The #WizardOfLies, #SeducedByAStranger, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

Wizard of Lies – Review

The Wizard of Lies – HBO – 2 hours and 15 minutes

Wizard of Lies

After reporting on the story since the day it hit the news, Diana Henriques got the first in-jail interview with Bernie Madoff.  As they sat, he started his story with the day his sons came into his office and question the bonus check’s release dates.  Normally, it is given in February but Bernie was writing the checks in December.  Bernie stated, “He wanted to make sure everyone was ok.  He wanted to take care of everybody”.  He and his sons, Mark and Andrew, went home and sat down with their mother.  It was then that Bernie told everyone the truth.  The money was gone, the business was a Ponzi scheme, and he lost $50 billion.  Bernie wants to take some time and get things in order before turning himself in.  But after Mark and Andrew speak to a lawyer, they learn that stolen money being distributed is a crime and knowing their father was doing that was a crime.  So, they turned their father in and cut off communication with their mother.  As news of Bernie’s crimes and his victims hit the mainstream news, the family is falling apart and the world is turning against them.  The Madoff family will have to make a personal decision without their lifeguard Bernie to save them.  Once everything is said and done, Bernie only has one question, “Am I a sociopath”.  Well, is he?

Based on the book, The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust by Diana  B. Henriques, this movie sets itself apart from the others by focusing on the downfall of the family (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  While another movie focused on the “how he did it”, this one focus on the family’s aftermath.  Ruth starts to question her self-worth because she didn’t know how to do things without assistance, she had no real friends, and she didn’t have a job. Mark became obsessed with the coverage and Andrew tried to get back to normalcy.  Another heart-wrenching angle was the story of Madoff’s victims.  They recounted the moment that learned their money was gone.  Some in a fax, while others got phone calls in nursing homes.  The score for this film deserves an award (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  The frantic music playing, as Bernie attempts to get more money from investors when his biggest clients cash out, brings you a true sense of panic.  The downfall of The Wizard of Lies is you only watch this movie from the performances. You know the story.  You don’t learn anything new about the Madoffs in any way.  This is good for killing a few hours on great performances.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

That is his talent and his curse – Diana

I want my life back – Mark

My father’s dead to me – Andrew

Behind you is not the place to be – Frankie

We’re not rich people. We’re humble people – Bernie

Well we’re still here – Ruth

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Seduced by a Stranger – Review

Seduced by a Stranger – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Seduced By A Strange

Dana Hale is tired of constantly moving and begs her father Martin to change his life so she can be a normal kid.  She wants to go to school, participate in a community, and meet a nice guy.  Everything is going smoothly at her new school when Dana meets Charlie.  Charlie is a nice, athletic young man with a sense of humor.  When Charlie asks Dana and her father to home to his home to meet him and his mother Dana, she agrees.  Once the parents meet, Martin and Dana reveal they have met and had coffee.  At first, Dana and Charlie are confused but Charlie accepts that his mom likes Martin.  On the other hand, Dana is worried.  In the past, Martin was a con-artist that wooed ladies and stole all their money.  Dana believes Martin will fall into old habits, ruining her normal life and her relationship with Charlie.  Martin promises he has turned over a new leaf.  While on their second date, Dana and Charlie are having a good time until someone runs over Dana’s bike on purpose.  She warns her dad that someone may be onto him.  Martin knows that he left everything in the past but when Dana describes the car, it’s the same one that tried to kill him.  Martin better watch out, because his past is coming for him; it has a gun and a broken heart.

Congrats, Lifetime made a movie without any bratty teens.  Dana and Charlie are mature, funny, and the anchors of their family.  Also, this movie will have you nervous for the stalker.  As she walks around Martin’s home and almost gets caught several times, you will be on pins and needles.  And the cinematography of Sloane’s anger is magnificent.  When she sees her symbol of love being given to another woman, flames ignite from the fireplace behind her and the slowly zoom on her face as it changes.  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorn.  Sloane is the right mixture of crazy and sweet.  You can see something is off but she is just so nice.  While the climax is a little drab, the overall movie is great.  So sit back and watch

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

I tend to give compliments instead of insults. First impressions and all – Martin

