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Magical Christmas Ornaments (2017)
Jessica Lowndes Stars in Another Excellent Christmas Movie
The first time I saw Jessica Lowndes was in A DECEMBER BRIDE (2016) with Daniel Lissing as co-star which was a 10 rating for me. I thought the movie was so good because of Daniel Lissing, but after seeing this one, I think Jessica was the reason. She is perfect as the center of the movie. She has the ability to carry the emotion with her expressions. This one was not as good as December Bride, but it is well done. This is the second Christmas movie I've seen with Brendan Penny and in both they used him perfectly. PRIDE, PREJUDICE AND MISTLETOE (2018) with Lacey Chabert was the other. Long time starring actor Tim Matheson played a role in this film and throughout I was wondering where I had seen him before. Jessica did a great job with the Christmas ornaments and the pediatric hospital kids were a nice touch. Jessica has a little dog in her New York apartment as well.
Every Other Holiday (2018)
Watch this one Every Holiday
This movie was very well done. We have four main characters. The divorced parents Tracie and Rick and her parents Ed the pastor and Mimi. Dee Wallace who played Mimi was fantastic. She had just the right amount of nasty. I do not think it would have worked if we had the traditional nice mom like Susan Hogan playing the part. Dee Wallace was the mom on ET many years ago. The pastor was also excellent with some great practical dialogue with Rick which really promoted the story. He was excellent and played the part just like Gerald McRaney would have. Well written dialogue with some bible verses well done like when Rick said "I recall the Lord turned water into wine" when Mimi criticized his former drinking and a comeback "the bible says not to be drunk" by Mimi. I thought it was very well done. Great story- enjoy.
Good Christmas Movie with Arielle Kebbel
Arielle Kebbel starred in one of my favorite Christmas movies, A BRIDE FOR CHRISTMAS (2012), so I was excited to watch this one. Unfortunately this one did not have the depth of story, emotion and great humor. It was a good movie. It was great to see the forever young Markie Post (Night Court) as her mom. The story tried to cover 4 years of Christmas and the 1st year when they met was rushed a bit (this hurt the emotional connection with me as the audience). Also the little girl really didn't get bigger over the time period. I loved how the dog was part of their story. Hope Arielle continues to make Christmas movies.
Christmas Next Door (2017)
I'm Watching this Movie NEXT CHRISTMAS too- It's aDOORable
What a fun movie. I was hooked in the first seen when confirmed bachelor Jesse Metcalf (loved him in God's Not Dead 2) shows up in his red sports car and dialogues with his Christmas spirited neighbor- fantastic Fiona Gubelmann (with sun glasses slid down his nose). I just loved her role as the girl next door. I have never seen her before, but hope to again. The supporting cast was just perfect. Her sister was played by Brittany Bristow who was in Christmas at the Palace (2018). The 2 kids playing the niece and nephew were just a delight. This movie had the little fun details that make it one to treasure. For instance the kids tell the uncle that they get this big Christmas tree every year and then much later the dad looks at it and says "wow I've never seen such a big tree", exposing the kids plot. The plastic snowmen appearing in the yard. The mother faking a sickness so the kids have to be with their uncle (this lady was great). The small part of Nick was played by an actor I last saw on Sue Thomas FBI (he was quality). The title fits the movie perfectly. I thought they could have ended it a little better. So we'll give it a Superb minus rather than just Superb. I'm watching this one next Christmas.
Homegrown Christmas (2018)
Any Movie with Lori Loughlin is Worth the Watch
"Every day's a Holiday with Mary". Every movie's a good one with Lori. As long as she gets to play her happy smart optimistic uncertain character, the movie is pleasant. She did get to do that and it is worth watching. I absolutely love Garage Sale Mysteries. Unfortunately we have a lackluster story which failed to accomplish what it could have. Victor Webster is a great match with her. I absolutely loved "IT'S CHRISTMAS, EVE" which had Gwynyth Walsh as the mom, both were a success. It also had the lady who plays the librarian in Aurora Teagarden, Ellie Harvey. Her part as the mayor there was great, but as the stewardess mom here, it just did not work. I enjoyed the movie with Lori Loughlin. Hope they give her a better script next time. She is a treasure.
