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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Old 12-11-21, 11:50 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I found Making Spirits Bright with Taylor Cole very enjoyable. Two rival Christmas light decorators have a long-running feud and their adult children start having a thing together.

Fun and playful, the romance is really more on the backburner than usual. Taylor Cole is a great lead in these Hallmark productions. Like in so many of these Christmas movies, the final minutes feel a little rushed so the movie can have a happy ending.

I've also learned Oprah's Oxygen Network is playing the occasional Christmas telemovie this year.
Old 12-12-21, 08:44 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

anybody catch the spoof A Clusterfunke Christmas? could've been a lot funnier but still an enjoyable watch.
Old 12-12-21, 02:37 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I just watched and agree with your assessment of the film. It helps that the film stars Vella Lovell, who I discovered through the show Mr. Mayor.
Old 12-14-21, 07:05 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Good Witch 5 Film (Bundle) - $9.99

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...Bundle-/755145
Old 12-14-21, 02:53 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Jill Wagner GAC movie was ok. It way oversold the “Christmas miracle” in the title, which should be reserved for serious illnesses and the like, IMO.

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
My Christmas Family Tree is about the best Christmas movie I've seen in the past 2 or 3 years, really enjoyable and pleasant. Starring Aimee Teegarden, it has almost everything you need from a Hallmark movie. I almost never notice the direction watching Hallmark but My Christmas Family Tree offers great direction for television. Sharp dialogue, a warm and inviting scenario, fabulous Christmas decorations, and an excellent script that nicely balances touching drama with laughs and a little romance.

It's about a woman who accidentally discovers her biological father through a DNA test.
Originally Posted by DJariya

My Christmas Family Tree (2021)

Stars Aimee Teegarden and James Tupper. I thought this was a sweet Christmas movie about a young woman who discovers through a DNA match her biological father (Tupper) and then tries to connect with him and then meets his current family.
It had some really nice moments. Teegarden is stunningly beautiful and very charming in this and has good chemistry with Tupper and the young kids who play her half siblings.

The ending though was extremely rushed and sorta contrived. I mean one of the big things was the name of Teegarden's character's Mom's name and some confusion it caused. But, overall I did like it and the performances.
I had high hopes for My Christmas Family Tree, so I was holding it while deleting other stuff from my DVR, and it did not disappoint, probably my favorite so far. Aimee Teegarden is really adorable, and I’ll watch anything she’s in. However, I agree that the ending felt really rushed.
Spoiler:
I figured the resolution would be that the “real” Vanessa had died, and the “fake” one started a relationship with Chris so she could still be part of the family. And the “revelation” that “Trish” and “Patty” were both Patricia was painfully obvious to anyone at the time it was first discussed.



Regardless of my quibbles, I didn’t delete it and expect to watch it again.
Old 12-15-21, 01:06 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I want to say Aimee Teegarden has been in another Hallmark Christmas movie but I'm not sure.
Old 12-15-21, 10:15 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Just watched Christmas Star, which was ok. Maybe itís bad scripts or growing pains, but a number of the GAC films have been underwhelming.

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
I want to say Aimee Teegarden has been in another Hallmark Christmas movie but I'm not sure.
Yep, she was in the 2019 Once Upon a Christmas Miracle, which I remember liking, so I just got it in the Vudu sale. She was also in a New Yearís movie with Michael Rady, which I probably saw but donít remember.
Old 12-15-21, 12:25 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

The GAC films get a bit of slack from me because this is the first year that channel rebranded and set out to compete with Hallmark. I have noticed that throughout the GAC films you get folks like Susie Abromeit or Jen Lilley saying wow what a wonderful scene we just watched and just going hard at selling the film to you. I get it, but yeah...some of them are a bit underwhelming.

I actually liked A Christmas Star to a point, but the end actions were not necessary. She losses the means to record the meteor shower because her equipment was already packed, get out of town. She should have left the equipment running, than at the last moment when her prediction for the meteor shower comes true the town turns off the lights, and she knows she is capturing the data for science. It just felt way too contrived that the moment she says oh noes, I already packed things up she gets the big show she had been waiting for all week long.

Finally, if say around 5-8% of the population could identify as LGBTQ+, non-binary, etc., it would be nice to see a proportion of films acknowledge that there are gay/lesbian folks out and about in society, and that they probably also enjoy watching these Holiday films. Even if the the gay/lesbian character is not the focal point of the movie, it is nice to see some representation. If GAC produces 12 films, it would be nice if at least 1 out of 12 films had even just a non-straight couple as a couple of background characters. Lifetime leans hard into this, as it feels like I am seeing representation of non-heterosexual couples in what feels like every other original Lifetime film I have see so far (Lesbians seem to be represented big time in this years batch of Lifetime films)! Lol.

