Stephen King’s A Good Marriage – Movie Review with Possible Spoiler

In the movie A Good Marriage (2014) based off a Stephen King novella of the same name (which can be found in Full Dark, No Stars) There have been four murders in which women were raped, tied up and killed. While at a party, Darcy (Joan Allen) learns of victim number 5 via a friend of hers while they are in the bathroom fixing themselves up. Victim five was killed the same manner as the others.

Darcy’s husband Bob (Anthony Lapaglia) sometimes goes away for business trips. These trips may take him away a few days to just an overnight trip.

amazon ID: jabberajaw-20

Darcy is at home alone when she is needing something in the garage. While searching underneath a workbench she discovers a hidden slot in which she pulls out a small box that Bob’s daughter made for him when she was in grade school. Upon opening the box, Darcy discovers a credit card and other identification. One of those identifications belongs to the last victim. Darcy has now discovered what her husband has been doing on his ‘supposed’ business trips. The rest of the movie is centered around what will Darcy do with this information? Will she use it against Bob, or will she be frightened to do anything?

When Bob arrives home, Darcy does confront him, with strong hesitation, for she’s not sure what he will do to her. But somehow she is able to muster up the courage to tell her husband he needs to stop what he’s doing. He promises her he will. The rest of the movie goes along with both of them having this secret. Bob is his normal self, while Darcy is scared out of wits and shows it when she’s alone.

I remember seeing this movie when it came out and thought it a decent movie. Here we have two people with a horrendous secret they are keeping. We can clearly see Bob has no conscious or he wouldn’t be doing the things he’s doing. As for Darcy, we see a level-headed woman who loves her family and believes in doing right. Yet, for some reason, she not only threatens Bob with is secret, but she’s able to carry this secret herself.

NO BOOK NO WORRY

I haven’t read the book, therefore, I don’t know if the book goes into their backstory and perhaps sets up why Bob so easily lets Darcy run his life by threatening him and telling him to stop his killings. But I find it odd that Darcy didn’t leave Bob, save for the fact that Bob would possibly hunt her down and kill her. Or why didn’t Darcy go to the police? But so goes human ways. We don’t know what motivates people to do the things they do. What motivates someone to kill and what would motivate Darcy to keep this secret. Not only keep the secret but hold it over Bob’s head when she needs to.

The movie itself was good. It’s the ending that was a big let down. Because of the lackluster ending (lackluster is my new favorite word lately) I looked movie reviews to see if I possibly missed something. But I didn’t. The few posts I read did indicate the written version was a whole lot better and provided more information. The execution from word to screen didn’t work in this case, even with Stephen King being the screenwriter.

I’m on the fence on recommending this movie to anyone. Let’s just say this, if you happen to see it listed, watch it. Don’t go searching it out.

If you have seen the movie, let me know your thoughts in the comment second.

A Dangerous Date – LMN Movie Review

Synopsis: A widower’s daughter sets him up on an online dating site called RomanceMatch.

Story: Peter, 42, is a widower who is not really interested in dating. His college daughter, Julie, registers him for the online dating site called RomanceMatch. A little reluctant, Peter activates his account and immediately gets a message from Alexis.

DINNER AND A MATCH

Peter and Julie go out to dinner to celebrate her getting into college. At the restaurant’s bar, there is a lady, who seems to be on a date, possibly a blind date, with Ian. When Peter and Julie enter the restaurant, the woman at the bar keeps staring at Peter and ignoring her date. At one point, being frustrated by her date’s aggressiveness, she slaps him out of his bar stool, literally, and leaves the bar.

It’s during this dinner that Julie tells her father she signed him up or the online dating site. He’s not happy about it but he promises her he will give it a try.

When they get home, Peter activates his account and immediately gets a response from someone named Alexis. He accepts the connection but walks away from his computer, at which point a message pops that he doesn’t see.

The next morning, Julie sees the message and reads it to her father. He’s still not interested, even after Julie tells him she’s hot. He leaves for work. Julie decides to answer the message acting as her father. The background music played during this scene is very telling. Imagine Alice (from Alice in Wonderland) skipping along, but we the viewer know the rabbit hole is about to open up and swallow here. The music is a bit bouncy with a touch of creepiness and warning of danger in it.

