Her Stolen Past (2018 Lifetime Movie Network)

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Her Stolen Past

Stars: Shanice Banton, Darlene Cooke, Barbara Eve Harris

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

When Sonya Daniels finds the birth certificate of a kidnapped baby, hidden in her late mother’s home, she’s shocked. What was her parents’ connection to the missing little girl and could her mother’s murder somehow be connected? Sonya hires attractive detective Brandon Hayes to help her investigate. But someone will stop at nothing to prevent them from uncovering the truth. Determined to unravel the mystery, Sonya doesn’t realize how deadly the answers she’s looking for will be.

Thoughts

The movie begins with an elderly woman putting a mysterious envelope in a drawer and then later walking alone in a parking garage. She hears someone following her and start running to her car looking back. No, this isn’t an episode of Golden Girls, It’s LMN so the elderly lady is promptly shot and killed. (She does manage to get a sold left hook in though). At her funeral we discover that the elderly lady was Sonya Daniels mother. We also learn that Sonya has an Auntie who loves her, a white friend, and that she is being watched by a mouth breather.

Sonya is back in her mother’s home, reliving memories and sorting through her things. (Again with her white friend, while the mouth breather watched from a parked car outside the house.) Sonya is studying to be a doctor at John Hopkins and will be selling the home. The police don’t have any information on who killed her mom, but there have been a few break ins in the neighborhood.

Sonya finds a box with her name on it in her mom’s closet. Inside the box is a designer bag with a birth certificate for Heather Bradley. (Whose parents are Dawn & Olivia Bradley, one of the richest woman in town.) After a quick Illuminate (Fake Google) search, Sonya and her white friend (who we learn is a nurse!) discover that Heather Bradley was kidnapped from Church. The white friend (Seriously, why has no one said her name yet?) has a friend from tennis class who is a former police officer and is now a private detective. Sonya goes to meet Brandon Hayes (A handsome, casually dressed detective.) He tells her to go to the police because it is evidence in a missing persons care, but than quickly changes his mind and decides to help her??? (But he will need her birth certificate….)

After a break in, Brandon comes to check on Sonya and offers to take her to her white friend (Missy, she’s got a name now.) for the night. Missy tells Sonya that Brandon is single and recently divorced for some reason. Brandon comes over the next morning with news, there is no record of Sonya’s mother ever giving birth and he thinks that Sonya’s birth certificate is probably a fake. Sonya insists on going to see the Bradleys. She WILL get to the bottom of this, with or without Brandon. (Who she is paying to do this job, but she is very involved.)

At the Bradley’s house (Which is very big and has a statue.) Mr. Bradley recognizes his wife’s bag and introduces them to his son, Grayson. Grayson thinks Sonya is just another gold digger and is very rude to her. Then Olivia comes home from the gym and she looks a lot like, Sonya. (Just saying!) Olivia is very controlled by her husband, who also manages the business she inherited from her father. He force feeds her antidepressants and tells her she is acting crazy.

Sonya continues to do even more detective work. (Without Brandon, who is busy sitting at his desk?) She discovers via her Auntie that she is adopted and it was a closed adoption (So no records to check.) and she gets security footage from her Auntie’s new security camera to see who broke into the house. She also goes to the church and learns that her mother was in the church choir until the kidnapping happened. (But she still doesn’t think her mom is responsible.)

Brandon shows up again, after hours, and Sonya starts making out with him. Then cock blocker Auntie comes over and interrupts to tell them that Sonya’s mom was getting upsetting phone calls. Then she leaves!?? You came over just for that, Auntie?

While sleuthing some more, Brandon and Sonya find a dead body! (Rebecca Gold, the babysitter who lost Heather at the church.) Brandon vows to work with the police now that things are getting real. The police station a office outside of Sonya’s house to make sure she is safe. (That always works!) Brandon also stays over with Sonya and they eat Chinese and have a heart to heart. The next morning the police are back and they have the DNA results. Sonya is Heather Bradley. (We all knew that from the beginning though, right?)

On their way to tell Mr. Bradley, Sonya and Brandon are shot at in the parking lot. Brandon gets shot, but it isn’t a big deal. They tell Mr. Bradley who isn’t wanting to tell his wife, because she is too fragile. (Or he is behind keeping it all covered up….)

