Thursday, 29 December 2016

Christmas Movie Reviews # 10


Susan Nicholas (Jennifer Finnigan) is a copy editor for a New York Newspaper but she really wants to be a writer, but is continually being knocked back.
But she is given an assignment just before Christmas to write a seasonal piece for the Christmas edition of the paper, the only problem is that she is a sceptic when it comes to Christmas.
But she is inspired to write an article about her family's much-storied heirloom, a Christmas angel, which was hand carved by her great Grandfather.
It has supposedly been instrumental in bring several generation of her forebears together but Susan is a cynic about that as well.
But despite her cynicism the angel leads her to an accidental meeting with Brady (Jonathan Scarfe), a cute, upbeat artist who with the help of the angel, whisks Susan the grinch into a holiday-time friendship and hopefully more, if the hand-carved angel, with the reputation to bring people together, work its magic on the sceptical Susan as it moves her closer to Brady.
This is a really lovely Christmas story and quite magical even if the hand carved angel is really rather ugly.


Holly Grant (Kelli Williams) is not looking forward to Christmas at her parents’ house as her brother has a wife and children and she hasn't had a boyfriend since Ted Powell (Bruce Thomas) broke her heart when he chose to break up with her when he was transferred to an out of town newspaper owned by his family's publishing empire.
Plus on Christmas Eve a woman Holly was helping failed to regain custody of her kids when pro bono lawyer Ryan Hughes (Patrick Muldoon) never showed up at the hearing.

Knowing that she was never likely to meet Hughes, Holly has to settle for dictating a nasty letter to him. Holly's friend Diane (Maeve Quinlan) tries to perk her up by promising to send her a really great Xmas present.
So when a handsome man with a Christmas tree knocks at her door, she believes that Douglas Firwood is her present and she can take him home to her parents for the day as a boyfriend she is serious about.
In actual fact Douglas is really Ryan Hughes who is acting on the instructions of Santa Claus (Charles Durning) who is trying to deliver on a Christmas Wish made 20 years earlier which is made difficult when Ted appears back on the scene.


Jason Gedrick, Erica Cerra, Richard Harmon, Amitai Marmorstein and Emmalyn Estrada star in this festive tale that centre’s around the towns Wishing Tree, a special Christmas tree decorated with handwritten wishes.
The story revolves around the local private school, its teachers, its “orphaned” pupils and their lives over the Christmas vacation and their reasons for being there.
It has drama, humour and romance so this movie delivers just what you want in a Christmas tale.


The Pepper and Spice radio show in Los Angeles was a popular and edgy phone in show but cynical Pepper Sterling (Tilky Jones) over steps the mark and upsets one of the stations major sponsors and is banished to a sister station in rural Colorado town.
He was assigned to co-host a show with a "love doctor" Sandra Love (Haylie Duff), who is a hopeless romantic.
Pepper was unhappy with being second banana on a hick show in the back of beyond and wasn’t backwards in coming forward about letter people know as a result they have a spat live on air which gets them off on the wrong foot and their antagonistic relationship gets the whole town talking.
At first the two mix like oil and water but their on-air bickering becomes popular and, inevitably, they start to like each other and like soon leads to love.


This is the endearing tale of the postal service’s four musketeers of the undelivered mail department, the beloved quartet of post office detectives, with a duty to deliver every last letter before Christmas.
Oliver O'Toole (Eric Mabius) and his team, Shane McInerney (Kristin Booth), Rita Haywith (Crystal Lowe) and Norman Dorman (Geoff Gustafson), are working around the clock to redirect Santa’s mail and with the assistance and a little guidance from a mysterious post office volunteer, Jordan (Rob Estes) they clear all the back log by the end of December 23rd.
The whole group then all attend the Christmas formal before they head off on their separate ways to spend their Christmas’s alone where they receive an emotional last-minute plea addressed to God, so they must delay their own travel plans to make sure one little girl doesn’t lose her Christmas joy.
And as they work tirelessly to make the little girl’s wish come true Oliver runs into his former Sunday school teacher (Marion Ross) and the true identity of the mysterious Jordan is revealed and the quartet discover love right under their noses.


