MMT Quick Review: CREED

CREED (photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Happy Thanksgiving MMT Family! So I was absolutely correct in my great expectations for the new release CREED, starring Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson, and hometown hero Sylvester Stallone. It was everything a Rocky update should be for a new generation – and us folk in generations prior that loved the Stallone films. Director Ryan Coogler, and his co-writer Aaron Covington, injected the right amount of grit, drama, and passion – and added a soundtrack that helped usher the story into the 21st century.

The film follows protagonist Adonis Johnson (Jordan), son of Apollo Creed, who never knew his famous father – his mother was pregnant when Apollo was killed. After his mother’s death, Adonis finds himself in the foster care system, and subsequently the juvenile justice system – until Apollo’s widow Mary Anne Creed (Phylicia Rashad) finds and raises him. A natural-born pugilist, Adonis engages in several unprofessional bouts before making his way to Philly – where he locates his father’s former rival and best friend, Rocky Balboa, in an effort to get Rocky to mentor and train him. Rocky agrees, but unbeknownst to them both the young Creed will not be the only one up against a major challenge.

Adonis also finds a love interest and confidant in local singer/songwriter Bianca, portrayed by the multi-talented Tessa Thompson, who not only teaches him local lingo – shout out to Coogler and Convington for tackling the “jawn” definition – but helps Adonis learn lessons in trust and forgiveness.

I. Loved. This. Film. I enjoyed watching my hometown, once more, prominently displayed on-screen. At the Philly press stop earlier this month, Tessa Thompson appropriately described the city as a character in this film, and she was absolutely correct. Coogler, a Oakland, CA native, beautifully directed this film and paid homage to the original Rocky – with Art Museum (“Rocky stairs”) shots – as well as local neighborhoods – with scenes that highlighted Philly favorites like Max’s Steaks in Nicetown (I wrote about Kevin Hart taking Ice Cube to Jim’s and Max’s last year) and Johnny Brenda’s (where Bianca performs) in Fishtown.

Also highlighted were the legendary Front Street Gym – where Michael B. Jordan trained for the role – and the South Philly restaurant Victor Cafe – which was transformed into the fictional “Adrian’s” named after Rocky’s late wife.

To say I loved this film is really an understatement. The fight scenes are THE TRUTH and intense. If you can’t handle gore, it may be a bit much – but I’m a boxing fan so I loved them. And Michael B. Jordan is in peak shape – and Coogler made it a point to note at the press conference that Jordan performed all of his stunts, with no body double.

Contrary to what one of my peers expressed in conversation after our early screening, I also enjoyed the love story between the Adonis and Bianca characters. Coogler has a great eye for minute detail – displayed nicely in an intimate scene that finds Adonis assisting Bianca with her braids. It was simple, but authentic – reminiscent of a Rocky and Adrian moment in the original film.

And speaking of the original Rocky, Stallone is great in this movie! Some people didn’t take to his performance in “Cop Land” – having seen him in action movies so long prior. But if you thought that was a solid performance, like I did, you are really going to love him in this.

Okay fam, I could go on-and-on about this movie, but I’m about to enter “Spoilerville”, and we know I don’t do that (if I can help it!). In sum, CREED is filled with great performances and is very entertaining. I expected nothing less from Coogler, who wrote and directed a fave – FRUITVALE STATION. I can’t wait to see what he, Jordan and Thompson – the latter of whom was brilliant in MISSISSIPPI DAMNED (now on Netflix) – are going to do next. And it will be very interesting to see what type of acclaim this movie, Coogler and cast are given – especially Stallone, who is already being lauded for his performance.

Stop back and let me know your thoughts after you see the movie family! Would love to hear your take on this one. 🙂

Until next thought, Thomasena

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY: advance screening of CREED on Monday, November 23 (Philly, PA)

CREED (photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Happy Monday MMT Fam! Now if you’ve followed this site for a while, you already know I’ve been waiting for this one, hence the MMT Quick Look earlier this year, and three other things – 1) I love director Ryan Coogler, who I had the pleasure of interviewing when his dĂ©but FRUITVALE STATION was released, 2) I love Michael B. Jordan, who brilliantly portrayed the late Oscar Grant in the aforementioned, and 3) I love, love, love Sylvester Stallone and the Rocky franchise.

Now, I also had the pleasure of screening the movie early to prepare for the CREED Philly press stop – see my Examiner article here – and I didn’t get a pic with Mr. Stallone, but I did shake his hand and tell him how much I loved this latest installment. Same with Mr. Coogler, who actually remembered me from his stop here a couple of years ago. But I didn’t get near that fine Michael B. Jordan, and it wasn’t for lack of trying!

Alright back to the matter at hand! I have five admit-two passes to next Monday’s screening of the film, which opens on Thanksgiving Day. Now, I’m reserving these passes for subscribers only – which means you must be a regular, active follower of this site. If that’s you, and you want to try your luck at a pair, send your full name in an email (please use the address you’re signed up with) to thinkmusicmovies@gmail.com with the subject line CREED. I will select followers at random and notify no later than Friday, November 20.

You can watch a trailer for CREED below and get additional information at the official website here.

Good luck family!

Until next thought, Thomasena

 

 

 

MMT Quick Look: CREED starring Michael B. Jordan

Creed (photo: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Happy Monday MMT Fam! Okay, so I already told you I’ll be in theaters on Christmas – but I’m also spending time this Thanksgiving watching the fourth and final Hunger Games film and this additional movie that I am absolutely dying to see…CREED!!!! I mean, I am the person who watched the all-day Rocky marathon just this past Saturday on Bounce TV – even though I can recite most of the lines from the gazillion times I’ve watched the films. I am the woman who passionately wrote about director Ryan Coogler’s dĂ©but feature FRUITVALE STATION, which also starred the magnificent Michael B. Jordan. And after the first two trailers that have been released, and the fact that it was shot in my hometown of Philly, I don’t see how this could go wrong in any shape, form or fashion!

Don’t believe me? Check out the trailers below for yourself, and get additional info about the film at the official website here. Okay, I know I’m too hype! CREED opens everywhere Thanksgiving Day, November 25.

Until next thought, Thomasena