MMT Quick Review MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE

Hey MMT Fam! I haven’t been to as many kid/family friendly movies this year, since little Miss Jayla had to take a break from attending. But she was back in full effect – and I don’t mean that in a good sense – for MY LITTLE PONY: THE MOVIE, which her mother and I found entertaining but Jayla was in a mood and I can’t fully give the kid’s perspective this quick review.

But there were plenty of people there that I could “audience watch” – especially the adults, many of whom were clearly invested in “My Little Pony” as a hobby and whose excitement surpassed nostalgic memory.

In the film, Ponyville is invaded by a dark army and the Mane 6 – Twilight Sparkle, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy, and Rarity – must take a journey outside Equestria where they meet new friends and exciting challenges on a quest to use the magic of friendship to save their home.

“My Little Pony: The Movie” has an all-star voice cast including Emily Blunt, Kristin Chenoweth, Liev Schreiber, Michael Peña, Sia, Taye Diggs, Uzo Aduba and Zoe Saldana, and features original music and songs performed by Sia – who also voices a character named Songbird Serenade – Diggs, Saldana, Chenoweth and Blunt.

Now I don’t think the story was as tight as the hit film “Trolls” and I felt there was a rush in character introduction – which worked for those who clearly followed Pony cartoons, which I never have. Also, there were many references that I’m sure I missed due to the aforementioned, although I did get a Hasbro “Hungry Hungry Hippos” joke.

But the story became enjoyable and the characters personalities weren’t hard to catch on to once they got going on their journey. I especially loved that “Pinkie Pie,” who I swear needs a sedative or two!

What I most appreciated was how extremely kid-friendly the story is, in a time where adult-themed humor has become a standard in what’s marketed to the young ones, and also the friendship message highlighted throughout.

And the soundtrack is really decent, and hooked me from the start with a flashback to The Go-Go’s “We Got The Beat.”

All in all, I’d recommend this film for kids of all ages, and yes that includes adults. 😉 Just brush up on the “Mane 6” if you want to follow along a little better than I did in the beginning!

Let me know your thoughts family if you’ve seen the film or when you check it out.

Until next thought, Thomasena

 

MMT QUICK LOOK: ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART opening September 29

1991’s “Sleeping With The Enemy” may not have been a critical hit, but it sure was popular with audiences – and this viewer thought it was a fun ride! Enter the upcoming film ‘TIL DEATH DO US PART, which sounds like a 2017 update, starring Taye Diggs, Stephen Bishop and Annie Ilonzeh (All Eyez On Me). The trailer shows the same formula as Enemy – pretty woman marries charmer, charmer is really crazy abusive, pretty woman escapes to new town to start new life, crazy charmer tracks her down and the fight is on!

Check out the below synopsis and trailer and let me know your thoughts MMT Fam!

“‘Til Death Do Us Part” opens in theaters nationwide September 29. Get additional info at the official website here.

Until Next Thought, Thomasena

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‘TIL DEATH DO US PART

Director: Christopher B. Stokes

Writer: Christopher B. Stokes with Screenplay by Marques Houston

Cast: Taye Diggs (“Empire”), Annie Ilonzeh (All Eyez On Me, “Empire”), Stephen Bishop (“Imposters”), Malik Yoba (“Designated Survivor”) and Robinne Lee (50 Shades Darker)

Producers: Marques Houston, Jerome Jones, Jarell Houston, Shondrella Avery, Taye Diggs

Executive Producers: Rob Johnson, Patrick Johnson Sr., Patrick Johnson, Jr., Christopher B. Stokes

Synopsis:

Michael & Madison Roland, had planned to spend the rest of their lives together, until one day Michael’s controlling ways turned their perfect marriage, into an abusive rollercoaster no woman could survive. With the help of her best friend, Madison decides to get away. After adopting a new identity, she meets Alex Stone and learns to love again. All is well, until Michael discovers Madison’s whereabouts, and recreates the nightmare she once lived all over again.

THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY: a quick review and interview with writer/director Malcolm D. Lee

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What’s new family?  I’ve been waiting a bit to let you know my thoughts about The Best Man Holiday, the follow-up to 1999 hit film The Best Man.  Now let me preface my statements with this: I am that person that watches the original film, which I consider a modern-day classic, at least once a year,  so my anticipation level for this new film was at maximum.  And the story that Malcolm D. Lee (Soul Men, Roll Bounce) wrote, and directed, with this sequel did not disappoint.  Just as I expected, it felt as if I was catching up with several old friends.  I had a chance to tell Lee that during his press tour this week in Philadelphia while asking him a few questions about the film, cast and a possible sequel.

