December 14, 2014

The Christmas Parade

Hailee Anderson, the famous talk show host, is preparing for the holiday season by working; she's planning her very important TV show, her Christmas special. Already a scrooge, Hailee is even more miserable when she finds out on live TV that her real-estate fiancée Jason is cheating on her! To clear her head, she goes on a drive and ends up in Carver Bend, Connecticut, and unfortunately crashes through a local judge's fence. When is sentenced to community service, witness and rescuer Logan recommends she work with him at the local art center where they are building a float to win the contest at the annual Christmas Parade. While Hailee bonds with the locals, the art center kids, and grows closer to Logan, she begins to learn the magic and joy of Christmas.

Our Two Cents:
Shamelessly stealing Winona Ryder’s line from Reality Bites: this movie is so cheesy you can’t watch it without crackers. Full of christmas cliches including the Scroogy saboteur, a classic Grinch transformation, and sappy romance, it’s a perfect candidate for a Christmas guilty pleasure.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Official Site




Have you seen The Christmas Parade? Tell us what you thought of it!

December 13, 2014

A Christmas Kiss II

At a Christmastime event, Jenna shares an impromptu, unforgettable kiss with the dashing and wealthy, Cooper Montgomery. Unaware of his intentions and fearful of getting hurt in another relationship, Jenna vows to resist his charms, but begins to realize his affection is real as the two spend more time together.

Our Two Cents:
This is a sequel of sorts to A Christmas Kiss where two strangers share a passionate kiss when their elevators seems like it's going to plummet to the bottom floor of the high rise.

So, this movie... We don't even know what to say about this one. It's not bad, but it is bad. The elevator kiss in this one is a little more forced as far writing into the story. Maybe they didn't want to repeat the same circumstances where their lives seemed to be in jeopardy, but it would have been better if they had. After you get over that, it's just your typical guilty pleasure--shameless product placement included.

(Quick tangent, you may have noticed the trend, especially but not limited to Hallmark, for shameless product placements. Usually they're for Walmart, Folgers and Kay Jewelers. I'd say see if you can find it in this one, but if you miss it, it's probably because you fell asleep. It's none too subtle.)

Note: Also known as Another Christmas Kiss.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★★



Links:
IMDB  •  Buy DVD on Amazon  •  Official Site

Have you seen A Christmas Kiss III? Tell us what you thought of it!

The Santa Con

Small-time con man Nick DeMarco (Barry Watson) is ordered by his parole officer to take a minimum-wage job as a department store Santa during the holidays...and he hates it. Near the end of his first shift, he hastily promises a young boy, Billy (Tucker Meeks), that Santa will bring his estranged parents back together by Christmas. When his sister Rosemary (Melissa Joan Hart) hears this, she is livid and can't believe he would break a little boy's heart with an empty promise. After a long night of soul searching--and with the help of an insightful female pastor (Wendy Williams)--Nick decides to make good on his promise to the child, somehow.

Our Two Cents:
This movie surprised us. We actually found ourselves not quite sure how the movie was going to end, and for these TV movies, that is rare. Usually, with in the first 15 minutes, you can make a pretty accurate guess on the plot of the entire movie. But as a whole, we enjoyed this one, especially the little nod to Ocean's Eleven (in which Barry Watson played himself) in the opening scenes.

Side Note: Hate that this is the only poster for the movie--featuring minor supporting cast rather than main characters.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★  •   Acting ★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Official Site

Trailer: 

Have you seen The Santa Con? Tell us what you thought of it!


December 07, 2014

Christmas at Cartwright's

With the holiday season at hand, single mom Nicky Talbot is unemployed and struggling to afford a nice Christmas with her 8-year-old daughter. Hearing that Cartwright’s Department Store is hiring temporary holiday help, Nicky rushes in to apply, but is rejected by Senior VP Fiona Aldrich, who considers Nicky a threat to the relationship she hopes to have with Bill, a charming and handsome store manager. In a whimsical turn of events, Harry Osbourne, claiming to be a consultant from corporate headquarters, encourages Nicky to dress up and begin working as Cartwright’s store Santa Claus. With the magical help of Harry, Nicky keeps the job, but nobody knows Cartwright’s Santa Claus is a woman. Will she be able to keep her job if her secret gets out?

