Showing posts with label Movie Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Movie Reviews. Show all posts

Monday, September 13, 2021

Favorite Fall Hallmark Movies Reviewed

Fall is pumpkin season at the Hallmark channel! As summer wanes and the cooler air is a welcome relief this also brings my favorite Fall Movies at Hallmark.


This year three new Hallmark Harvest movies premier in September. Set your schedules now to enjoy the brilliance of Fall along with pumpkin, spices and Hallmark. No worries if you miss the premiere, the movies will repeat throughout the month.

New Fall Hallmark Movies 2021

Roadhouse Romance - September 11

A fall Rom Com featuring Tyler Hynes and Lauren Alaina. Tyler has become a Hallmark favorite lead and Alaina is a country music veteran. The Hallmark formula of returning home, high school sweetheart and a struggling family business entwine the two leads plus a special treat. Lauren Alaina will perform two songs “Run” and “What Do You Think Of"

Preview of Roadhouse Romance

 Raise A Glass To Love - September 18

It wouldn't be Fall without a trip to the vineyards for Hallmark. This guarantees gorgeous scenery to combine with wine, sommelier, family vineyard and a new handsome 'visitor' to the vineyards. Laura Osnes and Juan Pablo Di Pace star.

Taking The Reins - September 25

I am very much looking forward to Taking The Reins with Hallmark fan favorite Nikki DeLoach. Filmed on location at a horse farm, Scott Porter joins DeLoach as the male lead. Expect fall color and romance as DeLoach plays a writer returning to the family ranch and discovers the relation between marriage, ranching, writing and romance.

Favorite Fall Hallmark Films Returning



Autumn Dreams

Hallmark favorite Jill Wagner and Collin Egglesfield have a fun and flirty chemistry as they reunite 15 years after their ill fated teenage marriage. Enjoy these two in this rom com as they discover they are still married, but one is engaged, but married? The fun begins as they try to unravel this romance and perhaps begin again...

View preview and blooper reel > here 

Country At Heart

A very sweet movie with Jessy Schram and Niall Matter. Nashville, song writing, the hits and struggles of the music business and of course romance star in a movie with real chemistry and real! singing. The stars also sing in this don't miss Hallmark Fall movie.

View the Country At Home Music Special

Sweet Autumn

Two Hallmark Favorites Nikki DeLoach and Andrew Walker star in a fall movie centered around the Sweet Autumn Festival. Two opposites are left a legendary sweet shop as their romance unfolds. These two actors have great chemistry and the plot is classic Hallmark. Enjoy!

More Hallmark Movie Reviews

Hallmark Sweet Carolina by The Savvy Age
Hallmark Christmas Movies 2020 Reviewed by The Savvy Age
Finding Father Christmas by Cynthia
Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age
Broadcasting Christmas by Cynthia
Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies by The Savvy Age
Debbie Macomber's Mr. Miracle Hallmark Movie Review by Cynthia





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Sunday, September 12, 2021

Looking for an Entertaining Comedy-Drama Movie to Watch? - Check This One Out

Are You Looking for a Comedy-Drama Movie to Watch


I've recently become a Netflix junkie. 

In the past thirty days, I've watched more movies than I have in one year.

After scrolling past "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" for several weeks, I decided to give it a try.

I prefer movies with skilled, famous actors or actresses. Where'd You Go, Bernadette stars Cate Blanchett, Billy Crudup, Emma Nelson, and Kristen Wiig, so it passed my initial talent hurdle. There are additional small acting appearances by other well-known artists.

Based on the 2012 Hit Novel, Where'd You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple

As usual, according to multiple online reviews, the general consensus is that the novel was better, and the movie missed the mark.

However, I haven't read the novel, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

The Movie - Released August 2019 as a Comedy-Drama

Bernadette Fox, played by Cate Blanchett, is a renowned Architect, who after experiencing a professional embarrassment on a very public project, decides to retreat into her family. Leaving her profession 'hanging' is one of the main reasons she begins to lose her grip on life. She settles into a reclusive existence with little to no patience for anyone other than her daughter and husband.

When the movie starts, you don't get the feeling Bernadette isn't "all there." That part of the movie builds in stages through a series of dramatic incidents. At first, you're thinking, "ok, she's normal; she simply lacks tolerance." However, as the movie progresses, you learn, "nope, there's more to this story than meets the eye," 

The Comedic Aspect of the Film

Although the movie highlights the seriousness of mental illness, it manages to do it with some humor. Personally speaking, I appreciated that approach. I wasn't looking for a movie about the absolute seriousness of the human condition. I was able to get more out of this film by the way they approached this topic. After all, the movie is billed as a comedy-drama, so that's what I was expecting, and that's what it delivered.

My Favorite Line - It Essentially Sums Up the Movie

Laurence Fishburne has a small but substantial role in the movie. As soon as he delivered this line to Bernadette, I immediately understood why Bernadette lost herself:

"...People like you must create. That's what you were brought into this world to do, Bernadette. If you don't, you become a menace to society."

