Archive for December, 2012

2DS Productions, Overture Films, State Street Pictures,

John Leguizamo, Alfred Molina, Freddy Rodriguez, Debra Messing, Elizabeth Peña, Luis Guzmán, Vanessa Ferlito, Melonie Diaz, Jay Hernandez


Alfred Molina is the patriarch of this Puerto Rican family from Chicago. For the first time in many years, the whole family is home for Christmas, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. Everyone has their own drama, when Mama (Elizabeth Pena) announces she wants a divorce. On boy is home from Iraq where he witnessed the death of his close friend, another is in a crisis between having a career and family, and another is an actress who’s finding it a lot harder than anyone knows to survive in a cutthroat business like this. All in all, everyone has secrets and nobody wants to come clean.

This is a fairly interesting film for everyone, as most every family can relate to some of the crisis going on. But it’s rare to have a film with a Puerto Rican cast that deals directly with the holiday pressures facing this particular ethnic community. There are some great actors in this film, and it’s very well written. The only problem is there is so much drama and so many subplots going on, that all get wrapped up nicely in under 10 minutes. It’s like someone looked at the clock and said “Holy crap, we’re out of time, we gotta wrap this up!” THe pacing of the end was really rushed. But otherwise, it’s a charming Christmassy film that has been around for a number of years and is certainly very worth seeking. The tag line for this movie ought to be “Everybody’s human” as that is the real message of this film. We’re all flawed, and just trying to get by as best we can.

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Chesler/Perlmutter Productions,

Casper Van Dien, Rachel Wilson, Ella Ballentine, Natalie Lisinska, Art Hindle


Two lawyers don’t get along at all. But their siblings have met and married and are now expecting a child at Christmas. So off to New York they trek to try to make peace and offer their support for the birth. But when they arrive, they find out that their siblings are in deep financial trouble. He has lost his job and the bank is going to foreclose on their house. To top it off, one of them is working for the law firm whose client is foreclosing the houses to purchase the property for high rise buildings. To make matters worse, the mother to be is having health issue that could risk the delivery and herself. All have to come together despite their rocky relationship.

This Hallmark film has been released for Christmas 2012 and perhaps is one of the weakest. It’s not a bad film, and there is a lot of tension between the son and his father that needs to be resolved. Perhaps he is an overachiever due to the neglect by his father. But this is probably the best relationship in the film. The relationship between the two stars is rather contrived, and not very believable to me. The go through the motions, but there’s not a whole lot to latch on to here. The suspense of the baby’s delivery is not really that suspenseful, really. It’s pretty obvious that hospitals today can take care of these kids of problems every day. There is a little girl for the cute factor, older daughter of the expecting parents, but she’s not really given much to do either. Basically, this film is rather ho-hum, and never really gets rolling. It’s okay to pass the time, but not really worth searching for. Skip it unless you’re bored and there’s nothing else to watch.

Here is the link to the Hallmark web page for this film.

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Johnson Production Group, Nomadic Pictures,

Shelley Long, George Wendt, Kassia Warshawski, Lucas Bryant


Alex (Kassia Warshawski) has a son. She has met the nicest guy and is very happy. But Peter (Lucas Bryant) is really into the Christmas thing, and Alex’s family, especially her father, is very anti-Christmas. They’re planning to marry, but Alex really wants to meet Peter’s parents, and they’re very busy with their toy business up north like in Alaska or something. Finally they decide to come down and visit until Christmas Eve, but then the sparks start to fly as the secrets behind the family toy business drives everyone crazy!

This Lifetime Christmas movie is very similar to many others. The thing that makes this one stand out is the fact that Santa and Mrs. Claus are played by George Wendt and Shelley Long. They make one of the best Claus’ that I have ever seen. George is really getting good at playing Santa. The little boy is very charming, and the relationship between Alex and Peter is very well done. Basically, the actors in this film are very good, so the fact that it’s so similar is not so important when it’s very well done. This film is very cute, and a very heartwarming movie, and really brings the Christmas spirit home. I can recommend this now for 2012 Christmas movie premiering in 2012 on Lifetime!

Here is the home page for this Christmas movie at Lifetime.

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Production Media Group,

Haylie Duff, Chris Carmack, Connie Selleca, Stephen Colletti


Eve (Haylie Duff) is a party planner who works for the unflinching and selfish boss Elizabeth (Connie Sellecca) who sends her on an assignment in Los Angeles for Christmas for a very critical client. Eve has plans to go to Aspen with her boyfriend, but must decide whether to cancel her plans and take a shot at winning the promotion to run the west coast office, or keep her plans. She makes her choice, but is late to the plane, and may not make the flight. We get to see two alternate realities when Eve either makes the plane, or misses it, in this unique look at how a single event in our lives can bring completely different ends.

This is a strange movie, in it’s construction. Unlike some other films tackling this subject, we watch it unfold in both universes at the same time, switching back and forth between rich Eve and poor Eve every few minutes. If you don’t pay attention and come in after this switch, you’ll be totally lost, but the weird way this is pieced together actually works. Unlike little sister Hillary, Haylie actually is a pretty decent actress and does a pretty good job playing both Eve’s. This is a film about what is important, and how little choice can have a profound effect on who we become. I enjoyed this film, as it was very different, and very well put together. I recommend catching this brand new Christmas film when you can.

Here is the home page for this new Lifetime Christmas film.

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CCI Entertainment, Really Real Films,

Elaine Hendrix, Sergio Di Zio, Sean Michael Kyer, Christopher Lloyd, Jessica Harmon, Adrian Holmes

John (Sergio Di Zio) and Grace (Elaine Hendrix) love each other, and her 10 year old son Zachary (Sean Michael Kyer). But there are problems. John absolutely hates Christmas. He despises the holidays, but Grace on the other hand, is a fanatic about Christmas. She loves the holiday to extreme. Grace was hoping John would propose over the holidays, but instead they get into a huge spat, and trying to make it up makes things spin out of control. Both have deep secrets, and unless they can get them out in the open, their relationship is doomed.

This is really a pretty silly movie. They try really hard to pull on the heart strings, but I can’t imagine anyone over 12 buying any of this. The two characters are so hideously unlikeable, and the setup is so extreme. Someone who absolutely hates Christmas must have a really good reason, but this guy has no good reason at all to be like he is, nor should he flip so quickly from hatred of the season to a holly jolly Santa. And Grace is a whiny spineless thing that has no reason to be such a Christmas fanatic. To top it all off, John has an ex that is so over the top, and Grace’s ex is such a cartoon. To try to cram these two together is such a stupid plot device that this should be a cartoon. Truth be told, the Christmas these clowns all spend in the same house (Yes even the two exes) is so incredulous that even the under 12 crowd won’t buy this. But after collecting a whole houseful of misfits, even more show up to add to the chaos. What was Christopher Lloyd thinking to do this movie? This is a new ION TV premier for 2012, and they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel. If this were funny, or even remotely humorous, it might make sense, but as it is, this movie is really a waste of video. There are so many good films for the holidays, don’t waste your time on this clunker!

Here is the home page for this 2012 Christmas film from ION TV.

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