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Movie Scene Queen

Est. MMXIII

‘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

The Boss Baby Passes

DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby.  He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby.  The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim.  With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.

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Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

A United Kingdom Passes

A UNITED KINGDOM is the true story of the forbidden love of King Seretse Khama of Botswana (David Oyelowo) and Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), a white woman from London, which caused an international uproar when they decided to marry in the late 1940s just as apartheid was being introduced into South Africa. It was a decision that altered the course of African history.

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We are screening A UNITED KINGDOM (Fox Searchlight) on Tuesday, February 28th at 7:30pm at South Side Works.  For tickets, please comment below with your interest.

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

The Great Wall Passes

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Starring Matt Damon, The Great Wall is about European mercenaries searching for black powder become embroiled in the defense of the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.

For tickets to the February 15th screening, please comment below with your favorite Chinese movie (or movie about China).  Call me corny (and I don’t know if this actually fits my own description) but I love the Rush Hour film series…all three of them!

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

John Wick: Chapter Two Passes

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In this next chapter following the 2014 hit, legendary hitman John Wick [Keanu Reeves] is forced back out of retirement by a former associate plotting to seize control of a shadowy international assassins’ guild. Bound by a blood oath to help him, John travels to Rome where he squares off against some of the world’s deadliest killers.

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The screening will be held on Tuesday, February 7 at South Side Works Cinemas.  For tickets, please comment below with your favorite moment from John Wick.  

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

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