Word on the Street: Entertainment Tonight Reveals Synopsis for New ‘When Calls the Heart’ Christmas Movie

So, today was supposed to be my day-off from blogging. But it looks like Entertainment Tonight had other plans. Yesterday, on November 19th, ET’s Deidre Behar broke the news about the newest film from Hallmark’s longest running series, When Calls the Heart! The article reveals the movie’s synopsis, as well as some tidbits about season seven. Before writing this Word on the Street story, I read Deidre’s article. In my opinion, I was not impressed with the movie’s synopsis. It, honestly, makes me concerned for the next season. Because this is a post related to movie news, I will share what the ET article said and discuss my opinions on it. This article is not meant to be negative or mean-spirited, but only honest yet respectful.

Merry Christmas Card
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Based on the fact that this plot was featured first, I’m guessing that Elizabeth’s story is going to be the main plot of When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas. The article states that “Elizabeth Thornton is excited to celebrate her first Christmas with her son, Jack, as well as his first birthday on Christmas Eve”. It also mentions how she is still grieving her late husband. When I talked about the previous When Calls the Heart movie, When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing, in a Word on the Street story last December, I said that the film’s trailer put too much emphasis on Elizabeth and her baby. Even though her story was not the film’s main focus, it felt like the overall narrative was turning into “The Elizabeth Thornton Show”. Since the season five finale, When Calls the Heart has started to become more focused on Elizabeth. To me, the screenwriters have given her a perspective that is more self-centered and entitled than in previous seasons. Because of these things, I feel that Elizabeth is going to find a way to make her child’s milestones all about herself. The aforementioned quote that I included in this paragraph is a good example of this. In my review of last year’s When Calls the Heart film, I said that the subplots were one of the weakest points of the project. This included Elizabeth’s subplot, where it seemed like she could only talk about two things; how she was pregnant and how she missed Jack. It seems like Elizabeth’s story is being reduced to almost the exact same thing.

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Like I said in the previous paragraph, I wasn’t a fan of the subplots from last year’s movie, When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing. This year, it looks the screenwriters are repeating the same mistakes. Bill, Lee, and Rosemary’s subplots revolve around the exact same thing: getting a Christmas/Birthday gift for Jack. I find their stories to be uninteresting. These characters deserve good subplots and larger roles on the show, so it’s a shame to see them get relegated to practically sitting on the side-lines. Even the subplots that Lucas and Nate were given don’t sound that creative. Once again, Nate is dealing with an issue related to his niece, Allie. Throughout season six, Nate’s story consisted of dealing with situations related to Allie, so I’m not sure how this subplot is going to be any different. As for Lucas, he will apparently be “transforming Main Street into a magical German Christmas Festival”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Lucas doesn’t have any German ancestry that I know of. The only thing closest to ancestry that Lucas has ever hinted at is when he said he was from New Orleans and when he spoke French in one phone conversation. We also just got a festival in the season six finale. Maybe Lucas will share more of his back-story in this film. But, for now, his subplot just seems random and redundant.

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Heart image created by Dashu83 at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Backgroundimage created by Dashu83 – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/happy-valentines-day-and-heart-card-with-happy-valentines-day-and-heart_1747001.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

I love When Calls the Heart and I want to see it succeed. As someone who has seen all six seasons and all the movies, I care about the overall quality of each project. However, I find myself feeling frustrated by what I read in the Entertainment Tonight article. To me, it seems like the show’s screenwriters are not only running out of ideas, but also like they are missing beautiful story-telling opportunities. When Jesse proposed to Clara in the season six finale, I was hoping that we’d finally get a Christmas wedding in Hope Valley. Since there are few wedding related movies found in Hallmark’s Christmas line-ups this year, this could have been an interesting story for When Calls the Heart to bring to the table. Instead, the screenwriters have decided to place the wedding in season seven, according to the ET article. Out of all of stories that were mentioned, the only one I’m looking forward to is the one involving Carson and Faith. This is because it has the potential to be funny and intriguing. Even though the movie’s synopsis doesn’t impress me, I still want to watch When Calls the Heart: Home for Christmas with an open mind. Maybe it’ll be better than the article makes it sound. But, for now, my expectations will be lower than they were for the previous film.