Our Two Cents:
Our only real complaint with this one, because it was pretty darn cute, is that we wished the main character had a little more backbone and didn't wilt under pressure from Fiona (who obviously has a vendetta against her) quite so easily. But otherwise it was a fun movie, and we recommend it!

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Buy DVD on Amazon  •  Official Site

Trailer:


Have you seen Christmas at Cartwright's? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 29, 2014

Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever

In "Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever," Grumpy Cat is a lonely cat living in a mall pet shop. Because she always gets passed over and never gets chosen by customers, this kitty develops a sour outlook on life until…one day during the holidays, a very special 12-year-old girl named Chyrstal enters the pet store and falls in love with Grumpy Cat. A unique friendship is formed between the two when Chyrstal finds she is the only person who can hear this unique feline talk. In the middle of the holiday rush, Grumpy reluctantly thwarts the kidnapping of an expensive exotic dog she can’t stand and rescues Chyrstal after the mall closes on Christmas Eve. Will Grumpy Cat learn the true meaning of Christmas, or will it be in Grumpy’s words, “Worst. Christmas. Ever?”

Our Two Cents:
We've been clear about our feelings about pet movies. If there is a pet reference in the title, we tend to avoid, avoid, avoid (especially when of the feline variety). But, the Grumpy Cat memes, with their dry acerbic wit, can't help but win us over. So when we saw that they were making a Grumpy Cat movie... we had to check it out. Our expectations were low, which is key to enjoying movies like this. Aubrey Plaza was delightful!--in a grumpy "leave me alone" kind of way, of course. And we really developed a soft spot for Chrystal too. The plot was a bit far fetched, but really, who cares!

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Buy DVD on Amazon  •   Official Site

Trailer:

Have you seen Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever? Tell us what you thought of it!

Christmas Under Wraps

Dr. Lauren Brunell (Bure) has her whole life planned out. As a third year surgery resident, she is counting on being accepted into a prestigious hospital fellowship to follow in the footsteps of her supportive father, Henry (Pine). But when those plans quickly fall apart, and Lauren is put on the wait list, she must take the only other opening available: a head doctor position in the small, remote town of Garland, Alaska.
Convincing herself it is only temporary, Lauren moves to Garland where she is immediately charmed by Andy (O’Donnell), a handsome local who soon starts to show her the importance of living in the moment and enjoying her unexpected adventure. As Lauren excels as Garland's trusted doctor, she warms up to the friendly town. But Andy's father, Frank (Doyle-Murray), is hiding something from her in his top-secret shipping warehouse. Just as Lauren decides to get to the bottom of her suspicions, she receives news that will force her to make a life-changing decision, while knowing for certain that the Christmas season will never be the same.

Our Two Cents:
Candace Cameron Bure is a Christmas movie regular. This one, we feel, is by far her best one yet. I don't know what else to say besides don't miss it!

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Official Site

Trailer:


Have you seen Christmas Under Wraps? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 23, 2014

Wishin' and Hopin'

Based on the New York Times best-selling novel by award winning author Wally Lamb. A vivid slice of 1960s life, Wishin' and Hopin' is a wise-and-witty holiday tale that celebrates where we've been-and how far we've come. In the small town of Three Rivers, Connecticut, we go straight into the halls of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parochial School with Felix Funicello, a Catholic school fifth-grader in 1964, whose claim to fame is his cousin Annette Funicello, the famous Mouseketeer and teen movie queen. But grammar and arithmetic move to the back burner this holiday season with the sudden arrivals of substitute teacher Madame Frechette and feisty Russian student Zhenya Kabakova. While Felix learns the meaning of French kissing, cultural misunderstanding, and tableaux vivants, Wishin' and Hopin' barrels toward one outrageous Christmas! 

Our Two Cents:
This movie is very reminicient of The Wonder Years and A Christmas Story. Being about 10-11 year old boys, who are begining to think about girls and get a little pervy, it has a just a few non-family friendly moments, but, as much as we love the romantic Christmas comedies, this story of little Felix was a refreshing change. Being about an Italian family didn't hurt it at all either! Definitely put this on your watch list.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★★

Links: IMDB  •  Official Site

Trailer:

Have you seen Wishin' and Hopin'? Tell us what you thought of it! 

