Movie Review


The Boss Inspires Blinded By The Light Movie – Photos & Review from the Red Carpet

Patti Scialfa , Bruce Springsteen and director/writer of Blinded by the Light, Gurinder Chadha on the Red Carpet at the Asbury Park premier of Blinded By The Light

Growing up in New Jersey during the 70s and 90s made me a bonafide Bruce Springsteen fan. I remember first hearing the Boss on my way to Paul VI in the late ’70s singing “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” as it blared over the speakers in my yellow school bus via WMMR.

I thought this guy is never going to make it, his voice is too rough. But as time went on his message was the message of survival, hard work, family, friends, the values I was taught, we were taught, values that connected us to him and each other. My brother Ray, one of the middle kids in our family, really related to Bruce and it wasn’t long before we had Boss posters up on the wall, and blaring on the tape deck. Springsteen’s inspiration comes through in the movie Blinded By The Light as well, but you don’t have to be a Springsteen fan to love this movie. It’s a triumphant movie about a kid growing up and finding his way through adversity, and a strict familial upbringing. Following ones own dreams to the path of personal success. And it’s funny along the way.

It was great to cover a big red carpet premiere again, I haven’t done one in about a decade since I stopped traveling to NYC to cover them. Thanks Allied Philadelphia for inviting me. I did a lot of social media around the event, even the thrilling moment when Bruce Springsteen and his wife, and back up singer Patti Scialfa surprised the cast on the red carpet. They seemed genuinely surprised, I was kinda surprised since they had been in Europe only three days earlier, but you know they have those planes these days that get you back in time for a premiere of a movie inspired by your songs so I was fairly positive Bruce would be there. That’s Marilyn Russell, WOGL98.1 Mornings With Marilyn, with The Big Man’s son, Jarod Clemons (r).

At the after party Gurinder Chadha, Viveik Kalra and Sarfraz Manzoor thanked the guests for coming. They spoke about the political climate of the 80s in the UK when Sarfraz was growing up, and how we must work hard not to let racism, prejudice and hate monger consume and divide us.
Then Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes entertained the crowd, calling up Bruce and Patti to join them for a few songs.
Thanks Allied for inviting me

It was surreal to watch Blinded By The Light only 5 rows behind Bruce (and his big bodyguard), no it was magical to experience the joy and pride of how Springsteen’s music comforted this kids life while navigating obstacles in his life. How his music empowered him to make something of his life, to break through. Springsteen was notably touched and it showed through his performance that evening. Pinch me did I just witness Bruce Springsteen make a surprise appearance at the movie screening I just shot, and then perform on stage with Southside Johnny. What a bucket list moment for this Bruuuuce fan!! Go see it. I’m going to see it again, there was so much to take in and I need to recapture the feelings.

I was surprise the movie wasn’t called Growin’ Up

When I was a kid I remember hearing this on WMMR, and every time I hear Growin’ up, I insert Philadelphia!!! What a great movie, brought back so many great memories for me, it’s great to see someone across the pond like Sarfraz Manzoor was inspired by The Boss as well. – 2 Thumbs Up


Shazam! Philadelphia Filming and Movie Review

In December I got a tip that the movie “Franklin” ie Shazam! was filming a few scenes on the Art Museum Steps, conveniently across the street from where I live, so I popped over a few times.

As I wrote in PhillyChitChat in December, Shazam is set in Philly, but filmed in Toronto (isn’t that ironic for us). Billy Batson, a troubled 14-year-old orphan living in Philadelphia, is set up to move into a new foster home – his seventh in a row – with the Vazquez family and their other five foster kids. One day, Billy gets on a subway car and finds himself transported to a different realm, where an ancient wizard gives him the power to transform into a godlike adult superhero by uttering the word “Shazam!” Billy and his new foster brother Freddy Freeman must learn what Billy’s new powers are and how to use them in order to stop the villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana from wielding powers of his own.[6][7]

When I took these photos I wasn’t sure what I was shooting, but now I understand, spoiler alert, but not story alert, it was two different scenes, used at different times in the movie. One was shot during the day, the other at night.

The Movie Shazam! set in Philly filmed in Toronto, came to Philly to shoot a few pivitol scenes. Plus my mini review. It was good, a little violent.

This is the scene which was filmed on the Art Museum Steps that day. Note the scene is flipped as the cars are going in the opposite direction and the City is on the left side of the steps. You can match up the girls on the right in the red coat and the tan hat, with where they’re standing in the photo above.

The second scene was with the main actors Shazam Zachary Levi and Freddy Jack Dylan Grazer . looking at the skyline. The cast and crew literally waited until the clouds parted to get the shot they needed, and unfortunately it was after midnight when some of the skyline was dark. I’m sure they were frustrated cause the forecast stressed that the rain, and clouds would part by 5PM, but you know Mother Nature has the last word.

Shazam! Trailer

Review: I thought the film was fun, kids will like it although it’s a little violent. I absolutely hated the first 10 minutes, and felt the foundation of the story could have been established some other way. Know that the film gets better after the the first 10 minutes and isn’t so shocking. The two hours went by in a whiz, and I didn’t nap at all, so that’s a good sign.