Hallmark is actually pretty well balanced this year, as it does feel like at least 1 out of every 8-10 originals has a mention somewhere in the film that clues you in that a gay/lesbian couple is represented in the film, again even if they are not focal point of the film it still counts. For example, in one of the Sister Swap films a gay couple straight up kisses and that is that, no big deal is made out of this act as they are just part of the cast of the film. Refreshing that a very brief scene like that does not cause the internet to melt down.

I do this every year, as I take back any gripes I recently posted about too many Holiday originals, as for the most part I love them and it is a pleasure to watch so many of them around this time of year.

Old 12-15-21, 02:04 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Yeah, I get that she was trying to make the point that she was prioritizing people over her job, but it was a stretch.

I’m a Jen Lilley fan but am not sure how Susie Abromeit became one of the faces of GAC. I liked her movie this year but don’t remember her from previous stuff.

I agree that Hallmark is working hard on diversity, with nearly every movie having a mixed couple or gay characters. (In one, the sister of the male lead says “If you don’t make a move on her, I will, because we need to keep her in this family.”) I’ve seen nothing like that in GAC. I had the unfortunate experience recently of looking up one of the articles announcing the GAC holiday movies, and some of the reader comments were really nasty stuff like “Hooray! Let all the gays burn in hell!” I really hope that that kind of politics isn’t behind the launch of GAC and some of the stars moving over.
Old 12-15-21, 05:11 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Caught Christmas Love Letter on Lifetime and found it really enjoyable. Maybe because Ashley Newbrough looks radiant in it and plays up her role perfectly. Probably the best movie I've watched starring her.
Old 12-16-21, 05:59 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Someone mentioned it before, An Unexpected Christmas was very good. Bethany Joy Lenz always seems to pop up in the better Hallmark movies and the entire cast has great chemistry. Funny and sweet in equal doses. An ex-girlfriend is roped into pretending she's still with her boyfriend in front of his family. I found it interesting because the male lead isn't some uber-successful guy. He's a lowly speechwriter and has had a checkered career.

Over on Lifetime, Reba McEntire's Christmas in Tune was pleasant and stars a lot of familiar faces, including John Schneider and Candice King (Caroline from Vampire Diaries). A famous music couple reunite for the holidays. Set around the music business, it's a little different and has a couple musical performances as well.
Old 12-16-21, 06:26 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Over on Lifetime, Reba McEntire's Christmas in Tune was pleasant and stars a lot of familiar faces, including John Schneider and Candice King (Caroline from Vampire Diaries). A famous music couple reunite for the holidays. Set around the music business, it's a little different and has a couple musical performances as well.
Christmas in Tune has been my Mom and Sister's favorite TV Christmas movie this year and they watch almost every single one.
Old 12-17-21, 03:03 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Jingle Bell Princess on GAC is a good time, if a touch predictable and formulaic. A sheltered European princess (Hallmark regular Merritt Patterson) gets stuck in rural Maine and falls for a hunky widower. Probably the most unique thing about Jingle Bell Princess is that Patterson adopts a British accent for the role. A stronger second half as the romance heats up.
Old 12-19-21, 02:24 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I loved A New Lease On Christmas over on ION. Easily my favorite new movie of this Christmas season. I did not recognize any of the cast. The script throws out all the cliches and tropes for a more sarcastic and witty holiday movie. There's a little romance but it's not really a romantic movie. Also more of an ensemble-driven screenplay with real character depth and characterization. Way different than almost anything I've come across on Lifetime or Hallmark. Someone behind the movie put a lot of effort into creating an original idea for Christmas.

Santa gets arrested in it but they really make that situation work. I got sad when a title card in the ending credits lists how the actor playing Santa passed away back in August, before this movie ever aired. He went out with a great movie.
Old 12-19-21, 02:38 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

A few more Holiday movies I saw recently:



Christmas CEO (2021)

Starring Marisol Nichols from Riverdale. I thought this one was cute. It's about a CEO of a toy company who gets an extremely enticing offer to advance her career with a merger. Her name is actually Christmas. But, she later reconnects with an old business partner and boyfriend and learns the real meaning of the Holidays. It was enjoyable and had some nice moments. Worth a watch.




A Lot Like Christmas (2021)

Stars Maggie Lawson from Psych. I really liked this one. Lawson looks really beautiful in this and had lots of charm and chemistry with her male lead.

Lawson plays the owner of a small Christmas tree farm and unknowingly meets the head of marketing of a competitor. It leads to a competition but also the two develop a very sweet friendship and connection.
Old 12-19-21, 10:18 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

A large number of Hallmark movies including a lot of new releases are now on sale for $4.99 on Prime Video. Too many to list. Bought 3.

Here is a list I started. Not complete.

