It’s the reason for the Seasons of Love on Lifetime!

Seasons of Love Lifetime Taraji P. Henson Gladys Knight

I think we’re gonna need a bit more alcohol if we have to sit through all of An En Vogue Christmas!


Lifetime has what looks to be a nice relationship tale for the holidays with Seasons of Love. It also looks to be another example of Lifetime putting out some quality diverse films. And it looks to have nothing to do with the song from the Rent soundtrack!

Kyla (LeToya Luckett, Single Ladies) and Amir’s (Cleo Anthony, Divergent) new romance is thrown for a loop when Amir’s father (Richard Portnow) suddenly passes away and Kyla’s ex, Miles (Rob Riley, Hit the Floor), comes back into the picture. The two struggle to determine what truly matters to them in this story of life, love and family. Taraji P. Henson stars and executive produces, while Gladys Knight and Cliff “Method Man” Smith also star.

Seasons of Love stars Taraji P. Henson, Gladys Knight, Method Man, LeToya Luckett, Cleo Anthony, Richard Portnow, Rob Riley, and Elizabeth Ho.

The film is directed by Princess Monique. This is her first feature besides the 2002 short The Call, which she also cowrote along with the two credited writers for Seasons of Love – Sharon Brathwaite-Sanders and Peres Owino. It is a new batch of creatives looking to make their mark.

It’s still too early for the trailers to pop up, but Seasons of Love premieres Sunday, November 23, on Lifetime!

via A&E and Lifetime
Photo by Courtesy of Lifetime/A&E Press

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 22, 2014 at 9:45 am

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Warm up your ovens for A Cookie Cutter Christmas on Hallmark Channel!


As we all know, the real spirit of Christmas is beating the crap out of your rivals to prove you are the best at everything! On that note, A Cookie Cutter Christmas comes out ovens blazing, as it’s the tale of two arch rivals that have been at each others throats since they were little kids. Now that they are both adult teachers at a school, it is only natural that they argue about baking and attracting the latest single dad in their small town. I guess A Cookie Cutter Christmas takes place in that same small town that Kindergarten Cop does, where there are no single men until one moves into town and all the ladies line up. Christie Reynolds (Erin Krakow, Army Wives) is the lady who usually loses the competitions to Miss Perfect, aka Penny Miller (Miranda Frigon, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show ), but Christmas is the time for miracles. Throw in some Christmas decoration competitions, baking competitions, man-getting competitions, and A Cookie Cutter Christmas becomes the ultimate competition of wills. Or at least two women. Keep an eye out for Alan Thicke, who is collected a paycheck as a famous chef and choking on bad cookies.

A Cookie Cutter Christmas is part of the 12 New Movies of Christmas, in Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas celebration.

Christie Reynolds (Krakow) and Penny Miller (Frigon) have been archrivals ever since a memorable fight over a coveted Christmas recital solo in elementary school. Now adults, they work side-by-side at the same school where they still constantly compete over everything. As the holiday season approaches, the entire school is getting into the spirit with the annual fundraising festival, which will feature an exciting new event—a teacher Christmas Cookie Bake- Off, judged by a tough five-star chef, Chef Krueger (Thicke). Penny and Christie immediately clash over the contest, both wanting to beat the other to win the grand prize, a free class trip. Christie, however, is hopeless in the kitchen, despite help from her mom, Bev (Laura Soltis, “Hiccups”). She doesn’t think she has a chance—until she meets James, a new student’s handsome and sweet single dad. In addition to running a charitable shelter, James is also an excellent cook. As both Christie and Penny vie for James’s attention in yet another aggressive battle, Christie starts to tutor his precious, kindhearted daughter Lily (Genae Charpentier, “Girl Vs. Monster”) and gets to know James outside of school. As their relationship starts to deepen, and James’ baking expertise guides Christie’s cookie creations, Christie’s competitive edge starts to soften. But at the final bake-off challenge, James is finally caught in the middle of Christie and Penny’s petty feud, and Christie comes to realize life’s most rewarding prizes don’t come with a trophy.

A Cookie Cutter Christmas is directed by Christie Will (Baby Bootcamp) and written by Barbara Kymlicka (Death Clique). It stars Erin Krakow, Miranda Frigon, Alan Thicke, David Haydn-Jones, Laura Soltis (Wedding Planner Mystery), and Genae Marie Charpentier (Girl vs. Monster)

A Cookie Cutter Christmas premieres November 9 on Hallmark Channel!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 21, 2014 at 9:42 am

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Explore The Nine Lives of Christmas on Hallmark Channel!

Nine Lives of Christmas Hallmark

Man of Steal-ing your heart!


When you think of Christmas, you think of cats and firefighters and television movies that resemble the Garfield Movie. Thus, Hallmark delivers again with The Nine Lives of Christmas! Yes, a hunky firefighter adopts an orange cat and begins a love affair with a vet, even though neither of them will be dating for most of the duration of the film. Sadly, the cat does not appear to talk or do humorous things like hate Mondays or eat lasagna, but the firefighter is Superman – Brandon Routh!