Then ANOTHER body shows up, it is the personal trainer of Grayson Bradley… Lifetime is working hard to misdirect. Brandon then learns that Olive has a history of violence and mental instability. Could she be the murder? I hope not because she is at Sonya’s house!!!

Turns out it wasn’t Ms. Bradley it was MR. BRADLEY! But why? He arranged to have Sonya/Heather stolen because she is not his daughter. Olivia had an affair, so he had the man killed and paid the babysitter to get rid of Sonya/Heather. It is a lot of backstory to get out in the last 5 mins. I honestly don’t think I fully understand the motives of Mr. Bradley. He tried to kill them but then Olivia shoots her husband to save Sonya/Heather.

With the horror behind her, Sonya/Heather moves into her mother’s house and transfers to a local doctor school to be close to her new family, and Brandon.

Side Note

Based on Lynette Eason‘s Harlequin Love Inspired – Suspense novel Her Stolen Past.

Every transition shot in this movie is an aerial shot of a random small town. EVERY SCENE TRANSITION!

Overall rating

🔪 🔪 (2 Knives)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime, LLC

Simone Biles: Courage to Soar (2018 Lifetime)

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Simone Biles: Courage to Soar

Stars: Jeanté Godlock, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and Julius Tennon

Listen to the Podcast Episode about this movie! 

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Based on her book, Courage To Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, the biopic follows Simone Biles through her sacrifices and hard work that lead her to win 19 Olympic and World Championship medals and cemented her stake as one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time. Biles’ journey from foster care to the Olympic podium is full of life experiences that serve as an inspiration for every little girl with a dream.

 

Thoughts

It’s 2000, and Simone is in foster care because her drunk mom could not take care of her and her siblings. They are sent to go live with her step grandmother (who is rich RICH!). They have a trampoline in the backyard and a big beautiful house. They are a happy family with in their new surroundings when the drunk mom comes back after being rehabilitated. Simone’s siblings want to go back home, Simone wants to stay with her step grandparents. After some back and forth between foster care, their mom’s house, and their step grandparents’ house, the grandparents are legally named as  Simone’s guardians.

On a whim, Simone’s brother takes her to the gym and she is a natural. Quickly advancing to higher levels and on to the junior olympic track. Simone’s step grandfather takes her to practices and gets some-patronizing advice from the other gymnastic moms, until they realize that she is the girl who is killing it on all the skills.

Next, we get a montage of the real Simone Biles in competition. It is amazing to see how small she was and the crazy gymnastics moves.

Flashforward to teen Simone. She is getting bullied for having muscles by the kids at her private school. Her life is completely consumed by gymnastics, and she isn’t doing well in school. So Nellie (the step grandmother) goes to the coach to see if Simone can get to the next level or should they look for another coach. Her coach commits to get Simone to be her best in front of Marta Karoly and to the olympics.

Cue the training montage!  

It works and Simone gets into the USA Gymnastics Camp. She is thrilled to be there and trains with Marta Karoly, the music here is ominous to show their seriousness of the new head coach. This whole scene is very strange with the recent scandal with the camp, and Marta’s involvement.

At nationals, Simone failed to make the junior nation team by one spot and Marta decided to not invite Simone back for another year because she lacked focus.

We then see high school Simone who wants a normal life with a boyfriend and school dances. She comes off as bratty and spends the next few scenes complaining and yelling at her step grandparents. Eventually she decides to go with home schooling and kind of commit to gymnastics. She makes the junior nation team!

In practices, Simone is all attitude and rudeness to her coach. She is pissed that she gave up high school to train and resentful to everyone. She has a heart-to-heart with Nellie who encourages her to not worry about what other people are doing and focus on herself.

We get another montage of real Simone in competition intercut with the movie family in the stands cheering her on. She stumbles, falls, and injures her ankle. Marta come to the locker room and tells her to be 100% committed and do it for herself, not others. Simone decides to make it fun again, while her coaches up the difficulty of her routines.

Cue another training montage (this time with her family helping her at home too)!

Training pays off when Simone wins the women’s all around at worlds—when her coach Amy suddenly walks out and quits. Nellie isn’t having it and meets with Amy to convince her to come back. She even starts to build her own a gymnasium, so Simone can train.

Lifetime then touches on the family dealing the racist tweets that Simone received after winning worlds from a salty Italian gymnast.

