A Parable For The Now : “Days Of Hate” #1

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Fair enough, Ales Kot and Danijel Zezelj’s new Image Comics 12-parter, Days Of Hate, is set at some unspecified (though we know it’s post-2020) future date, but who the hell are we kidding? The story (or “chapter,” as the back cover would have it) title of this debut issues is “America First,” so that pretty much tells you all you need to know right there. In case you’re unsure as to the (entirely justified) target of these creators’ wrath, though,  some overly-expository dialogue over the course of the opening pages makes it clear, and after that any MAGA douchebag still reading has only themselves to blame if their blood pressure goes up a few points. This is obviously a dystopian, nationalist, fascist future with its roots very firmly in the present day. I like most of Kot’s other work (although his most intriguing project, Material, was abandoned at…

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2017 in Review: The Best of Lifetime

Today, I continue my look back at the previous year with my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2017!  Below, you’ll find my nominations for the best Lifetime films and performances of 2017!  Winners are starred and listed in bold!

(As a guide, I used the credits for the imdb.  If anyone has been miscredited or let out, please feel free to let me know and I’ll fix the error both here and, if I can, on the imdb as well.)

Best Picture

Drink Slay Love, produced by Tina Pehme, Kim Roberts, Sheri Singer, Bella Thorne

From Straight A’s to XXX, produced by Austin Andrews, John Bolton, Anne-Marie Hess, Tina Pehme, Kim Roberts, Sheri Singer

Four Christmases and a Wedding

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell, produced by Deen Dioria, David Manzanares, Ron Schmidt, Judith Verno, Frank von Zerneck.

The Rachels, produced by Paige Lauren Billot, Margaret H. Huddleston, Maggie McFarren, Hannah Pillemer, Rebecca G. Stone.

Running Away, produced by Dureyshevar, Jeff Faehnle, Jack Nasser, Jacob Nasser, Joseph Nasser, Bri Noble.

Sea Change. Produced by Sharon Bordas, Alec Chorches, Adam Fratto, Steven Gilder, David MacLeod, A.J. Mendez, Shawn Piller, Lloyd Segan, Stephanie Slack, Fernando Szew

Secrets in Suburbia, produced by Kristopher McNeeley, Jacobo Rispa, Damian Romay, Stephanie Slack, Fernando Szew.

The Watcher in the Woods, produced by Simon Barnes, Alexandra Bentley, Andrew Gernhard, Jennifer Handorf, Paula Hart.

* Web Cam Girls, produced by Tom Berry, Pierre David, Hank Grover, Sheri Reeves, Ken Sanders, Noel Zanitsch* 

Best Director

* Doug Campbell for Web Cam Girls

Michael Civille for The Rachels

Vanessa Parise for From Straight A’s to XXX

Damian Romay for Secrets in Suburbia

Brian Skiba for Running Away

Stephen Tolkin for New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell

Best Actor

James Franco in High School Lover

Zack Gold in Psycho Brother-in-Law

Stephen Graybill in Web Cam Girls

Timothy Granderos in The Twin

Ted McGinley in Fatherly Obsession

* Ryan Patrick Shanahan in Sinister Minister

Best Actress

Barbie Castro in Boyfriend Killer

Holly Deveaux in Running Away

Sedonna Legge in Web Cam Girls

* Penelope Ann Miller in New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell

Heather Morris in Psycho Wedding Crasher

Haley Pullos in From Straight A’s to XXX

Best Supporting Actor

Francois Arnaud in High School Lover

Joe Hackett in Web Cam Girls

William McNamara in Running Away

Patrick Muldoon in Boyfriend Killer

Judd Nelson in From Straight A’s to XXX

* Daniel Roebuck in New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell

Best Supporting Actress

Madison Iseman in The Rachels

Anjelica Huston in The Watcher in the Woods

* Tonya Kay in Web Cam Girls

Paula Trickey in Running Away

Ashley Wood in Wicked Mom’s Club

Lorynn York in Web Cam Girs

Best Screenplay

From Straight A’s to XXX. Anne-Marie Hess.

