GIVEAWAY: DVD/Digital HD combo of BIG LITTLE LIES courtesy of HBO

Happy Tuesday MMT Fam! We have a great giveaway today, courtesy of our friends at HBO! We’re giving away a DVD/Digital HD combo of BIG LITTLE LIES, the seven-part limited series that aired exclusively on the cable channel earlier this year.

Based on the New York Times number-one bestseller of the same name by Liane Moriarty, BIG LITTLE LIES is a subversive, darkly comedic drama that weaves a tale of murder and mischief as it explores society’s myth of perfection and the contradictions that exist beneath our idealized façade of marriage, sex, parenting and friendship.

The stellar cast includes Reese Witherspoon (Oscar®, Golden Globe and SAG Award winner for “Walk the Line”; Oscar®, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for “Wild”; “Inherent Vice”); Nicole Kidman (Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for “Lion”; Oscar® winner for “The Hours”; Golden Globe winner for “To Die For,” “Moulin Rouge!” and “The Hours”; SAG Award nominee for “Rabbit Hole” and “The Paperboy”; Emmy® nominee for HBO’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn”); Shailene Woodley (Independent Spirit Award winner, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominee for “The Descendants”; “Divergent”; “The Fault in Our Stars”); Laura Dern (Oscar® nominee for “Wild” and “Rambling Rose”; Golden Globe winner for HBO’s “Enlightened,” “Recount” and “Afterburn;” five-time Emmy® nominee); Zoë Kravitz (“Mad Max: Fury Road,” “Divergent”); Alexander Skarsgård (“The Legend of Tarzan,” HBO’s “True Blood”); Adam Scott (“Parks and Recreation,” “Black Mass”); James Tupper (“Men in Trees,” “Revenge”); and Jeffrey Nordling (“Sully,” “Motive”).

To try your luck at winning, you must be subscribed to this website and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with the subject line “Big Little Lies” and your full name and address in the body. And, if you follow #MMT on Facebook, you will increase your chances! One winner will be selected and notified by Sunday, September 17.

Good Luck Family!

BIG LITTLE LIES 

In the tranquil seaside town of Monterey, California, nothing is quite as it seems. Doting moms, successful husbands, adorable children, beautiful homes: What lies will be told to keep their perfect worlds from unraveling?

Told through the eyes of three mothers – Madeline, Celeste and Jane – BIG LITTLE LIES paints a picture of a town fueled by rumors and divided into the haves and have-nots, exposing the conflicts, secrets and betrayals that compromise relationships between husbands and wives, parents and children, and friends and neighbors.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée (“Dallas Buyers Club,” for which he received an editing Oscar® nomination; “Wild”; “Demolition”), BIG LITTLE LIES is written for television and created by David E. Kelley (seven-time Emmy® winner for “Picket Fences,” “LA Law,” “The Practice” and “Ally McBeal”; “Goliath”).

 

 

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.

Lenny Kravitz chats about his influences, relationships and ‘Strut’ at 92Y

Lenny Kravitz 'Strut' (photo: lennykravitz.com)

Happy Tuesday MMT Family! Now those of you who follow me on this site know that one of my favorite artists is none other than the singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor, rock & fashion icon that is Lenny Kravitz.  And I received the opportunity of a lifetime last week – covering a Lenny Kravitz Q & A with Rolling Stone editor Anthony DeCurtis on Friday evening at 92Y.  You can check out my full examiner.com article here, but Mr. Kravitz was so candid that there were many great tidbits that I didn’t get a chance to report.  So for my MMT Fam, I’ve decided to share more of that talk with you here!

On the first music that wowed or created a magic moment for him:

“The first thing I can remember singing was Tchaikovsky to my grandmother, which she thought was really strange. After that it was the Jackson 5.  I heard ‘Stop The Love You Save’ and I lost my mind!”

When asked what he missed most about his mother (late actress Roxie Roker):

“Everything.  I don’t care how old you get, you never get used to (losing a parent).  The beautiful thing is you can’t kill spirit.  I’m always feeling her, paying tribute to her. My mother’s pictures are all over my house because I wanted to be able to spoil her, and do things for her that I’m now doing. So I walk by her pictures, and it makes me feel like I’m sharing with her.  Living in Paris, in this beautiful home that was her dream.  She wanted to retire, move to France, have this library and read all the books she ever wanted, and learn French – so I’m doing it for us.”

When asked to discuss his uncle, his namesake, being honored with the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously:

“His name was Leonard Kravitz and he died in Korea.  He saved his entire platoon and should have gotten the Congressional Medal of Honor but he didn’t because he was a Jew.  He had a childhood friend that spent his life making sure that my uncle received it.  He wrote for years and years.  Then we got notice from (President) Obama. It was beautiful to see that finally happen.”

