Showing posts with label holiday movies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday movies. Show all posts

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies Reviewed

Ready! Set! Hallmark! Today marks the beginning of Hallmark Christmas movies! This year Hallmark has 27 new Christmas movies on its' schedule: 22 for the Hallmark Channel and 15 for the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel.


As an unabashed fan of the Hallmark Channel Christmas movies and a frequent fan who rewatches the movies  - this is my time of year to enjoy friendly romantic and romantic comedies offered by Hallmark. My top ten list of Hallmark Christmas movies contain a few of the actors we have come to know and love on the Hallmark: Danica McKellar, Lacey Chabert, Andrew Walker, Alicia Witt, Brennan Elliot, Candace Cameron Bure, Paul Greene and Nikki DeLoach.


My Favorite Top Ten Hallmark Christmas Movies 


  1. A Royal Christmas (2014)
  2.  A Crown For Christmas (2015)
  3. Christmas Under Wraps (2014)
  4. Christmas In Homestead (2016)
  5. Ice Sculpture Christmas (2015)
  6. A Christmas Detour (2015)
  7. Coming Home For Christmas (2017)
  8. A Very Merry Mix-Up (2013)
  9. The Mistletoe Inn (2017)
  10. Christmas At The Cartwright's (2014)


Actually it is very difficult to narrow down the selection to a top ten list and as Hallmark fans know their is a commonality amongst the plot lines of the movies. We know this! We like this! Escapism into the Hallmark world at Christmas works!


Countdown To Christmas

Hallmark begins their Countdown To Christmas the last weekend of October. Look for a schedule full of Christmas cheer new and original holiday movies mixed in their stable of Christmas movies from years' past. 


Where To Find Hallmark Christmas Movies?

Amazon offers a nice variety of Hallmark Christmas and Hallmark movies on DVD; many of which are affordably bundled to view at your convenience. If you do not have cable the Hallmark Channel is available through the streaming packages on Sling TV, Directnow and Dish plus Hallmark's own streaming channel Hallmark Movies Now.

Coming soon is the new Hallmark Drama Channel - Hallmark fans be on the lookout for a new addition to your Hallmark channel lineup.


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Friday, December 23, 2016

Holiday Inn Movie Review

I simply cannot go through the holiday season without watching the movie Holiday Inn starring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire.  Not only is the movie fabulous because of the actors, it also features a huge repertoire of Irving Berlin music.  In fact, Berlin actually wrote several new songs just for the movie.

Holiday Inn Movie Review

One song we all know and love is "White Christmas".  Because there is an actual movie named White Christmas (1954) that also features the Irving Berlin song, many people assume the song was written for that movie.  It was not.  The song, White Christmas sung by Bing Crosby, was first performed in Dec. 1941.  A few months later it was recorded and sold as part of the musical soundtrack for the movie Holiday Inn.

In my opinion, Holiday Inn is a better movie than White Christmas.  It is a real shame that so many people associate the song with the movie that bears the same title.  Sadly, they often miss the best!


The Plot of the Movie Holiday Inn


Fred Astaire, or should I say Ted Hanover, is a famous dancer who is part of a 3 person act.  Bing Crosby plays the part of Jim Hardy, a sensational crooner who is tired of show business.  He is engaged to Lila, the third person in the act.  Together they plan to leave the stage and "retire" to a life of leisure on a farm in Connecticut.  But, Ted has other schemes. 
 
 Holiday Inn (Special Edition)
Buy on DVD or Blu-ray
Ted loves show business and he likes his dance partner, Lila.  He is certainly not ready to lose her, so he tells her that he loves her and wants her to stay with him.  Lila chooses Ted and show business over Jim and the farm.  That is pretty heart-breaking for Jim, but at least he has his future at his farm ahead of him. 

After nearly a year of isolation and working the farm, Jim finds it is not what he expected.   He dreams up an alternative that includes his beloved farm, but also allows him to take the stage again to preform.  By turning his farm into Holiday Inn, he can write his music and host shows on holidays only, which would be 15 shows per year.  He visits Ted to pitch his plans in hopes that Ted will join him.  Even though Ted is not interested in working at Holiday Inn, their manager does send Linda Mason to Connecticut to work when she recognizes him and asks for his help.