We get even MORE training montages (This time to “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten). Simone injured her shoulder and had to rehabilitate herself to win worlds two more times, making her a THREE TIME WORLD CHAMPION. (Which is insane!!!) We had a HUGE time jump here in the movie and skipped over the rest of her high school. She now has to choose between going college or going pro for sponsorships. She complains about having to make a choice and cries, but decides to go pro.

 

On track for Rio, Simone automatically qualifies for the olympics! The gym is finally open too. Simone’s mom calls to check in and they have a strained conversation, where Simone calls her by her name (Sharon). She then thanks Nellie for being her actual mom.

At the olympics, Simone and the other girls decided to call themselves the Final Five. They are the final five girls that Marta will have coached.

We finally get some actual olympic footage intercut with Jeanté Godlock’s face close ups. We all know how the olympics turn out! USA takes the gold! We then see that Simone is gearing up for 2020. (And then a two title card about the scandal, like so short I could barely read it.)

Side Note

Lifetime certainly was hoping to capitalize on the excitement leading up to the 2018 olympic games. However, the timing of this movie seems off with the US gymnastics abuse scandal. (Of which Simone Biles herself was a victim of.) Larry Nasser was recently sentenced to 40 to 125 years in prison. 

Lifetime biopics are always hit or miss. This one had the benefit of Simone Biles herself involved in production. That said, the movie had no POV, except Simone Biles is good at gymnastics and her grandparents were cool/supportive.

Julius Tennon made this movie! He was hilarious.

Overall rating

🇺🇸 🇺🇸 (USA Flags)

🍷🍷 (2 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime

 

February TV Movie Guide (Hallmark & Lifetime)

Get ready for THREE Valentine’s Day offerings from Hallmark this year. Plus Lifetime is offering up a Simon Biles bio pic, just in time for the Olympics!

We will be covering them all in Season 2 of the podcast! (Starting Feb 8th.)

My Secret Valentine (Hallmark Channel)

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Premieres: Saturday, February 3 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Lacey Chabert and Andrew Walker

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

A young woman takes advice from the chalkboard notes that her mysterious house rental tenant leaves when a slick sales rep arrives with plans to buy her family’s prized winery!

Thoughts

Two of my FAVORITE Hallmark actors together in one movie?!?! Also, they are in a winery?!?!?  “Pour it Up”

 


Simone Biles: Courage to Soar (Lifetime)

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Premieres: Saturday, February 3 8/7c (on Lifetime)

Stars: Jeanté Godlock, Tisha Campbell-Martin, and Julius Tennon

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Based on her book, Courage To Soar: A Body in Motion, A Life in Balance, the biopic follows Simone Biles through her sacrifices and hard work that lead her to win 19 Olympic and World Championship medals and cemented her stake as one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time. Biles’ journey from foster care to the Olympic podium is full of life experiences that serve as an inspiration for every little girl with a dream.

Thoughts

I was extremely excited for a gymnastics Lifetime Movie, especially if it is about Olympic GOLD medalist, Simone Biles. (Who is currently training for Tokyo 2020.)  However, with the Larry Nasser scandal I’m not sure Lifetime will handle the topic with tact or even at all. “Let it Breathe”


Very, Very, Valentine (Hallmark Channel)

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Premieres: Saturday, February 10 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Danica McKellar, Cameron Mathison, and Damon Runyan

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

When Helen, a kind hearted and shy florist, meets the perfect man at a Valentine’s Masquerade Ball she enlists the help of her best friend Henry to track him down only to find that her perfect man may already be right in front of her.

Thoughts

So, this is reverse Cinderella? I’m here for that! That candelabra in this picture is gaudy as hell! (And is that repurposed Christmas decorations? No, Hallmark!) I’m going to have to “Put a cork in it.”


Cooking with Love (Hallmark Channel)

Screen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.41.55 AM.pngPremieres: Sunday February 11 9/8c (on Hallmark Channel)

Stars: Ali Liebert & Brett Dalton

Synopsis (via Hallmark)

Optimistic and cheerful TV producer, Kelly, doesn’t have time for love. Bad boy celebrity chef, Stephen, doesn’t have time for anything besides cooking. Fun with a side of love ensues as Kelly and Stephen are paired on a children’s cooking show.

