Do we really need a second one?
Anyway, maybe this one will manage to take a spot from a good movie as well. Here’s the trailer.
Well, another Thanksgiving is coming to an end.
Needless to say, with everything going on in the world, this Thanksgiving is a bit different than what I’m used to.
With all that in mind, though, the TSL crew had an active Thanksgiving. Here’s a few highlights of our day:
So, another Thanksgiving comes to a close. Usually, I do a big long list of what I’m thankful for each and very year but this year, I’m just thankful for all of you. 2020 has not gone the way that any of us planned it would. I was certainly expecting the year to be a lot more festive and I think that the rest of this decade probably will be. People have been locked away for too long. I have a feeling that once the pandemic is under control, there’s going to be a lot of pent up energy being released.
So, this year, I’m thankful for our readers, our contributors, and just this site in general. TSL has been around for ten years now. We’re going to be around for the next ten as well.
So, let’s sit back and enjoy the ride, shall we?
Here to keep your holidays happy is a film about death.
It’s also a film about love and romance and pursuing your dreams and all that good stuff but I have a feeling that the death is what everyone’s going to remember.
This film is set to be released on December 27th.
Here’s the trailer for The Prom, the latest film from Ryan Murphy. Apparently, Netflix is going to give this film a huge Oscar push and considering that it stars Meryl Streep, you really can’t blame them.
To be honest, this film looks like the most Ryan Murphy thing that Ryan Murphy has ever done. I imagine that some people will absolutely love it and some people will hate it and that there probably won’t be much space in between. Hopefully, this film will be a hit and Murphy will get so busy directing films that he won’t have time to do any further seasons of American Horror Story.
This film will be available of Netflix on December 11th!
4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.
RIP, the amazing Daria Nicolodi.
4 Shots From 4 Daria Nicolodi Films
As soon as I heard the great Daria Nicolodi had passed away at the age of 70, I knew that I had to find a scene from one of her films to share here on the Shattered Lens.
Unfortunately, YouTube was not very helpful. I was tempted to re-share the scene of her arm-wrestling David Hemmings in Deep Red but I chose not to because, according to our stats, a lot of you already visited that post after the news of her passing was announced.
I also nearly shared the finale of Shock. This was Daria’s best performance and one that she always cited as being a favorite. However, I hesitated to do so because that scene features Daria’s character dying in a rather gruesome manner and I worried it was perhaps a bit too morbid to share under these circumstances. But this scene also shows what a good actress Daria Nicolodi was and, again, Shock was a film that she always cited as being one of her personal favorites. That said, I just can’t bring myself to pay tribute to someone on the day of their passing with a scene in which they die. So, I’m sharing a different scene from Shock. This one is perhaps a bit less dramatic than the finale but it still shows what a good and expressive actress Daria Nicolodi was. She makes the scene below feel real.
So, in memory of the great Daria Nicolodi, here she is in Mario Bava’s Shock:
Oh Hell yeah!
Now, this is a good Lifetime film!
Basically, Killer Dream Home tells the story of Jules (Maiara Walsh) and Josh Grant (John DeLuca). They’re young. They’re married. They’re hot. Josh never wears a shirt, which is kind of nice. They’ve just bought a gigantic house that they’re planning on flipping, though there’s no way I would ever give up that house because it’s seriously one of the best that I’ve ever seen. I mean, the pool alone is bigger than my back yard. They invite their friend, Bliss (Brooke Butler), to come live with them. You know that you’ve made it when you’ve got a blonde friend named Bliss.
They also end up hiring an interior designer named Morgan (Eva Mauro) but it turns out that Morgan might not be as perfect as their new house. First off, it turns out that Morgan’s entire portfolio was made up of pictures that she cut out of magazines. As soon as Morgan shows up, the first thing that she does is scare away the gardener, with whom she appears to have some sort of deep, dark history. The second thing she does is suggest to Jules that Josh might be cheating on her with Bliss. The third thing she does is get undressed while Josh is watching. Morgan attempts to seduce Josh and Josh is all like, “Just because I don’t own a shirt, that doesn’t make me a man whore!”
And so it goes. It all leads to murder, of course. It always does.
Killer Dream Home has everything that you could possibly want from a Lifetime film. It features beautiful people, beautiful houses, a lot of sex, and a few murders. (Morgan doesn’t hold back when it comes to killing people. Just as Jake is apparent allergic to shirts, Morgan is allergic to following a moral code.) Jake Helgren has directed a lot of these films and he definitely knows not only what the audience wants but also how to deliver it. Some might complain that Killer Dream Home is not a particularly realistic film but realism is not what we watch films like this for. We watch films like this for handsome husbands who never wear a shirt and dangerous femme fatales who wear scandalous bathing suits while using the pool. Lifetime films, at their best, create their own sort of alternative dream world and that’s certainly what Killer Dream Home accomplishes.
Killer Dream Home is a film that you experience more than you watch. It’s a journey into the heart of Lifetime melodrama, where every house is big and everyone is sexy and every stranger has a mysterious past. Watch this film for the house and the clothes and the wonderfully arch dialogue. Watch it for Eva Mauro’s unapologetically intense performance. Watch it for the scene where Morgan narrowly misses Bliss with a nail gun and then attempts to laugh it off. That nail gun gets quite a workout in Killer Dream Home. I should probably pick one up because they seem to be very useful.
Killer Dream Home is Lifetime at its best!
