Archive for November, 2014

** Paper Angels

Annuit Coeptis Entertainment II,

Matthew Settle, Rustin Gresiuk, Josie Bissett, Farryn VanHumbeck, Russell Porter, Kendra Anderson, Adrien Dorval, Chris Gauthier, Ecstasia Sanders, Manny Jacinto, Burkely Duffield, Danny Wattley, Anja Savcic, Yee Jee Tso, Lucia Walters,


This new film is not yet available on DVD, but this is a link to the Amazon.com page for the novel by Jimmy Wayne.

An abused wife packs her kids in the car and moves to another city. Things are tough, but they are far better off without him. Their lives become entangled with another troubled family. There is a Christmas tree filled with paper angels created by families with children who will have no Christmas without the generosity of a stranger. But when one stranger is unable to fulfill his obligation to a boy, magic happens.

This is an uplifting Christmas film based on Jimmy Wayne, country songwriter and singer’s, song and story of the same name. It’s a story of troubles and helping each other. The story is tied together around a promise to a boy via a Paper Angel on the Salvation Army Paper Angel tree who is waiting for a special Christmas gift but receives much more. The story is not too complex, but it does have a lot of heart. It is an interesting story of people overcoming obstacles to make a better life for themselves, and it has a pretty good payoff in the end. I certainly don’t think this was the best of the new crop of Holiday films, but it was pretty enjoyable and certainly worth watching.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** Happy Christmas

Lucky Coffee Productions,

Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham, Joe Swanberg


Kevin (Mark Webber) and Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) are a young married couple with a small apartment and a small son. Kevin’s sister, Jenny (Anna Kendrick) suddenly shows up at their door. Jenny is a 20 something woman with no rules. She’s recently broken up and homeless and wants to live with Kevin and Kelly. They’re happy to allow her to live in their basement room but Jenny and her best friend Carson (Lena Dunham) are not ready to be responsible adults. She still has a drinking and drug problem and cannot be trusted. At first Kelly is put off by Jenny’s nonsense, but the hard role of wife and mother has gotten in the way of her love of writing, and she is attracted to Jenny’s free and easy lifestyle.

First of all, I feel bad about classifying this film as a Christmas movie. It does occur around the holidays and trees and presents are there to be seen in the film, but it’s a very dark relationship film about dysfunctional family issues. Jenny has very little going good in her life, and though she wants to do better, she’s too weak. Kevin should step in as straighten out his little sister, but he’s so non-aggressive that he can’t find anything to say. Kelly is the happy-go-lucky Mom who loves her husband and son so much, but soon begins to be very jealous of the life Jenny has and wants to be included. All in all, these folks are messed up, and trying to get by. The other problem I really have with this movie is the ending. This is a movie without an ending, and nothing is gained by watching it. I was sorely disappointed at the end, as I despise movies that just end without any change or resolution at all to the story. There’s really not much I can recommend to this DVD, and I am sorry I wasted a spot in my queue for this. I am not sure why Anna Kendrick chose this script, perhaps it was just an exercise in making the most of a bad story, but she’s been a few of these losers lately. I guess it’s hard to switch over from teen flicks to adult roles, but this was not a good choice to move her career forward. I really didn’t like this movie, and please don’t expect a “Happy Christmas” movie as it is anything but that!

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** Naughty & Nice

LeGrand Productions,

Haylie Duff, Tilky Jones, Maureen McCormick, Jim O’Heir


Pepper Sterling (Tilky Jones) is a bit of a shock jock in Los Angeles and is co-host of a very popular talk show. But when he ticks off a major sponsor, they decide to send him off to the podunk town of Idyllwild, Colorado. His new station manager is told to keep an eye on him until the fuss blows over. He’s assigned to co-host a sappy call in advice show called “Dr. Love in the Morning” formerly hosted by Dr. Sandy Love (Haylie Duff). Of course he plays it as a fool and makes fun of everyone and everything, and Dr. Love, a real psychology graduate, does not want his help either. As time goes by though, Pepper learns the value of the small town and closeness of family, and when he’s able to return to his hit show in Los Angeles, he’s not sure if he’s really ready to go back to the big city.

