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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Old 12-25-22, 09:13 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I think the Hallmark Xmas movies are officially done and have to wait until July or Oct for new Xmas premieres.
Old 12-25-22, 09:23 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I usually watch 2 to 4 Hallmark movies during the holidays. But I didn’t watch a single Hallmark holiday movie this holiday season. None of the new ones that were added to Peacock sounded good. Just the same old rinse and repeat formula. I did however watch a couple of decent ones on Netflix and Hulu. Can I talk about them here? Or is this just Hallmark movies? There is no all in one Christmas TV movies thread. A bunch are on Netflix, Hulu, Lifetime, GAC.
Old 12-25-22, 11:20 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Anything is fair game. We regularly discuss Lifetime, UPN, and GAC, as well as other networks with similar titles. CBS had some this year, and Netflix is cranking them out aggressively (I discussed the Lindsay Lohan one). Hulu is showing all the new GACs, but I notice they have a couple Hallmarks from past years, such as Double Holiday and Once Upon a Christmas Miracle.
Old 12-25-22, 11:41 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas




A Christmas Switch (2018)

Not sure what network originally televised this. But, I found it on Hulu and watched it last night. I know Candace Cameron Bure did a movie similar to it. It's about a singing waitress in a local diner and a stuck up record executive who accidentally switch personalities/bodies after a chance meeting. They have to adjust and figure out to get things back to normal, but they also learn valuable lessons. I loved it. The ladies were great playing both personalities and were very charming.




I Believe in Santa (2022)

Stars real-life married couple Christina Moore and John Ducey. Ducey co-wrote this movie too. It's about two people who meet by chance and fall in love, but what disrupts their relationship is Ducey's character believes in Santa Claus and the spirit of Christmas. Moore's character is a writer who hates Christmas. You can figure out how it goes. Starts out a little corny, but I grew to like it. It has a sweet conclusion.




Christmas with You (2022)

Also, a Netflix movie. Not a fan of Freddie Prinze Jr, but I quite like Aimee Garcia. She plays a J-Lo like pop star who is searching for her next hit. She then comes across this single father with his teen daughter. They meet by chance and eventually he becomes initially a platonic colleague that helps her work on the song. He's a music teacher. But, more develops later. It was decent and had some charm. Pretty predictable, but not boring.
Old 12-26-22, 10:31 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Yep, those are totally appropriate for this thread.

Now that all the new ones are shut down for the year, I think this is my best coverage yet, having watched everything except Hanukkah on Rye and Holiday Heritage.

A Big Fat Family Christmas is their second Asian-centric title this season, and I liked it a lot. Familiar themes of traditions and parental expectations, San Francisco setting, mostly new cast with Tia Carrere as the mom.

The Holiday Sitter is notable for centering on a gay romance rather than having gay side characters, and I thought it was funny. I’ve seen enough gay-centric movies that this probably wouldn’t have stood out had it not been Hallmark.

’Twas the Night Before Christmas was mentioned earlier, and it really is a different concept, with the authorship of the famous poem being debated in a courtroom, but as a play, so multiple things going on here. The backstage idea reminded me of Polaha’s Dickens of a Christmas last year, which I also liked.

Ashley Williams gets to flex her dramatic chops in the new installment of Five More Minutes, this one subtitled Moments Like These, and it naturally deals with themes of loss. I like Williams’ comedy, but she’s fine in this one as well, and fortunately doesn’t have to deal with angst constantly through the movie. It worked, but probably not one I’ll watch again.

On the non-Hallmark front, Fit for Christmas on CBS starred Amanda Kloots, who I guess is a daytime talk-show host but in a former life was a Rockette and Broadway dancer. She plays a fitness instructor (and still has the Rockettes kicks) who returns home to save a beloved institution. Yes, it’s not Hallmark, but it hits all the tropes.

I’d mentioned earlier having deleted The Art of Christmas (GAC) after 10 minutes because it was so bad. I accidentally recorded it again without realizing what it was so I just watched it through, and it was still terrible.

The Christmas Catch (Netflix 2018) is a light crime comedy about a police officer who strikes up a relationship with the person she’s staking out. It stars Emily Alatalo, who is new to me but pretty cute. IMDb says she’s in a 2022 movie called Christmas Plus One, but I haven’t found where it’s available.
Old 12-26-22, 11:43 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Christmas Catch is a fave of mine, and I have seen it at least 3 times since it originally aired. Lauren Holly stars as Emily’s mom and Andrew Bushell is her partner, they are both great.

