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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Old 12-13-19, 03:35 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Fandango often has the best prices as one of the smallest competitors in the field. Like others said, Hallmark movies aren't MA and never will be MA.
Old 12-14-19, 02:58 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Watched Christmas in Rome with the family last night, with Lacey chabert, we went to Rome last year on our summer vacation so this had an added appeal, film budget looked good and the sites were legit, enjoyed it a lot... 7.5/10
Old 12-15-19, 09:01 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Watched a snowed in Christmas, grabbed this on the holiday sale for .99, I think it's a lifetime film from a year or two ago, it was terrific, highly Recommended, 8.5/10
Old 12-16-19, 01:01 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Watched Christmas Stars (I think that is the name) with Erica Durance on Lifetime. This time she plays a former singer that meets a songwriter and they make beautiful music together. Okay love story, though frankly there isn't much to the Christmas theme except she has a hang-up about singing Silent Night in public. I liked it better than her Christmas Chalet, but that may be because I am a sucker for Christmas movies based around musicians.
Old 12-16-19, 03:56 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Watched Christmas Stars (I think that is the name) with Erica Durance on Lifetime. This time she plays a former singer that meets a songwriter and they make beautiful music together. Okay love story, though frankly there isn't much to the Christmas theme except she has a hang-up about singing Silent Night in public. I liked it better than her Christmas Chalet, but that may be because I am a sucker for Christmas movies based around musicians.
Yeah I watched that Erica Durance movie last night. It was okay. I did a search for Christmas movies on my DVR and that one happened to come up along with her Up TV movie. Your right the Christmas part was very minimal. I couldn't tell if Durance was actually singing though. She had good chemistry with her co-star J.T. Hodges.

I did like the main original song though. It was a warm Christmas love song.

And I agree, it was way better than that Up TV movie from the previous week. That was kind of a weak attempt at a comedy-love story and she had no chemistry at all with her co-star in that movie. The "love story" felt very forced and moved fast.
Old 12-18-19, 02:38 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I think that was Durance singing in the movie. I think Hodges is an actual musician, or he faked his part extremely well for an actor.

I really enjoyed Lifetime's new Grounded Before Christmas. Enjoyable Christmas movie about two pilots that get stuck together when Cleveland's airport shuts down for snow. Great leads, though I didn't recognize the female lead at all, and one surprising twist I hadn't seen used in a Hallmark-style Christmas romance.
Old 12-18-19, 04:39 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas



I watched Christmas in Dollywood which stars Danica McKellar.

I thought this movie was really boring. It was a slog to get through. Dolly Parton only has a short cameo at the end of the movie.

Just a dull Holiday themed romance. I like some of them, but this one did nothing for me.
Old 12-19-19, 12:56 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I just watched Dollywood as well and agree it was weak. A two-hour commercial for the park, basically. That said, I did like seeing Dolly in it, even if briefly. I’ve gained a lot of respect for her as an artist after originally thinking of her just as a “9 to 5” country singer.
Old 12-19-19, 09:33 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

As a Dollywood season passholder, I also found it boring and basically a 2 hour ad for the park. And all they show of the park is the very front of the park inside the gates.
Old 12-21-19, 01:55 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

After watching the Dollywood commercial, I watched a two-hour ad for Hallmark cards called Write Before Christmas. It was pretty good, though, once I sorted out who all the characters were.
Old 12-21-19, 08:20 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Watched Christmas In Paris on UP TV. You could tell this wasn't a Hallmark production - a handsome millionaire CEO from France (with an incredibly thick accent for American tv) sweeps a beautiful model off her feet by jetsetting her to experience Christmas in Paris. Predictable but fairly enjoyable romance with nice scenery.
Old 12-22-19, 04:11 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Knocked out three more Christmas movies.

A Cheerful Christmas - A very enjoyable and new Hallmark movie with a female star I didn't recognize. This may have been her first starring role. She plays an enthusiastic Christmas "cheer" coach that decorates the home of wealthy British royalty living in America. Everything was on point and it works because of her winning performance. May very well buy this when it hits DVD. Recommended.