That line made me want to go out and fix people! Lol. I know a few people this applies to! I personally understand it as well; when I'm not creating, I'm lost. I hadn't really thought of it that way, but yes, there's some truth to the menace aspect.

There's much more to this story. If you're looking for a fun, where-the-heck-is-this-movie-heading plot, you'll enjoy this one. 

Personally Speaking - Here are the Words I'd Use to Describe this Film

  • Quirky
  • Funny
  • Family
  • Artists
  • Love
  • Neglect
  • Mother Daughter
  • Distance
  • Absurd
  • Hopeful
  • Healing
  • Bizarre
  • Serious but Light
Movie Preview - If you're viewing via mobile, you can see the trailer directly on YouTube here.






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Friday, September 10, 2021

Disney's Cruella Movie Reviewed

Cruella Movie Review
Disney's Cruella is a pretty good movie and surprisingly one I would recommend.  However, if you try to compare the "new" Cruella with the original 101 Dalmatians Cruella De Vil character, it doesn't quite match.  

One could claim that the new Cruella ages to more closely resemble the original Cruella, but it would be hard to believe she could go from caring for the dalmatian dogs to wanting to kill 99 puppies to make a coat for herself.  Granted, this new Cruella doesn't claim to love the 3 dalmatians she has stolen, but she doesn't show any desire to kill them in order to quickly gain what she wants.  

Frankly, she would be more likely to kill 3 dogs in order to reclaim a family heirloom that one of them swallowed than she would be to kill 99 for their valueless fur.

Do I recommend Cruella?  Yes, I do.  It is a good movie for adults.  Just don't expect this Cruella to resemble (apart from looks) the Cruella De Vil of 101 Dalmatians.  After all, the original character was basically named a derivative of Cruel Devil for a reason!

 

Disney's Cruella Movie Synopsis

Baron von Hellman was elated to find out his wife was expecting, but Baroness von Hellman was extremely displeased and flew into a rage.  When Estella was born, the baron was out of town which allowed the baroness the opportunity to hand her child off to her valet, John, to be disposed of immediately.  She did see the baby long enough to know she was born with half black & half white hair.  

John simply could not kill a baby so he gave her to a sweet maid, Catherine Miller, who he knew would care for her.  Catherine left Hellman Hall that very night with Estella and claimed her as her own child.  

After the loss of his child, the baron grieved himself to death.  However, the tyrannical baroness lived on to thrive as a renowned haute couture designer.  

*****

 Disney's Cruella DVD or Blu-ray [2021]Check PriceEstella, nicknamed Cruella, is opinionated, rebellious and strong-willed. Most of the other kids don't like her and she doesn't hesitate to get into physical fights with them, including the boys. When Estella is expelled from school, Catherine needs money to move to a new city, a new school, in order to start over.  She turns to Baroness Von Hellman for aid, but ends up dead instead, leaving Estella orphaned and living on the streets.  

Estella is befriended by Jasper and Horace who teach her how to survive as a pickpocket.  They become the only family each one knows. 

With a keen eye for fashion and the ability to create exceptional designs, Estella desires to work in the fashion industry.  Jasper & Horace help her get her foot in the door of the fashion world.  However, when that desire is overshadowed by a need for revenge, the boys aren't quite sure how far Estella will go or if they should help her get what she wants this time.

*****

The Disney movie, Cruella, is chock full of fabulous actresses and actors.  Emma Stone is exceptional as Cruella, but she is not the only outstanding actor in this movie. 

  • Cruella (adult) - Emma Stone
  • Cruella (child) - Tipper Seifert-Cleveland 
  • Baroness von Hellman - Emma Thompson
  • Jasper - Joel Fry
  • Horace - Paul Walter Hauser
  • John, the valet - Mark Strong
  • Artie - John McCrae
  • Maya - Kirby Howell-Baptiste
  • Catherine Miller - Emily Beecham
By the way, Cruella 2 is already in the works and both Emma Stone and Emma Thompson will be among those cast for that movie.


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Disney's Cruella Movie Reviewed by:
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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

An Officer and a Gentleman - Movie Review

 

An Officer and a Gentlemen Movie Review

An Officer and a Gentleman hit the big screen in July of 1982, a time when some of you weren’t even born. Just to let you know how long ago that was, the price of a gallon of gas was $1.31, and the average cost of a movie ticket was $3.00.

This movie grossed almost $130 million and came in third in the box office. E.T.-The Extra-Terrestrial was number one and Tootsie was number two. If you are too young to remember those 2 movies, go and get them they were both excellent movies. An Officer and a Gentleman is the movie that made me a Richard Gere fan.