 

What are your thoughts on Entertainment Tonight’s article? Are you looking forward to this new When Calls the Heart movie? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

Here’s the link to the article that I referenced in my post:

https://www.etonline.com/when-calls-the-heart-christmas-special-first-look-see-the-festive-on-set-photos-exclusive-136519

Word on the Street: ‘Rugrats’ Film from Paramount Gets Scrapped, Updates on 2020 Hallmark Channel Winterfest Movie

I’m not going to lie, it’s not always possible for me to write follow-up stories for Word on the Street posts. That’s because there’s only so much time and attention that I can devote to each movie news story that I choose to cover. However, I do try my best to provide follow-up articles when I am realistically able to write them. As the title indicates, one of these stories will relate to a piece of movie news that I talked about in the past. Like I do in all my Word on the Street posts, I will report on both stories as accurately as possible. But, only for the first one, I will share my thoughts on this latest development.

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Last July, I reported that a live-action Rugrats movie was being brought to the box office by Viacom and Paramount. I also said that the movie would be released sometime in November of 2020. According to Deadline, it looks like Paramount has changed their minds. Erik Pedersen reported on November 12th that the legendary studio removed their cinematic Rugrats project from their box office line-up. After pushing the film back to January 29th, 2021, Paramount has decided to put a movie called Rumble in its place. As of November 2019, the studio “didn’t cite a reason for grounding the film”. When this movie was first announced, I was excited about the idea of a new Rugrats movie. But upon further reflection, I realize that maybe this decision is for the better. In a Word on the Street post from last month, when I talked about the ‘Barney’ movie, I mentioned that Dora and the Lost City of Gold made Paramount lose money. This movie, like the newly scrapped Rugrats film, was a live-action adaptation of a Nickelodeon property that was popular in decades past. It also was another reboot/remake released in 2019 that didn’t perform well at the box office. Based on these facts, it looks like Paramount cut their losses while they still had a chance. Hopefully, this encourages them to create a new film with an original and compelling story.

Here’s the link to the Deadline article I referenced in this post:

Paramount Grounds ‘Rugrats’ Movie, Moves WWE’s ‘Rumble’ Back Six Months & Titles Next ‘SpongeBob’ Pic

Rugrats movie poster
The Rugrats Movie poster created by Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies. Image found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:TheRugratsMovieposter.jpg

While looking for movie news stories, I came across one that had been reported on for the past two weeks. Because I saw very few people talking about this, I figured it would be a story worth sharing. On November 5th, a screenwriter named Alison Spuck McNeeley revealed on her Instagram account that she was working on a Hallmark Channel movie called “A Tidy Romance”. Based on the photo’s description, it appears that Alison will not only co-write the film with who I believe is Casie Tabanou, but she will also co-executive produce the project with Jill Wagner and, I believe, her husband, Kristofer McNeeley. A week later, on November 13th, the Twitter account, Hotline to Hallmark, and Rachael Ellenbogen, who is an entertainment reporter, announced that Jill Wagner, Victor Webster, and Brendon Zub will be starring in this film. In Rachael’s tweet, she revealed that “A Tidy Romance” will be a “Winterfest” film from Hallmark Channel! This movie is, currently, listed on Creative B.C.’s “In Production” page, as the production will end filming on November 23rd.

Here’s the links to the references I made in this post:

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Do you think Paramount made the right decision to scrap their Rugrats project? What do you think “A Tidy Romance” could be about? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Christmas Under the Stars Review

So far, I’ve seen nine of Hallmark’s Christmas films from this year. To me, most of them have ranged from ok to decent, with a few standouts. Since I haven’t reviewed a Christmas movie from Hallmark Channel yet, I decided to talk about one of the network’s more recent pictures, Christmas Under the Stars! This film was one of my most anticipated of the season. Jesse Metcalfe and Autumn Reeser reuniting as co-leads was one of my reasons why. I really enjoyed their first movie together, A Country Wedding, especially since they had good on-screen chemistry. Jesse and Autumn have never starred in a Christmas movie together, so I thought this would help make Christmas Under the Stars an interesting project.

