When I first met Charlie,
I just knew.
Hopped on a bus and I never looked back.
Charles Manson seems to be a hot topic this year. Not only there’s the Tarantino movie “Once upon a time … in Hollywood” in which the Manson Family plays a prominent role, but also this “Charlie Says” focuses on this cult leader from the 60s. It’s rather a docu-drama in which the person Manson himself isn’t really the central topic. Rather, it’s the female members of the Manson family who receive the most attention. A mixed bag of vulnerable, somewhat naive young girls who probably don’t realize that Manson’s sermons are pure nonsense due to the abundance of soft drugs and the eating of not so kosher mushrooms. Delusions presented by a confused mind. A despotic person and a bundle of contradictions.
Creepy young girls doing what Charlie says.
The actresses Hannah “Game of Thrones” Murray, Sosie Bacon and Marianne Rendon, who played the characters Leslie van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel and Susan Atkins respectively, acted generally convincingly. The way these young ladies accept their fate while sitting in adjacent cells waiting for their death penalty is not only frightening but also shows how brainwashed they are by the Machiavellian Manson. Their empathetic attitude towards the horrific facts shows how convinced they are that nothing criminal has been committed by them. In their eyes, it was a necessary thing to do. But mainly because “Charlie said it“. Hence the title of this film.
That’s not a real beard.
The biggest disappointment is Charles Manson himself, played by Matt Smith. The character lacked charisma. Apart from his sometimes eccentric reasonings and tantrums, I didn’t get the idea of dealing with a psychopathic, manic person here. Rather he’s a strange hippie with a fake beard who prefers to strum a guitar and who enjoys how the young girls gawk at him full of adoration. Furthermore, I am not a fan of flashbacks. And let that now be the basis of this film. So expect a huge amount of back and forth jumping in time. However, if you aren’t familiar with this Manson phenomenon and what this insane cult leader is guilty of, “Charlie Says” is an excellent starting point to discover it. Perhaps the film scores high in originality by showing the whole from the point of view of the female cult members. But still, I recommend watching the films “Helter Skelter” from 1976 and “The Manson family” from 2003.
My rating 5/10
In the Shadow of the Moon: You Get That Feeling That You’ve Seen It All Before
If you kill me now…
the world as you know it will end
in a very short time.
Yeah. Once again a movie about time traveling. Always interesting to see how they incorporated the paradox of time travel. And there’s always going to be someone who claims something isn’t right. Not that I really care about that because I still don’t know anyone who has actually traveled through time to provide proof whether changes in the past may or may not affect the future. Perhaps that would provide proof of whether the grandfather paradox is plausible or not. So, for me, it’s still pure Sci-Fi. And that results in enjoyable films such as “About Time“, “I’ll follow you down” or “Predestination“. And this Netflix Original certainly wasn’t that bad either.
Not a complicated movie.
This film differs enormously from one like “Predestination“. And this in terms of simplicity. It’s not all that complicated. Don’t expect such an immense “mindfuck” as in the latter. You don’t need an immense manual or walk-through here. And furthermore, it’s a pleasant mixture of detective-movie and Sci-Fi. The tracing of a serial killer (active in Philadelphia) by the ambitious police officer Locke (Boyd Holbrook) is the common thread throughout the film. The apparently randomly selected innocent victims, die a terrible death in which decomposing brains are the cause of the sudden death. Locke discovers that all the victims have scars in the neck area. Soon it’s said that an isotope is the cause of them ending up dead in a rapidly spreading blood pool. And when a fourth victim manages to give an accurate description of the person, a massive search is being conducted. Locke ends up face to face with a young, colored teenager (with a thorough knowledge of combat techniques) in a blue jogging suit (Cleopatra Coleman). The biggest shock for Locke is that she knows a lot of facts about Locke. Facts she couldn’t have known. And before you know it, it’s 9 years later …
Not a typical detective story.
The film is divided into time periods of 9 years. Starting in the year 1988. The year that the first murders happen. It’s actually the most action-rich part. And also the most realistic. The way in which a cook, concert pianist and female bus driver meet their end, has been portrayed enormously realistic. Don’t expect an ordinary cause of death. It’s pretty bloody. And in the case of the bus driver, quite spectacular. But when the phenomenon of the returning teenager reveals itself and you finally begin to understand what’s going on, realism slowly but surely fades away and gives way to pure fiction. And gradually you realize that this isn’t a typical detective film, with inspectors (like in “Se7en“) chasing a crazy serial killer. No way. It gradually transforms into a thoughtful sci-fi and then ends in a corny drama about family issues.
Excellent acting by Holbrook.
To be honest, I thought the acting performance of Boyd Holbrook as the wayward Locke wasn’t bad at all. Perseverance and drivenness were exceptionally well portrayed. Because of his obsession to solve the mystery, he loses control of reality. It destroys his family relationships and interferes with his work. Gradually Locke turns into an unkempt tramp, without work and living in his car. Therefore, let me praise the make-up department of this production. And although Holbrook’s acting was outstanding, you can’t say he out-sings the rest of the cast. They weren’t bad, but you can’t speak of spectacular interpretations either. Only the action-rich fight scenes with Cleopatra Coleman as an unleashed fury pleased me as well.
Well worth a watch.
No, “In the shadow of the Moon” certainly wasn’t a disastrous film. Although the story was essentially not too original. And you get that feeling that you’ve seen it all before. Probably because of that, the denouement wasn’t really surprising. Perhaps the opening scene was too revealing as well. The question of whether you can avoid disaster by drastically changing something in the past is and remains fascinating. I bet that the event they tried to undo, will be the subject of discussion once again. Just look at the politically charged opinions on other websites. Even the word “propaganda” is used all too often. The patronizing tone and the explanatory nature of the film was no obstacle for me to enjoy this film. Don’t expect a groundbreaking movie. But it surely was entertaining enough. So, it’s definitely well worth a watch, this Netflix Original.
You can watch “In the Shadow of the Moon” on Netflix now!
My rating 6.5/10
‘Joker’ Success Has Joaquin Phoenix Talking Sequel
“It ended up being a dream role”
Todd Phillips’ ‘Joker’ had tremendous success this weekend. Blowing the doors off the box-office with a record shattering October at $96mil, beating out ‘Venom’ to take the top spot. While ‘Joker’ is still playing strong in theaters, fans have already started speculating what direction the “Clown Prince of Crime,” will head next. Todd Phillips originally shot down the idea of a ‘Joker 2.’ While talking to IGN Phillips said, “We have no plans for a sequel. We always pitched it as one movie, and that’s it.” Now it sounds like Phoenix has different aspirations for the Joker. During an interview with “Popcorn with Peter Travers,” Phoenix talked about his love for the role, saying:
“You know, I wouldn’t have thought about this as my dream role. But now, honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it,” Phoenix said. “I talked to Todd a lot about what else we might be able to do, in general, just to work together, but also specifically, if there’s something else we can do with Joker that might be interesting. So, it ended up being a dream role. It’s nothing that I really wanted to do prior to working on this movie.”
Phoenix, who famously passed on the role of Doctor Strange in the MCU also had this to say about returning to the Joker:
“I don’t know that there is [more to do],” Phoenix said. “Me and Todd would still be shooting now if we could, right? Because it seemed endless, the possibilities of where we can go with the character.”
‘Joker’ will definitely have fans clamoring for more. The movie sets up plenty of potential options for a sequel. More importantly fans just want to see Phoenix return to the screen as Arthur Fleck aka Joker. Joker has raked in over $258mil worldwide on a reported $50mil budget.
‘Joker’ is in theaters now. Get your tickets here: JOKER TICKETS
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After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.
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