Christmas TV Movie Reviews, Part 1

Posted: December 8, 2013 in movie reviews, movies, TV

Holiday time means Holiday Movies and Lifetime, Hallmark, and ABC Family have an abundance of them. Yes their premises are cheesy, and the acting can be bad at times, but admit it, You like them. And if you don’t like them, you watch them anyway, and find things to rant about. Think about it, there are just so many questions surrounding holiday movies that can provide endless conversation:

Why Are Holiday Movies So Awkward? Why in all the romantic ones is the lead hitched to a jerk of a person? Who in real life would stay with a jerk like that? Why is there always a dying person in the Christmas movies? How is that putting you in the Holiday Spirit? Why is the writing so bad? How many cheesy montages are too many? Why do things wrap up in the last 11 minutes, what about the aftermath?

The questions are endless!


Here are some quick reviews of the Christmas movies of 2013 I’ve seen.


Catch A Christmas Star (Hallmark Channel, 2013)
Starring: Steve Byers, Shannon Elizabeth
One-Line Premise: A single father of two reconnects with his high school sweetheart who is a famous singer.
My Review: I don’t know why I thought I’d like this movie, I guess I was more curious than anything. Unfortunately, Shannon Elizabeth cannont sing, or act. And everything about the movie just annoyed me. Even that ending was excruciating. (PS: She sang “In Excelsis Deo”, like “in ex-SHELL-cius Deo.” That’s just annoying.)
General Rating: D-, Acting: Horrible, Cheese Factor: Very Cheesy



Kristin’s Christmas Past (Lifetime, 2013)
Starring: Shiri Appleby, Hannah Marks, Elizabeth Mitchell, A.J. Langer
One-Line Premise: After being estranged from her family for many years, a woman is given the chance to learn from her past, by visiting herself 10 years earlier when it all went wrong.
My Review: I was surprised by how much I liked this movie. Shiri Appleby and Elizabeth Mitchell are so great and it was sweet and sad at the same time.
General Rating: A-, Acting: Actually Quite Lovely, Cheese Factor: Not Too Cheesy


The Snow Bride (Hallmark, 2013)
Starring: Katrina Law, Jordan Belfi, Patricia Richardson
One Line Premise: A tabloid reporter inadvertently crashes the Christmas of a prominent political family she’s investigating and finds out they are not at all like how she pictured them.
My Review: I actually liked this movie, even though the premise was nothing new. Katrina Law reminds me of Jenna Tatum-Channing, only with better acting. It was entertaining, funny, and had a nice, sweet ending. The two leads actually had nice chemistry.
General Rating: B+, Acting: Not bad, not great, but not bad, Cheese Factor: Semi-Cheesy


Very-Merry-Mix-Up-855166-800-300x295A Very Merry Mix Up (Hallmark, 2013)
Starring: Alicia Witt, Mark Wiebe, Scott Gibson, Mimi Kuzyk
One Line Premise: When a woman flies alone to meet her boyfriend’s parents, she accidentally spends the holiday with the wrong family.
My Review: This movie was way over top with the acting, it was like the two leads were performing a play for children. So much unnecessary camp. I like the genuine moments, not the forced chemistry between the two leads. And the premise is kind of ridiculous, how do you not realize this isn’t his family?
General Rating: C, Acting: Pretty bad, Cheese Factor: Super cheesy, like if you were to eat mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and a quesadilla. Too. Much. Cheese.


Christmas Bounty (ABC Family, 2013)
Starring: Francia Raisa, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, April Telek
One Line Premise: A former bounty hunter tries to hide her previous profession from her fiancé when they visit her family, who are also Bounty Hunters, on Christmas.
My Review: I have always loved “The Miz” okay, love may be a strong word, I’ve been a fan of him ever since he was on the Real World/Road Rules challenges so this movie interested me. However, the plot was unrealistically awful, the acting was horrible from everyone around, and well, it was just so bad. ABC Family is usually better than this.
General Rating: D, Acting: Just Bad., Cheese Factor: Stinky Cheese.


Christmas In Conway (Hallmark, 2013)
Starring: Andy Garcia, Mary Louise-Parker, Mandy Moore, Riley Smith, Cheri Oteri
One Line Premise: At Christmas time a man sets off to build his dying wife a ferris wheel in his backyard.
My Review: Honestly, I wasn’t too sure about this movie but the acting is what held it together. I have to say, no one plays a dying woman better than Mary Louise-Parker. Andy Garcia and Mandy Moore were also great to watch, sweet, kind, and a bit stubborn, things we need for our Hallmark movies. Even though it was quite depressing and made me cry like a little baby (seriously, how is that Christmasy?), it still leaves you with some warm fuzzies. I just wish the ending were developed a bit more and the neighbor wasn’t so cruel.
General Rating: A-, Acting: Very good, Cheese Factor: Good Cheese, like a Brie.


let it snow 3Let It Snow (Hallmark, 2013)
Starring: Candice Cameron Bure, Alan Thicke, Jesse Hutch, Gabrielle Rose, Dan Willmott
One Line Premise: When a big company purchases a small Mom and Pop snow resort, they send a busy executive during Christmas to write a report about renovations beginning with starting over fresh from the ground up.
My Review: Sure it was pretty cheesy, but there was something charming about it. Maybe it was Jesse Hutch. He’s just so good looking. It was also nice to see Candice Cameron Bure back on TV. The ending was super awkward, but for the most part it was a nice movie with no annoying, over-the-top villans.
General Rating: B, Acting: Not too bad, Cheese Factor: Pretty cheesy, but still charming. Like goat cheese.


CaptureA Thanksgiving House (Hallmark, 2013)
Starring: Emily Rose, Justin Bruening, Lindsay Wagner, Jack Scalia, Bruce Boxleitner
One Line Premise: When a woman moves back into town after her aunt dies and man doing research on the premises realizes her house may be the historic sight of the first Thanksgiving House.
My Review: BOORRRIINNGG. However, it was nice to see Justin Bruening playing the nice guy for once.
Rating: D, Acting: Meh, Cheese Factor: Not too cheesy, but in a bad way. Like cheeseless pizza.


Christmas With Tucker (Hallmark, 2013)
Starring: James Brolin, Gage Munroe, Josie Bissett, Ron Lea, John Trench
One Line Premise: A boy falls in love with someone else’s dog and struggles with a way to keep him as his own.
My Review: Well at least the dog didn’t die. But this is a terrible movie. A boy loses his father, is sent to live with his grandparents who make him do stupid chores for Christmas. He takes care of a man’s dog, falls in love with it, then when that man returns from jail to reclaim his dog he denies the kid the right to buy the dog from him, even though he keeps the dog outside in the freezing cold. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. How can a movie be so cruel to a good kid? Sure in the end everything is okay, but it’s like 5 minutes of ok before the credits roll. Bah Humbug.
Rating: D, Acting: Not greatCheese Factor: Cheese overload.


What kinds of Christmas movies have you been watching? More mini-reviews to come!




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