Thoughts

I liked Ali Liebert in A Gift to Remember. Will I like her is she is not playing the Sandra Bullock role in While You Were Sleeping? “Let it Breathe”


*Photo Credit: © 2018 Crown Media United States, LLC

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime

Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story (2018 Lifetime)

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Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story

Stars: Catherine Zeta Jones

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

The real life of Columbian drug lord, Griselda Blanco, who reportedly masterminded more than 200 murders. This film presents her life story from the time she was a young girl to the end of her life.

Thoughts

Academy award winning actress, Catherine Zeta Jones has hit a new career high playing Griselda Blanco in a Lifetime movie! The movies opens up with a disturbing portrayal of a young Griselda who is pimped into sex work by her Mother, Her Mom kicks her out of the house because she didn’t get the money she was owed. Griselda goes back to the John and shoots him for her money. Kicking off a life of crime.

Flash forward to the 1970’s (You can tell by the Men’s outfits and mustaches.) Griselda is over making counterfeit passports and is ready to move into the big leagues of drug smuggling bot Alberto Bravo. (Really? That’s his name?) She suggests using women models and hiding the drugs in their bras. Her husband is not having it and forbids her to work for a drug lord, he then asks her to get him a beer. Griselda does, she smashes it over his head and threatens to kill him if he ever interferes with her life again.

Griselda innovates more ways to smuggle drugs: Using old people, panty lining, and even smuggling drugs herself. But, don’t forget she has three sons! One son is an all star and the other two are dumb losers who want to get into the family business. Caroline (her lover?) takes care of the kids when Griselda is out doing drug things.

Everything seems to be going great, Griselda has her family, new husband and lesbian lover. It all comes crashing down when the DEA start to trail her. It doesn’t seem to matter THAT much because  she just moves into another house and kills whoever she wants. Seriously? Griselda gets a Joan Crawford manaion and puts a hit on her sons girlfriend’s father? WTF! (Speaking of Joan Crawford, Catherine Zeta Jones is going full on Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest in this movie.)

The number one rule when being a drug dealer is don’t do the drugs you sell. (So I hear!) Griselda doesn’t follow this rule and even pressures her love, Caroline, into doing cocaine. Of course, Griselda becomes a full blown coke addict. (And Debbie Harry lookalike!) She can’t blame the drugs for why she kills her husband in cold blood for cheating on her in a bathroom stall. It is a scene that is supposed to be suspenseful, but just looks cheap on Lifetime’s budget.

After a very long extended dance scene, Griselda now has a new baby and she is doing bumps in the hospital with the baby. They also plot to take out all their enemies and the DEA. Which only kicks them into high alert, and puts Griselda at the top of everyone’s hit list. When Uber (Griselda’s good son gone bad.) questions whether or not to kill a man’s kids, she grabs a gun and does it herself.

The DEA officer confronts Griselda’s third husband and convinces him to turn on Griselda. They set up a fake kidnapping of their son Michael and head to Columbia. Griselda catches on and orders a hit on her third husband to get her son back.

Things don’t work out for Griselda. Her lesbian lover (Caroline) OD’s, he sons are caught by the DEA and eventually murdered, and she herself gets taken in by the DEA. In jail they try to get Griselda to turn on other drug lords, but she isn’t afraid of prison. Her life has been a prison. At least she has a picture of Caroline to get her through it all.

Side Note

So much of this movie is underscored with salsa music… sooo much. (Like did we need two extended dance scenes?)

Catherine Zeta Jones received a lot of criticism for playing the Columbian drug lord. She herself is Welsh. When asked to comment by Entertainment Weekly she responded:

“This happens to be the third Hispanic I’ve played,” she said. “I played the lead in Zorro, and I screen-tested with six Hispanic women, and I got the role. I don’t know what to say. And I was a complete unknown at this point; it wasn’t because I had a name or box-office value.”

She added: “I have to take [the roles] I believe I can embody. I can’t be the person to fight against a very big issue, and I won’t take on that role. There have been so many actors who have played against type.’ That’s sort of what we do.”

Cocaine Godmother drew 1.85 million total viewers during its premiere.