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Old 12-26-22, 04:44 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas




I forgot that I recorded Jolly Good Christmas from last week. I see it premiered back in October.

Anyway, I lasted about 40 minutes. Didn't work for me and I didn't find any charm or charisma with the actors or story. I liked Reshma Shetty from Royal Pains, but she didn't do anything for me here. It just got too corny for me. Granted I didn't last long enough to see the two actually hook up. Maybe it was a charming moment? I don't know. Did anyone see this?

Old 12-26-22, 05:12 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I thought Jolly Good was ok. Probably the most interesting part was the look at British-Indian culture, but the weird thing is that Will Kemp, who is British, is playing an American fish out of water in London. I like Will Kemp, especially when they fit dancing into the plot, but that was odd casting.
Old 12-26-22, 11:31 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I noticed Hallmark played fewer older movies this season on their cable channels. Many from 2020 and 2021 which never got scheduled once in November and December. Any of the stars that bolted for Great American practically disappeared from Hallmark's lineup.

You can get most of the Hallmark catalog, both films and television, on Amazon Video for $5.99 a month.

Old 12-27-22, 01:39 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Phantom, now that you mention it, I also noticed less re-airings of favorite Hallmark Holiday films from years past. However, it tracks that Hallmark would prefer not to pay out residuals to stars that they can no longer monetize using the Hallmark brand.

The thing is, the more that I think about it there were indeed less re-airings of past films than usual, and I do not think it was just the films with folks that jumped to GAC.

Maybe I missed the re-airing, but films like Trading Christmas (an oldie but a goodie starring Faith Ford and Tom Kavanaugh) did not seem to pop up this year to watch.

I guess it helps that some of the streamers are now adding more Hallmark content to view so you can watch certain Hallmark films on-demand, but it used to be a fun treat to turn on the tv and a fan fave film from past years would be airing, or checking the channel guide and noticing other past Hallmark films that were set to re-air and hitting record on my DVR.

Between CBS, Hallmark, Lifetime, UP, GAC, Netflix, HBO Max, and ION, I hope we reached peak Holiday original films this year, and the number of originals that air starting during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season in 2023 remains the same, or there is even a small reduction in the sheer number of films to watch in 2023.

I missed just a small handful this year, and based on yours and David's comments the films I missed watching are not worth pursuing to watch when they are re-run or hit the streamers, such as The Art of Christmas (GAC, and the consensus is that I did not miss anything special), and that film with Cindy Busby that involved a Prince (I think David notes that she did a bunch of singing in this film, regardless of what it was called) that again, feels like I did not miss much by not watching. I probably also missed a film or two that aired on networks like Comedy Central or BET/Oxygen/OWN. However, I will survive, lol!
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Old 12-27-22, 02:45 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

so my wife loves these movies, so I watch more than I care to admit, and during the holidays will concede that there is a warm and comforting charm to it, just shut off the brain and let it wash over you.

with Candace Cameron's move to GAC, we did watch more of those from previous years just to see what they were all about in comparison to Hallmark, and yikes, they were all pretty terrible, even by low standards.

I'm assuming with seducing Cameron to move over to GAC (pronounced GACK in our house) that the quality (production values, supporting cast) will start to be on par with Hallmark in the years to come?

Old 12-27-22, 09:28 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I probably would have agreed Great American's films before this year were hit or miss. The line-up this year was fairly strong outside of the ones headed by no-names. On Christmas day they listed how viewers ranked all 18 new movies in a countdown.

Nantucket Noel (Hallmark) 3/5 - Mostly solid Christmas movie starring Sarah Power(?). The most memorable thing about it is that the movie was actually filmed in Nantucket on the water. I did not realize they outfitted boats with Christmas lights. The male lead is kind of dull and put in the position of wooing Sarah's character while his Scrooge-like father attempts to drive her out of business for marina redevelopment.