Through the message exchange, Julie, pretending to be her father, sets up a date with Alexis. Not only does she set up the date, she picks the restaurant as well. Talk about being overbearing and pushy. Whose the parent and whose the child here?

Peter is at the restaurant waiting for Alexis when in she walks. She looks better in her profile picture than in person, but don’t we all. She’s supposedly a surgeon (doesn’t seem old enough to be one). If she is in the medical profession, which I doubt, she’s more of a resident than a surgeon. But the truth about Lexi does come out. We do learn she’s A RN – REGISTER NUTE!

Peter and Lexi, as she likes to be called, end up go back to his place and sleep together. Who would have seen that coming?

The next morning Julie meets Alexis and doesn’t care for her. Alexis offers to drive Julie to her boyfriend’s house. Julie introduces Alexis to Billy to which Alexis says to call her Lexi for all her friends do.

During an afternoon tryst, Peter tells Lexi he has to get back to work. This doesn’t sit well with her and gives him the boo hoo story of having trust issues. Peter leaves Lexi alone in his house while heads back to work. BIG MISTAKE!! Nothing really earth shattering happens in this movie you wouldn’t see coming, but I’m going to end the recap here.

ACTING: The acting by Brianna Joy Chomer (Julie) is lackluster. She really brought the movie down. Watching her was becoming unbearable, especially in her states of supposed anger. And don’t get me started on Tom DeNucci who plays Billy. He seriously overacts even when saying Hi. The extras in the movie that have lines are just as bad. I guess that’s why they are extras.

However, the acting by Jillian Murray (Code Black, Murder in the First) is spot on as a devious crazy person with no soul. Need I say more? But at times, not even Jillian could save this movie.

EDITING ISSUES: There’s a scene where Peter is in his office and his assistance brings him some flowers. He tries to avoid her questions and remarks regarding the flowers by saying he has a lunch date but it looks to be evening outside. Yet, in the next scene, we clearly see it’s daylight outside. See images below. The one on the left is when he receives the flowers is trying to leave.

The image on the right is the next scene where it’s clearly daylight outside. they must have filmed the flower scene at night and the other scene during the day on different days. Or both could have been filmed the same day but at different times. Then edited them together thinking no one would notice.

Image 1, is Peter’s office during the day (this is at the beginning of the movie). Image 2, is the day he gets the flowers (this is at 48:02 into the movie) and Image 3 is the very next scene.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This movie has a good premise but a horrible execution as far as the actors chosen. Not to mention the flow of the movie. It seemed choppy and the ending came off rushed. As mentioned, the only one whose acting was believe able was Jullian Murray (crazy ass Lexi).

This is one movie I won’t recommend to anyone. Usually, if a movie is bad, I will still recommend it because the outcome is worth the suffering and constant eye rolling from us, the viewers. But in this case, I did the suffering and eye-rolling for everyone. I took one for the team. You’re welcome.

A Dangerous Game came out in 2018 and should go right back in to never be seen again. Ugh!

Twin Betrayal – Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

You can view the spoiler free vlog of this post on #youtube by clicking on the link -> Twin Betrayal

Jessica Klint is a single mother in the middle of a divorce from lawyer husband. She has a conference she needs to attend for work in Texas over a weekend. While in Texas she sleeps with Harry Gordon, a man she met while standing in line at the front counter of the hotel. I should give a quick back story on their meeting

When Jessica approached the counter to check in, the hotel clerk said she didn’t have a room in her name registered. Jessica asks the lady to look again to which the lady gave the same story. Harry Gordon overhears the conversation and comes to Jessica’s rescue. Through his persuasion, he’s able to get her a room for the weekend. They go out to dinner and end up sleeping together.

The next morning, Harry is dressed but Jessica is still in bed. Harry places his hand on her hips to wake her up. Jessica tells Harry she’s going through a divorce and has a soon she’s trying to get custody of and everything that has happened between needs to stay that way. She asks if he understands. He says it’s her who doesn’t understand. All the sudden Harry’s Texas accent is gone and we learn that Harry was hired by Lars, that’s Jessica’s soon-to-be ex-husband to sleep with her and tape it. Not only did she sleep with him but she took some pills too. Dumb! Harry then proceeds to tell her if she doesn’t come up with $70k by the end of the week, he will give the video to her husband.

PROBLEM: Jessica doesn’t have $70k and really no way of getting it.

