The Magic of Ordinary Days (2005) – Okay, pro tip for watching Hallmark movies. Do not watch Hallmark Hall of Fame movies on Hallmark. These were specially made TV Movies that had higher production values and unusual runtimes for TV Movies. Unfortunately, Hallmark is editing them down to make them shorter. I didn’t realize that when I watched this so it was probably not the ideal viewing experience. I did notice it when I tried to watch Follow The Stars Home (2001). If that thing wasn’t edited, then it’s one of the worst put together films I’ve attempted to watch in a while. I stopped pretty quickly. I’m going to get it on DVD so I’ll find out for sure. As for this movie, the version I watched on Hallmark gets sidetracked too much with a plot involving Japanese internment camps. It should have remained focused on the couple played by Keri Russell and Skeet Ulrich. I have a feeling that problem doesn’t disappear with a greater running time. Keri Russell plays a woman pregnant out of wedlock who is married off to Ulrich that lives in the country. It takes place in the 1940’s. It’s decent. The higher production values shine through. This is not a standard Hallmark TV movie. It’s kind of night and day in that sense. The only other problem I noticed was that Russell has a little too much of a modern look, but far from Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai (2003). Ulrich blends in pretty well except at one point. Late in the film they put him in a plaid shirt and suddenly there’s 90’s Skeet Ulrich. See this one uncut.
Lies Between Friends (2010) – I’m going to cut the crap here. You see that thing in the picture above. That awful looking wig on Gabrielle Anwar’s head will drive you mad! It is terribly artificial looking. And it’s onscreen almost the entire film. What were they thinking!!! It is so distracting that you just can’t pay attention. And this is a murder mystery mind you. Just wow! Also, I found Gabrielle Anwar’s performance to have as much depth as a puddle. But it’s the wig that single-handedly ruins the movie. You’d think someone would have noticed. Even if Anwar had a bald head, then it would have been better to write that into the character rather than having that phenomenon of fakery on display. For masochists only.
Class (2010) – The plot and characters are extremely predictable. You know exactly what is going to happen from the get go. Nothing is surprising in the slightest. This movie is about a guy who is assigned by a professor at law school to help a young single mother who is having trouble. Do I have to say more? Of course not. The real problem is the casting. Not Catherine Mary Stewart. I could watch her sit in a chair reading and would be happy. Okay, I have a crush on her still after all these years. The leading actors are the problem. She looks like the Tiffani-Amber Thiessen from Beverly Hills, 90210 type, which doesn’t fit her character. He also looks like he could have been on that show. He would have played the frat boy that even Ian Ziering’s character would have found contemptible. Again, doesn’t fit his character. Neither acts well enough to pull off not instantly looking the part. It just doesn’t work.
The Mystery Cruise (2013) – Over the weekend I played through River City Ransom on NES with a friend. It’s basically an RPG version of Double Dragon. If you double tap left or right, then you’ll run in that direction. When your attack gets greater, then you can come to a new screen, run, and in an instant put an enemy to the ground. The start of this movie is like being on the receiving end of that punch. Honestly, it’s like you came back from commercial in the middle of a TV show except it’s the beginning of the movie. Talk about cut to the chase. In fact, it does start at the end of a chase. Sadly, this is the best part of the movie. It’s zany and stupid. Then the movie spells out that it’s supposed to start a new TV series. Then it shows exactly why that never panned out. This is an example of messy writing and editing. You jump around from conversation to conversation, but it’s like the glue and the transitions are missing. It’s about two ladies, one of which wants to start a detective agency with the other, who go on a mystery cruise. Everyone plays a part and someone has to figure out who the murderer is. Of course reality comes in the form of a lady who is really trying to kill her husband. If you must watch something that has “The Mystery Cruise” in it, then you’re better off watching a Let’s Play of Detective Barbie: The Mystery Cruise. Out of these four movies, definitely go with The Magic of Ordinary Days, but an unedited version.