Hallmark Review: 12 Gifts Of Christmas (2015, dir. Peter Sullivan)


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Wow! It’s been a little over a week since I subjected myself to a Hallmark movie. Well, no time to discuss that because somebody finally got the message there.

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Do you see what makes me so happy? Look here.

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Yes, the screens are inconsistent, but they actually thought to do something to hide the Canadian cellphone provider’s name! Finally! All the screens I saw either fudged it or switched the phone into airplane mode. I’m just so happy because so many of these movies throw stock footage and all sorts of things in to totally make it look like the United States only to show a cellphone screen that says Rodgers or Fido. That’s not to say this movie doesn’t have goofs, cause it does, but it’s refreshing to not see this goof repeated.

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That’s our girl Anna Parisi played by Katrina Law. She’s an artist who can’t find anyone to really give her a break in the business.

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That’s our guy Marc Rehnquist played by Aaron O’Connell. And ah…

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rest in peace red bluetooth headset from How To Fall In Love.

Oh, and let’s take another look at Anna cause…

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while I know she doesn’t wear that triangle necklace in every scene of this movie till she gets a new necklace from him, it sure felt like it. I’m just going to assume that the Satanists from Crackdown Mission (1988) were involved here somehow.

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That, and now that I’ve seen 8 of his 9 movies, I am a believer that Pierre Kirby should be spliced into every movie.

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Okay, they meet at a bakery briefly and she gives him some tips on ordering off the menu cupcakes. Then we find out that he works at an advertising firm. Lot of stuff goes on in that office of his. At one point he gets up and buttons his jacket, only to sit down again, then it cuts, and it’s unbuttoned again. His office also goes from having one monitor to having two. Don’t know what that’s all about. But I do know that he really shouldn’t be worried about hiring her as a personal shopper because clearly…

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these enormous Christmas lights are out to destroy New York City. He hires her as a personal shopper after she uses Thurbble to look up what a personal shopper is and put herself out there via a business card at the bakery.

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Must say this is a big step up from the screens in Strawberry Summer. However, I love that apparently personal shoppers in the United States typically only have clients from Miami. Otherwise, they normally work for people from Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, and Russia.

Okay, I could keep making jokes cause there isn’t much to talk about here, so let’s just cut through this thing. He hires her as a personal shopper because he’s too busy to buy gifts for his friends. After she does get a gift for a friend of his that he didn’t ask her to, but his friend loves, he starts to give her free reign. That plot really doesn’t play into this much. It’s just a foot in the door for them to spend the rest of the film together. Well, that is till he uses a special painting she made in order to sell his ad campaign. She overreacts, comes to her senses, and they live happily ever after! Well, there is this at the end.

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That’s supposed to have been painted by Anna. Am I the only one who looks at that and thinks they took a picture, passed it through a Photoshop filter, and then had it printed onto a canvas?

Is it worth seeing?

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Well, Candace Cameron Bure seemed to like it when the credits started, but I didn’t bring up Crackdown Mission and Pierre Kirby simply as a joke. Most of the Pierre Kirby movies were made by a director named Godfrey Ho. He would take old, unfinished, or unreleased movies from Asia, then shoot a little footage with caucasian actors. Afterwards, he would clumsily splice the footage together to make a new movie. One of these is a movie called Thunder Of Gigantic Serpent (1988). The original Taiwanese movie was called King Of Snake (1984). I’ve seen both of them. King Of Snake is a generic Japanese style monster movie. It needed the addition of a Pierre Kirby to make it memorable and give it some life. That’s this movie. It needed the Hallmark equivalent. By that I mean an actor like Kavan Smith or Kellie Martin. Either one of them would have spiced this otherwise perfectly fine, but dull movie up. It’s nothing to seek out, but it’s not one to avoid either. Plus, it’s got that unintentionally funny factor going for it.

Song of the Day: Big Empty (by Stone Temple Pilots)


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Tonight the music world found out that Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland passed away at the age of 48 while on tour in Minnesota.

The years after graduating from high school was a chaotic time for me. not knowing what role I had for myself moving forward and afraid of the world beyond the regimented, secured, but understood confines of high school. While I enjoyed the freedom of being a young adult after graduating in the summer of 1991 the reality of it all was that I wasn’t that far removed from still being a teenager a couple years later.