Jessica reaches out to her father but he refuses to help her. It’s at this point we learn she has a twin sister who he has disowned and says he will cut Jessica out as well.

Then we meet the sister.

Alessandra Banks is sitting at a bar when Jessica’s best friend Madeline mistakes her for Jessica. Through this meeting, Alessandra, also known as Ally, asks Madeline to pass on a message that she’s sorry for what happened and to have Jessica give her a call.

Fast forward to Jessica and Ally in Ally’s house. Jessica asks Ally for the money but Ally doesn’t have it and it will take time to get it. How some ever, Ally says she will do Jessica a favor but Jessica will owe her. Jessica agrees. Ally wants Jessica to be sure she’s up for owing Ally before she agrees. Jessica again agrees to Ally’s deal.

Ally is able to take care of Jessica’s issue with Harry and blackmail and now it’s time for Jessica to do Ally a favor.

As to now ruin any part of the movie, I am not going to say what the favor is. But I will say that Jessica does the favor with a hitch. Now it’s time to pay the piper.

LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK DOES IT AGAIN

As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I have really enjoyed the movies on Lifetime Movie Network and LifetimeTV, thought movies are rare in the latter. Since getting a DVR I have recorded the movies and saved a few for rewatching. Basically, creating my own Lifetime Movie Club movie list.

Jen Lilley does an excellent job portraying both Jessica, the good girl, and Alessandra (Ally), the bad girl. I liked the bad twin better. Not only were her looks great when being devious, but her walk, talk added to the persona. Her portrayal of good twin Jessica came off smooth as well. And how she played off herself in scenes when good twin and evil twin were together really showed the diversity Liley has as an actress.

There were plenty of twists and turns in this movie. Even to the final frame of the movie.

Twin Betrayal is currently streaming on Lifetime Movie Network.

Right, bad twin Ally, Left, good twin Jessica. Both played by Jen Liley

Stalked By a Reality Start – Lifetime Movie Network Movie Review

Video version of this blog can be viewed on YouTube
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Kendra, a high school student, and her mother, a nurse, spend their Thursday nights watching a bachelor type show. The star of the show is Brad, a very good looking man who is in search of the perfect woman to spend the rest of his life with.

Misha, Kendra’s friend, has tickets and fake ID’s for them to get into the hottest party in town where producers and agents will be attending. And with both Misha and especially Kendra, wanting to be actresses, this is the perfect opportunity for them to meet some of the powers that be. The only problem is, the party is on a Thursday, and Kendra is already in trouble with her mother for sneaking out the house before. In addition, it’s their TV watching night. With Kendra being in trouble with her mother, she will be unable to attend the party.

It’s now Thursday. Kendra and her mother are watching their show when they get into an argument. The argument sends Kenda dashing to her room where she texts Misha to say she wants to go to the party. Misha said she’ll pick Kendra up in 30 minutes.

Misha and Kendra arrive at the party with fake ID’s in hand and hit the bar immediately to order a dirty martini. I’m not sure who thought a dirty martini would scream classy when writing the script, but it screamed desperation. Moving on.

Misha goes to talk to a producer, leaving Kendra at the bar alone, but not for long. Soon Brad, from her favorite reality show, shows up and she doesn’t know what to do with herself. While they are talking Brad’s manager gets him to mingle with some people she feels will help his career. When he leaves, Kendra is feeling guilty about sneaking out the house and wants to go home, but she can’t find Misha. It’s during her search that Brad catches up to her and they begin talking again. It’s not long afterward that Brad offers to take her home. What Brad doesn’t know is that Kendra is really a 17-year-old high school student.

Brad and Kendra go on their first date and his true colors start coming out. Being the cautious person she is, Kendra takes note and keeps it filed in the back of her head. After dinner, Brad takes Kendra backs to his place where he begins to come on strong to her. The more she asks him to stop the more he doesn’t stop. Kendra is finally able to break free and leave but not before she blurts out she’s really 17. Her age doesn’t seem to faze Brad and he comes to her even stronger.  Kendra is finally able to break free and leave and this is the beginning of the stalking by Brad.