Besides Brandon Routh as cat-adopting firefighter Zachary Stone, The Nine Lives of Christmas stars Kimberley Sustad (Super Buddies) as Marilee White, Stephanie Bennett (Leprechaun: Origins) as Jaclyn, Chelsea Hobbs as Blair, Sean Tyson as Rey, Dalias Blake as Mark, and Gregory Harrison as Sam.

The Nine Lives of Christmas is directed by Mark Jean (Finding Mrs. Claus), and is written by Nancey Silvers (who wrote two films with amazing titles –> Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy and Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade!)

Fireman Zachary Stone (Routh) is a confirmed bachelor who doesn’t believe in love or commitment. When a stray, tabby cat named Ambrose shows up at his door, Zachary takes him in and slowly starts to see that a little companionship might not be so bad after all. Zachary’s commitment to solitude is further challenged when he meets Marilee (Sustad), an animal lover and veterinary student who teaches Zachary how to care for his new feline roommate. Chemistry immediately develops between the two, but Marilee has vowed not to date until she graduates and Zachary is not ready to jeopardize his independence, though he senses Marilee is special.

With Christmas rapidly approaching, Marilee’s sister Jaclyn (Bennett) convinces her to add romance to her nose-to-the-grindstone life of work and school, while fire chief Sam (Harrison) encourages Zachary to understand the importance of love, marriage and having someone special with whom to share the holidays. When Zachary’s model girlfriend Blair (Hobbs) pressures him to get rid of Ambrose and has Marilee fired from her job at a pet supply store that her father owns, Zachary sees the light, realizing he is in love with Marilee and that life is better if shared with someone special.

The Nine Lives of Christmas is an entry in The 12 New Movies of Christmas, part of Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas. It premieres November 8th on Hallmark Channel! Weirdly enough, this is the Hallmark Channel movie that I am the most excited about. So bring it on!

Nine Lives of Christmas Hallmark

Remember: Don’t set your presents on fire, kids!

Nine Lives of Christmas Hallmark

I have to get this cat lasagna, or Christmas is ruined!!!

Photos by David Owen Strongman and Katie Yu via Hallmark Press

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 20, 2014 at 5:40 pm

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Sleepy Hollow S02E04 – “Go Where I Send Thee…”

Go Where I Send Thee Sleepy Hollow

Yes, Ichabod, contaminate the bone evidence of murder with your DNA!


Sleepy HollowGo Where I Send Thee…
Written by Damian Kindler
Directed by Doug Aarniokoski
Go Where I Send Thee Sleepy Hollow

Frank Irving is trapped in a generic movie poster!


If there is one thing Sleepy Hollow is good for, it’s providing completely crazy monster scenarios. This weeks episode, “Go Where I Send Thee…”, is a prime example, thanks to a demonic Pied Piper who dates back to the Revolutionary War. How often do you see demonic Pied Pipers on your television screen? And yet, Sleepy Hollow does so brazenly, and it fits right in with their on-going mythos, to the point where no one is batting an eye!

The Pied Piper is the monster of the week, and he’s kidnapping a young girl as part of a family curse that has been happening for generations. Like all the prior family curses on Sleepy Hollow, it all dates back to the Revolutionary War period. Fake Revolutionary Daniel Forbes Lancaster (who Ichabod explains joined the rebellion only after it was apparent the Colonials would win) had a British detachment of troops staying in his house, which got a little too grabby with his daughters. So he hired a local demonic Pied Piper assassin to kill them. I guess back in the 1700s, you could just hire demonic fairy tale assassins with relative ease. In any event, after the Pied Piper slayed all the troops (in super fast cool knife fighting moves!), Daniel Lancaster has the demonic Pied Piper shot with arrows and dumped in a lake. This betrayal doesn’t end well, because demonic powered assassins tend to not stay dead, and he returns every generation to abduct a female member of the Lancaster family on her 10th birthday.

First of all, why would you betray a demon-powered assassin? That’s just looking for trouble. Secondly, why would you betray one with a Pied Piper theme, since the town’s betrayal of the Pied Piper in the original tale ended badly? It’s like he’s too stupid and arrogant to learn the morals of these fairy tales. And the Lancaster family now has trouble for generations. Good going, moron!

Go Where I Send Thee Sleepy Hollow

Look, there are a thousand variations of “Abbie gives Ichabod a bone” jokes I could make, or I could go so meta I’m beyond the joke while still making it. I choose the latter!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 18, 2014 at 9:57 am

Categories: Television Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Hawk the Slayer – New RiffTrax VOD!


RiffTrax is back with more wacky fantasy fluff, the new VOD Hawk the Slayer! Another fine film I saw oh so long ago, and I can attest that it is bonkers and awful and bonkful and all those other made up combined words. Featuring Jack Palance pre-City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold, and with only half a face! There are characters named Gort, Voltan, Hawk, Crow, Baldin, Ranulf, and Drogo! A bunch of fantasy stuff collides in a monument of “Huh?” as Hawk the Slayer slays it’s way to being a movie you will compare to Deathstalker IV: Match of Titans. Maybe.