Christmas Under the Stars poster
Christmas Under the Stars poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Channel. Image found at https://www.hallmarkchannelpress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=142&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Christmas+Under+the+Stars.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: Christmas Under the Stars had a solid cast! I enjoyed seeing each actor’s performance immensely, as they brought the best of what they had to offer, talent wise, to their roles. One example is how Jesse Metcalfe brings more emotionality to his portrayal of Nick than I expected. At some dramatic moments, it looked like Jesse was about to cry. Because he stars on a television show that features a variety of situations, it helps prepare Jesse for roles that require a certain amount of versatility. Clarke Peters is another example of how talented this cast is. His portrayal of Clem was very endearing, making this character easy to root for. Clarke also appeared to have good camaraderie with his co-stars. Speaking of camaraderie, what worked in this cast’s favor was the on-screen chemistry and interactions between the characters. These encounters felt believable, like they had come directly from real life.

 

The business side of Christmas tree lots: When Christmas tree lots are featured in Hallmark movies, they are either on screen for a short amount of time or the business aspect of them gets glossed over. In this movie, however, the story allows the business side of Christmas tree lots to be explored. It provides a unique perspective that is educational and intriguing for the audience. This also adds something that most Hallmark movies don’t incorporate. More often than not, I say that Hallmark needs to take more creative risks and think outside the box. The interesting way that a Christmas tree lot was showcased in this film is a good example of this.

 

The discussion of foster parenting: If a single parent is included in a Hallmark movie, that character’s relationship status is usually caused by divorce or becoming a widow/widower. Autumn Reeser’s character, Julie, is a single parent because she chose to be a foster parent. Even though this discussion of foster parenting was very brief, it represented a family dynamic that is rarely seen in Hallmark productions. It also provided an interesting component to Julie’s backstory. Because Julie adopted her foster child, Matt, it makes Christmas Under the Stars the second 2019 Hallmark Christmas film to include adoption in their respective film’s narrative.

 

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What I didn’t like the film:

A semi-misleading synopsis: While I liked this film’s story, I felt the synopsis bent the truth to a certain extent. One example is the basic premise, where Nick loses his job. This idea reminded me of a movie I reviewed last year called Waffle Street. In that film, the protagonist not only loses his job, but the event was catastrophic on his life. The protagonist in Christmas Under the Stars didn’t have the same experience. Yes, Nick did lose his job. But he was still able to keep his high-rise penthouse apartment and his vintage Porsche. Another example is Julie’s occupation. When I was led to believe that she was an astronomer, I was so excited to see this profession incorporated into a Hallmark story. However, Julie’s job ended up being a science teacher. While this is an important career, the astronomy aspect was overshadowed.

 

The protagonists spending so little time together: Jesse and Autumn had good on-screen chemistry. What helped was them starring in 2015’s A Country Wedding together. But the difference between this movie and Christmas Under the Stars is how little time the protagonists spend with each other in the latter. Nick and Julie do become a couple, because that’s how Hallmark movies work. But when they eventually end up together, their union doesn’t feel earned. That’s because there was no build-up leading up to that part of their relationship. What also doesn’t help was how they barely identify the other person as a potential love interest. I understand that the screenwriter wanted to try something different. But, in this case, it didn’t work in the film’s favor.

 

An under-utilized subplot: In the film, Autumn’s character is trying to help a student who is always late to class. When this subplot was first introduced, I thought it would play an interesting role in the overall story. Since this is a Christmas film, the subplot had potential to be impactful and uplifting. But as the movie went on, it became too simplistic and was resolved way too easily. Because this subplot was competing with other story-lines, it felt more forgettable than it should have. This resulted in the subplot being under-utilized.

