Hallmark Channel brings an angel-packed 12 new movies Christmas

A Cookie Cutter Christmas Hallmark Channel

Does Lifetime bribe you with cookies? I think not!

Christmas comes earlier each year, where soon Christmas will be year round and we will have a cure for overpopulation as millions kill themselves after the 5000th replay of Baby, It’s Cold Outside. On that note, Hallmark Channel has announced their two month long Christmas movie extravaganza! In September! Which sort of makes sense, because the first movie is on November 1st. Normally these cable channels are pretty bad at doing publicity for the film events on their station, so when a big press release gets dumped on their site as a news story, it’s my duty to copy it here (with commentary!), and then bring up each film again as their premiere dates get closer. It’s also a big reveal which one of the 12 movies Hallmark is pushing the most, because one film already has its own section on HallmarkChannel.com! Can you predict which one it is based on the 12 movie descriptions? You just might be surprised!

One Starry Christmas
Saturday, November 1, 8/7c
Starring: Sarah Carter, Damon Runyan, George Canyon, Paul Popowhich

An aspiring astronomy professor finds unexpected Christmas romance when she meets a charming cowboy during her holiday travel. As she decides between this new cowboy and her practical boyfriend, she must decide whether it’s better to play it safe in love, or let an adventurous cowboy steal her heart.

Wait, is this the plot of Back to the Future III? Will that cowboy have a secret weather experiment somewhere? Sadly, no. But it does have white people in love!

The Nine Lives of Christmas
Saturday, November 8, 8/7c
Starring: Brandon Routh, Kimberley Sustad, Stephanie Bennett, Chelsea Hobbs, Sean Tyson, Dalias Blake, Gregory Harrison

With Christmas approaching, a handsome fireman afraid of commitment adopts a stray cat and meets a beautiful veterinary student who challenges his decision to remain a confirmed bachelor.

I’m not sure what the cat has to do with the plot, except for the fact it made me care about the film. And will be a guaranteed better Christmas cat movie than The Grumpy Cat movie. Superman is a firefighter and has a cat, and loves a vet lady, this will be ratings gold. It’s also unofficial Garfield fan fiction!

Nine Lives of Christmas Hallmark Channel

I Hallmark Mondays!

A Cookie Cutter Christmas
Sunday, November 9, 8/7c
Starring: Erin Krakow, Alan Thicke, David Haydn-Jones, Miranda Frigon, Laura Soltis, Genae Marie Charpentier

Two longtime rivals and elementary school teachers duke it out during the holidays in a Christmas cookie bake-off, but their real feud ignites over a shared interest in a handsome single dad. With both determined to win the prize and the romance, their competitiveness could jeopardize what matters most this Christmas season.

This sounds like an episode of a sitcom, but could make a funny romance film. Or at least make me want to get cookies!

Saturday, November 15, 8/7c
Starring: Tiffani Thiessen, Josh Hopkins, Bailee Madison, Max Charles, Candice Glover, Robert Wagner, Jill St. John

Northpole, the magical city where Santa and his elves live and work is in trouble. Families around the globe have gotten too busy to enjoy the season together, and Northpole depends on their holiday happiness to keep running. In the hopes of turning things around, a determined young elf befriends a little boy with a lot of spirit. His skeptical journalist mom doesn’t have room in her heart for anything but the facts, so it’s going to take a little nudge from his charming teacher to create an unbeatable Christmas team to turn around this town and share the importance of the season with the whole world.

People are too burnt out about Christmas to enjoy Christmas, brought to you by a two-month long Christmas movie marathon advertised in September??

Angels and Ornaments
Sunday, November 16, 8/7c
Starring: Jessalyn Gilsig, Sergio Di Zio, Graham Abbey, Samantha Espie, Roger Doche

Corrine’s holiday season gets an unexpected dose of romance when she meets the mysterious Harold, who is on a deadline from a higher power to help Corrine find her true love by Christmas Eve. As the clock ticks down to Harold’s deadline, Corrine must decide if she will open up to Christmas love.

It’s not Christmas unless someone is doing a riff on It’s a Wonderful Life. In fact, there are THREE films on this list that involve angels finding love for people on Christmas. That almost makes up for there being no version of A Christmas Carol. Almost.