Toying With The Holidays (Lifetime) 2.5/5 - Older Cindy Busby film which I wanted to like more than I actually did. She partners up with an old high school friend who helps her restore a person-size personal train her dad used to ride around the holidays. I've always found something lacking in most of Busby's films, though to be fair she's been doing these Christmas movies longer than most of the other stars and was appearing in them when they were treated more as afterthoughts to regular programming.
Old 12-28-22, 11:18 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

A Very Charming Christmas Town (Lifetime) 4/5 - This would have received a perfect score if the "conflict" introduced in the final act was handled better. Nothing was really settled and magically all is forgiven over the commercial break. Whatever 'it' is, star Natalie Hall has it. She's perfect as the lead in this bubbly Christmas movie about a former songwriter turned blogger, who visits a small town in California which goes all out for Christmas. I don't remember seeing her on Hallmark in several years but she's done various starring vehicles on Lifetime and always delivers.
Old 12-29-22, 02:14 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Candace Cameron Bure and Danica McKellar are no longer part of the Hallmark family, but looking at the Nov & Dec schedule their old movies sure got a lot of airtime. way too much

Favorites of 2022


Ghosts of Christmas Always
This was my favorite of the new entries this season. An offbeat adaptation (at least for Hallmark) of 'A Christmas Carol'. We get a peek behind the scenes of what goes into a 'scrooging', following a team of three spirits as their assignment doesn't go according to planned. Loved the concept, enjoyed both romantic leads.

Haul Out the Holly
Lacey Chabert is duped by her parents into coming back home to prepare the house for holiday festivities, while butting heads with a childhood friend turned nightmare HOA president (fun spirited Wes Brown) and dealing with some kooky overzealous neighbors rolling out their Christmas decor (incl. Stephen Tobolowsky, Melissa Peterman who steals the show here ) Lotta laughs.

The Holiday Stocking (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)
An angel is sent back to earth in an attempt to help reconcile the relationship between his two estranged sisters via an old family tradition of solving holiday-themed riddles and charity work. Good script, another ensemble that just clicked, LOVED the banter between the two sisters. Award for best clothing accessory: the angel fanny pack.

Also recommend :
Santa Bootcamp (Lifetime)
Emily Kinney plays an event planner hired to setup a holiday gala. As she tries to book a Santa for hire, she ends up going through the rigors of a santa bootcamp herself. Rita Moreno looked like she had fun running the ship. Props for incorporating ASL actors.

We Need a Little Christmas (HMM)
Single widowed mom relocates to a new neighborhood while she and son prepare for a Christmas without papa. It follows a very familiar Hallmark/xmas blueprint, but both Erica Durance & Lynn Whitfield elevate this one.

A Tale of Two Christmases
A likable Kat Barrell in Hallmark's version of Sliding Doors.

---

Naughty List:

Most Shaky Accents
Will Kemp in Jolly Good Christmas- as handsome and charming as he is, Mr. Kemp's attempt at American was a distraction
Rachel Skarsten sounded slightly better with her faux-English accent in The Royal Nanny

Worst Motion Tracking after effect
The Royal Nanny
I could overlook the fake digital snow in all these xmas movies but this was just atrocious. This goof was fixed for subsequent airings.




Most Disappointing Ending
Christmas Bedtime Stories
Would have preferred Erin Cahill's character to just have moved on from her MIA/POW husband, maybe have Steve Lund pop up for that final father-daughter dance. I guess it's in line with the whole Hallmark #MiraclesofChristmas brand, but the ending betrayed the whole tone of the story.

Last edited by skatefan20; 12-29-22 at 02:30 AM.
Old 12-29-22, 06:33 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

When I Think of Christmas (Hallmark) 1/5 - A couple of Hallmark's second-string leads get together for this disappointing flop. I particularly didn't enjoy the backstory which frames this so-called romance - two high school sweethearts go in different directions at college, leading to a bitter breakup. Ten years later, he returns home. He ventured off to Nashville as a singer, while she went to Yale on a full scholarship. The biggest issue here is a forgettable male lead, an entirely useless b-plot involving the elderly mother, and the wild swings in tone from pure romance to animosity. I don't think this script was originally conceived for Hallmark, a couple of the scenes go far beyond their formula's normal emotional range. A script doctor could have turned this into a better movie.
Old 12-30-22, 01:28 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I agree with skatefan that the ending of Christmas Bedtime Stories was just bad. I posted about it earlier, but it was a misfire in many directions.

