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Movie Review: Charlie Says

 

 

Now available for purchase, rent and streaming is drama, Charlie Says, based off the shocking murders that made the name Charles Manson synonymous with pure evil. This film focuses on the lives of three of his followers involved in those horrific murders –  Leslie Van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins.

The women are portrayed by Marianne Rendon (Atkins), Sosie Bacon (Krenwinkle) and Hannah Murray (Van Houten). Sosie Bacon is the daughter of Kevin Bacon. She looks a lot like her father.

I’m not entirely sure if this film is totally accurate, but it does seem to give you a glimpse into the lives of these ladies who followed Manson and lived with him on Spahn Ranch.

The movies is based off a book written by Karelene Faith, who is a teacher that worked at the prison where the ladies were being held. The story is from the conversations she had with the three women.

Karelene Faith (played by Merritt Wever) is asked to teach the three ladies, who are being held together (different cells, same area) away from the general population. The prison doesn’t know what else to do with them. They don’t want them with the rest of the inmates in fear that the ladies will turn them into Manson followers.

As Karelene is trying to educate the women on a variety of subjects (mostly women related topics), she learns a lot about the women and their time with Manson.

A lot of the film is based on the memories of Leslie Van Houten, how she came to the ranch, and her life with Manson and his followers, as well as the events that lead up to the horrific murders.

Leslie arrived on the ranch after being recruited by other Manson followers. She was young and naive and instantly drawn in to the charismatic Manson from the very first moment she met him. It was also a bit overwhelming to her how life was on the ranch, especially after being given speed shortly after she arrived, and witnessed a lot of “free love” from other ranch followers.

Most of this film weaves the present day (with Karelene) and flashbacks to life on the ranch. Viewers of the film get an insight into what went on at the ranch, from the non-stop drug abuse and casual sex, to dumpster diving for food to Manson’s abusive and manipulative ways.

Karelene sees these women as victims more so than people who knowingly and willingly committed the murders. They DID know what they were doing, but they didn’t see it as “wrong” because of the psycho-babble Mason was feeding them on a daily basis. They thought they were doing what was necessary. They didn’t see it as being wrong.

I have read stories about how Manson was able to control his followers. However, what they did is unforgivable, even if these ladies were brainwashed. There had to be some kind of a conscious left that would tell these women that murdering is illegal and immoral.

I don’t think this film is meant to make viewers feel any kind of compassion towards these women. I think the film is meant to give you an insight into who these women are/were (Susan Atkins died of brain cancer) and how Manson was the ultimate “puppet master.”

This is an interesting film and story. I never knew any of their backstory. I found it fascinating how quickly Manson was able to lure people into is beliefs and how he was able to control and manipulate them so easily. He truly was the world’s most evil man.

Overall I found the film interesting. I think the acting was done well, and the casting was pretty good (Matt Smith portrays Charles Manson very well).

There is a lot of sex, nudity and drug use in this film. I think it was necessary for this film to show just how these women and other followers lived when they were with Mason. Sex and drug use was done as natural to them as drinking a glass of water, or breathing for that matter.

I think they did go a wee bit overboard with the sex stuff however. The could have tamed it down a bit (I’m not a prude, but I feel like somethings could have been done more tastefully).

Charlie Says is no longer in theaters, but you can find it on digital and for purchase.

Below is the trailer for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

Movie Review: Rust Creek

 

Now available for purchase and on digital is the suspense thriller, Rust Creek. It’s directed by Jen McGowen.

Rust Creek stars Hermione Corfield, Jay Paulson, Sean O’Brian, Micah A. Hauptman and Daniel R. Hill. The film is distributed by IFC Films.

Sawyer (Corfield) is a successful college student who is heading to Washington, D.C. for a job interview. Her GPS sends her on the wrong path, and she is forced to pull over to navigate where she needs to go the “old fashioned” way – with a map.

While she is checking out the map, a truck pulls over in front if her and two men get out and head in her direction. They ask if she needs help, but she tells them that she is OK. The men insist that she needs help, and they approach her even closer. Sawyer is quick to pick up that these men are no good.

Sawyer’s assumptions are right when the men attack her. She fights back and it able to flee into the woods, but not without getting injured in the struggle.

Now Sawyer has to be on the run from these men, who clearly know the woods a lot more than she does. She’s lost, injured and on the run.

Sawyer meets another person who lives in the woods, but she’s not safe there with him either. The men are in hot pursuit. There is also another person who is out there looking for her. He has nefarious for finding her as well.