A Royal Christmas
Saturday, November 22, 8/7c
Starring: Lacey Chabert, Jane Seymour, Stephen Hagan, Katherine Flynn

A young working girl with a blue-collar background is surprised when her new fiancé announces he is actually a prince of a small sovereign country in Europe. After the couple quickly takes off to spend the holidays at his family’s sprawling, royal castle, she must work hard to win over her disapproving and unaccepting future mother-in-law—the Queen—and find out if love truly can conquer all.

Congrats! You’re now a princess and the media will hound you until they kill you, and the monarchy is an obsolete and ridiculous system in the 21st century. I think I’ll pass this one, even with Jane Seymour as the disapproving Queen.

The Christmas Shepherd
Sunday, November 23, 8/7c
Starring: Teri Polo, Martin Cummins, Jordyn Olson, Jill Teed

A successful children’s book author and Army widow loses her late husband’s German Shepherd, Buddy, only to later find him adopted by a new family – a single father and his daughter. Each finds a sense of Christmas spirit as they struggle to decide with whom the dog really belongs.

Yeah, yeah, they’re gonna get married. But there’s a dog, and maybe funny dog antics. And possibly scenes where Teri Polo and Martin Cummins hate each other before they love each other. But I’m mostly here for the dog.

Debbie Macomber’s Mr. Miracle
Saturday, November 29, 8/7c
Starring: Rob Morrow, Michelle Harrison, Britt Irvin, Sarah-Jane Redmond, Andrew Francis

Heavenly angel Harry Mills is sent to Earth on a trial assignment to intervene in the life of a woman who needs help getting her life on track after the death of her father. With a deadline of Christmas day, he attempts to help her heal in order to embrace a new future, and an unexpected love, just in time to celebrate the miracle of the holiday season.  

Debbie Macomber is Hallmark’s golden goose, their films based on her romance novels score record ratings, and their first ever original series is based on her work. So it is only natural there is one of her stories in this huge batch of films, even if it is yet another angel romance Christmas film.

Christmas Under Wraps
Sunday, November 30, 8/7c
Starring: Candace Cameron Bure

When a driven doctor doesn’t get the prestigious position she planned for, she unexpectedly finds herself moving to a remote Alaskan town. While she meets the locals and even starts a new romance, she has to learn to let the life she planned for give way to a love she never could have imagined, and finds this festive small town is hiding one big holiday secret.

Gender-swapped Christmas Northern Exposure???

Christmas at Cartwrights
Saturday, December 6, 8/7c
Starring: Alicia Witt, Wallace Shawn

With Christmas approaching, a struggling single mom finds herself working as a department store Santa Claus, as a real-life angel delivers good fortune and the possibility of holiday romance.

So many angels will be getting their wings thanks to Hallmark Channel, that the resulting trillions of bells ringing will crack the Earth open and cause a mass calamity! I’m guessing Wallace Shawn is the angel, though it’d be hilarious if he was the love interest.

Best Christmas Party Ever
Saturday, December 13, 8/7c
Starring: Torrey DeVitto, Steve Lund, Linda Thorson and Harmon Walsh

With the holidays approaching, a young party planner arranges a special Christmas party for a New York toy store. When a powerful corporation threatens to shut her down, she decides to follow her heart, moving forward with the party plans and finding true love in time for Christmas.

Why is a powerful corporation picking on a poor party planner? I don’t know, but this will be the best Christmas party ever if it is the party that starts the revolution that puts the capitalist pigs against the walls! ¡Viva la Revolución!

The Christmas Parade
Sunday, December 14, 8/7c
Starring: AnnaLynne McCord, Jefferson Brown, Drew Scott

A popular network morning host finds herself humiliated on the air by her fiancé and disappears to a small town. While there, she helps a budding artist save a community art center for the town’s kids, by helping them with their float for the annual Christmas Parade. 

Wait a minute, one of the Property Brothers is in this? I didn’t even know they had careers in made for tv movies! But is he the new love or the jerk ex-boyfriend? And will he get run over by a parade float? That would be a Christmas miracle!

Did you guess which one of these film Hallmark is already pushing with extra promotion? If you said Northpole, you are correct, though I have no idea why that one is getting the bump. I’m definitely most interested in The Nine Lives of Christmas, but I’ll give all these films their dues as their air dates approach and their trailers and promotional images begin to appear.

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 17, 2014 at 8:27 am

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Recipe for Love simmers on Hallmark Channel!