An Officer and a Gentlemen Movie Plot:

The movie stars, naturally, Richard Gere as Zack Mayo who joins the Navy’s Aviation Officer Candidate School to turn his life around after a troubled childhood. Zack’s sole purpose is to become a Navy Pilot.

Louis Gossett Jr. plays drill instructor, Emil Foley. As the movie goes on you will see that Foley is your typical tough drill instructor. Foley rides all of the candidates hard, and especially Zack throughout the movie.

Debra Winger, as Paula, a girl who works in a local factory, meets Zack at a Navy dance, where they strike up a relationship. One of my favorite parts of the movie is where Foley tries to break Zack. After he finds out that Zack has a little side business on the base and doesn’t approve, and believes Zack is not worthy of becoming an officer. Zack prevails with his sheer determination not to fail, and will not give up.

Notice that I said one of my favorite parts of the movie. The best part of the movie is the end, this is where the music starts to play, and as you watch your heart starts to pound, your breathing becomes a little heavier as you get all choked up inside.

I’m going to stop here because if you haven’t seen this movie I don’t want to spoil it. If you have seen it then you know what I’m talking about. I call it that Richard Gere Moment. This moment has been repeated in many of his movies after Officer and a Gentlemen.

You buy the DVD or find this entertaining movie streaming here:



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Monday, July 26, 2021

Hallmark Sweet Carolina Movie Review

 One of  my favorite Hallmark movies of 2021 is Sweet Carolina starring Lacey Chabert and Tyler Hynes. A sweet, sensitive and poignant story of a tragic loss in which Josie (Lacey Chabert) becomes guardian of her niece and nephew and their journey toward health and healing.




Tyler Hynes plays Cooper the old high school boyfriend who joins the family team on the journey. The storyline is handled delicately and with care as these actors lead the audience through their healing a family while the What*If romantic storyline lends itself to a few laughs along the way.

Accomplished actors Gregory Harrison and Teryl Rothery play the grandparents. Cassidy Nugent and Glen Gordon play the child leads who are seamless in their performances.

The Hallmark Formula

As Hallmark fans acknowledge there is a Hallmark formula which is exactly what they love about Hallmark movies. The movies have a specific niche and a devote following. In recent years some of the Hallmark movies have slightly veered off the light hearted romantic movie and enveloping more serious topics along with the romance and humor. Happy endings are a benchmark of the Hallmark movie and continue to the delight of the Hallmark fan.

View a sneak peek of the movie here ....https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLndV-eghrQ


Sweet Carolina's executive producer is also Lacey Chabert which probably yields as to why Sweet Carolina takes on a more poignant storyline still keeping within Hallmark's formula.

I highly recommend Sweet Carolina for an enjoyable family friendly movie. Look for it on Hallmark channel on cable or through Hallmark Now streaming.

More Lacey Chabert and Tyler Hynes Movies

A Hallmark winter favorite movie also paired Lacy Chabert and Tyler Hynes was Winter in Vail. If you love winter scenery mixed with romance, kindness and chemistry this is a Hallmark movie for you.


More Hallmark Movie Reviews

Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age
Broadcasting Christmas by Cynthia



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Friday, July 16, 2021

The Hallmark Aurora Teagarden Mystery Series Reviewed

Aurora Teagarden Review
Several years ago, our contributor, Bev Owens, reviewed the Aurora Teagarden book series by Charlaine Harris. I was immediately interested in the great cozy mystery books. I love a series that allows us to follow the main character through multiple intriguing mysteries.  Since this series has 11 books, and because Bev highly recommended them, I knew I was in for a real treat that would last for perhaps a few weeks of great reading.

I recently discovered the Hallmark Aurora Teagarden mystery movie series based on the books and immediately started watching them.  I enjoyed the first movie so much, that I watched the second movie as soon as the first one ended.  By the time I turned off the videos, I had watched the first 4 movies back to back.  I only stopped there because I had to get some sleep!  Honestly, I can hardly wait to have another evening to dedicate to more of the movie series.

I decided it would be more economical for me to buy the complete series instead of paying for each movie individually.  I want to see all 15 of them that are currently available on dvd!  I expect to watch them more than once, plus I plan to share them with my mother, who also loves Hallmark movies.  Therefore, the seasonal box sets were my best option.  You can see the box sets I selected at the bottom of this article.  I tried to get the most movies for the least investment, but I did have to purchase 2 sets to get all 15 movies.

While the books do give a lot more background and details, I found the movies felt "complete" and I love the actors!

 

Meet Aurora Teagarden!  

In many mystery movies, we follow detectives as they investigate murders, but Aurora is not a police officer or detective.  She is simply a librarian with an penchant for solving murder mysteries.  She is a member of the local Real Murders club that consists of armchair sleuths who enjoy studying real murder cases and known murderers. Give them a real murder mystery to solve, and they are all in!