Lacey's 2nd Best Christmas Movie (Out of 8)
This is Lacey Chabert's 8th Christmas movie since 2012 and I would say it's her 2nd best A WISH FOR CHRISTMAS (2016) with Paul Greene was the best. This movie approaches excellence with the great cast and the usual solid performance from Lacey. I thought Brendan Penny who I've seen in Chesapeake Shores did very well and he was a good compliment to Lacey. The scene where she is listing all his good qualities and he says "don't forget handsome". Lacey couldn't of had more well suited parents, lovely Sherry Miller and Art Hindle. Mark Wiebe had a small part. He was the costar with Alicia Witt to one of my favorite Christmas movies A VERY MERRY MIXUP (2013). There were some references to Mistletoe, but not sure if the title made sense. It was a well done Lacey movie.
Poinsettias for Christmas (2018)
Good Movie Featuring a Spirited Bethany Joy Lenz
This was a good movie. I saw Bethany Joy Lenz in SNOWED INN CHRISTMAS (2017) and that role suited her much better. Marcus Rosner as the guy just didn't seem quite right, but he was very lively. John Schneider as her dad was a bit of an overkill. He starred in one of my favorite Christmas movies MARY CHRISTMAS (2002) and is a great actor (I didn't realize he was on the Dukes of Hazard- the things you learn watching Christmas movies). The mom was played by a great actress as well. The part that was memorable was the one of Patty played by Lauren London. A cameo of the soldier didn't quite work. The sister and niece didn't quite work either. The movie was good but it may have been a bit of a missed opportunity to be great. Nice try. We hope Bethany Joy Lenz keeps making them.
Christmas at the Palace (2018)
Good Movie. Merritt Patterson and the Romanian Castle Shine.
First time I have seen Merritt Patterson and what a bright spot she was. She was in two movies in 2017 A ROYAL WINTER and THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE. I will watch these other movies. She could be the 3rd sister in a movie with Amber Marshall (Heartland) and Megan Parks. Andrew Cooper as the king was OK, but I think less screen time would have been better. Loved the beginning scenes where she didn't know he was the king and he didn't tell her. Loved him having the name the Grinch King. What is not to love about this movie. It falls short of excellence. Maybe more of an emotional tie between her and the princess. Maybe some more realistic figure skating. Brittany Bristow did do a pretty good spiral. Hope Merritt makes more Christmas movies.
Reunited at Christmas (2018)
Traditions are Stories that Families Write Together
We have an excellent cast and a good story which made for a good likable movie. " Traditions are Stories that families write together" was a good theme in the movie and shows that some care went into it. It was not an excellent movie though and we have been getting a lot of them in 2018. I loved Nikki Deloach in A DREAM OF CHRISTMAS (2016) in which she played a more energetic role. I remember Mike Faiola from LOVE ALWAYS, SANTA (2016) and he is great here. The dad (Andrew Airlie) was very effective.
A Christmas Miracle to Shape Your Dreams
This one might make it to the Christmas Movie Hall of Fame. The story alone is so compelling. What are you willing to do for someone you don't even know? Loved how they framed the story with the same scene at the beginning and end. Love how Heather Kruger (Aimee Teegarden) and Chris Dempsey (Brett Dalton) first meet at a bar. Then Chris decides to make a sacrifice for a stranger and it turns out to be Heather. Some great humor and lots of emotion along the way. Loved it. Based on a true story- sort of like one of my favorite movies THE CHRISTMAS CARD (2006). The story made this movie great but the characters of Heather and Chris made it into a Christmas Miracle. Loved seeing Lolita Davidovich in a supporting role.
Christmas in Love (2018)
Lacked that Christmas Magic We Love. Good Movie. Great Cast.