November 21, 2014

A Royal Christmas

As the only daughter of an expert tailor in Philadelphia, Emily Corrigan is a kindhearted young woman proud of her blue-collar background. She is a devoted seamstress at the family business and madly in love with her doting European boyfriend, Leo. But as their first Christmas together approaches, Leo drops a bombshell on his unsuspecting girlfriend: he is actually Prince Leopold, heir to the throne of Cordinia, a small sovereign country. 

Less than enthusiastic about her son’s relationship with a commoner, the prince's mother Queen Isadora makes Emily feel anything but welcome at their grand castle, leaving Emily to feel more at home among Isadora’s staff of butlers and housemaids. As Emily struggles to adapt to her new royal surroundings, the situation is made more difficult when a scheming Isadora invites Duchess Natasha, Leo’s ex-girlfriend, to join them for Christmas. Attempting to stay true to herself in a world where she clearly doesn’t belong, Emily wonders if love is enough to keep her newly royal relationship from falling apart before Christmas morning.

Our Two Cents:
A Royal Christmas! This was a highly anticipated movie. A little hokey, more of a family film, but thoroughly enjoyable. We feel it borrows from a few movies to get it's plot. The first, and most obvious, is the Prince and Me. It also reminded us of The Princess Diaries, probably that wholesome Disney feel. Lastly, there was a bit of goofiness reminiscent of What A Girl Wants. Throw in a bit of Christmas cheer and you have the holiday spectacular that is A Royal Christmas.
 
Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★  •   Acting ★★  •   Chemistry ★★  •  Overall ★★

Links:
IMDB  •  Buy DVD on Amazon  •   Official Site

Trailer:


Have you seen A Royal Christmas? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 08, 2014

The Nine Lives of Christmas

Fireman Zachary Stone (Brandon Routh) is a confirmed bachelor who doesn’t believe in love or commitment. When a stray tabby cat named Ambrose shows up at his door, Zachary takes him in and slowly starts to see that a little companionship might not be so bad after all. Zachary’s commitment to solitude is further challenged when he meets Marilee (Kimberly Sustad), an animal lover and veterinary student who teaches Zachary how to care for his new feline roommate. Chemistry immediately develops between the two, but will they find a way together despite themselves?

Our Two Cents:
I don't mean to make our reviews so often based on the attractiveness of the male lead, but... who are we kidding here? This has Brandon Routh and he is highly attractive. We don't really like the pet movies, and we are NOT cat people, but our adoration of this movie goes beyond Superman's good looks. The female lead is very likable and you'll love this movie's take on the mistletoe scenario. Only criticism is the end, which got a little too hokey and awkward for our tastes. But well worth watching (and owning). If we could put an 11th movie in our top 10, this might make the cut.

Side note, we aren't really sure why it's called the Nine Lives of Christmas. No characters in this movie, including any cats or other animals, have anything close to a death or near death experience. It's a little misleading. Not that it matters, just left us scratching our heads.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing   •   Acting   •   Chemistry   •  Overall
Links:
IMDB  •  Official Site  •  
DVD

Trailer:

Have you seen The Nine Lives of Christmas? Tell us what you thought of it!

November 01, 2014

One Starry Christmas

Aspiring astronomy professor and Christmas enthusiast Holly is crushed when her longtime boyfriend Adam schedules a business trip and leaves her alone over the holidays. When she decides to surprise both Adam and her parents with a Christmas visit, however, fate, or perhaps the Christmas spirit, intervenes. Holly's bumpy holiday travel makes a turn onto the road to romance when she and her bus companion, Luke, forge an instant connection over their love of constellations and Christmas. In the spirit of the season, Holly invites Luke and his brother Bull to join her family and Adam for Christmas, which instantly creates a competition between Luke and Adam for Holly's attention. As sparks fly like shooting stars between Holly and Luke, will Holly decide to play it safe and stay with Adam or to thank her lucky stars for the Christmas gift of romance with Luke?

Our Two Cents:
We started this one last year and just couldn’t do it. We were going to give it another chance but Mom and Dad said it was awful. We have little desire to try it again.

Ratings:
Storyline/Writing ★★★★  •   Acting ★★★★  •   Chemistry ★★★★  •  Overall ★★★★

Links:
IMDB  •   Official Site

Have you seen One Starry Christmas? Tell us what you thought of it!