Overall rating

   🔫  🔫  (2 Guns)

🍷🍷🍷🍷 (4 glasses of wine required)

 

*Photo Credit: © 2018 Lifetime

Deadly Delusion (2018 Lifetime Movie Network)

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Stars: Haylie Duff & Teri Polo

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Hoping for a fresh start, Julia, a troubled New York woman, moves to Los Angeles with her new boyfriend. After settling into a fancy new home though, mysterious things begin to happen. It’s not long before Julia becomes convinced that her demons have moved with her.

Thoughts

Haylie Duff (The kween of Lifetime Movie Network) is back at it again playing a woman in peril! This time with MORE lip fillers. The opening scene is literally her running from a man and the cops won’t help her. Turns out to be a dream, of course, and she has a melt down on a plane talking to her therapist on a laptop in the bathroom….. On an airplane?

Shane and Julia are moving to an LA for a fresh start! They have a beautiful new house (with terrible glass furniture and a broken banister.) and a blue car all courtesy of Arthur (The Canadian realtor, who is friendly but also creepy.) We find out Julia has been on suicide watch for the past few month., The first thing she asks is if her pictures arrived and then goes to look at them. (Her parents passed away or were MURDERED, maybe causing this paranoia?)

 

Next, we get an actual sex scene! (I’ve been only watching Hallmark, so I was kind of like… what is happening?) During their trist, Julia thinks she sees a man in the window and has a meltdown. After the all clear from Shane, Julia goes into the living room and watches old videos of her parents while drinking wine. (Which really made me want wine, I see what you’re doing LMN.)

Later in a bubble bath, while drinking wine (LMN stop!), Julia thinks she hears someone in the house and grabs a scissors and sneaks around her house in a towel. The TV is on and a snake is in the sink! When the building manager arrives, he says there is no snake… could it be a deadly delusion???

Julia goes to lunch with her friend Annie. Julia is distracted and a terrible lunch date, so Annie suggests they “destress.” I was expecting a shopping montage, but they instead go to the shooting range and then look at guns on a rooftop. Annie encourages Julia to get  a gun because LA can kill you.

After another meltdown, Julia and Shane get out the laptop and talk to the therapist. (Who is ALWAYS in her office?) The therapist makes her say “The shadow men are not real” a couple times and she is better???

On the mend, Julia goes to get a freelance job and is disappointed when it is for an orange juice ad. She is even more disappointed when she arrives back home to finds Annie in a towel. (Her buildings water is “out”) while Shane is making dinner and margaritas. Are they having an affair or is it a deadly delusion…

While taking pictures for the orange juice ads, a glass pane falls on Julia’s head and she gets concussed. In the hospital she accuses Annie or hooking up with Shane.

“Do you want to come over for dinner, drinks, and sex in our shower?”

Julia is at a paranoia high! She is convinced that Arthur is behind all of this. (I mean he IS creepy/Canadian!) When she confronts him at his real estate office, she gets even more proof that he is behind everything. The office has NO PRINTER, price tags on the furniture, and an employee was working with his monitor off. Shane talks her down and admits that they didn’t switch the medication she is on, Julia in on her old medication and everyone tricked her into thinking she was on new one. (This would make me extremely paranoid, but she mellows out.)

The paranoia doesn’t stay away for long. Julia break back into the real estate office and finds a surveillance room where there is video of her house! The next day she apologizes to Annie, who forgives her and tells her she left her a gun in the bathroom. Then Julia makes Shane go with her confront Arthur again. This time the screens only show the parking lot of the office, not the house.

Back at home Julia is literally tearing at the walls looking for cables to the camera in the AC vents. She does find them, but Shane AGAIN talks her out of it.  

Turns out Julia’s delusions weren’t delusions at all, but you know they were still deadly. She shoots the man who has been following her and realizes that Shane is in on the whole thing. Apparently it is some sort of live stream for rich men who like to watch her losing it and you know having sex? Shane was working with his boss and Arthur to run this exploitation of Julia.

Julia has to kill Shane before he kills her. Annie calls the cops on the boss and Arthur and they are taken away.  

We then get the classic LMN twist where all is revealed and the horror is not over. We see the therapist pimping out another mental patient who is being tricked into a exploitative relationship for men to watch on screens around the world.

Side Note

Why would the therapist agree to do this, and why does she get so much pleasure out of doing this?