Double Holiday - Another fine Hallmark offering with a slight twist from the norm. Two co-workers get close planning the office's holiday/Christmas party. She's Jewish, he's not. Didn't know what to expect but the leads have amazing romantic chemistry. Christmas elements are neatly balanced with a nod to Hanukkah.

A Christmas Kiss II - This is an older movie broadcast on Ion this weekend. Two strangers share an electric kiss in an elevator. Decent if pedestrian romance with few real Christmas elements.
Old 12-23-19, 12:19 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Phantom, awesome that someone else noticed the ridiculous amount of chemistry that Kristoffer Polaha and Carly Pope had with each other in this film. It would have just been okay in my book were it not for the casting director hitting a home run putting these two together. I have seen quite a bit of Kristoffer Polaha in Hallmark films but I do not seem to remember seeing Carly Pope in a lot of Hallmark/Lifetime/UP type original films, more of her please (and I had forgotten how adorable and gorgeous Carly Pope is).

Christmas In Paris was also a win because once again, the two leads worked well in this film. I especially like Rebecca Dalton as the lead/ex-model in the film and would also like to see her in more of these types of films going forward.

I do not know if it is any good because I just literally started watching my recording of A Date by Christmas Eve on Lifetime but it has a mini-reunion of a couple characters from the great gymnastics film Stick It (which starred Missy Peregrym) as it stars Vanessa Lengies and Nikki SooHoo.

Last edited by Inhumans99; 12-23-19 at 12:34 AM.
Old 12-23-19, 11:22 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Interesting that they acknowledged Hanukkah in one of the movies, and apparently even timed it appropriately. I’ll try to catch a rerun as Polaha might be the only male lead I’ll watch a movie for.
Old 12-23-19, 11:56 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by davidh777
Interesting that they acknowledged Hanukkah in one of the movies...
If you want to see a really good Jewish Hallmark movie, check out Loving Leah (2009). It's not a holiday movie. But it's a great romantic drama with an excellent cast.


Old 12-23-19, 10:31 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I want to say Carly Pope has done a lot of work for Lifetime in their non-Christmas telefilms.
Old 12-24-19, 02:11 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I bet you are right, but I hope the response to her film was good enough to have her want to show up in other Holiday related films (from any of the networks that go crazy with them around this time of year).

Also, this is a Lifetime Christmas film that came out early in the season but I enjoyed it enough that I have seen it twice already, Christmas Reservations, which stars Melissa Joan Hart, Michael Gross, Ted McGinley, Ricardo Chavira, and Markie Post, along with some other folks that are part of the main ensemble. It has quite an eclectic cast and while it is not great it was a very fun watch. Even the meet cute between the girl from India visiting the lodge with her aunt and the the kid who crushes on her at first glance worked.

Worth catching a rerun.
Old 12-24-19, 02:49 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Anyone catch Hallmark's Christmas Concert? Not really a concert but a one-hour special with Lacey Chabert, Jen Lilley and Nikki DeLoach singing Christmas carols together. Staged like one of those old Bing Crosby Christmas specials with everyone pretending like it's just a casual gathering of friends and family, where they invite the audience into a home. I'm pretty sure the actual singing was dubbed in, though it appears they all recorded their own voices.

The best voice easily belonged to Jessica Lowdes(sp?). Probably the best thing about it were the Hallmark stars sharing their own family holiday traditions. Apparently Lacey's family all wear pajamas for Christmas day.
Old 12-25-19, 12:05 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Holiday Hearts was pretty generic. I’m hoping to catch up on some of the better ones that are rerun over the next few days.

Meanwhile I rewatched Christmas in Homestead. I think it’s been said here before, but Taylor Cole might be the most flat-out gorgeous of all the Hall-Stars (a term my coworker, who’s much more of an authority than I am, always uses).

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Anyone catch Hallmark's Christmas Concert? Not really a concert but a one-hour special with Lacey Chabert, Jen Lilley and Nikki DeLoach singing Christmas carols together. Staged like one of those old Bing Crosby Christmas specials with everyone pretending like it's just a casual gathering of friends and family, where they invite the audience into a home. I'm pretty sure the actual singing was dubbed in, though it appears they all recorded their own voices.

