Cleaning Out The DVR: Give Me My Baby (dir by Danny J. Boyle)


(Lisa is not only watching horror films this month!  She is also busy trying to clean out her DVR.  She has got over 170 movies recorded and waiting to be watched.  Can she view all of them by January 1st?  Keep checking here to find out!  Lisa recorded Give Me My Baby off of the Lifetime Movie Network on May 13th!)

“Layla, are you okay?  Where is Dad going?”

“To Hell.”

That right there is the type of melodramatic and over the top dialogue that runs through every minute of Give Me My Baby, which is quite possibly one of the funniest films that I’ve ever seen on the Lifetime Movie Network.

Give Me My Baby tells the story of Layla (Kelly Sullivan), who spends her days creating new scents for perfume and who has a lot to deal with.  For instance, she’s just entered into a partnership with a self-centered reality TV star named Shannon (Brooke Hogan).  Shannon wants to sell a perfume called Scorched but Layla talks her into calling it Sizzle instead.  Her second husband, Nate (Gabriel Hogan), is a former pro golfer who blew out his knee when he fell out of a golf cart and who still occasionally struggles to maintain his sobriety.  Her stepdaughter, Allison (Laura Hand), has just dropped out of college and has moved back into her old room.  However, the majority of Layla’s stress has to do with her desire to have a baby, despite the fact that, as Allison puts it, “You guys are old.”

Fortunately, Layla and Nate are clients of one of the best fertility doctors around.  Dr. Hartlin (Sofia Milos) may not be cheap (and the film’s script makes a very specific point of saying that her treatment is not covered by insurance) but she seems to sincerely care about her patients.  In fact, she might care too much.  When Layla goes shopping, she just happens to run into Dr. Hartlin.  When Nate is giving golf lessons, Dr. Hartlin just happens to show up.  When Layla wonders why she’s so emotional and temperamental when she isn’t even pregnant yet, Dr. Hartlin tells her that it’s nothing to worry about.  But one day, Nate arrives home and Layla not only smells the scent of booze on his breath.  She also smells the scent of Dr. Hartlin on all of Nate’s clothes…

It turns out that, long ago, Dr. Hartlin used to know Nate.  In fact, she and Nate even had a date or two.  Nate is shocked to discover that Dr. Hartlin is the same girl that he used to know as “Cee Cee.”  Dr. Hartlin explains she had a good deal of plastic surgery after a car accident, the same accident that caused her to have a miscarriage many years ago…

“I’m not going to hurt you.  I just want my baby.”

“It’s my baby.”

“No, it’s my baby.”

“BACK OFF OR THERE WON’T BE ANY BABY!” 

*Layla points a knife at her own stomach*

That’s just another example of the dialogue in Give Me My Baby.  Seriously, this is one of the most batshit insane films that I’ve ever seen on Lifetime.  I wouldn’t necessarily call it good but it’s so crazy that you’ll never forget it.  Sofia Milos goes so over the top as Dr. Hartlin that there’s a chance she might never return to Earth.

That said, my favorite character was Allison. As played by Laura Hand, Allison had a sarcastic attitude about everything.  Even when she was being helpful and trying to protect her stepmother, she still came across like she was annoyed about having to make the effort.  I totally saw myself in Allison.  Someone needs to give Allison a show of her own.

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Cleaning Out The DVR: The Wrong Bed: Naked Pursuit (dir by Monika Mitchell)


(Lisa is not just devoting all of her time to horror movies this month!  She is also trying to clean out her DVR.  She has recorded over 170 movies this year and she needs to watch all of them before January 1st!  Will she make it?  Keep checking this site to find out!  Lisa recorded The Wrong Bed: Naked Pursuit off of the Lifetime Movie Network on June 2nd.)

Now, this is just frustrating!

When you sit down to watch a movie called The Wrong Bed: Naked Pursuit, I think you’re justified in thinking that the majority of the movie is going to take place in a bed (perhaps even the wrong bed, which I guess would mean that it has a lumpy mattress or a lice-infected pillow something).  I think you’re also justified in expecting that everyone’s going to be naked for the majority of the movie.  As for the pursuit — well, pursuit can mean anything.  Maybe the two naked people in the wrong bed are pursuing pleasure or enlightenment.  Maybe they’re pursuing the ultimate high of sexually decadent ennui.  Who knows?