Yeah, proves I didn’t steal it – Charlie

So the ice is officially broken – Dana

Straight to hell I would imagine – Andre

Ripping someone’s life apart bit by bit is a delicate process – Sloane

No regrets. Just concerns – Julie

So you’re the girl who stole Charlie’s heart – Liz

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Mommy Dead and Dearest – Review

Mommy Dead and Dearest – HBO – 1 hour and 30 minutes

Mommy Dead and Dearest

On June 15, 2015, Gypsy Rose Blanchard walks into the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office in Waukesha, WI and surprises officers by doing two things. First, she walked. Everyone in town believed she was suffering from muscular dystrophy and was wheelchair bound. Second, Gypsy conspired with Nicholas Godejohn to kill her mother Dee Dee. Dee Dee for years had been by her daughter’s side as Gypsy battled cancer, muscular dystrophy, asthma, mental retardation, and a host of other ailments. Police and everyone who knew the two didn’t understand why Gypsy would want Dee Dee killed, but once they knew Gypsy could walk, they started to investigate. They learn that Dee Dee’s deception fooled family, friends, strangers, and even Gypsy. Once the investigation is done, no one pities Dee Dee but can they trust Gypsy?

This is a sad case of long-term torture and abuse that leads to love and a murder. You will not only be astounded by the complicit doctors and nurses, but you will also be amazed by the generations of liars in this family. For years, Dee Dee scammed people for homes, trips, and money by faking her daughter’s illnesses. But the sickest part, she made Gypsy believe she was sick too. Now Gypsy knew she could walk but she believed she had cancer, along with all the other ailments, and Gypsy didn’t know her real age. But as Dee Dee doctor shopped, only one doctor saw through her lies.  But he knew he wouldn’t be believed. It is heartbreaking how many people failed Gypsy.  But after being raised by a compulsive liar, do you believe Gypsy can end her family’s legacy with murder?

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

Honestly, she asked me too – Nick

How do you kill your own mother – Rob

I just went on blind faith that a mother knows best – Gypsy

I had a big doubt about the whole thing from the beginning – Dr. Flasterstien

Her momma was an insane compulsive liar – Kristy

An evil person I would say – Bobby

If it didn’t go her way, she would see to it that you would pay. And did we pay a lot – Laura

Flush that in the toilet – Claude

She wants to get out. Not gonna happen. Let her dog take care of her – Dee Dee

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The Good Nanny – Review

The Good Nanny – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

The Good Nanny

Clint and Summer are celebrating their engagement when the carpet is pulled from under them. Summer suffers a miscarriage but never knew she was pregnant. While at their engagement party, Clint introduces Summer to his boss Travis and his wife Lily. Before the night is over, Lily ask Summer to be her interior designer and Monica (Summer’s best friend) to be her daughter Sofia’s pediatrician. Both agree to help for the sake of Clint’s job. When Summer comes over to do measurements, Lily is called away.  So Lily asks Summer to watch Sophia.  Summer, confused and surprised, says ok. Summer overhears the Sophia talking to someone named Sasha. After looking through the room, Summer surmises that Sasha is an imaginary friend. Once Lily comes home, she asks Summer to be Sophia’s nanny.  Summer says yes because she will be getting an interior designer’s paycheck to be a nanny. Summer is quickly bonding with the girl. But when Summer learns that Sophia sleeps with a knife, has burns over her arms, and says her parents don’t lover her, Summer will do anything to protect Sophia from Lily and Travis.

This movie is not what you expected. And that is awesome. Just when you think you know what’s going on, you are thrown a curve ball. This young actress takes creepy to a new, yet fun, level. It hard to know who is telling the truth, because everyone is lying about something. You want Summer to save the child, but does she really need to be saved? Or is she the dangerous one? This movie is a fun mystery with lots of twist and turns. So sit back and watch this movie with your full attention. DVR it so you can skip the commercials. It’s worth it!

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

What? Is this thing going to get more attention than me now? – Clint

I’m ok with a little untraditional here and there. But I draw the line at maternity gowns – Summer

Thanks, it was not easy coming back. Let me tell you – Lily

Sasha’s shy. She doesn’t trust you – Sophia

You interested in a nightcap – Travis

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