Also known as The Lease

Overall rating

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🍷🍷🍷(3 glasses of wine required)

*Photo Credit: © 2017 Lifetime

January TV Movie Guide (Hallmark & Lifetime)

Hello Everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday! We are back with a preview of ALL the January TV movies coming your way. The Podcast and Blog won’t be covering most of these movies, but I thought it would be a great resource for you!

My pre-viewing ratings are as follows:

Pour it Up (I’m all for it and am excited to watch.)

Let it Breath (I’m going to have to wait and see.)

Put a cork in it  (I will be hate watching or hating myself for loving it.)

Movie details (Date, actors and movie titles) are subject to change. I will update more information as it becomes available. Enjoy! As always, please share your thoughts on the movies on the blog, I love hearing from you.

 

Love on the Slopes (Hallmark Channel)

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Premieres: Jan 6th, 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel

Stars: Katrina BowdenThomas Beaudoin

Synopsis via Hallmark

Alex copyedits for a travel magazine, but wants to be a writer. Now the magazine is holding a contest for a spot on the writing staff, and a plane ticket to anywhere in the world! Alex pitches an article on extreme sports photographer Cole Taylor, but is told to write about trying the risky sports herself. Her boyfriend Barton is supportive, but doesn’t see Alex as very daring. Determined, Alex heads to Colorado where she meets Cole and convinces him to be her guide. Though a klutz, Alex is soon skiing and zip-lining, all as Cole photographs her exhilaration and they fall in love. But when Barton arrives and tells Cole he’s part of the article, Cole feels betrayed. Later though, after reading the piece, Cole is happy for Alex, and even happier when she returns with a plane ticket and an invitation to join her on a trip, sure to be the first of many!

Thoughts

Hallmark’s Winterfest is like Hallmark Christmas movies with the Christmas removed, WHO WANTS THAT?!?!

However, I do like Katrina Bowden. Especially if she is playing a klutz. “Let it Breath”

 

A Tale of Two Corys (Lifetime)

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Premieres: Jan. 6, 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime

Stars:  Elijah MarcanoJustin Ellings Scott Bosely

Synopsis (Via Lifetime)

Feldman (Elijah Marcano and Scott Bosely) and Haim (Justin Ellings and Casey Leach) skyrocketed to fame after meeting on the set of the blockbuster movie The Lost Boys and quickly became young Hollywood heartthrobs. They collaborated on popular comedies including License to Drive and Dream a Little Dream and basked in being Tinseltown royalty in their early teens. But as their stars rose, their lives began to quickly spin out of control with endless partying and drugs. As their fame and fortune increased, dark secrets haunted them. Young and impressionable, the actors suffered through years of sexual abuse at the hands of industry insiders. With studio offers drying up and their reputations becoming tabloid fodder, Feldman eventually turned his life around by getting sober, getting married and having a son. Haim, however, continued his downward spiral and by the time the two starred in their own reality series, The Two Coreys, not even Feldman was able to save him.

 

Thoughts

I missed the whole Corey phenomenon originally and only know them from VH1. (Is that still a channel?) and reality TV. Corey Feldman is a producer on the project so I will “Let it Breath”.

 

Last Scene Alive: An Aurora Teagarden Mystery (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

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Premieres: Jan 7th, 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel

Stars: Candace Cameron BureYannick BissonMarilu Henner

Synopsis via Hallmark

A Hollywood film crew descends on the town of Lawrenceton, GA to produce a film based on a book written by Aurora’s onetime boyfriend Robin Crusoe. However, when the lead actress, who is playing Aurora is killed, the real Aurora and the Murders Club must investigate a long list of suspects.

Thoughts

 

Candace Cameron Bure stretches her acting ability by playing an auburn haired woman. People like her, but I’m going to have to “Put a Cork in it”

 

Frozen in Love (Hallmark Channel)

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Premieres: Jan 13th, 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel

Stars: Rachael Leigh CookNiall Matter

Synopsis via Hallmark

Mary faces the grim reality of her quaint but stagnant Denver store closing, she reaches out for some PR help to turn things around. At the same time, the handsomely wild, flashy “live-in-the-moment” Denver Royals hockey star Adam is sent to the same PR firm to fix his reputation, and the two are paired together in a seemingly mutually-beneficial buddy system: repair his image and give her the chance to reinvent the store and do something big to save it. Along the way, they both learn the important lesson that it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, it only matters how many times you get back up again, which opens up two seemingly opposites for much needed change, and unexpected love.