Well, The Wrong Bed: Naked Pursuit does open with Stella (Jewel Statie) and Owen (Corey Sevier) waking up naked in bed and handcuffed together.  However, it’s not the wrong bed.  It’s just a hotel bed and it looks like a pretty nice hotel, too!  Both Owen and Stella are naked but that only lasts for about ten minutes.  Eventually, they get out of bed and manage to get partially dressed.  And while I appreciate the fact that the film is honest about the difficult of putting on a bra while handcuffed to another person (because, seriously, it’s not as easy as the movie’s usually make it look), that still doesn’t change the fact that the title specifically promised us a naked pursuit in the wrong bed.

Now, I should admit that the title is honest about the pursuit part.  When Owen and Stella wake up, they have no memory of how they met or eventually ended up in bed together.  However, they do know that someone is chasing them.  They spend the entire movie running around Canada, trying not to get caught by the usual collection of men in suits and uniforms.  Occasionally, Stella has flashes of memory.  She sees herself strapped down to a gurney with a scientist named Larissa (Lisa Berry) preparing to give her a shot.  She realizes that she and her best friend tried to earn some extra money by taking part in some sort of clinical study.  However, something went wrong…

Stella and Owen try to retrace their steps.  It turns out that they both got pretty wild the night before they woke up in the not-so wrong bed.  They ever started a riot at a bowling alley.  Even more importantly, they find the time to stop by Owen’s house.  Owen, who says that he’s a fireman, lives in an impressively big house.  That’s Lifetime, though.  Everyone gets a mansion, regardless of what they do for a living.

Anyway, once I got over the misleading title, The Wrong Bed turned out to be a pretty entertaining little movie.  It was directed by Monika Mitchell, who has done several Lifetime movies and who can always be depended on to keep the action moving quickly.  Things got a little bit silly once Owen and Stella discovered why they were being pursued but no matter! Jewel Statie and Corey Sevier had chemistry and Sevier looked good without his shirt on.

It all worked out.

Cleaning Out The DVR: Nanny Nightmare (directed by Brian Herzlinger)


(Along with everything else that she’s trying to get done this month, Lisa is also trying to make some progress in getting her DVR cleaned out!  She has currently got over 170 things recorded and they’re all going to be erased on January 1st, regardless of whether she’s watched all of them or not.  That’s just the way things work in the Bowman household.  Will she manage to watch everything before the year ends?  Keep checking here to find out!  Anyway, she recorded 2017’s Nightmare Nanny off of the Lifetime Movie Network on June 16th.)

If there’s anything that I’ve learned from watching Lifetime movies, it’s that anyone who actually wants to spend time with children (especially babies) is a fucking psycho.

Seriously, I’ve lost track of the number of Lifetime films that have dealt with a crazy babysitter, nanny, teacher, step-parent, foster child, or an obsessed neighbor.  They all tend to start out the same way, with a large and tastefully decorated house.  Inside the house, a woman thinks that she can have it all: a career, a family, and an outspoken, take-no-bullshit best friend who likes to drink wine.  Sometimes, the woman is a single mother.  If she’s divorced or separated, her husband is still not quite out of the picture.  If she’s widowed, then she still has to deal with a pushy in-law who doesn’t think that she’s spending enough time at home.  If she’s still married, her husband is a jerk who spends all of his time at the office with his attractive administrative assistant.

Married, divorced, or widowed, she has at least two children to take care of.  It’s not easy trying to balance it all.  But then suddenly, someone shows up.  Sometimes, it’s a neighbor who is just a little too friendly.  Sometimes, it’s a nanny who has been hired because of “impeccable” (and forged) credentials.  Whoever it is, they always say that they love children.  They imagine it probably has something to do with their own dysfunctional childhood.  They just want to find a place to belong.  And so, this stranger is hired and entrusted with the safety of the household.

It’s always a mistake.  No one is every truly helpful in a Lifetime movie and the more perfect someone seems to be, the more likely that person is going to turn out to be a raving psycho.  Unfortunately, the characters in Lifetime movies appear to have never watched television.  If they had, they would know better than to trust anyone who claims to love children.

Seriously, children are the worst.

Take Nanny Nightmare, for instance.  Nanny Nightmare follows the formula without deviation and it’s hard not to feel that, if only Lauren (Erin Cahill) had watched a Lifetime movie or two, she could have avoided a lot of drama.  She would have known that her husband (Brady Smith) was being framed when she found pictures of his half-naked assistant on his phone.  She also would have known better than to trust her neighbor, Owen (Jake Manley), when he said that he loved children.

