Her Stolen Past (2018 Lifetime Movie Network)

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Her Stolen Past

Stars: Shanice Banton, Darlene Cooke, Barbara Eve Harris

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

When Sonya Daniels finds the birth certificate of a kidnapped baby, hidden in her late mother’s home, she’s shocked. What was her parents’ connection to the missing little girl and could her mother’s murder somehow be connected? Sonya hires attractive detective Brandon Hayes to help her investigate. But someone will stop at nothing to prevent them from uncovering the truth. Determined to unravel the mystery, Sonya doesn’t realize how deadly the answers she’s looking for will be.

Thoughts

The movie begins with an elderly woman putting a mysterious envelope in a drawer and then later walking alone in a parking garage. She hears someone following her and start running to her car looking back. No, this isn’t an episode of Golden Girls, It’s LMN so the elderly lady is promptly shot and killed. (She does manage to get a sold left hook in though). At her funeral we discover that the elderly lady was Sonya Daniels mother. We also learn that Sonya has an Auntie who loves her, a white friend, and that she is being watched by a mouth breather.

Sonya is back in her mother’s home, reliving memories and sorting through her things. (Again with her white friend, while the mouth breather watched from a parked car outside the house.) Sonya is studying to be a doctor at John Hopkins and will be selling the home. The police don’t have any information on who killed her mom, but there have been a few break ins in the neighborhood.

Sonya finds a box with her name on it in her mom’s closet. Inside the box is a designer bag with a birth certificate for Heather Bradley. (Whose parents are Dawn & Olivia Bradley, one of the richest woman in town.) After a quick Illuminate (Fake Google) search, Sonya and her white friend (who we learn is a nurse!) discover that Heather Bradley was kidnapped from Church. The white friend (Seriously, why has no one said her name yet?) has a friend from tennis class who is a former police officer and is now a private detective. Sonya goes to meet Brandon Hayes (A handsome, casually dressed detective.) He tells her to go to the police because it is evidence in a missing persons care, but than quickly changes his mind and decides to help her??? (But he will need her birth certificate….)

After a break in, Brandon comes to check on Sonya and offers to take her to her white friend (Missy, she’s got a name now.) for the night. Missy tells Sonya that Brandon is single and recently divorced for some reason. Brandon comes over the next morning with news, there is no record of Sonya’s mother ever giving birth and he thinks that Sonya’s birth certificate is probably a fake. Sonya insists on going to see the Bradleys. She WILL get to the bottom of this, with or without Brandon. (Who she is paying to do this job, but she is very involved.)

At the Bradley’s house (Which is very big and has a statue.) Mr. Bradley recognizes his wife’s bag and introduces them to his son, Grayson. Grayson thinks Sonya is just another gold digger and is very rude to her. Then Olivia comes home from the gym and she looks a lot like, Sonya. (Just saying!) Olivia is very controlled by her husband, who also manages the business she inherited from her father. He force feeds her antidepressants and tells her she is acting crazy.

Sonya continues to do even more detective work. (Without Brandon, who is busy sitting at his desk?) She discovers via her Auntie that she is adopted and it was a closed adoption (So no records to check.) and she gets security footage from her Auntie’s new security camera to see who broke into the house. She also goes to the church and learns that her mother was in the church choir until the kidnapping happened. (But she still doesn’t think her mom is responsible.)

Brandon shows up again, after hours, and Sonya starts making out with him. Then cock blocker Auntie comes over and interrupts to tell them that Sonya’s mom was getting upsetting phone calls. Then she leaves!?? You came over just for that, Auntie?

While sleuthing some more, Brandon and Sonya find a dead body! (Rebecca Gold, the babysitter who lost Heather at the church.) Brandon vows to work with the police now that things are getting real. The police station a office outside of Sonya’s house to make sure she is safe. (That always works!) Brandon also stays over with Sonya and they eat Chinese and have a heart to heart. The next morning the police are back and they have the DNA results. Sonya is Heather Bradley. (We all knew that from the beginning though, right?)

On their way to tell Mr. Bradley, Sonya and Brandon are shot at in the parking lot. Brandon gets shot, but it isn’t a big deal. They tell Mr. Bradley who isn’t wanting to tell his wife, because she is too fragile. (Or he is behind keeping it all covered up….)

Then ANOTHER body shows up, it is the personal trainer of Grayson Bradley… Lifetime is working hard to misdirect. Brandon then learns that Olive has a history of violence and mental instability. Could she be the murder? I hope not because she is at Sonya’s house!!!

Turns out it wasn’t Ms. Bradley it was MR. BRADLEY! But why? He arranged to have Sonya/Heather stolen because she is not his daughter. Olivia had an affair, so he had the man killed and paid the babysitter to get rid of Sonya/Heather. It is a lot of backstory to get out in the last 5 mins. I honestly don’t think I fully understand the motives of Mr. Bradley. He tried to kill them but then Olivia shoots her husband to save Sonya/Heather.