How will Sawyer survive in the backwoods? Will anyone be able to find her before it’s too late? To find out, you need to purchase or rent Rust Creek. Look for it where ever movies are sold or streamed.

Rust Creek is one of those “straight to DVD” type of movie. It was never shown in theaters are far as I know. Don’t let that fool you. Sometimes these type of movies are “hidden gems.” Rust Creek is one of them.

Admittedly, I thought I knew the direction this movie was going. But I was wrong. Initially you get the impression that this is going to be a movie about how Sawyer has to outrun the men and find food, water and shelter in the woods, and that’s it. But there is so much more to this movie. There are a lot of twists and turns in this film. It also had an ending that I didn’t see coming.

The cinematography really adds to this film. It’s dark and gloomy and it makes you feel wet and cold, so you feel for Sawyer’s predicament. It gives the impression that being in the backwoods of Kentucky is not the place you want to be.

The acting is pretty good.

Even though Hermione Corfield is the star of the film (Sawyer), I think it’s Jay Paulson’s character (Lowell) that really “steals the show.” His acting makes you really feel for Lowell and his situation. I found myself hoping that he finally found a way out of the woods along with Sawyer, even though technically he wasn’t trapped there.

Both Micah A. Hauptman and Daniel R. Hill pulled off being backwoods hillbillys very well. Their acting was very convincing, even though Daniel R. Hill didn’t get much screen time.

Overall I was impressed with this film. I would actually watch this film again. In fact, I purchased a digital copy of the film (I only had a screener copy of the film for this review). For me to purchase the film, you know I must really like it.

The film does have an 84% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Currently, the new Star Wars film is only at 57%.

The film does have an official website, in case you would like to learn more about it – RustCreek.com. The film is also on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (RustCreek). The links are found on the bottom of the website.

Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Movie Review: Trespassers

 

Available now on streaming services is the thriller/horror film, Trespassers, from IFC Midnight.

Trespassers stars Angela Trimbur, Janel Parrish, Zach Avery, Johnathan Howard and Fairuza Balk.

The film starts off with a young couple being brutally murdered by masked individuals. There is a connection to that scene to the rest of the film, but viewers don’t know that until later on.

Sarah and Joseph rent an Airbnb (I assume it is) for the weekend to getaway. The home is in the middle of no where, in the desert near the Mexican border.

When they arrive there is no one in the home. The bed isn’t even made. There are even photos lying around in the room where one of the homeowners develops their photos.

Joseph is not overly keen on the idea that Sarah also invited her best friend, Estelle, and her boyfriend, Victor, to spend the weekend with them. He was hoping it was just the two of them so they could work on their relationship which has been a bit strained lately.

Estelle and Victor seem to be a bit opposite of Sarah and Joseph. They are there to party and have a good time, which includes sexy dancing, sex, booze and drugs.

When the door bell rings, the couples are faced with a neighbor (Balk) who claims that her car broke down and that she needs to borrow their phone because she’s needs to let someone know she’s going to be late to get her son. Begrudgingly they let her inside.

Even after making a call, the mysterious woman doesn’t seem to want to leave.

Did the couples make a huge mistake letting the stranger inside? Does she have an ulterior motive for being there? And what is the connection to them and the young couple that was murdered in the beginning of the movie? To find out you need to rent or purchase Trespassers. You can find it on Hulu, Google Play, Vudu and YouTube, as well as other streaming platforms.

This is one of those films where you can pretty much guess what is going to happen by the end of the movie. It’s not that hard to guess. There is a murder, people who are partying a bit too much (booze, drugs), and a stranger that comes knocking on their door late at night. If you add all these things up it’s not hard to guess what will eventually happen in the film.

As for the scary factor, I personally didn’t find the film scary. I know the film is considered a part of the horror genre, but I would put in more in the thriller category. But that is just me.

I’m NOT a prude. Not at all, but I don’t see why horror movies have to toss in sex, drugs and booze. You can make a great horror movie without those things. This film still would have worked without those elements factored in.

Balk is a great addition to this film. If anything about this film is scary it’s Balk’s character. She is creepy! There is no way I’d want to let that woman into my home, not matter what kind of a sob story she gave me. I would call 911 or a local tow truck company to come and help her out. I wouldn’t let her step foot in my home (or rental home).

I should say that the masks used by the intruders are scary.

There is a lot of violence in this film. It’s a film about a home invasion, and let’s just say the intruders are not there to show kindness or pity on their victims. They are sick bastards who love nothing more than torturing their victims.

The movie is a bit cliche. It kind of follows suit with other home invasion-like movies. It’s not too difficult to figure what is going to happen.

