** Christmas in Evergreen

Front Street Pictures,

Ashley Williams, Teddy Sears, Holly Robinson Peete, Jaeda Lily Miller, Marcus Rosner, Barbara Niven, Malcolm Stewart, Keith Martin Gordey


Allie Shaw (Ashley Williams) is from a little town in Vermont named Evergreen. Evergreen is another one of those little towns that just loves Christmas. Allie is a veterinarian and has always run the town’s Christmas Pageant. But she passed this year as she plans to move to Washington to be with her long time boyfriend Spencer (Marcus Rosner) and to a new job in a large clinic. Meanwhile, Ryan, (Teddy Sears) and his little girl Zoe (Jaeda Lily Miller) are on their way to Florida for a Christmas cruise to get away from the pain of losing Zoe’s Mom on the previous Christmas. Ryan and Zoe are also stranded, so Allie offers to bring them back to Evergreen as there are no rooms open in the city since the airport is closed. When things begin to warm up between Allie and Ryan, Spencer joins them to convince Allie to come to Washington. All this and a magical snow globe bring us the merriest of Christmas movies.

This is a very well done Christmas film with just about everything you could ask for. If you love Christmas romance movies, then you can’t miss with this one, that’s for sure. Ashley Williams is really good and gives a great performance. The rivalry between the guys is well played out too, but Jaeda Lily Miller really steals the show with a wonderful performance as a little girl who just wants to remember Christmas as it was instead of running away like her father is trying to do. She is really charming and an excellent little actress with a bright future. But the cast is rounded out by a number of other interesting characters. The downside of this film is that it is very predictable, but that’s as it has to be. If you’re looking with something with a bit more challenge, then this probably isn’t for you, but if you’re looking for another extremely well done Christmas movie with all the movie cliche’s, this is perhaps the best one I’ve seen this year.

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** Switched for Christmas

Cartel Pictures, The Cartel,

Candace Cameron Bure, Eion Bailey, Mark Deklin, Natasha Bure, Walter Platz


Twins, Kate and Chris (Candace Cameron Bure) are identical twins, but are very different from each other in many ways. To please their father, and to honor their tradition, they agree to meet for a pre-Christmas lunch together, though it’s only been a year since their mother died. While visiting each other, they find they are both really fed up with their lives and problems, and very envious of the glamorous life the other lives, so even though it’s been years since they last switched places. Could they pull it off again? They decided to give it a try until something goes wrong and they can bail before they get caught. But though there are not a shortage of problems, the two sisters learn a lot about each other, but even more an appreciation for the wonderful things in their own lives.

Every year we wait for Candace Cameron’s Christmas movie. This year is no exception. Candace is a really sweet person and certainly does her best. This move wasn’t overly spectacular, though I did like it a lot more than last years Time Travel WWII to the present film. The let down is probably because the three years previous to 2016 were extremely well done. Candace takes on the Patty Duke/Lindsay Lohan role of playing both twins and trying to make them different. The biggest problem is that they were really not that different, and it was hard to tell who was who was who throughout. This caused a bit of confusion for me from time to time. By the time it ended, I got the Country Mouse/City Mouse thing and the ending was happy times for all, but it wasn’t nearly as great of some of the other ones. Still it was an interesting story, and Candace, as always, was charming and witty and a pleasure to watch. This film is definitely worth looking out for, but I’m hoping a little better script next year to really win back the crown as queen of the Christmas Movies once again.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** The Christmas Train

Front Street Pictures,

Dermot Mulroney, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Danny Glover, Holly Elissa, Joan Cusack, Kirsten Prout, Anthony Konechny


Reporter Tom Langon (Dermot Mulroney) has become very jaded. He’s kind of hit a slump, and decides the way to get out of it is to take a train ride across the country at Christmas time. During the four or five day trip from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, his hope is to find inspiration to write a book about the journey dedicated to his father. But to his surprise, Elenor Carter (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) is also on the train writing a screenplay for master director Max Powers (Danny Glover) who are also sharing the ride. Tom and Elenor have a past, but even though they are bitter enemies at the start, it is clear to everyone on board that they still have a spark between them. During the long journey, they bond with a number of colorful characters on the train, each of which have a story of their own, but director Max is a sneaky guy and may have an ulterior motive for the team.

With the release of the remake of Murder on the Orient Express this holiday season, this Train movie fit right into the mood. The mystery on-board this train is almost as intense as the previously mentioned film. It was really interesting, and a good mystery in itself. As we get to know the various characters, all of them somehow fit together, and it is a very intriguing little film. Quite an unusual Christmas movie, the Hallmark Hall of Fame series has done an excellent job with this one, and it’s definitely part a highlight of their premiers in 2017. The eventual reveal came as a surprise to me and I must admit I didn’t see that coming. All in all this is an excellent story filled with great performances and really good mystery script that keeps us entertained. Kudos to Joan Cusack who is a master at playing quirky roles. This is one of her best, and she was very good in this movie. This is one I am going to have to watch over again!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** Christmas in Mississippi

Lifetime, Active Entertainment,

Jana Kramer, Wes Brown, Faith Ford, Trace Masters


Holly Logan (Jana Kramer) is home for Christmas to her little town home in Gulfport, Mississippi. She’s a well known photographer and looking for a job with a premier magazine. She volunteers to assist in bringing back the town tradition of a holiday light show for the first time in five years since a terrible hurricane nearly destroyed the town. But she regrets her decision soon after when she finds out that the festival is being run by her High School sweetheart, Mike (Wes Brown) who completely broke her heart. But her mom, Caroline (Faith Ford) and Mr. Kriss (Barry Bostwick) who plays Santa for the festival put their heads together to try to turn Holly around and make her see how important home and family really is.

This Lifetime movie is very well put together. It is nice to see Lifetime getting back into the game. They were really on top of the Christmas Movie game a few years back, but seemed to have backed off a bit in recent years. Lifetime only does a few new films each season, but typically they are very good quality. This one is one is no exception. The story is simple, and straight forward, but it really touches the heart. A southern Christmas is a very special. Living in Southern California, I’ve learned to get used to warm weather Christmases, and it’s not as bad as I expected. This is a beautiful town filled with beautiful people, and a very touching experience. I really enjoyed the people and the story and was very happy while watching this film. It was very well acted, and quite moving. I enjoyed this movie.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** With Love, Christmas

The Hallmark Channel,

Emilie Ullerup, Aaron O’Connell


Melanie Welch (Emille Ullerup) is an ad executive who is really into Christmas and the secret Santa in the office. She is assigned to work with a really introverted co-worked Donovan (Aaron O’Connell) on a new commercial for the newest cell phone. But he is also secret Santa for him and wants to get to know him to find the perfect gift. Not wanting to tip him off, she works hard at misdirecting him, and he’s sure someone else is his secret Santa, but Melanie starts really falling for him and finds herself getting really jealous after all.

This is a nice little holiday movie, but unfortunately nothing really special. At least they two leads are not those we see over and over again, and so they are a fresh pair, and they do seem to have a nice chemistry between them. It’s just that there’s no hook to this film to bring you in, and nothing really special happens. Mostly this is just a straight forward rom-com with no edge. It’s sweet enough, and fills 2 hours of TV time, but there’s no real reason to seek this film out. If you happen to run across it, go ahead and watch as it’s harmless fluff, but not worth the effort seeking on it’s own merit.

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