In each of the episodes, Aurora discovers evidence of a murder, or finds the actual victim. She calls on her amateur detective fellow club members to help her solve the case, much to the distress and disapproval of the local police.  But, the detectives tolerate her because she does seem to have a natural aptitude for ferreting out information from people and evidence that the police would never be allowed to find.

 Aurora Teagarden: 6-Movie CollectionCheck PriceIn the first movie episode, A Bone to Pick, Aurora finds a hidden skull in the window seat of a home she inherits. Instead of contacting the police, she starts her own investigation based on what else she can find around the house and on her knowledge of the deceased homeowner.  It is interesting, and sometimes comical to watch Aurora "work".  If she were my neighbor, I would consider her way too nosy, but that is how she solves cases.  She asks a lot of questions and does a lot of snooping.

The second movie, Real Murders, focuses on her Real Murder club when one of their own members is murdered and the club members are the main suspects. Aurora is joined by one of her favorite fictional crime book authors in this investigation, but there are times when it is hard to know if he is an ally, a romantic interest, a suspect or all of the above.  

In Three Bedrooms, One Corpse, which is the third movie, Aurora is helping her mother by showing one of her real estate properties to a new client.  Sadly, they discover the body of one of the real estate agents working for her mother's agency.  While in the home, Aurora notices that something doesn't look right.  She can't quite figure out what detail is off until she compares current pictures to old pictures. Her keen observation and attention to detail points the detectives in the right direction, but also puts her in great danger.   

The Julius House is the fourth movie in the series and happened to be my favorite thus far.  In addition to being an excellent cozy mystery with a surprising end, there is a touch of romance developing between Aurora and Martin, her mother's client from the previous episode.  The mystery revolves around the disappearance of the entire Julius family.  It was believed that the family was probably victims of a car accident that simply hasn't been discovered. Or, perhaps, they decided to leave for unknown reasons. Aurora's "detective" sense is aroused when she buys the family home and meets the heir, Melba Totino (the wife's mother), who sold her the home.  Conversations with Mrs. Totino, coupled with Aurora's natural inquisitive mind, set off a chain of events that finally lead to discovering what really happened to the Julius family. 

 

Each of these movies would be enjoyable alone, but as a series, the characters become more developed as they move along, and as I said in the introduction, I really like the actors who were selected to play the parts.  Candace Cameron Bure is a very believable Aurora Teagarden.

 


These are the two box sets that I purchased!

 The Aurora Teagarden Mysteries: Collections 1-3Check Price Aurora Teagarden Mysteries - Collection FourCheck Price

  


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The Hallmark Aurora Teagarden Mystery Series Reviewed by:
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Monday, June 28, 2021

Hallmark Christmas In July 2021 Reviewed

 Hallmark fan alert! Hallmark Christmas in July movies make a long awaited appearance this year.  The fun begins Friday, July 9, 2021 and continues through July 31st. The favorites are back along with a few Hallmark surprises.


Here are a few of my favorite Hallmark Christmas movies showing this July. 

Crown for Christmas  - Danica McKellar and Rupert Penry-Jones

One of the top Hallmark Christmas movies of all time (in my humble Hallmark opinion!)

Danica McKellar is transported from her job as a maid in a swanky hotel to a nanny to a princess and all the foibles in between. Great chemistry between the leads and the palace staff make this a modern day romantic comedy many will enjoy all year long.

Christmas at Graceland - Kellie Pickler and Wes Brown

Love, romance, country music against the backdrop of the beautiful Graceland makes you want to book a Graceland visit on your next vacation.



Christmas Under Wraps - Candace Cameron Bure, David O'Donnell

A career driven city doctor finds herself unexpectedly in Alaska to take care of the residents of this small Christmas town. Of course romance ensues with a resident who have a very Christmas family. One of the A team female leads at Hallmark, Candace does not disappoint nor does the male lead David O'Donnell to make one almost 'believe' Santa does exist...



Time for Us to Come Home for Christmas  - Lacey Chabert, Stephen Huszar

Mystery, romance and five degrees of separation? as five strangers find themselves drawn to a country inn for Christmas and find their lives intertwined as the mystery unfolds.

Our Christmas Love Song - Alicia Witt, Brendan Hines

Fans are in for a treat with these two stars who can sing and act. Country music is the backdrop along with an original song by Alicia Witt.



Soap Sunday 

New this year is an all day marathon of Hallmark Christmas movies with your favorite soap stars! 

 

New 2021 Christmas Movie

Hallmark fans will be delighted that Christmas In July this year will include a brand new Christmas movie - albeit early. Crashing Through The Snow premieres this July starring Amy Acker and Warren Christie. 

 

Hallmark Christmas Movie Reviews

Hallmark Christmas Movies 2020 Reviewed by The Savvy Age

Finding Father Christmas by Cynthia

Christmas Tree Lane by The Savvy Age




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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Reviewing Vera: A British TV Drama

I must admit I love British murder mysteries and Vera is definitely one I enjoy a lot, let me tell you a little bit about it.