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Stephen Tolkin.

The Rachels. Ellen Huggins.

* Running Away. Sheri McGuinn.

Secrets in Suburbia. Damian Romay.

Web Cam Girls. Stephen Romano.

Best Cinematography

Drink Slay Love. Vic Sarin.

Four Christmases and a Wedding. Mike Kam.

Off the Rails. Denis Maloney.

Running Away. Patrice Lucien Cochet.

* Sea Change. Jackson Parrell.

Ten: Murder Island. Richard Clabaugh.

Best Costuming

* Drink Slay Love. Liene Dobraja.

From Straight A’s to XXX. Liene Dobraja.

The Lost Wife of Robert Durst. Tina Fiorda.

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Maria Bentfield.

The Rachels. Courtney Stern.

Stage Fright. Monique Hyman.

Best Editing

* From Straight A’s to XXX. Rob Grant.

Four Christmases and a Wedding. Paul Ziller.

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Mark Stevens.

The Rachels. Brett Solem.

Sea Change. Matthew Anas.

Web Cam Girls. Jordan Jensen.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Drink Slay Love. Jessica Green, Catherine Long, Alysha McLoughlin, Sahar Sharelo.

The Lost Wife of Robert Durst. Lorna Bravo, Kelly Grange, Shelly Jensen, Mary Renvall, Melissa Sahlstrom.

* New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Claudia Breckenridge, Daniel Casillas, Nicole Gabaldon, Pepper J. Gallegos, Madeline McCue, L. Taylor Roberts

The Rachels. Taylor Bennett, Austin Cuccia.

Secrets in Suburbia. Andrea Ahl, Trevor Thompson

The Watcher in the Woods. Chloe Edwards.

Best Score

Drink Slay Love. Justin R. Durban

Fatherly Obsession. Aiko Fukushima.

Sea Change. Shawn Pierce.

* Story of a Girl. Travis Bacon.

Ten: Murder Island. Ceiri Torjussen.

The Watcher in the Woods. Felix Bird.

Best Production Design

New York Prison Break: The Seduction of Joyce Mitchell. Will Albarz, Anthony Medina.

Running Away.   Vincent Albo, Rose Beltran

Secrets in Suburbia. Brendan Turrill.

Ten: Murder Island. Eric Whitney, Caley Bisson.

Tiny House of Terror

* Web Cam Girls. Catch Henson, James W. Thompson Jr., Katherine Bulovic, Valerie Munguia

Best Sound

Britney Ever After

Drink Slay Love

From Straight A’s to XXX

Sea Change.

Under the Bed

* The Watcher in the Woods

Best Visual Effects

* Drink Slay Love

Fatherly Obsession

Sea Change

Stalker’s Prey

Ten: Murder Island

The Watcher in the Woods

And there you have it!  Those are my picks for the best of Lifetime in 2017!  Thank you for your indulgence!  On Friday, I’ll be concluding my look back at 2017 with my picks for the 26 best films of the year!

Previous entries in the TSL’s Look Back at 2017:

  1. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Single Issues by Ryan C
  2. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Series by Ryan C
  3. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Edition (Contemporary) by Ryan C
  4. 2017 In Review: Top Ten Collected Editions (Vintage) by Ryan C
  5. 2017 in Review: Top Ten Graphic Novels By Ryan C
  6. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I saw in 2017 by Valerie Troutman
  7. My Top 15 Albums of 2017 by Necromoonyeti
  8. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Picks For the 16 Worst Films of 2017
  9. 2017 In Review: Lisa Marie’s Final Post About Twin Peaks: The Return (for now)
  10. 2017 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 14 Favorite Songs of 2017
  11. 2017 in Review: The Best of SyFy by Lisa Marie Bowman
  12. 2017 in Review: 10 Good Things that Lisa Marie Saw On Television in 2017
  13. 2017 in Review: Lisa Marie’s 12 Favorite Novels of 2017
  14. 2017 in Review: Lia Marie’s 10 Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2017

