GIVEAWAY: DVD/Digital HD combo of BIG LITTLE LIES courtesy of HBO

Happy Tuesday MMT Fam! We have a great giveaway today, courtesy of our friends at HBO! We’re giving away a DVD/Digital HD combo of BIG LITTLE LIES, the seven-part limited series that aired exclusively on the cable channel earlier this year.

Based on the New York Times number-one bestseller of the same name by Liane Moriarty, BIG LITTLE LIES is a subversive, darkly comedic drama that weaves a tale of murder and mischief as it explores society’s myth of perfection and the contradictions that exist beneath our idealized façade of marriage, sex, parenting and friendship.

The stellar cast includes Reese Witherspoon (Oscar®, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner for “Walk the Line”; Oscar®, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for “Wild”; “Inherent Vice”); Nicole Kidman (Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for “Lion”; Oscar® winner for “The Hours”; Golden Globe winner for “To Die For,” “Moulin Rouge!” and “The Hours”; SAG Award nominee for “Rabbit Hole” and “The Paperboy”; Emmy® nominee for HBO’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn”); Shailene Woodley (Independent Spirit Award winner, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for “The Descendants”; “Divergent”; “The Fault in Our Stars”); Laura Dern (Oscar® nominee for “Wild” and “Rambling Rose”; Golden Globe winner for HBO’s “Enlightened,” “Recount” and “Afterburn;” five-time Emmy® nominee); Zoë Kravitz (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Divergent”); Alexander Skarsgård (“The Legend of Tarzan,” HBO’s “True Blood”); Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation,” “Black Mass”); James Tupper (“Men in Trees,” “Revenge”); and Jeffrey Nordling (“Sully,” “Motive”).

To try your luck at winning, you must be subscribed to this website and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with the subject line “Big Little Lies” and your full name and address in the body. And, if you follow #MMT on Facebook, you will increase your chances! One winner will be selected and notified by Sunday, September 17.

Good Luck Family!

BIG LITTLE LIES 

In the tranquil seaside town of Monterey, California, nothing is quite as it seems. Doting moms, successful husbands, adorable children, beautiful homes: What lies will be told to keep their perfect worlds from unraveling?

Told through the eyes of three mothers – Madeline, Celeste and Jane – BIG LITTLE LIES paints a picture of a town fueled by rumors and divided into the haves and have-nots, exposing the conflicts, secrets and betrayals that compromise relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (“Dallas Buyers Club,” for which he received an editing Oscar® nomination; “Wild”; “Demolition”), BIG LITTLE LIES is written for television and created by David E. Kelley (seven-time Emmy® winner for “Picket Fences,” “LA Law,” “The Practice” and “Ally McBeal”; “Goliath”).

 

 

MMT Quick Review: SING (with junior contributor Jayla)

SING

The Voice meets dramedy meets CG animation is a great and brief way to describe SING – the latest feature from Illumination Entertainment (The Secret Life of Pets, Minions, Despicable Me). Illumination has already proven that they can churn out hits, and “Sing” has all the makings of one – including great songs, clever characters, and animation that pops and engages – but how does it fair?

“Sing” tells the story of koala Buster Moon (Matthew McConaughey), who’s in dire straits but is the proud owner (for the time being) of a famed theater. Desperate to raise funds and save the theater, Moon comes up with an elaborate singing competition idea. Enter a cute cast of animal characters played by several Hollywood heavyweights, including Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, and newer A-listers like Taron Egerton and Leslie Jones and the story becomes one comedic and emotional rollercoaster.

And it’s the latter descriptors that give me pause – as there are some heavy themes in “Sing” and I question if it’s as appropriate for the littlest of folk. The characters not only deal with financial crises, but there are family woes, criminal relatives – not to mention a hustler contestant – and relationship issues that are displayed – and that’s fine for older kids and adults, but our littlest contributor, Miss Jayla the 4-year-old, zoned out about midway through the film. I believe some of the concepts were a bit too weighty and she was anticipating a quicker resolution.

Unfortunately, she checked out before the big finale – which is very well-done and as uplifting as the audience needed it to be, especially after experiencing a disaster scene…but no spoilers so I’ll leave it there! And, unlike when she really enjoys a film, Jayla has not requested or watched YouTube clips for SING. I guess me and her mother had a better time with this one at the theater (there is a nod to Beyonce’s “Becky with the good hair” lyric that almost took me out!).

I also really enjoyed the performances – to me the standouts were Tori Kelly’s cover of “Don’t You Worry ‘Bout A Thing,” by Stevie Wonder, and Taron Egerton’s cover of the Elton John hit “I’m Still Standing.” And Jennifer Hudson as retired opera star Nana Noodleman – and Ariana Grande and Wonder singing during the end credits – gives the film a star power bonus.

Speaking of Stevie Wonder, the soundtrack song he wrote “Faith,” was recently nominated for a Golden Globe! (Check out the video below)

One thing that I didn’t enjoy or find funny was a singing group, composed of foxes I believe, that appeared to be some type of comic relief during the audition/rehearsal scenes. Problem is, the characters were Asian, speaking a language clearly not understood by, and in turn they didn’t understand, Buster Moon – leading to a very disappointing joke. It’s 2016 Hollywood, why aren’t we pass this? Do better.

So what’s the take away? SING has some extremely funny moments, a couple of disappointing ones, and is filled with great songs and performances. It’s an animated film opening during the holidays, so I’m sure it will do quite well. I wouldn’t recommend for the under 6 yrs crowd, but certainly 7+ yrs possess the patience and inquisitiveness to follow the story well.

Stop back and share a comment or two when you see it, and the giveaway winners from last night’s screening should really feel free to chime in!

Until next thought, Thomasena

SING opens in theaters nationwide on December 21.