But she did trust him and, before you know it, Owen is installing spy cameras all over the house and trying to trick Lauren into falling in love with him.  Owen has finally found a family and he’s determined to never let them go!  (Hell. he’s even get a candle-lit altar that’s decorated with pictures of Lauren.  That’s determination.)

As I said, it’s pretty much a standard Lifetime movie but I did like Jake Manley’s performance as Owen.  I liked the fact that Owen was obviously psychotic and yet, no one seemed to notice.  Even when he attacks the neighbor’s lawn mower with a baseball bat, no one seems to be particularly perturbed.  Then again, isn’t that the way things usually work in real life?  If you have to choose between asking someone if they’re crazy or just trying to ignore the weirdness all around you, most people will go for the latter option.

That’s one reason to keep an eye out for evidence of a psychotic disposition before you invite someone to come live in your house.  Seriously, if anyone says that they enjoy being around children, get out of there.

Thank you, Lifetime, for reminding us to stay vigilant.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #171: Ten: Murder Island (dir by Chris Robert)


Last night, Drink Slay Love was not the only Lifetime premiere that I watched.  I also watched Ten Murder Island!

Why Was I Watching It?

The obvious answer, of course, is that it was on Lifetime and, whenever I review a Lifetime film, this site gets an upsurge in clicks.

But, beyond that, I liked the commercials for Ten: Murder Island.  They looked moody and atmospheric.  When I read that the movie was about ten people being stalked and murdered on an island, I immediately was reminded of Harper Island, a.k.a. the scariest TV show ever.  How could I not watch, right?

What Was It About?

Ten teenagers have gathered at a house that’s located on an isolated island.  They’re throwing a weekend party but a storm not only knocks out all the power but also everyone’s phone signal.  Add to that, someone on the island is killing everyone, one by one.  Uh-oh!

Why are they being targeted?  Does it have anything to do with Claire Hicks, an unpopular student who committed suicide shortly after homecoming?  Considering that pages ripped from her journal keep appearing at every murder scene, that would seem to be a safe bet.  Will the smart and studious (and kinda boring) Meg (China Anne McClain) be able to figure out what’s happening before everyone’s dead?  And will her pseudo-boyfriend TJ (Rome Flynn) ever come clean about what happened at homecoming?

What Worked?

Both the house and the island were well-chosen locations and, visually, the film had a memorably spooky atmosphere.  If nothing else, while you were watching Ten, you were convinced that anyone could die at any moment.  No one seemed to be safe.  The deaths themselves were, for a Lifetime film, surprisingly graphic and rather mean-spirited.  This killer wasn’t missing around.

I especially liked the flashback scenes that accompanied the reading of Claire’s journals.  They were well-handled, with everyone’s face literally scratched out and obscured, keeping you guessing as to who Claire was writing about.

What Did Not Work?

As I watched Ten: Murder Island, I couldn’t help but be bothered by the fact that no one on the island really seemed to be that upset by the fact that all of their friends were being brutally and gruesomely murderer.  Meg and TJ would get upset whenever they stumbled across a body but, in the very next scene, they would be laughing and flirting and teasing each other about homecoming.

This movie also featured a truly cringeworthy line that was uttered right after Meg learned the terrible truth about what happened at homecoming.  After learning about a truly terrible thing that happened, Meg turns to TJ and exclaims, in all sincerity, “I didn’t realize I meant that much to you!”  Now, I can’t say too much without spoiling the movie but, just to indicate how inappropriate this response felt, this is what I tweeted as soon as I heard the line:

I mean, it’s generally accepted that the majority of characters in a movie like this are going to be douchebags but Ten: Murder Island really abused the privilege.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I totally related to Kumiko (Annie Q), who was the sarcastic girl who had no hesitation about accusing Meg of being a murderer and who seemed to be more annoyed than terrified by the all the lethal drama going on around her.

Lessons Learned

There’s only one Harper’s Island.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #170: Drink Slay Love (dir by Vanessa Parise)


Last night, I watched a new Lifetime film, Drink Slay Love!

Why Was I Watching It?

Because it was on Lifetime, of course!

Plus, it was a Canadian film about vampires.  I love Canada and I love vampires!  Ever since that episode of Degrassi where Emma got a “social disease” while playing Mina in a school production of Dracula, Canada and vampires have mixed well.

(Now, I should admit, that, while watching Drink Slay Love, I was also watching a film called The Dead Don’t Die on YouTube.  I’m a big believer in multitasking.)

What Was It About?

