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Movie Scene Queen

Est. MMXIII

2Pac movie ‘All Eyez on Me’ is amazing, despite the haters

WAMO 100 ADVANCE SCREENING— The Courier’s film critic and Movie Scene Queen owner, Merecedes J. Howze, with rapper Kid Ink, who was in Pittsburgh to watch the advance screening of ‘All Eyez on Me’ with hundreds of WAMO 100 listeners at Southside Works, June 15. (Photo by Gail Manker)

Demetrius Shipp Jr. kicks off “Summer17” with an amazing portrayal of the late, great Tupac Shakur in “All Eyez On Me.” Yup, you read that right, “Amazing!”

While some took this film as an opportunity to nitpick, I watched “All Eyez On Me” as a film critic and beloved fan. Released on Tupac’s birthday, June 16, the picture was well-written and did a really great job of cramming 25 years of life into two hours.

Shipp, the man who played Tupac, was very authentic in capturing the thuggish, conscious ways of the Death Row Records rapper. Shipp not only resembles Tupac tremendously, he also perfected his mannerisms, from how he held his cigarette to his fast speech. We’ve seen the sad attempts of actors trying to play Tupac before and Shipp has risen to the top.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier: 2Pac movie ‘All Eyez on Me’ is amazing, despite the haters

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All Eyez On Me Passes

WAMO 100 and Movie Scene Queen are celebrating Black Music Appreciation Month with a special screening of All Eyez On Me, the untold story of Tupac Shakur.

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The true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.), from his early days in New York to his status as one of the world’s most recognized and influential voices. Against all odds, Shakur’s raw talent, powerful lyrics and revolutionary mindset establish him as a cultural icon whose legacy continues to grow long after his death.

The special premiere of All Eyez On Me will be held on Thursday, June 15 at South Side Works Cinemas.  Please comment below with your favorite Tupac song.  Issa tie for me: Brenda’s Got a Baby and I Ain’t Mad At Cha.

A special thank you to WAMO 100 for making this event possible!

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

The Mummy Passes

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Starring Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe, an ancient princess is awakened from her crypt beneath the desert, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia, and terrors that defy human comprehension.

The Mummy will be showing in the Waterfront on a special date, June 6th.  Please comment below with your favorite Russell Crowe or Tom Cruise movie.

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Passes

Based on the worldwide sensation and bestselling book series, and boasting an A-list cast of comedy superstars headed by Kevin Hart and Ed Helms, DreamWorks Animation brings audiences the long-awaited global movie event, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. This raucously subversive comedy for the entire family tells the story of two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants.

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Movie Scene Queen is hosting a special screening of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie on Saturday, May 27th at 10 AM at AMC Waterfront 22.  Please comment below with your favorite family movie. I have about 3,425 favorite family movies.  But, it’s always a joy to sit around the Christmas tree in December and watch the following movies with my kiddos: “Jingle All the Way” (1996), “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996), “Elf” (2003), and “Burrowed Hearts” (1997).

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

‘Dear White People’: A Letter to the Masses

Netlfix released a 10-chapter series (April 28) about the Black students at the Ivy League college Winchester University.

Few in numbers, these students quickly discover that race plays a significant role in their interactions on campus. After a prestigious White group throws a Blackface Halloween party, tensions rise and creates a domino effect of other racially-motivated events.

I appreciate the transition from the big screen to computer screen. The Netflix series picked up right where the 2014 film left off, and, equally important, the TV series retained some actors from the movie. I was skeptical at first. But, the TV show version of “Dear White People” ceases all apprehensions with its dry humor and hard truths.

Even the title makes White people cringe of guilt and misconception. What is typically the proper letter salutation has now become an outcry for millions of voices to be heard.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier: ‘Dear White People:’ A letter to the masses (Merecedes’ TV Column, May 10)

Everything, Everything Passes

Maddy (Amandla Stenberg) is a smart, curious and imaginative 18-year-old who is unable to leave the protection of the hermetically-sealed environment within her house because of an illness. Olly (Nick Robinson) is the boy next door who won’t let that stop them from being together. Gazing through windows and talking only through texts, Maddy and Olly form a deep bond that leads them to risk everything to be together, even if it means losing everything.

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Movie Scene Queen is hosting an advance screening of EVERYTHING EVERYTHING on Monday, May 15 at 730PM at the AMC Waterfront 22.  If interested, please comment below with one your favorite teenage love movies.  One of my favorites…because I have a few…is 10 Things I Hate About You (1999).

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

‘L.A. riots’ hits home for Black viewers

Executive producer John Singleton and A&E mark the 25th anniversary of the L.A. riots with a 90-minute documentary, “The L.A. Riots: 25 Years Later.”

I was 4 years old when a jury acquitted four Los Angeles Police Department officers (Stacey Koon, Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno) on charges for the beating of Rodney King. Too young to understand the beating, Rodney King is a name I will never forget. I knew of the Rodney King beating, but I never knew the extent of its aftermath.

In the six days after the verdict, 63 people were killed, 2,383 people were injured and 3,767 buildings were destroyed totaling one billion dollars in property damage.

The documentary is a gathering of actual footage and authentic testimonies explaining a tumultuous relationship between White law enforcement officers and Black motorists.

Residents of South Central L.A. were on edge and outraged when a home video of the beating surfaced. Then, days later, a Korean grocer killed 15-year-old Latasha Harlins after falsely accusing her of stealing.

This documentary leaves a lasting impression. I will now always remember the day the Rodney King verdict was rendered—April 29, 1992.

I was relieved that the documentary did not bring up O.J. Simpson. We’ve had enough of the O.J. Simpson story in recent cable listings. However, “The L.A. Riots: 25 Years Later” only confirmed my suspicions that the Rodney King and Latasha Harlins verdicts played a huge factor in Simpson’s 1995 murder trial.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier: ‘L.A. riots’ hits home for Black viewers (Merecedes’ Column on TV Shows May 3)

Fast cars, storyline make ‘Furious 8’ a big hit

The eighth installment of “The Fast and Furious” film series is out and has broken a box office record as the biggest opening in movie history with $100.2 million in domestic revenue and $532.5 in global revenue!

Fast cars and pure curiosity drove millions of fans to the theater this Easter weekend. I had one question in mind: What’s “The Fast and the Furious” without Paul Walker?

“The Fate of the Furious,” starring Vin Diesel, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, defies the laws of filmmaking in two ways. First, the movie managed to keep its awesomeness even after losing one of its biggest stars. Walker’s unexpected passing in 2013 left a huge void and “Furious 7” (2015) seemed to be the perfect conclusion to the film series. But, even after 16 years and a devastating loss, the movie calmed all fears and suspicions regarding its ability to continue.

The advanced action, elaborate car chases and thick storyline is the reason why “The Fate of the Furious” is the best of the eight movies in the series.

Encompassing rare technology, extreme action and the most elite cars in the world, “The Fate of the Furious” is groundbreaking, and nothing like the other seven movies. But, this film is more than exotic automobiles and fighting scenes; it upholds the truest values of family, loyalty and devotion.

Source: Fast cars, storyline make ‘Furious 8’ a big hit (Merecedes Howze on…Movies)

Gifted Passes

Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) – in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the seven-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan) whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary. Octavia Spencer plays Roberta, Frank and Mary’s landlady and best friend. Jenny Slate is Mary’s teacher, Bonnie, a young woman whose concern for her student develops into a connection with her uncle as well.

MSQ is screening GIFTED on Monday, April 10th at 7:30pm at the AMC Waterfront 22.  Please comment below with your favorite Octavia Spencer moment.

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

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