A recent college graduate becomes a hot commodity on the local bar mitzvah circuit when he discovers a hidden talent as a party starter in “Cha Cha Real Smooth.” This unconventional, bittersweet comedy- romance from writer, director, producer and actor Cooper Raiff uniquely explores coming of age through a cross-generational lens.
Apple TV+ and Movie Scene Queen are hosting a screening at Cinemark Robinson Township on June 14th at 7PM. Please comment below with your interest.
Brilliant, but reclusive author Loretta Sage (Sandra Bullock) has spent her career writing about exotic places in her popular romance-adventure novels featuring handsome cover model Alan (Channing Tatum), who has dedicated his life to embodying the hero character, “Dash.” While on tour promoting her new book with Alan, Loretta is kidnapped by an eccentric billionaire (Daniel Radcliffe) who hopes that she can lead him to the ancient lost city’s treasure from her latest story. Wanting to prove that he can be a hero in real life and not just on the pages of her books, Alan sets off to rescue her. Thrust into an epic jungle adventure, the unlikely pair will need to work together to survive the elements and find the ancient treasure before it’s lost forever.
Paramount and Movie Scene Queen are hosting a special advance screening of THE LOST CITY, starring Channing Tatum and Sandra Bullock on Tuesday, March 22 at 7 PM. Once you’ve grabbed your tickets, please comment below “Got ‘Em”
Peter (Charlie Day) and Emma (Jenny Slate) are total strangers, but when they meet, one thing instantly bonds them: they were both unexpectedly dumped by their respective partners, Anne (Gina Rodriguez) and Noah (Scott Eastwood), on the same weekend. As the saying goes, “misery loves company,” but their commiseration turns into a mission when they see on social media that their exes have happily moved on to new romances, Anne with Logan (Manny Jacinto) and Noah with Ginny (Clark Backo).
Terrified that, in their 30s, they have lost their shot at happily ever after and horrified at the prospect of having to start over, Peter and Emma hatch a desperate plot to win the loves of their lives back. Each will do whatever it takes to put an end to their exes’ new relationships and send them running back to their arms.
On Tuesday, February 8 at Cinemark Monroeville, Movie Scene Queen is hosting an advance screening. Please comment below with your favorite romantic comedy. MSQ’s favorite romantic comedy: Bommerang (1992)– if that counts as a romantic comedy
Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this tale of unbridled passion and incapacitating jealousy features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers, and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement. “Death on the Nile” opens in U.S. theaters February 11, 2022.
Movie Scene Queen has passes for you and a friend to catch this new daring mystery-thriller on Tuesday, February 9, 2022 in the Waterfront. The rules are simple. Comment below with your favorite mystery or thriller film, and we’ll send a link for the passes. To be fair, I’ll start with my favorite thriller– Split (2016).
Eight minutes and forty-six seconds is how long Derek Chauvin’s knee pressed against George Floyd’s neck on the concrete outside of Cups Food on Chicago Street in Minneapolis, MN. We later find out that one of the most gruesome videos of the 21st century lasted even longer than expected— 9 minutes, 29 seconds to be exact.
But eight minutes and forty-six seconds is more than a time stamp, it now represents a global push for change in police brutality, police reform, and police recruitment and training.
George Floyd’s death was avoidable.
In a short film that is 8 minutes and 46 seconds exactly, “We Can’t Breathe” portrays glimpses into the protests in Los Angeles following George Floyd’s death. Directors Miranda Winters and Rocky Romano make a striking comparison between LA protests in the 1960s to current demonstrations. Spilt screens in the short film only confirm one thing—the cries of Watts residents in 1965 are echoed in 2020 as a nation begs for the end of suffering at the hands of police brutality.
Fifty-six years later, we are still on a rugged journey to ask the sworn officials who are supposed to protect and serve us to not to kill us or use excessive force.
George Floyd’s death was avoidable.
“We Can’t Breathe” follows photographer, producer, and engineer Rayna Zemel as she covers dozens of LA protests. We watch her literally strap on her boots and prepare for capturing LA’s most vulnerable moments. It is evident that her creative eyes and social justice efforts have intertwined to create American history.
One hundred years from now when Civics and American History educators are creating lesson plans about the death of George Floyd and worldwide protests, Zemel’s images will surface and this short film with be revered.
George Floyd’s death was avoidable.
The film is all about the time. The time it took for George Floyd to release his last breath. The time protesters staged die-ins all over the world. The time required to make this film. “We Can’t Breathe”, as cliché as it sounds, reminds us that time is precious.