This UP channel Christmas film is a really good one. I found this one really interesting, and I was kept glued to the screen throughout. It has a lot of comedy which makes it much more than a romantic comedy, but it does have the usual love triangle in this kind of film. Christmas time in the little town of Idyllwild though is spectacular, and there are a lot of pluses in this film. Maureen McCormick (formerly Marcia Brady) has a small part as Sandy’s Mom, but she steals every scene she’s in. The buffoon engineer at this tiny station and the stuffed shirt station manager are great additional characters as is Pepper’s agent who plays the part with as much wit and wisdom as anyone who’s out after a buck. All in all this was a very refreshing Christmas film for a small mostly Christian network that is trying to carve out a niche for itself that ABC Family once had before they resorted to recycled Disney Channel pre-teen stuff, and reruns of Disney’s old movie catalog. Now we know where the Disney Vault is kept. But unlike some of the stuff on UP, this is not preachy, but it does have core family, small town values which are shown, but not stuffed in your face. They did an excellent job with this film, and this is a much better vehicle for Haylie than some of the other mindless Christmas drivel she’s been given in the past. I highly recommend this Christmas film as one that is kind of unique and very refreshing.

[Click Here for the home page for this UP film]

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** A Cookie Cutter Christmas

Annuit Coeptis Entertainment II,

Genea Charpentier, Emily Delahunty, Miranda Frigon, David Haydn-Jones, Erin Krakow, Jill Morrison, Gracyn Shinyei, Laura Soltis, Alan Thicke


Schoolteachers Christie Reynolds (Erin Krakow) and Penny Miller (Miranda Frigon) have a history. Way back in high school a rivalry spawned that kept them in competition for years and years. Now the school is having a cookie baking contest and the two are at each others throats. When a new student turns out to have a handsome father, who happens to be an excellent chef, he finds himself in the middle of the feud without knowing why.

This is also a new Hallmark Christmas film for 2014. This is another romantic comedy with all the good stuff. Jealous rivalry, dirty tricks and sabotage, and the usual collection of dirty tricks. Personally I simply did not think this new film was as well done as the other two. They tried for a real big redemption in the end, but the payoff wasn’t good enough. These two girls were just too trite and trivial, and downright mean throughout the contest that the change of heart really doesn’t fit well. Granted it’s just holiday filler, but there were a lot of other new films this year that were better than this one. It just didn’t capture my attention. Alan Thicke was a bit funny as the master chef chosen to judge each round of the cookie bake-off, but his efforts alone can’t save it. There’s no reason not to watch it if it’s on, but don’t expect as much out of it as some of the other films that are appearing this year.

[Click Here for the Hallmark Channel page for this movie]

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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** The Nine Lives of Christmas

Marvista Entertainment,

Brandon Routh, Kimberly Sustad, Marilee White, Stephanie Bennett, Chelsea Hobbs, Sean Tyson, Dalias Blake, Gregory Harrison


Zachary (Brandon Routh) is a Fireman. He’s a bit of a playboy and has no plans to settle down. But when a kitten adopts him, he decides to get rid of it. He meets Marilee (Kimberly Sustad) who is a true cat lover and who is in trouble with her landlady for having a cat in her apartment. Zachary flips houses in his spare time, and has a room with an external entrance that he’s willing to let Marilee use until she finds something permanent, but as time passes, Zach decides that maybe the playboy lifestyle is getting old and not as fulfilling as it used to be.

This premier Hallmark Christmas film is new for 2014. It’s a pretty standard romantic comedy with a little to do with the Christmas season. It’s funny though, and the characters are very likable. Zachary’s obsession with the “signs” of what’s happening between him and Marilee are hysterical, especially with all the ribbing given him by his mostly married co-workers at the station house. Marilee has some issues as well, and with the usual problems, misunderstandings, and stubbornness, this pair tries to work their way through the holiday season. It’s not a spectacular new movie, but it is another really decently done Christmas film that is well worth the time to watch it. Though it’s available on DVD, this is probably a one time view on Hallmark Channel since it’s being repeated all season. Catch it if you’re a fan of romantic holiday comedies.

[Click Here for the Hallmark Channel page for this film]

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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