My wife summed it up pretty well "This movie didn't have it". She fell asleep both times we watched it. We only got half-way the first time. We watched it again from the beginning and it is a good movie. How can you more delightful actors than Brooke D'Orsay and Daniel Lissing. Their screen presence was amazing and the movie featured the two of them throughout which is what made it good. There was no real excitement in the story and that made it a bit dull. The title did not match the movie. Maybe "Christmas Circle" to emphasize the wreaths Ellie makes. Christmas in Love might have been an OK title, if it had taken place in Love, Missouri. We look forward to seeing these actors next year.
Enjoy the 2 Days with Cara and Lee. Great Spontaneous Fun.
Cara (Megan Park) and famous country singer Lee (Josh Henderson) accidentally meet at the airport when he spills coffee on her. She doesn't know who he is and he enjoys that she does not know. You can see that they just enjoy being with each other. But they keep parting ways and fate keeps bringing them back together (fun to watch). At one point they run into a little boy Alex and play cards with him. When Lee gives Alex something of his dad's, Cara knows he's a good guy. The movie to its success focuses on the two in a way that makes one feel joy to be part of it. Loved when the two little girls sang the song for their mom on Christmas morning. This movie is just filled with these treasured moments.
Megan Park played the young girl in Road to Christmas (2006) when she was actually 20 and was a bright spot in My Christmas Love (2016) which was not that good. She was GREAT here. Although the scenes where she was supposed to be singing were not that effective. Josh Henderson was perfect in this role, but the singing (lipping?) just wasn't quite right. The music scenes overall were effective. We have Susan Hogan in her 4th Christmas movie of the season as the mom and it almost failed but was saved at the end. Eric Keenleyside played Cara's dad and this was just OK. The movie was about the two special days of Lee and Cara and that was magical takeaway. Watch it. I still think Megan Parks looks a lot like Amber Marshall from Heartland.
It's Christmas, Eve (2018)
I Did Not Want This Movie to End.
I did not want this movie to end. I only give about 1 out of 10 movies the perfect score and that is after screening them on IMDB before I watch. They did such an awesome job casting and the story had those little things that make a movie special. If you read the summary "interim superintendent arrives to close school district music program" you might think that is an old story. Yes it is. I remember A HOLIDAY ROMANCE (1999) with Naomi Judd and SOUND OF CHRISTMAS (2016) with Lindy Booth. Both were excellent but not as good as this movie.
Leann Rhimes as Eve the superintendant was a perfect cast. She is much more the singer than the actress and this made the movie exceptional. It was her voice on about 3 original songs. We have Liam the music teacher and Abby his daughter- wonderful choices here. The role of the mom is so good. Her husband was just so perfect- that shy-ness and writing that song. We also have Lara Gilchrist as the best friend and she still reminds me a bit of an Alicia Witt. The small part of the mayor was played by Ellie Harvie who I recognize from Aurora Teagarden. In the opening scene Eve and Liam meet by seeing a meant to be couple meet by a spilling coffee collision and Liam calls it fate. It was great. Christmas Beneath the Stars and 162,500 will be images in my mind. Well Done!! I'll watch it again and again.
Road to Christmas (2018)
A Road Worth Taking for Christmas Wise Men
This movie was very well done and I was tempted to rate it a Perfect 10. The ending was so good (eyes got moist) that if I rated it right after watching, it would have gotten a 10. I loved Teryl Rothery in Cedar Cove and she was a delight here as the Cooking show host Julia Wise. Her producer Maggie and son Danny are working on the live Christmas show from Vermont. In doing so they fly/drive from Los Angeles and have some great adventures. I loved how they showed their journey on a map of the USA and this made the title "Road to Christmas" fit the movie. There is also a 2006 movie by the same title which is also excellent, but much different story. Here we get a Christmas tree farm, snow man making contest, white elephant gift exchange, cute dog looks, train ride, sleigh ride, and a Christmas song sung by the actors at the end. Maggie is high energy and Danny is a bit opposite. This was very enjoyable. Since they are making a Christmas special, some of the story is revealed in the video clips. Teryl Rothery as Julia Wise helped make the movie.