Recipe for Love hallmark

Look, I’m not taking cooking advice from a barefoot cook!

Recipe for Love asks if good chef and bad boy chefs can come together without there being too many chefs to spoil the pot. The pot being love! Just pretend the bad boy chef is your favorite obnoxious tv chef (even though he doesn’t look like any of the ones I don’t like) and this film could get tasty! Or just weird. Also Peter DeLuise plays himself.

Recipe for Love stars Danielle Panabaker, Shawn Roberts, and Pascale Hutton.

Lauren Hennessey (Danielle Panabaker) has always loved to cook and is a proud perfectionist at her job at “Food & Entertainment Magazine’s” test kitchen while she dreams of being able to finally afford culinary school in Paris. When her boss offers her a bonus if she agrees to ghostwrite the cookbook of a difficult celebrity chef, Lauren sees her dream becoming a reality as soon as she can tame the notorious bad boy chef in question, Dexter Durant (Shawn Roberts). Slowly peeling back the layers of Dexter’s tough-guy persona, she starts seeing a different, vulnerable side to this big-shot chef. Suddenly, their dueling culinary styles become the perfect complement in the kitchen and an attraction between them starts to boil over.

As the cookbook nears completion, Dexter and a scheming young chef must face off in a final cook-off, judged by celebrity Peter DeLuise (as himself). Will Dexter win the competition and Lauren’s love?

Recipe for Love is written by Michael J. Murray (Honor Thy Father and Mother: The True Story of the Menendez Murders), and directed by Ron Oliver (Beethoven’s Treasure Tail)

Recipe for Love premieres Saturday, October 11, on Hallmark Channel

via Hallmark

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 16, 2014 at 11:11 pm

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Star S’Mores is a galaxy of fun Sesame Street wisdom!

Sesame Street is back with a whole new season of movie parody viral videos. And now they’ve done a doozy, with the OG Star Wars parody, Star S’Mores! Snuffie Banthas! Trash Can Droids! Oreo Princess Leia buns! (or Princess Parfaita!) Obi-Wan as Only One Cannoli! Grover as Yoda! Darth Baker! Marshmallow stormtroopers! And so much more! Plus you can learn about self-control, something so many adults need to learn, not just small fries.

Special shout-out for not making Cookie Monster the Wookiee, because not only is that waaaaay too obvious, but it has already been done by Hardware Wars!

A long time ago in a cookies and milky way galaxy far, far away…Princess Parfaita was taken prisoner by the evil Galactic Empire and had to be saved by a group of unlikely heroes including the young Luke Piewalker, Flan Solo, and Chewie the Cookie.

So learn some self-control, you impulsive maniac!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 9:20 pm

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Con Licencia Para Matar (Review)

Con Licencia Para Matar

aka With License to Kill aka Las Tigresas
Con Licencia Para Matar
Written by Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Con Licencia Para Matar
When danger rears it’s head, and the police are helpless, they call in Las Tigresas! A trio of fighting femmes donning black catsuits with leopard print collars who bust in and kick serious butt, then collect fat paychecks to live exciting jet-setting lives.

There are two Las Tigresas films, Con Licencia Para Matar (With License to Kill) is the second, following Muñecas Peligrosas (Dangerous Dolls), though according to some material I read, this one may have been filmed first. That’s not surprising, as both films appear to be filmed one after the other (they even share sets and actors, and Cazadores de Espias also shares sets and actors and was filmed at almost the same time in 1967!)
Con Licencia Para Matar
Las Tigresas are a mercenary group that contracts out to the IUS to do special missions (at a price!) Their liaison/mission boss is “Jefe”, Jim Morrison (who is now dating Emily, the leaders of Las Tigresas) They have a comic relief maid named Leonor who occasionally joins them for adventures, and in this film also get a comic relief butler named Hector who is sort of dating Leonor.

Las Tigresas are independent warrior women who don’t wait around for men to save them. Despite calling Morrison their boss, he barely does anything except give them assignments and take Emily out on dates (In a clear HR violation!) The ladies are independent role models, not only does Leonor spend both films wanting to be one of them, in this film Hector even tries to join their ranks.
Con Licencia Para Matar
Unlike the other Las Tigresas film, there are no English subtitles for Con Licencia Para Matar, but a TarsTarkas.NET, we don’t need no stinking subtitles! Con Licencia Para Matar is the much more enjoyable Las Tigresas film, and the lack of accessibility means it still lingers in the realm of obscurity despite the best efforts of world cinema fanatics. As this film is rather rare, enjoy the far too detailed plot synopsis review below. Or else!

