2014 in Review: The Best of Lifetime and SyFy


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Hello there and welcome to January!

This is the time of year that the Shattered Lens usually takes one final look back at the best and worst of the previous year’s offerings in cinema, television, literature, and music!  Last year, I kicked things off by taking a look at the best that the SyFy network had to offer.

Unfortunately, SyFy didn’t produce as many original films in 2014 as they did in 2013.

However, my beloved Lifetime network remained a consistent showcase for some of the best and worst melodrama that one could hope for.

With that in mind, here are my nominees for the best films and performances that were featured on either the SyFy or the Lifetime network last year!  As always, winners are listed in bold.

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Best Film

Battle of the Damned

Flowers in the Attic

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

*Lizzie Borden Took An Axe*

Sharknado 2

Starving in Suburbia

Best Actress

Kate Beckinsale in The Trials of Cate McCall

Maria Bello in Big Driver

Annie Heise in The Good Mistress

Tara Reid in Sharknado 2

*Christina Ricci in Lizzie Borden Took An Axe*

Kierna Shipka in Flowers in the Attic

Best Supporting Actress

Kendra Anderson in The Good Mistress

*Ellen Burstyn in Flowers in the Attic*

Clea DuVall in Lizzie Borden Took An Axe

Heather Graham in Petals on the Wind

Tina Ivlev in Death Clique

Izabella Miko in Starving in Suburbia

Best Actor

Trevor Donavon in Bermuda Tentacles

Mason Dye in Flowers in the Attic

Michael Keaton in Blindsided

Dolph Lundgren in Battle of the Damned

Patrick Muldoon in Finders Keepers

*Ian Ziering in Sharknado 2*

Best Supporting Actor

James Cromwell in The Trials of Cate McCall

David Field in Battle of the Damned

*Griff Furst in Status Unknown*

Judd Hirsch in Sharknado 2

Mark McGrath in Sharknado 2

John Savage in Bermuda Tentacles

Best Director

Doug Campbell for Death Clique

Deborah Chow for Flowers in the Attic

Anthony C. Ferrante for Sharknado 2

*Nick Gomez for Lizzie Borden Got An Axe*

Christopher Hutton for Battle of the Damned

Tara Miele for Starving in Suburbia

Best Screenplay

Kayla Alpert for Flowers in the Attic

Tim Hill and Jeff Morris for Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

Stephen Kay for Lizzie Borden Took An Axe

Thunder Levin for Sharknado 2

*Tara Miele for Starving in Suburbia*

Griff Furst and Marcy Holland for Status Unknown

Flowers in the Attic

Tomorrow, I’ll continue my look back at 2014 by revealing my picks for the 16 worst films of 2014!

Previous Entries in Our Look Back At 2014:

Things That I Dug In 2014 Off The Top Of My Head

 

 

Trailer: Horns (Official Teaser)


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The kids of the Harry Potter film franchise have all gone their separate ways. Some have moved on to taking smaller roles. Others have begun to take on roles that tries to rehabilitate their image from just being a Harry Potter actor. Emma Watson has had some success in redoing her post-Potter image. Yet, it’s the “Chosen One” himself who looks to really be going with as many left-field film role choices since the end of the franchise.

Daniel Radcliffe has been taking some interesting risks with his post-Potter career. Even before the franchise was over he had begun working on redoing his image. Whether it was doing the stage play Equus or taking on a horror film role with the gothic horror The Woman in Black, Radcliffe seems more than willing to leave his Potter days behind him.

The first trailer from the film adaptation of the Joe Hill penned dark fantasy Horns has now arrived. We see brief glimpses of Radcliffe in the title role with the proverbial horns that becomes the center of the film’s plotline.

Time will tell if Horns will be another notch in making Daniel Radcliffe less the Potter-kid and ore the talented actor he’s turning out to be.

Horns will be making it’s presence know this Halloween 2014.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #99: The Good Mistress (dir by Terry Ingram)


Last night, I finally watched the latest Lifetime “original” film, The Good Mistress.

Why Was I Watching It?

When the Good Mistress originally aired, I was in Austin celebrating Valentine’s Day.  As a result, the film had been sitting on my DVR for four days before I finally got a chance to watch it last night.

As for why I recorded it in the first place — well, you know I can’t ever resist the temptation of a good Lifetime film.

What Was It About?

Recovering alcoholic Sandy (Annie Heise) is looking to start a new life after being involved in a tragic car accident.  She moves to a small town where her best friend from high school, Karen (Kendra Anderson), get her a job.  Sandy also meets handsome and smooth politician David (Antonio Cupo).  After Sandy sleeps with David, she discovers that he also happens to be Karen’s husband!  And, it turns out, the women he has sex with have a habit of turning up dead.

Can Sandy still start her new life and expose David without losing Karen’s friendship and giving into the temptation to start drinking again?

Will David respond to everything Sandy says with a devilish smirk?

Will the nice and well-meaning sheriff fall in love with Sandy?

Most importantly, will there be a huge twist at the end?

If you’ve ever watched a Lifetime film, you already know the answer.

What Worked?

This was pretty much your typical Canadian-made Lifetime movie.  A woman with a past moves to a small town, reconnects with an old friend, sleeps with a handsome man, and then discovers that he’s married and her life is in danger.  It happens at least three times a day on Lifetime.  Yes, it’s totally predictable and rather silly but, to quote Icona Pop, I don’t care.  I love it.

Was the Good Mistress a good movie?  No, not really.  However, it was an enjoyable and entertaining way to waste two hours of my life.  It was a Lifetime movie and that was good enough for me.

What Did Not Work?

The film’s title, while obviously meant to make viewers like me associate this film with The Good Wife, is totally incorrect.  First off, just because you accidentally have a one-night stand with a married man that does not make you a mistress.  If it did, there’d be a lot more mistresses in the world.

Secondly, even if Sandy could be considered a mistress, she could hardly be considered a good mistress.  After all, she not only threatened to reveal David’s infidelity but accused him of murder as well.  If anything, she would be a very bad mistress.

“Oh my God!” Just Like Me Moments

Since it’s been a while since I last stood outside a bar and had trauma-induced flashbacks or unintentionally slept with a married man, I worried that I would not be able to relate to Sandy.  However, then I saw the scene where Sandy — in a grocery store parking lot — gets distracted and loses control of her shopping cart.  The same thing happened to me the last time I was at Wal-Mart.  Unlike Sandy, no cute guys jumped out of nowhere to catch the cart for me.

Wal-Mart sucks.

Lessons Learned

Sometimes, it’s better to be bad.