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My overall impression:

Before watching this film, I was highly anticipating Christmas Under the Stars. This was a film that I thought I was going to fall in love with. While I liked the movie, it probably won’t become one of my favorite Christmas films from this year. Sure, it was good. The film had its strengths, such as the cast and some of the topics that were incorporated in the project. But the movie had flaws that prevented it from being great. Christmas Under the Stars is certainly one of the stronger picks from Hallmark’s Christmas line-up, as it is one of the network’s more memorable presentations. The creative team behind the film did a good job with the material they were given. It’ll be interesting to see what the quality of the rest of Hallmark’s Christmas films looks like.

 

Overall score: 7.7 out of 10

 

What do you think of Hallmark’s Christmas line-ups so far? Are there any movies that you are fond of? Please share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Word on the Street: Cast for Upcoming Hallmark Movie Revealed, Two Future Christmas Movies Announced

Yes, I know it’s been several months since I talked about a movie news story related to Hallmark. Also, the last time I discussed a movie news story that had something to do with a Christmas movie was back in April. But, when I discovered that very few people were talking about the stories in this Word on the Street post, I knew that I had to talk about them. In this article, I will share one movie news story about an upcoming Hallmark film and two movie news stories about future Christmas films. I will try my best to share my opinion on these stories, as well as report what I know about them. Now, let the movie news discussion begin!

Christmas Party Ticket Card Template
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On November 12th, Sleepy Kitty Paw, from the Twitter account, Ho! Ho! Holiday Viewing!, shared a tweet from Hallmark actor, Chad Michael Murray. In this tweet, it’s revealed that he will star in Alice in Winterland! This movie was originally supposed to be a Christmas film called Alice in Christmasland. However, it looks like it will end up becoming a “Winterfest” movie. Sleepy Kitty Paw shared some of this information in their tweet. Chad’s tweet mentioned two fellow Hallmark actors, Jack Turner and Italia Ricci. This indicates that these particular actors will also star in the film. Jack’s involvement in this movie will raise some interesting questions about another potential “Winterfest” project. At Hallmark’s Summer TCA Event this year, Taylor Cole, one of the stars of the One Winter series, announced that One Winter Wedding will be on its way. But the Twitter account, Hotline to Hallmark, revealed on November 5th that Taylor will be starring alongside Ryan Paevey in a Valentine’s Day movie on Hallmark Channel. In this specific thread, it was also revealed that, as of early to mid-November 2019, One Winter Wedding has not gone into production. Now that both leads for this series are working on separate projects surrounding the “Winterfest” line-up, it makes the reality of One Winter Wedding seem more distant. If this film is still being released in 2020, my guess is it will either be a “June Weddings” or a Christmas film.

You can visit the Twitter accounts of Sleepy Kitty Paws and Hotline to Hallmark by typing @SleepyKittyPaw and @HotlineHallmark into Twitter’s search bar. You can also visit Taylor Cole’s Instagram account by typing ‘taylorquinncole’ into Instagram’s search bar.

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Three days ago, on November 11th, Candace Young, from soaps.sheknows.com, reported that Eileen Davidson will appear in a Christmas film. The Young and the Restless star will lead a movie called There Will Always Be Christmas. In this article, Candace shares the cast and the synopsis for the movie. As of November 15th, 2019, this film does not have a release date and/or a designated network or platform. All we know, so far, is that it will premiere sometime next year.

Here’s the link to the article I referenced in this paragraph:

Eileen Davidson’s Bittersweet ‘There Will Always Be Christmas’

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On November 13th, Melissa Hill, author of books such as The Summer Villa and A Gift to Remember, released a tweet that certainly got my attention. In her tweet, she revealed that she has “just been sent first draft screenplay for #TheCharmBracelet”! This indicates that we could see a film adaptation of one of Melissa’s books, The Charm Bracelet! Melissa didn’t reveal where or when this movie could premiere. For me, it’s exciting because this particular book has been on my TBR (to be read) list for a few years. Now I have an excuse to finally read this book!