Pearl (Cierra Ramirez) has a life that most of us can only have erotically-themed nightmares about.  She’s a sixteen year-old vampire princess.  She’s headstrong.  She’s a little bit bratty.  She’s convinced that nothing can hurt her.  Even after she’s the victim of an attempted staking, she still insists on going out in the middle of the night by herself.  On the plus side, Pearl doesn’t attack animals.  She only attacks humans, especially Brad, the poor guy who works at a 24 hour ice cream parlor and who never remembers Pearl’s nightly visits, in which she always gets a scoop of mint ice cream and a pint of blood.

However, everything changes when it’s discovered that Pearl is immune to sunlight!  She is a rare vampire who can actually walk around in the daylight.  This leads to her parents getting the brilliant idea of sending Pearl to high school.  There’s a big feast coming up and apparently, teenage blood is in high demand.  However, once Pearl arrives at the school, she starts to make friends, almost despite herself.  She starts to do the type of things that teenagers in Lifetime movies always do.  How can she set her new friends up to be the main course?

Of course, some of her new friends have secrets of their own.  You know how that goes…

What Worked?

This was a nice change of pace for Lifetime.  After endless movies about obsessive stalkers and stolen babies and bad celebrity lookalikes, it was nice to see something different on Lifetime.  I’m going to guess that Drink Slay Love was made with October in mind and really, this is a good movie for people who want celebrate Halloween without getting traumatized.  It’s not particularly scary but it’s got vampires and it’s enjoyably silly.

Cierra Ramirez did a good job as Pearl.  Pearl is a very sardonic vampire, which is the best type of vampire to be.  Ramirez delivered her sarcastic dialogue with just the right amount of bite.  (Heh heh, see what I did there?)

If the director’s name seems familiar, that’s because Vanessa Parise has directed several Lifetime movies.  She does a good job with Drink Slay Love, keeping the story moving at a good pace and getting good performances from the entire cast.

What Did Not Work?

To be honest, I liked the whole film.  Even the occasionally sketchy CGI added to the film’s charm.

“Oh my God!  Just like me moments!”

I related to Pearl.  Well, I didn’t necessarily relate to the blood sucking.  But I was really sarcastic when I was sixteen, too.  Plus, I always used to dress in black and then dare anyone to make a comment about it… (Actually, not that much has changed since then…)

Lessons Learned

Canada and Vampires are a good combination!

What Lisa Watched Last Night #169: My Baby Is Gone! (dir by Steve Bacic)


Last Monday, I watched the Lifetime premiere movie, My Baby Is Gone!  I should have reviewed it on Tuesday but, to be honest, I spent all of last week trying to figure out if Carrie was actually Laura Palmer and if Dale Cooper ever actually escaped the Black Lodge or not.  So, this review is a week late and for that, I apologize even though I think anyone who would require an apology is kind of a jerk.

Why Was I Watching It?

Seriously, what’s been going on with Lifetime lately?  It used to be that every Saturday night saw the premiere of a new Lifetime film.  Live tweeters across the country would look forward to every new Lifetime film.  We transformed several of those films into trending topics.  We did our part.

But, for some reason, this year has seen a different Lifetime.  More often than not, Lifetime airs an old movie on Saturday and saves the premiere for Sunday.  Sorry, Lifetime.  I love you but if I have to choose between a new movie and Twin Peaks, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, The Deuce, Big Brother, and almost everything else that I can watch on Sunday night, anything that Lifetime premieres on Sunday is probably going to end up sitting on my DVR for a while before I actually watch it.

However, My Baby is Gone! did not premiere on Sunday.  It premiered on Labor Day, so, for the first time in what seemed like forever, I was actually able to watch and live tweet the movie as it aired.  Seriously, Lifetime, get it together.  Nobody wants to watch a Lifetime premiere on Sunday.

What Was It About?

Emily (Elisabeth Harnois) is 8 months pregnant.  Her husband (Ryan S Williams) seems to be a good guy but he works too hard and sometimes, he misses Emily’s checkups.  Her best friend (Nicole LaPlaca) is supportive but she also works with Emily’s husband so, of course, it’s reasonable to assume that they’re probably sleeping together.  This is a Lifetime movie, after all.  After you’ve seen enough Lifetime movies, you know there’s no way that men and women can ever just be co-workers.

(Unless, of course, they’re cops.  In that case, they’re just ineffectual and inevitably end up arresting the wrong person.)