Twenty three year old Lisa (Ayla Kell) is pregnant and running away from the baby’s father Craig (Lochlyn Munro).
She is travelling on the bus to Denver when she hears that the road ahead is closed due to snow and is going back the way they came.
But at a diner she overhears Brad (Brendan Michael Coughlin), a professional snowboarder, talking to his girlfriend on the phone about his plan to drive over the mountain in his 4 x 4 so she asks for a ride.
They make good progress initially but a blizzard over takes them and Brad's car slams into a snow bank in the middle of the wilderness.
They are forced to seek shelter at the only sign of civilization that they had seen in the last ten miles, the Rosemont Lodge.
Which was once a vibrant year-round resort, but the Rosemont Lodge had been closed for nearly 20 years.
Most of the Lodge has been sealed up and only a corner of the main building shows any sign of habitation.
As they approached the building they are greeted by the lodge's owner, Josephine (Grace Zabriskie), who is brandishing a shotgun, and her retainer Abe (Brad Dourif) who persuades her to let them in out of the snow.
Josephine used to be the heart and soul of the resort, her personality, and her cooking, were as much of an attraction as were the hundreds of acres of pristine mountain wilderness but as a result of personal tragedy she closed the resort and became a recluse.
However having Brad and a heavily pregnant Lisa about the place it has a thawing effect on Josephine and after she and Abe deliver the baby a bond is formed that has a lasting effect.

This is a very enjoyable Christmas tale in which Grace Zabriskie is the absolute star of the show as Josephine but Brad Dourif runs a close second as Abe.


Michael Thompson (Patrick Muldoon) is an uptight city accountant who is struggling to raise his teenage daughter Chloe (Mandalynn Carlson) all on his own after his wife’s tragic death.
Being a single parent and having to work long hours Chloe doesn’t see as much of him as she would like which leads to her attention seeking behaviour, so when he gets a call from Cliff Harrison (Rick Herod) to help save their family stables before ruthless bankers shut them down, he wonders if the country life is just what he and Chloe need to start over.
However when Michael arrives to sort out a farm’s financial problems he finds that Cliff's daughter Samantha (Charisma Carpenter) is not as appreciative of his help as rest of the family (Sydney (Dominique Swain), Jackson (Jaren Lewison), and Ben (Billy Tilk)) are for his help.
But as they search for ways to save the family's legacy, Romance develops between the accountant and Samantha while the baddies in the story seem hell bent on acquiring the farms best horse called Holly which is prised by the family as it was Cliff’s deceased wife’s favourite.


Katherine (Briana Evigan) is a Royal Princess and is in New York just before Christmas for a series of official engagements.
But she just wants an hour to herself out of her busy schedule to visit an art exhibition.
But when her Aunt Margaret (Jacqueline Samuda), who runs her life, tells her it was not possible and to stop being selfish she escapes her entourage to explore New York anyway and as she is tired of her diamond-studded and privileged life and the royal responsibilities that went along with being a royal princess she decided to take longer than an hour.
But when a pair of street hustlers steal her purse and prised camera, a good Samaritan, a young man called Jack (Paul Campbell) comes to her aid and ends up sweeping her off of her feet when he shows her his side of the city.
And when her true identity is finally revealed it is Jack who arranges for her to view the exhibition unheeded after calling in a favour.
It’s a lovely film in which, Harry (Jay Brazeau) steals the show as Jack’s friend, in this gentle heart-warming Christmas tale.


A cynical youth, Riley (Aaron Jaeger), whose mother Sarah (Maureen McCormick) is about to lose her job right before the holidays, is visited by a magical Christmas spirit called Hope (Vanessa Angel).
She gives him a task to help another family regain their Christmas spirit and by so doing get it back for himself.
Alexandra Paul, Jason Brooks and Mariah Buzolin star as the family in crisis but Janet Carroll steals the show as Grandmother Betty.


Appraiser/real estate saleswoman Isabella Everhart (Haylie Duff) is in partnership with her father Rex Everhart (C. Thomas Howell) but he’s not pulling his weight and not for the first time he drops a bombshell in her lap at the last minute, a large estate sale.
So still angry at her father she leave her California hometown in the rear-view mirror, Belle heads north on business to facilitate the estate sale of a mansion and she also put some distance between herself and her old school friend and persistent suitor Tony (Mark Famiglietti).
Despite her displeasure at being let down by her father the job is a dream, the client, Hunter Lowell (Nicholas Gonzalez), however is not, but, as the two spend more time together, his icy demeanour begins to melt.
Although their relationship is budding, Belle's long-time suitor, Tony, arrives, sending mixed signals to Hunter while adding chaos to the holiday season in a Yuletide romantic triangle.

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