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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Old 01-20-21, 09:58 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I made it into mid-January but am taking a break till the February Romance Challenge. My mind is fuzzy on some of these as it's been a while and they sometimes run together.

A Timeless Christmas looked like an adventure from the ad, but it's really an identity comedy. Ryan Paevy was actually pretty good in a comic role as the dashing gent displaced into the 21st century.

Christmas Tree Lane is the classic plot of small businesses getting shut down by the evil corporation, though in a bit of a difference, Andrew Walker lets Alicia Witt know he's on the bad side instead of saving it for the end. Witt isn't my favorite but I liked her in this one. She actually wrote and sung her own songs.

The Christmas Ring features a reporter tracking down someone's family heirloom. Not that memorable, but has a cast of color, so that's different. I kind of felt like it was trying to be The Christmas Note, which I think is a better film.

Meet Me at Christmas unusually had parents of young adults, so that was a bit refreshing. A theme of long-lost love, and I liked how the reveal unfolded.

On the 12th Date of Christmas pits two game developers (not video games) against each other for a promotion, but they have to work together to create a scavenger hunt around Chicago themed around the 12 Days song. Pretty good.

Love! Lights! Hanukkah! is a follow-up to last year's Double Holiday, and again they aren't comfortable going with Hanukkah alone, but this time it was emphasized more than Christmas. I wasn't thrilled with the guy, and that made the romance a bit of a stretch. But nice family dynamics.

Chateau Christmas starred Merritt Patterson as a pianist who goes home to rediscover her passion for music. I liked that it had some classical music involved, though as usual the actual performance was just holiday music.

Christmas by Starlight is kind of like Chateau Christmas as they shoehorned the title into the plot by naming the resort setting "Starlight." Kimberly Sustad and Paul Campbell star, and they also wrote the plot, with Campbell doing the screenplay. Pretty good.
Old 01-21-21, 12:33 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Looks like a few of the Signed, Sealed Delivered movies are on sale for $4.99 on iTunes. Titles are Signed, Sealed Delivered for Christmas, Signed Sealed Delivered From Paris with Love, Signed Sealed Delivered, The Impossible Dream and Signed Sealed Delivered From the Heart.
Old 01-21-21, 03:26 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

There is a Signed, Sealed marathon coming up which explains the sale. Still watching the Hallmark originals as they air and loving it. Happy New Years to all the regulars in this thread!
Old 01-21-21, 03:37 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Happy New Year's to you and to all! Yes, there is a SSD marathon this weekend. Forgot to mention that. Thanks for the reminder.
Old 01-21-21, 05:28 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I'm still working my way through the 2020 Christmas movies. There are probably 10 or 12 left I haven't gotten around to watching.
Old 01-23-21, 09:29 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I've got the whole collection of Signed Sealed and Delivered movies on dvd. Some are hit and miss but I enjoy the series a lot as its different from the typical Hallmark romance movies.
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Old 02-02-21, 10:05 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Since its now February VUDU has a sale on Hallmark Valentine themed movies.
https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...-Day-Sale/9399
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Old 02-02-21, 10:59 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I remember wondering last year how much original content had already been produced that could air in 2021 and so far this year has shown me that Hallmark is always producing movies that can air at a future date because the pace of original weekend films has not slowed down. I am also learning that quite a few films were filmed with Covid Protocols in place last year which explains why we are not lacking (so far) for Hallmark originals this year.

Proof that even with the increased cost of filming during Covid the ratings for the HM films are strong enough to make it worth the expense, which makes me very happy as a long term viewer of feel good Hallmark/UP/Lifetime films (other than the Holiday films, I usually stay away from the Lifetime people in peril films).



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Old 02-02-21, 12:35 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I was listening to the podcast about The Christmas Waltz, and Lacey Chabert was talking about the protocols they went through. I hope everyone stays healthy.
Old 02-02-21, 12:39 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by davidh777
I was listening to the podcast about The Christmas Waltz, and Lacey Chabert was talking about the protocols they went through. I hope everyone stays healthy.
What podcast?
Old 02-02-21, 12:52 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial
What podcast?
The Bubbly Sesh is the official Hallmark podcast, and they review every movie. They have cast interviews in the recaps and occasionally in previews as well. Honestly itís a bit much so I only listen to episodes about the movies I really like. Because theyíre official, Iím sure they feel obligated to put lipstick on all the pigs too.
Old 02-02-21, 02:28 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I'll have to check it out.
Old 02-03-21, 05:55 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Watched a couple of the new winter ones. A New Year’s Resolution has Aimee Teagarden making a resolution to accept every social invitation she’s offered. I find her really charming, and she looks great in a flapper costume. I like Michael Rady too, and there’s a pretty significant work issue, unusually significant for these movies anyway.

