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Archives for : Lifetime

Movie Review: “High School Possession” is Nothing to Fear

Lifetime isn’t really known for their “scary movies.”  But once in a while, they tend to deliver a film that successfully spooks you while watching.  High School Possession, however, is not one of those films.

Lauren (Janel Parrish-Pretty Little Liars) and Chloe (Jennifer Stone-Wizards of Waverly Place) are best friends.  But recently, Chloe is having trouble and spiraling out of control at home and at school.  Her mother has taken her to countless doctors, and none of them can clearly diagnose her.

While on assignment for the school newspaper, Lauren interviews Olivia (Shanley Caswell-The Conjuring) and her church youth group known as “The Chosen.”  But after the interview, she accidentally sees them performing an exorcism on a girl.  Lauren is horrified but intrigued.  So she begins to investigate, and it seems to have really helped the girl.  Now she wonders if Chloe might be possessed, and the only way to save her is through an exorcism.

You would think this film would take advantage of its demonic elements, and go for some attempt at making its audience scream.  This is meant to be released on the week of Halloween for a reason right?  Well, that’s too bad, because this might have been the lamest Lifetime thriller yet.  I have seen scarier and more interesting episodes of Pretty Little Liars.  I wasn’t sure if the direction was aiming for teen horror or family friendly.  Though High School Possession fails to deliver, the film’s set up of a possible sequel, surprisingly has some potential.

High School Possession premieres Saturday, October 25, at 8pm ET /PT on Lifetime.

Movie Review: “#PopFan” is a Ridiculous but Entertaining Psycho Thriller

Be careful who you trust, because the awkward, timid guy who lives in the secluded lighthouse may be someone you want to steer clear from.

A young pop star (Chelsea Kane) looking to recreate herself and her sound on a quiet trip to Maine is caught in a storm, crashes her car, and rescued by a young man (Nolan Funk) who takes her to his secluded lighthouse to recuperate. But she soon discovers that he is not just her rescuer, but a mentally unstable and obsessed fan who believes she is the image created in her videos.

Let’s be honest, we’ve seen this essential plot on Lifetime before.  The seemingly good guy turns out to be some psycho freak that won’t let his current obsession go.  This time around the recycled premise in #Popfan works in Lifetime’s favor.

Chelsea Kane shed her Disney image fairly quickly after Jonas, so it isn’t as alarming when she flaunts her sultry, strut at the beginning of this film.  Kane is the perfect balance of sweet and sexy, making her a fitting damsel in distress.  As for her capturer, Nolan Funk, I believe he must have channeled Mark Wahlberg from Fear, because that’s the voice I heard anytime this kid spoke.

This movie is not based on a true story and yes, there will moments of stupidity from the characters that will have you yelling at the screen.  But when it comes to Lifetime dramas, I think we can all admit we’re just looking for absurd amusement.  #PopFan is a fun and exciting watch.

#PopFan Premieres Saturday, August 23, at 8pm ET/PT on Lifetime.

“#PopFan” Official Trailer HD

 

Movie Review” Lifetime’s “Expecting Amish” is a Ridiculously Lame Love Story

Expecting Amish is a drama about four Amish teenagers living in rural Pennsylvania.  When they are allowed to go to Los Angeles to experience RUMSPRINGA or rite of passage, Mary (Alyson Stoner), Isaac (Cameron Boyd) and Sara (Aurelia Scheppers) are excited to make the trip but Hannah (AJ Michalka) is reluctant to leave her father (Brian Krause), siblings and her “fiancée”, Samuel (Jean-Luc Bilodeau).

Once they get to Los Angeles, everyone but Hannah immediately enjoy their new freedom.  Encouraged to spread her wings and go to a college party, Hannah meets Josh (Jesse McCartney) in the most cliché rom-com way and the two become inseparable.  When Hannah begins having feelings for Josh, her friends become concerned. Eventually, the time comes for the four to return to their Amish lives and be baptized by their elder (Ron Ely).  But Hannah struggles between choosing to live the life she’s expected to, or the one she wants.  Things get even more complicated when she discovers a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

Maybe it’s because after the last Lifetime drama I was spoiled into thinking they would continue to push the boundaries on their “risqué” films.  But Expecting Amish has to be one of the safest and unexciting movies I’ve seen from Lifetime in a while.  Considering its premise, I was hoping for a lot more fights, sex, partying, etc-you know the basics of a rebellious teen Lifetime drama.  Though there is sex, there is no passion.  Hannah and Josh come off as friends forcing sexual chemistry that is just not there.