You can visit the Twitter account of Melissa Hill by typing @melissahillbks into Twitter’s search bar.

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What do you think of these pieces of movie news? Are you looking forward to any of these projects? Tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Holiday for Heroes Review

Because of several blog related projects, I haven’t gotten around to reviewing any of the Christmas movies. But now that I’ve completed those projects, I can finally start talking about some of these films! Since I didn’t review A Veteran’s Christmas last year, I thought I’d make up for that by reviewing Holiday for Heroes. I love Operation Christmas, a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film that premiered in 2016. But since then, I’ve felt that the military related Christmas movies from Hallmark’s second network haven’t been as good as the aforementioned film. While I liked Home for Christmas Day, it was released during Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ “Christmas in July” marathon. When Holiday for Heroes was first announced, I had to lower my expectations in order not to become disappointed. It also didn’t help that the story reminded me of The Christmas Card, a movie that I found to be just ok. But I hoped for the best as I gave this movie a fair chance. Was I pleasantly surprised or was the film as expected? It’s time to report for duty and read this review!

Holiday for Heroes poster
Holiday for Heroes poster created by Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and Crown Media Family Networks. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=143&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=307&ShowType=&ShowTitle=Holiday+for+Heroes.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: I’ve seen all of Marc Blucas’ Hallmark films. In these movies, Marc has always taken his roles seriously and presented the best of his acting abilities. This was no different in Holiday for Heroes, as Marc brought his character to life with believability and charm. While this is the second time where Marc has portrayed a member of the military, his performance was different in Holiday for Heroes. Marc’s character, Matt, was more light-hearted. He also had a more playful and fun personality. This was Melissa Claire Egan’s first Hallmark movie. Despite this, she did a great job portraying her character, Audrey. Her performance was very expressive, allowing the audience to witness the well-roundedness of her acting abilities. It was also emotional at dramatic moments, making those scenes effective. Both Marc and Melissa worked well with all of their co-stars, helping this cast become strong as a whole.

 

The on-screen chemistry: As soon as Audrey and Matt met in person for the first time, I knew that Marc and Melissa were going to have good on-screen chemistry! Throughout the film, the audience got to watch their relationship grow over the course of the Christmas season. Even though their reunion was inevitable, because that’s how Hallmark movies work, I liked seeing everything work in their favor. It was a joy to see Melissa and Marc come together to make this on-screen relationship a reality. Because their acting styles were similar, it allowed their characters to adopt similar personalities from one another. Out of all the Christmas movies I’ve seen this year, so far, this is one of the best on-screen pairs of 2019’s Christmas season!

 

A sense of reality: In my review of The Christmas Card, I said that the unrealistic nature of the titular card was one of the things I didn’t like about that film. This aspect of that story asked me to suspend my belief more than I wanted to. In Holiday for Heroes, the letter writing that took place between Audrey and Matt felt realistic. Because Audrey’s brother happened to be in the same division of the Army as Matt, their acknowledgement of one another makes sense. This movie featured other elements that also seemed realistic. One example is when Audrey and her friend, Jade, found out that their family members in the military would not be coming home for Christmas. When they both received the phone call, the look on their faces and the tone of the voices say everything that the audience needs to know. This was the result of good acting and good screenwriting.

 

A good level of sincerity: When it comes to Hallmark Christmas movies, there are some that try too hard to be sincere. For Holiday for Heroes, the sincerity in the story felt genuine. What worked in this movie’s favor was how the primary focus was placed on, simply, telling a good story. It also put emphasis on finding the right people to help tell this story, both in front of and behind the camera. The overall project gave me, as an audience member, the impression that the creative team’s heart was always in the right place. By watching the film, I could tell that there was a lot of care and effort that was put into it. These are the things that, I think, not only make a great Christmas movie, but also a great movie in general.

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United States Army Monument image created by David Resseguie at freeimages.com. “FreeImages.com/David Resseguie.”