I haven’t done an analysis of the Hallmark broadcast schedule but agree that I’ve seen a lot of CCB and McKellar. Of course a lot of the programming will be reruns of this year’s premieres, but it’s also been heavy on the last couple years’ stuff. Maybe some others were avoided. One of my favorites, Love Always Santa, was finally rerun recently, and that’s not available for purchase either. Steering people to their subscription service maybe,

The Lifetime sale on Vudu is STILL going, but Hallmark is over. I feel a little disappointed because they didn’t have a couple of last year’s favorites, and they never fixed Sister Swap, but then I remind myself that I did get the nine-pack plus six from last year.

I watched GAC’s Aisle Be Home for Christmas on the recommendation of a friend who watches even more of these than I do. The concept is that a bunch of people get stuck in a department store by a snowstorm, which is certainly budget-friendly. But it was bad, the script and acting. Some of the GACs this year were better than others, like the Jill Wagner one, but the bad ones were, like, really bad. And it’s not like Hallmark films are high art.
Old 12-30-22, 10:34 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

To pile on the criticism of Christmas Bedtime Stories, the ending ruined what had already been at best an okay Hallmark film.

I like Erin Cahill a lot, but she should have gone into Diva Mode and said to the writers, this ending does not really work, let her have a happy ending and get over her grief by finally getting engaged to the sweet man who had been there for her as she processed the loss of her husband rather than have her husband in the military seemingly magically reappear at the very end. It was indeed a rare Hallmark Fail that I will never rewatch. This was one of only a small number of times over the past 10+ years when I felt that the ending of a Hallmark film ruined what had been up until the ending a good to okay film.

Okay, I agree that the acting in Aisle Be Home for Christmas was...not great, not going to argue that the leading actresses acting was anything to write home about, but I continue to watch films that star Jennifer Freeman because there is something about her looks that draw me in. There are quite a few cute actresses that get cast in UP, Lifetime, Hallmark, GAC, etc., type films, but Jennifer's middling acting chops do not deter me from watching her films. She played Claire Kyle in the Damon Wayons show My Wife and Kids (she was the second actress cast in the role after the first actress only starred in the first 12 episodes), and has grown up to be quite a cute looking lady.

I also suspect that like CCB she is known for being quite religious as she seems to pop up in films on GAC but I do not think I have seen her in a lot of Hallmark films. The folks behind GAC probably lean into casting Jennifer for her looks and because she is part of the tribe that shares the same or similar faith to other actresses like CCB.

CCB migrated to GAC and used her religious beliefs as her shield against embracing the fairly new "woke" culture of Hallmark, who is not afraid to show same sex couples kissing in their films, but she also wrote a post that led to a backlash against her, and has led me to look at CCB a bit askance when I watch one of her films. So far, Jennifer Freeman has been smart and not created a post where she says that certain folks have cooties and allowing them to marry is not natural.

CCB has built up quite the fanbase over the years, between Full and Fuller House, and her many years of starring in Hallmark films she is able to weather the storm caused by the backlash to her post, but even though Jennifer also starred on a moderately long running ABC sitcom that was pretty well embraced by its audience, she just does not have enough of a fanbase to get away with a post tut-tuting "unnatural" marriages.

TL: DR: Jennifer gets hired to act in certain made for TV films due to her looks and religious beliefs, not for her acting skills.

ETA: I believe that on New Years Day Hallmark is airing an original film, and it looks like another batch of The Wedding Veil films starts up next weekend. Went to the Hallmark Channel and saw that the New Year's Film is The Dog Lover's Guide To Dating.

Last edited by Inhumans99; 12-30-22 at 11:36 AM.
Old 12-30-22, 01:04 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Freeman is cute for sure. Interesting that you mention the religious angle because in Aisle spoiler alert the characters take a prayer break. It’s appropriate for the situation but kinda sticks out in this kind of movie.

Yeah, I wasn’t sure if they were rerunning the Wedding Veil movies, but they’re all new with character progression, which could be interesting. As we discussed last year, I really liked the Lacey/McGarry one, was bored by the Autumn one, and thought the Sweeney one bounced back a bit.

Currently watching Holiday Heritage. I like Brooks Darnell, and the Kwanzaa elements are interesting, but the plot is kinda dull. Characters mostly circle around each other expressing regrets.
Old 12-30-22, 02:57 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by skatefan20
Naughty List:

Most Shaky Accents
Will Kemp in Jolly Good Christmas- as handsome and charming as he is, Mr. Kemp's attempt at American was a distraction
Rachel Skarsten sounded slightly better with her faux-English accent in The Royal Nanny
Wow, you weren't kidding. I've always liked Will Kemp in the few things I've seen from him but this faux American accent he attempts comes and goes in Jolly Good Christmas.

