil before the next snowfall.

Charlotte Gainsbourg (Independence Day: Resurgence), Val Kilmer (Heat) and Academy Award® winner J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) also star in The Snowman, a terrifying thriller from director Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) and executive produced by Martin Scorsese.

Website: http://www.thesnowmanmovie.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thesnowmanmovie/
Twitter: @thesnowmanmovie

Will You Take The Creed? An MMT Review of Assassin’s Creed by Darryl King

Assassin's Creed

I can truthfully say that I never played the game, Assassin’s Creed. Not overly familiar with the mythos and story from the game… so I went to the movie “Assassin’s Creed” wondering if I would be able to understand and follow what the film was about and the narrative they were trying to tell.

One of the common criticisms of video game adaptations into movies so far has been the reluctance or ineptitude of the creative team behind the film to connect to an audience beyond the lovers of those games. Can they tell a story that resonates to the mass audience or will they be limited to resigning their property to a niche market. So if you never played the game, like me, will your understanding of the movie be severely tested or will we accept the mantra, and join the battle… that is the quest for “Assassin’s Creed.”

“Assassin’s Creed” is a movie based on one of the most popular games ever made. This is a fantasy about a group called the Assassins who are fighting for peace, believing that the concept of free will is the answer. Over the centuries they have fought another group called the Templars who also desire peace but they believe it is achieved through control. Now maybe its just me but fighting (war)… to bring about peace is an oxymoron and the history of the world continues to show that idiocy… but that’s just my social commentary. This may be the tenants of a great video game but as a movie….?

As an action film, “Assassin’s Creed” does a good job at enticing the audience with incredible action sets and well designed fight sequences. The sepia tone cinematic look of the 15th century draws you into the adventure in a powerful way. But if this is the case, why does the film not work??

Where this film may lose viewers, such as myself who hasn’t invested many hours with a joystick defending the creed, is that the film “Assassin’s Creed” eventually becomes 2 movies. One movie that takes place in the 15th century and another that resides in modern times. The albatross around the neck of this film weighing it down are the convoluted and contrived plots created to reveal the modern-day storyline.

“Assassin’s Creed” is an interesting film when it shows us the history of the creed, taking us back to the 15th century and inviting us into the original conflicts between the two factions and their quest for peace. But in an effort to pander to those who played the game, the movie introduces an anecdote of our main character that he is the incarnation of his ancestors and that we can use the “Animus” a piece of equipment that allows for dream/time travel, and tap into his memories to go back to the past and find the “Apple of Eden” the artifact that when used… is the road map to realizing… peace.

Unfortunately for the viewer, the film spends the majority of its moments in modern times… and thus loses its way. For the novice, like me, the MacGuffin of the film, the “Apple of Eden” the item that cures violence, makes little sense but at least as a plot point for the 15th century it is fleshed out more with greater exposition but loses respectability with lesser definition trying to translate it into modern times.

The performances in the movie are uneven. The duality of Michael Fassbender is on full display as his 15th century character(Aguilar de Nerha) captivates and illuminates with great action scenes, and well placed cinematography but his character doesn’t require much dialog so it is mainly a physical performance. But in modern times as Callum Lynch, Fassbender despite his acting acumen, isn’t able to save a storyline that unravels by being cold and lacking spark.

The dearth of spice and believability for the battle between the factions in modern day falls flat and renders useless the performances of the other main actors, Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Irons, leaving you wanting more passion and heart from the actors and this movie.

Overall as a movie, “Assassin’s Creed” stands up as an action movie with great stunts and fight choreography but once you begin to dig into the story, you will begin to drift away and may wish that you had a joystick in your hand, playing the game instead of watching the movie.

Darryl King (photo courtesy of Darryl King)Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Luke Cage, Xmen: Apocalypse and Captain America: Civil War right here on MMT.

MMT Quick Review: Reboot! a non-spoiler review of XMEN: APOCALYPSE by Darryl King

X-MEN: APOCALYPSE (20th Century Fox)

Is the world coming to an end or are we waiting for the end… of this movie? X-Men: Apocalypse is an ambitious movie as it strives to introduce us to an established mutant universe, launch brand new actors playing our favorite mutants while bringing us the greatest villain within the mutant universe… Apocalypse!

Because of that, instead of rewarding us with the epic ending of an outstanding trilogy, (First Class, Days of Future Past, Apocalypse) we are fed another unfulfilling start from a movie more concerned with furthering the X-Men franchise.

