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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Old 12-10-22, 01:03 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I'm Glad It's Christmas (Great American Family) - Hallmark regulars Paul Greene and Jessica Lowndes team up for this sweetly rewarding flick about finding love through music. Jessica plays a woman looking for her first break on Broadway, while Paul plays a local jingle writer. A little formulaic but you get Gladys Knight as a guest star and Jessica herself singing a few tunes. Lowndes has a shockingly good voice, I'm pretty sure that is the actress actually singing. The stars make the chemistry work even if the script gets a little rushed near the end.

I still have no idea why they titled it with that name. There were far better options.
Old 12-10-22, 02:01 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I assumed the title was a play on Gladys’ name.

And yes, Lowndes is a singer and has sung in Hallmark films before (like the one with Jeremy Jordan). I mentioned this earlier but I have long and dense posts.
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Old 12-11-22, 05:20 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

That does make sense about the title.

Christmas Sweethearts (Great American Family) 4.5/5 - I really enjoyed this movie starring two unknown leads. An event planner begs her business partner to pretend they are dating when her plan to woo an old boyfriend back home fails badly. There was a great energy brought by the female star and the story develops at a nice pace. Refreshingly messy female protagonist, her mistakes kind of drive the entire plot.

Destined At Christmas (Great American Family) 2.5/5 - Love the premise but the execution is lacking, primarily thanks to an odd decision in the storytelling. Two strangers (unfamiliar new faces) meet shopping in line on Black Friday, then are suddenly separated by a twist of fate. The catch is they don't know much about each other, so neither one can find the other person despite an intense search. The two romantic leads are literally separated for most of the film, only meeting very late in the final act. You just can't pull off a credible romantic arc when the two characters share such little screen time.

It's The Most Colorful Time of the Year (Hallmark) 3/5 - Katrina Bowden stars in this middle-of-the-road Hallmark production. She's an eye doctor who realizes her daughter's science teacher is colorblind and wants to help him with new lenses. The premise is a little cheesier than usual, he soon falls for her when she introduces "colors" into Christmas for him. Watchable but I'm not sure I would have stuck around for the entire thing if Bowden wasn't the star.
Old 12-13-22, 01:09 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Time for Him to Come Home for Christmas is the latest in the (unrelated) “time for” series, and I generally like the dramas. I liked how this one had an unfolding mystery, and Hannah Roden and Tyler Hines (bearded again) made a good team. One of the better ones I’ve seen this year.

I’m a fan of Aimee Teagarden. Christmas Class Reunion wasn’t her best, but it was solid. She plays a high-tech whiz (it dipped a bit into that world, which was interesting), and I was predicting the relationships based on the first five minutes. Another cameo in this one.

The Most Colorful Time of the Year had good leads in Katrina Bowden and Christopher Russell, and I thought some pretty funny lines, including a running gag about how he’s the “hot bachelor teacher” in the school. Apparently the colorblindness technology featured is really a thing, so that’s interesting and possibly helpful to someone. Not great but I liked it better than PhantomStranger did.

The Gift of Peace is a pretty heavy drama about coping with grief. Not easy to watch, but I thought it was pretty good and again might help people. Had an unusual faith-based emphasis, which I didn’t think was necessary but didn’t mind either, as I’m sure it’s part of many people’s journeys.

I forgot to mention earlier that The Royal Nanny had one of my favorite 1980s Euro hotties, Greta Scacchi, in a supporting role. I like how they cast once- and still-familiar actors in these kinds of side parts.

Last edited by davidh777; 12-13-22 at 01:39 AM.
Old 12-13-22, 07:40 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Hallmark Christmas Sale at Vudu
https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...mas-Sale/16296

I'm grabbing this bundle. It's got some good movies. Most of them haven't been on sale before.

Hallmark Countdown to Christmas 9-Movie Collection (Bundle) - $12.99
https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...undle-/2146943
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Old 12-13-22, 11:11 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Hooray for the Vudu sale!

