MMT Talk with FENCES stars Russell Hornsby and Jovan Adepo

Russell Hornsby and Jovan Adepo

During the Philadelphia stop of the FENCES press tour, Thomasena sat down with cast members Russell Hornsby, who reprises his role of Lyons from the 2010 Broadway revival, and Jovan Adepo who plays Maxson’s (Denzel Washington) youngest son Corey in the film.

The big-screen adaptation of the August Wilson Pulitzer Prize-winning play, which centers on a black garbage collector named Troy Maxson in 1950s Pittsburgh, was both directed by and stars Washington. Resentful that baseball’s color barrier was broken after his own heyday in the Negro League and bitter with the circumstances of life, Maxson allows his frustrations and poor choices to negatively impact his relationships with those closest to him.

Both Washington and his co-star Viola Davis won Tony awards for their performances in the 2010 revival. Stephen Henderson and Mykelti Williamson also co-star and reprise their stage roles (Bono and Gabriel respectively).

You can click here to get to YouTube (newsletter subscribers) or watch the below video.

FENCES opens in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day.

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening of FENCES on Monday, December 19 (Philly, PA)

Happy Sunday MMT Fam! I have a special last-minute giveaway this evening, and it’s sure to make 10 people and their guests very happy! We’ve acquired 10 admit-two passes to tomorrow night’s screening of FENCES in Center City.

To put your name in the hat, you must be a subscriber of this website (remember: both Facebook and website followers always double their chances) and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with your full name in the body and the subject line FENCES. Ten winners will be selected and notified on Monday morning.

You can watch a snippet of my upcoming interview with “Fences” cast members Russell Hornsby and Jovan Adepo below, and get additional information about the film at the official website here.

FENCES opens in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day.

Good luck family! Thomasena

 

A Suicide Mission? MMT Review of SUICIDE SQUAD by contributor Darryl King

Suicide Squad

The Avengers, the X-Men, Justice League, and now the latest group – calling all bad boys and bad girls because this one’s for you – the “Suicide Squad!” In the words of the bodacious, governmental leader Amanda Waller, “I want to put together a group from the baddest of the bad.”

The concept of a team composed of villains to go on missions that are either beneath superheros but beyond common humans is refreshingly original, and has the ability to really tell some fascinating stories – with characters who aren’t always as likable or redeemable. Influenced by the movies “Deadpool” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” the “Suicide Squad” movie seeks to reach some untapped terrain within the superhero movie genre. But is this movie an oasis of great ideas or a mirage of failed experiments?

The “Suicide Squad” movie overall is entertaining and at times a fun film, that masks its obvious flaws in storytelling, lack of action and a third act that totally falls apart. So what’s good about “Suicide Squad”?

First and foremost, the star of the movie is Viola Davis as Amanda Waller. In the comic books, Waller is the most evil and ruthless dictator you will find, even though she believes her efforts are for the greater good. There is no secret kept from her and she in not afraid of any villain, metahuman or superhero – which perhaps makes her the most dangerous person in DC Comics. For those who know the character, Viola Davis does a great job conveying her essence – and for those who don’t, after this movie will know that she is more dangerous than any bad guy.

Then there are the two biggest stars delivering big time performances. Will Smith as Deadshot and Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn are the best characters in the film – mainly because they are the most developed, with fully realized backstories without going way over the top. They are the heart of the film and who you care for.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was Jay Hernandez as El Diablo. A secondary villain, who is not well-known and for a group called upon to fight major battles, he is the only one with real powers. When his powers are on display it’s the only time when you believe the group is ‘super.’ The special effects showcasing his powers are well worth it and makes the 3rd act fight scene worth watching.

I will also point out Director David Ayers creativity with the opening and ending credits that borrowed a lot from “Deadpool” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” But after that, this film gets messy.

All the hype surrounding Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker is wasted as this film used him only as a glorified manic boyfriend – defined only by his ability to help tell the story of Harley Quinn. The Joker is someone who introduces anarchy into every situation and whose true motivation ironically is his doppelgänger, Batman, not his crazy girlfriend.

