4 Shots From 4 Films: The Concorde… Airport ’79 (1979), Shin Godzilla (2016), The First 9 1/2 Weeks (1998), Etoile (1989)

There’s no particular connection between these films Just a smattering of shots I found interesting in some films I’ve watched recently.

The Concorde… Airport ’79 (1979, dir. David Lowell Rich)

The same year that Ruggero Deodato brought us Concorde Affaire ’79 (1979), the final Airport film came out. It involved pilot George Kennedy having to deal with a reprogrammed drone missile, missiles launched by duped French Air Force officers, and a device designed to decompress the plane by opening the cargo bay door.

This particular shot is from a scene where they fly the plane upside down while George Kennedy fires a flare out of the cockpit as a countermeasure to throw off an incoming missile. Just take that all in.

Shin Godzilla (2016, dir. Hideaki Anno & Shinji Higuchi)

One of the last shots from the film where Godzilla has now become part of the city skyline. If you haven’t seen this Godzilla movie, then I highly recommend you check it out.

The First 9 1/2 Weeks (1998, dir. Alex Wright)

Malcolm McDowell remembering the time he played Caligula (1979) in a knockoff of The Game (1997) which bills itself as prequel to 9 1/2 Weeks (1986). The only connection it has to the first two films is that it tries something like the fridge scene from the original and the shampoo scene from Another 9 1/2 Weeks (1997). However, that’s like Witchcraft 8: Salem’s Ghost (1996) claiming it has a connection to 9 1/2 Weeks because it too features a fridge scene (a disgusting one).

Etoile (1989, dir. Peter Del Monte)

Okay, I’m cheating on this one. I actually watched this film last year when I was finally able to get my hands on two of Jennifer Connelly’s early films–the other being Seven Minutes In Heaven (1985). This was during what I call her mystical period. Another example is Some Girls (1988).

In Etoile (aka Ballet), Jennifer Connelly and some other guy get drawn into a bad movie where Connelly performs in a weird version of Swan Lake. So of course the movie needs to include somebody getting attacked by a giant black swan during a scene a little reminiscent of the time Jessica Harper referenced Dario Argento’s first film while fighting a witch. Yes, I’m well aware that Connelly was also in an Argento film.

As a bonus, here’s what the director thought of the giant black swan.

2015 in Review: The Best of Lifetime

Today, I continue my look back at 2015 by posting my picks for the best of Lifetime!  My nominees for the best Lifetime films and performances are listed below, with the winners starred and listed in bold!  Congratulations to all the nominees and winners and thank you for making this one of the most entertaining years in my long history of watching Lifetime movies!


Best Picture
Babysitter’s Black Book, produced by Robert Ballo and Ken Sanders.
Cleveland Abduction, produced by David A. Rosemont and Stephen Tolkin
*A Deadly Adoption, produced by Fritz Manger, Max Osswald, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay.*
If There Be Thorns, produced by Richard D. Arredondo and Harvey Kahn.
A Mother’s Instinct, produced by Oliver De Caigny and Timothy O. Johnson
Patient Killer, produced by Barbie Castro.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, produced by Joseph Boccia, Don Carmody, and David Cormican.
The Spirit of Christmas, produced by Andrea Ajemian
Stalked By My Neighbor, produced by Robert Ballo.
The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story, produced by Ian Hay.

Best Director
Jason Bourque for A Mother’s Instinct
Doug Campbell for Stalked By My Neighbor.
*Rachel Goldenberg for A Deadly Adoption*
Alex Kalymnois for Cleveland Abduction
Vanessa Parise for The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story
Casper Van Dien for Patient Killer


Best Actor
Shaun Benson in Kept Woman
Dan Castellaneta in The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story
*Will Ferrell in A Deadly Adoption*
Travis Hammer in The Bride He Bought Online
Adam Kaufman in A Mother Betrayed
Eric Roberts in Stalked By My Doctor

Best Actress
Josie Bissett in A Mother’s Instinct
Anna Camp in Caught
Kimberly Elise in Back to School Mom
Kelli Garner in The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe
*Taryn Manning in Cleveland Abduction*
Kelcie Stranahan in Stalked By My Neighbor

Best Supporting Actor
Ken Camroux-Taylor in Sugarbabies
MacKenzie Gray in If There Be Thorns
Richard Harmon in A Mother’s Instinct
*Patrick Muldoon in Patient Killer.*
Eric Roberts in A Fatal Obsession
Peter Strauss in Sugar Daddies.

Unauthorized Beverly Hills

Best Supporting Actress
Angeline Appel in Babysitter’s Black Book.
Barbie Castro in Patient Killer
Olivia d’Abo in Stolen From The Suburbs
Sarah Grey in A Mother’s Instinct
Jessica Lowndes in A Deadly Adoption
*Samantha Munro in The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story*

Best Adapted Screenplay
*Cleveland Abduction, written by Stephen Tolkin*
If There Be Thorns, written by Andy Cochran.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroewritten by Stephen Kronish and J. Randy Taraborrelli.
Seeds of Yesterday, written by Darren Stein.
Turkey Hollow, written by Tim Burns and Christopher Baldi.
Wuthering High School, written by Delondra Williams.

Best Original Screenplay
*Babysitter’s Black Book, written by Richard Kletter and Michele Samit*
A Deadly Adoption, written by Andrew Steele.
The Murder Pact, written by John Doolan
Patient Killer, written by Bryan Dick and Brian D. Young.
Stalked By My Neighborwritten by Doug Campbell.
Stolen From The Suburbs, written by Alex Wright


Best Cinematography
*Cleveland Abduction, Richard Wong.*
Fatal Obsession, Ronnee Swenton.
If There Be Thorns, James Liston.
The Murder PactBranden James Maxham.
Patient Killer, Bernard Salzmann
The Spirit of Christmas, Michael Negrin.