Putting the undesirable romance aside, even the subplots are weak.  So many characters are set up for some stimulating storylines, but instead of seeing them through, they are blown over and their wrong doings are never addressed again.

Expecting Amish might as well be a blip in this Saturday night’s TV line up.  There’s nothing to see here people, change the channel.

Rating: 1.5/5

Expecting Amish premieres on Lifetime Saturday July 19 at 8pm ET/7c.

Movie Review: “Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs” Might be the Most Disturbing Lifetime Film Yet

Parents I seriously advise you to make sure the kiddos are in bed before watching this one.

Get ready to see Tony Goldwyn (Scandal) like you’ve never seen him before.  Goldwyn stars as Warren Jeffs, the infamous Polygamist cult leader who spent more than a year on the FBI’s “10 Most Wanted List” for his unlawful flight on charges related to his arrangement of illegal marriages involving underage girls.

After his father (Martin Landau) passes away leaving behind 56 wives, Warren (Goldwyn) takes on his leadership role as the prophet for Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Basically, the community follows “God’s Law” and believes that women must be obedient wives.  The prophet is the only one who can speak to God and relays the message to the citizens.   A man can have numerous wives and the women have no say in the matter, because apparently God chooses who they are given away to.  If this doesn’t sound gross enough, Jeffs was arranging marriages to girls as young as 12 years-old!

The film itself is grotesque and continuously uncomfortable. Lifetime allows the audience to see some in-depth sex scenes that I wish I hadn’t.  The words spoken to these young girls by Jeffs while having intercourse will haunt me for years to come.  However, the story of Warren Jeffs was conveyed so well that it is worth the watch.

Besides a few small characters, all the leads did a fantastic job in the film.  Goldwyn morphs into his sickening character and Joey King (Fargo) continues her streak as a star on the rise.  This girl is incredible in any role she plays.

I can handle most Lifetime dramas, but Outlaw Prophet: Warren Jeffs was tough to sit through.

Rating: 3/5

Premiering Saturday, June 28, at 8pm ET/PT.  Immediately following the movie’s world premiere, Lifetime will air the hour-long documentary Beyond the Headlines: Warren Jeffs, at 10pm ET/PT.

Movie Review: “Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom” Becomes Uncomfortable very Quickly

Oh Lifetime, you never cease to amaze me.  Just when I think I’ve got your repetitive stories figured out, you go and throw in an unexpected domination and submission twist that I didn’t see coming.

That’s right people; Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom is a more tamed, mature, TV approved version of 50 Shades of Grey (minus the bondage).

After Delaine (Ashley Jones) discovers her jerk of a husband, Robert (Scott Gibson), has been cheating on her she immediately blames herself, as does her husband.  After all, if she tried harder and got implants this would have never happened!  Feeling as though she owes it to her two children to make the marriage work, she stays with Robert.  But then she meets Graham (Jeff Roop), an attractive acupuncturist that she can’t help but feel physically drawn too.  As they begin their own affair, Delaine gets the strength to finally divorce Robert.  Unfortunately after ending things with her husband, things with Graham quickly fall apart as well.  Hello online dating!  Among her many emails from the site, she stumbles upon a striking message from “The Duke” (Alex Carter).  He promises to turn Delaine into an alpha female that will never to be walked all over by a man again. His strategy: He, A MAN, will dominate her and tell her exactly what to do on dates and in her personal life; while she, A FEMALE, must be his submissive and obey his every word…um; okay…I guess that works for some girls.  Delaine is just delighted by this idea and agrees to his terms.

Given that this is a Lifetime film, we are usually introduced to some unbearable acting.  However, given the dialogue the two leads must deliver, I was quite pleased with their conviction.  We’re talking some pretty embarrassing and idiotic lines here.

It takes a while for this film to pick up.  Until we meet “The Duke,” you might be wondering where the story is headed.  Well, I’ll tell you it’s not headed where you’d expect.  Once she speaks with “The Duke” for the first time on the phone, the ball starts rolling.  The content of what we’re watching at this point isn’t necessarily good, it’s just so awkward and intriguing.  You can’t help but be curious to know how far Delaine will go to please her master.

Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom is a decent flick to DVR and watch in your spare time, but don’t expect the intense drama we’re accustomed to in the usual Lifetime movies.

Rating: 2.5/5

Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom premieres Saturday, May 31, at 8pm ET/PT.

Secret Sex Life of a Single Mom Official Trailer

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

Movie Review: “Petals on the Wind” is Sexier and more Deceitful than the First Installment

Petals on the Wind Official TrailerIf you thought the Dollanger clan was messed up in Flowers in the Attic, just wait till you see them freed from their “prison” and fully blossomed in the real world. It’s so wrong! Yet these characters make it seem so right! Christopher and Cathy’s relationship continues to internally conflict audiences with their brother/sister romance.

V.C. Andrews’ popular book series continues to come alive through Lifetime’s original films. (For a refresher of the first film’s premise, refer to my previous review of Flowers in the Attic)

Petals on the Wind follows Christopher, Cathy and Carrie after their escape from Foxworth Hall as children. Just a heads up, if you grew fond of the actors who played these characters in the first film, expect to see a new and an older cast as they correlate with the 10 year time jump of this sequel. The siblings were actually quite lucky when they rode the bus to Florida. They were taken in and cared for by Paul Sheffield, a wealthy doctor who leaves his estate and inheritance to the kids after his passing. As the family attempts to put their shameful past behind them, they realize certain secrets can’t stay hidden for long. When Cathy tries to get over the forbidden feelings her and Christopher developed during their captivity as young teens, she forces herself in an abusive relationship with a fellow dancer. This leaves Christopher no choice but to move on with his life, while Carrie deals with her own struggles of getting through high school. But when tragedy strikes the Dollanger’s once again, Cathy returns to Foxworth Hall to confront her grandmother and seek revenge on her mother.

What can I say? This is one twisted story. It’s unbelievable, it’s sick, and shockingly enough, it’s entertaining as hell. Fans of the novel should be pleased to see how well they incorporated most of the book’s story-lines to fit this hour and half TV movie. The film is jam packed with so much drama it will have your head spinning going from one subplot to the next.

The romance isn’t bottled up in one little attic this time around. Cathy, who is now played by a sensual Rose McIver (The Lovely Bones), may be in love with her brother, but she’s able to heat up the television screen with ANY man she’s making love to. Sadly, that temperature is only one-sided when she is embraced with Christopher. Wyatt Nash (Pretty Little Liars) plays the stoic brother who gives a lifeless and disappointing performance. Luckily, if you keep your eyes on Cathy you might not be able to notice, and either way you still root for this disturbing relationship. An emotionally scarred Carrie is impressively performed by Bailey Buntain (Bunheads) and both Ellen Burstyn and Heather Graham reprise their roles as the children’s wicked grandmother and devious mom.

From the way things pan out in this movie, you can expect another film adaptation of the next novel, and most likely the entire book series. If you enjoyed Flowers in the Attic there is no doubt that you will once again relish in the guilty pleasure that is Petals on the Wind.

Rating: 3/5

Petals on the Wind premieres on Lifetime Monday May 26 at 9p ET/PT

“Petals on the Wind” Official Trailer

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

TV Movie Review: “The Grim Sleeper” is a Disturbing Murder Mystery

Once again, Lifetime is reiterating the fact that you should never accept rides from strangers.  Only this time they have taken a frightening and sympathetic route.

The film is based on the true story of a serial killer who went unknown for nearly 20 years killing dozens of women in Los Angeles beginning in the 1980s.   Known as “The Grim Sleeper,” he would shoot or strangle his victims before having sexual contact with them.  He would then take Polaroids of the dead, naked women and store them in his garage as keepsakes.  The film follows LA Weekly reporter, Christine Pelisek (Dreama Walker), as she persistently investigates these unsolved murders.  Things turn slightly more emotional when Christine finds out the families of the victims have no idea that their loved ones were killed by the same psychopathic murderer.  Accusations of racial discrimination surface when it becomes known that the killer is targeting African American women.  The victims’ families and Christine unite to finally push the police into finding “The Grim Sleeper” and put him to rest.

I particularly enjoyed this Lifetime murder mystery more than most for many reasons.  The lead actors all performed remarkably well, especially the star of the film, Dreama Walker.  Her portrayal as the feisty and amusing LA reporter was not only fun to watch, but touching as well.  There was much more to her character besides getting a career changing front page story.  She cared about the victims, and realized they all had someone that loved them.  It was interesting to see a reporter care from the start, instead of halfway through their investigation where they “grow a heart.”  The scene stealer was the man behind the eerie voice of “The Grim Sleeper.”  I prefer not to say who played the role of the terrorizing killer.  I know you can just look it up like I did before watching the film, but I recommend that you go in blindly if you haven’t heard anything about this story before.

Director Stanley T. Brooks did such an incredible job of keeping you locked in and dying to know “who done it,”  that I would hate to spoil that reveal for you now.  I will say that when you finally see “the sleeper” in the end shot, it is one of the most haunting faces that is almost impossible to forget.

There are a lot of elements to this film that will seem familiar to past Lifetime dramas; rape, murder, mystery, strong woman.  But after a repetitive streak of the usual story-line, “The Grim Sleeper” stands out among the rest with actually succeeding in getting the audience to care and look beyond a crazy killer.  We are reminded that every life matters, and if there is anything we can do to prevent actions like these from happening again, we should take them.  An example of that action in this film was notifying the press.  If you make enough “noise” somebody is bound to listen.

The film wasn’t perfect in every aspect.  There are some forced relationships and a few subpar supporting actors, but it doesn’t matter.  “The Grim Sleeper” achieves its goal as an entertaining and intriguing film that sends a valuable message.

“The Grim Sleeper” premieres Saturday, March 15 at 8pm ET/PT.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com

Interview/Review: Gabby Douglas Talks Lifetime’s “The Gabby Douglas Story”

Interview/Review: Gabby Douglas Talks Lifetime’s ‘The Gabby Douglas Story’

She became the house-hold name that everyone could not stop talking about during the summer of 2012.  Olympian Gabrielle Douglas was the first African American ever to be named Individual All-Around Champion in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games.   Lifetime is bringing Gabby’s story to life with the television première of “The Gabby Douglas Story.”

When the odds were against them, Gabby and her family still didn’t give up until she was able to her reach her dream.  Regina King plays the struggling single mother of four who goes through extreme obstacles to keep her daughter’s dreams alive.  As she fights through illness and financial problems, her other three children have no reservations when it comes to sacrificing what they need to in order to pay for Gabby’s gymnastics classes.  Her family knows she has a gift.  Their belief in her, combined with her incredible drive and passion, leads to one emotional journey of determination and success in this inspiring true story.  Imani Hakim and Sydney Mikayla share the role of playing the two-time Olympic Gold Medalist.

In honor of her anticipated biopic, Gabby Douglas spoke with us to discuss the upcoming film that will premiere this Saturday night on Lifetime.

Thank you for taking time to speak with me today.  I enjoyed the movie and it was really inspiring.   I especially liked the quote your mom would always tell you and your siblings, “Today should always be better than yesterday.”  How do you continue to live by that quote today?

“I live by that quote because I feel like, you know, it’s motivation that keeps me going. You have to find something that motivates you and drives you.   You want to do the thing that you love.  The Olympics is driving me to the gym and busts my butt every single day, just by giving 100%.”

It was so amazing watching the unbelievable support that your family gave you in order for you to pursue your dreams.  How has life changed for you and your family since winning the gold medals?

“Wow.  Life has changed so much for us and we’re just so blessed and so honored.  I’m really honored that they could be apart of this journey, too.  And life is just different.  It changed so fast.  Everyone and the world was like who is Gabby Douglas?  And then I won the Olympics and it was like an overnight celebrity thing.  I never thought it would happen so fast.”

Did your family ever give you an “I told you so” after your wins? Because I feel like they believed in you so much, even when you wanted to quit. 

“Yes. (Laughs) Well not I told you so exactly, but they believed in me when I didn’t believe in me.  But yes at the end, they were kind of like see, we told you!  It was great, just having people around you that believe in you when you don’t, and they inspired me to believe in myself.”

And finally, I thought one of the greatest parts in the film was watching the workout montage while the song, “Hall of Fame” by The Script is playing in the background.  If you could choose any song to be the soundtrack of your life, what song would it be?

“Mmm, I think I’d pick…um “Hall of Fame” is a good one, and I think I’d pick “Girl on Fire.”

“The Gabby Douglas Story” will air on Saturday, February 1st at 8pm ET /PT on Lifetime.

Originally posted on RedCarpetCrash.com