“We Can’t Breathe” was awarded Best Music Video and Audience Award at the 2021 San Luis Obispo Film Festival, and has been selected for numerous film festivals, including the Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival.
The 2021 Pittsburgh Shorts Film Festival will be held November 18-21 at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, presenting the best contemporary short films from around the globe, highlighting films that promote innovative visual storytelling and cultural tolerance.
This short film is part of the Opening Night- Be The Change block. The block also includes short films including Dawn, Graceland, Like the Ones I Used to Know, Migrants, Refrigerate After Opening, The Kittle Tea Shop, and I Can Change.
This year’s festival will also include a Filmmaker Conference, Q&As with visiting filmmakers, and live readings of scripts for the Script Competition. For more information, visit filmpittsburgh.org.
Sunu Gonera, a film director from Zimbabwe, crosses country lines with the 2020 drama “Riding with Sugar.” The movie is about a young refugee, Joshua (Charles Mnene), whose escape from the life of a child soldier lands him on the streets of South Africa’s Cape Town. A talented bike-rider, he dreams of winning a cycling championship as a way out of poverty. He finds more than shelter after a terrible accident derails his BMX racing career. Under the wings of a trusted advisor, Joshua is forced to balance education, love, health, and trauma to meet his goals.
According to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies, more than 32 million Africans are either internally displaced, refugees, or asylum seekers. Imagine being young with no family, no formal education, and nowhere to go. Gonera paints this picture so vividly through his cinematic release.
He shows us the few impoverished options for young Joshua and the other millions of African who seek the same safety and relief.
The turbulent struggles and murky waters the main character navigates through is a creative glimpse into Gonera’s film making process. The final product is colorful yet dark, making every life turn that much more relatable for the audience.
The beauty of “Riding with Sugar” lies within its adaptability and how even in a different country, on a different continent, the troubles of young Joshua are the same troubles Black youth face here in America. The journey to find oneself and not succumb to gangs, drugs, and other illicit behavior is boundless, impacting both Africans and African Americans.
The cast, which includes Mnene, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Simona Brown, and Hlayani Junior Mabasa, was phenomenal. The only woman to grace the main slate is Simona Brown, who plays Joshua’s beau, Olivia.
Brown is effortlessly radiant. But that’s to be expected. She brings a calm yet complex demeanor to all of her roles. Most recently, she starred in the Netflix thriller, “Behind Her Eyes.” The British actress is racy, delicate, gentle—pretty much the ideal love interest for every flick.
She breaks up the male-dominated film with her quirks of legitimate care and concern. Brown also debunks all the stereotypes that foreigners hold about African women. She’s smart, capable, healthy, and wealthy.
“Riding with Sugar” takes you on a journey. It is more than a coming-of-age story. There’s a piece of Joshua in all of us; an inner child who battles with identity, self-sufficiency, and belonging.
Both Black and African films, such as “Riding with Sugar”, are vital to the fabric of telling stories of the untold and bringing awareness to the vulnerable population of refugees.
“Riding with Sugar,” the winner of six South African Film and Television Awards including Best Picture, is available for in-person and virtual screenings at the 2021 Three Rivers Film Festival.
Friday, November 12, 7:15 PM at the Waterworks Cinemas
Saturday, November 13, 4:45 PM at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater
The film is available for virtual viewing November 11-17 in PA, WV, and OH only.
Please check theaters COVID-19 safety policies.
Need tickets? Film Pittsburgh is teaming up with Motor Mouth Multimedia to increase diversity and access to both the Three Rivers Film Festival and the Pittsburgh Shorts and Script Competition, which feature nearly 40 Black films shown in-person and online. Enter the discount code LOCMM50 for 50% off the All Festival passes, and LOCMM2OFF for $2 off all individual tickets. Visit filmpgh.secure.force.com/ticket to purchase tickets.
Movie Scene Queen and Netflix would love to invite you to attend the virtual premiere of SWEET GIRL. Filmed in Pittsburgh and starring Jason Momoa and Isabela Merced, Sweet Girl will premiere virtually on Wednesday, August 18, 2021. You will have the opportunity to watch the film for two days prior to it’s premiere on Netflix on August 20th.
Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was ﬁlmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten–until now. SUMMER OF SOUL shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Ray Baretto, Abbey Lincoln, and Max Roach.
Movie Scene Queen is hosting a special screening of Summer of Soul on Monday, June 28, 2021 at 7 PM in the Waterfront. Please comment below with your favorite song. I’ll start. One of my favorite songs is “A Song for You” by Donny Hathaway (1971). I know the song is before my time, but it’s such a s beautiful, timeless piece.