Jayla (pic 3)Jayla is MMT’s kid contributor, and Thomasena’s self-described “littlest Gemini bestie.” Her favorite colors are purple and pink, and she enjoys Minnie Mouse and Snoopy.

 

MMT Recommends: SING Saturday – Free Screening Thanksgiving Weekend (nationwide)

Sing Saturday

Following the release of this summer’s animated hit The Secret Life of Pets, Illumination presents SING this holiday season and, in partnership with AMC Theaters, is giving you the chance to screen it Thanksgiving weekend for free!

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, “Sing” stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times.  Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it.  Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

The film stars Academy Award® winners Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, alongside Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Grammy Award-nominated Tori Kelly, Leslie Jones, and Jay Pharoah.

Tickets for “SING Saturday” screenings are available on a first-come, first-served basis to the first 200 moviegoers in line at participating AMC Theatres on Saturday, November 26 (10 a.m. local time). Visit SingSaturday.com to find a list of participating theaters and sing your way to theaters this Thanksgiving weekend!

You can watch the trailer and read the full synopsis below, and get additional info about the film at the official website here. SING opens nationwide on December 21.

Don’t let fear stop you from doing the thing you love.

See SING in theaters December 21.

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | #SingMovie

SING synopsis

Set in a world like ours but entirely inhabited by animals, Sing stars Buster Moon (McConaughey), a dapper koala who presides over a once-grand theater that has fallen on hard times.  Buster is an eternal—some might even say delusional—optimist who loves his theater above all and will do anything to preserve it.  Now faced with the crumbling of his life’s ambition, he has one final chance to restore his fading jewel to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition.

Five lead contestants emerge: Mike (MacFarlane), a mouse who croons as smoothly as he cons; Meena (Kelly), a timid teenage elephant with an enormous case of stage fright; Rosita (Witherspoon), an overtaxed mother run ragged tending a litter of 25 piglets; Johnny (Egerton), a young gangster gorilla looking to break free of his family’s felonies; and Ash (Johansson), a punk-rock porcupine struggling to shed her arrogant boyfriend and go solo.

Each arrives under Buster’s marquee believing that this is their shot to change the course of their life.  And as Buster coaches each of his contestants closer and closer to the grand finale, he starts to learn that maybe the theater isn’t the only thing that is in need of saving.

Genre: Animated Feature

Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton, Tori Kelly, Nick Kroll, Beck Bennett, Nick Offerman, Jennifer Saunders, Garth Jennings,Peter Serafinowicz, Leslie Jones, Jay Pharoah

Written and Directed by: Garth Jennings

Produced by: Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY: advance screening for ‘HOT PURSUIT’ Tuesday, May 5 (Philly, PA)

HOT PURSUIT (photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Happy Friday and first day of May MMT Family!  We’ve obtained advanced screening passes to the new buddy comedy HOT PURSUIT, starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara, showing next Tuesday night in Center City Philadelphia.

To try your luck at a pass, click here and follow the Get My Passes prompt.  Passes, like theater seating, are not guaranteed and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

You can watch a trailer for the movie and read the synopsis below, and get additional info about the movie at the official website here. HOT PURSUIT opens nationwide on Friday, May 8.

Good luck family! Until next thought, Thomasena

HOT PURSUIT synopsis

An uptight and by-the-book cop (Reese Witherspoon) tries to protect the sexy and outgoing widow (Sofia Vergara) of a drug boss as they race through Texas pursued by crooked cops and murderous gunmen.

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening passes for ‘The Good Lie’ October 20 (Phila, PA)

THE GOOD LIE (photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Happy Monday MMT Family!  We’ve teamed with Allied-THA to give away screening passes for the highly anticipated Warner Bros. Pictures film, THE GOOD LIE – in theaters October 24. THE GOOD LIE tells the story of four young victims of the brutal 1983 Civil War in Sudan. Reese Witherspoon stars alongside Sudanese actors Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany, Emmanuel Jal, and newcomer Nyakuoth Weil, many of whom were also children of war. The screening is taking place next Monday, October 20 in Center City.

For your chance at passes, go to Gofobo and use the code: MMTKNZB. All passes and screening seating are not guaranteed and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Checkout the below trailer and synopsis for THE GOOD LIE, and get additional information about the film at the official website here.

Good Luck family!  Until next thought, Thomasena

THE GOOD LIE synopsis

They were known simply as “The Lost Boys.” Orphaned by the brutal civil war in Sudan, which began in 1983, these young victims traveled as many as a thousand miles on foot in search of safety.  Fifteen years later, a humanitarian effort would bring 3600 lost boys, as well as girls, to America.

Mamere and Theo are sons of the Chief in their village in Southern Sudan.  When an attack by the Northern militia destroys their home and kills their parents, eldest son Theo is forced to assume the role of Chief and lead a group of young survivors, including his sister Abital, away from harm.  But the hostile, treacherous terrain has other dangers in store for them.  As the tattered group makes the difficult trek to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya, they meet other fleeing children, forging a bond with Jeremiah, who, at 13, is already a man of faith, and Paul, whose skills become essential to their survival.

Thirteen years later, the now young adults are given the opportunity to leave the camp and resettle in America.  Upon arriving in Kansas, they are met by Carrie Davis (Witherspoon), an employment agency counselor who has been enlisted to help find them jobs—no easy task, when things like light switches and telephones are brand new to them.

Although Carrie has successfully kept herself from any emotional entanglements, these refugees, who desperately require help navigating the 21st century and rebuilding their shattered lives, need just that.   So Carrie embarks on her own unchartered territory, enlisting the help of her boss, Jack (Corey Stoll).

Together, against the backdrop of their shared losses, the Lost Boys and these unlikely strangers find humor in the clash of cultures, and heartbreak as well as hope in the challenges of life in America.