#HenriettaLacks, #LostSoulsCafe, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – Review

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – HBO – 1 hour and 35 minutes

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Click on a vendor to purchase: Amazon, Best Buy, iTunes, Target, Vudu, and Walmart (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer)

“Your cells are going to help a lot of people and you will be immortal” is the quote a given to the media by a doctor who performed a biopsy on Henrietta Lacks after she died. The harvested her cells and realized they could grow outside the human body. These cells have been used for research in polio, HPV, AIDS, in vitro fertilization, and more. Even today HeLa (after Henrietta Lacks) cells are being used for medical experiments. But nothing was known about Henrietta’s contributions to the world, outside the medical community, before Rebecca Skloot decided to write about her. This movie is about the making of the book. After seeing her doctors treat her father unethically, Rebecca learns about Henrietta and becomes fascinated by the women who helped the world. Rebecca has to overcome doctor’s, publishers, and a patriarchal family system before she could put words on paper. She finally got a chance to meet with Henrietta’s children and hear their stories about their mistrust of John Hopkins, further experimentation of the family, and how they came to know of their mother’s importance. But she and Henrietta’s youngest daughter Debra want to know more about her mother. Rebecca is willing to oblige and take Debra, but she doesn’t understand that Debra’s mistrust of people and the abuse she has suffered will make working with her difficult. As Rebecca and Debra learn about Henrietta, HeLa, and the family’s history, Debra starts to breakdown. What will it take to make Henrietta as famous as her cells? And what toll will it take on Debra?

Based on the biography, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, is a well acted, written, and directed piece of film (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer). It’s hard to believe this movie went straight to HBO. It is remarkably shot to show the countryside of Clover and its contrast, the city of Baltimore. The actor’s passion is seen in each shot to get the family’s essence and perspective just right. Watching this movie and how the family was treated will make you angry and feel hurt, but use this as a teaching tool to understand why some don’t trust doctors or hospitals. And just when you believe the family has been taken advantage off enough, you learn about their past. And it’s not pretty or healthy. But as proof that the strength of the HeLa cells runs through this family. Don’t miss this film.  Warning, you may need tissues for the last 15 minutes of this film.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

You better get yourself ready girl, because you got no idea what you got yourself into – Debra

Come on in– Lawrence

Ms. Rebecca, you better run while you can – Sunny

She didn’t donate nothing. They took them and didn’t ask – Barbara

Mess with Henrietta and she’ll sic HeLa on your ass – Debra

If he needed a ride to the hospital, he could take a cab – Zakariyya

Gal, you ain’t only one ain’t scared of fire – Mr. Cofield

Sometimes learning is as painful as not knowing – Paul Lurz

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The Other Mother – Review

The Other Mother – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Other Mother

Jackie is thrown for a loop when her daughter Taylor comes home from Paris with her new stepmom Tiffany. Jackie’s ex-husband Mitch, tells her Jackie that the marriage was spur of the moment. Jackie seems ok until Tiffany starts undermining her parenting of Brooke. Tiffany is telling Brooke to quit classes, flirt, and drive without a license. Jackie’s relationship with her daughter has eroded so much that she wants to live with her father. While Jackie’s life is falling apart, Tiffany and Brooke are getting closer. But when Brook’s best friend Taylor dies, 2 words written on her hand will expose Tiffany.

This movie may not require your full attention, but it’s a decent movie with a twist ending. And Lifetimers hang in there, she will be killing in no time. And once the bodies start dropping, this movie picks up the pace. While it is a fun, this movie has been done before. While its premise is good, it’s been done before with a close family friend, relative, or coworker. Even the history of Tiffany is not new. It’s just a common story. This is a movie to DVR and view when you have time.

