Charlie Says: He’s A Strange Hippie With A Fake Beard
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
Ruth Negga Set to Co-Star with Jake Gyllenhaal in AppleTV+ Series, ‘Presumed Innocent’
After the holiday season, we finally have some news to report in the world of film and television! According to an exclusive from Deadline, Oscar-nominated actress Ruth Negga (Loving, Passing) is set to co-star in the AppleTV+ series, Presumed Innocent along with Jake Gyllenhaal.
Negga will join the ranks of many other stars recently attaching themselves to Apple streaming series including Brie Larson, Meryl Streep, Edward Norton and Harrison Ford. Interestingly enough, Presumed Innocent is a television adaptation of the 1990 film starring the latter Ford, whose part will be played by Gyllenhaal in the series for the streamer. The series follows a horrifying murder that takes place in Chicago when the Chicago’s Prosecutor’s Office gets turned upside down when one of its own becomes the prime suspect. Negga will play Barbara Sabich, an artist, gallerist, mother and wife who is married to Gyllenhaal’s character. The role of Barbara was played by Bonnie Bedelia in the original movie.
The series, which has been a hot package since Gyllenhaal has been in discussions to star, is also set to have creative forces such as David E. Kelley and J.J. Abrams behind it. Kelley will act as showrunner, writer and executive producer for the show while Abrams will also act as an executive producer. Anne Sewitsky (A Very British Scandal, Black Mirror) will direct the first two episodes.
Negga most recently earned a Tony nomination for her role in Macbeth on Broadway alongside Daniel Craig. She also has an Oscar-nomination for her starring role in Loving. Negga last starred in Rebecca Hall’s directorial debut, Passing, in 2021 and will also star in Dan Levy’s directorial debut, Good Grief which is currently filming.
Matt Damon and Casey Affleck to Reunite for Heist Film, ‘The Instigators’ at Apple
After previously collaborating in the Ocean’s trilogy and Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon (The Martian, The Departed) and Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea, Gone Baby Gone) are set to lead another heist film for Apple titled The Instigators. According to an exclusive from Deadline, the two actors will star in the film as two thieves who must go on the run with one of their therapists after a bank robbery gone wrong. It truly sounds like a mixture of the heist elements of the Ocean’s films with some therapeutic elements reminiscent of Good Will Hunting along the way whilst on the run.
While there are no casting details on who will be the therapist this time around, we can confirm that Doug Liman (Edge of Tomorrow, The Bourne Identity) will direct the film. The package was highly coveted by multiple streamers with Apple putting up the cash to make the deal happen and bring in even more star power to their Apple Original Films banner. It’s a good relationship to get started as Damon and Casey’s big brother, Ben Affleck recently announced their new production banner, Artists Equity with The Instigators being announced as one of their first projects in development. Chuck MacLean, who created the recently cancelled Boston-set cop drama, City on a Hill, will write the script.
Damon has always been very active in the film industry, but his upcoming slate is one that would excite almost any movie fan. First, Damon will appear in the Christopher Nolan atomic bomber biopic, Oppenheimer, where Peaky Blinders star, Cillian Murphy plays the titular J. Robert Oppenheimer. Damon is just one of the stars of the remarkable ensemble that has been assembled by Nolan which also includes Robert Downey Jr., Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt, Gary Oldman, Casey Affleck and Rami Malek, just to name a few. Additionally, the first project announced for the Artists Equity production company, is Air Jordan, a film in which Ben Affleck and Damon play the shoe salesmen who helped lure Michael Jordan to Nike. The latter will be the first feature directed by Affleck since his gangster flick, Live by Night back in 2016.
On the other hand, Casey Affleck, who won the Academy Award for Lead Actor for his performance in Manchester by the Sea has mostly floated under the radar since then. The younger Affleck does have a two-hander music biopic, Dreamin’ Wild in the can co-starring with Zooey Deschanel that is awaiting wide release. He’s also set to lead the next Joe Wright film, Stoner and star alongside Laurence Fishburne in the sci-fi film, Slingshot.
Taron Egerton to Re-Team with ‘Black Bird’ Collaborators for AppleTV+ Series, ‘Firebug’ based on Famous Arsonist
Big day for news at Apple as it appears that Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service, Rocketman) will re-team with his Black Bird team returning to AppleTV+ for a new crime series, Firebug according to an exclusive from Deadline.
Firebug will bring Egerton back into the fold as Dennis Lehane (Black Bird, The Outsider) will reunite to create this series in which the actor will star as John Leonard Orr. Orr was an infamous investigator of arson and former firefighter, and the series will see Egerton following two serial arsonists trying to take down the fiery culprits. Lehane has written many novels based on some of the more famous and well-renowned drama features of modern times such as Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island. Egerton will be joined by another detective who has yet to be cast in the chase for the two arsonists committing the crimes.
Black Bird just garnered two Critics Choice Awards nominations for Paul Walter Hauser and the late Ray Liotta, who portrayed Egerton’s father in the series. Within the series also based on true events, Egerton plays Jimmy Keene who goes to jail for drug possession before cutting a deal with the FBI to befriend a suspected serial killer (played by Hauser). Additionally, Egerton will also star in the upcoming feature film, Tetris: The Movie for Apple and appear in the Netflix film, Carry On alongside Jason Bateman in 2023.
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