I call these my adrift years.

From this time in my life I was drawn to the music that every young adult trying to leave his teen years behind. Whether it was hip-hop, metal and, the genre of the era, grunge, I was listening to it. While I wasn’t as huge a fan of grunge as the rest of my contemporaries of the time I did gravitate to a couple of the titans of the genre: Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots.

It was with Stone Temple Pilots that I was introduced to one of my favorite frontman of my Adrift Years: Scott Weiland.

Weiland encompassed not just the brooding, alienation that made grunge such a popular genre of music during the 1990’s but also had a touch of the wild and dangerous aspect of what made rock frontmen so-called Rock Gods. He was the Axel Rose of grunge. An enormously talented vocalist, but one who was also scandal-bound with his off-stage drug use and self-destructive behavior.

Scott Weiland helped make those years adrift during the early 1990’s with his singing. It’s a shame and a loss to the music world that like other rock legends before him his early years battling his inner demons would take him away too soon.

Nothing epitomizes who Scott Weiland was to me better than the song “Big Empty” which was the first single off of their second album Purple.

Big Empty

drivin’ faster in my car
falling farther from just what we are
smoke a cigarette and lie some more
these conversations kill
falling faster in my car

time to take her home
her dizzy head is conscience laden
time to take a ride
it leaves today no conversation
time to take her home
her dizzy head is conscience laden
time to wait too long
to wait too long
these conversations kill

to much walkin’, shoes worn thin
too much trippin’ and my soul’s worn thin
time to catch a ride
it leaves today, her name is what it means
to much walkin’, shoe’s worn thin

4 Shots From 4 Films: À bout de souffle, Alphaville: une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution, Made In U.S.A., and Tout Va Bien


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films.  As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films is all about letting the visuals do the talking.

Happy birthday, Jean-Luc Godard!

4 Shots From 4 Films

 À bout de souffle (1960, directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

À bout de souffle (1960, directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

Alphaville: une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965, directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

Alphaville: une étrange aventure de Lemmy Caution (1965, directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

Made in U.S.A. (1966, directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

Made in U.S.A. (1966, directed by Jean-Luc Godard)

Tout Va Bien (1972, directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin)

Tout Va Bien (1972, directed by Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin)

Keep Watching The Skies!: THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD (RKO 1951)


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UFOs (Unidentified Flying Objects) were making headlines during the late 1940s/early 1950s. The sightings of UFOs in 1947 near Mt.Rainier, Washington, and Roswell, New Mexico brought about a government investigation called Project Sign, later replaced by Project Blue Book. Reports of “flying saucers” were coming in from around the globe, and no answers were in sight. Citizen’s nerves were already frazzled with the threats of “The Red Menace” and potential nuclear holocaust,  and the possibility of an invasion from outer space just added to the collective existential angst.

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Hollywood discarded its Old World horrors of Vampires, werewolves, and mummies and boarded the science fiction rocket ship. By 1951 a slew of space invaders was unleashed on box offices across the nation. That year alone studios released features THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE, FLIGHT TO MARS, SUPERMAN AND THE MOLE MEN, The Man from Planet X , and the serials LOST PLANET AIRMEN and CAPTAIN VIDEO: MASTER…

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Film Review: Trancers III (1993, dir. C. Courtney Joyner)


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This was a little sad to watch. At least it didn’t make me feel even more depressed than I did after the scene in the transploitation “documentary” Let Me Die A Woman (1977) where a trans woman cuts off her own penis. Thanks, Ms. 45 (1981)! It probably didn’t help that I also watched Crackdown Mission (1988) where Godfrey Ho spliced a Pierre Kirby buddy cop movie into a Taiwanese remake of Ms. 45 either.

The last time we left Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson), he and Lena (Helen Hunt) had dealt with Trancers in early 1990’s Los Angeles. This movie picks up in 1992. And yes, Helen Hunt is in this. If memory serves, she did this as a favor to the filmmakers considering she was on Mad About You at this point. It opens with the usual voiceover from Jack and then we see a really sad commercial for the Jack Deth detective agency.