I really enjoyed this movie. This was the second good Lifetime Movie Network movie I saw on Saturday. The first being Her Dark Past, which I will do a review on. The acting by both Emily Bader as Kendra and Robert Scott Wilson as Brad were very believable. Asia Jackson as Misha annoyed me a little and as did Zach played by Jordan Doww. With latter two mentioned aside, the movie was well put together. Wilson’s portrayal of someone not playing with a full desk was scary. He had some menacing looks that were believable and definitely didn’t seemed forced. I hope to see this guy in more movies in these type of roles. I feel the same way about Bader. I hope to see her in more Lifetime movies, for just as with Ashley Scott, Jason-Shane Scott, and Dina Meyer (to name a few), she would be the reason I watch the movie.

Here’s something I noticed. As mentioned, Kendra and her mother watched a bachelor type reality show on Thursday nights. On LifetimeTV (a kin to Lifetime Movie Network) there’s a show called UnREAL which is a drama about what goes on behind the scenes of these bachelor reality shows. One of the main characters in the show is Rachel, played by Shiri Appleby. What I found odd is Bader (Kendra) looks a lot like Appleby (Rachel from UnREAL).

Left, Emily Bader from Stalked by a Reality Star and on the right is Shiri Appleby from Unreal

Stalked By a Reality Star is currently playing on Lifetime Movie Network and worth watching.

I give it four out of the five stars.

Party Mom – Lifetime Movie Network Movie Review

BRITTANY

Lifetime Movie Network’s Party Mom, tells the story of Brittany (Elise Luthman), 15, who comes from a modest background and lives in a modest house in Beverly Hills, has a friend, Ashely (Amber Frank), who lives in a big house that has a gate with an intercom whose mom, Jackie (Krista Allen) is always throwing parties for her. Feeling inadequate to her friend’s lifestyle wants to be part of the in-crowd. Being the typical teenager, she feels her mother doesn’t understand what’s it like to have to keep up with the Joneses.

One particular night, Brittany tells her family she’s going to stay in her room, instead, she sneaks out her bedroom window to another of Ashley’s parties, which is really her mother’s party.

ANOTHER PARTY AND TRAVIS

While at the party, Brittany meets up with an older boy named Travis who convinces her to leave with him and friends to another party nearby. Brittany asks Ashley to go with her but Ashley can’t because of her own party. Brittany leaves without Ashley.

One of the boys is not fit the drive but convinces his friends his OK. On their way to the party, they stop so the boys can relieve themselves. It’s during this time that Brittany tells Travis she wants to go back to Ashley’s party is not ready for sex. But Travis has other plans. And refuses to take Brittany back to Ashley’s party.

Everyone gets back into the car but the driver, not being coherent enough to drive, crashes into another car.

CAR CRASH AND A BAIL HEARING

Brittany’s parents, after learning she’s not in her room, head to Ashley’s house to see if she’s there, but is told by Ashley that Brittany left to go to another party. This is when Brittany’s parents see the type of person Jackie for she’s hammered. They leave Ashley’s house in search of the other party and on their way they encounter the accident, not realizing, at first, Brittany is one of the victims. Gary, Brittany’s father, calls 911 and it’s while she’s on the phone, her mother discovers her on the side of the road, not moving. While this is going on, Ashley’s mom is being arrested for providing alcohol to minors. It’s not clear on who called the cops.

Jackie’s bail hearing is the next day in which she is being charged with providing alcohol to minors as well as manslaughter for three of the four kids in the car Brittany was in died. Brittany survived but she is in bad shape. She’s not paralyzed, but will additional surgery due to her injuries.

BAIL IS STILL GRANTED

At the bail hearing, Brittany’s mom asks the court to deny Jackie her bail, but since Jackie didn’t have a criminal record, she is allowed bail and is now free. However, Jackie is so self-absorbed she isn’t able to see the damage she’s caused others. She only sees what the arrest and possible prison time could do to her.

Jackie has her day in court and the outcome is not what anyone expected. But the outcome will produce more tragedies. But after everything that has happened, Jackie still sees herself as the victim.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I enjoyed the movie, as I do most of Lifetime Movie Network movies and the movies on LifetimeTV.  The movie does a good job showing how people’s actions, child or adult, can lead to unforeseen tragedies. And sometimes those decisions will lead to more tragedies and ruined lives.

Party Mom is currently playing on Lifetime Movie Network.