Vera, a British police drama
Press Release photo (itv.om) adapted by Louanne Cox using Canva

DCI Vera Stanhope is a middle-aged, blunt-talking woman with a brusque attitude who gets things done.   Donning a trench coat, tatty hat and driving her (very old) landrover around the wonderful landscape of Northumberland she hasn't been portrayed as a sex symbol and there's no love interest in the cast.   Basically, her team feels like 'real' people which means you can concentrate on the crime at hand and trying to solve it .... along with the panoramic shots of the area (British tourism must appreciate this series).

I love her down-to-earth mannerisms, her use of the words love and pet just really consolidates her character.   She gets frustrated with her team on occasion, but you can tell they have respect for her and the unit is very cohesive.

I haven't watched Vera from the beginning, I stumbled across it one evening as it was about to start so watched it, then I found another episode a few weeks later.   It was a few seasons in before I started to watch every episode, I have since watched older episodes so I think I'm completely up to date now and eagerly awaiting Season 11 to be aired.

I mention this because you could easily watch just an odd episode and enjoy it without needing to start from the beginning.   In fact, some critics have panned the first series (even though it continually ranks well in the countries it's shown) so maybe it was good that I saw a couple of later episodes first.

If you are like me and get invested in characters you will get a shock in one of the episodes in season 6 (I won't ruin it by telling you which one) as something happens which almost made me cry.   For the record, I rarely cry over television shows or movies.

If you have heard of the novelist Ann Cleaves you may have heard of Vera as this drama series has been based on her novels: Hidden Depths, Telling Tales, The Crow Trap and Silent Voices. 

If you want to watch Vera you can see her for free on the ITV in the UK and ABC in Australia, you can also watch her on Prime Video in other parts of the world or purchase her DVDs.   Each series has four episodes in them, but according to the latest information Series 11 which is being filmed as I write this should be having 6 episodes, two being filmed in 2021 and four in 2022.

If you enjoy series such as Broadchurch, The Stranger, Endeavour or Shetland (also written by Ann Cleaves) then you should really check out this series.




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Friday, May 7, 2021

Witness to Murder: A Darrow Mystery from Hallmark Movie Review

Witness To Murder
I think just about everyone enjoys a mystery, but we don't always desire to see the explicit crime scenes. The Darrow Mystery series from Hallmark provides mysteries without including sights that haunt us in our nightmares.

In 2019, I reviewed the Darrow & Darrow Hallmark series.  At that time, the episode, Witness to Murder, had not yet been released. Therefore, I am reviewing it separately today.

Darrow & Darrow is a law firm originally started by Claire Darrow's parents.  When Claire's father died, her mother took a position with a different law firm in New York.  However, Joanna Darrow has now returned to Darrow & Darrow to work alongside her daughter. 

In Witness to Murder, Miles Strasberg is the appointed prosecutor and Claire is the defense attorney in the case. Even though they have toyed with the idea of dating, they agree to set aside any romantic interest until the trial is over.  With Mile's ex-girlfriend investigating the case and working closely with Miles, Claire finds herself questioning if Miles had ulterior motives for suggesting they place their personal relationship on hold.


Synopsis of Witness to Murder: A Darrow Mystery 

When Cassie Piper shows up at Darrow & Darrow begging for help, Claire and Joanna are not certain they want to take Cassie's case.  After all, Cassie was responsible for Joanna being fired from the New York law firm and Joanna has no desire to run to her rescue now that she needs legal representation.  

Cassie maintains that Joanna's law firm would be the best defense law firm for her since Joanna worked with Brian Herriman, the man accusing Cassie of insider trading.  

Joanna is still debating whether to take Cassie's case when Brian Herriman contacts her and requests a meeting. She can't resist the opportunity to see her former employer pleading for her assistance. What she doesn't expect is to be a witness to murder herself and the number one suspect is Cassie Piper.  

 


If you are a Hallmark fan, or enjoy a cozy mystery with a touch of romance, then I am sure you will also love this movie! 



Currently, "Darrow & Darrow" is available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  

Subscribe to the Hallmark Channel on Amazon.com
  


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Friday, April 23, 2021

Picture Perfect Mysteries: Newlywed and Dead Hallmark Movie Reviewed

Picture Perfect MysteriesIn 2019, Hallmark released the first movie in their series, Picture Perfect Mysteries. You can probably guess by the title, Newlywed and Dead, the basis for the mystery, but you will be shocked by the killer's identity.  As mysteries go, this one is pretty good since the ending is not predictable.  

I also like the main characters and actors. The fact that one of the main characters is a photographer appeals to me. While I am not a professional photographer, I do enjoy taking pictures. I understand how photographers focus on something through the lens of a camera that we might otherwise overlook.  Capturing just the right image, at that perfect moment, is important to any photographer, professional or amateur.  In the case of murder, it is paramount. 