Taking a Shot at Love is pretty good. Alexa Penavega isn’t that high on my list, but I like Luke McFarlane, who plays an NHL player learning ballet in order to rehabilitate an injury. This one seemed a little light on the dance because it also had the hockey angle so I liked it a little less than other Hallmark dance films. A couple of the supporting actors are a little more interesting than Penavega,
Old 02-08-21, 09:52 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Owner of the home in Pemberley Manor here. I am trying to figure out if there might be interest in using our home as a venue for small weddings, dinners, photo shoots etc. I've had many fans of "Christmas at Pemberley Manor" stay in our AirB&B rooms, but would like to offer the formal rooms and grounds that were filmed in the movie as a location venue in addition to the many rooms available for overnight stays. Thoughts?
Old 02-08-21, 06:03 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by PemberleyManor
Owner of the home in Pemberley Manor here. I am trying to figure out if there might be interest in using our home as a venue for small weddings, dinners, photo shoots etc. I've had many fans of "Christmas at Pemberley Manor" stay in our AirB&B rooms, but would like to offer the formal rooms and grounds that were filmed in the movie as a location venue in addition to the many rooms available for overnight stays. Thoughts?
I have a hunch there is a market for that business with the right marketing. I'd also contact actress Jessica Lowndes' people and see if she'd endorse it or something. Get her to mention it on social media or more.

People visiting for the Pemberley Manor experience are going to want the property looking like what they saw in the movie, including seasonal decorations if possible.

In completely unrelated news, one of Hallmark's very best movies is on sale for $5 on VUDU. The Magic of Ordinary Days with a young Keri Russell.
Old 02-08-21, 06:27 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

The Lost Valentine is $4.99 at Vudu. It's a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie with Jennifer Love Hewitt and Betty White.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...lentine/913261

Last edited by TheBigDave; 02-08-21 at 06:33 PM.
Old 02-09-21, 10:37 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Did anyone watch the original film Beverly Hills Wedding this past weekend? I may have to take a rare pass on watching a Hallmark original as I am finding it hard to suspend my disbelief that Brook D'orsay and a bunch of other Hallmark regulars are awed by the trappings of Beverly Hills, CA. I caught the beginning and when an actress I have seen on a ton of Hallmark films says dialogue like wow, I feel like a movie star when they walk a red carpet it just was too much for me. I suspend my disbelief a ton when watching these type of films but I just could not do it. Brook D'orsay trying to portray a small town gal who is amazed by Beverly Hills...nope, just can't do it (it, being finding her awe at the wealth around her to be believable). It also does not help that she was in the show Royal Pains for years and that was set in a super elite East Coast enclave where the wealthy frolic and play when they are not busy counting their cash.

I love me some Hallmark films and want to give this film a chance but I had a weird feeling going into it that it might be more of a swing and a miss for Hallmark. I am judging something I have not seen and if anyone else has seen it and feels I should give it a chance to work its Hallmark magic on me feel free to encourage me to watch.

Old 02-09-21, 12:58 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Two for the Win was a miss for me. It didnít jeopardize that the sports-rehabilitation theme had just been done with Taking a Shot at Love, so much so that I had to double-check that they both came out the same month. The guy was fine but the female lead came across as really fake, though part of it was her character.

I quite liked A Winter Getaway, though, despite low expectations. The male lead was really good and countered Nazeen Counselorís slickness a bit. Itís interesting how Hallmark has been casting more POC but they have to be all-American. Counselorís parents did have accents, though, implying that her character was first-generation American.

Just rewatched Love Romance and Chocolate because I liked the Chabert-Will Kemp pairing in The Christmas Waltz.

Originally Posted by Inhumans99
Did anyone watch the original film Beverly Hills Wedding this past weekend? I may have to take a rare pass on watching a Hallmark original as I am finding it hard to suspend my disbelief that Brook D'orsay and a bunch of other Hallmark regulars are awed by the trappings of Beverly Hills, CA. I caught the beginning and when an actress I have seen on a ton of Hallmark films says dialogue like wow, I feel like a movie star when they walk a red carpet it just was too much for me. I suspend my disbelief a ton when watching these type of films but I just could not do it. Brook D'orsay trying to portray a small town gal who is amazed by Beverly Hills...nope, just can't do it (it, being finding her awe at the wealth around her to be believable). It also does not help that she was in the show Royal Pains for years and that was set in a super elite East Coast enclave where the wealthy frolic and play when they are not busy counting their cash.

I love me some Hallmark films and want to give this film a chance but I had a weird feeling going into it that it might be more of a swing and a miss for Hallmark. I am judging something I have not seen and if anyone else has seen it and feels I should give it a chance to work its Hallmark magic on me feel free to encourage me to watch.
I just watched it yesterday and liked it even though the poster made me think it was going to be an Ď80s throwback. FWIW, I only know DíOrsay from Hallmark, but her character doesnít really turn out to be the aw-shucks type. The only other cast member I was familiar with was Brendan Penny, and he doesnít really come off that way either. Not sure if that helps!
Old 02-10-21, 11:23 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Davidh777, I watched it last night and you are right it was not bad. Not super memorable but in line with other Hallmark films you watch and forget about soon after. I will say that what gnawed at me was the building where they actually had the wedding/reception. It was so industrial that they were dancing on a concrete floor, which was just so weird. It is like they forgot to lay down the carpet for that scene. If I go to a place like Beverly Hills to hold my wedding I like to think the wedding and reception will take place at a location that is a bit more posh looking than what you saw in the film. As an example, I was celebrating an event by being with my family at the Bel Air Hotel a few years back and eating dinner (we did not stay at the hotel overnight) but when you walk the grounds you find that the place is gorgeous and somewhere where if you had the money you might get married and have the reception. Well, as luck would have it there was a couple getting married the evening we were there and I totally get it, great location to get married and have the reception.

