Netflix’s ‘Dear White People’ returns for its final season, adds a twist

The Black students at Winchester University are back for their senior year in the final season of “Dear White People.” Starring Logan Browning and DeRon Horton, the Netflix series brings the tumultuous life of undergraduate studies at an Ivy League school to an end for Sam White and her friends.

The highlight of Sam White’s studies is her controversial student radio show, “Dear White People,” and her hopes to one day become a film director.

Logan Browning, who plays Sam White, has consistently portrayed a beautifully flawed college student. Her character’s wisdom and wit strokes even the nerdiest egos, while her sass and spunk create the Black Girl Magic we all fell in love with freshman year.

Sam White, who’s typically a pitbull in a skirt, is soft and vulnerable in this season as she meets her match with new student, Iesha Vital (Joi Liaye). The unlikely pair builds friction causing the gang to resolve some unspoken issues and fight to produce an all-Black variety show on a predominantly White campus.

Lionsgate Delays Production On 'Dear White People' & 'Blindspotting' Amid  Covid-19 Surge In Los Angeles – Deadline

The topics tackled in this season were on point, per usual. The most relevant one is the continuous division amongst Black people. The public divide amongst Black people, especially in an academic or professional setting, is devastating.

As my mom would say, “What happens in this house, stays in this house.” So, when Black folks have a public disagreement, it almost lets White people pick out the weaknesses to capitalize on our dispute. These types of conflicts also take attention away from the true matter, delaying the work in progress.

The claim that some Black people are not Black enough or do not do enough for “the cause” is also a nasty setback to moving the needle forward. The Black student caucus at Winchester University faces all those things as Sam White and Iesha Vital rise as leaders of two different packs.

Read more at he New Pittsburgh Courier, Netflix’s ‘Dear White People’ returns for its final season, adds a twist

Sweet Girl Passes

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.

Sign up below and tell them Movie Scene Queen sent you! https://bit.ly/SWEETGIRLPAPremiere

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

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™

Without Remorse Passes

An elite Navy SEAL uncovers an international conspiracy while seeking justice for the murder of his pregnant wife in Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse, the explosive origin story of action hero John Clark – one of the most popular characters in author Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan universe. When a squad of Russian soldiers kills his family in retaliation for his role in a top-secret op, Sr. Chief John Kelly (Michael B. Jordan) pursues the assassins at all costs. Joining forces with a fellow SEAL (Jodie Turner-Smith) and a shadowy CIA agent (Jamie Bell), Kelly’s mission unwittingly exposes a covert plot that threatens to engulf the U.S. and Russia in an all-out war. Torn between personal honor and loyalty to his country, Kelly must fight his enemies without remorse if he hopes to avert disaster and reveal the powerful figures behind the conspiracy.

Movie Scene Queen is hosting a virtual screening on Thursday, April 29 at 7 PM. Email us for tickets- merecedes@moviescenequeen.com

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

The Mauritanian Passes

Captured by the U.S. Government, Mohamedou Ould Slahi (Tahar Rahim) languishes in prison for years without charge or trial. Losing all hope, Slahi finds allies in defense attorney Nancy Hollander (Jodie Foster) and her associate Teri Duncan (Shailene Woodley). Together they face countless obstacles in a desperate pursuit for justice. Their controversial advocacy, along with evidence uncovered by formidable military prosecutor, Lt. Colonel Stuart Couch (Benedict Cumberbatch), eventually reveals a shocking and far reaching conspiracy. Based on the New York Times best-selling memoir, this is the explosive true story of a fight for survival against all odds.

Movie Scene Queen is hosting a virtual screening for The Mauritanian on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 7:30 PM. Please visit the following link for tickets:

http://stxtickets.com/gzqbh70579

When visiting the link, you’ll register, claim your passes for the virtual screening, and then, you will receive an email confirmation. About one hour before the screening, you’ll get an email to check-in and reserve your spot. Please “arrive” early as “seating” is technically first come, first serve and it may sell out!

Much Love,

Herself Passes

When Sandra (Clare Dunne) escapes her abusive partner with her two young children, finding a home to call their own seems impossible. After months of struggling, she draws inspiration from one of her daughter’s bedtime stories and hits upon the idea of self-building an affordable home. She finds an architect who provides her with plans and is offered land by Peggy (Harriet Walter), a woman she cleans for. Aido (Conleth Hill), a building contractor, appears willing to help, too. But as her past rears its head in the form of Gary (Ian Lloyd Anderson), her possessive ex, and as bureaucrats fight back against her independent spirit, will Sandra be able to rebuild her life from the ground up?

Movie Scene Queen is hosting an advance screening of Amazon Studios’ Herself on Wednesday, January 6, 2020 at 7 PM. Please join us! To secure your tickets, please visit: http://amazonscreenings.com/HerselfPitts

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

Jamie Foxx delivers in ‘Soul’; Film Evokes The Importance of Purpose and Passion

Death is a raw, touchy subject, especially now more than ever.

There are zero degrees of separation when identifying someone you know or love who has been affected by the coronavirus.

Death is also typically a conversation had amongst adults, so when Kemp Powers, Mike Jones and Pete Docter decided to create an animation film about life’s finale, I was more than skeptical.

But after 100 minutes of tear-jerking, feet-tapping, life-thinking reactions, I can proclaim that “Soul” is one of the best things this crazy year has produced.

Ironically, with the many people we have lost during this global pandemic, the movie is a sweet reminder about the true meaning of life, love and finding your purpose.

Pixar finally presents its first feature film with an African American leading role. Academy Award-winner Jamie Foxx lends his voice talents for Joe Gardner, a jazz enthusiast and music teacher whose soul gets separated from his body right before the biggest gig of his life.