Linda proves to be the perfect song and dance partner for Jim and they officially open Holiday Inn for the first show on New Year's Eve.  

Back in New York City, Lila has left Ted for a millionaire and Ted rushes to the Holiday Inn to commiserate with his friend, Jim.  When Ted dances with Linda, he "knows" he has found his new dance partner.  Jim fears history will repeat itself and that Linda will leave him for Ted and show business.

Holiday Inn Movie Review


Conclusion


Holiday Inn Movie Review
This romantic movie is pure entertainment!  The dancing is fabulous, the music is outstanding, and of course, Bing Crosby is sensational.  He truly was a gifted singer and actor.
 
By the way, you won't have any trouble recognizing the importance of the song "White Christmas" to Jim and Linda in the movie.

The song, "White Christmas" sung by Bing Crosby is the top selling single of all time.  You may find it interesting to know that the current day Holiday Inn hotels were inspired to name their hotel chain by this movie.   




Note:  The movie cover art has been colorized, but the movie is black & white. 




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Holiday Inn Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Friday, December 16, 2016

Christmas in Connecticut Movie Review

http://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2016/12/christmas-in-connecticut-movie-review.html
Last week I reviewed a fabulous contemporary romantic Christmas movie, The Spirit of Christmas. This week I am shifting the focus back to an old holiday classic.  Christmas in Connecticut may be over 70 years old, but it is far from outdated.  It is simply a fun movie about a woman who gets caught in her deceptions and tries desperately to cover her tracks, and keep her job!

Barbara Stanwyck takes the lead role as Elizabeth Lane in this Christmas romantic comedy and Dennis Morgan plays the part of the unsuspecting soldier who joins her "family" for Christmas.
 
For some of you it may matter that this movie is in black and white. It has not been colorized like some of the old classics.  For me, I enjoy the step back into a simpler time and a movie that stands on it's own as pure entertainment.



Synopsis of the Christmas in Connecticut Movie Plot


Elizabeth Lane is an extremely popular journalist who claims to be a fabulous cook, a wife, a mother, and the ideal homemaker.  She is able to write well enough that no one even suspects she is unmarried and completely clueless about preparing food.  Even the publisher has no idea she is a fraud. 

 Christmas in Connecticut (BD) [Blu-ray]The story takes place during WWII.  Jefferson Jones is one of two survivors when his naval warship was torpedoed by a German submarine.  He and his fellow survivor spent 18 days in a raft on the ocean.   Needless to say, they were literally starving and Jefferson dreamed of a fabulous meal anytime he slept.  When they were finally rescued and hospitalized, Jefferson could not eat solid food and was placed on a milk diet.  He continued to crave a real meal.  He was so desperate to eat, that he even proposed to one of the nurses so she would take sympathy on him and bring him food.

After 6 weeks in the hospital, and many meals, he was no longer anxious to get married.  The nurse thought that if he simply experienced a home for Christmas and observed how wonderful it could be to have a wife, that surely he would follow through and marry her.  She wrote Alexander Yardley, the publisher of the magazine that employed Elizabeth Lane.  She requested that they extend an invitation for Christmas to this soldier who had been through such an ordeal and had no where to go for the holidays.  In response to the letter, Mr. Yardley insisted that Elizabeth Lane and her family include Mr. Jones in their Christmas celebration.  No only that, Mr. Yardley invites himself to come spend a few days with them for Christmas too.

That is where the fun begins!  Elizabeth must find a farm, a husband, a child and learn to cook outstanding meals in a few short days before Mr. Jones and Mr. Yardley show up to join her and her family for a Christmas in Connecticut. 

http://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2016/12/christmas-in-connecticut-movie-review.html


Christmas in Connecticut Trailer


This is an old Hallmark channel trailer.   I did check the Hallmark channel schedule for showtimes.  At the time of publishing, Christmas in Connecticut was not on this seasons schedule.   However, you can continue to check it here:








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Christmas in Connecticut Movie Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Sunday, September 20, 2015

The 1989 Movie 'Always' - A Must See!

Always
Have you ever seen the 1989 movie “Always” written by Steven Spielberg starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman and Audrey Hepburn?

It’s one of my all-time favorites! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh some more and in the end you'll be left with a feeling of hopefulness.