In this Hallmark mystery series, Alexa PenaVega plays the part of the professional photographer, Allie Adams, and owns the studio, Picture Perfect Photography.  In the movie, Newlywed and Dead, Allie is shooting her friends wedding reception when the groom is killed. Using the photos taken before & after the wedding, she strives to piece together what happened to discover who killed her friend's new husband.

Most Hallmark movies I select to watch and review are romantic movies.  While Newlywed and Dead has a very small element of romance, it is primarily a murder mystery and is recommended as such.


Picture Perfect Mysteries: Newlywed and Dead

Allie Adams is happy to be photographing her best friend's wedding. As such, she has a "focus" on several views, interactions, and conversations before and after the wedding. 

Weddings always appear to be the height of happiness, but often have underlying threads of tension. It is Allie's job to capture the pleasant moments and create that illusion of perfection which allows the memories of stress to fade over the years and the memory of love and beauty to prevail in hearts and minds.  However, that is an impossible job when the groom is shot while dancing with his bride at their wedding reception. That will always be the image that replaces all others of that wedding day. 

When Allie's brother is accused of committing the murder due to jealousy, Allie refuses to let her brother be railroaded because he is the likely suspect. A new detective in town, Sam Acosta (played by Carlos PenaVega) is investigating the groom's murder.  With an unbiased perspective, he looks at evidence to determine who to charge with murder and Allie is determined to find evidence of her brother's innocence. That means she is seeking for other suspects and could easily put herself in harm's way. 

 

Newlywed and Dead Reviewed

 

Mystery lovers will enjoy the thrill of not knowing the killer's identity, while romantics will enjoy watching the beginning of a newly developing relationship.  Newlywed and Dead sets the stage for what is sure to be a fun, Picture Perfect Mysteries series for all to watch.





Currently, "Picture Perfect Mysteries: Newlywed and Dead" is available on Amazon with a subscription to the Hallmark Channel.  

Subscribe to the Hallmark Channel on Amazon.com
  


More Great Movies Reviewed


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Picture Perfect Mysteries: Newlywed and Dead Hallmark Movie Reviewed by:
House of Sylvestermouse



 


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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Deepening Your Faith with "The Chosen" A Movie Series Review

There are very few things on Television that excite me!

The Fact of the matter is that I gave up watching Television for almost 5 years.  I was disappointed in most shows and felt that most of what I was watching was not making my life better, but rather causing me a lot of distress.

So just as we can be masters of our own worlds, television became something that was watched only on limited occasions and most often for a good Hallmark movie (many that our own Sylvestermouse Cynthia has reviewed) or some special that just could not be missed.

My other half would watch sports hockey and basketball and of course the Olympics when they were being televised.  I spent most of my time either reading or writing.  Making and learning how to do things that I never tried before.

I was happier for a long time with this new reality.  People would ask me if I had heard about certain things that were happening in the world and I was totally and blissfully unaware of the many hurtful things going on around me.  I was living with blinders on and I was able to sleep peacefully at night.

Now I have found a reason to put the TV back on.  It's not for "regular" television shows, but rather for an amazing series that really speaks to me!




We are a Christian Family and I don't make any apologies for that.  What I will say is that while I feel I know my faith, there is always some way to make it deeper and more meaningful on a daily basis.

Last year, during a time when my husband was busy looking for ways to help our Bible study group delve into Scriptures more fully, we came across an advertisement for a new Series on the Life of Jesus.  It sounded interesting and we made it a point of watching it.


Now this is not regular Television in the sense that you can turn on the channel and see this series.  You need an "app" or you can watch it on You Tube as well.  Here is the link for the first two episodes on You Tube! If you would like to watch through the "APP" you can find it right here for Apple and right here for Android.  If you have a "Smart TV, you can watch these episodes through your TV, otherwise you may have to watch on an iPad or Android tablet.

For anyone who is interested in having the Scriptures come alive, this series is one that you will truly enjoy.  The sets, costumes and the characters come alive in a way that reading scriptures cannot quite make happen.  Scriptures, while they are the backbone of the Christian faith, can be very dry and lacking in details.  The Chosen has made much of what we read in the Scriptures come alive. 
 


The Series must be watched from the beginning, as each subsequent installment builds on the previous one.  The Chosen has just started the Second Series and it promises to be just as wonderful as the First.




Director and Creator of the Series Dallas Jenkins has made this series his very own way to deepen his faith life and shares it with anyone who wants to do likewise.  The "App" is free and watching is free too (see the links above).  

The only downside to this Series, is that because it has been made free for anyone to watch, there are a certain number of "ads" done by the director in order to find the funding for this project.  It's a small downside, because if you feel as I do that this is worth your time to watch, you won't mind listening to a little bit of fundraising to make these episodes available to everyone.  After all sharing our faith belief is what we are called to do. 