“Soul,” like jazz music, is beautiful, smooth and a delightful keepsake of both time and life.

“You already have a pretty fantastic life and sometimes that’s hard to see,” said “Soul” writer and director Pete Docter in a roundtable discussion hosted by the African American Film Critics Association.

Docter told me that when he’s on his death bed, he’s not going to be thinking about finishing the film on time or making sure it’s under budget, but Docter, Pixar’s chief creative officer, wants to reflect upon “family friends, and…everyday moments that I could easily take for granted.”

“I hope that people will have a gratitude for what they have.”

Out of all the undertones that resonated in “Soul,” the idea of purpose lingered at the top of the list. As Joe Gardner seeks to live for his love of jazz, we, too, crave to fulfill our destiny and walk in our purpose even though at times we seem to live aimlessly. If anything, life’s true purpose is the fuel to taking full advantage of your time here on Earth.

That is some deep stuff for a kids movie.

For the full review, please visit The New Pittsburgh Courier, Jamie Foxx delivers in ‘Soul’

Greenland Passes

A family fights for survival as a planet-killing comet races to Earth. John Garrity (Gerard Butler), his estranged wife Allison (Morena Baccarin), and young son Nathan make a perilous journey to their only hope for sanctuary. Amid terrifying news accounts of cities around the world being leveled by the comet’s fragments, the Garrity’s experience the best and worst in humanity while they battle the increasing panic and lawlessness surrounding them. As the countdown to global apocalypse approaches zero, their incredible trek culminates in a desperate and last-minute flight to a possible safe haven.

Movie Scene Queen is hosting a virtual screening on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 7:30 PM. Please visit the following link for tickets:

http://stxtickets.com/tStKM93554

When visiting the link, you’ll register, claim your passes for the virtual screening, and then, you will receive an email confirmation. About one hour before the screening, you’ll get an email to check-in and reserve your spot. Please “arrive” early as “seating” is technically first come, first serve and it may sell out!

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

My review of ‘coronavirus’—Zero Stars! Two Thumbs Down!

According to the Allegheny County Health Department, there were 19,499 cases of COVID-19 in Allegheny County as of Nov. 14.

Well, I guess I make case number 19,500.

I will miss Thanksgiving with my family. I will miss getting dressed up to hang at my mom’s house, cracking jokes, and in the words of Uncle Phil, “Turkey with pillowy mounds of mashed potatoes, butter-drenched dressing. Tiny onions! Swimming in a sea of cream sauce.”

What about my cousin’s tradition of Black Friday shopping at the North Versailles Walmart? Last year, I almost clotheslined a woman for jipping the long line in an attempt to get a $98 flat screen TV.

All of those annual family traditions go right out of the window when the world’s deadliest virus is knocking on my doorstep. Who am I kidding? Coronavirus kicked in my door without a warrant and plopped right on my couch.

I don’t know where or from whom I contracted coronavirus, but I am fully aware of its path of destruction and the victims it has so carelessly left behind.

Since the pandemic started, I went straight into Power Ranger mode—the pink one, to be exact. I said to myself, “I can make a difference during these difficult times.” So, to date, I rescued over 600 pounds of food and delivered 518 meals with 412 Food Rescue, distributed 500 pairs of shoes to local children, supplied more than 8,000 students with bookbags and school supplies, and turned a typically small harvest party into a Homewood giveaway.

Ironically, with movie theaters closed, this pandemic has been good to your Movie Scene Queen, too. In April, we raised over $2,000 to provide immediate cash assistance to single parents. We became a registered trademark in August. Movie Scene Queen joined the African American Film Critics Association, creating a space to interview Spike Lee, Issa Rae, Nia Long, Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington, and others.

All I want to do is help people, and now, I need to help myself. I am hoping and praying that in 14 days I am COVID-free, and equally important, I wish upon a star that I do not spread the virus to anyone I know and love.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier, My review of ‘coronavirus’—Zero Stars! Two Thumbs Down!

Sophie Okonedo successfully tackles mental illness in Netflix’s ‘Ratched’

Typically, when Netflix audiences flock to social media with recommendations, I am skeptical, if not apprehensive, to tune in. But the memes and Facebook statuses twisted my arm into watching Netflix’s newest series, “Ratched.”

After all the posts I stumbled across, I was interested in one particular person, Sophie Okonedo.

The 52-year-old actress plays a patient, Charlotte Wells, who is suffering from multiple personality disorder. Based on Nurse Ratched in Ken Kesey’s novel “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “Ratched” follows a wacked-out nurse (Sarah Paulson) who terrorizes a California psychiatric hospital in hopes to set her serial-killer brother free.

SOPHIE OKONEDO

SOPHIE OKONEDO

The Netflix show also stars Finn Wittrock, Sharon Stone, Cynthia Nixon and Judy Davis.

This eight-part adaptation, which is set in 1947, is oddly wonderful. The familiar faces of American Horror Story, gruesome storylines, and quirky punchlines are a wonderful potion to great TV. But Sophie Okonedo steals the show.

Her raw talent is actually what saves the entire series for me because when “Ratched” gets slow she picks it up. When “Ratched” gets redundant and starts to look like every other season of American Horror Story, Okonedo pulls up with the craziest (no pun intended) monologue I have ever heard on a Netflix series.

She does not have much screen time and we are not introduced to her until the fifth episode, but it is just enough for her to capture audiences with her conviction and aptitude.

She is better than James McAvoy in Split (2016) and Glass (2019). She passed the “Acting with Multiple Personalities Disorder” test with flying colors. Since we are talking about how social media fads completely take over the world, let me add my two cents—it’s her range and commitment for me.

Read more at the New Pittsburgh Courier, Sophie Okonedo successfully tackles mental illness in Netflix’s ‘Ratched’

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