Richard Dreyfuss plays a risk taking Aerial Firefighter named Pete while Holly Hunter plays his love interest, also a pilot and dispatcher, named Durinda. They’re very much in love. John Goodman, also an Aerial Firefighter, plays the part of the best friend.

Pete (Dreyfuss) takes one risk too many while trying to put out a forest fire and Durinda is completely devastated and cannot get past losing the love of her life.

Although Pete dies, he suddenly finds himself in a field getting his hair cut by a spiritual guide played by Audrey Hepburn, named ‘Hap’. She explains to Pete (after he realizes he’s died) that it’s his job to provide “Spirit” or some call it the divine breath, also referred to as Intuition, to a living soul, since his time is done.

Hap explains to Pete that “they'll hear you inside their own minds as if it were their own thoughts.”

His tough assignment is to inspire a young handsome, almost incompetent, Aerial Firefighter. However, this young man finds his path crossing with Durinda (Pete’s love), and Pete has difficulty letting go enough to aid this new relationship along.

Even though it was made in 1989, it still has a current feel to it. By the way, the theme song for this movie is the beautiful “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”.


Here's a trailer for the movie, rent this one, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.


There's a line from the movie I'll frequently quote around the house (I'm sure most of you have movie lines you toss about): John Goodman is trying to convince Holly Hunter to date the new tall good looking hot trainee and with typical sass, Holly Hunter states:
'He's too much twisted steel and sex appeal. I can't be with a guy that looks like I won him in a raffle' - LOL!  



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Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Good Romantic Comedy for the Whole Family

Available on Amazon
If you're looking for a good romantic comedy movie, look no further! While You Were Sleeping is a flirty, fun, cheerful film that the whole family can watch.

What's the Movie About?

Sandra Bullock plays Lucy Moderatz, a Chicago Transit Token Collector who's in love with a handsome man she's never met, but sees everyday taking the train. That man is played by Peter Gallagher; his character's name is Peter Callaghan.

On one particular day, a mugger pushes Peter onto the tracks, and Lucy, without thought for her own safety jumps into action and saves Peter from an oncoming train. When he's brought to the hospital, unconscious and in a coma (where he stays for most of the movie), they won't let Lucy see Peter because she's not family...at which point she quietly says under her breath, 'oh that's alright I was just going to marry the guy'. One of the nurses hears what she says, misunderstands it, and lets her see Peter, explaining to the hospital staff that she's 'Peter's fiance'. His family show up and are told by a nurse that Lucy is Peter's fiance - they're rather shocked! It seems she's not really Peter's type as Peter is a high powered lawyer, where Lucy is a down to earth loving, single, non-manipulative women...the type Peter doesn't usually attract.

Lucy Falls in Love with Peter's Whole Family

The story centers around Lucy being unable to tell Peter's family that she's not really his fiance because for the first time in a long time she feels like she's part of a family again. You see, Lucy lost both her mother and father, was an only child, and doesn't have family.

The story centers around Christmas time as well, so being invited over for Christmas and being around all the fuss of the season in a family home gives Lucy a sense of connection she's long needed.

Things Get Complicated When Lucy Meets Peter's Brother Jack

Lucy ends up spending the night on the couch at Peter's parents home after dinner and late that night Jack, played by Bill Pullman, comes home..Lucy hears him speaking to his sister Mary, pretends to be sleeping and tries to slip out quickly in the morning to avoid speaking with Jack. Unfortunately that plan doesn't work; Jack is waiting on the staircase to speak to Lucy before she leaves. You can see that despite that fact that he doesn't believe she's Peter's fiance, he's very attracted to her. Thus, things begin to get emotionally complicated when neither Lucy or Jack can tell each other their true feelings about each other..since, after all, Lucy is engaged to his brother (but not really!).

The Movie is Filled with Numerous Funny Characters

One of the funniest characters is Joe Fusco Jr., played by Michael Rispoli! He's the son of the landlord in the building Lucy lives in. He has a 'thing' for Lucy, but of course, she's sweet to him, but doesn't have 'those feelings' for him. He flirts with her in comical ways..one day he's standing at the bottom of the staircase as Lucy's unlocking her apartment door, flashing some tickets, he shouts up to her.."Tomorrow night, eight o-'clock... I got ice capades...I know I guy" - This movie line gets tossed around in our house all time!
Peter Boyle plays Ox Callaghan, the father and his dry sense of humor adds dimension to the film as well as Jack Warden who plays 'Saul', the family friend.