I’m getting that nine-film bundle as well. Some of them are older, but most list dates of Nov 8, meaning that they’re likely new to the service. I don’t own any of them, and the bundle is dirt cheap.

Other notes:
-One of their lead titles (based on placement and promo graphic) is Jen Lilley’s 2021 USS Christmas. I never saw this last year so I’d probably get it, but it’s rental only. Hope they can fix that.
-Christmas Waltz was one of my faves from last year.
-The Williams sisters’ crossover event Sister Swap is supposed to be a two-pack, but they paired one with some sketchy non-Hallmark movie of the same title. I liked the crossover so I hope they fix it.
-I’ll get at least two of the other 2021 bundles. One is music-themed, and one pairs two good ones: Polaha’s Dickens of a Christmas and Boyfriends of Christmas Past. Most of the 2021 titles are only in the sale as bundles, but that’s ok as the bundles are great prices.
-I was hoping My Christmas Family Tree would be in the sale, but no such luck.
Old 12-13-22, 03:28 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I bought the 9 bundle one as well. Glad you posted about the Sister Swap bundle. They did bundle the 2014 movie vs. the one Ashley and Kimberly filmed last year. I thought that they just might have the wrong artwork but I purchased the bundle (and was refunded) as I want the two 2021 Sister Swap movies. The DVD for the two Sisters Swap movies shows the two 2021 titles.

I was hoping more of the newer titles and more from 2021 were on sale. Oh well. There's always an iTunes sale hopefully soon and then the sales in July.

E
Old 12-14-22, 01:21 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Highly recommend the 9-film bundle, even if you are buying blind. Some good to great selections in it.

There are several dogs in the second 10-movie collection.
Old 12-14-22, 09:37 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

This is Christmas is highly recommended (on Epix right now). Best movie of the season for me so far. A future classic.

This Is Christmas (2022) - IMDb
Old 12-14-22, 11:57 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Thanks for the heads up mphtrilogy, I have already set my dvr to record the film.
Old 12-14-22, 04:43 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I don’t have Epix
Old 12-14-22, 06:05 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by davidh777
One of their lead titles (based on placement and promo graphic) is Jen Lilley’s 2021 USS Christmas. I never saw this last year so I’d probably get it, but it’s rental only. Hope they can fix that.
USS Christmas is now available for purchase ($4.99)

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...istmas/1865458
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Old 12-14-22, 06:57 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
USS Christmas is now available for purchase ($4.99)

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...istmas/1865458
Thanks! Though I saw it was on last night, recorded it, and am watching the end right now.
Old 12-15-22, 01:08 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas (Lifetime) was filmed near me in Leavenworth, WA, and they’ve carved out a real niche as a faux-Bavarian town that goes all out for Christmas. I haven’t been in a few years, but I have friends who go all the time, and the film really leans into the “Christmastown, USA” thing.

Crown Prince of Christmas (GAC) has a familiar theme of undercover royal. Cindy Busby is pretty much Cindy Busby, but she sings, and sings a lot. She sounds fine but not exceptional to me.

I started The Art of Christmas (GAC) but the writing and acting were so bad that I turned it off.

Watched a few from the last couple years: A Recipe for Joy (Lifetime 2021), a cooking movie with Erin Agostino; USS Christmas (Hallmark 2020), with Jen Lilley and Trevor Donovan in a military-themed movie; and Christmas in My Heart (Hallmark 2021), with Luke Macfarlane as a country singer who hires a violin teacher for his daughter.

Old 12-15-22, 04:28 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Christmas In Toyland (Hallmark) 5/5 - I think this one originally ran earlier this summer for the channel's Christmas in July. Both leads aren't Hallmark A-listers but I just loved the premise, which sees a toy chain executive from the big city try to save one of their retail locations with the store's helpful manager. She's a stiff data analyst, he's been running toy stores since his childhood with his grandfather and loves the store. The male lead was phenomenal, practically carrying the movie. Quite rare for a Hallmark production. The Christmas themes work, the romance works, and everything meshes nicely together. Easily a cut above.