Anyway, I have spent a surprising amount of time talking about this and will move on.
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Old 02-10-21, 06:26 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I’m sure glad you didn’t hate it. . I found D’Orsay’s character pretty annoying by the end, but that was by design.

Just watched a 2019 Autumn Reeser title, All Summer Long. I like Reeser, but she seemed hotter than usual in this one, not sure why.
Old 02-16-21, 06:25 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Really enjoyed On The 12th Date of Christmas. Didn't recognize the female lead from anything, she must be fairly new. The romance went very slow, which was a nice change-up from the usual. They also found some fantastically decorated Christmas lights in Chicago as background.

Also caught Lonestar Christmas, which aired over on Lifetime. Wasn't bad but the Christmas theme was fairly weak. Would not surprise me if the basic script was originally a generic romance.
Old 02-17-21, 10:48 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Phantom, the female lead is Mallory Jansen and I have seen her in a small handful of these type of films. One of those lead actresses you would not mind seeing in more Hallmark films but at the same time I like that we are not overwhelmed with films that she stars in, otherwise it would not be as memorable when she pops up in a film.

I just caught a Hallmark film called Playing Cupid that stars Laura Vandervoort that was actually pretty good. It has one of the better scenes where a character witnesses another character singing along to a song in private and joins them for a meet cute type scene (in this case a man singing in a kitchen).

Was Lonestar Christmas the one where the lead falls for the tamale guy? If so, yeah...it was not heavy on the Christmas theme but I still enjoyed the film. Lifetime had some of the better holiday themed films air last year.
Old 02-17-21, 04:47 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by Inhumans99
Was Lonestar Christmas the one where the lead falls for the tamale guy? If so, yeah...it was not heavy on the Christmas theme but I still enjoyed the film. Lifetime had some of the better holiday themed films air last year.
Yes, that is the movie. It wasn't bad but I mentally dock points for a Christmas movie when the holiday feels like an afterthought.
Old 02-18-21, 10:01 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I saw Playing Cupid as well, and while the kitchen scene wasn’t technically a meet-cute, I agree it was fun and the best scene of the movie. I remember Laura Vandervoot playing “hot Supergirl” in Smallville (never got around to watching her werewolf series), and I guess she’s of the right age and career arc to start doing Hallmark. I like the chemistry she had with the guy, but it was weird how they were reluctant to pursue a relationship because she was coming off a breakup, his kid’s mom is still in the picture, etc., but they didn’t discuss how it might not be the best idea for a teacher to date one of her students. There were some passing jokes about grading favoritism, but that was about it. This took place in Seattle, but other than the obligatory aerial shots and many mentions of the city name, there were really no attempts to incorporate anything about the city. I know locations are often interchangeable, but in Wisconsin they usually make time for a cheese joke or something.

I also watched Snowkissed with Jen Lilley playing one of her usual anxiety-ridden characters. She’s still one of my faves so I don’t mind. The movie was fine, with almost more interesting things happening with the second-banana couple. Interestingly it took place in Banff just like the recent A Winter Getaway. Maybe travel restrictions encouraged them to make double use of their exterior location shooting.
Old 02-18-21, 10:51 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

You are right that it would be neat if more of the city a movie is supposed to take place in was incorporated into the film but I suspect this is strictly a cost cutting measure. Imagine the logistics of trying to squeeze in a scene in at the Space Needle while it is open to the public, or the cost of filming at this location even during off hours. It would be hard to even "steal" a shot if they decided to film the stars amongst the regular crowd at locations like the Space Needle. I just think it would involve extra work in the editing bay and could get messy trying to make it work. Certain locations like Banff (at first I typed Bamf, the sound Nightcrawler makes when he teleports, lol) probably are much easier find a spot that is wide open for some quick filming and not worry about external beyond the film runner's control distractions intruding on the filming of the scene.

I will even say that while sometimes Hallmark will film in a European country or in Africa, they pick places that are still probably cheaper to film at than they would be in the States. In Africa sure you paid a lot to get Lacey Chabert to the safari location, but once there I bet costs to film were no longer prohibitive. You pick a spot with animals, film Lacey interacting with the animals and have some handlers around to make sure she does not become a lion's tasty treat and you are good to go. I bet filming at the Space Needle is surprisingly expensive compared to filming on-site in Africa.

ETA: I could be wrong and I bet some googling would reveal the typical costs to film on-site at certain popular attractions/locations.

Last edited by Inhumans99; 02-18-21 at 11:45 AM.

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