Good Morning Christmas
USS Christmas
Project Christmas Wish
On the 12th Date of Christmas
A Little Christmas Charm
If I Only Had Christmas
Chateau Christmas
5 Star Christmas
Christmas by Starlight
Cranberry Christmas
Christmas House
Christmas in Vienna


Last edited by mk1; 12-19-21 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 12-21-21, 12:28 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

New Vudu bundle sale, with $5.99 two-packs and $7.99 three-packs, plus the standard $19.99 price on the 10-packs. Mostly older titles but good prices if you don’t own them already.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...dle-Sale/12648
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Old 12-21-21, 05:19 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Okay, knocked out a few movies of late.

The Nine Kittens of Christmas (Hallmark) - I didn't like this sequel at all featuring Brandon Routh and disliked the premise from the start. The movie starts out with the female love interest already dating someone else. I actually gave up on it after a couple of commercial breaks. Lazy script and felt like a quick cash-in by Routh since his main gig on Legends is over. I like Routh but the cat may be this movie's only redeeming strength and he barely gets any screen time.

Christmas Together (UP) - Sweet movie about a woman in a serious relationship whose boyfriend gets cold feet right before the holidays so she spends time alone out in California, meeting a widower and his daughter. The only "big" name in it is Vivica A. Fox, who serves as a wise mentor. Very likable movie, even if the male lead can't act at all. I have noticed the actors appearing in UP movies tend to be inexperienced and a little raw.

The Santa Squad (Lifetime) - This would have been a great movie with a nice message if they hadn't used a ridiculous obstacle to temporarily create romantic conflict during the last act. Still recommended for the excellent female lead and cute children, who play a fairly big role.

Christmas With The Darlings (Hallmark) - Excellent movie from last year starring Katrina Law. She's always good in these Christmas films and the cast nicely meshes together, even if the premise gets stretched thin.
Old 12-22-21, 03:24 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas



Boyfriends of Christmas Past (2021)

I watched this recently off Hallmark. Honestly, I didn't really like this one that much. It was a new take on A Christmas Carol. The lead actress Catherine Haena Kim wasn't really likable and I thought her character was kind of an idiot. The ending felt extremely rushed. With less than 5 minutes left in the movie, she realized all her errors and then they reach a nice and tidy conclusion and you're all of the sudden expected to like her.

I give this one a D

Old 12-22-21, 05:11 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I had a bad feeling about that movie for some reason from the boilerplate plot description. Trying to update or incorporate A Christmas Carol isn't easy at all. It fails more often than not.

The Christmas Cure (Hallmark) - A fine holiday movie with Brooke Nevin and Patrick Duffy. Duffy plays a retiring doctor and Nevin is his daughter, a doctor herself. This one is a few years old from 2017 but you can tell extra polish and style have been applied by Hallmark. A warm and occasionally touching story with a couple of engaging sub-plots. A very smooth plot with likable characters, the only flaw is a fairly abrupt ending which needs another 4-5 minutes. Recommended for Nevin and Duffy.
Old 12-22-21, 10:54 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Christmas In The Rockies (UP) - A warm and tender Christmas film worth a look. It has a nicely polished screenplay and gorgeous settings. I recognize the romantic male lead from other movies on Hallmark and Lifetime. Since her lumberjack father can't compete in the town's annual Christmas competition due to injury, the daughter takes it upon herself and prepares for entry. Besides the lead romance, there's a nice sub-plot of an estranged father and grandfather.
Old 12-22-21, 11:00 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Sad news.

Well-being check finds actress Alicia Witt's parents dead in their Massachusetts home

https://www.telegram.com/story/enter...ck/9000609002/

Old 12-23-21, 04:36 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I wonder if Hallmark and the other networks would give the same treatment for Valentines Day and stock Jan and Feb with Valentine Day's movies like they do for Christmas or the budget is tapped after Dec?
Old 12-23-21, 11:15 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Jeff, Hallmark runs seasonal/Holiday themed movie releases throughout the year (they are advertising a batch of New Years originals, and they run Valentines Day originals, Spring-time/Wedding season originals, Summer days originals, Fall Harvest originals right before countdown to Christmas, etc.).

Lifetime basically goes back to woman/family in peril (they are advertising a film called Safe House coming up in the new year) films until next Nov. 2022, UP will run some originals throughout the year, I have no clue what GAC will do since they are pretty new, and I also stop paying attention to films that are airing on ION because I believe that they have no special plans throughout the year until Nov, 2022.

Lifetime this year released daily originals starting around the beginning of December all the way to Christmas day, which was a bit unusual but I recorded them all. I can double-check, but I do believe that Lifetime has an original airing on the 24th (maybe on Christmas Day, but perhaps not, will need check my DVR).

Last nights Lifetime film stars Brooke Nevin and is nothing special, but hey...love it when Brooke Nevin is in a Holiday original on any channel.
Old 12-23-21, 08:54 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

So shocking, tragic and sad for her family! Peace and prayers for her and her family.

Last edited by mk1; 12-23-21 at 09:54 PM.

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