Rick Flag, the leader of this rag-tag group, played by Joel Kinnaman, is also reduced to being a love starved/crossed boyfriend who just like the Joker in this movie, who will do anything to get her back. Maybe they can both find a support group for their relational pains.

This wouldn’t be a DC Extended Universe (DCEU) film if it weren’t for crammed in cameos to help serve the purpose to build their movie universe because they keep trying to catch Marvel with one movie. It’s this philosophy that hinders, so far, the DC movie universe. Taking shortcuts has led to bad storytelling and direction for their movies, which rears its ugly head in “Suicide Squad”

The film lacks the proper motivation for members of the squad. The reason for uniting the team and their mission is bland, poorly crafted and leaves good actors flying in the wind with a 3rd act that has no emotional weight and even less believable. The ‘big bad’ of the movie has no reason for its actions, with an evil plan that goes nowhere.  Director Ayers uses lots of flashbacks and slow motion to attempt to create an attachment to characters that, because of a stellar promotional campaign, we were already ready to get into.

So why should we care? Because even with all of its flaws, “Suicide Squad” is still interesting and entertaining enough to make you overlook the problems and believe in the promise.

Will Smith said it best in the movie as Deadshot, “We almost pulled it off,” as he attempts to soothe his compadres and perhaps subliminally the viewers. With a better mission, and less studio meddling, we could have had a better movie. The “Suicide Squad” are unique enough to deserve another chance.

Give this movie a shot and stay for the post mid-credit scene so that in another time and place, just like Amanda Waller, we can believe in the “Suicide Squad.”

Darryl King (photo courtesy of Darryl King)Darryl King is a video director, film writer and avid Marvel/DC comic book/movie lover. Check out his reviews of Batman: The Killing JokeBatman v Superman, and Captain America: Civil War right here on MMT.

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening of SUICIDE SQUAD on Tuesday, August 2 (Philly, PA)

Suicide Squad

Happy Wednesday MMT Fam! We have another great screening this evening, but you need to be subscribed to this website to enter! We’ve acquired passes to the Philadelphia screening of the summer blockbuster SUICIDE SQUAD next Tuesday, August 2. Want to put your name in the hat for an admit-two pass?

Send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with the subject line “Squad” and your full name in the body. As normal, active subscribers have increased chances of winning – so make sure you’re commenting on and sharing posts from this site and/or our Facebook page. Winners will be selected and notified by Monday, August 1.

You can read the synopsis and watch the movie trailer below, and get additional information at the official website here. SUICIDE SQUAD opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, August 5.

Good Luck!


SUICIDE SQUAD           In 3D and 2D in select theaters and IMAX on August 5

(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Director: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer                                                                                                 

Producers: Charles Roven, Richard Suckle

Executive Producers: Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson, Geoff Johns

Cast: Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis,

Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz,

Scott Eastwood, Cara Delevingne, Adam Beach, Karen Fukuhara

Action Adventure.  It feels good to be bad… Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity.  U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do.  However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?

suicidesquad.com

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening passes for ‘Get On Up’ Wednesday, July 23 (Philly, PA)

Get On Up (Universal Pictures)

Hey there MMT Family!!!!!  I am so excited to post this particular giveaway!  Not only have I been waiting for the James Brown biopic Get On Up for what seems like an eternity, but I had the pleasure of interviewing the late singer’s daughter Deanna Brown-Thomas and cannot wait to share the full version of it with you in a couple of weeks – on August 1, the movie’s release date, to be exact! Until then, click here to get to my examiner.com article from last month.

Want to put your name in the hat for passes?  Send an email to thinkmusicmovies@gmail.com with the subject line “Get On Up” and your full name in the body of the email.  You must be a follower of the MMT website in order to win. All winners will be chosen and notified by Tuesday, July 22.

You can watch the below trailer for “Get on Up” and get additional info about the movie at the official website here.

Good Luck family!!!  Until next thought, Thomasena