#ChristmasatGraceland, #ReturntoChristmasCreek, and more – Movie Reviews

Table of Reviews

Christmas at Graceland – Review

Christmas at Graceland – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas at Graceland

Laurel was given a last minute assignment. She must go back go to her hometown and convince the bank owner to give her company controlling interest.  Her boss believes that the Tennessee native will have a better connection than any of his Arizonan born staff.  Laurel agrees to go and takes her daughter Emma along.  She hopes her daughter will love a Tennessee Christmas as much as she did when she was a child.  Laurel and Emma stay with Laurel’s best friend Sally.  While taking in her past, she sees Clay.  The two were in a relationship but their connection runs deeper.  They were in a band together.  But when Clay lied about the size of a venue, Laurel was dismayed and betrayed.  She wasn’t ready to handle a crowd that size.  In addition, her mother past away.  This painful news made Laurel give up singing, Tennessee, and Clay.  Clay is now a concert promoter with a big problem.  One of his acts fell through, so he asks Laurel to get on stage with him one more time.  As an example to her daughter, Laurel says yes.  But there is one major hurdle.  Not her stage fright but her boss.  He is upset that the bank owner has not taken his offer.  So he decides to play hardball.  He tells Laurel to leave town and feign disinterest.  If Laurel leaves, she will leave Clay’s festival behind too.

The story is just missing true conflict.  You never feel like Laurel’s choice is a struggle the moment her boss presents it.  By that time, she is completely in love with Tennessee again and started making plans.  The ultimatum just makes Laurel’s change in heart that much easier.   Even the original songs don’t save this movie.  Your favorite moments in this movie will include Graceland and Emma.  Also, you will only see the inside of Graceland for 2 minutes.  The other moments are outside shots only.  With so many great Hallmark and HMM movies, this one can be saved to New Year’s.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

She never told you about her musical past – Clay

If I agree, will it get you to stop talking – Laurel

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Return to Christmas Creek – Review

Return to Christmas Creek – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Return to Christmas Creek

Growing up in Christmas Creek has done nothing for Amelia’s Christmas spirit.  She presented a Christmas app to her customers but it just didn’t encompass what Christmas really means.  Amelia is shocked by their rejection and decides to regroup at her parents’ Smorgasborg before heading to the Turks and Caicos Islands for the holidays.  Her boyfriend Brad shows up late and upset.  After 2 years together Amelia still doesn’t want to spend the holidays with his family.  He is done with Amelia constantly pushing away when he is trying to build a stronger relationship.  So he breaks up with her.  With another rejection, Amelia stares at the generic mailing on the counter.   Her uncle Harry runs an inn in Christmas Creek.  The mailing is a reminder about the 40th anniversary of his holiday drop.  He collects toys, flies them over remote areas, and drops them to needy kids.  When Amelia was younger she was his co-pilot.  But her father Dan left Christmas Creek, Harry, and the inn after he and Harry had a huge fight.  The two have not spoken since.  Knowing of, but not the cause of the tension, Amelia decides to go back to Christmas Creek and not tell her parents.  She hopes the trip will bring back the Christmas spirit she lost.

Now everyone’s holiday isn’t sunshine and roses.  Some people have to deal with family hurt and trying to keep the peace.  Amelia is one of those people.  She has been so sidelined by this family fight that she runs to an island during the holidays.  While this human side the holidays make a strong plot, it’s just not enough to keep your attention.  You want to see more about what happened between Harry and Dan.  So Amelia finding her Christmas spirit becomes the least of your concerns.  Watch this movie when you need to kill a few hours.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

I’m not opening that or the past – Dan

I keep trying to move things forward but you keep pulling away – Brad

I love your hopeful optimism but that is very unlikely – Amelia

That’s no way to run an inn and I learned the hard way – Harry

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He Knows Your Every Move – Review

He Knows Your Every Move – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

He Knows Your Every Move

Molly is proud of her 20-minute recipe blog.  She is becoming a household name and creating a brand that will become an app.  Her best friend Romona is getting married and Molly has gotten over her ex-boyfriend Dylan.  Even though they live in the same duplex, his constant trips make him a seasonal decoration.  Her manager tells Molly to get the app going she needs to create 20 more recipes in a few days.  Molly feels overwhelmed but focuses on the task at hand.  Halfway through, she spills coffee on her computer.  She takes it to a computer client to be fixed.  Until then, Molly goes old school with paper in pencil.  While at her favorite restaurant, Molly overhears a guy ordering her recipe.  She is impressed with is tenacity for spicy food.  After talking, Molly and Jake hit it off.  They seem like a perfect match.  But when Jake steps over the line one too many times, Molly wants the relationship to be over.  Jake is not leaving without a fight.

This is an instructional movie about when sweet becomes creepy.  For example, Jake leaving rose petals is sweet.  But breaking in Molly’s home to do it is creepy.  Her friends try to no avail to warn Molly that something is off about Jake.  But she sticks by him.  Hearing Molly’s relationship history, its told this is Molly’s pattern.  Her friends warned her about Dylan and she didn’t listen.  When Jake is done, he just doesn’t want a relationship, he wants her entire life.  This is a decent movie but it has all been done before.  Every manipulative move Jake makes, every mistake Molly makes, and the reactions of everyone around her.  It’s all ben done.