I’m really disappointed that A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will no longer be airing on CBS. From now on, if you want to watch it or any of the other Charlie Brown specials, you have to subscribe to Apple TV+. It really does feel like the end of an era.
I love A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. One of my favorite scenes is when Snoopy and Woodstock prepare Thanksgiving dinner for Charlie Brown and all of his unexpected guests. I’m in charge of Thanksgiving dinner this year and I’ve been thinking about this scene a lot. I know that Thanksgiving is supposed to be a big meal but aren’t there times when we’d all rather just have toast and popcorn?
No matter what type of dinner you’re having tonight, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!
2010’s What If…. is a likable, religious-themed twist on the It’s a Wonderful Life formula.
It tells the story of Ben Walker (Kevin Sorbo), who years ago abandoned his girlfriend and his dreams of entering the ministry so that he could be a business executive instead. 15 years later, he’s a ruthless businessman who gives heartless speeches and thinks nothing of running other people out of business. Fortunately, a guardian angel (John Ratzenberger) pops up and punches Ben into unconsciousness. When Ben wakes up, he’s a preacher, he’s married to Wendy (Kristy Swanson), and he’s got two daughters!
Yes, it’s basically a take on It’s A Wonderful Life. Instead of seeing what the world would be like if he had never been born, Ben gets a chance to see what the world would be like if he hadn’t abandoned Wendy. He would be poor, though he would still live in a pretty nice house. However, he’d have a family and he’d have a preaching career.
You can probably guess what happens. Ben refuses to accept that any of this is real. He keeps saying that it’s a dream. He stumbles through his first sermon. He tries to return to the office where he works, just to discover that no one knows who he is. Eventually, he comes to learn that his alternate life isn’t that bad and that, in many ways, it’s actually better than his real life.
And, to be honest, it’s kind of a sweet movie. I mean, obviously, some of how you react to this film will depend on how you feel about religion in general. If you’re a hardcore atheist, this film will probably make you throw a shoe at someone. Don’t watch this film is you’re a hardcore atheist. (Hardcore Democrats might want to avoid it as well, since the film basically stars everyone in Hollywood who voted for Trump.) That said, Kevin Sorbo and Kristy Swanson both give earnest and likable performances and they have a really nice chemistry. The scene where Ben gives a clueless sermon actually is funny, as are the various reactions to the listeners. (One woman thinks Ben is a disgrace while her husband is just happy that the sermon was short.) Much as he did with The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, director Dallas Jenkins manages to tell his story without getting too preachy. He manages to avoid the traps that most other religious films fall into.
As I said, it’s not for everyone but it’s still a sweet-natured film. I do have some issues with the ending because — SPOILER ALERT! — it ignores the fact that real world Ben is starting his family fifteen years later than alternative world Ben did — SPOILER END! — but it’s still a likable twist on the Wonderful Life formula.
“I’m tripping with the Bradys….” Roy Martin (Tim Matheson) announces shortly before he passes out in the 1996 film, A Very Brady Sequel.
And indeed, Roy is! That’s what happens when Alice (Henriette Mantel) discovers a bunch of hallucinogenic mushrooms in your luggage and decides to use them for dinner. It not only leads to Roy suffering through a cartoon Hell with the Bradys but it also causes Alice to disappear inside of the refrigerator. The Bradys, however, don’t really seem to find any of it to be strange. Safely hidden away in their home, the Bradys aren’t aware of things like drugs and bad trips. They’re more concerned with potato sack races and Cindy’s lisp and Jan’s imaginary boyfriend, George Glass.
A Very Brady Sequel is, as the title suggests, a sequel to The Brady Bunch Movie. In this one, conman Roy Martin shows up at the Brady House and claims to be the first husband of Carol Brady (Shelley Long). “This is Carol’s first husband,” Mike (Gary Cole) explains, “He’s not dead like we thought.” Mike might have mixed feelings about Roy being alive but he’s still determined to be a gracious host. That’s the Brady way.
Roy wants to steal a priceless artifact that’s sitting in the Brady house. It’s kind of a silly plot but then again, it’s a silly movie. The important thing is that it eventually leads to the Bradys flying to Hawaii, where we discover that Carol’s husband was a professor and he disappeared during a three-hour tour and apparently, there’s no chance that he could have washed up on an island somewhere.
A Very Brady Sequel never quite gets the love that the first Brady Bunch movie does but I enjoy it. Admittedly, it doesn’t have quite the same innocence as the first film. The focus is much more on Roy and his attempts to swindle the Bradys and, as a result, A Very Brady Sequel can sometimes feel a bit more mean-spirited than the first Brady Bunch film, in which the focus was on the Bradys and their eternal (some would say infernal) optimism. A lot of the jokes that felt so natural in the first film feel a bit forced in the sequel. That seems to be the way that things usually go with comedy sequels, to be honest.
That said, there’s enough funny moments in A Very Brady Sequel that it’s a worthy continuation of the Brady story. For instance, how can you not smile at the Bradys dancing on the airplane while totally oblivious to how annoyed the rest of the passnegers are with them? How can you not enjoy Jan’s attempts to convince everyone that George Glass is real? The cast is still likable and Gary Cole still has a talent for delivering the most absurd dialogue in the most deadpan style imaginable.
Add to that, Hawaii looks as beautiful as ever! Seriously, if you’re ever going to get stuck with a bunch of weird, 70s sitcom characters, Hawaii is the place to do it!
A Very Brady Sequel was followed by The Brady Bunch In The White House, which I would recommend avoiding.