Mistress Hunter: A Lifetime Movie Network Movie Review

Mistress Hunter tells the story of Jackie, a housewife, who thinks her husband might be stepping out on her. When she hired the Mistress Hunter to get the goods on him, she gets more than she bargained for.

courtesy Lifetime Movie Network

JACKIE’S SUSPICIONS

Jackie has been getting the feeling that something is not right with her husband, Karl (Martin Copping, Zombie Hunter, Hand of God), for he keeps telling her that never has time for lunch. One particular day, Jackie calls Karl’s job (I forget the reason) but learns that he has an appointment during lunch he’s had set for a while. Jackie decides to go to his job and follow him to see where he’s going and follows him to an apartment building in which a woman greets him at her door. This crushes Jackie.

YOU CAN COUNT ON US

Jackie is at Valerie’s house (played by Laura Plaxco, Superstore, Shameless), where another friend of hers, Melanie is there as well (played by Christy Meyers, Black-ish, Scandal). Jackie begins pouring her heart out to her friends about Karl stepping out on her and she’s not sure how long this has been going on and so forth. Valerie suggests she hires the mistress hunter to get more information on Karl. Jackie is a bit skeptical, mostly because the word ‘hunter’ in mistress hunter sounds a bit harsh. Valerie explains that’s just her handle, but that she’s the best in town. Melanie, on the other hand, is not to keen on the idea. Jackie wants to think about it.

WHERE DO I FIND THIS MISTRESS HUNTER

Remember Karl has been telling Jackie that he’s been stuck at the office and not able to take a lunch. Jackie, being suspicious, and even more suspicious since she caught him, calls his office (I forgot the reason why, but it was a ploy) to which she is told he’s out to lunch that he’s had booked for some time. That evening when Karl comes home, she tells him she called the office only to learn he’s at lunch. He states some clients come into town at the last minute and therefore, the lunch was last minute. LIE! After this blatant lie, Jackie decides she wants to hire the mistress hunter and asks Valerie for her contact information.

WAREHOUSE WHERE ARE YOU?

The mistress hunter Hannah (Lydia Look, Deadpool, Rush Hour, General Hospital) has an office in the warehouse but does not provide a phone number, only an address. Jackie arrives to find Hannah’s office in the back of the warehouse. Jackie tells Hannah her story to which Hannah gives her some advice and some disclaimer’s, some of which require Jackie to do some snooping herself. Jackie feels if she’s going to snoop at well why hire Hannah. But Hannah gives her more information and tells Jackie she can either hire her or not. After thinking about it Jackie decides to hire Hannah.

MORE THAN JACKIE BARGAINED FOR

Hannah is the type of person who will find you when she needs to and this throws Jackie off a bit for Hannah shows at odd places at odd times dressed as various professions. Jackie starts getting a little spooked about this but is told by Hannah that this is how she does business. During these encounters, Hannah provides Jackie with information she’s seeking but also asks Jackie to acquire certain physical information for Hannah. It’s during of these expeditions (by Hannah) that Jackie learns that her husband has been stepping out on her with a number of women. Not at the same time, mind you. He gets rid of one and has another one waiting in the wings. His current is a lady named Beth, who doesn’t know he’s married and has a child.

TWO CAN PLAY THAT GAME

The more Hannah has Jackie do the more Jackie starts becoming a different person, and goes for the juggler herself, starting with Beth. And the more she does the more Melanie starts to see a difference in Jackie and is not comfortable with everything going on. It’s at this point that Melanie decides to distance herself from both Valerie and Jackie. Jackie, too, feels she’s gone to drastic measures to get the goods on her husband but feels she’s justified in doing so and continues on, with the support of Valerie.

FINAL THOUGHT

I really enjoyed this movie. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, Lifetime has been coming through with some pretty good movies lately. Some still lack the acting chops, the writing and execution of these movies are really good, and Mistress Hunter does not disappoint at all. I was a bit skeptical in the beginning for I thought this was going to another perdictable movie. But once she hired Hannah, the movie picked up and so did the twists.

I loved Hannah. She was sarcastic and brutal at times, but she got the job done. The way she acted at times, I thought there was something dodgy about her, but she turned out to be on the up and up. She provided her backstory to Jackie and how she got into the mistress hunter business. After hearing her story, you understood her actions better.

It was the friends, Valerie and Melanie, that had me a bit suspicious on their motives for why they did what they did. Why did Valerie suggest the mistress hunter to Jackie and why did Melanie not support Jackie, even when she was she was going hardcore? When a murder takes place and Jackie is on the top of the suspect list, things get even more interesting.