How does it End?

I won't be spoiling the ending on this one, so if you haven't seen it, you'll have to watch to see how it all turns out. It's a wonderful feel good movie to watch on girls night or with the family. It usually comes on TV during the holiday season. I watch it every year!

My Personal Sense when I Watch the Movie

I'm not sure if this happens to you; but some movies bring me back to a point in my own life and leave me almost missing that time gone by. My early 20's remind me of Lucy's life: I moved to Toronto, had finished school, was working and loved being a city girl. The 'city setting' makes me think of my young days of living on my own, in my own apartment in Downtown Toronto...a time I loved. Watching the characters walk through the city, and laugh together...the cold winter days and nights...all of it brings a familiar smile to my face. Her fun loving relationship with Jack also reminds me of another time in my own life: Love how this movie makes me feel!

Here's a teaser with the movie trailer!



By Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com


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Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Animated Classics Reviewed

Christmas is almost here! 

A huge part of the excitement of Christmas has always been the days leading up to Christmas when we sit and watch our favorite Christmas Animated Classics together as a family. 

In our household, we each have a different "favorite", but truth be told, we love them all. Watching the annual Christmas shows is part of our Christmas family tradition. We haven't always been able to be together when they aired on tv, but with a little help from vhs and dvd, we have that covered now. 


 
 

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer 


 Rudolph The Red Nosed ReindeerCheck PriceAs we decorated the Christmas tree this year, I found myself singing "we're on the island of Misfit Toys, here we don't want to stay". Why that particular song came to mind while hanging ornaments on the tree is absolutely beyond me. I can only assume one of the ornaments triggered some unconscious thought about toys. The song itself is a bit melancholy for the joyous occasion of tree decorating, especially since both of my children were helping me decorate. 

From the book to the movie, the animated classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer has been a personal favorite. Normally, I prefer a book, but in the case of Rudolph, I actually prefer the movie. As a child, I adored Burl Ives. I would know that voice anywhere! I suspect that has a lot to do with why that particular show was my favorite of the Christmas animated classics. Besides, who wouldn't love a snowman who comes to life and scoots across the snow just to tell us a wonderful Christmas story about a red nosed reindeer?!! 

The music from "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" is truly fabulous and easy enough for a child to learn, especially if they watch the movie several times each year, year after year. Rudolph may be the main character, but he is definitely not the only memorable animal in the show. Clarice wins everyone's heart when she serenades Rudolph with "There's Always Tomorrow", plus her back-up singers are adorable! 




How The Grinch Stole Christmas 


 Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Deluxe Edition)Check PriceLet me start by saying, Dr. Seuss is fabulous!   His books have always been a huge hit with children and parents alike.  When you couple his genius with animated television, you are bound to have a major hit.

Here we are, almost 50 years later, and Dr. Seuss's Grinch on tv is still entertaining us each year.  The fun part of animation is the suspension of reality.  When the Grinch is able to gather up all of the Christmas decorations, gifts, and food from Whoville, then cram it all into bags loaded on a sleigh, we truly see animation at it's best.  

The really cool thing about this show is that in less than 30 minutes, we go from detesting the "foul one" to loving him and perhaps even feeling sorry for him.  




A Charlie Brown Christmas


 Charlie Brown Christmas 50th Anniversary, A: Deluxe EditionCheck PriceChristmas would not be complete with Charles M. Schulz and his Peanuts gang.  Watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" is always a fun family activity, but it is also a reminder to remember what Christmas really is all about and to reject, or at least resist, the commercialism that is always so rampant this time of year.  To read the complete review of "A Charlie Brown Christmas", join me by clicking here.

Snoopy is most often the Peanuts favorite, but I do think Linus stole the show here. 



                                     


Now please tell us, what is your favorite Christmas animated classic!  







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Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Family Man, A Christmas Movie Tradition

The Family Man DVD
Have you ever wondered how different your life would have been had you made another choice, and taken another road at a key time?