If there is anything that can derail the ever popular Superhero movie genre is the growing notion that each movie has to be a setup for future movies within that franchise. By doing that, what these films forget to do is tell a compelling story, providing more foreshadowing than narrative. “Batman V Superman” and “Avengers: Age of Ultron” both fell into this trap, a trap that unfortunately caught “X-Men Apocalypse.”

Fox Pictures the studio behind the X Men, felt the need to reboot their franchise after the harsh criticism from “X-Men Last Stand”, the final movie in their original trilogy of X-Men films. Ever since then, the X-Men franchise has been in a constant state of reboot.

Starting with “X-Men First Class” that film effectively gave us the stellar retelling of the Magneto and Professor X origins with new actors at the helm, taking us back to the 60’s, thus justifying the reboot. But then director Bryan Singer, the original filmmaker of the X-Men films, returned to reclaim the X-Men franchise.

Singer felt the need to destroy the timeline and events established from the disliked movie “X-Men Last Stand” that he perceived ruined his original trilogy. So his follow-up movie “X-Men Days of Future Past,” while an awesome film, rebooted the X-Men timeline once again, leaving us where we find ourselves today with “X-Men Apocalypse “.

The strengths of “X-Men Apocalypse” are the opening sequence, the origins of our big bad… Apocalypse, along with a better depiction of the gifted X-Men school. The movie does a good job setting up the framework of the new timeline which now takes place in the 80’s by introducing us to the new actors who will lead all future X-Men movies.

The origins of Cyclops (Tye Sheridan), Jean Grey (Sophie Turner), Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and Storm (Alexandria Shipp) are tastefully done and with the increased role for Quicksilver (Evan Peters), the next wave of X-Men films are in very capable hands. Finally we are exposed to the budding relationship of Cyclops and Jean, and when these 2 along with Nightcrawler are on missions together, you will cry a happy tear because you feel you are watching scenes straight from the comics. But after the movie sets up a solid premise, and the believability of the new actors, it begins to unravel.

What made this trilogy so strong was the banter and interchanges between Professor X (James McAvoy) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) and this movie gives us little of that. It forces us to digest more of Raven/Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and tolerating other over stated cameos and role players.

Which leads us to a third act of the movie that is truly unsatisfying and at times poorly executed – as Apocalypse’s plan is weak, and his necessity of four underlings is never fully developed or rendered unconvincing.

“X-Men Apocalypse” is a decent action movie filled with enough action scenes to make it worthwhile and justify expensive popcorn and soda. There is no need to see the film in 3D as that format exacerbates the flaws of the special effects’ execution more than enhancing the film or the experience. If the movie hadn’t been bogged down with extending the future of the X-Men franchise, perhaps we would have been given the emotional weight of Apocalypse and his true menacing desire to save the world. When the movie ends, we are still waiting for the “X-Men Apocalypse” to show up.

Darryl King (photo courtesy of Darryl King)Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Captain America: Civil WarDeadpoolAvengers: Age of Ultron, and his primer guide to Captain America: Civil War right here on MMT.

 

MMT Quick Review of X-Men Days of Future Past

X-Men Days of Future Past (x-menmovies.com)

Happy Memorial Day Weekend MMT Family!  With the weather being so conflicting, it almost doesn’t seem like the beginning of summer!  But oh if The Amazing Spiderman 2 didn’t hype it enough, and if Godzilla hasn’t stomped it in, then my top pick of this weekend X-Men: Days of Future Past will definitely transport the summer blockbuster season right into place!

So here’s the synopsis:

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from X-Men: First Class in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future. The X-Men send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

Along with Wolverine, the main X-Men players in this film are Professor X, Magneto, Mystique, Beast, Storm, Kitty Pryde, Iceman, Quicksilver, Bishop, Blink, Colossus, and Warpath.  Now, for the folk who aren’t X-Men followers, those names may not mean as much, but know that this movie is not just for the X-Men comic/movie fans and really has a great story within. The one thing I’ve always appreciated about this comic series are the civil rights stories they’ve incorporated and the humanity displayed by each character.  This movie is no exception; however it is the darkest of the X-Men movies and I would definitely note the PG-13 rating and not take younger kids.