Jolly Good Christmas (Hallmark) 2/5 - Will Kemp plays an American working over in London and hires a personal shopper to pick out Christmas gifts for his wound-tight girlfriend. I enjoyed the UK setting and the leads have solid chemistry, but as mentioned above Kemp fails at using an American accent. I also wasn't terribly enthusiastic about the basic structure of the story - Kemp falls for the personal shopper while dating another woman. This one felt much more like an average romcom than your typical Hallmark Christmas movie.

My Favorite Christmas Tree (Great American) 4/5 - This is just a cute movie of an eager historical researcher who searches for her family's ancestors while falling for the town's owner of the local Christmas tree farm. Great chemistry between the leads, who I don't recognize and must be new faces. I also noticed a few nice directorial choices which spruced things up. About my only issue is the resolution likely needed another ten minutes of screen time for a proper finale, it felt a little quick.

A Eclectic Christmas (UP) 1.5/5 - If people really want to see bland, uninspired Christmas movies, visit UP more often than not. This isn't a Christmas movie but the channel names it something to catch viewers flipping channels. A couple reunite after several years when she returns home to close up her beloved aunt's shop who just passed, sending them on a hunt for some lost antiques. I don't think this movie was ever conceived as a Christmas film and they threw in a few token acknowledgements to the holiday.
Old 12-31-22, 10:11 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I watched a second CBS selection, Must Love Christmas, with no-name (to me) leads. Not exceptional but pretty solid. The CBS stuff has been better than much of the GAC stuff.
Old 12-31-22, 06:04 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by davidh777
Christmas Bedtime Stories has Erin Cahill as a soldier's widow trying to move on.

Originally Posted by Inhumans99
To pile on the criticism of Christmas Bedtime Stories, the ending ruined what had already been at best an okay Hallmark film.

I like Erin Cahill a lot, but she should have gone into Diva Mode and said to the writers, this ending does not really work, let her have a happy ending and get over her grief by finally getting engaged to the sweet man who had been there for her as she processed the loss of her husband rather than have her husband in the military seemingly magically reappear at the very end. It was indeed a rare Hallmark Fail that I will never rewatch. This was one of only a small number of times over the past 10+ years when I felt that the ending of a Hallmark film ruined what had been up until the ending a good to okay film.
For Hallmark, tis the season to offer false hope to those still coming to grips in these similar circumstances.

Erin Cahill's character foreshadowed what was to come in the final act by name dropping Cast Away, but still I didn't think it earned that particular ending. Which was too bad because I also thought it was an okay movie.


Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
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.
Caught this one because I recall her from 30 Rock as Cerie. Wouldn't she have lost her license submitting the guy into a clinical trial without his consent??? The movie ending up being an ad for one of the color-blind glasses brands (Enchroma)


Old 12-31-22, 08:48 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by skatefan20
Caught this one because I recall her from 30 Rock as Cerie. Wouldn't she have lost her license submitting the guy into a clinical trial without his consent??? The movie ending up being an ad for one of the color-blind glasses brands (Enchroma)
Yeah, clearly unethical and something I doubt any professional would attempt.

Originally Posted by davidh777

I started The Art of Christmas (GAC) but the writing and acting were so bad that I turned it off.
I gave The Art of Christmas a look...and you weren't wrong. The first hour is complete amateur hour, virtually everything looks and sounds like community theater. The back half is a little better but nothing to write home about.

A Brush With Christmas (Great American) 4.5/5 - Jillian Murray stars in this nicely crafted Christmas film about a chef who finally unearths her artistic talent when she meets an artist from out of town. She's starred in several non-Christmas movies before on Lifetime. I hope we get more Christmas films from her. Incredibly smooth romance with some crafty touches.

A Christmas Cookie Catastrophe (Hallmark) 3/5 - Hallmark familiars Rachel Boston and Vic Webster star in this comedy-driven flick. Boston plays a ruthless cookie CEO whose career is threatened when someone steals her company's secret recipe. I've always enjoyed her films but I'm not sure this screenplay played to Rachel's strengths. The cheesy comedy is overplayed and rarely hits, while the romance is only okay. I'm lukewarm on recommending this one unless you enjoy the stars. Interesting tidbit, two of the supporting actors from A Brush With Christmas...appear in this movie as bit players. I would have never made the connection if I hadn't seen the movies back to back.

