MMT Quick Review of SHOT CALLER

A successful businessman is incarcerated for a horribly unintentional, and completely irresponsible, crime. In order to survive, he must reinvent himself completely and go beyond any moral barometer he’s ever lived, for the safety of himself and ultimately his family. This is the basis of the film SHOT CALLER, which opened in select theaters (unfortunately the Philly market was changed/cancelled last minute) and video on-demand on August 25.

Starring¬†Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) in the lead, and Omari Hardwick (Power, Middle of Nowhere) as a tough as nails detective trying to bring a prison related crime ring to justice – yes, the opposite of his beloved Ghost/James St. Patrick character on the Starz crime drama “Power” – “Shot Caller” is a flashback fueled, violent, and intense journey that deviates from the standard crime saga and offers some unexpected takes – but we’re spoiler free, so I’ll leave it there. ūüėČ

What I will say is lead actor Coster-Waldau’s¬†–¬†although I question how believable the actions of his character (this is one prepared former businessman) would be in reality – gripping performance allows the audience¬†to suspend disbelief and invest in witnessing his rise in a crime-ridden world and the disheartening choices he chooses for survival.

And for those who after last night’s season finale are experiencing “Power” withdrawal, like myself for approximately the next nine months, here’s an option for that “Hardwick in the crime world” fix.

Streaming now at online providers, including iTunes¬†and Amazon, “Shot Caller” was both written and directed by Ric Roman Waugh and distributed by Saban Films.

Let me know what you think when you watch it family.

Until next thought, Thomasena

Synopsis:

SHOT CALLER follows the harrowing, often heart-rending journey of successful businessman Jacob Harlon (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) who is transformed into Money, a stoic, ruthless prison gangster after a DUI sends him down the rabbit hole of the American prison system. As he navigates the brutality of his new home, adapting to its violent codes of ethics and rites of passage that will ensure his survival, he slowly loses his previous identity and his relationship to his former life, including his wife and son. The grip of his new family, the prison gang, extends beyond the prison walls. Upon his release, chased by the law enforcement, threatened by his incarcerated ‚Äúprotectors,‚ÄĚ Money must orchestrate one last dangerous crime. All is not what it seems. The ruthless process of fulfilling his obligations also becomes his path to sacrifice, retribution and self-definition.

Written and Directed by: Ric Roman Waugh

Starring: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Omari Hardwick, Lake Bell, Jon Bernthal, Emory Cohen, Jeffrey Donovan, Evan Jones, Benjamin Bratt, and Holt McCallany

MMT Quick Look: Power season 3 episode one CALL ME JAMES

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Happy Sunday MMT Fam! Today is the day that all of us POWER fans have been waiting for – the premi√®re of the new season! We had to wait an extra month (what happened to those June premieres?) for this third season, and it’s also on a new night – Sunday versus its original Saturday slot.

Now for those who aren’t hip to the show, and have no clue why the rest of us are so addicted, all I can say is tune in to Starz tonight – but if you don’t happen to have that channel, for $8.99 a month you can stream the Starz app online or any streaming service/device instantaneously. And if you’re in the latter category, I recommend you catching up on the first two seasons before you jump into three – this show packs so much into an hour, and it’s soooo good, you need to be on point with all the players before you digest this third season.

With that being said, episode one picks up where episode ten of season two left off (slight spoilers for newbies): James (Omari Hardwick)with bruised face still from THAT last fight, wants to start over with a clean slate and dismiss any remnants of “Ghost” from his life, Tommy (Joseph Sikora) is caught between a rock and hard place with Lobos’s (Enrique Murciano) order to kill James while trying to rebuild the syndicate for distribution, Angela (Lela Loren) is trying to believe that James is reformed and out the game but trust is long broken, and Tasha (Naturi Naughton) is trying to mourn the loss her marriage, Shawn and believe that Ghost/James had nothing to do with his death.

New players are introduced – and um, a new Korean group in the syndicate looks like Trouble (capital T for real) – and role reversals are highlighted – can’t wait to see what happens to the Andre (Rotimi) character, who is now Jamie’s right hand man at Truth. And pay attention to the opening scene and tell me it doesn’t remind you of Season 1, episode 1 – just with Angela, not Tasha!

I screened the first episode with a theater full of true “Power” fans, who were so hyped that thunderous applause was given before the show started, and most definitely when it ended. “Call Me James” doesn’t disappoint, and nicely sets up what is sure to be a high energy season where the stakes are raised much higher than the previous two.

I want to say so much more, but you know I don’t do spoilers so check back and let’s chat in the comments after you’ve watched the show! Season three of POWER premieres tonight on the Starz channel at 9pm – but it’s available now on Starz on demand and on the app!

Until next thought family! Thomasena

 

Save the best for last: a recap of MusicMoviesThoughts 2013 highlights

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Well MMT Family, this is the last post of 2013. ¬†Can you believe how fast this year went? ¬†And what a great year it has been! I was able to share some really great interviews, including Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler, ¬†The Sapphires director Wayne Blair,¬†The Purge producer Jason Blum, The Best Man Holiday writer/director Malcolm D. Lee, and interviews with Lee Daniels’ The Butler cast Yaya Alafia, Cuba Gooding Jr. and director Lee Daniels himself. ¬†I also met several of my faves and “mentors in my head” including Cathy Hughes, Smokey Robinson, and Berry Gordy.

And don’t even get me started with the cool¬†Twitter mentions and thanks received from major films/companies, independents and several of my industry faves, including Debra Lee, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Anika Noni Rose, Omari Hardwick, Lisa Lisa, and Will Downing! ¬†In addition, I’ve received feature promotion on Examiner.com for several of my stories, which helped to introduce MusicMoviesThoughts to a whole new audience. ¬†It has indeed been a great year, to say the least! ūüėČ

I am so very thankful for all of the support, comments, and thank-you emails sent to me for the giveaways, promo items and screening passes received.  It is my absolute pleasure to share my passion with you and I look forward to sharing even greater things in 2014.  And lastly, but certainly not least, thanks so much to Michael Tozzi of ijazzglobal.com and Monica Lyons of Sista Pics for their wonderful contributions and support.

Well that’s it for me family! ¬†Until 2014, Thomasena ūüôā

GIVEAWAY – Win Passes to Screen “Sparkle” Wednesday August 15th (Philly, PA)

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What’s new Music Movie Lovers! ¬†I am very excited to announce that MusicMoviesThoughts has partnered with Allied-THA to offer you a chance to win a pair of passes to see Sony Pictures¬†Sparkle starring Whitney Houston, Jordin Sparks, and Derek Luke. ¬†The film also stars the very talented Mike Epps, and features Tika Sumpter, Carmen Ojogo, Omari Hardwick and Cee-Lo Green. ¬†For a chance to win, make sure you’ve signed up to follow this blog (and look for the confirmation email to complete the sign up process). ¬†You can increase your chances by also following me on Twitter @ledfarr. ¬†I will randomly select and post names of winners on Friday, August 10th to receive passes to attend the Philadelphia (PA) screening on Wednesday August 15th.

I will post a review after the movie’s national release date (August 17th); but those who follow me know that the original 1976 version of Sparkle is my ALL TIME favorite movie, so you can check out my initial thoughts (from last October) about the remake at this link¬†Sparkle Remake Ready To Start Production. You can also check out the official website for a synopsis and to view the new movie trailer at¬†http://www.sparkle-movie.com/site/. ¬†Good luck family! ūüôā

Until next thought, Thomasena