Christmas Joy (2018)
It was a Christmas Joy to Watch- Must be Christmas Magic
A movie about a DC department store employee returning to North Carolina to judge a gingerbread contest and to decorate her aunt's house so people could come and eat cookies, sounds BORING. Thanks to some fresh lead characters and a few old faces, this movie was a great success. The fresh faces, Matt Long (Ben) and Danielle Panabaker (Joy) combination made it work. I guessed her name must be Joy because of the title. I loved them both, especially Matt Long. They played the city girl and North Carolina guy (sworn never to get involved with another city girl) very well. We have the delightful Susan Hogan as Ben's mom (she's been in so many Christmas movies) and the department store owner Gabrielle Rose (played the mom in LET IT SNOW (2013). We have one scene where Joy and Ben almost kiss which results in some good conflict. This one could have really come out bad, so let's congratulate them on making some Christmas Magic happen.
A Shoe Addict's Christmas (2018)
Candace is the Christmas Movie Queen
Candace has starred in a Christmas movie every year since 2013. If you like Candace as I do you will love this movie. It is all Candace. She is in every scene and it is great. The movies have gotten very high quality as compared to her first LET IT SNOW (2013).
We've got Candace working in Fulton department store and as the title suggests she has a love for shoes. An encounter with a delightful angel Charlene played by Jean Smart (remember the show designing women?). She played it well and very similar to Shirley McClain's role in A HEAVENLY CHRISTMAS (2016). Luke Macfarlane in the best role I've seen for him as a nice guy fireman (this is his 4th Christmas movie). Loved the man who played Candace's dad too. Candace puts on the reindeer antlers and has many hair styles since she goes back in time. Enjoy another Candace magical Christmas movie as it is becoming a tradition. Bless her.
Snowed-Inn Christmas (2017)
Joy Lenz and Andrew Walker make an Excellent Movie.
Two New York writers who are opposites end up in Santa Claus, Indiana to write an article for the Christmas day edition. Andrew Walker has been in numerous Christmas movies and this is Joy Lenz second (her first was A CHRISTMAS SECRET (2014). The movie to its success concentrates on these two characters and the ending is very feel good and a high point. At the beginning on the plane Andrew says that he was late because he was sharing chocolate with a girl. Joy thinks he was in true character trying to pick up a girl and then this 5 yr old little girl comes by and thanks him for the candy. The movie has a high 7.4 rating. It was an excellent movie but I expected a little better.
Mingle All the Way (2018)
Mingle is OK. Jen Lilley Shines with an Excellent Cast.
I loved Jen Lilley in the Excellent movie THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS (2015) and have been looking forward to this one. I was very pleased with this movie. I thought it was a good role for her, maybe not as good as in the previous. She is very talented, she even sang one of the songs played in this movie. Most of the story was very good and kept us engaged. The movie was good at developing the romance; however, it was not excellent like the movie we watched the night before THE CHRISTMAS CONTRACT (2018) with Hillarie Burton so I may be a little more critical than usual. There were elements why the two liked each other. He gave the tree angel to her father and stood up for her to her mother. She developed a special relationship with his niece (who was Opal with the cute voice from When Calls the Heart). But then again other things just seemed forced. Lindsay Wagner's role as the cold mother seemed more of a distraction than an asset to the story. Loved seeing April Telek who had a role in DECEMBER BRIDE (2016). Casey Manderson was another very familiar face. Good quality and worth the watch
The Christmas Contract (2018)
Give Hillarie Burton the Christmas Movie Queen Contract
One of my favorite Christmas movies is Naughty and Nice (2012) starring Hillarie Burton. The opening joke of this movie made reference to Hillarie's character Jolie and the Naughty and Nice list. This one exceeded Naughty and Nice so I guess Christmas Contract is a 10+. We have an All-Star cast with Cheryl Ladd, Brian Boxleitner and remember Jason London from 7th Heaven, all in supporting roles. Not a dull moment in this one. I did not want the movie to end. So well done. Thank you.