Cleaning Out The DVR: Sea Change (dir by Chris Grismer)

(Hi there!  So, as you may know because I’ve been talking about it on this site all year, I have got way too much stuff on my DVR.  Seriously, I currently have 162 things recorded!  I’ve decided that, on February 15th, I am going to erase everything on the DVR, regardless of whether I’ve watched it or not.  So, that means that I’ve now have only have a month to clean out the DVR!  Will I make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  I recorded Sea Change off of Lifetime on September 17th, 2017!  Incidentally, Sea Change was the final 2017 Lifetime movie that I had sitting on my DVR.  I have now watched and reviewed all of the Lifetime films that I recorded in 2017!)

Based on the novel by Aimee Friedman, Sea Change tells the story of Miranda and T.J.

Miranda (Emily Rudd) is a fiercely intelligent and independent teenager who, having lost her father, is spending the summer on an island with the mother (Maria Drizzia) that she barely knows.  It’s a beautiful island, one that is very popular with rich vacationers, the majority of whom have spoiled children.  It’s a struggle for Miranda to fit in.  She has deeper interests than just popularity and money.  Add to that, she doesn’t swim.  With everyone on the island obsessed with getting in the water, Mirana is stuck on the land.

T.J. (Keenan Tracy) lives on the island year-round.  His family is not rich.  T.J. works for a living and he’s not going to let anyone push him around just because they happen to have more money than he does.  When Miranda first sees T.J. she notices his scars.  When she sees him a second time, the scars have disappeared.  When Miranda falls into the water, T.J. saves her from drowning.  T.J. claims that he just dived after her but Miranda gets the feeling that there’s something more to it, almost as if he was already in the water when she fell in.  When he grabbed her underwater and led her back to the surface, there was something different about his eyes…

Could it have anything to do with the legendary Seawalkers?  The Seawalkers are said to be half-human and half-fish.  Everyone knows the story has to be a myth but, after T.J. rescues her, Miranda isn’t quite sure.  Could the Seawalkers be real and could they be connected to the secrets that Miranda believes her mother to be hiding from her?

You’ve probably already guesses the answers to all of those questions but that’s okay.  Sea Change won’t win many points for originality.  If you’ve seen any other film adaptation of a YA novel, you’ll be able to guess almost everything that happens in Sea Change before it happens.  But, again, that doesn’t matter.  Sea Change is a well-made and likable film, one that is full of gorgeous imagery.  (The film really makes excellent use of that island setting.)  Keenan Tracy and Emily Rudd are both talented actors and they have a nice chemistry.  Underneath all of the talk of Seawalkers, there’s a very real and sincere sweetness to their relationship.  You find yourself hoping that things work out for them and really, in order to work, that’s pretty much the only thing that a film like this has to accomplish.

Sea Change ends with the possibility of a sequel.  Personally, if they did make a sequel, I’d watch it.


Music Video of the Day: Monster by Flint Eastwood (2018, dir by ????)

Today’s music video of the day is this creepy, black-and-white video of Flint Eastwood’s Monster.

While watching this video, you’ll undoubtedly notice that it features a hairless cat.  I love cats but I have to admit that hairless cats totally freak me out.  I guess it’s because the sight of a hairless cat forces you to consider just how much of the inherent cuteness of cats has to do with their fur.  Personally, I think that my cat Doc is the cutest cat ever but would I still feel the same way if he didn’t have all of that black fur?  It’s a fair question.

Of course, what’s ironic is that cat’s don’t even care or notice what color their fur is.  They’re color blind and, for the most part, they hate each other equally regardless of color or socio-economic background.

As long as I’m continuing to make everything about me, I should also point out that I have really bad eyesight and I think it might be getting worse!  This video reminded me of how much I’m not looking forward to going to the optometrist next week.