I give it 3 out of 5 stars

It’s not every day you get to shopping in Paris with your dad’s credit card – Tiffany

My love life really isn’t your business anymore – Mitch

You know Tiffany says fashion’s art – Brooke

Wow, fancy – Jackie

Baking your woes away – Taylor

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The Lost Souls Cafe – Review

The Lost Souls Cafe – TVOne – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Lost Souls Cafe

At the height of soul music, Geneva had 2 hit songs. However, she had enough foresight to see that her singing days wouldn’t last forever. So she saved every bit of money she could and bought a bar. She named it Lost’s Souls Cafe. She employees her nephew Taylor (accountant), Ray (bartender), Stevie (waitress), and Briana (new waitress). Even though Geneva is on vacation, things are running smoothly with Taylor in charge. Until one night when Ray and Stevie are calmly confronted by a stranger. The stranger is looking for Taylor and will do anything to get him. The stranger never gives his name, just his brand of cigar. Taylor, on the outside, looks well put together, but in reality, he is falling apart. He is pocketing money from the Lost’s Souls Cafe for his addiction. Soon Geneva is getting a bill from the IRS. She has 30 days to pay her $100,000 tax bill or she will lose her club. Geneva is so disappointed Taylor, she cuts him out of the family business and takes away his responsibilities. But just when Geneva thinks this is the worse that can happen, an abuse victim, a drug addict, and a phone call will put Geneva on an emotional roller coaster. Only time will tell if Geneva will keep her club and who got murdered.

This is a play-to-film movie with a lot of subject matter. Domestic Violence, Drug Addiction, Gambling Addiction, Cancer, Co-parenting, Theft, and Forgiveness. With 3 original songs, 2 performed by Loretta Devine, it’s easy to forget you are watching a play without a laugh track. It does seem as if some things were cut out of the play to fit the movie into a 2-hour time slot. This movie is a great starting point to see the play in its entirety on stage. While the storyline is steady and the acting is great, the ending is anti-climatic and flat. DVR and watch when you have time with friends.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Of course, I’ll come in tomorrow – Stevie

I don’t repeat myself – Bryson

I already died – Briana

Not as much as I hate you coming here – Taylor

Remember I know all about the little problem you have – Pam

Drop a dime of my money in your pocket and I’m taking 50 cents out of your ass – Geneva

You said don’t come in here when you open, but you closed – Delphine

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Running Away – Review

Running Away – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Running Away

Peggy believes Richard is the perfect fit for her family. After losing the father of her 2 girls, Maggie and Lizzie, she hasn’t dated in 10 years. She is going through financial hardships and Richard is more than willing to give a helping hand. When Richard proposes, Peggy is ecstatic, her girls, however … not so much. They want to think their mom can do better. Later, all 3 move into Richard’s home and change schools. Lizzie is happy that he has a pool. Maggie still hasn’t warmed up to him. As Peggy and Lizzie settle, Maggie starts to rebel by drinking and partying. Richard keeps her secret but for a price. This price only amps up her rebellion. She starts cutting, fighting, and stealing. Seeing the changes in her, her new Chip offers to help her in any way he can. She asks for one thing: help to run away.

This is a sad tale of a little girl lost. It accurately portraits the grooming process and possessiveness of men like Richard. Also, it gives viewers insight into victimology of girls like Maggie. This movie is hard to watch but necessary. While Peggy is finding happiness by providing a better life for her children. Maggie is trying to let her mother be happy while sacrificing herself. While Richard is a tough character to handle, his opposite Chip is a breath of fresh air. He is the good guy Maggie needs. It’s great that the writers made her friend a male instead of a female. This gives Maggie one good male in her life. The writing and acting were superb in this movie. It should have been 30 minutes longer to flush out biological father’s character along with the missing girl. Sit back and enjoy this one. Maybe even with your teen to start a conversation.