Luckily, someone new has moved in across the street!  Kelly (Anna van Hooft) is super-friendly and helpful and — oh my God! — she’s eight months pregnant too!  Kelly says that she’s just staying in the house until her aunt returns.  What no one knows, of course, is that Kelly’s actually got her aunt tied up in the basement.

Oh, and it turns out that Kelly isn’t really pregnant, either.  She’s just wearing a fake belly.  It’s actually kind of obvious but, at first, everyone just takes Kelly at her word.

Soon, Kelly is drawing Emily away from her husband and her best friend.  She even convinces Emily to decorate the nursery with flamingos instead of butterflies!

What could Kelly’s nefarious plan be?

What Worked?

Uhmm… I’m thinking about it…

Actually, I had a lot of fun live tweeting this film.  My Baby is Gone! is one of those movies that literally brings out the best in a snarky audience.  There’s just so many implausible developments and none of the characters are likely to be mistaken for a member of Mensa.  It’s a fun movie to watch if you’re looking for an excuse to spend two hours wondering how people can be so stupid.

Anna Van Hooft did a great job as Kelly.  If you’re going to play a character who is batshit crazy in a Lifetime film, you might as well go all out.  When you’re in a movie with a title like My Baby is Gone!, the time for subtlety is over.

What Did Not Work?

Even by the standards of Lifetime, the plot was just too implausible to work.  I mean, the whole fake belly thing was a lot more convincing when it used in A Deadly Adoption.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

My favorite character was Pam (Amelia Burstyn), who was Emily’s doctor’s administrative assistant and who showed absolutely no hesitation about sharing the details of another patient’s visit.  It may not have been the best example of professional ethics but sometimes, you have to break the rules.

Lessons Learned

Butterflies are better than flamingos.

What Lisa Watched Last Night #168: A Lover Betrayed (dir by Jeff Hare)


Last night, I watched the latest Lifetime premiere movie, A Lover Betrayed!

Why Was I Watching It?

Ennui, baby!

Seriously, ennui is the best explanation that I can give you.  For the past two and a half months, my weekend has been about watching the latest episode of Twin Peaks and then trying to figure out what it all meant.  Well, Twin Peaks is over now.  Game of Thrones is over.  The Walking Dead isn’t going to be back for another week or so.   Big Brother is still on but all the other TSL writers got together, took a vote, and banned me from discussing it on this site.

ENNUI!

Plus, A Lover Betrayed was on the Lifetime Movie Network and you know that i can never resist a good Lifetime film.

What Was It About?

It was about a lover who was betrayed.

Oh, you already figured that out just from reading the title?

Okay, more specifically, the lover is Tess (Jamie Luner).  Tess used to be a guidance counselor but then she found out that the principal at her school was a perv.  She got him fired so, of course, he showed up at her house with a gun.  He committed suicide but first, he fired the gun randomly at the ceiling, which led to Tess’s son, Mason, getting killed.

Years later, Tess is an internationally renowned blogger and author, who helps grieving parents deal with the loss of their children.  She is separated from Rodger, who has never emotionally recovered from the death of their son.  At a reading, she meets Conall, a handsome young soldier who says that her blog helped him recover after the death of his father.  Conall and Tess end up sharing one night of passion but, because this is a Lifetime movie, Rodger shows up the very next morning and says that he wants to fix their relationship.

Not surprisingly, Conall turns out to be a bit obsessive but there’s more to it than just the typical Lifetime stalking movie.  There’s all sorts of twists and turns, which I won’t spoil here…

What Worked

I was so proud of myself because, last night, I figured out the movie’s big twist after watching for about 30 minutes.  That doesn’t mean that it’s not a good twist.  It just means that I got lucky.  In fact, I thought it was actually a pretty clever twist and I appreciated the fact that the movie didn’t spring it of nowhere.  The clues were there and, for once, I actually managed to pick up on them.

Lifetime regular Jamie Luner did a good job as Tess.  She’s been in a lot of these movies and obviously knows how to sincerely deliver even the most melodramatic lines of dialogue.

What Did Not Work

Oh my God, this was a dark movie.  For a Lifetime movie, I would actually say that it was a little bit too dark.  Lifetime movies are supposed to be fun but, at times, this one was actually rather depressing.  Even when the movie reached a standard Lifetime conclusion, I was still like, “Damn …. Tess is going to be messed up for a long time….”

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Tess’s sister was a gun-toting badass.  My sister is a gun-toting badass.  Woo hoo!

Lessons Learned

Trust no one!