What I didn’t like about the film:

The “red herring” love interest: In some Hallmark films, there will be a “red herring” love interest placed in the story in an attempt to trick the audience into thinking the protagonist won’t fall in love with the other protagonist. In the case of Holiday for Heroes, this role was given to a character named Luke, who was portrayed by William Rubio. While the character himself was fine, I don’t think Luke needed to be a love interest. Because Hallmark movies almost always have the male and female protagonist fall in love, the idea of featuring any “red herring” love interest just doesn’t feel necessary. This creative tactic might be effective for audience members who don’t watch a lot of Hallmark projects. But for people, like myself, who consume a lot of Hallmark content, this could insult their intelligence.

 

The “it’s not what you think” cliché: In my list of The Top 10 Worst Clichés from Hallmark Movies, I talked about how the “it’s not what you think” cliché is hit or miss. This cliché’s inclusion in Holiday for Heroes was not needed. In the movie, Matt was led to believe that Audrey and Luke were falling in love based on their interactions he witnessed. Because of this, Matt automatically made assumptions instead of immediately addressing his issues. As I already said, Luke was the “red herring” love interest and most Hallmark movies feature the male and female protagonist falling in love. This makes me believe that Holiday for Heroes would have better off without this cliché.

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Santa stationary image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/creative-christmas-letter-and-envelope-template_3281562.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/christmas”>Christmas vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com. 

My overall impression:

Holiday for Heroes was a genuinely good film! Instead of reminding me of The Christmas Card, the movie reminded me of Operation Christmas more than I expected! What is great about this film is how it doesn’t rehash the story of the 2016 project. Holiday for Heroes tells a story that happens to share some of the same themes. There were several components that worked in this movie’s favor, from the acting to the film’s sincerity. These things added to my enjoyment of the movie! Even though we’re not half-way through the Christmas season yet, Holiday for Heroes is my favorite Christmas movie from 2019, so far! It was heart-warming without trying too hard to be and I think it’s a good movie for both Hallmark fans and casual viewers of Hallmark.

 

Overall score: 8.6 out of 10

 

What are your thoughts on Hallmark’s Christmas line-ups this year, so far? Which movie has been your favorite? Please tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Sally Watches…Touched by an Angel!

I know what you’re probably thinking; what does Touched by an Angel have to do with the Marines? Well, that’s where my explanation comes in. When J-Dub invited me to join their Send in the Marines Blogathon, they explained that there are a lot of actors who served in the Marines. One of them is Brian Keith. Because I was not familiar with this actor, I looked at his filmography on IMDB to see what projects he appeared in. In the ‘90s, Brian guest-starred on an episode of Touched by an Angel. I said in my post about the book, California Angel, that I like the aforementioned show. Since I own the entire series on DVD and since I haven’t talked about Touched by an Angel on my blog yet, I knew J-Dub’s blogathon would be a good excuse to do so. Also, with today being Veterans Day, talking about an episode co-starring a former U.S. Marine seems fitting.

Send in the Marines Blogathon banner
The Send in the Marines Blogathon banner created by J-Dub from Dubsism. Image found at https://dubsism.com/2019/09/09/its-time-to-report-for-duty-for-the-send-in-the-marines-blog-a-thon/.

Episode Name: The Sky Is Falling

Season 3, Episode 8

Premiere Date: November 3rd, 1996

 

What I liked about this episode:

There were several character interactions that were interesting to watch. But the two that were my favorite were between young Leonard and Penny and older Leonard and Monica. The interactions between young Leonard and Penny were adorable, acting as a light during a literally and figuratively dark time. The actors who portrayed these characters, Sam Gifaldi and Scarlett Pomers, were very believable and reacted in a realistic way for children in that particular situation. The interactions between older Leonard and Monica were interesting because of how different their personalities were. Their overall perspectives also differed from one another. Despite this, they both had the same goal and were able to reach that by helping each other.

