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,

Insurgent Passes

Insuregent

THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT raises the stakes for Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) are now fugitives on the run, hunted by Jeanine (Winslet), the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. Racing against time, they must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris, with Four at her side, faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world.

Please comment below with your favorite Divergent moment.  The screening will be held Monday, March 16th at the AMC Waterfront 22, beginning at 7:30 PM.

Much Love,

Movie Scene Queen

The Fault In Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars Poster

Based on the novel by John Green, The Fault In Our Stars is literally a sick love story about two teenagers with terminal cancer who fall in love with one another. Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley) and Gus (Ansel Elgort) meet in a cancer support group led by a quirky Christian Patrick (Mike Birbiglia), who loves making terrible Gospel music. The movie also stars Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, and my personal favorite, Willem Dafoe.

Hazel and Gus, although on the verge of human non-existence, conduct a romantic relationship like any other young couple. From waiting to see who will call or text first to committing cheesy, over the top gestures to gain admiration, the twosome is ground-breaking. Their chemistry or undying affection makes you wonder: How can anyone fall in love with someone knowing they won’t be around much longer?

The Fault In Our Stars

The stars are most definitely aligned in this movie. The Fault in Our Stars is slightly more romantic than Titanic (1997) or the Notebook (2004), and is one of the greatest fictional love stories ever told. The movie’s hidden gem is Shailene Woodley. She’s is three traffic lights away from perfection. I am simply blown away in every project that features the 22-year-old and eager to see her future works.

Almost exactly a year ago, Woodley played a boyish, awkward high-schooler alongside Miles Teller in The Spectacular Now. And most recently, she played leading lady in the futuristic, cliquish film Divergent where she reunited with Miles Teller. In every movie, she holds the innocence of a newborn but the quick wit of an aged politician. Shailene Woodley is a Goddess!

Cancer is the elephant in the room in The Fault of the Stars. The fatal illness shapes the dialogue throughout the entire script, however the couples’ modernistic love is what takes precedence. With all of the advance medical technology, the tumorous disease still leaves many of families distraught with its causalities and The Fault In Our Stars shows those dark times.

The film had an Indiana setting, but you’ll easily notice some very familiar Pittsburgh sites. One of the climax scenes is taped at the BP gas station on Ardmore Blvd. While Hazel and Gus is having a serious medical emergency, all I could see was the Rebecca Avenue dingy green street sign dangling in the distance. Jack Reacher (2012), Grudge Match (2013), and Out of the Furnace (2013) were all recently filmed in the Steel City too, which leads me to believe that Pittsburgh is more than just the most livable city.

5 Stars: The Fault In Our Stars is a complicated yet complete love story. Shailene Woodley get more amazing with every film. WARNING: Lots of tissue and a warm buddy are definitely a necessity for this summer flick. (I think I cried the last 20 minutes of the movie. Don’t judge me!)

Divergent

Divergent-Movie-Review-WeLiveFilm

Based off of Veronica Roth’s 2011 novel, Divergent, set in a futuristic Chicago, follows a young woman who is trying to fit into a strict personality-based society. Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley), along with all of the other teenagers on the cusp of adulthood, is given an aptitude test to help decide her fate. The city is divided into five non-transferable factions: Abnegation (selfless), Amity (peaceful), Candor (honest), Dauntless (brave), and Erudite (intelligent). Tris’ rare trait makes her decision difficult, but she leaves her parents and their Abnegation lifestyle to branch out on her own.

I did not read the book, but it did not hinder my understanding of the movie. It also did not play a deciding factor on whether I enjoyed the movie or not. I’m actually glad I did not read the book. I’m not a true fan of science fiction novels so I doubt if I would have even finished the book. Similar to a preschooler, I like books read to me from time to time so my safest median is an audiobook from iTunes.

The broader theme of the movie reflects contemporary societal problems. Between labels and social groups, we inadvertently cast people out or force people to define themselves. Divergent reminds me that we are all different and not simplistic enough to be assigned to a certain demographic.

Divergent has an awesome cast. The second movie where Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller teamed up. Last year, in ‘The Spectacular Now’, the two portrayed an odd high school couple. Both actors have a working chemistry. Although they weren’t love interests in this movie, they still share memorable, intense moments.

For all my Scandal fans, Fitz makes a guest appearance as Tris’ father, Andrew Prior. Tony Goldwyn makes the same distraught, confused Scandal faces during the entire movie. I thought Liv was going to pop out and fix all his Divergent problems. Damn you, Shonda Rhimes!

It’s so hard to not associate Mr. Goldwyn with his most famous, current role on the hit ABC show, but him pairing up with Ashley Judd in Divergent was a move in the right direction.

divergent fitz

Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz’s only daughter, Zoe Kravitz, plays Tris’ dauntless gal pal, Christina. She’s outspoken, strong and valorous. This is my first theatrical encounter with Zoe and I’m eager to see her other works.

Divergent Zoe

‘Paid in Full’ actor Mekhi Phifer was a breath of not-so-fresh air in the movie when he played chubby villain and Dauntless leader, Max. While Phifer’s filmography is not lengthy of gluts and glory, he has given us some classics: Soul Food (1997), 8 Mile (2002), and This Christmas (2009). Like Martin Lawrence, Laurence Fishburne, and Chris Tucker, he’s put on a little weight lately. And while his role as Max was brawny and tough, I just couldn’t help but to notice how he’s packed on the pounds.

Divergent Mekhi

Even in his most notable TV role as Dr. Greg Pratt on NBC’s long-running medical drama ER, Phifer looked pretty fit. One thing that Phifer reminds me is that weight does not equate the quality or greatness of an actor. Overall, Phifer holds a medium yet meaningful role in Divergent.

Without spoiling the movie, the ending was sucker fair. Although there was no cliff hanger, a great movie like Divergent should have went out with a bang or at least ended on a more exhilarating, exciting part. All Divergent novel readers like Denele Hughson have reassured me that book ended in a similar fashion. (I’ll take their word for it!)

The IMAX experience is the only way to experience this movie. Divergent has the crispness of actually seeing it live like a play. After watching Divergent, I wonder why all movies aren’t viewed through IMAX lenses. It makes for a better movie experience.

4 Solid Stars: A fantastic movie about soul searching and discovering your life’s purpose. Also, a great series completion for anyone who has previously read the novel. I wonder if Veronica Roth’s other two novels (Insurgent and Allegiant) will become movies too.

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