I chose to Review this series because I have watched it several times and I am always drawn right into the story again.  I see something new each time I watch and it never gets old.  I love that the series highlights the "women" of the Bible .  Sometimes they are glossed over when you set to only read the words.  

This Series is for all Christians without exception. It is even for those who are not Christian but would like to understand what Christianity is about.   Dallas Jenkins has on his team of writers many Biblical Scholars and Jewish Scholars as well.  The story has to be correct and possible.  It brings the humanity of the times to life and the way life was in those Biblical times.  It really makes the Bible come alive!

If you want to own the series for your family, to watch whenever you want, it is available in a two disc set and then you don't have any Advertisements to deal with!  The Chosen is one movie that will stand the test of time!



Please take the time to check it out for yourselves and let me know if you enjoyed it or not. 

***All the pictures used here are from The Chosen Media page. 



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Monday, March 29, 2021

Movie Review: Land

“Why am I here?” she asks her sister. Edee is a woman who is suddenly without her family after a traumatic event. So traumatic that she cannot discuss it. The movie opens with a woman in an upscale therapist office silently watching the grains of sand in the hourglass fall.

Movie Review: Land 


Therapist: Edee, why did you decide to come here?

Edee: Emma, my sister, said you were magic.

The session continues. Slowly and with pauses. We learn that Edee is in the session at her sister’s request.

Therapist: How are you feeling, right now, in general, what are you feeling?

Edee: I’m feeling, um, that it’s really difficult to be around people. Because they just want me to be better

We do not know how Edee lost her loved ones (until the last few minutes of the movie). She has flashback memories of her son and husband so we are aware they are dead. Her grief is overwhelming and numbing. She tells the therapist that in the beginning she shared her feelings with others. But she stopped. 

Edee: Why would I want anyone to share in that? They can’t anyway.

Therapist: But that means you are alone with your pain.

And that seems to be all that Edee can manage. Being alone with her pain.

Edee is a “city” woman who packs up and moves to a remote cabin in the wilderness. Edee cuts off all human contact. She tosses her phone into the trash, which severs all ties with the world including with her loving sister. It is unknown to me if her goal was to heal herself or to “not be here” – which she almost succeeded at on more than one occasion (warning: some of the scenes are uncomfortable - a potential trigger for some.)

She clearly should not have survived her self-imposed “cure”. She was clearly ill-prepared to wander off into the wilderness and exacerbated the risk by having her rental car picked up. From the flashbacks we know that she has been fishing and has that skill. And she seems to intend to provide food for herself from the land in addition to the very small amount of canned goods she brought along. From a drawing in crayon, we know that in the past there was someone who wanted to go fishing and live in the mountains. Perhaps this is why she chose to move to this off-grid cabin.

Edee (Robin Wright) is found by Miguel (Demian Bichir) nearly frozen and starved to death. Miguel and Alawa (a nurse from the nearby small town) nurse Edee back to health.

Edee continues to exclude people from her life, but allows Miguel just enough contact during infrequent visits to teach her how to trap food and to hunt game. After all, Miguel said that he would respect her wishes. He would teach her to trap and to hunt in the fall. Then he would leave her alone. Miguel is a man of his word. The seasons go by: planting, foraging, harvest, hunting, and a return to snow. The years go by. Two years.



My Thoughts About This Amazon Prime Movie.

I rented this movie on Amazon for far too much money. I regret having spent that much for an Amazon Prime rental. However, as odd as it sounds, if/when it is released in an inexpensive blu-ray or CD version I will buy it and watch it again. 

The scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. The cabin scenes were filmed in Alberta, Canada atop Moose Mountain.

I found it to be well-acted and I think the messages related to grief and trauma are supremely important reminders to us all. Each person handles depression, trauma, and grief differently. Not every mainstream treatment is effective. And most of all, depression, trauma, and grief are very painful. It is not easy for people to just “be better.” 

Some reviewers complain that Land was “slow”. And that the character was “egotistical” and “selfish”. Some reviewers complained about the choppy flashbacks. I found all of those things to be a realistic part of the experience of many people with debilitating depression. Severe depression does not allow the person to think of others. It impacts the person’s thoughts and their 5 senses. Memories can be intrusive – sometimes welcomed, sometimes not.

I think the “slowness” of the movie was perfect. Yes, it was slow-paced. I don’t believe the movie was meant to be an action/adventure movie. True depression and hopelessness is like swimming through neck-deep mud. It is restricting. People are busy trying to survive each moment of every day.  I felt the pace of movie portrayed this feeling perfectly.

I only wish that the movie had been longer. That we would have been spectators of more details of the journey, the landscape, and of each season. And of the lessons taught by Miguel.

I hope the message of the movie is, and is understood as; depression, grief, and trauma are difficult things to get through. But they are survivable. And while every person has an individual response and recovery, it is better when it is not done alone. Each person who gets through it has the ability to be meaningful to the next person who is struggling.