With the horror behind her, Sonya/Heather moves into her mother’s house and transfers to a local doctor school to be close to her new family, and Brandon.

Side Note

Based on Lynette Eason‘s Harlequin Love Inspired – Suspense novel Her Stolen Past.

Every transition shot in this movie is an aerial shot of a random small town. EVERY SCENE TRANSITION!

Overall rating

🔪 🔪 (2 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime, LLC

Drink, Slay, Love (2017 Lifetime)

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Drink Slay Love  

Starring: Cierra Ramirez, Zack Peladeau, & Greg Sulkin

Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Pearl is a typical sixteen-year-old vampire. Fond of blood, allergic to the sun, and generally pretty evil. But after a mysterious attack leaves her able to survive in the daylight, everything changes. Pearl’s powerful family soon finds a way to take advantage of her new ability: they send Pearl to high school, to gather fresh young blood for an upcoming feast in honor of the Vampire King. The only problem? Pearl’s starting to grow a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends—especially the cute guy who makes her fangs ache—to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets her family down. What’s a sun-loving vamp to do?

Thoughts

Drink, Slay, Love was originally a YA book published in 2011 by Sarah Beth Durst. Twilight Breaking Dawn- Part 2 came out in 2013. It is currently 2017…

We open up on Pearl and Jadrien (her boyfriend? Brother?) enjoying a night out on the town. They are just driving around, as teens do, and are looking for a late-night snack. Pearl ends up at an ice cream shoppe and you’d think she’d just get an ice cream. Instead she opts for Brad, the ice cream shoppe worker. Okay, so we are doing a vampire thing in 2017. Cool, cool. After Pearl is done drinking Brad, she follows a bird to an alley and gets staked through the heart. The end!

Just kidding. THEN we are treated to so much exposition and terrible vampire accents that I couldn’t keep up! Something about a vampire family, a king and queen, and a ceremony that only comes around every 100 years called, “full tea?” (Honestly. I could not understand the actress who delivered the line. I even rewound and added subtitles!!!)

Pearl is then back at it with her fave ice cream flavor, “You know my name? It’s on your name tag. Brad.” Something is off this time and she is kidnapped by some nerds with crossbows. She isn’t easily contained and pretty much strolls out on her captors, unlike any Lifetime movie previously. While casually strolling away, Pearl realizes that she is not being burned by sunlight. She is so distracted she bumps into a handsome stranger who offers her a ride, she refuses the offer and just steals his car and heads out to enjoy her new-found freedom.

After discovering the daylight isn’t that great (it is just coffee, cell phones, and yoga), Pearl heads back home for more exposition! The marble-mouthed mother vampire decides Pearl will go to high school to get invited into people homes so the family can drink their blood… I think. Antoinette (Pearl’s sister?) is a high-school movie aficionado and breaks down the social cliques: a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case…a princess…and a criminal. (You know, like that 80’s movie The Breakfast Club.)

Now in high school, Pearl is given a student guide, Bethany. They immediately bump into that handsome stranger and we discover his name is Evan. The expected high school things happen: art class, lunch, the weird bird comes back and guides Pearl to a dock, where she passes out. Typical high school! It turns out to be Evan’s dock and his intense/mysterious family is coming home.

More vampire exposition happens!

Pearl decides to join the prom committee to get all the students in one location for her vampire family to eat them, a blood bath as it were. Then she feels bad about it, Y’all! Pearl has to confess her true identity to Bethany, who is now (it is conveniently revealed) like a sister to Evan. They accept Pearl for who she is and forgive her for trying to kill the whole school. Turns out Evan is a healer and he was the bird all along. The three come together to stop the vampires from ruining prom.

So much dumb vampire exposition. Including a vampire king in a ruffle shirt and voice effect. The BIG plan they thought up to get the student out of the prom? Yell, “Harry Stiles is going to be at the after-party!”

Then after the after-party Pearl fights her sister and brother-boyfriend. But love conquers all and Evan and Pearl prevail. He even lets her feed on him, but they really just kiss and talk about college…. So sequel?

Side Note

Bella Thorne received a co-producer of this movie and was heavily featured in the promo for this movie. In the words of one of my favorite podcasts, Who Weekly, “Hood form, Bella Thorne (But you know, not really.)

Lifetime was a strange choice for this made for TV movie. If this had been on Freeform (RIP ABC Family) it would have been more on brand.

Cierra Ramirez was pretty dang cute. She managed her role and terrible dialogue well, all things considered.

This movie could have been better, or gooder…..

Overall rating
 🔪 (1 Knife)🍷🍷🍷🍷(4 glasses of wine required)

*images via: IMDB

Trapped Sisters or 12 Feet Deep (2017 Lifetime)

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Trapped Sisters or 12 Feet Deep  
Starring: Alexandra Park, Nora-Jane Noone, Diane Farr, & Tobin Bell (from the Saw movies!)