From about the second half of the film until towards the end, the film relies on lighting to add to it. You’ll notice that a lot of scenes are either colored with blue or red lights.

The film was OK enough to keep my attention to the very end, but it’s not the kind of movie that I would watch again.

Let this be a lesson. If you are going to rent a home, don’t rent one in the middle of nowhere. And if there is a knock at your door in the middle of the night, think twice before you open the door, and think even harder if you are asked to let a stranger inside.

Below is the film’s trailer for your entertainment.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Movie Review: Abominable

 

Now available on Blu-ray, DVD and on digital is the animated film, Abominable.

Abominable is the story of a young Chinese girl name Yi, who recently lost her father. She continues to work odd jobs to save money to go on a trip across the country that she had planned on taking with her father. She is also a violinist, like her late father.

One night she comes across a creature that is hiding out on the roof top of the building where she lives. It’s a giant, abominable snowman. She is frightened, but soon realizes that he’s harmless. She also sees that he is injured.

Yi takes care of her new friend, and heals his wound. She names him Everest, after the mountain where he is from, Mount Everest.

Everest was captured and taken from his family by a wealthy businessman Mr. Burnish. He wanted to use Everest to prove the existence of Yetis. All he wants is to get back home to him.

With the help of her neighbor friends, Peng and Jin, Yi sets off with Everest to get him back home to his family before Mr. Burnish and a Zoologist working with Mr. Burnish, Dr. Zara, find the Yeti.

The children, and Everest, head off on a magical journey to get Everest back home, all while being closely pursued by Mr. Burnish, Dr. Zara and their military-like employees.

Along the way the children learn that Everest has magical powers. He uses these powers to help the children escape from Mr. Burnish and his people.

Will Everest ever return home to his family? Or will he finally be captured again by Mr. Burnish and his people? And what will become of Yi and the other children? Will they ever get back home to their families? To find out, you need to pick up a copy (or download/rent) Abominable. Look for it where ever movies are sold or rented.

This movie will make you laugh. It will make you cry. It will make you angry and it will make you overjoyed. You will certainly experience a lot of emotions while watching this film.

Abominable is a visually stunning film. It’s breathtaking. Even if there was not one spoken word in this film, it would still be an amazing film based upon the animation and background music.

I love how incredibly detailed this film is. You can make out the individual hairs on Everest, you can sense the puffiness of the clouds and even so far as to see texture on things. The animation is so amazing that at times it seems like what you are looking at is REAL and not an animated drawing. To me, that is impressive enough in it’s self. The beautiful story just adds to it.

Speaking of the story, I think that Abominable is a great story that touches upon many different themes – family, friendship, perseverance, grief, and environmental issues such as protecting rare creatures (or creatures whose numbers are very limited).

I loved this film. So much so that I plan on watching it again during the holiday break. Speaking of which, Abominable would make a great gift for the holiday.

Of course there are plenty of bonus features included with this film. Here is just a small sampling.

BONUS FEATURES ON 4K Ultra Hd, BLU-RAYTM, DVD and digital:

  • DREAMWORKS SHORT – MAROONED – Marooned, tells the story of a cantankerous and selfish robot named C-0R13. Stranded on an abandoned lunar outpost, C-0R13 longs to return to Earth. With a partially built ship and his last power source, this determined robot will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.
  • SHOW AND TELL – Back home in the Himalayan Mountains, Everest puts on a magical show-and-tell for his fellow yetis after he receives a special care package from Yin, Jing and Peng.
  • DELETED SCENES with Intros by Writer/Director Jill Culton and Co-Director Todd Wilderman
    • Play All
    • Spa Day
    • Villains at the Map
    • Magic Montage
    • Yak Attack
  • MAKING A MYTH (MOVIE) – In this entertaining ‘making of’ we learn from the filmmakers and stars how they brought the heartfelt and whimsical story of Abominable to life – from the use of magic, music and humor, to the themes of family and nature.
  • ANIMATING ABOMINABLE – From production design to storyboarding and animating, the creative team behind Abominable will take us through the design and animation of the film.
  • YOUR YETI CARE GUIDE – Chloe, Albert and Tenzing provide tips and tricks to caring for your newly adopted “Yeti”. In this case YETI stands for pet – dog, kitten and bird.
  • HOW TO ABOMINABLE – Bring Everest, Yi and Nai Nai to life in your home with this How-to-Draw with a difference. Not only will we show you how to recreate your favorite characters from Abominable, but also how to magically bring them to life through a homemade Chinese style lantern!
    • How to Draw
    • Play All
    • Intro
    • Everest
    • Yi
    • Jin
    • Peng
    • Nai Nai
    • How to Make a Chinese Lantern

I also have some fun extras and clips worth checking out.