Emily (Emily Cranz) – Code designation: T001. Leader of Las Tigresas. Emily is now dating Jim Morrison and gets a musical number in the club. Specializes in using the gun to kill enemies, though that’s not really a specialization because everyone uses guns. But she uses her gun and nothing else.
Diana (Maura Monti) – Code designation: T009. Diana returns with much more sensible hair, and also has a fiance and is planning to retire. But he disappears so no retirement just yet! Diana uses the bow and arrows.
Barbara (Barbara Angely) – Code designation: T002. Barbara spends much of her time not having much going on in this film, though she occasionally will show up to kill villains. Barbara uses her sword to dispatch her enemies.
Leonor (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Emily’s maid, who still wants to be a Tigress and is still actively involved in their missions. Gets a robot duplicate at one point.
Jim Morrison (Fernando Casanova) – Nicknamed Jefe. The boss of the Tigresas in that he is their liaison with IUS and assigns them missions. Gets a robot duplicate at one point.
Dr. Klux (Noé Murayama) – Evil villain who build invincible robots to do his bidding and to do awful stuff in the name of showing how awesome Dr. Klux is. This guy’s name is a little too close for comfort to a certain awful hate organization, which may or may not have been intentional. Who knows at this point?
Dr. Klux’s Robots (various) - Invincible super robots controlled by remote control and made out of green plastic. They feature huge Ks on their chests because Dr. Klux is sort of an arrogant jerk. Their only weakness is heat and destroying their control panel.

Con Licencia Para Matar
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 15, 2014 at 8:34 am

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Muñecas Peligrosas (Review)

Muñecas Peligrosas

aka Danger Dolls aka Operación Contraespionaje aka Operation Counter
Muñecas Peligrosas
Written by Alfredo Ruanova
Directed by Rafael Baledón

Muñecas Peligrosas
Muñecas Peligrosas is the first of the two Las Tigresas films, featuring a trio of fighting femmes in black catsuits and leopard collars who fight evil (for a fee!) It fits right in with the established world of 1960s Mexican spy cinema, which borrows chunks from James Bond and Eurospy while keeping its own distinct flavor. There is a secret international spy agency, and all-powerful unknown villains who retain their mystery despite having advanced branding tactics. Muñecas Peligrosas is a more subtle affair then the sequel, which features the ladies battling green robots controlled by a mad scientist. Here, they battle an industrialist determined to steal a catalyst for solid fuel production by luring the maker to Mexico via sabotage. But the plot is just background distraction, the real draw of Muñecas Peligrosas is the female characters, the three fighting women and their comic relief maid.

The lead Tigresa is Emily (code designation: T001), played by Emily Cranz. She was born Emma Cranz Cantillano in Arizona to a German mother and Mexican father. She had a string of film appearances in the 1960s, along with several albums (occasionally with a group called Los Black Jeans) and appearances on television variety shows. She eventually married and disappeared from public view in 1970.
Muñecas Peligrosas
Tigresa Diana (code designation: T009) is played by actress Maura Monti. She’s best known to genre fans as the star of the Mexican Batwoman movie, La Mujer Murciélago, as well as appearances in films such as S.O.S. Conspiracion Bikini, El Planeta de las Mujeres Invasoras, and Santo Contra la Invasion de los Marcianos. Maura Monti has gigantic hair in this movie.

The final Tigresas is Barbara (code designation: T002), played by Bárbara Angely. Her character sort of gets the shaft in both of the films, often supporting one of the other two characters. Bárbara Angely was born Barbara Mueller in Austria, both her and her twin sister Angelika became models in Italy and eventually moved to Mexico. Now being billed as Bárbara Angely, she appeared in films through the last 1960s, only to retire by 1970 (it was said she tired of the lifestyle.) She earned a Ph.D. and eventually became a triathlon athlete along with her sister. It was while competing in one such event that she suffered the injuries that claimed her life in 2008.
Muñecas Peligrosas
Despite Barbara being a real Tigresa, Emily’s maid Leonor (played by comedic actress Leonorilda Ochoa) gets much more screen time and plot development. Unlike the three import actresses above, Leonorilda Ochoa did not marry and vanish from public view in 1970 as the Mexican film industry depressed. She moved to television, gaining fame in Los Beverly de Peralvillo, a satire on life of rich Mexican City residents (and named in reverence to the US program Beverly Hillbillies). She has been absent in the public eye in recent years due to Alzheimer’s.