Buy it today at RiffTrax.com!

If you took a Dungeons & Dragons adventure written hastily by an 8th grader during study hall and turned it into a movie, you’d wind up with something a lot like Hawk the Slayer. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how they actually got the script. But this movie has something that no D&D adventure can claim: Jack Palance. A whole lot of Jack Palance. Specifically MEGA-EVIL Jack Palance, playing a character named Voltan. He yells, kills, yells, whisper-threatens, whisper-yells, kills, and mostly just yells his way across the countryside. Seems no one can stop him until his brother Hawk – yes, his brother, despite being about 40 years younger – gathers an elf, a dwarf, and a giant to take him down. Not as much dignity as a Fellowship of the Ring, more of a… Crew of the Stuff.

Keen-eyed fans may recognize the dwarf from our release Prisoners of the Lost Universe. Also, the actor playing Hawk went on to portray Jack’s dad in Lost — hmmm, Prisoners of the LOST Universe, LOST, time to dig up your old Lost conspiracy theories because there’s something happening here, IT’S ALL CONNECTED.

Join Mike, Kevin and Bill for a heaping helping of Jack the Palance and Hawk the Slayer!

Hawk the Slayer RiffTrax

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - October 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

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Iron Swallow (Review)


Iron Swallow

aka 鐵燕 aka Tie Yan aka Shaolin Iron Eagle
Iron Swallow
1978
Story by Chu Yu
Directed by Cheung Pooi-Shing (as Chang Pay-Cherng)

Iron Swallow
Revenge is a dish best served cold. That’s what some Klingon guy told me, anyway. Iron Swallow is basically a kung fu version of I Know What You Did Last Summer, except it’s a decade later and the children of the slain are the ones having revenge. Revenge is the topic of discussion, because it’s the topic everyone is talking about.

The elders did a horrible crime they refuse to talk about to anyone or even each other. It quickly becomes obvious that it involves rape, murder, and bribes to cover up their deeds. Many of them spent years worrying about the crimes, some throwing themselves into philanthropy out of guilt. None of the characters will call the authorities when attacked, because they don’t want to drag up their sordid histories. This leaves their younger relatives confused and frustrated, knowing something bad is happening and seeing their parents unwilling to do anything about it.

The revenge plot is so much the sole focus that there isn’t some of the usual kung fu tropes. No one seeks out a great master, there is no training montage. There isn’t a gallant knight hanging out in disguise to set things right. It is just pure revenge. The purity of the focus of Iron Swallow is welcome, sometimes films try to do too much and end up accomplishing nothing, while Iron Swallow does what it is supposed to do and does it well.

The problem with all these lovely dubbed kung fu features is it is impossible to get anyone’s name correct, so please excuse me if the character names I use don’t sound exactly like the ones you hear when you watch the film. There is rarely consensus on just how the characters’ names are said by the dubbers, changing depending on who is speaking or what accent the ex-pat in Hong Kong/Taiwan who is doing the part has. Occasionally, the dubbers pronounce the same name differently in two concurrent sentences. Thus, all references to Chia Ling’s character will just be Iron Swallow.
Iron Swallow

Iron Swallow (Chia Ling) – Iron Swallow is the daughter of a murdered man, out to avenge his death by maiming those responsible for his death and the subsequent coverup. She arrives in town with her Aunt, who is also a victim of the incident that started everything. Iron Swallow has focused her entire life on getting revenge. She leaves trademark iron swallow darts with red tassels, which the enemy later uses to frame her. Iron Swallow’s actual name might be Chin Yeh.
Ko Fang (Ting Wa-Chung) – A kung fu student being raised by his single father, who is marked as a target by Iron Swallow. Ko Fang soon learns that all he thought was true was a lie, and that he’s more involved in the revenge drama than he knows. He is best friends with Tu Lung, who is like a brother to him.
Tu Lung (Don Wong Tao) – Son of Chu Hsaio Tien and best friend of Ko Fang. Tu Lung is the idyllic youth who soon learns that things weren’t as clear cut as he thought they would be when he was learning about the world. He’s soon dragged into the confrontations due to familiar and friendly connections, torn between the two sides and his reluctance to join in the violence.
Wu (Wong Wing-Sang) – A Fortune Teller who is really a skilled kung fu assassin hired by Mr. Chu to kill everyone connected to the case before it comes back on him.
Chu Hsiao Tien (Yee Yuen) – Kung Fu Master and local bigwig responsible for a horrible crime and the resulting cover up, which dooms everyone a decade later when it comes time for revenge. Even then, he refuses to take responsibility and tries to kill his way out of it.
Mo Tu Ping (Hung Kin-Wing) – A Mystery Man who keeps popping up to aid Iron Swallow for reasons unknown. It is eventually revealed his father was Mo Shing Yee, Iron Swallow’s father’s best friend, and died alongside him in the original incident. Now the son continues his family’s legacy.

Iron Swallow
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Posted by Tars Tarkas -  at 12:36 pm

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