Spread the Word – “Unconditional” the Movie Opens 9/21/12

What’s new Music Movie Lovers!  On my end all is GREAT!  If God is willing, I will celebrate my (fill in the number) birthday in less than an hour! Hey, I know you really didn’t think I was going to spill my age all over the internet did ya? ;). Anyway, I am going to thoroughly enjoy myself this week and I already started off the party last Friday night with the Liberation Tour, featuring Mary J. Blige (who I love!) with D’Angelo (who rocked!) and Melanie Fiona (who gave good voice).  I also attended the wonderful Praise in the Park Gospel concert in Philadelphia, PA on Saturday and was blessed with performances by Tamika Patton (if you don’t know, check her June interview on this site by clicking June on the right), Jason Nelson, Pastor Charles Jenkins, JJ Hairston and Youthful Praise, Byron Cage, among others with the headliner being the amazing Israel Houghton and New Breed.  Another wonderful event, I experienced in the past week, was a movie screening I attended for the upcoming film Unconditional.

This film, inspired by a true story, stars Michael Ealy (Think Like a Man, For Colored Girls)… wait a minute, let’s stop here.  No really – PAUSE.  Okay, so I had a conflict entering the movie theater to view this film that I’m going to share.  I was used to viewing this extremely talented actor differently (to put it mildly and unlustly like) when I watched Think Like A Man, Sleeper Cell (an AWESOME former Showtime series), Barbershop, etc. etc.  And now I was going to view him in a Christian themed film!!!! Chile, I was all kinds of praying and repenting up in that theater! 🙂  Alright seriously, for those who know anything about this man’s skills, I was completely engrossed with Mr. Ealy as Joe Bradford and really didn’t struggle…as much ;). The movie also stars the very talented Lynn Collins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, John Carter) as Samantha Crawford who, after a tragic event, loses her faith and will to live.  That is until she chance encounters her long-lost friend Joe, portrayed by Ealy.  The film is inspired by the true story of Joe Bradford, who overcame extreme odds to become a powerful mentor and father figure for at risk youth in his community.

The movie does not open until September 21st, and I definitely will give a formal review upon its release.  Until then, please help spread the word about this movie.  You know I wouldn’t steer you guys wrong, this is a GREAT story.  You will laugh, cry (for those whose heartstrings are tugged easily), scream (quietly in the theater of course ;)) and cheer.  The message is universally themed and I dare you to leave the theater without feeling empowered or encouraged in some form. This film also has a groundswell of support for its community ACT campaign, which encourages moviegoers to become involved with organizations and non-profits in their respective communities.

To get more info about Unconditional, and find out what theaters in your area will show the film, go to http://unconditionalthemovie.com/.  Remember to show support early for this independent movie, the weekend of September 21st, and check back in to share your thoughts once you’ve seen it. 🙂

Until next thought family, Thomasena

Will Battleship Sink or Float at the Box Office?

I’ll first start by admitting that I was more of a Connect Four, Trivial Pursuit, Clue, Boggle kind of Hasbro/Milton Bradley kid, oh and I can’t forget that everyone in my house wanted to “be a winner in the game of Life!” 🙂  I played Battleship maybe once or twice, learned I was not a strategic master at it, and threw up the white flag to that board game forever.  Yet, I must admit I became quite nostalgic when attending last Tuesday night’s screening for Battleship, especially when the Hasbro logo appeared in opening credits :P.  The theater was packed with what seemed like one big family night demographic, with young and old sitting in anticipation to see what was in store.

Directed by Peter Berg (Hancock, The Kingdom, Friday Night Lights), with stars that include Taylor Kitsch (John Carter, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Alexander Skarsgard (HBO’s True Blood, Straw Dogs), Grammy award-winning singer Rihanna, Liam Neeson (Taken, The Grey) and a wonderfully assembled international cast, and shot mostly on location in beautiful Hawaii, Battleship has all the makings of a traditional Hollywood blockbuster.  As far as hero movies go, it follows a typical format: bad guy working to go good/get life together, gets girlfriend, then goes into epic navy battle against aliens.  Won’t go into further detail, or give any spoilers, but you get the idea.

Now I enjoy action/sci-fi films, and with respect to action Battleship does not disappoint.  What was disappointing for me was where I felt the story fell short, I mean I’m still not sure why the aliens decided to invade our planet.  It’s explained early on in the film that the US communicated with their planet (assuming it was uninhabited) via NASA satellites and yada yada yada, but never exactly details why we were under attack.  Did the aliens need resources for a dying planet like the V series, or was it for sport like the Predator series?  Not sure.  But since the movie offered plenty of well scripted jokes/punch lines, and major heroic moments that gave the audience a lot to cheer, I left the theater feeling mostly satisfied.

What was the biggest highlight for me?  What?  You said Rihanna because the blog is called music movies thoughts?  Well you’d be wrong if you did!  I thought Rihanna’s début performance was fair, and enjoyed that she portrayed a rugged and smart good girl character, versus the good girl gone bad image her songstress persona has adopted.  But I would give four thumbs, if I had that many, for the début performance of Army Colonel Gregory D. Gadson,  a real life veteran and armed services hero who plays the role of Mick.  I also enjoyed watching the real life WWII navy veterans, or “Old Salts” as they are affectionately called, who were cast in a pivotal scene on the Battleship Missouri in the movie.

To sum up, Battleship is a great action film that is family friendly and would make a fitting Memorial Day outing.  It’s not a savvy sci-fi story, so those more in tune with a Stars Wars or Fifth Element might be disappointed.  But if you enjoyed Hancock, consider Battleship to be Independence Day, minus Will Smith and on speed (with regard to special effects).  And if you’re old enough to remember the board game, and actually were good at it, you probably will appreciate a few more of the battle scenes than most.  The movie opens in theaters today.  If you go check it out, leave me a comment.  I would love to hear your thoughts, especially if you figure out why the aliens attacked! 😛

Until next thought family, Thomasena