They did a great job providing the detail on how Jolie and Jack unexpectedly fall in love. They each admire things about the other. He listens to her and knows her favorite tea. By doing so we are able to share in the emotion of the story. In so many movies they just tell us it is happening. In this movie we experience it. So much detail to the little things. The nickname "Jo-Bear", the fish bowl game. Wonderful touch with the notes on the Christmas tree at the end. The movie takes place in Lafayette, Louisiana and I know Christmas is sometimes warm there, but it looked a little too green to me. Hillarie also starred in Christmas on the Bayou (2013) which was also Louisiana. Look out Alicia and Candace, Hillarie is back.
A Honey for us Christmas Movie Suckers
I enjoyed coming up with this review title. Yes it is a well done Christmas movie maybe not one for the "Christmas Movie Hall of Fame" like Alicia Witt's A VERY MERRY MIX UP (2013). Out of 24 new Christmas movies, I chose this one to watch first because this one has Alicia Witt and Colin Ferguson who made the movie. The story was better than most and is actually written by Erin Walton (actress Mary Beth McDonough) and she plays a part in the film (also a cameo from Elizabeth Walton). The town is 6 hours from New York City and probably in Vermont or Maine because these states contain a Charlotte. Love Letters are discovered in a secret compartment of an old desk so throughout the film we have some mystery. Nicely filmed high quality movie. The sub plot of the sister's 20 year old daughter wanting to switch from fine arts to med school was an unnecessary distraction. It is enjoyable.
Angel of Christmas (2015)
One Great Angel Mystery Delight.
Highly recommend watching this movie. The mystery behind the carved angel in the story exceeded my expectations. The summary indicated that the angel was a rather dull thing. The wooden angel linked events that occurred in 1926 with the current characters and that story was slowly revealed during the movie. Well done! The cast was great. I saw Jonathan Scarfe in "Love on the Air (2015)" and that is what got me to watch this one. Glad I did. He played a similar role here. First time I've seen Jennifer Finnigan and I enjoyed it. Wanda Cannon (Val Stanton on Heartland) played the mom and this was about the best role I've seen her in. She was very effective. This movie was a delight to watch. Not sure if I'll watch it again because I now know the 1926 story. Not quite a perfect 10 because of a few issues in revealing the 1926 story. Loved it though.
Snow Bride (2013)
She was Destined to be his Snow Bride
We watched this movie 4 years ago and have just watched it again. Katrina Law was perfect for this role. We also liked her in 12 gifts of Christmas (2015). I like the way one reviewer described this type of plot as "the Hanging Lie". She is a reporter trying to spy on a senators family and if the senators son ever finds out she thinks this new found romance is over. The tension sure makes the movie interesting. Jordan Belfi who I had not seen before is in the male lead. Also have Susie Abromeit who starred in An Unexpected Christmas a.k.a A Perfect Christmas (2016) which was not that good. Bobby Campo has been in My Christmas Love (2016) and Sharing Christmas (2017) which weren't my favorites. It is nice to have Patricia Richardson (Jill on Home Improvement) in this and she adds a lot as the mom. The title is perfect.
Don't Let the Low Ratings Daze You- Watch this Movie
I have been avoiding this movie each year due to the rather low 5.9 rating. I liked Secret Santa-2003 which also starred Jennie Garth and decided to give this one a try. Very glad I did. Jennie Garth plays a great role as a business woman. It is a fun movie with lots of fun dialogue. The movie is not technically a Christmas movie but it has the feel of a Christmas movie since it centers around Thanksgiving.
Desperately Seeking Santa (2011)
No Desperation Needed to Like this Movie
The Laura Vandervoort and Nick Zano starring characters were excellent. The "Sexy Santa" contest was a creative way to get some great humor and fun dancing into the movie. There was a part near the end where two of the male minor characters set up a date together. This was awkward and was not needed at all. It is small and would not detract from the family watching.
Broadcasting Christmas (2016)
Broadcasting a Great Review this Christmas
I had been avoiding this movie the last two Christmases because Christmas movies with Dean Cain tend not to be Excellent. This one has Melissa Joan Hart and that made the difference. She was great in God's not Dead 2. The movie was very effective in catching some great television moments as our characters act out their host roles of a morning national talk show. Real nice Christmas scenes.