When asked his greatest accomplishment:

“My daughter Zoe.”

If fathering came naturally to him:

“Yeah, I was 23 man – it was crazy.  My record deal, my first record coming out, marriage and my first child all at once.  It was full on and it was, is, wonderful.  She is the thing that keeps me grounded.”

On his favorite song by one of his influences, Stevie Wonder:

“The first album that I heard where I began to not just hear the song as one sound but breakdown the instruments was ‘Innervisions.’ One of my favorite songs is ‘Jesus Children of America.’ It’s so funky.  I feel like Stevie was in the palm of God’s hand when he made that record.”

Kravitz also noted that Stevie Wonder is one of his favorite drummers (for those who didn’t know Wonder is a multi-instrumentalist too) and he modeled his drumming style after both Stevie Wonder and Ringo Starr, another of his faves, on his first record.

And for those, like myself, that were wondering – there are plans for the upcoming tour to arrive stateside…yay! But we will have to wait…boo, LOL! The tour opens in Russia in October and will continue abroad through December 2014, with dates to be added. Kravitz shared that the set list was mostly complete and the musicians will include a nine-piece band, three-piece horn section, and three background vocalists. And let me mention that he has reunited with the fantabulous drummer Cindy Blackman Santana, wife of legend Carlos Santana, for this tour.

Lenny Kravitz’s new album Strut was released today, and can be purchased on his website at lennykravitz.com.  You can also get additional tour updates and info on the site as well.

Oh, and family you know I didn’t leave the event last Friday empty-handed right…

Lenny & Thomasena at 92Y

Until next thought family!  Thomasena

A Quick Review of After Earth

photo: Sony Pictures  www.afterearth.com
photo: Sony Pictures
http://www.afterearth.com

Hey there MMT family!  How many of you have already checked out the new Will & Jaden Smith joint, After Earth?   I would really love to hear your feedback, as I’m a little on the fence about this one.  For those who haven’t seen the trailer, Jaden Smith stars as Kitai Raige, who crash lands on Earth with his hero, warrior father Cypher (Will Smith) 1,000 years after the planet is declared “uninhabitable” for humans and all creatures remaining on the planet have evolved to “kill” humans. Based off a story written by Will Smith, who designed the story to be a trilogy and subsequent vehicle for son Jaden, the screenplay was co-written by the film’s director M. Knight Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village, Signs).

Okay, so those are a few basics now let’s get to my thoughts.  First, I’m extremely proud of Will Smith and his whole Overbrook Entertainment production team, including Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith, brother- in- law Caleeb Pinkett, and business partner James Lassiter.  The trailers and anticipation built for this movie was on point and I had very high expectations; not only because of the former but also due to the elder Smith’s reputation as a box-office phenom.  My love for I Am Legend and Hancock also added to the suspense.  Although I do believe Will created a great story, I wasn’t as enamored with the screen version.  I felt the story lulled at times, even with a short 100 minute run-time.  Yet, I did find myself rooting for young Jaden, excuse me Kitai, on his mission to signal for help after his father is injured in the crash landing (FYI: that’s not a spoiler, it’s on the official website!).

I believe part of the let down for me was the fact that Jaden carried a lot of the movie versus his father, who took a back seat but is still very much a pivotal part of the film.  I believe Jaden has already proven his ability as an actor, the Karate Kid remake was phenomenal, but this was a huge sci-fi/action undertaking and his overall performance was moderate.   In contrast, I did appreciate the father/son struggle within the film and the natural chemistry between both Smith men complimented that element of the story nicely.

What I loved?  The CGI was really cool, Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees, Hotel Rwanda) is always a dramatic force and Will Smith didn’t disappoint with what was required.  Well maybe he did with that horrible accent!  I hated the accents in this movie!  Some folk had them, some folk didn’t… I don’t know, apparently we left Earth and 1/2 of us adopted really bad accents in space, LOL!  Also, Zoe Kravitz (yes, baby girl of that super sexy..eh-hem…of Lenny!) had a good cameo as Kitai’s sister Senshi.

If I’m completely honest, I will note that Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace was mostly assessed as the least favorable episode of the franchise, but that didn’t deter me from giving it and the others a chance.  I think I’ll give this After Earth series the same courtesy, considering it was really cool watching two African-American heroes on the screen in a sci-fi fantasy flick.  I’m hoping it does well enough that those sequels come to fruition.  I really would enjoy seeing what next becomes of the young Kitai Raige character, and how Jaden develops him.

Alright family, those are my thoughts.   After Earth was released nationwide in theaters today May 31st.  Please stop back and leave a thought or two about the film when you check it out!

Until next thought, Thomasena