MMT August 2016 Netflix Picks

get down

Happy Sunday MMT Fam! I am near the end of a desperately needed birthday vacation, but wanted to quickly share my picks from this month – since I was able to catch up during my off days!

This months picks are inspired by, and begin with, the Netflix original series THE GET DOWN, which features a dynamic cast including an MMT fave Shameik Moore (who starred in one of my favorite 2015 films DOPE), Jimmy Smits, Giancarlo Esposito, Jaden Smith, and newcomers Justice Smith and Herizen F. Guardiola in the lead roles of Ezekiel (Zeke) and Mylene.

I can best describe “The Get Down” as an unconventional, hip-hop fantasy/musical/drama inspired by the pioneering days of DJing and rapping – with Nasir Jones aka NAS and Grandmaster Flash bringing parts of authenticity to the project as executive producer/narrator and associate producer/adviser respectively, along with noted journalist and hip-hop historian Nelson George who served as supervising producer. And Mamoudou Athie, cast as a young Grandmaster Flash, had me doing a double take the entire episode one of the six part saga – which follows a group of  youth as they navigate the rise of the early South Bronx hip hop movement in late 1970s NYC.

Directed and co-written by Baz Luhrmann, “The Get Down” is very reminiscent of his earlier works, “The Great Gatsby” (2013) and “Romeo and Juliet” (1996), with its creatively modern take on the period. If you have a free day, or a three-day for the approaching Labor Day weekend, with only six episodes this series is an easy and entertaining binge.

Since a couple of films (“Wild Style” included) that would be perfect pairings with the first choice are now distant memories for Netflix, here are a few others that are still streaming that I think would complement it nicely:

  1. DOPE – and anyone who follows this site knows! This was one of my top three films of 2015, and a February 2016 Netflix pick so refer to my rationale there!
  2. HIP HOP: THE FURIOUS FORCE OF RHYMES – is a perfect choice for those who prefer a documentary or fact based telling of the art form’s rise from the late 1970’s NYC to the worldwide genre we now know. Featuring artists, such as Grandmaster Caz and Lord Jamar, the 87 minute narrative is a summation of hip-hop’s beginnings to its current global reach and impact.
  3. THE BOONDOCKS – four seasons worth of witty, hilarious, albeit oft-times vulgar, hip-hop infused animated humor and social commentary. Although its award-winning creator and cartoonist Aaron McGruder left the show during the fourth season, this comedy series – which follows two brothers, Huey and Riley, being raised by their elderly grandfather – remained funny in its uncensored, unafraid and unabashed clowning of any and everything. This pick is definitely not recommended for our more conservative readers, and definitely not for those who are easily offended.

Alright family, those are my choices from the month of August! Back to enjoying my last day and a sixth of bday vacay!

Until next thought, Thomasena

 

 

 

 

 

MMT February 2016 Netflix Picks

Happy Valentine’s Day MMT Fam! I’m really excited to share my three Netflix picks for this month with you! The picks range from one of my top five films of 2015, to a movie directed by a Philly native and shot locally in our hometown, to one of my favorite new TV shows – which has a new season starting in March, so you’ll have time to get up to speed if you’re not already watching. 😉

My first choice is new to Netflix, the film DOPE, which I heavily promoted last year with screening giveaways and a review. “Dope” is set in director’s Rick Famuyiwa’s hometown of Inglewood and follows protagonist Malcom (Shameik Moore) and friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) – from their unknowing entry into a drug scenario (slight spoiler) through their clever attempt to beat the odds and the drug dealers at their own game. It’s funny, clever, and filled with great music (with songs produced by Pharrell Williams) and cameos. You can check out my full review from last year here.

Next up is a film that was also recently added to Netflix, BROTHERLY LOVE, which was written and directed by Jamal Hill. Set in the Overbrook section of Philadelphia, “Brotherly Love” follows a sibling trio – Jackie (Keke Palmer), Sergio (Eric D. Hill Jr.) and June (Cory Hardrict) – who are pursuing a better life amidst severe challenges, that result in life-altering decisions. The story is solid, and includes a young love affair (with a twist) between Jackie (Palmer) and Chris – the latter played by Quincy Brown aka Combs. And if you recognize the last name, yes that is Combs as in Diddy’s son – who also makes in appearance the aforementioned “Dope.”

“Brotherly Love” also co-stars singer/actress Macy Gray, rapper/actor Romeo Miller – and has several cool cameos, including actors Malik Yoba, actor/comedian Faizon Love, and “The Roots” front man and Philly native Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter.

My final pick for today is the Netflix original mini-series – that literally had folk (myself included) going through withdrawal last year after binge-watching – MARVEL’S DAREDEVIL! As hard as I tried to extend viewing, once I got past episode three it was a wrap – I was done in two days, and that would be business days, so I got no sleep!

