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Mommy's Little Boy (2017)
Intense story for a Lifetime thriller. The acting is better than it needs to be for a TV movie. Bree Williamson the actress who plays the mother is quite scary and her lines are are quite authentic sounding - really like a crazy person who goes out of control. Things start with a rather distressing home pool drowning of the older son who is a bully. As a kind neighbor and a caring football coach try to help things start to get out of hand. Quite a role for the young boy. Wonder how he could ever recover.
Worth a watch.
Stalked by My Neighbor (2015)
The title isn't accurate but still quite entertaining
The title isn't quite accurate. Not a stalking movie at all. The story is about a teen girl who is raped in the city moves to the burbs with her mom. She is still a little paranoid and starts taking pictures of her neighbors. There is a murder of her neighbor and then she proceeds to uncover things. Things move quite quickly as her suspicions about the murderer change.
Worth one watch.
The Beguiled (2017)
Atmospheric but too dimly lit
First off the story is depressing. So if you want to watch this be prepared. I wanted to see this for the great cast. The cast is pretty watchable. Nicole looks young, Kristen looks puffy, Elle is alluring and Colin is well suited to his role. But the photography is way too dim to see the tension between the girls and the guy. The atmosphere of the plantation is nicely captured.
Not a must watch.
A Neighbor's Deception (2017)
A bit slow
A woman who has had a nervous breakdown due to infertility befriends a nice shrink and his wife next door in her new neighborhood. That premise could be interesting but things stall a little in the middle. Can't quite see why she would become sleuth. You may be tempted to change channels half way but there is a bit of a pay off if you watch till the end. The ending and is a bit more violent than a typical LMN movie and there is a twist I didn't see.
Girl Followed (2017)
Potential warning about predatory relationships
This movie should serve as a warning about an older guy going after a 14 year old girl. But somehow the actor they chose doesn't look old enough and the girl not naive and young enough so they look more like a possible couple than a predatory relationship. Joey Lawrence doesn't quite convince as Dad. A 14 year old girl falls for some male nurse colleague of her mother's. They form an illicit relationship and of course the girl is super irritating.
It's an okay watch but would have been better with more appropriate casting.
The Stranger Inside (2016)
Psycho fertility doctor
This week's psycho is the fertility doctor played quite convincingly by Sofia Milos. She tries to impregnate her egg into this woman whose husband dumped the doctor years earlier. Not too many likable characters with an irritating wife and so so hubby but the story moves on quickly enough. For a change the step mom and step daughter have a good relationship.
It's not too bad by LMN standards but not one of the best. True Life stories are better because these made up ones always end up feeling a bit contrived at some point.
American Made (2017)
For anyone who enjoyed Narcos
For anyone who enjoyed Narcos the best series on Netflix, this is a real treat. It's got a light comic tone and lots of grinning from the youthful looking Tom Cruise as the Top Gun style commercial pilot who gets recruited by he CIA to do some covert flying into Nicaragua. While there he takes the opportunity to make some money by running drugs for Escobar et all into Louisiana. This true life story of Barry Seal is fast moving and an illuminating look at the complicated relationship between the different drug cartels and the the CIA. The things that happened are so unbelievable they have to be true.
Tulip Fever (2017)
Good plot but some weak casting and chaotic direction
It's not often that a historical fictional work has a good plot that comes together and has a feelgood ending, so I was pleasantly surprised. The way things came together and worked out was quite clever. The Vermeer like interiors and costumes are quite admirable as is the attention to detail.
There are a couple of faults with the production. The sets were crowded and too slum like - could have been prettier. How about some pretty tulip fields? Some scenes were too chaotic and there was too much running around. The tulip market bubble was too frenzied to be clear.
Quite an impressive cast list but there are some casting faults and successes. Holliday Grainger is for once suited to the role - her plump cheeks really make her right for the role of Dutch maid. Alicia Vikander on the other hand seemed too dark complexioned and thin to be a Dutch woman from that time. Not suited for the role. Dane DeHaan is too sickly and weak looking to inspire such a passion. Why he was cast as a romantic lead baffles. Christoph Waltz is even more masculine looking than him.
Worth a watch for the good story.
Killer Mom (2017)
Well paced well written thriller
A woman who has lost her money goes after the daughter she gave up for adoption to a wealthy man. The story is quite logical so it's actually quite exciting. Although she has ulterior motives you kind of want them to get together happily so it's quite involving. Also there aren't some of the typical cheap scare tactics and too many killings that plague some Lifetime thrillers.
Only thing the ending is a little formula - could have been more clever. But 90% of this movie is good so it's worth a watch.
The Spiral Road (1962)
Authentic looking warning about unwanted help
A warning for doctors without borders? A message for colonialists / imperialists - your help isn't wanted? This movie about Dutch doctors in Indonesia in the 30s is not a typical heroic adventure from the 50s and 60s. It's quite ahead of it's time. The hero is flawed, he and others on his mission were not wanted by the local population. The disease and black magic that is shown is quite horrific if you think about it. There is a spiritual message but that seemed not the main thing about the movie.
The filming looks authentic and the actors all look worn by the heat. Rock Hudson is quite good in this serious role. Burl Ives is effective as well.
Worth a watch and oddly relevant today.