A Kindhearted Christmas (Great American Family) 4/5 - I hadn't seen anything with Jennie Garth in years and years. She's an anonymous donor secretly helping out her small town's needs during Christmas when a TV host does a story on the Secret Santa. She's got a future making Christmas movies if she wants it, a smoothly told story with heart and warm feelings. Formulaic but delivers exactly what most people want from these movies.
Old 12-16-22, 01:27 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Highly recommend the 9-film bundle, even if you are buying blind. Some good to great selections in it.

There are several dogs in the second 10-movie collection.
I took a closer look at the second 10-pack, and it has a couple that I like: Nutcracker Christmas and The Christmas Note. However, I haven’t seen any of the others so will probably take your word for it and pass, even at $9.99 for the lot.

Originally Posted by mk1
I bought the 9 bundle one as well. Glad you posted about the Sister Swap bundle. They did bundle the 2014 movie vs. the one Ashley and Kimberly filmed last year. I thought that they just might have the wrong artwork but I purchased the bundle (and was refunded) as I want the two 2021 Sister Swap movies. The DVD for the two Sisters Swap movies shows the two 2021 titles.

I was hoping more of the newer titles and more from 2021 were on sale. Oh well. There's always an iTunes sale hopefully soon and then the sales in July.
Yeah, I have no idea why they wouldn’t put more of the newer ones on sale. Maybe they’re hoping that people might pay full price. Maybe they’ll fix Sister Swap in time for the next sale as well.

I mentioned earlier that Lifetime already has some of this year’s films on sale, like Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas and Merry Textmas. I’ve watched some decent ones but nothing I need to rewatch for $3.99.
Old 12-16-22, 04:56 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

It is not a Hallmark movie but probably in the same wheelhouse

If rom coms were still big in cinemas I bet Zoey Deutch might rival Reese Witherspoon with the same success in that genre

Old 12-18-22, 06:09 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Okay, here we go...

A Maple Valley Christmas (Hallmark) 4.5/5 - More of a romantic business movie, former CW star Peyton List and Hallmark staple Andrew Walker make magic together. The problems they overcome are more emotionally loaded than usual and it's neatly handled. The script is put together well and the farm setting is perfect. Definitely watch this one if you like the cast at all.

A Magical Christmas Village (Hallmark) 2.5/5 - A completely forgettable Hallmark effort starring Alison Sweeney and another Hallmark B-lister as male lead. The premise is weak and the romance feels like a paint-by-numbers afterthought in the overall plot. Skip this one if you don't have the time, you've seen this a million times before.

#Xmas (Hallmark) 1.5/5 - Hashtag #HatedIt. They went for something different and failed badly. Completely lame b-plot which wastes screen time, though the most grievous mistake is virtually no chemistry between the rather forgettable leads and a bizarre appearance by Marlo Thomas. The random actress playing its female protagonist shows practically no interest in the male lead for literally the first hour and twenty minutes, not even a hint of body language. The plot then turns the romance up into overdrive in a hectic final act which feels like an inevitable car wreck. I have no idea why I watched this one all the way through to the end. I bet the script may have been written with Lifetime in mind as a destination, felt much more like one of their projects until the last minute "happy ending" turn.

Christmas Song (?????) 3.5/5 - An older telemovie from 2012 starring Natasha Henstridge about two music teachers clashing and then finding romance. A warm romcom-like vibe and Henstridge delivers. I'll guess this was originally made for Lifetime, it fits their formula around that time.
Old 12-18-22, 09:37 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

CBS Sunday Morning had a segment on Hallmark Movies

Old 12-19-22, 09:42 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by davidh777
I took a closer look at the second 10-pack, and it has a couple that I like: Nutcracker Christmas and The Christmas Note. However, I haven’t seen any of the others so will probably take your word for it and pass, even at $9.99 for the lot.



Yeah, I have no idea why they wouldn’t put more of the newer ones on sale. Maybe they’re hoping that people might pay full price. Maybe they’ll fix Sister Swap in time for the next sale as well.

