When it became time to pick a movie at Redbox to watch for today, I didn’t realize that the film I chose for today was a Lifetime movie. We have seen countless stories surrounding the topic of Charles Manson and his girls, but for some reason Manson’s Lost Girls looked like a different look inside. Linda Kasabian (Mackenzie Mauzy) is a girl that is just looking for her place in society that she runs away from home. Feeling a little unwanted by her husband, she gets wooed away from the life she lives by one of the Manson girls. It is there that she begins to feel wanted for the first time by people she feels gets who she is, but things soon change. The girls and Manson soon become violent and as history has it they do some things that scare Linda away. The film also stars Eden Brolin (X) as Susan Atkins, Grace Victoria Cox (Under The Dome) as Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme, Greer Grammer (Awkward) as Leslie Van Houten, Isabel Shill (The Following) as Patricia Krenwinkel, Christian Madsen (Divergent) as Tex Watson, Garrett Coffey (Hard Sell) as Bobby Beausoleil, Jeff Ward (Vamperifica) as Charles Manson, and the film was directed by Leslie Libman (Brave New World).
I am not a huge fan of Lifetime movies only because they all follow the same formula usually, but this wasn’t half bad. It doesn’t really give you any information that we didn’t already know, but it gives you a different perspective. The film just really continues the idea of how powerful of a manipulator that Charles Manson was and how he was able to brainwash people. He was a bonafide conman that took advantage of people that were outsiders in the world or at least they felt that way. The acting was pretty decent, but I have to be honest in saying that I was not impressed with their choice of actor for Charles Manson only because he didn’t look like him at all. I’m not saying that he wasn’t an impressive actor because he definitely played the role of a guy who easily able to manipulate anyone. It’s a Lifetime movie after all like I said so there isn’t a lot to expect out of these films. Some scenes in the timeline just didn’t make sense to me because Linda runs away, but then after a while she is just back with them. They didn’t explain how or when she came back. Other than that, it wasn’t half bad like I said so I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.
I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get to read a lot of books with everything I have going on, but that is when I thank God when a book gets turned into a film. That is the case with today’s film The Giver which is based off of the book of the same name and released in 2014. Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) lives in a world that seems a little too perfect where there is no war, no pain, no suffering, and everything is pre-destined for you. That is right, when you turn a certain age, a job is selected for you. That all seems grand for everyone until Jonas is chosen to be the receiver of memories and to be taught by the giver (Jeff Bridges). The Giver opens up Jonas’s mind to things he had never seen in his life or imagined were possible and so Jonas wants to change the world he lives in, but he’ll face opposition from the elders. The film also stars Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada) as Chief Elder, Alexander Skarsgård (Generation Kill) as Father, Katie Holmes (Batman Begins) as Mother, Odeya Rush (Goosebumps) as Fiona, Cameron Monaghan (Click) as Asher, Taylor Swift as Rosemary, and the film was directed by Phillip Noyce (Salt).
The concept of the film should seem rather familiar to a lot of you book worms out there especially if you are a fan of the Maze Runner or Divergent series. A dystopian society that hides the ugliness of what happened in the past world. A life that is pre-determined for you right from birth, that should sound familiar to Divergent fans. These types of things happen all the time as it’s just in movies or music, but books do it too. An idea comes out that was really captivating and years later people expand on it and create their own universes. It also shouldn’t be a surprise that they released this film to try and capitalize on the popularity of those films too, but I am glad this is a one and done (or at least I think it is). Now I am not saying that I didn’t enjoy the film because I actually was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. I thought everything about it was actually very good and I am talking from the set, the acting, and the score were all amazing. The cinematography was well done and the different sets were terrific. I also liked the insert of the memories which included real life events as well as other things. The soundtrack is what stood out to me the most because it matched the typical mood and emotion of the film. I love how the film is mostly in black and white until Jonas starts to see color while others cannot. I thought that was very cool and it added emphasis to the change he was going through. If you were a fan of the book or you enjoy films like this, then check it out. For a final grade, it was hard to decide, but I am putting it on the B+/A- line.