Mistress Hunter is currently playing on Lifetime Movie Network. Check your local listing. I highly recommend this movie.

A Sister’s Nightmare [Movie Review]

CAN I STAY WITH YOU?

A Sister’s Nightmare (2013) centers around Cassidy who has spent 15 years in a mental institution. When her regular doctor has a stroke and takes an early retirement, the replacement doctor feels Cassidy is well enough to enter society, after consulting with her regular doctor. With no place to go and other alternative reasons, Cassidy seeks out her sister Jane, a cop, with a live-in boyfriend and a high school daughter who suffers from a nightmare of drowning.

HI EMILY, I’M CASSIDY

amazon ID: jabberjaw-20

When Cassidy first shows up at Jane’s house it’s Emily (Jane’s daughter) who greets her, not knowing she Jane’s sister. When Jane introduces Cassidy as her sister, the daughter blurts out, “You told me your sister died.” This was the first instance of this kid being a complete ass. Then comes a series of strange things happening around the house. For instance is a knife ends up missing from the knife block in the kitchen.

A MISSING KNIFE, BARS ON WINDOWS AND LOCKS ON DOORS

The second instance is Jane catching Cassidy in the kitchen getting water to drink, and the third is Cassidy climbing into Emily’s room to wake her from her nightmare. Yes, I said climb. Because of Cassidy being in the house, Jane has put locks on her daughter’s room as well as her (Jane’s) room. Due to Emily’s door being locked, the sister climbed in through the window. Now, if that doesn’t scream weird and troubling, I don’t know what does. Yet, Emily didn’t find anything off about that, but Jane does and soon she’s having bars installed on her daughter’s bedroom window. At this point, I’m not sure whose more off their rocker, Jane or Cassidy.

Through flashback of Jane and Cassidy as kids, we come to understand the volatile relationship these have had for all their lives.

When Cassidy decides to take Emily camping, without the consent of Jane, all the buried secrets and lies come to the surface.

MY THOUGHTS

I enjoy anything Natasha Henstridge is in when she’s playing the stalker, the killer or any bad person, and this movie is no exception. I became a fan of hers since Species (1995).

The daughter, Emily, played by Peyton List, was annoying to me. When the bars were on her bedroom window she didn’t notice them until she was sitting on her bed listening or looking at something on her tablet. I’m not sure how she missed them when the window is right next to her bed.

The live-in boyfriend, Phil (played by Matthew Settle) was middle of the road. He neither added anything or took away anything from the movie itself. It was like they just needed Jane to have a boyfriend. I feel if you’re going to have a male in the picture, at least have him contribute something to the movie.

Jane, played by Kelly Rutherford (Gossip Girl) was enjoyable to watch. Even during her paranoia states when she was adding locks to rooms and bars on windows, she was still enjoyable to watch. She’s one of those people that can hold a movie on her own. This is also how I feel about Henstridge, she can hold a movie on her own.

But the twists and there were a few, happened in the middle of the movie and rest towards the end. I didn’t see any of it coming, which is always the case in a Natasha Henstridge movie. And the final scene of Jane and Cassidy as kids bring everything together.

If you get a chance to see this movie I highly recommend it.

Other Henstridge movies to look out for are Inconsivable (2016) and Cold Spring (2013). If you find Species streaming somewhere it’s worth the time. I haven’t seen Species II and III for sequels can never be done right.

Movie Review of Cocaine Godmother Starring Catherine Zeta-Jones

LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK – MY HANGOUT

As most of you know, I love me some Lifetime Movie Network and basically live on that channel on the weekends, starting on Friday nights and ending Sunday evenings.

Of late, they have had some good movies and more biographies such as The Two Coreys about Corey Feldman and Corey Haim and the alleged sexual abuse they endured for a number of years. Lifetime’s (shown on LifetimeTV) recent biography Cocaine Godmother told the story of Griselda Blanco, the most ruthless drug lord known to the world.

GRISELDA BLANCO

Most people know of Pablo Escobar or El Chapo (I, for one, don’t consider El Chapo a drug lord and hold him in the same category of Escobar and Blanco). What people don’t know, and Lifetime explored this, is that Blanco was helping Escobar before he became the drug lord he is remembered for today. She was the one he was getting his supply from. They didn’t go into details of how they became business partners. As a matter of fact, they didn’t go into detail of much, and this was what left me a bit befuddled after viewing the movie.