Well, that's the premise of The Family Man; except the successful Wall Street President Jack Campbell, played by Nicolas Cage, seemed perfectly content with his apparent rise to the top until an Angel, played by Don Cheadle, brings upon 'a glimpse' of what Jack's life would have been like had he married his college sweetheart, Kate Reynolds, played by the beautiful Tea Leoni.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately (depending on how you view life), unmarried Jack goes to bed in his very expensive Penthouse condo perfectly content on Christmas Eve, and without notice or warning, wakes up on Christmas morning living in 'the burbs' married to Kate for the past thirteen years. They have two little kids named Josh and Annie. Of course, the look on Jack's face at that moment in the movie is what draws you completely into the story.

Jack's mission, although never clearly stated, is to learn about love, and probably the most profound lesson that Jack learns is the love he has for his family, a family he didn't have or think he needed, much less wanted. He also finds that his love for Kate never ended; a testament to the definition of true love.

Jack finds his way, and finds happiness in his new family life, however he knows he'll be taken from it as quickly as it was thrust upon him. The sense of losing the family he now has and loves becomes a much larger loss than the loss of his money and status was.

Once back into his very wealthy, successful existence, Jack takes steps to contact Kate and reaches out to her in a way that he never did thirteen years previous.

Here's a scene from the movie, nearing the end of his 'glimpse' - Jack had found a way back into the corporate world he was aces at, and was surprised when Kate was less than thrilled about moving into a new up-scaled life:


Have you seen the Family Man? - I've watched it twice so far this Christmas Season :)

by Barbara Tremblay Cipak
Funkthishouse.com


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Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Movies Reviewed: Comedies

During the holidays, I frequently need a break from decorating and cooking for guests.  It is at those moments that I reach for a Christmas movie that will make me laugh.  I always feel rejuvenated after resting and watching a comedy that really makes me laugh till I cry.

There are two Christmas movies that are great comedies that our entire family loves, so no matter who is visiting, I know these movies will be fun to share.  

If you haven't seen them before, get ready for some real belly laughs! 



 

A Christmas Story  (Rated PG)


A Christmas Story (Full-Screen Edition)A Christmas Story (Full-Screen Edition)Check PriceI will admit, "A Christmas Story" was not a personal favorite until I was married and old enough to identify with the characters.  There were highlights in the movie that would make me laugh when I was a child, but now I absolutely roar with laughter over the "relationship" with the leg lamp, and I can certainly imagine big dogs eating our Thanksgiving turkey.  Those things were simply too far from my own personal experiences as a child for me to really understand how funny they are to parents.

The "gift" from Aunt Clara has significance to everyone!  Don't we all receive gifts we end up wearing just so the giver thinks we like them?  While the bunny outfit might be a bit outrageous and exaggerated, I think we can all appreciate Ralphie's plight, but I especially "appreciate" the father's reaction. 



As you can well imagine, there are several gifts that are perfect for "A Christmas Story" fans.  You can see them here:  A Christmas Story Gifts



Christmas Vacation (Rated PG-13)


National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition)National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition)Check Price"Christmas Vacation" starring Chevy Chase and a host of other favorite actors, is my all time favorite Christmas comedy.  We actually watch it several times each year and still laugh like it was the first viewing.  

There are so many wonderful characters that make this movie great.  All of the actors do a tremendous job, but the outlandish actions of Cousin Eddie throughout this movie, either remind us all of a relative or make us appreciate our own relatives more.  

Randy Quaid very nearly outshines Chevy Chase in this movie.  Truly, one without the other would not be as funny.  The two together make Christmas Vacation a fabulously hilarious comedy.





This movie has a PG-13 rating for good reason. While we all find it hilarious, it really is not appropriate for children due to profanity and adult situation references.    

You can find a selection of gifts for the Christmas Vacation fans here:   "Christmas Vacation" Gifts


More Christmas Comedies


I am sure I have left no doubt in our readers minds, that I suggest breaks full of laughter, from the work surrounding the holidays. Finding something that makes us laugh adds to the natural rejuvenation of our body and spirit which will help us to enjoy our holidays more thoroughly.  

Here are a few more Christmas Movies:  Comedies that will make you laugh out loud.

 


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