Synopsis (via Lifetime)
Inspired by true events (Aren’t they all?), sisters Bree and Jonna get trapped beneath the fiberglass cover of an Olympic-sized public pool after it closes for the holiday weekend. They find themselves at the mercy of the night janitor, Clara, who sees the trapped sisters as an opportunity to solve a few problems of her own.

Thoughts
Bree and Jonna are sisters! Bree has got her shit together; she has a fiancé, a J.O.B., and a nasty scar on her (well-toned!) arm. (The scar is so repulsive that is scares the kids at the pool.) Jonna is the “bad girl” with tattoos and heroine needles in the glove compartment of her car. They are basically Jessica and Ashlee Simpson.

Apparently, these sisters have agreed to meet at the pool at closing time for some QT. When the manager tells the sisters that the pool will be closing because of “the holiday,” Jonna (Ashlee Simpson Sister) gets sassy with him and rolls her eyes. To which the manager responds, “Some people need to learn to read.”

Jonna’s response? “Some people need to kiss my ass

While getting out of the pool, Bree (Jessica Simpson Sister) realizes that her engagement ring isn’t in her bag! The sisters dive in to retrieve the ring, and while they’re doing so, the manager closes the pool cover on them. (I used to work at a pool and let me tell you, I’ve never seen a pool close down that fast. He literally closed the cover, shut off the lights, and walked out.) They come up from the bottom of the pool to discover they are covered with a thick fiberglass sheet. They scream and bang on the cover, like you do! Bree is determined to get out. She checks the lane lines to see if she can remove the metal hooks and even attempts to lift the drain grate off the pool floor to use to smash through the cover. All the while Jonna is just telling Bree she is stupid and judging everything without helping. At this point I retitled the movie Bitch Sisters in my head.

Now trapped, the sisters have nothing to do but reveal their deepest darkest secrets. Turns out before they were Trapped Sisters, they were estranged sisters and haven’t seen each other in three years! Bree admits that she is diabetic and “needs her shot,” oh, and that she might have seen their father burn to death from a cigarette falling into the sofa. (This explains the arm scar, she tired to pull him out of the fire? IDK.) Jonna is VERY shocked and upset.

“How could you not tell me you had diabetes!!!” Jonna wails.

Not be outdone, in classic little sister form, Jonna admits that she has tried to kill herself and that their father abused her. Then she decides she just can’t take it anymore and attempts to kill herself with a broken off piece of fiberglass. Thankfully the cleaning lady arrives and they are SAVED!

Unfortunately for the sisters, this is a CRAZY cleaning lady who has been wronged one to many times. As she rifles through their belongings and demands the password to Bree’s phone and then eventually her ATM pin number. Bree keeps giving the cleaning lady the info she is requesting.

“I’ll tell you, but only if you promise to let us out!” Bree shouts while shivering.

Of course, the cleaning lady doesn’t let them out and leaves. Then she returns because there was only $80 in Bree’s account. (Maybe she isn’t so perfect… maybe she is poor!) The sisters trade the engagement ring for their release, and they stab the cleaning lady in the ear with the fiberglass shiv. When all that doesn’t work to get them out, the sisters simply reason with the cleaning lady, telling her she isn’t a bad person and they understand her life is unfair… it works and the cleaning lady agrees to take off the cover. But she doesn’t know the new code and abandon them again.

Bree is in bad shape from her diabetes, leaving Jonna to save them. Jonna does the EXACT SAME THING Bree was doing at the beginning of the movie. She successfully pulls off the grate and breaks the fiberglass. We don’t actually see the sisters get out of the pool. We jump to Jonna giving Bree “her shot” in the butt,when the cleaning lady returns with a gun! This is when I started chugging wine, so I don’t really remember how it ends. I guess they talked the cleaning lady down by telling her to leave and promising they won’t tell on her.

The end!

 

Side Note
Having seen 47 Meters Down (The sleeper summer hit featuring my fav, Mandy Moore.) It is tough to take this lifetime version seriously. 47 meters is way deeper than 12 feet (Only 3.6 meters…) and an ocean has sharks, which are way scarier than a cleaning lady.

From what I could find, this movie is actually inspired by true events. The director claims no one incident but and amalgamation of multiple incidents. He is also afraid of pools, so… yeah.

Since being trapped under a fiber glass cover would be a boring movie, a lot of obstacles were thrown at the sisters. I now present…Perils of the Pool!

  • 12 feet deep! Eeeek!
  • Your hair can get caught in the drain. (Which is why swimmers wear swim caps, I guess!)
  • The pool heater could be turned off.
  • Over chlorinated water…
  • And of course…. killer cleaning lady.

Overall rating
x1f52a.png.pagespeed.ic.HMLmHeH3BN.png x1f52a.png.pagespeed.ic.HMLmHeH3BN.png (2 Knives)
🍷🍷🍷(3 glasses of wine required)

 

*images via: IMDB