 IN THE BEGINNING

It was either 1954 or 1959 (bad memory, but the exact year doesn’t matter) in which 9-year-old (I’m also terrible with ages) Griselda is seen walking to someone’s house. A few minutes later Griselda is sitting on a bed pulling up her dress strap, but the man, has to be in his 30’s is buckling his belt on his pants.  Griselda doesn’t have a look of distraught on her face, which threw me for a loop. She does witness a gun the man has. This last statement will come into play in a few minutes.

Griselda heads home and she tells her mother the man said he will pay her later. The mother berates Griselda for not getting the money up front. There’s a point when her mother slaps her so hard it splits her lip and tells Griselda to get out, as in leave and never come back. There’s a point to these details.

Griselda leaves her house and heads back to the man’s house, who is not in his bedroom watching TV. Griselda sneaks in, go to the dresser she saw him put the gun in and retrieves it. In the process, the man hears her and as he’s approaching her she shoots him twice and kills him. Afterwards, she steals the gun along with about two or three wads of money and leaves.

1972 NEW YORK

The next time we see Griselda it’s in New York in 1972. Errrr, so what happened between her killing the man and her making it to New York. We know she had money and a gun, but the money never explained (unless I missed it) how she got into passport making, drug laundry, and selling. Basically, how did she become the esteem, err, rather, skilled criminal we are seeing in 1972?

Griselda has three sons in 1972 and married to a real winner. But, as mentioned, she had skill in creating fake passports and this brought in money for the family. It’s not long before Griselda is on her own with her three boys, but continues her drug business.

NEW YORK, MEDELLIN (COLUMBIA) AND MIAMI

Griselda starts out in NY and splits her time between NY and Medellin, Columbia, the same place Escobar is from and operates. Later she moves to Miami and continues to grow her business and recruiting her sons to join the ‘family business’. She also hires a hitman who stands by her side, even in the wake of being caught and questioned by the DEA.

BUT ENOUGH OF THAT

I was really looking forward to this movie for two reasons. 1. I was hoping to learn more about Griselda Blanco, and 2. I was really curious as to how Catherine Zeta-Jones was going to pull off playing Griselda when, what I knew of Griselda, was not a good-looking woman, especially in her later years. But I’ll get to that later.

Related image

Isabella Rossellini as Lady Columbia in Empire (2002)

I felt the movie lacked a lot, especially the grit I would expect from Griselda Blanco. I just think Zeta-Jones lacked the ability to pull off mean and cruel. Her good looks and demeanor made me want to like Griselda. Even when she was supposed to be mean and cruel, she came off likable. I feel that Isabella Rossellini should have placed her for she played a wicked drug dealer in  Empire, starring John Leguizamo.

I remember the few minutes Rossellini was on screen as La Colombiana was enough for me and I thought her character was based off Griselda Blanco. It could very well be, but I haven’t found anything to sustain that theory.

Zeta-Jones just don’t have the look nor the attitude, for me, to come off cruel and devious. And because of this, I felt I wasn’t getting the full Griselda Blanco story.

OVER-ALL THOUGHTS

I didn’t care for the movie as a whole. I feel it should have been a four movie, spanning two nights, to really delve into Blanco’s life, especially from the 1950’s to 1972. It’s obvious she worked her way up the crime ladder, but how did she get started outside of her first kill at age 9 or 11 (if that was her first kill).  I found The Two Coreys  (blog to come soon) more put together than this movie.

I, at first, thought the movie not worth watching, but after talking about to a friend of mine, I think it is worth watching. If for anything, the tragic life Blanco had, especially her beginnings.

Since the movie just premiered on 20 January 2018, you should still be able to watch it. If not, and you’re smart enough, you should be able to find where to view it.

If you’ve already viewed, what are your thoughts? Do you think Zeta-Jones pulled it off? Do you feel 2 hours was enough for the life and death of Griselda Blanco?

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Catherine Zeta-Jones on the right, as Griselda) Griselda Blanco on the left

Family of Lies [Movie Review]

LIES AND MURDER

In Family of Lies (2017) a mother and father going on a road trip are murdered before reaching their destination.Their death leaves three siblings on their own.
 
