Summer of Soul Passes

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.

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen™

Review: Four beautiful, talented Black men portray four beautiful, talented Black men in ‘One Night in Miami’

On Feb. 25, 1964, Civil Rights icon Malcolm X, pro football Hall of Famer Jim Brown, singer Sam Cooke, and boxing legend Muhammad Ali spent an infamous night in a Miami motel room just simply talking. In Regina King’s directorial debut, “One Night in Miami,” the film follows four icons after Ali, who was still known as Cassius Clay, beat Sonny Liston. The quartet met in Malcolm X’s room to discuss life, civil rights, its impact, religion, and the Nation of Islam, especially since Ali was on the verge on converting.
One might think this is just a conversation amongst friendly celebrity buddies, but in a screenplay composed by Kemp Powers, we find out that this particular night is a turning point for all four men.

In a recent discussion facilitated by Amazon Studios, I told the “One Night in Miami” leading actors that they are “four beautiful, talented Black men portraying four beautiful, talented Black men.”
All four actors, Leslie Odom Jr. (Cooke), Kingsley Ben-Adir (Malcolm X), Eli Goree (Ali), and Aldis Hodge (Brown), blushed in the compliment.

But it is true. It is difficult to play a non-fictional character, especially for Hodge, who played Jim Brown, the film’s only living historical figure. Hodge admits that he was nervous, but he’s already hearing great reviews from Jim Brown about “One Night in Miami.”


Odom, Ben-Adir, Goree and Hodge are an ensemble of strength and flair. It was a pleasure to witness so many phenoms at work simultaneously. Without hesitation, I have never seen four Black men in a historical context playing their hearts out. In movies such as “Selma,” “42,” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” there’s a focus on one or two historical figures.

In “One Night in Miami,” there were four, and every man shined just as bright as the next.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier, Four beautiful, talented Black men portray four beautiful, talented Black men in ‘One Night in Miami’

Yesterday Passes

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A struggling musician (Himesh Patel) realizes he’s the only person on Earth who can remember The Beatles after waking up in an alternate timeline where they never existed.

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On Tuesday, June 18th, Movie Scene Queen have a screening of Universal’s YESTERDAY at SouthSide Works at 7:30 PM. Please comment below with your favorite music movie.  I’ll have to go with my Top 3 because it’s too hard to choose: What’s Love Got to Do With It (1993), Why Do Fools Fall in Love (1998), Dreamgirls (2006).

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

Muting R. Kelly is the only choice, says the Courier’s Merecedes J. Williams

One of R&B’s biggest stars is under fire after a damaging documentary sparked off the new year. R. Kelly has released 12 albums, sold over 75 million records, and earned three Grammys. We’ve all been to a gathering where his hit song, “Step in the Name of Love” was on the playlist, and “I Believe I Can Fly” was a moment of inspiration. But, even in the midst of all that success, seven women came forward in Lifetime’s heartbreaking six-part docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly.”

“Surviving R. Kelly” is a never-ending horror show. It seems like there was not enough tissue for the women who reminisced on the real-life nightmares they underwent at the hands of the “Bump ‘n Grind” singer.

The nail in the coffin for me was the number of people who turned a blind eye to pedophilia, abuse, and human trafficking. R. Kelly is a monster, and it is time to silence R. Kelly indefinitely.

We need to not only “Mute R. Kelly” (#MuteRKelly is a nationwide movement), but we must strip him of every civil liberty and financial resource. Hurting his pockets and livelihood is the only way to stop a vicious predator from destroying any more lives. We need to stop buying his records and purchasing concert tickets.

Celebrities with power and influence, specifically those who have worked with R. Kelly in the past, need to denounce him as well. Similar to John Legend, who was part of the docuseries, they should publicly express their concern about his predatory behavior and refuse to work with him on any level.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier: Muting R. Kelly is the only choice, says the Courier’s Merecedes J. Williams

Pitch Perfect 3 Passes

Now graduated from college and out in the real world where it takes more than a cappella to get by, the Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3!

After the highs of winning the World Championships, the Bellas find themselves split apart and discovering there aren’t job prospects for making music with your mouth.  But when they get the chance to reunite for an overseas USO tour, this group of awesome nerds will come together to make some music, and some questionable decisions, one last time.

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Would you like to join Movie Scene Queen for the last installment of the Pitch Perfect franchise, PITCH PERFECT 3?  The screening will be held at Southside Works on Tuesday, December 19 at 7:30 PM. Please comment below with your favorite Pitch Perfect moment.

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

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

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

Florence Foster Jenkins Passes

Set in 1940s New York, Florence Foster Jenkins is the true story of the legendary New York heiress and socialite (Meryl Streep) who obsessively pursued her dream of becoming a great singer. The voice she heard in her head was beautiful, but to everyone else it was hilariously awful. Her “husband” and manager, St. Clair Bayfield (Hugh Grant), an aristocratic English actor, was determined to protect his beloved Florence from the truth. But when Florence decided to give a public concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair knew he faced his greatest challenge.    

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In theaters August 12, Florence Foster Jenkins will be screening at AMC Waterfront 22 on Monday, August 8 at 7:30pm.  Please comment below with your favorite Meryl Streep or Hugh Grant moments.  Basically any movie that includes Hugh Grant and love is a film I want to see.  I enjoyed Notting Hill (1999), Love Actually (2003), and Nine Months (1995).

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

Review: How I literally fell for Beyoncé — New Pittsburgh Courier

PITTSBURGH, PA – Beyonce performs during the Formation World Tour at Heinz Field on Tuesday, May 31, 2016, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Daniela Vesco/Parkwood Entertainment)

Moments before Beyoncé hit the stage at Heinz Field last Tuesday, I hit the floor– literally!  Anxious to see the Queen Bey again was the least of my worries when I found out that there were two bathroom options for patrons with floor seats. You could choose from a series of ghastly portable bathrooms or walk up two flights of steps for a proper lavatory.

At 32 weeks pregnant, the journey was endless.  Fatigued and tired, I made my way back to my seat and fell coming down my last set of steps. Beyoncé didn’t hit the stage yet so I had two options; either seek medical attention immediately or bare the pain to catch a just one more glimpse of Mrs. Carter herself.

The decision was clear.  Although irresponsible, I stayed for one of the best concerts Pittsburgh has ever seen.  Yoncé throwbacks intertwined with cool sips from her “lemonade” made the pain unrecognizable.

via Review: How I literally fell for Beyoncé — New Pittsburgh Courier

We Are Your Friends Passes

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Young Cole Carter (Zac Efron) dreams of hitting the big time as a Hollywood disc jockey, spending his days and nights hanging with buddies and working on the one track that will set the world on fire. Opportunity comes knocking when he meets James Reed, a charismatic DJ who takes the 23-year-old under his wing. Soon, his seemingly clear path to success gets complicated when he starts falling for his mentor’s girlfriend, jeopardizing his new friendship and the future he seems destined to fulfill.

Warner Brothers Pictures and Movie Scene Queen presents an advance screening of We Are Your Friends on Monday, August 24th in the Waterfront beginning at 7:30 PM.  Please comment below with your favorite Zac Efron moment.

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

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