MMT: How did you determine what the characters’ life paths would look like (in the sequel), and did the fact that so many people loved and related to them shape your decision?

Malcolm:  To a degree, but it was more about growth and evolution.  When you’re fresh out of college , in your 20’s and single, you’re thinking about different things than when you’re in the late 30’s/early 40’s with a marriage, children, career, roadblocks and “forks in the road.”  The Best Man was my first movie, so I didn’t want to repeat myself but wanted it to be more sophisticated.   I knew I wanted Lance to have another struggle with his faith, Harper to experience struggles where he had to confront his own mortality, and Candy’s past to rear its head again.  But at the same time, I wanted everybody to progress and mature.  The studio was nervous about the direction of this film because the tone was different.  But I knew that people loved The Best Man not just because of the wedding setting, the bachelor party, etc.  But it was about the characters and I felt like we could do the same thing with the circumstances in this movie.

MMT: The movie definitely takes the viewer through a range of emotions, and I felt like I was re-connecting with old friends.  How was it for you re-connecting with the entire main cast and what were you most looking forward to working with them this time around?

Malcolm: The overall process of working with them.  I knew that we had to have a collective conscience about the movie, be on the same page, and challenge but support one another at the same time.  Just an opportunity to work with them again; they were a big part of my career.  And I think that the movie helped their careers in a lot of ways, and this movie can do the same thing.  Not only for them as individuals but for the industry as a whole, if the movie is successful.   This will be a normal thing and not such an event. A movie like The Best Man Holiday will just be a part of the pantheon of Black movies or movies in general.

MMT: The ending does allude to possibly a third film.  Will there be?

Malcolm: That all depends on how well this does.  If the box office warrants a third one, I’m down with a third one.  I have a strong idea for it.  But I will say this, if there is going to be a sequel it will not take fourteen years.  We don’t want it to be Best Man: The Nursing Home or Best Man: Cocoon!

When I asked if he knew the sequel would be a holiday themed film, Lee shared he did and that he toyed with the idea when he started drafting it back in 2005 while listening to Christmas music, and coping with a death in the family.  He stated he really didn’t commit pen to paper however until he received the okay from the studio.

And when I asked him the MMT signature question regarding what musical artist/group project he would bring to the big screen if possible, I think I may have actually stumped him, but not in a bad way!  Lee presents as very astute in his responses and he thought a bit before sharing “perhaps Otis Redding,” adding that he loves the story of his discovery, or maybe Prince.  He also offered Michael Jackson, but added that a project about him might be “too big.”

I must be honest, The Best Man Holiday is by far one of my favorites this year.  I laughed, laughed louder, teared-up, and then just cried.  A couple of side notes: the location where most of the movie takes place is simply breathtaking and the holiday decor is fabulous.  And ladies, as if the entire lead male cast and their New Edition lip-sync isn’t enough to get you there, I read that Morris Chestnut lost 30 lbs for this role and he looks A-MAZING.  Don’t be mad fellas, I’m a woman so I’m partial but this is one film where the eye-candy has an equal playing field.  And yes fellas, you will probably shed tears as well.

If you love the original like me, you will have a great time reuniting with the crew in this film.  And if you’ve never seen the original, this is a character-driven movie with which many can identify.  You will not feel too left out, but do catch up by watching or owning the original as soon as possible! 😉

Okay that’s it for me family.  Make sure you stop by and leave a thought or two in the comments section after you see the film. AND… giveaway alert!  If you go see the movie this weekend, which is opening weekend, send me a screenshot/picture of your ticket stub to thinkmusicmovies@aol.com for a chance to win a The Best Man Holiday poster signed by Malcolm D. Lee.  Your stub can be from any 11/15-11/17/13 showing.  Winners will receive notification on Monday, November 18.

Good luck family!  Until next thought, Thomasena

GIVEAWAY: win passes to screen ‘Best Man Holiday’ (Philly, PA)

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Hey MMT Family!  This is our 100th post and we’re celebrating with a GIVEAWAY! If you’re following the Facebook page, you knew to look out for this one! MusicMoviesThoughts has partnered with Allied-THA to giveaway passes for a screening of Universal Pictures’ Best Man Holiday the long-awaited sequel to Malcolm D. Lee’s 1999 directorial début “The Best Man.”  The entire main cast has returned for the sequel also written and directed by Lee.  I screened the movie earlier this week, and I’ll give my review next Friday but trust me you don’t want to miss this one!

The screening will take place next Wednesday night in Philadelphia.  In order to put your name in the hat, make sure you’re following this site or our Facebook page and send an email to thinkmusicmovies@aol.com with your full name and the subject line “Best Man.”   Winners will be announced by next Monday.

