Archive for November, 2013

Max Pix,

Alexandra Paul, Maureen McCormick, Janet Carroll, Jason Brooks, Judy Landers, Vanessa Angel, Mariah Buzolin

Riley (Aaron Jaeger) is bummed. His mother is losing her job, and working loads of overtime at Christmas. Riley says he’s lost the Christmas spirit, when a real Christmas Spirit named Hope shows up to teach him a lesson. She assigns him to find the Christmas spirit himself and to bring it to another family. He’s led to a family in Malibu who isn’t have a very nice holiday. Mom is a children’s book writer who’s has writers block. Dad is working hard to crunch the numbers and find a way to merge companies which will lay off a lot of people, and the daughter is always in trouble. None of them are close to each other. Riley arrives and tries to bring them together, but nothing he does seems to make any difference.

This movie was originally released as “Christmas Spirit” and then re-released as “A Christmas Puppy”. What the puppy has to do with it is really dubious. The story is rather horrid, but I guess to make it appear a little more palatable, the put the little puppy on the cover and made it look like a cute little story about a puppy. But it turns out that the family HAS a dog, and that’s about it. The opening of the movie has a little kid voice narrate the beginning and the very end. I suppose this is supposed to be “A Christmas Puppy” telling the story, but it truly doesn’t make any sense. I am not sure if the original title had the narration or if this is something they added to sell the whole puppy idea. Then this kid jumps the wall into a fancy home in Mailbu and proceeds to stay all day when nobody knows him. The spirit pops in and out whenever the so called plot calls for it, but she’s the worst Christmas spirit I’ve ever seen. She’s a hell of a lot more like Flo the Progressive Insurance lady. Basically this story is really lame, and the acting is really lame, and the whole premise is pretty lame. There’s nothing to see here, so move along, move along. This truly is one of the worst disaster’s I’ve ever seen. It takes a lot to make me dis a Christmas movie, but this one is just plain bad. So avoid it under either title.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Color Force, Lionsgate,

Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, Amanda Plummer, Jeffrey Wright, Lenny Kravitz, Sam Claflin

Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) were winners of the 74th Hunger Games, and are setting out on their victory tour to each of the districts. But President Snow (Donald Sutherland) pays a visit to Katniss and threatens her with harm to everyone she loves if she doesn’t play along and convince the people that resistance is futile, as the people are starting to rise up with hope against the government. When Katniss and Peeta fail, Snow announces that because it’s the 75th anniversary, he’s allowed to change the rules as he is every 25th anniversary. He declares that all former winners will complete in a tournament of champions in an attempt to kill Katniss and Peeta along with all the other champions.

This is the second installment of the Hunger Games, and it is not as good as the first film, for sure, but I really enjoyed it very much. The party who attended this with me was seriously disappointed in this film, as the first half they felt was very, very slow and boring. That may be true, but I found it slow and very interesting. I enjoyed the politics and the attention to detail of life in the districts and the nuances of the plots both for and against the government. As a result though, the action really doesn’t go anywhere until the games actually start. Then the excitement is very intense. I can see why some people felt that this was not as good, but as I said, I really did enjoy it. The island where the games were held was very impressive, and the details of the challenges were very intricate. All in all, it’s a very worthy successor to the original. I enjoyed this film, and recommend you catch it on the big screen if possible.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Chesler/Perlmutter Productions

Shannon Elizabeth, Steve Byers, Julia Lalonde, Kyle Harrison Breitkopf


Nikki (Shannon Elizabeth) is a pop star! But she’s also a small town girl. Sophie (Julia Lalonde) is a young girl who lives with her Dad. They lost their Mom three years before in a traffic accident. Sophie’s Dad, Chris (Steve Byers) has thrown himself into his work and neglecting everything else. Sophie knows he’s really sad, and when she finds out that Nikki was once Chris’ high school sweetheart, she puts in movement a plan to get them back in touch with each other.

This cute little Christmas film is pure Christmas romance. It’s a touching story and very well performed. The story is a typical romance. Problems plague these two from the start and they have to work through it all. The Christmas part hardly matters other than Nikki has a last chance to keep her career alive with a Christmas Album, but this story could really happy any time of the year. But since this is a 2013 premier Christmas movie, it’s set around the Christmas season and they manage to bring it in pretty well. Certainly not one of my favorite Christmas movies, it’s pretty sweet and simple. Good enough for a Christmas TV movie, if you’re up for a good romance, here’s one you haven’t seen before.


[Click here for the official Hallmark Channel page for this movie.]

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** Silent Night (2002)

Fast Carrier Pictures, Hallmark Entertainment, Muse Entertainment Enterprises,

Linda Hamilton, Matthew Harbour, Romano Orzari, Alain Goulem, Martin Neufeld, Mark Antony Krupa, James McGowan



A German woman lives with her son in a small home near the front line. She has lost her elder son in the Battle of Leningrad, and her husband is a cook in the army. Bad weather arrives and it’s Christmas Eve. Three American soldiers arrive, and she invites them in out from the weather, but before long, three German soldiers also arrive. At first it is very tense, but she convinces them to join her as well for a Christmas Eve dinner. It’s a tense time as enemies put away their hatred and weapons and try to spend one peaceful evening together, knowing they’ll soon be out fighting each other once again.

Told in flashback form, this is a slow moving, but thought provoking look at the hardship of war, not only for the soldiers, but for the family as well. There’s a lot about character and trust and other good concepts in the script. Based upon a true event, there are a few turns in the script, especially in the end. It is a really great war story though. Most of the movie is in English, although there is a little German with subtitles. The film is in color, but it has a really black and white feel to it. The sets are dark and dreary and the weather is also a little overcast and dark, at least until Christmas morning. The year was 1944 so the war was nearly over. This is a twist on the normal Christmas fare, but certainly a well done war story that is very realistic.

This is a made for TV movie that is repeated year after year. But I was unable to find a preview for this film. However I have included a link to the Wikipedia page concerning the story. [Click here for the article.]

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** The Christmas Ornament

Front Street Pictures,

Kellie Martin, Cameron Mathison, Jewel Staite


Recent widow, Kathy (Kellie Martin) is not celebrating Christmas this year as she is still mourning the loss of her husband. She meets Tim (Cameron Mathison) who sells Christmas Trees in town, and they really like each other. Kathy’s only celebration of the season is the love of baking cookies, but as she gets closer to Tim, she must deal with the sorrow her loss and the decision of whether or not it’s disrespectful to her late husband by letting a new love in.

There are so many new movies this year. Hallmark alone is putting out new Christmas films every week. This is a sweet romance story, but not really that spectacular. It is what it is, and there’s not a lot there other than a holiday tale filled with romance. This is simply a nice and simple movie that is entertaining. I appreciate that it’s a new story, but it wasn’t really grabbing to me. It’s just a simple Christmas story.

Click here for the official Hallmark page for this film.

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