Villain Garrick is one of those villains who needs people to know who he is, so he has his big G logo plastered all over his hideout and on his troops. The design of the big G kept making me thing of Gizmonic Institute from Mystery Science Theater 3000. Maybe the Institute militarized and that’s why Dr. Forrester and TV’s Frank moved to Deep 13. Makes you think…
Muñecas Peligrosas
There is also a very unfunny running gag involving a karate instructor (played by Alejandro Suárez in yellowface) who speaks gibberish back and forth with Leonor while she hits on him. These scenes go on for far too long and are just awful.

The copy I have came complete with some fan subtitles. Some of the names might not match right up with other names you’ve seen, and I’ve compromised by what names sound correct. And as this is relatively obscure, please enjoy the more detailed than usual review. Or else!

Emily (Emily Cranz) – Codename: T001. Emily owns the headquarters and is the leader of Las Tigresas. She is dating Waldo, who turns out to be working for the enemy. So there is guilt and stuff going on.
Diana (Maura Monti) – Codename: T009. Diana is skilled in the bow and arrows. I don’t know if her number jumping from two to nine means there six inactive or deceased Las Tigresas out there. The film just doesn’t answer that pressing question. How dare you, film!
Barbara (Bárbara Angely) – Codename: T002. Barbara is mentioned as knowing Jim Morrison from her time in New York City, and returns there at one point for vacation, where she convinces the boss to less Jim pay their higher fee. She specializes in the swords. That’s also about all she does for both films.
Leonor (Leonorilda Ochoa) – Emily’s loyal maid. Her greatest wish is to be one of the Tigresas. She’s the comic relief, and there is a lot of relief. She’s almost the most seen character in the film!
Jim Morrison (Fernando Casanova) – The new boss, nicknamed “Jefe” by the Tigresses before he’s even officially their boss. Then he becomes their boss when IUS hires the ladies at the high fees. Is the only IUS agent in Mexico who doesn’t get killed easily by Garrick.
Garrick (Armando Silvestre) – Egotistical jerk who is trying to steal the K20 because of reasons not known, all you need to know is he is evil. That’s what the secretive international spy agency that assassinates hundreds off the books says, so it must be legitimate. Likes to put the letter “G” everywhere.

Muñecas Peligrosas
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 14, 2014 at 8:17 am

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The Sword and the Sorcerer – new RiffTrax VOD!

RiffTrax returns to the world of terrible 1980s fantasy to bring us their latest VOD, The Sword and the Sorcerer! You might recall it as that crazy movie with the three-bladed sword. Well, now you can say it is that crazy movie with the three-bladed sword AND three guys talking over it! It also has everyone’s favorite Big McLargeHuge, Reb Brown! That alone is an auto-buy. So go buy it! Or don’t, but just remember, no one will think you are cool if you don’t own the RiffTrax of The Sword and the Sorcerer. Not even your mom.

And the 80s said, “let there be fantasy movies,” and there were fantasy movies, and they were good. Well, they weren’t really. But lo, raise thy flagon to the 80s, for through the mists of legendry* (*actual phrase from the movie) they bring us The Sword and the Sorcerer!

Before George R.R. Martin ever Gamed a Throne, The Sword and the Sorcerer had a witch bringing forth a hideous monster, a noble family of good guys getting wiped out, and even a Red Wedding! Or at least a Magenta Wedding. It also has a three-bladed sword that shoots blades, the kind of idea that seems like it could only have been pitched by an 8 year old boy right after the phrase “You know what would be COOL?”

Follow the adventures of our hero, Talon, a rogue/warrior/buccaneer/general/upholsterer/freelance architect/hooker with a heart of gold, as he gets vengeance and shoots his sword and swings on ropes and whatnot, y’know, hero stuff.

It’s high fantasy, just like the blacklight posters and pewter figurines at Spencer’s Gifts envisioned! Join The Mike and The Bill and The Kevin for The Sword and the Sorcerer!

Note: contains some scary stuff and brief incidental harem nudity.

via RiffTrax

Sword and the Sorcerer RiffTrax

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 13, 2014 at 7:16 pm

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