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

I guess out with the old and in with the new – Molly

I was hoping to see a little sun before I died – Jake

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A Veteran’s Christmas – Review

A Veteran’s Christmas – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

A Veteran's Christmas

Captain Grace Garland of the United States Marines has decided to join civilian life.  She gets off the plane to no fanfare, signs her paperwork. gets a car, and heads home.  But she slips on the ice and crashes.  Disoriented, she leaves the vehicle and is greeted by Justice – a dog.  She follows Justice to a farm and knocks on the door.  Judge Joe answer and quickly offers her help for her bruises.  It will take several days to get her car fix so Joe offers his place for her to stay.  She agrees.  Grace is happy to be out of the war zone but she is missing her one true love, Christmas.  Christmas is her explosion detection K9 which she received due to a clerical error.  Since Christmas belongs the US government, she couldn’ t keep him.  Heartbroken, she had to leave the military without him.  A few years ago, Judge Joe thought he found the woman he wanted to be with the rest of his life.  Unfortunately, she left town with another man. He is determined to go full steam ahead with his career.  He hopes to become a district court judge in Chicago and do important work.  Until then Joe will keep Grace busy in town with activities.  As their time together grows, so does their love.

Hallmark fans expect to see a veteran’s tale during the holiday season.  But this one has the twist of adding the K9 units.  Often these four-legged officers have a strong bond with their handlers and vice versa.  The two work, live and play side by side every day.  Mostly they save each other, so the separation can feel like a death to a soldier.  Dog lovers’ be forewarned, you will be in tears by the end.  There is the added mystery of Joe’s ex-fiance coming back to town.  So sit back and have a box of tissues handy.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

Oh, that’s me. Sowing the seeds of justice – Joe

Are you aware of the deep concern in this parish over your marital status – Grace

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Seduced by My Neighbor – Review

Seduced by My Neighbor – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Seduced by My Neighbor

Two years ago, Sarah was helpless as she heard her husband Neil crash his car and die during a phone call.  Now, she and her daughter Allie are doing well and starting fresh by moving closer to Neil’s mother Gladys.  Gladys lives in a retirement community and Sarah is the head nurse.  Gladys tells Sarah that Neil would have wanted her to be happy by finding love.  She just doesn’t feel ready.  And to make matters harder, someone attempted to break into her new home.  She can’t understand why this happened because her community is one of the safest.  Thankfully, Mike, the security guard was there to help.  He has offered to update Sarah’s entire security system.  Mike lost his wife and daughter in a car accident so he offers to help Sarah through her grief.  Sarah thinks this is sweet but tells him she is looking to be friends.  On a friendly dinner with Mike, Sarah’s alarm system goes off and Sarah rushes home with Mike.  Allie had a small gathering and they triggered the fire alarm.  Sarah remembers firefighter Chris when he visited his mom at the retirement home earlier that week.  The two flirt and he ask her out.  She says yes.  Mike furiously stalks behind the door.  Mike will do anything to have Sarah for himself.  In fact, she has no idea of everything he has done to get her so far.

While this movie has a slow build up, the pay off is the last 20 minutes with two twist endings.  The interesting point in this movie is Ms. Stevens.  She has an interest in Mike but Mike is obsessed with Sarah.  Some would wonder, why doesn’t Mike just go after someone who wants him.  But fear not, that question will be answered too.  So watch from the beginning and prepare for a crazy ride while talking to the screen.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

We’re both lucky to be in such a warm welcoming community – Sarah

We can make some friends – Allie

Of course, you never know who this place is crawling with – Gladys

You’ve done enough. I’ll live – Dylan

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Christmas in Love – Review

Christmas in Love – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Christmas in Love

Ellie works in the Carlingson bakery with her father in White Deer.  Christmas is the busiest time of year for the bakery and the town.  So hearing a corporate suit, Nick, is coming, leaves Ellie and the staff exasperated.  Ellie is already busy helping the staff create Kringle Cookies, creating wreaths for the town, and helping the local food bank.  Last year, she interviewed for her dream job in the Carlingson’s San Francisco corporate office but didn’t get the job.  Her heart is still broken over the missed opportunity.  She admires Nick’s life.  Nick works in the corporate office and is ready to make changes for a bigger profit.  While Carlingson is doing well financially, Nick wants to automate the bakery.  He believes the people in the town can find new jobs in computers.  He is keeping one secret from Ellie.  He is the boss’s son and being groomed to take over the company by the new year.  His father sent him to White Deer to have a better understanding of the people who make the company to inspire him to look beyond numbers.  But Nick is inspiring Ellie to create a new dream.

There is a lot to unpack in this story because each character is strongly written.  You understand everyone’s reason for staying in White Deer.  However, you know that everyone in White Deer understands that Ellie should do more.  Her first love is San Francisco and her second love is arts and crafts.  But one rejection has put her on the “safe” track.  It’s easy to fall into a comfortable life but taking a leap of faith is a true challenge.  Having Nick and the town give Ellie a boost is refreshing.  So the lesson to learn, just because it’s safe doesn’t mean it’s right.  Hallmark took another risk by putting the love story in the back of the overall plot; this allows the love to flow naturally and be more believable.  We know how it will end with love but we hope the characters grow in the processes

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Opportunity doesn’t always knock.  Sometimes you have to go out and look for it – Grace

And I am talking about these people. Invest in them and they’ll invest in you – Mr. Carlingson

I didn’t expect to be here – Nick

The ice really doesn’t care – Ellie

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