I mentioned earlier that Lifetime already has some of this year’s films on sale, like Cloudy with a Chance of Christmas and Merry Textmas. I’ve watched some decent ones but nothing I need to rewatch for $3.99.


A lot of the Lifetime movies are generally available to watch for free on Hoopla Digital if your library participates!
Old 12-19-22, 09:47 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I am seeing new Holiday titles available for sale on Amazon for $4.99 on the Prime Deals page but when you actually go to purchase these the prices are $9.99 for HD and $7.99 SD. I called customer service and they said a sale starts tomorrow. I hope this is the case as there are several titles like The Mistletoe Promise and Love on Ice that I want to purchase especially as I have a nice balance of No Rush Shipping credits. Would purchase these titles for $5 either way.

I have prime thru a Household. Sale prices on for main Prime account holders.

Last edited by mk1; 12-20-22 at 04:27 PM.
Old 12-22-22, 07:49 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Long Lost Christmas (Hallmark) 3.5/5 - Familiar Hallmark star Taylor Cole spins gold from straw in this mostly enjoyable story about a woman looking for her mother's long-presumed lost brother. Not a huge fan of the scenario they place Taylor's character in - she lies for a good chunk of the movie about her motives for no good reason. But the romance really works and Taylor brings a joyful presence to her scenes.
Old 12-23-22, 06:17 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas (Hallmark) 4/5 - Somewhat of a high-concept premise for Hallmark which hits its mark. Old veteran Torrey DeVitto headlines as her character directs a stage play about the dispute over who wrote the famous Christmas poem. Ghosts of the disputed authors appear and there's a bit of metacommentary about the demands of acting and transitioning from in front of the camera to behind it. And the way everything unfolded would naturally suggest a sequel for next year. I learned the poem's 200th anniversary is in 2023.
Old 12-25-22, 12:23 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Haul Out the Holly (Hallmark) 4.5/5 - A new Lacey Chabert film and one of Hallmark's first pure Christmas comedies. It's an upbeat, laugh-packed riot about a zealous HOA imposing Christmas on a suburban neighborhood. There's a perfunctory romance which isn't given much screen time, this one is all about a wacky ensemble of characters celebrating an over-the-top Christmas season. Strains of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Lots of nice touches to the script and sharp writing in general.

A Beauty and the Beast Christmas (ION) 4/5 - This film caught me by total surprise, I almost didn't give it a chance. Two social media influencers fake a relationship for the Christmas season to boost their followers. There is a romance but this is more comedy than anything else. Way outside the usual Hallmark approach to Christmas, it boasts one of the craziest food fights I've seen on cable. The leads have excellent chemistry even if I don't recognize them from anything else. You could do a lot worse than watch this funny adventure.

Single and Ready To Jingle (Lifetime) 2/5 - Something didn't really click for me in a decent premise which goes mostly wasted. A city girl from Chicago mistakenly flies into Alaska for Christmas instead of the Caribbean, getting stranded there. She fortunately ends up staying at a B&B, falling for the bland male lead. I watched this one mostly because I thought the title was cute.

Christmas On The Slopes (UP) 3/5 - Solid romance about a celebrity chef running away from a failed proposal. Nothing especially memorable but the leads click together quite well.
Old 12-25-22, 05:33 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

B&B Merry (Great American) 4.5/5 - Fantastic new Jen Lilley movie. She's a travel blogger who ends up in a tiny B&B, meeting the owner's son. A pure Hallmark clone, but smoothly done with a familiar male lead even pulled from Hallmark. Love the atmosphere and decor in this one.

A Recipe For Joy (Lifetime) 3.5/5 - Enjoyable romance between a chef and the reporter covering him. Christmas is nicely incorporated into the plot. I vaguely recognized the female lead, I think her name is Erin something, who's been in a couple other Christmas flicks before. She does a great job and shares fine chemistry with the male lead, who is out of touch with the holiday having never seen a Christmas movie before.

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