The best voice easily belonged to Jessica Lowdes(sp?). Probably the best thing about it were the Hallmark stars sharing their own family holiday traditions. Apparently Lacey's family all wear pajamas for Christmas day.
I forgot to record it, unfortunately. Jen Lilley is one of my favorites and I know she’s also a singer, so I’ll just have to seek out her music elsewhere.

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
If you want to see a really good Jewish Hallmark movie, check out Loving Leah (2009). It's not a holiday movie. But it's a great romantic drama with an excellent cast.
I’ll look out for it, though I don’t really have an interest in Jewishness per se. I just found it an interesting angle. Always up for a good movie, though.
Old 12-25-19, 02:47 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Got around to finally watching Danielle Panabaker's (The Flash) Christmas Joy from last year. One of the more dull and listless Hallmark movies I've sat through. The romantic male lead gives off heavy gay best friend vibes, producing a very flat romantic connection between the pair. The plot was boring as well. One of the few Hallmark Christmas movies I'd recommend skipping.

On the other hand, Christmas a la Mode over on Lifetime was excellent. A very genuine movie about two sisters fighting over the fate of a family farm. Rarely do you see real conflict inserted into these Christmas movies but this one didn't pull any punches. Even the romance is handled well and avoids fake sentiment.
Old 12-26-19, 01:53 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Prime now has a lot of the Lifetime movies for “free.” I assume they’re fairly new to the free stable as they’re all over my recs.
Old 12-26-19, 10:28 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Christmas At Graceland: Home For The Holidays - Apparently the first Graceland movie did very well for Hallmark last year so we get an unrelated new entry this Christmas. Stars a couple of familiar faces, Aquaman from Entourage, and Kaitlin Doubleday, new to Hallmark I believe but has had many television roles over the years, mostly as side characters. Her latest recognizable gig was on Empire as the token white girl when that show was still watchable. Kaitlin actually makes this movie watchable because the flimsy plot is little more than an advertisement for visiting Graceland. She shows fantastic chemistry with...the male lead's children. That sounds sarcastic but her character comes across as genuinely enthusiastic about hanging out with the children. Some fantastic baking montages set to some of Elvis Presley's biggest Christmas songs. She also sings a couple of carols, which sounds like her own voice.

A Homecoming For the Holidays - So-so story of a Nashville singer returning home for Christmas with her brother just back from the military. There's a heavy music focus to this movie, from the plot related about her music career to her mother, the music teacher. I wouldn't mind seeing the female star again in a better script. Watchable I guess if you have interest in the military service or music themes.
Old 12-26-19, 11:16 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Watchable I guess if you have interest in the military service or music themes.
Is it just me, or have they been pushing the pro-military angle hard this year? It seems like every other movie has at least one character that's previously served, or is stationed overseas, or on leave, or in some way involved with the military. I know they've always had lots military characters/storylines. And I'm happy to see military service portrayed in a positive light. Just seems like there's more this year than in the past.
Old 12-27-19, 04:37 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
Is it just me, or have they been pushing the pro-military angle hard this year? It seems like every other movie has at least one character that's previously served, or is stationed overseas, or on leave, or in some way involved with the military. I know they've always had lots military characters/storylines. And I'm happy to see military service portrayed in a positive light. Just seems like there's more this year than in the past.
Their lead male characters have always fallen into a few narrow job categories - former military, businessman, doctor, charity worker. The military angle adds a little depth to the character's past and helps explain why a handsome and responsible 30-something man isn't already in a relationship or married.

So I haven't noticed a big difference. They've usually had one or two military-themed Christmas movies each year for a long time.
Old 12-27-19, 10:13 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I think I’ve seen the same thing as TheBigDave. While they usually have 2-3 movies every year with a service member as a lead character, I feel like there have been another three or four in which the best friend or the dad or someone is also in the service. I agree that military families deserve the support, but it does feel like an intentional uptick.

Count me as another fan of Double Holiday. It’s been one of my favorites so far, and I’d gladly add Carly Pope to my watchlist.

Angel Falls was another good one, and I believe Jen Lilley sang the song over the closing credits, but they shrunk so quickly I couldn’t verify.

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