Thoughts

Love Rachel Leigh Cook, but Niall Matter with anyone other than Erin Krakow is SCANDALOUS. “Put a Cork in It”

 

Past Malice: An Emma Fielding Mystery (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

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Premieres: Jan 13th, 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Stars: Courtney Thorne-SmithJames Tupper

Synopsis via Hallmark

When archaeologist Emma Fielding is called upon to consult on a state historical project and discovers the body of another archeologist in a secret chamber beneath the castle, she calls in her pal, FBI agent Jim Conner, to help her sort out the evidence and determine whether the “Curse of the Chandlers” is real, or simply a local legend invoked to divert attention from the killer, who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Thoughts

Archaeologist?!?! “Put a Cork in It”.

 

Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story (Lifetime)

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Premieres: Jan 20th, 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime

Stars: Catherine Zeta-JonesRaúl MéndezJuan Pablo Espinosa

Synopsis via Lifetime

Academy Award and Tony Award-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones stars in “Cocaine Godmother: The Griselda Blanco Story,” a Lifetime feature based on the life of drug lord Griselda Blanco, a pioneer in the Miami-based cocaine trade. At the age of 17, Griselda Blanco, made her way to the U.S. with a fake passport with her first husband Carlos. Living in Queens with her three sons , Griselda became enticed by the money the drug world offered, and quickly became embroiled with local drug runners. Griselda masterminded the use of beautiful women, the elderly and children as the mules and created false-bottom suitcases to smuggle cocaine from Colombia. With money rolling in, her sons abandoned school and entered the family business instead. A move to Miami would further expand Griselda’s empire, and lead to the death of her second husband Alberto (Juan Pablo Espinosa), giving the rise to her nickname, The Black Widow. Her willingness to use violence against her Miami competitors, led her rivals to make repeated unsuccessful attempts to kill her. In order to protect her youngest son with third husband Dario (Raul Mendez), Griselda moved to California where she was later arrested by the DEA and sentenced to a decade in jail. The case against her collapsed and upon her release, she was deported to Colombia, where she was ultimately gunned down in 2012. In her lifetime, Griselda’s drug distribution network spanned across the United States and she was suspected of ordering over 200 murders.

Thoughts

Academy Award AND Tony winner? “Pour it Up!”

 

One Winter Weekend (Hallmark Channel)

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Premieres: Jan 20th, 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel

Stars: Taylor Cole & Jack Turner

Synopsis via Hallmark

A relationship writer at a women’s magazine has recently sworn off dating and joins her best girlfriend for a snowboarding weekend. A reservation snafu forces them to share a chalet with a couple of guys they’ve never met, one of whom is a company CEO who is also lying low on the dating front. However, once he and she get to know one another better, they begin to wonder if perhaps they should rethink their whole “non-dating” status, until each finds out what the other does for a living, and he bolts.

Thoughts

I will never be able to forgive Taylor for Christmas Festival of Ice! “Put a Cork In It”

Morning Show Murders: Mortal Mishaps (Hallmark Movies & Mysteries)

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Premieres: Jan 21st, 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries

Stars: Holly Robinson Peete and Rick Fox.

Synopsis via Hallmark

Billie Blessings has gone from beloved chef, restaurant owner, and morning show segment host to #1 suspect in a murder case when one of the executives at the network dies from poisoning. When the head chef at Billie’s restaurant is arrested and held as a suspect, Billie takes matters into her own hands by digging deeper into a mystery that could incriminate people close to her while risking her own life in the process.

Thoughts

Could Hallmark be making progress on the POC issue? I think Rick Fox is a fox, sooooo “Pour it Up”

 

Faith Under Fire: The Antoinette Tuff Story (Lifetime)

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Premieres: Jan 27th, 8 p.m. ET on Lifetime

Stars: Toni BraxtonTrevor MorganYaya DaCosta

Synopsis via Lifetime

Seven time Grammy® Award winner Toni Braxton stars as Antoinette Tuff, a struggling single mom from Georgia who heroically averted a tragedy, saving hundreds of lives when she convinced a deranged gunman who stormed an elementary school to surrender. On August 20, 2013, shortly after arriving to work at the Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Georgia, Antoinette the school’s bookkeeper, was in the front office when Michael Hill, a young man with a history of mental illness, snuck in, armed with an AK-47 and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. As the school went into lockdown, Antoinette was left alone with Michael, who repeatedly threatened to kill everyone. Showing enormous courage and empathy, along with nerves of steel, Antoinette convinced Michael to surrender by using her own life struggles to connect with him. Antoinette’s faith in God guided her through the toughest moments of her life, ultimately preparing her for that fateful day.