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Yep, just like the first film, this one also has a part of it that takes place during the Christmas season. Then we see what happens when a guy who seems to barely speak English tries to rob a convenience store run by another guy who also seems to barely speak English.

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It causes this guy to show up in a time machine. He’s there for Jack. Cut to Jack talking on the phone to Lena. Turns out they’re getting a divorce! Can’t really blame her. It’s either a guy who has futuristic zombies coming after him like this.

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Or a guy who wants to hang a giant poster of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman in their apartment.

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As Helen puts it.

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I think she made the right choice.

After finding Jack, him and the reject from the third season of Star Trek: Enterprise travel into the future of 2352. There he finds that they were also able to get back Telma Hopkins as Cmdr. Rains…

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and Megan Ward as Alice Stillwell.

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This was three years before she would get her own show on NBC as well called Dark Skies. Unfortunately, that show didn’t succeed like the two other shows I remember them packaging with it: The Pretender and Profiler.

The gist here is that something happened in the past that led to a huge Trancer army overrunning the humans. You know what that means? Jack has to go back to the future to stop it. That means he has to go back to 2005. And by 2005, I mean we cut to a strip club.

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Hey, I know that name! Thanks, Mötley Crüe!

I’ve got the screenshots, but there’s no menage a trois here, nor breaking any of Frenchies laws. However, this guy seems to like what he sees.

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This scene introduces us to R.J. played by Melanie Smith.

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She’s joined a special corps of people who are being enhanced to be able to Trance at will through the use of drugs. The guy I posted before decides to beat some people up before being shot to death. This scene only exists to introduce us to her and the whole drug thing. Well, that and since it has…

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Travis McKenna as the bartender, it gives me an excuse to post one of my favorite scenes from Road House (1989).

I guess you could say that other guy was “too stupid to have a good time.” Now we are introduced to the villain of this movie and…

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I guess this movie was an audition for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Melanie Smith would have a recurring role on the show, and that’s Andrew Robinson who would play Garak, the Cardassian tailor who was also a semi-retired dangerous spy and assassin. He really is the only good thing about this movie. Even through this stupid half assed sequel, he manages to show us exactly why he got hired to play that role. Funny that the previous Trancers movie had Jeffrey Combs in it who would also go on to play one of the most memorable characters from that show: Weyoun.

Anyways, after Jack goes back in time and shows us what being asked to make Trancers III was like…

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by falling into a pile of trash, we get some pointless scenes till Jack shows up at Lena’s 2005 apartment.

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And by 2005, I mean as seen from 1993. Making that girl wear that hat is cruel and unusual punishment. Turns out R.J. went to Lena because Lena has been writing about this Trancer core. It’s actually just an excuse to get her with Jack and let Tim and Helen say their goodbyes.

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From this point till the final scenes of the movie can be summed as stalling for time by having pointless scenes with the villain, pointless fighting between his soldiers, and pointless conversations between Jack and R.J. The only thing worth mentioning here is that it’s not a good idea to pit a piete girl and against decent sized guy in a fight when they certainly don’t come across as martial artists. I say that because one of the scenes is like watching an ant try to beat up a beetle.

Well, eventually Jack and R.J. are captured. R.J. breaks Jack out, but starts to Trance because of the drugs, so she asks Jack to kill her, which he does. Then what must have been a joke happens. The fish head guy from earlier shows up out of nowhere to help Jack, but the second they turn to go through the door to fight the bad guys, this happens.

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The guy freezes up leaving Jack to deal with them. And deal with them he does by gun, fist, and sword. I bet that was supposed to be a hint or inspiration for the next Trancers movie. Afterwards, it turns out fish head’s circuit board had malfunctioned, but came back to life as soon as the battle was done. Jack returns to the future future and goes before the council.

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They give Jack a fancy new title, which Jack correctly knows is just an excuse so they can send him anywhere in time they please along with his new buddy. And that’s it! There’s no reason to see this. I remember stumbling across this at a video store when I was young. No wonder I basically forgot about it’s existence. Since it worked so well at the end of the Trancers II review. Here’s another shot of Thomerson giving a help me I’m stuck making Trancers movies face.

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