You can read a synopsis about the film and watch a trailer below, or get additional info at the official website here.  “Best Man Holiday” opens in theaters nationwide on November 15.

Alright family, good luck!  Until next thought, Thomasena

Best Man Holiday synopsis

After nearly 15 years apart, Taye Diggs (television’s Private Practice), Nia Long (Soul Food), Morris Chestnut (Kick-Ass 2), Harold Perrineau (Zero Dark Thirty), Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow), Sanaa Lathan (Contagion), Monica Calhoun (Love & Basketball), Melissa De Sousa (Miss Congeniality) and Regina Hall (Scary Movie franchise) reprise their career-launching roles in The Best Man Holiday, the long-awaited next chapter to the film that ushered in a new era of comedy.  When the college friends finally reunite over the Christmas holidays, they will discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be ignited. Malcolm D. Lee returns to write and direct this sequel to his directorial début.  Sean Daniel (The Mummy franchise) will produce alongside Lee for The Sean Daniel Company.

A quick review of ‘Baggage Claim’

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What’s up MMT family?  It has been a busy week for me, but I took a break on Tuesday night and went to screen the romantic comedy “Baggage Claim,” the new Fox Searchlight film written and directed by playwright, author and filmmaker David E. Talbert.  Now some may remember Talbert from his film directorial début “First Sunday,” which starred Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan and Katt Williams.  But a true fan would remember him from one, if not all thirteen of the nationally acclaimed touring stage plays he’s created; my favorite of which was “His Woman, His Wife” starring Malik Yoba.  But starting today, he will most certainly be known also as the creator of a really funny and romantic film, featuring a dynamic all-star African-American ensemble; including the talents of leads Paula Patton, Derek Luke and co-stars Taye Diggs, Jill Scott, Boris Kodjoe, Adam Brody and Djimon Hounsou.

“Baggage Claim” tells the story of Montana Moore (Patton), a flight attendant whose marriage alarm is turned to high when her mother (the dynamic diva herself Jennifer Lewis) announces her baby sister’s engagement and pending nuptials.  Not wanting to attend the wedding as the dreaded “old maid,” Montana’s friends (Scott and Brody) help her devise and execute a plan to catch a man, or a husband, within 30 days.

With respect to the romantic angle, the movie is fairly predictable; however it is the scheme devised by Montana and her friends, and the funny characters that are introduced because of said scheme, that makes the movie really enjoyable.  Favorite and funniest scenes for me included those with cameos by Tia Mowry-Hardrict, Rickey Smiley, and Affion Crockett.  And both Scott and Brody nailed their roles as Montana’s partners-in-crime; Scott especially as the comedic vixen who also was out to nail her a man, albeit for different reasons than Montana!  And you know I don’t do spoilers, so I’ll leave it there. 🙂

Baggage Claim also presents A LOT of eye candy for ladies of all ages, with the likes of Kodjoe, Hounsou, Luke, Diggs and a special appearance by Trey Songz.  Overall, I’d say it is a great movie for hanging out with friends and sharing some laughs, especially with a short 96 minute running time which makes it perfect for lunch/dinner and a movie.  You can click here to read the synopsis and watch the trailer for “Baggage Claim which opens today nationwide.  And for those who’d like a little more info on David E. Talbert and his productions click here.

Alright that’s it for me family.  Stop back and let me know your thoughts when you see the film!

Until next thought, Thomasena

GIVEAWAY: win passes to screen ‘BAGGAGE CLAIM’ (Phila, PA)

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Hey MMT Family!  If you’ve  been following our sister Facebook page then you knew to look out for this one!  We’ve obtained passes to screen the new Fox Searchlight movie “BAGGAGE CLAIM,” directed by David E. Talbert with an all-star cast including Paula Patton, Derek Luke, Taye Diggs, Jill Scott and Djimon Hounsou.  The screening will be held on Tuesday, September 24.

To put your name in the hat, send an email to thinkmusicmovies@aol.com with the subject line ‘BAGGAGE CLAIM’ and your full name in the body.  All winners will be notified by next Saturday. Want to increase you chances of winning?  Then make sure you are signed up to follow this site (right side of page) or have liked our sister Facebook page here.

You can check out a synopsis of the film and watch the trailer below.  Good luck family!

Until next thought, Thomasena

Synopsis:

Determined to get engaged before her youngest sister’s wedding, flight attendant Montana Moore (Paula Patton) finds herself with only 30 days to find Mr. Right.  Using her airline connections to “accidentally” meet up with eligible ex-boyfriends and scour for potential candidates, she racks up more than 30,000 miles and countless comedic encounters, all the while searching for the perfect guy.