You can download the recipes here – http://bit.ly/AbominableRecipes.

 

Click on the above image to download the activities.

Here are a few brief clips from the film.

 

 

 

To learn more about this film, you can visit it’s official website. You can also follow the film on social media – Facebook, Twitter (Dreamworks Animation) and Instagram. The official hashtag is #AbominableMovie.

Did you see Abominal? If so, what did you think of the film? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Movie Premiere of “Christmas in Montana” on Saturday, December 14th at 9pm/8c! #MiraclesofChristmas

 

My family’s Christmas tree last year.

Can you believe that Christmas Eve is twelve days away? TWELVE! Are you ready for the holiday? Have you completed your Christmas shopping? Thankfully we have. I just need to wrap (I’m not a fan of wrapping).

Me and my family have been trying to squeeze in as many holiday movies as we possibly can.

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has been airing a lot of wonderful holiday movies all season long. I love that they keep adding new movies to watch too, unlike other channels that play the same movies over and over again.

Hallmark Movies and Mysteries has added 40 new original movies to their line up. Personally, I’m impressed by that. Forty brand new movies is pretty impressive. These movies are premiering throughout the holiday season. Check out the hashtags #CountDowntoChristmas and the #MiracleOfChristmas to see what others have been saying about them.

This Saturday, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries is premiering a film called Christmas in Montana. The film stars Kelly Martin and Colin Ferguson.

Before the holidays, Sara goes to Montana to help resistant Travis save his ranch. Can time on the ranch help restore her faith in Christmas in time for a miracle?

The film premieres this Saturday (December 14, 2019) at 9:00 PM (EST) / 8:00 PM (CST).

I would love to visit some place beautiful like Montana for the holiday season. The furthest I’ve ever been for Christmas is my aunt and uncle’s house in Pennsylvania, and that was a very long time ago, when I was a young girl.

That year, everyone was at their house for the holiday, including my other aunts and uncles, all my cousins and my great-grandparents, as well as my family.

It was hard to fit everyone around the dinner table that memorable Christmas.

I miss my great-grandfather. I’m also wearing my beloved cousin’s hand-me-down pajamas. He passed away in October of this year, making this Christmas memory even more special.

Me, my great-grandfather and some of my cousins.

The house was overflowing with people. All of us kids had to sleep on the floor in one of the room’s because the adults took up all of the beds and couch. We didn’t mind. It was like having a giant sleep over. It was especially fun on Christmas morning. None of us slept that night (as you can imagine). We kept trying to sneak downstairs to see if Santa arrived, but we were chased back upstairs by one of the adults (and being constantly told to go back to bed – which was impossible!).

Christmas morning all of us kids dashed downstairs and were greeted by our exhausted parents, sitting around the tree sipping on coffee, and piles of gifts for all of us.

That Christmas was one of my most favorite Christmases ever. Oh how I wish I could go back in time, even for a day. I would re-live that day over again in a heartbeat.

 

When I think about the holiday season, I always think about my family and all those great memories. Of course, enjoying fun, holiday entertainment is always great too. I don’t think we watch much else during the holidays aside from holiday related films and television shows.

For more information about this and other delightful holiday films, please visit www.HallmarkMoviesandMysteries.com/MiraclesofChristmas.

For information about all 40 of the new holiday movies all season long on both Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, as well as the Hallmark Channel, visit the links below.

www.HallmarkMoviesandMysteries.com/MiraclesofChristmas/New-Movies-2019

www.HallmarkChannel.com/Christmas/New-Movies-Countdown-to-Christmas-2019

Be sure to check out both channels on social media, as well as follow the hashtag #MiraclesOfChristmas.

I will be hosting a wonderful giveaway this Saturday when I live-tweet along with the movie. The winner will receive an amazing gift package, consisting of the following items. 

I will be live-tweeting on Saturday, December 14, 2019 from 9:00 PM (EST) / 8:00 PM (CST) until 11:00 PM (EST) / 10:00 PM (CST), during Christmas in Montana

Watch the movie and tweet along with me, using the hashtags #MiraclesofChristmas and #ChristmasinMontana, as well as tag me (@She_Scribes) and @HallmarkMovie. I will pick a random tweeter to win the above prize package. The more tweets, the more entries you have to win. 

You can also enter to win a collection of 41 Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments and beautiful Balsam Hill Christmas Tree here.

I hope to see you on Twitter this Saturday during the film.