 

What I didn’t like about this episode:

This episode takes place on Halloween. Based on the topics that were discussed in the story and because “The Sky Is Falling” was released after the spooky holiday, it felt more like an All Souls Day episode. While children can be seen dressed in costumes and going trick-or-treating , it isn’t the primary focus of the story. Also, several characters mention that the “War of the Worlds” broadcast took place on October 30th, the day before Halloween. So, having this episode take place on the aforementioned holiday doesn’t seem to make sense.

 

The story itself:

At the beginning of “The Sky Is Falling”, there were three components that seemed confusing at first. That’s because they were presented as three separate subplots. As the story goes on, these components came together very nicely to create a well-written story. Sometimes on Touched by an Angel, the writers will take a historical situation, like the “War of the Worlds” broadcast, and draw an intriguing story from it. This allows the audience to be both entertained and educated. This concept was executed very well in this episode, allowing lessons and messages to organically grow within the narrative. I also liked seeing how Tess and Monica first met. This part of the story provided an addition to their backstories and gave the audience the opportunity to see how far these characters have come as individuals and friends.

 

The other factors from this episode:

  • In “The Sky Is Falling”, part of the story was told through flashbacks, reflecting on October 30th of 1938. All of these scenes looked and felt historically accurate, like the creative team behind this show went the extra mile to capture this specific moment in time. Even the jewelry appeared as if it came from the late ‘30s.

 

  • This episode was filled with good lessons and morals. One example is how one should think before they speak. This was explored in a direct and indirect way, showing how people can positively or negatively react to words. “The Sky Is Falling” also had some good quotes. My favorite is when Tess tells Monica that “The story isn’t over ‘till it says The End”. Since Brian Keith’s character is a writer, this quote makes a lot of sense.

 

  • “The Sky Is Falling” had some really atmospheric scenes. If you haven’t seen this episode, I won’t give anything away. All I’ll say is that these atmospheric scenes took place in a forest. The way this location was staged and filmed was excellent! It effectively conveyed the tone that the show’s creative team was trying to achieve.

 

My overall thoughts:

I enjoyed this episode of Touched by an Angel more than I expected! This is definitely one the stronger stories from the show, featuring a good cast who worked well together. The way this story was told was memorable, as it taught the audience lessons that went beyond the historical aspect. It’s better if you watch “The Sky Is Falling” as an All Souls Day episode, as Halloween doesn’t play as big of a role as in the show’s other stories. “The Sky Is Falling” kind of reminded me of another episode called “Monica’s Bad Day”, where the overarching message is how one’s actions can affect the people around them. In Brian Keith’s episode, this message was converted to focus on the power of words. Speaking of Brian, his portrayal of Leonard was such a highlight in this episode! This emotionally effective performance worked in his favor, as I found myself staying invested in his character throughout this story. “The Sky Is Falling” would not be the same without Brian.

 

Rating: A solid 4 out of 5

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This is just one of the Touched by an Angel DVDs that I own. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
Have you seen any projects from Brian Keith’s filmography? Are there any episodes of Touched by an Angel you’d like to see me review? Please let me know in the comment section.

 

Have fun on television!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: Twilight of Honor Review

When Tiffany from Pure Entertainment Preservation Society invited me to join The Second Annual Claude Rains Blogathon, I was familiar with Claude as an actor. I’ve seen five of his movies, as I reviewed Caesar and Cleopatra back in September. While looking through his filmography on IMDB, I discovered that Claude starred in a film called Twilight of Honor. Because I happened to have this movie on my DVR, I figured it would be a great choice for the blogathon. This isn’t the first time I’ve talked about a courtroom film. Last year, I reviewed two movies from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries’ Darrow Mystery series. What I enjoy about those films is the mystery component featured within the narrative. It creates an intriguing and interactive experience for the audience. Will I find a mystery in Twilight of Honor? Keep reading if you want to find out!

Twilight of Honor poster
Twilight of Honor poster created by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. Image found at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Twilight_of_Honor_FilmPoster.jpeg.