Related Link:

This movie reminded me a bit of Wild with Reese Witherspoon. The movie was based on the written memoir of Cheryl Strayed and was another story of how a woman left civilization after experiencing severe grief and loss and ending up finding herself.  You can read my review of Wild here.

The effects of loss and trauma on a human are not pretty. And yet many people not only survive, but thrive after they get through it. These two stories are examples of surviving the nitty-gritty and finding the reasons to live. 





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Monday, March 8, 2021

Murdoch Mysteries Reviewed

 Are you a fan of mysteries? Mystery movies? Mystery books? Intrigue mixed with non fiction? Then Murdoch Mysteries is in your lane.


What Is Murdoch Mysteries?

Murdoch Mysteries is a Canadian television series which is in its' 14 season. The series is based on the novels of the same name by Canadian novelist Maureen Jennings. The star of the show is a police detective named William Murdoch working cases Toronto in the 19th and 20th centuries.

But Murdoch is not a typical police detective show in that it is a mix of weaving technology of the eras along with technology of the future along with real life historical events. The historical events may seem familiar if you are not a history fan or very familiar if you are well versed in history. 

Hence the episodes are education, informative and entertaining which makes for very interesting viewing. Wonder how the old school fax was developed? Sonar? Fingerprinting? The series also incorporates real people of that era from politics to science to inventors to educators; names you will find very familiar.

There is a reason Murdoch is in its' 14th season and I am happy to have discovered this series upon the recommendation of a friend. Perfect for binge watching and even happier I discovered the entire series is available to stream without cost (see below!)

Where To Find Murdoch Mysteries

If you happen to live in the United States close to the Canadian border Murdoch can be viewed in real time on the CBC Canadian station. I happen to live very close to the Canadian border and the CBC station airs Murdoch reruns and the current season.

Amazon offers the series through Amazon Prime, but at a cost per episode.

My best find when researching where to find Murdoch Mysteries is Hoopla. Hoopla is a free digital service offered through your local library. I reviewed Hoopla here; my complimentary Hoopla subscription allows 20 borrows per month. However, due to the amount of increased interest of their viewers in the past year Hoopla has been offering Hoopla Bonus which allows additional borrows per month without counting those borrows toward your monthly limit.

Murdoch Mysteries is currently airing its' 14 season and bonus! Hoopla offers the prior 13 seasons to borrow and enjoy.

Free Streaming Services Reviews

Hoopla

Kanopy 

Freegal




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Monday, February 22, 2021

Favorite Hallmark Winter Movies Reviewed

Being an unabashed Christmas movie Hallmark fan there can be a Hallmark movie letdown after the holidays. While the Hallmark Christmas movies remain my favorite - the winter brings some entertaining Hallmark movies not to miss. 



I'm no fan of winter, but winter is a bit more tolerable with a Hallmark movie to view after a day battling the snow, ice, salting and shoveling of a typical winter day in the Northern United States.

My Favorite Winter Theme Hallmark Movies

Love On Ice

Ice Skating, another winter sport I enjoy, is the backdrop for this Hallmark movie with Hallmark favorite Andrew Walker. He plays a figure skating coach hired to continue a young skaters' ascent through skating competitions. However, Hallmark fate steps in as he finds a former figure skater teaching at the same rink. The three combine to skate, compete and begin their collective journey to the figure skating championships. Figure skaters and figure skating fans will appreciate the nod to their sport in this delightful Hallmark movie.

Winter In Vail 

This is a very cute winter movie with two of the popular Hallmark leads Lacey Chabert and Tyler Hynes. The story revolves around a displaced event planner who inherits a beautiful Vail home. She teams with the local to preserve the history of his family business and the business itself. Strudel, beautiful scenery and quick banter are the theme of the movie which keeps true to the Hallmark romantic theme.

Taking A Shot At Love 

New for 2021 is Taking A Shot At Love with Alexa Penavaga and Luke McFarlane. Alexa plays a ballet instructor with the unexpected side gig of rehabbing a professional hockey player. Ballet, wit, and hockey play out through this charming and entertaining movie.

Two For The Win

Also new for 2021 is Two For the Win. I love skiing so this movie was fun to watch. The local ski instructor and professional skiier have a long history and the Hallmark sparks fly when she is hired to coach the professional after rehabbing an injury. Picturesque winter scenes and plenty of snow dominate the background of this ski loving movie.

Winter Castle

Have you ever dreamed of taking a vacation to an Ice Hotel? Hallmark veterans Kevin McGarry and Emilie Ullerup are at the Ice Hotel to attend the destination as the best man and maid of honor. The scenery is gorgeous as this was filmed at the real life Hotel de Glace in Quebec. Staying at an ice hotel is not for the timid traveler! Enjoy the ice hotel backdrop with the Hallmark romance intertwined.

More Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed




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