Best Costume Design
Grace of Monaco, Gigi Lepage
If There Be ThornsShanna Mair, Rebekka Sorensen.
Kept Woman
*The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Gersha Phillips.*
Seeds of Yesterday, Claire Nadon.
The Spirit of Christmas, Jennifer Lynn Tremblay.

Best Editing
Babysitter’s Black Book, Ely Mennin
Cleveland Abduction, Henk Van Eeghen.
*A Deadly Adoption, Bill Parker.*
A Mother’s Instinct
Stalked By My Neighbor, Clayton Woodhull.
The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story, Allan Lee.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
*Cleveland Abduction, Dugg Kirkpatrick, Susan R. Prosser, Tina Roesler Kewin, Alan Tuskes, Alicia Zavarella*
Grace of Monaco
If There Be Thorns, Jenine Lehfeldt, Tana Lynn Moldovanos.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.  Jordan Samuel, Cliona Furey
The Spirit of Christmas
The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story, Amber Crombach.

Best Original Score
Dangerous Company
Cleveland Abduction, Tony Morales.
Her Infidelity, Russ Howard III
Kidnapped: The Hannah Anderson Story, Matthew Janszen
*The Murder Pact, Matthew Llewellyn.*
Sugar Daddies.  Steve Gurevitch.


Best Production Design
Cleveland Abduction, Derek R. Hill.
*If There Be Thorns, Linda Del Rosario, Richard Paris.*
A Mother’s Instinct, Jason Sober.
The Murder Pact, Caley Bisson.
The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.  Rocco Matteo.
The Unauthroized Beverly Hills 90210 Story

Best Sound
*The Bride He Bought Online*
Dangerous Company
If There Be Thorns
Stalked By My Neighbor
UnGodly Acts

Best Visual Effects
Becoming Santa
If There Be Thorns
Last Chance For Christmas
*Turkey Hollow*
When the Sky Falls
Wish Upon A Christmas

Tomorrow, I’ll post my picks for the worst 16 films of 2015!


Previous Entries In The Best of 2015:

  1. Valerie Troutman’s 25 Best, Worst, and Gems I Saw in 2015
  2. Necromoonyeti’s Top 15 Metal Albums of 2015
  3. 2015 In Review: The Best of SyFy

Adventures in Cleaning Out The DVR: Stolen From The Suburbs (dir by Alex Wright)

Stolen From The Suburbs

After I watched 16 and Missing, it was time to continue cleaning out my DVR by watching Stolen From The Suburbs.  Stolen From The Suburbs is a Lifetime film that originally aired on August 30th and I’m not sure why I missed watching it the first time that it aired.

If I had to describe Stolen From The Suburbs in one word, it would be intense.  From the opening scene, in which two homeless teenagers are forcibly abducted by a man who pretended to be from a charitable organization to the film’s final violent stand-off, this is one intense film.  While it has all the usual Lifetime tropes — rebellious daughter, overwhelmed single daughter, untrustworthy men, and hints of real-world significance — Stolen From The Suburbs is a hundred times more intense than your average Lifetime film.  Indeed, this is one of the rare Lifetime films that ends without the hint that everything is going to be okay.  While there are hugs at the end, there is no reassuring coda.  The emotional and physical damage inflicted in Stolen From The Suburbs feels real and has real consequences.

Widowed Katherine (Cynthia Watros) and her teenager daughter, Emma (Sydney Sweeney), has just moved to the suburbs.  Katherine is a loving mother and Emma is a good daughter, the type who even turns down a beer on the beach because she told her mother that she wouldn’t drink.  However, when Emma meets the cute (and asthmatic) Adam (Nick Roux), she starts to resent her mother’s overprotectiveness.  When Katherine finally says that she doesn’t want Emma hanging out with Adam, Emma responds by sneaking out of the house and never returning.

Desperately searching for her daughter, Katherine goes down to the mall and finds Emma’s cell phone tossed away in a dumpster.  When she calls the police, Katherine tells them that Emma has been kidnapped.  The unsympathetic detectives ask her if Emma has a history of running away and basically prove themselves to be useless.  (The cops are always useless in a Lifetime film.)  Katherine teams up with Anna Fray (Brooke Nevins), a missing persons activist, to find Emma.

What Anna tells Katherine is terrifying.  Anna explains that teenage girls have been vanishing all over town.  The police assume that they are runaways and make no effort to find them.  In reality, though, the girls are being sold as sex slaves.

And that’s exactly what happened to Emma. Emma and several other teenage girls have been abducted and are now locked in a cage.  In just a few days, they will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.  Overseeing the entire operation is Milena (Oliva d’Abo).

As played by d’Abo, Milena is one of the great Lifetime villains.  As she explains it, she was kidnapped herself and sold as a sex slave.  However, she has now managed to take over the operation and takes obvious pleasure in putting others through the same torture that she suffered.  Playing the role with an ever present smirk and a haughty cruelty, Olivia d’Abo is absolutely chilling as Milena.

Also giving a great performance is Cynthia Watros.  (You may remember her as Libby on Lost.)  Watros makes Katherine’s pain and desperation feel incredibly real and when she finally confronts Milena, it’s absolutely riveting.

Stolen From The Suburbs is an excellent Lifetime film.  Keep an eye out for it!