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Whoa, now that’s not supposed to happen – Richard

Yeah that will sink faster than the Titanic – Peggy

No, she’s not. She’s trying to be happy – Lizzie

Do you mind if I just skip the movie night – Maggie

Maggie that will only bring more problems – Chip

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Woman on the Run – Review

Woman on the Run – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Woman on the Run

After moving to Seattle, Nomi has stayed a hermit while writing her book. Her only contact is her husband (Mark), her children (Jane and Aiden), her mentor (Teddy), and her nanny (Greta). However, when she finally put “The End” on her book, she is ready to be a full-time mother. She goes to a hotel with the family for her husband’s conference when she realizes there is not milk or food for the baby. After getting the items, she heads back to the hotel but is attacked. She wakes up the next morning inside a car filling up with carbon dioxide. She gets out of the car and sees two disturbing things. A tube connecting the tailpipe to the window and a rental agreement with Greta’s name on it. She heads back to the hotel only to find that everyone is calling her Greta. She confronts her husband but Mark says she is the nanny Greta, whom they fired because she attacked his wife. Now Greta has taken her place in her family and in her life. But she doesn’t know why they are doing it. Nomi is determined to get her children and her identity. It will take a bell hop, Jane, and a stun gun to get the job done.

This is a slow build to a fun ride. Although it is slow, you must pay attention to all the small details. It’s hard to imagine someone taking over your life and getting help doing it. But it can happen. There is one scene (and it won’t be mentioned here, watch the movie) that will have your heart in our throat. You will fear and feel for Nomi. Her only concern is the lives of her children. She only contemplates the failed state of her marriage for a few moments, then it’s back to Mother Lion. This is definitely one to watch.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Who wouldn’t like her? she’s so, so, blonde – Nomi

Yes, hell has officially frozen over – Mark

The longest 24 hours of my life – Greta

It’s ok Aiden. Our real mommy is going to come back for us – Jane

It’s a strange world – Teddy

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Like Cats and Dogs – Review

Like Cats and Dogs – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Like Cats and Dogs

Lara decided to get away from work and rent a house to spend time with her best friend Rose. And she is traveling with her dog, Frank. Spencer wants to get away from distractions so he can write his dissertation for his Ph.D. Spencer is traveling with his cat, Mozart. Also, he gets calls from his girlfriend Susan every day asking about his dissertation’s progress. Once Spencer and Lara arrive at their rented homes, there is only one problem. The other one is there. Both Spenser and Laura thought they would have the house to themselves but the proprietor Ellen made a mistake and double booked the house. Spencer calls around to other hotels but none accept pets. They decide to stick it out and live together. But with Laura’s easy going, fly by the pants nature, she soon clashes with the overscheduled and particular Spencer. To make the living situation easier, Spencer creates a treaty that sets rules for volume, pets, towels, and bathroom time. Laura has had enough and leaves but after talking to friends she decides to drive him out. While away the two miss each other and become attracted. But they both have problems. Lara is afraid of commitment and Spencer has a girlfriend. Can these two make it work?

This movie follows the Hallmark plan.

  1. Two people don’t like each other
  2. Two people have to co-exist and don’t like it
  3. They slowly become attracted
  4. They have a reason they can’t be together
  5. They fall in love with a declaration

It’s the same movie with a different title and inanimate object. They need to do more to spice things up. Since you know how this movie will end, you pay little to no attention to the characters. This is a shame because they are very likable. The actors appeared to really embody their characters in walking, talking, and mannerism. However, this is overshadowed by a script done one too many times. Hallmark needs to bring more to the table than the same story. This movie is background noise. DVR it and watch when you need a distraction. The actors saved this movie.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

Can’t you just download it – Lara

Good idea. Wait! What? – Spencer

Ok. So, what do you want to do with your life? – Rose

It’s not going to paint itself – Ellen

So, did you finally get rid of that cat guy – Tyler

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1 reply »

  1. Wow.. 4/5 for the Woman on the Run? I don’t think I’ve seen anything as illogical as that movie in perhaps 10 years or so. It is THE WORST storyline ever. I can be high while watching it and will still get annoyed.


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