2015 Written by Riley Weston
Directed by Rick Bota
Over the decades, Lifetime has had hundreds of original movies with hundreds of characters who are stupid, crazy, vengeful, or just plain awful people. Yet Damaged features a main character who might be the dumbest person to ever exist in a Lifetime movie. Chris Klein’s Sam Luck makes decision after decision that make you question his judgement skills, endangering his marriage and his job, and everything ends in tragedy because he’s just a complete idiot. It’s a weird film where, while not sympathizing with the villain in the slightest, I feel the hero deserves almost everything coming to him. The only point of regret is his poor wife, who actually doesn’t deserve anything that happens to her (including being married to such a moron!)
I’ve praised Chris Klein’s acting in the past, he was the best part of Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, rightfully knowing the film deserved only a ridiculously corny performance. He gives a similar type of performance here, making his character be oblivious and completely without a gauge to know appropriate behavior in public and in private. Sam Luck just sort of wanders willfully into bad situations, and then does his darnedest to pick the worst possible option that sets him up to fail both short term and long term. So let’s praise Chris Klein again, one of the few actors who could pull this character off successfully!
Sam Luck is an English teacher at a high school and is married to Kate Luck (Tasya Teles, Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever ), who spends most of her time working. They get new neighbors, who turn out to be a teenage girl and her absentee father (he’s never seen). Sam has no problems with wandering into their house during moving in day and striking up a flirty conversation with the young girl, which is really not the sort of behavior you want in a high school English teacher, or most adult men in general. Even weirder, Kate then also wanders into the house and discovers him talking to the young girl, apparently sees nothing wrong with her or her husband entering into other people’s property without their permission, nor her husband’s behavior with a younger, attractive woman. Sam is the kind of moron who thinks Taran Hathaway (Merrit Patterson) is a college student, until she does a Pretty Little Liars and walks into his classroom later that day. Continue reading →
[adrotate banner=”7″]It’s fitting that Damaged stars someone who is part of the Ravenwood spinoff of Pretty Little Liars, because the plot is straight out of the PLL playbook! Chris Klein (Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li) is the handsome teacher (!!) Sam Luck, who may or may not be banging young Taran Hathaway (Merritt Patterson – Ravenswood), and his poor wife Kate (the amazing Tasya Teles – The Grumpy Cat X-mas Movie) must uncover just how crazy Taran is as Sam’s life spirals out of control. Also there is crazy revenge going on, but for what? I guess we’ll have to watch the film to find out!
Gorgeous, wealthy, young Taran Hathaway moves into a house in a suburban neighborhood across the street from high school teacher Sam Luck and his workaholic wife Kate. When Sam offers to help Taran with her moving boxes, he is intrigued by the mysterious young woman across the street — until Taran shows up in his English class the next day. Even though he is her teacher, Sam can’t resist being a helpful neighbor and develops a friendship with Taran that becomes increasingly inappropriate as she gives him generous gifts. When Sam’s life begins to fall apart around him — he is the victim of car theft, accused of stealing, and fired for allegedly sexually harassing a student — his wife becomes suspicious of Sam and Taran’s relationship and begins asking questions… realizing that Taran moved to town with plans for the ultimate revenge.
Once again, Lifetime outdoes itself by barely providing any promotional material! Luckily there was a poster for the film on some press releases.
Damaged is directed by Rick Bota (Happy Face Killer), with a script by Riley Weston (The Nanny Express) and Kevin Leeson (Mongolian Death Worm, Riddles of the Sphinx). Damaged premieres Saturday, January 3 on Lifetime!
2014 Written by Tim Hill and Jeff Morris
Directed by Tim Hill
What to do about Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever? That is the mystery, because the noxious exploitation of a deformed cat has already got everyone beat by predicting their own movie would be awful and makes that joke over and over again. And in a way, the movie is awful. But in a way, part of it isn’t. Part of it tries so hard and comes so far, but in the end, it really doesn’t matter. It’s crawling in its own skin, and other lyrics. This isn’t going to be an angry screed against the film, because it doesn’t deserve that, and angry rants against this movie will seem forced and uninteresting. It’s more of a statement on the film and US culture today.
Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever takes place in a mall, once the bastion of American consumerism. Malls are dying all over America, as shopping moves online, teenagers switch up where they hang out, and overpriced chain stores fail to compete with discount chains as far as the shrinking wallet of American consumers is concerned. The economic recovery that produced jobs that pay insultingly low raises, people trapped due to lack of opportunity, young people graduating to a world where they can’t find a job related to their degrees. Into this world we dump a movie about a talking deformed cat.
The mall setting mirrors with the commercial exploitation of the Grumpy Cat into a marketing line. Grumpy Cat is no longer a cat, but a product. The movie even includes scenes that hawk the Grumpy Cat website and Grumpy Cat swag. Grumpy Cat is a success story for the owner, who went from being a waitress to a millionaire, built on the back of a cat and not any actual talent. It’s all about selling out, making all the money you can possibly rake in. The film is even set up in a mall pet store, not an animal shelter. A pet store filled with animals begging for homes, but the only one with a future is a papered pedigree dog worth a million dollars. The animals are commodities, their personalities disabled by a dismissive quip or two from Grumpy Cat. Continue reading →