Now I have to admit that I was not a “Daredevil” comic fan and really knew nothing about the character. So I entered episode one like, “A blind comic book hero? How?”  Since I don’t do spoilers, let’s just say that by the end of episode two (the rescue scene) I was a believer. And by the time one of my fave actors, Vincent D’Onofrio (Law & Order: Criminal Intent), appears and starts showing out, kicking a$$, and taking no names as Wilson Fisk, I was ALL IN!

I was able to interview “Daredevil” actor Elden Henson (Foggy Nelson) when he visited Philly for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay 2 press tour. I tried to get him to give us the tea on the upcoming season – with pretty much no luck, LOL! But, you can check out why he amusingly “feared” spilling the beans in my Examiner article here.

Alright MMT Fam, that’s it for this month’s selections. Please leave a comment or two if you watch or have seen any of the choices, and feel free to leave some Netflix picks of your own. 🙂

Until next thought, Thomasena

 

 

 

 

 

 

MMT Quick Review: DOPE

dope

Happy Friday MMT Family!  I am so excited to finally write about Open Road films’ DOPE – which so far is my absolute favorite film of 2015! If you’ve heard anything about it, I highly doubt that it was bad as writer/director Rick Famuyiwa (The Wood, Brown Sugar) has truly changed the game on the “high school dramedy” – with a proper dose of social commentary thrown in for good measure. The film – produced by actor/director Forest Whitaker – was also a breakout hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

DOPE follows the journey of high school senior Malcom (Shameik Moore) and his fellow misfit friends Jib (Tony Revolori) and Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) – from their unknowing entry into a drug scenario (slight spoiler) through their clever attempt to beat the odds and the drug dealers at their own game. Famuyiwa focuses once more on his beloved Inglewood, as with his critically acclaimed feature The Wood, which works brilliantly with the commentary on race, stereotypes and identity in the film.

I really enjoyed the star cameos – which included Kimberly Elise (For Colored Girls, John Q) and Roger Guenveur Smith (Cover, American Gangster). As well as rapper A$AP Rocky in a very comical screen début, and a performance by the extremely talented Zoe Kravitz (Insurgent, Yelling to the Sky) who really has shined in several films in recent years – and come into her own nicely (her band Lolawolf included) outside of her famous parents’ (Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz) notoriety. It was also great to see actor D’aundre Bonds (Gangster Squad, The Wood) – who had a couple of pretty funny moments as a high school security guard.

Add to that the 90’s hip-hop score curated by executive producer Pharrell Williams – who also created four original songs for the film – and DOPE conjures up feel-good nostalgic memories interspersed with laughs that are plentiful for the taking.

And you know we don’t do too much spoiling on this site, but just know that social media and technology is ingeniously highlighted in DOPE, including the online currency site Bitcoin, so it is fitting that this is the first film to accept Bitcoin payment for ticket purchases.

Alright MMT Fam, if I keep writing I will start giving spoilers – I enjoyed the film that much!  I need to come up with a rating system for the MMT site!  Any suggestions for symbols? Let me know in the comments when you share your thoughts on the film!

Until next thought family, Thomasena

PS – the trailer below is uncensored, so be careful (NSFW) 🙂

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening for DOPE on Tuesday, June 16 (Philly, PA)

DOPE (photo: Open Road Films)

Happy Sunday MMT Family!  If you didn’t get a chance to screen DOPE last time around, here’s a second chance at it – but you’ve got to be quick! We’ve been given additional passes for the screening happening this Tuesday, June 16. This giveaway is an open one, so go and claim tickets asap – until they’re gone!

You can go to Gofobo and enter code DOPEPHL or click here to go directly to our giveaway page and select the “get my passes” prompt.  Tickets, like theater seating, are not guaranteed and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

You can read the synopsis and watch the below trailer for DOPE, and get additional information about the film at the official movie website here.

Good Luck! Until next thought, Thomasena

DOPE synopsis

A critical hit and audience favorite out of the Sundance Film Festival, in DOPE, Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening for DOPE on Friday, May 29 (Philly, PA)

DOPE (photo: Open Road Films)

Happy Memorial Day MMT Family!  So here’s that second giveaway for the holiday weekend – but you’ve got to be quick! We’ve been given several passes for the Philly screening of the upcoming indie hit – and Sundance favorite – DOPE this Friday, May 29. This giveaway is an open one, so go and claim tickets asap – until they’re gone!

Go to gofobo.com and enter code MMTDOPE, or click here to go directly to giveaway page and select the “get my passes” prompt.  Tickets, like theater seating, are not guaranteed and are on a first-come, first-served basis.

You can read the synopsis and watch the below trailer for DOPE, and get additional information about the film at the official movie website here.

Good Luck family! Until next thought, Thomasena

DOPE synopsis

A critical hit and audience favorite out of the Sundance Film Festival, in DOPE, Malcolm (Shameik Moore) is carefully surviving life in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles while juggling college applications, academic interviews, and the SAT. A chance invitation to an underground party leads him into an adventure that could allow him to go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.