The Art of Christmas (Great American) 1/5 - I gave this a fair shot but it's not a good movie. A beautiful teacher/artist drops her pretentious boyfriend for a more down-to-earth hockey fan. You know a movie is in trouble when the secondary leads look like they are in a more interesting movie than what we are getting. The first half has some terrible acting and stilted dialogue. The new female lead, Brigette something?, has no other screen credits. She does a respectable job but everything else about this movie is off.
Old 01-02-23, 10:56 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Hi, all. I just found this thread thanks to someone posting about it on the DVDTalk holiday challenge thread. Guess I missed the boat for this year, but I'll bookmark it for next holiday season.

I watched most of the new Hallmarks, some of the Lifetimes, and various other new releases. I hit 81 new holiday movies this year -- which is nuts, but there were over 200 new releases. I'm on letterboxd if anyone wants to follow along. Here's my 2022 holiday premiere ranking list: https://letterboxd.com/jensenholmes/...-ranking-2022/

I thought Hallmark had a disctinctive bump up in quality this year. The scripts were more varied and, overall, better written. Lifetime had some quite good movies (for the genre) and some real duds. GAC, man. What happened? I was willing to ignore the politics and just watch the movies, but I gave up after a few. They are really stuck in the past with the scripts and, for the most part, just weren't good by any measure. I loved some of the bigger releases like About Fate, Something from Tiffany's, Your Christmas or Mine.

On Halmlark, my top 10 were
The Holiday Sitter - Loved that it featured a gay couple but also it's just fun. Great chemistry
Three Wise Men and a Baby - Everyone loves this one
Haul out the Holly - Funny
Noel Next Door - I loved that one of the romantic leads has a disabiliy (minor though it was)
Lights, Camera, Christmas - Terrific leads and witty script
Jolly Good Christmas - I liked the romance and it's London at Christmas
A Holiday Spectacular - great dance numbers
Holiday on Rye - Hallmark's best Hanukkah movie yet
Ghosts of Christmas Always - Fun fantasy theme
The Royal Nanny - Nice to see a badass heroine

I'm more into the romances than the dramas. Movies like Five More Minutes and The Gift of Peace - not my cup of tea. I don't want grieving at Chritsmas.
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davidh777 (01-07-23)
Old 01-02-23, 11:11 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

A few Hallmark winter themed movies (sports related) will be on sale starting tomorrow on Vudu.com. A couple of bundles will also be on sale.
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davidh777 (01-02-23)
Old 01-04-23, 11:17 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

My Grown-Up Christmas List (Hallmark) 5/5 - Kayla Wallace turns in a dynamite performance in what may be my favorite Hallmark production of the past two Christmases. Without spoiling things too much, there's a long-distance relationship and the military involved in this heartwarming tale. It's more serious fare than Hallmark's typical holiday romances and captures the feeling well of loved ones separated by outside commitments. You know a Hallmark movie is good when you notice the superior direction and set design.

Three Wise Men and a Baby (Hallmark) 2/5 - The emperor has no clothes, I found this comedy tale highly overrated. The script is credited to Hallmark actors Kimberly Sustad and Paul Campbell, which is interesting. I guess this is winning kudos since it veers far outside the usual Hallmark formula with snarky humor and a sarcastic undertone. I've always thought Campbell is one of Hallmark's more workmanlike male stars and rarely elevates his films. I did enjoy the final act's crescendo but it was a long slog getting there.

The Holiday Dating Guide (Lifetime) 4/5 - Never caught anything with Maria Menounos before but she has a charismatic presence in this fairly conventional romance. I loved all the classic cars on display, something out of the ordinary for one of these telecable productions. The movie's structure is only barely tied to the holiday, the screenplay really could have been set at anytime of the year. The biggest issue however is a messy final ten minutes which doesn't feel genuine and how they resolve the romantic conflict. I suspect I would have come down harder on Holiday Dating Guide for not sticking the landing if Menounos wasn't so charming in it.

Last edited by PhantomStranger; 01-05-23 at 12:22 AM.

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