Kimberly

It Chapter Two – Now available on Blu-ray, 4K Ultra, DVD and Digital

 

Available today is the final installment to the It story, It Chapter Two. 

If you have ever read the Stephen King book, it has 1,138 pages in it. The original It film was actually broken up into a mini-series, but overall it had a run time of three hours and twenty minutes.

I appreciate the fact that the remake of It was broken up into two parts. I found the overall story, and both movies, better that way.

It Chapter Two picks up twenty seven years after the first part of the film. If you have seen the first film, you know that the evil Pennywise returns every twenty-seven years.

All of the characters from the first film have returned for this film (Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Wyatt Oleff, Jack Dylan Grazer and Chosen Jacobs). In this film, all of the main characters have grown up counterparts, considering this film takes place 27 years later. Joining the cast as the “Losers Club” as grown ups include James McAvoy, Jessica Chastain, Bill Hader, Jay Ryan, Andy Bean, James Ransone, and Isaiah Mustafa.

Things have been quiet in Derry, NH, ever since the kids of the Losers Club – Bill, Stanley, Eddie, Ben, Richie, Mike, and Beverly – defeated Pennywise in the basement of the abandoned house. In fact, they have grown up and moved on with their lives. They don’t even keep touch with one another anymore. It’s as if that chapter of the life ended and they forgot all about it. There is one person who has not forgot it. In fact, he has been waiting for signs that Pennywise has been resurrected – Mike.

After a brutal death at the town’s carnival, Mike is convinced that Pennywise has returned, and he needs the rest of the Losers Club to return to Derry to help him defeat Pennywise once and for all. There is just one problem – everyone that has moved away from Derry seems to have forgotten about Pennywise. It’s as if their experiences with him were erased from their memories.

Mike calls all of the Losers Club back to Derry for a very urgent matter. They all return except Stan. He has a good reason why he can’t be with the rest of them.

Once in Derry, the gang meet up at a restaurant. Things seem a little awkward at first, most especially between Bill and Beverly, and between Beverly and Ben. There is obvious some chemistry still remaining between Bill and Beverly. Ben has always had a crush on Beverly. Now that he’s gone from an adorable, chubby boy to a well built, handsome man, he might have a chance with Beverly after all.

It doesn’t take long for their memories of what happened to them in Derry to return. They don’t return right away, but the more time they spend in town, the more their memories return.

Now it’s time to defeat Pennywise once and for all. The Losers Club needs to pull together all their mental and physical strength to hunt him down and kill him. Luckily, Mike has been working on this for the past twenty seven years, and he’s found ways to find him and to kill him.

Pennywise is a force to be reckon with, as is Henry Bowers. He’s been locked up in a mental institution ever since the first film where he killed his father and tried to kill off the Losers Club. Unbeknownst to the gang, Henry has esceped and he’s looking for them so he can finish what he started twenty seven years earlier.

 

There is no time to waste. More and more children as disappearing in Derry, and they Losers Club know that Pennywise is behind them. They must kill him before more children fall victim to him.

Who is Pennywise? Why is her here? Why does he feed off people’s fear? Will the Losers Club succeed in ending his reign of terror before it’s too late? To find out, pick up a copy of It Chapter Two, available today where ever movies are sold and rented.

I never rented the book, and I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the original series, so I had no idea what to expect with this film.

First and foremost, I think the filmmaker did a good job casting the adult version of the Losers Club. The characters of Bill and Eddie were especially spot on.

I appreciate that this film finally gave insight into who, or what, Pennywise was. And let me just say, he’s a force to be reckoned with. You can’t easily kill Pennywise. You can’t just find him and shoot him or something “easy” like that.

There are bonus features with this film. If you are really into the It saga, you’ll definitely find these bonus features interesting. I always love the “behind the scenes” featurettes.

Commentary by Director Andy Muschietti

Documentaries

  • The Summers of IT: Chapter One, You’ll Float Too
  • The Summers of IT: Chapter Two, IT Ends

Behind the scenes featurettes:

  • Pennywise Lives Again!
  • This Meeting of the Losers Club Has Officially Begun
  • Finding the Deadlights

I did find two Facebook pages for It Chapter Two. I am not sure which one is the “official” one, but one page does have substantially more followers/likes than the other one. There is an official Twitter page, as well as an official Instagram page. I would suspect the official hashtags are #ItMovie and/or #ItChapterTwo.

If you are looking for a fun gift idea for a horror movie fan, why not gift them both It and It Chapter Two. 

Below is the film’s trailer for your enjoyment. It is the theatrical trailer. The film is no longer in theaters.

 

Kimberly

*I received a free screener copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.