The oldest sibling, Emily, being of age, becomes the legal guardian of her brother and sister. In the midst of a bad week, Emily gets a call about a job she forgot she applied for. The problem, the job is in Louisiana.  Hoping for a fresh start and to get away from the trouble Emily has been sensing since the murder of her parents which includes someone peering into their windows at night, Emily agrees to relocate her and her siblings to Louisiana, much to the chagrin of her brother and sister. 

THE TRUTH MAY NOT SET YOUR FREE

In their new home in Lousiana, the siblings continue to experience someone peering into their windows at night. All the while, Emily begins investigating why her parents were murdered. When the truth is revealed it may not set Emily free but rather put her and her siblings in more danger.

MY THOUGHTS

I really enjoyed this movie which premiered on Lifetime Movie Network on Saturday, 30 December 2017. The movie was well written and kept you guessing until the very end. The twist was something I didn’t see coming and would not have guessed. I watched the movie again Sunday night to see if I missed anything the first go round and nothing stood out to me.

Of late, Lifetime Movie Network has been playing some good movies and this is definitely one of them.

If you get a chance to see Family of Lies, I highly recommend you do. If you’ve seen the movie already, what are your thoughts?
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FAMILY OF LIES stars John Schneider as David (Dukes of Hazards, The Have and the Have Nots), Christa B. Allen as Emily (Revenge), and Peyton Wich as Ethan (Stranger Things)
Currently playing on Lifetime Movie Network (check your local listing for the channel in your area.

 

Cocaine Godmother [Movie Trailer]

THE CRIMINAL UNDERBELLY

I’m interested in the criminal underbelly for some reason. The mob and high profiled drug dealers were my main interest. But if the criminal is a female, I’m even more interested. It’s because women are gentle and caring for the most part. Or at least that’s what we’re taught.

GRISELDA BLANCO

I don’t remember when I first heard of Griselda Blanco. But I do when I saw her I thought she was awesome and scary at the same time. Awesome because she was a women kingpin in a man’s world. Scary, well, she’s a scary looking person.

I began watching shows about her and learned how ruthless she was. She’s known to have killed 200 people, and I wouldn’t doubt that number. The number might be higher.

Here’s how the Biography website sums up Blanco:

Colombia-born Griselda Blanco was a high-level operative in the infamous Medellin Cartel, known for trafficking cocaine in major urban centers like Miami, Florida, and her murderous ways. She was killed in 2012. 

THE ASSASSINATION OF THE QUEEN

I remember when Blanco died. And I knew it was an assassination and not a random shooting. Blanco was too powerful.

Here’s an article on her death:

EMPIRE

In 2002 a movie called Empire came out.

Here’s a description (not written by me)

For Victor Rosa (John Leguizamo), that blunt world-view has come to define his life. A Latino hustler from the South Bronx, Victor has worked his way up the neighborhood ladder to become a crew leader for Joanna “La Columbiana” Menendez (Isabella Rossellini). But after narrowly escaping an attempt on his life, Victor realizes that he needs to get out of the Bronx, both for himself and for his girlfriend, Carmen (Sonia Braga), the only thing more important to him than money.

When Isabella Rossellini (pictured below) came on the scene I immediately thought of Griselda Blanco. The role of La Columbiana, I felt, was based on Blanco but from what I’ve learned it wasn’t.

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Isabella Rosellini in Empire

LIFETIME MOVIE NETWORK

Lifetime is infamous for making biography movies of famous people and they are horrible. The most memorable was the Whitney Houston movie. But I have high hopes for Cocaine Godmother from the trailer I’ve seen (see below). Plus, Lifetime seems to make good biography movies on criminals. The Jodi Arias movie comes to mind as one that was pretty good.

I’m looking forward to the movie and feel Catherine Zeta-Jones will do a great job as Griselda Blanco.

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Catherine Zeta-Jones as Cocaine Godmother, Griselda Blanco

Here’s a trailer for the movie provided by New Trailer Buzz

My first question was how could someone as good looking as Catherine Zeta-Jones play Blanco for I only remember Blanco as this:

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I forgot at one time, Blanco was a good looking woman herself.

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Griselda Blanco young.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am looking forward to Cocaine Godmother which will premier on Lifetime Movie Network in January 2018. Confirmed date will posted once known.

Recommended reading:

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JUST IN: Jennifer Lopez will be playing Griselda Blancho in an up coming HBO movie which is currently in production.