Also the CGI and the fight scenes are incredible!  I viewed it in 3D; however I believe the scenes play out just as well without it (and will be going to see it again non-3D this weekend!). And you guys know I don’t do spoilers BUT I do want to encourage you to stay past the credits. Most fans of the movie already know that’s where the teasers are, and this one gives a teaser for the next film “X-Men Apocalypse.”  If you want further explanation of the scene and the character Apocalypse, and don’t mind spoilers, click here for a cool article on the MTV site.

Lastly, and maybe some of my fellow X-Men lovers/Mental Health professionals can help me out.  Is it just me or does Magneto (Ian McKellan/Michael Fassbender) really have ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)??? LOL, I mean yes he’s suffered horrendous things in childhood and I used to think his behavior reminiscent of PTSD, but no – he is just oppositional and often for no good reason!!!  Go see the movie, pay attention to the stadium/white house scene and let me know if you agree! 🙂

Checkout the official trailer for X-Men Days of Future Past below, and you can get additional info and buy tickets for the film at the official website here.

Alright family, I’ll be posting a review of Blended tomorrow so stay tuned!  And as always, please stop back and share a thought or two about the movie after you see it.

Until next thought, Thomasena

A Quick Review of ’12 Years A Slave’

12 Years A Slave (Fox Searchlight)

What’s new MMT family?  Well, last week I screened the critically acclaimed Steve McQueen directed vehicle 12 Years A Slave, and I agree completely that the hype is well deserved. Because the film has been the center of much discussion throughout the past year, toured the festival circuit while receiving significant amounts of praise, and officially opened in limited release two weeks prior, there is very little that has not been said/written about this ‘based on a true story’ film. Nevertheless, here are a few of my thoughts regarding it and the passionate portrayals displayed.

Let me start by saying that in my review of Django Unchained last year, I’d mentioned that “my biggest problem with Django is slavery is too heavy a topic for me to view intertwined with fantasy.” The lack of previous major motion pictures regarding the subject, from an African-American point of view, made the movie extremely hard for me to digest.  The beauty of 12 Years A Slave is that the script is adapted from a narrative (same title) written by Solomon Northup, who is portrayed in the film by the magnificently dynamic Chiwetel Ejiofor.  For me, it is also the reason this film was so gripping.  The audience watches as Northup, a free man, is deceived, drugged, abducted and sold into a life of horrendous abuse and torment.  I haven’t read the actual book 12 Years A Slave, but several writers who’ve read, and commented about the film, have shared this movie follows it pretty closely.

With respect to all the reviews posted, I don’t even know if there is anything left to remark on regarding Ejiofor’s performance.  But I will simply say this: his performance is expressively raw and emotively brilliant.  I don’t even want to attempt to imagine where he must have drawn from for this role, but whatever he did worked.  There is no doubt in my mind that Chiwetel Ejiofor will be lauded with Best Actor nominations come award season; and the same goes for Steve McQueen who will certainly be in the running for Best Director.

The performance that I pray isn’t overlooked come award season was given by Kenyan actress/filmmaker Lupita Nyong’o, who plays a slave named Patsey.  Nyong’o executes a range of emotions with precision as the audience watches Patsey evolve from innocently carving dolls out of corn husks (early on in film) to agonizingly receiving one of the worst lashings I’ve ever seen portrayed on-screen big or small. Again, I cannot imagine from where she also must have drawn energy/influence, but it was no pleasant place to say the least. Correspondingly, Michael Fassbender who portrays the cruel slave owner Edwin Epps, had no easy feat in portraying a malevolent, abusive and sexually violent character, yet he definitely brought his A game to this film.

I am extremely excited to think what could happen early next year with award season.  If I had my way, we would see 1) Best Director nods for Ryan Coogler, Lee Daniels, and Steve McQueen, 2) Best Actor nods for Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Forest Whitaker, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, 3) Best Actress nods for Octavia Spencer and Lupita Nyong’o and 4) Best Picture nods for 42, Fruitvale Station, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and 12 Years A Slave.  I reserve the right to add Idris Elba with his performance of Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom once I’ve been able to view!

You can click on the film titles in the above paragraph to read previous posts/reviews about those films respectively, and get insight into why I chose the directors, actors and actresses listed. You can also get additional info and showtimes in your area for 12 Years A Slave by clicking here. The movie opened in limited release on October 18 and in additional theaters, including the Philadelphia area, last Friday, October 25.  It will continue to open nationwide through November 1.

Make sure you stop back and share your thoughts about the film.  Very curious to read what you think about this one!

Until next thought family, Thomasena