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: The overall cast in this film was pretty good! Everyone’s performance appeared believable, especially for their character’s situation. Even though Claude Rains was in the film for a limited amount of time, his portrayal of Art Harper was memorable! He brought a pleasant persona to his character and was a joy to watch on screen. The lead star, Richard Chamberlain, also gave a good acting performance! His character, David Mitchell, had a healthy balance between the seriousness of a lawyer and the charm of a gentleman. That’s because his acting abilities were well-rounded enough to pull off this specific kind of portrayal. The supporting cast was just as talented as the starring cast! Joey Heatherton was a standout in this film as Laura-Mae Brown! With an on-screen personality that was feisty and bold, Joey found a way to shine among her co-stars. Her character certainly brought an interesting element to the story.

 

The dual screen special effect: Whenever one of the characters shared their perspective on the case, the screen was split to show the flashback on one side of the screen while the character was speaking. After this was shown, the flashback was presented in a full-screen format. This element made the project appear ahead of its time. Because the ‘60s weren’t known for experimentation with technology in film, it makes the creative team behind this movie appear innovative. I respect their decision to try something new. They took a creative risk and it worked in their favor.

 

The Clinton house: At one point in the movie, David visits the widow of the murder victim, Mrs. Clinton, at her house. Despite this location being featured on screen for a short amount of time, this house looked very appealing on film! The way it was staged and decorated gave the impression that the creative team was going for: the living environment of an affluent family. From the winding staircase to the large door-frame, everything about it spoke volumes about the characters that lived there. It was also just a nice-looking place in general. I’m not sure if this was a real location or a set, but the people associated with bringing this place to life did a good job in doing so.

Claude Rains Blogathon banner
The Second Annual Claude Rains Blogathon banner created by Tiffany and Rebekah Brannan from Pure Entertainment Preservation Society. Image found at https://pureentertainmentpreservationsociety.wordpress.com/2019/10/18/round-up-the-usual-suspects-the-second-annual-claude-rains-blogathon-is-coming/.

What I didn’t like about the film:

The run-time: Twilight of Honor is almost two hours. Because of this, it makes the story feel drawn out and some scenes last longer than they need to. One example is some of the courtroom scenes. I understand that court cases in film take time to be explored and discussed. But, personally, I don’t think this particular story needed to be as long as it was. If this movie was an hour and ten or twenty minutes, then the script could have been a little bit tighter and the run-time would be more condensed.

 

Very little intrigue: When I first heard about this movie, I was expecting the story to have a mystery element. Similar to programs such as Matlock, Perry Mason, and Hallmark’s Darrow Mystery series, I was ready to figure out whodunit. Sadly, that’s not the kind of story Twilight of Honor is. It’s a courtroom drama with a surface level narrative that’s “cut and dry”. Because the story was so basic, I found the final verdict to be anti-climactic. It wasn’t a boring story, but it wasn’t exciting either.

 

David and Susan’s relationship: I have nothing against David and Susan’s relationship. The issue I have with it is how little emphasis it was given in the film. David and Susan’s relationship feels rushed and under-developed. They are seen spending so little time with each other that when their relationship does progress, it just comes out of nowhere. There’s no build-up to where this relationship ends up. It just seems like it was placed in the movie just for the sake of being there.

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Scales of Justice image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

Twilight of Honor is not what I expected it to be. That intriguing, courtroom mystery that I was looking to ended up becoming a straight-forward drama with a simplistic story. Because of that, I found the movie to be just ok. While there were things about it that I liked, the story itself could have been stronger. But that doesn’t mean that the movie is void of purpose. Twilight of Honor does have its place in film history with the use of the dual screen special effect that was featured in the movie. It also gives people a good excuse to watch Claude Rains perform on screen. This isn’t one of the best movies I’ve seen this year, so far. But it’s definitely not one of the worst films I’ve seen either. I’m glad that I saw Twilight of Honor, though, because now I can have an honest opinion about it.

 

Overall score: 6 out of 10

 

What do you think of this review? Which movie from Claude Rains’ filmography is your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen