A Few Thoughts on The Walking Dead 7.4 “Service” (dir by David Boyd)


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I’m going to try to keep this short.

I like The Walking Dead.  Almost all of my friends like The Walking Dead, though there’s also a large number who have recently decided to abandon the show.  In general, we’re fans of The Walking Dead here at the Shattered Lens.

But tonight’s episode was a real chore to sit through.  After all the hype and all the promises that something big was going to happen during tonight’s special 90-minute program, Service turned out to be a big bunch of nothing.  Negan showed up at Alexandria.  Negan acted like an asshole.  Negan left.

THAT WAS THE ENTIRE FUCKING SHOW!

The thing is — we already know that Negan is an asshole.  We know that he’s a bully.  We know that he’s a sick and irredeemable bastard.  And I’m not sure that the show really needed to devote 90 minutes to reminding us about what we already know.  To be honest, the entire Negan terrorizes Alexandria thing could have been handled in 30 minutes.  That would have left the 2nd half of the episode for … well, something!  Something more than the same crap that we’ve been seeing since season 7 began!  I don’t have a problem with the show being disturbing, violent, or even depressing.  I do have a problem with the show being tedious and that’s the best way to describe tonight’s episode.

Quite frankly, I’ve had enough of neutered Rick.  During tonight’s episode, Rick had plenty of opportunities to do something to stop Negan.  When they were visiting the graveyard, he could have set up an ambush.  When Negan was standing right out in the open, he could have had a sniper open fire.  At one point, Negan even let Rick hold Lucille!

And Rick did nothing.

Where is the Rick who shot zombie Sophia without a hint of emotion?  That’s the Rick we need!  No more of this boring, teary-eyed, shellshocked Rick.  We need our old Rick back and we need him now!  If Rick can’t can’t lead his group, he needs to step aside for someone who can.

And Rick, for God’s sake, remember that there’s no crying in the zombie apocalypse!

There are only four episodes left before season 7 goes on hiatus.  I am sincerely hoping that those 4 episode will amount to something than just four hours of Negan taunting Rick.

At the very least, we need at least one more episode with King Ezekiel and Shiva…

 

 

People of Earth, Acceptance-Season 1 Episode 3; ALT Title: WHAAAA?!!!


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This is not typical for me: there is a show without fault.  There have been two brilliant works to premiere in 2016! 2016 has gotten a lot of shit, but I can’t see how it’s that different from any other year.  People died and we elected a rich racist old white guy as President -seems pretty par for the shitty course. Don’t get me wrong; I’m furious, but not surprised that people chose a POS last Tuesday. This is part of the reason why People of Earth is great; there’s a sense of universal mediocrity that we all deal with everywhere.  The hero is in a haze of discontent and mediocrity even before the aliens get to him and the aliens are a mixture of petty and incompetent.  The show posits a comfortable universal mediocrity.  We aren’t unique with having annoying coworkers or a douchebag boss or shitty job- this is just life: UNIVERSAL… EVERYWHERE.  As they told me in the Army: Embrace the Suck!

This episode deals with divorce.  Divorce sucks.   Imagine a break up, but it’s uncertain for the first time in your life what is yours and if you’ll ever be loved by another human being again for free, not that prostitutes don’t have feelings or negotiable rates… wait…. where was I?  In this context, People of Earth explores the painfully banal human concept of divorce with the backdrop of the extraordinary story of slow-moving alien domination.

Open: Ozzie is having dreams about the Lizard alien who is almost certainly Jon teaching him how to use a toy train and he wakes in a cold sweat.

Current day: Jon gets the news from Archer’s VO Guy AVOG that Kurt is dead.  Scroty prepares himself with an almost eye-roll for LOTR-Guy’s Hilarious 5 stages of grief in under 30 seconds. It’s awesome.

The Group:  Richard reveals to the group that he was served divorce papers and ordered to mediation.  He reminisces to an idyllic past and camping trip that was the site of their abduction.  He’s convinced the divorce papers are in fact a lizard alien plot of some kind. Ozzie tries to bring Richard back to earth that these are in fact divorce papers, but he’s not ready.  Gina demands that Ozzie partner with Richard and guide him through this ordeal.

B Story: Gerry is out of jail.

The Mothership:  Scroty is suppressing his feelings, comparing Kurt’s not working to LOTR-Guy’s not working because they’re both….dead weight.  WAKKA WAKKA WAKKA! Anywho, LOTR-Guy is trying to get Scroty to express his grief; it doesn’t work.

B Story:  Gerry finds the Kurt-alien outline on the asphalt and Joy finds Gerry.  They chat and discern that it was likely a lizard death because of the acid blood that damaged the asphalt AND that a city official must have covered it up! The more important part of the scene was the burgeoning love between Gerry and Joy, which is a perfect counterweight to the A-Story where two signatures clearly define love’s end.

A Story- Mediation:  Richard goes on about Aliens and his soon to be ex loses it.  He agrees to sign it, but uses a fake name.

Richard’s Ex pursues him to the meeting and we learn that their marriage sucked before, she remembers the abduction, and used to be a member of Starcrossed!  WHAAAAAAA?!!! Richard leans on Ozzie and agrees to sign the papers.  Once again, something has died, but a friendship is born.

The Mothership:  LOTR-Guy gets Scroty to deal with his grief, but Scroty gets to the anger step …. and stays there.  He scans Kurt’s lifeless mind and sees Gina’s bumper sticker and vows revenge.

Ozzie flashes back to his youth and his dad was JON!!! WHAAAAA?!

Once again- A badass song! Wall of Voodoo- Ring of Fire:

People of Earth, “Sponsored By”, Season 1, Episode 2; It’s Funny Alien Stuff, Bruh!


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People of Earth once again delivers! Finding fault with People of Earth is like finding fault with making love, Italian food, or Al Green albums.  Bruh. TOTES AWESOMEBALLS, Bruh!!! Let’s grab some ‘Za! I figure I need to use slang like that now that our country is going to be run by a Nuclear Armed Frat House.  On fleek- Out; Sweet, Bruh- In.

NYC: Jon is phone stalking Ozzie to get him to return to Buzzfeedish.  Bruh.

Gina and Gerry intervene on Ozzie and cajole him to get a sponsor for the Starcrossed Program.  Bruh.

The meeting:  Ozzie makes a list of names to rule out as his sponsor.  As he is judging them, he notices that Chelsea’s recount of LOTR-Guy is remarkably similar to that of Kelly.  They begin to discuss it and Gina tries to put a stop to it because this is her club and she makes the rules darn it!  Kelly slut shames Chelsea and Richard steals the scene by misquoting Fleetwood Mac.  To her chagrin, Father Doug needs to speak to her about their organization.  They separate, tell their stories, do sketches of LOTR-Guy and discover- IT WAS THE SAME ALIEN BRUH, BRUH.  That’s enough.  We learn that Chelsea has a terrible marriage.

Ozzie crosses everyone off his list accept Kelly who becomes his sponsor.

We also learn that LOTR-Guy’s incompetence is what caused Ozzie’s visions.  It’s really really funny watching Scroty bust LOTR-Guy’s balls.  See what I did there?!!! 

Gerry returns to Starcrossed with Ozzie’s car and Archer’s Voice Guy tases him! AWESOME!!!

Jon busts Scroty and Kurt for doing a shitty job with Ozzie’s memory.  The response: Kurt beams down to earth and is promptly runover by Gina who’s texting and driving.  There’s a lesson here: Texting and Driving kills lizard people!

Archer’s Voice Guy shows up and cleans up Kurt’s acid-bleeding body.

We also get a great song once again- Khala My Friend!!!

What Lisa Watched Last Night #159: Best-Selling Murder (dir by Michel Poulette)


Last night, after I watched Little Girl’s Secret, I turned over to the Lifetime Movie Network and I watched Best-Selling Murder!

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Why Was I Watching It?

The obvious answer, of course, is that it was a Lifetime premiere and y’all know how much I love my Lifetime movies!  But, even beyond that, there were two reasons why I made it a point to watch Best-Selling Murder.

1) Much as with Little Girl’s Secret, I was hoping that — by watching and live tweeting Best-Selling Murder — I could bring some joy to an otherwise depressed world.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get much live tweeting done because it was late and I was kinda tired.

2) It was a murder mystery about a writer!  I’m a writer and I’d love to solve a real-life murder mystery!  Obviously, this would be a movie to which I would be able to relate.

What Was It About?

Hannah (Vanessa Ray) is an acclaimed author who has run out of ideas.  Actually, not only has she run out of ideas, but she’s also now on the verge of running out of opportunities.  Her publisher is dropping her.  As they explain it, awards and accolades don’t mean anything.  People wants novels about teenage vampires and middle-aged bondage.

Of course, that’s not all Hannah has to worry about.  Her creep of an ex-husband has married and impregnated her former best friend.  She has not one but two stalkers following her around.  And she also appears to have something of a drinking problem!

However, things start to look up after she starts to channel her rage into a serialized series of stories, all of which deal with a serial killer named Bloody Mary.  If you betray Bloody Mary, you get stabbed in the heart…

Suddenly, people who have betrayed Hannah start to turn up dead.  And guess what?  They’ve all been stabbed in the heart!

What Worked?

Everything worked!  Pulpy, melodramatic, and occasionally a little silly, this movie was the epitome of everything that makes Lifetime great.  Don’t worry about whether or not the plot makes any sense.  Don’t worry if some of the twists come out of nowhere.  Instead, just enjoy the ride.

Vanessa Ray was well-cast as Hannah.  Not only was she a sympathetic protagonist but you also actually believed that she capable of being a somewhat respected author.  I’m always extremely sensitive to how writers are portrayed in the movies.  Vanessa Ray was never less than believable.

Considering the number of Lifetime films that I’ve seen, it’s not easy to take me by surprise but this film’s twisty plot kept me guessing.

What did Not Work?

There was nothing that didn’t work about this film.  Best-Selling Murder is exactly the type of movie that we watch Lifetime for.  It was a melodramatic, fun, and even surprising.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I always relate to any film about a writer, especially if that writer is dealing with the darker side of life.  It’s true that I’ve never gotten to solve a murder but who knows what the future holds!

Lessons Learned

Don’t upset Bloody Mary.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #158: Little Girl’s Secret (dir by Dominic James)


Last night, I watched Little Girl’s Secret on Lifetime!

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Why Was I Watching It?

Oh my God, everyone’s so depressed right now!

Or, actually, I should say that almost everyone I know is depressed right now.  Obviously, the entire country is not depressed about Donald Trump winning the election because 60,000,000 people voted for him and I assume that they’re all happy.  But the 60,000,0000 who voted against him are all pretty depressed right now.  And, even worse, a lot of them are blaming my generation because not many of us voted and quite a few of us decided to vote third party.

My twitter timeline is seriously dark right now.

So, I figured that maybe I could cheer some people up by doing one of my famous Lifetime movie live tweets!  Looking to help heal a divided nation, I watched Little Girl’s Secret on Lifetime and I tweeted every single thought that popped into my head.  I don’t know if I saved the world but I certainly did increase my Klout score.

What Was It About?

That’s a good question!  This film left me thoroughly confused, though that may be because I’m currently spending the weekend at my uncle’s and, as I tried to watch and tweet, I was also having to deal with 100 hyperactive cousins.

As far as I could tell, here’s what was happening in the movie: Jean (Maria Bello) is an artist.  Dave (Callum Keith Rennie) is a writer.  Molly (Sophie Nelisse) is Jean’s teenage daughter.  Heather (Isabelle Nelisse) is Dave’s daughter.  Michael (William Dickinson) is someone’s son.  I guess he’s Molly’s brother but it wasn’t always easy to keep track of how everyone was related.  He could have been Dave’s son and Heather’s brother.  It really doesn’t matter.

Anyway, in 1982, this family leaves Baltimore and moves into a new home — a former church that’s been turned into a house!  There’s a cemetery out back.  There are ruins nearby.  There’s a ghostly apparition that appears occasionally.  Heather, who doesn’t feel like she belongs in this reconstructed family, is soon spending all of her time talking to the apparition.

Meanwhile, Molly is having nightmares and she keeps seeing birds forming ominous shapes in the sky.  (It’s kinda like in Take Shelter.)  She also starts to hear noises in the dark and see ominous shadows in unlit rooms.  Why doesn’t anyone ever turn on the lights?

What Worked?

It had its share of creepy moments.  Molly’s dreams were always well-executed.

What Did Not Work?

This movie was so damn dark!  I don’t mean thematically.  I mean that it was often hard to see what was going on in the movie because it never seemed to occur to anyone to turn on a light!  I get the point, of course.  This was a horror movie and everyone’s scared of the dark.  But, after a little while, the constant darkness went from being atmospheric to just being silly.

Maria Bello, a terrific actress, was pretty much wasted in a minor role.

I was going to complain about the film’s pacing but I think that has more to do with the fact that it premiered on Lifetime than anything else.  It’s difficult to maintain suspense when you’re having to stop every few minutes for a commercial break.

And finally, the plot itself was overly complicated and not particularly easy to follow.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I related to Molly in quite a few scenes.  I was a rebellious 14 year-old too.

Lessons Learned

TURN ON THE DAMN LIGHTS!

There’s No Love Like “Violent Love”


Trash Film Guru

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From Bonnie And Clyde to Natural Born Killers, star-crossed lovers on the run from the law and racing head-first to a date with death have been a popular box-office draw for decades, and if you’re willing to tinker with the formula just a bit it’s not too great a leap to see how drive-in classics like Bonnie’s Kids and Black Mama, White Mama are cut from very much the same cloth. With the popularity of the exploitation ethos at an all-time high in the pages of indie comics thanks to series like Alex Di Campi’s Grindhouse and Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro’s Bitch Planet, then, it was probably only a matter of time before we got our own funnybook stand-ins for Mickey and Mallory, and now that writer Frank J. Babiere and artist Victor Santos’ new Image five-parter, Violent Love, is on LCS shelves, my only…

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