Thoughts

I’m like yay Toni Braxton, but then I’m like Lifetime school shooting movie??? “Let it Breathe!”

 

Winter’s Dream (Hallmark Channel)

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Premieres: Jan 27th, 9 p.m. ET on Hallmark Channel

Stars: Dean Cain and Kristy Swanson.

Synopsis via Hallmark

A former ski champion reenters the competitive world when a 16-year old downhill racer asks for help, leading her to reawaken an old passion and find a new love.

Thoughts

I have no clue what this movie is about, and I suspect neither does Hallmark. Even my prepubescent crush on Dean Cain can’t save this one. “Put a Cork In It”

Snowed- Inn Christmas (2017 Lifetime)

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Snowed- Inn Christmas

Listen to the Lifetime Uncorked Podcast! 

Stars: Bethany Joy Lenz & Andrew Walker

Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Jenna Hudson and Kevin Jenner are polar opposites, working for the same online publication in New York City. With both having nowhere they want to be for Christmas, they volunteer for a special writing assignment. After a snowstorm forces their plane to land in none other than Santa Claus, Indiana, the two are placed in a Christmas Wonderland and the focus of their story shifts to saving the historic town inn run by Carol and Christopher Winters. As the two overcome their differences, they also rediscover the magic of Christmas. But with the inn’s fate in jeopardy and the return of someone from Jenna’s past, Carol and Christopher lend a helping hand to bring Jenna and Kevin together.

Thoughts

Jenna has it all together! Fancy alarm clock, electric toothbrush, she makes an omelets and places her silver wear just so. Kevin is the complete opposite. They both work for epiphany (an NYC online publication.) They both get assigned to write a Christmas article in Aspen, Colorado and are competing for position of “most valuable writer.”

We get even more comparisons as to how different they are. She packs for the trip early and neatly, he just throws things into a suitcase. On the plane she listens to her headphones and he play a noisy game! They hit turbulence and have to make an unexpected stop in Santa Claus, Indiana. (Jenna is, of course, afraid of flying and has a freak out on the plane, while Kevin laughs at her.)

In the airport after failing to bribe a flight attendant with $20 for tickets to Aspen, the two meet a Mrs. Clause looking lady in the terminal. She gives them candy canes and just happens to own a small inn in town. Her husband Chris comes to pick them up. Chris and Carol show them around the Winter Inn. It is VERY decorated. Apparently the inn was founded by St. Nick himself, but since they can’t prove Santa is real, the historic inn will be sold.

Their editor can’t let this opportunity go and assigns them to say in Indiana to get the story on the Inn. For story research they get to know Chris and carol and both do research about hot to save the inn. Distracted and can’t sleep, they both wake up and make a midnight snack. (Cue the cookie baking montage, and flour fight.)

Heart to heart moment. Keven tells Jenna he likes her with her hair down. We then find out that Jenna was an orphan than no one wanted an grew up in orphanages, therefore never had a REAL Christmas. She also reviles that her recent break up hurt so much because she thought it was her shot at a real Christmas. They both agree they are afraid to call in real love. Then go for a walk around town at 2am!

The next day, Kevin takes Jenna to his family’s house. (The live in Indiana) He tells Jenna that his father died three years ago and he hasn’t been home since. His family is surprised (AND Biracial, which is accepted as a fact of life not a catalyst for drama!) Lifetime really nails the family dynamic. In this movie and multiple others this season, lifetime’s family banter is authentic and light hearted for the sake of showing relationships, not to further the plot. The day trip goes so well that Kevin invites Jenna to come over for Christmas Day.

After a small fight, because they love each other and thats how we can tell in these movies… apparently. They dive back into work and agree to exchange final drafts at the Winter Inn Christmas Eve party. Jenna writes about how Santa is real. Kevin writes about how he found Christmas Joy in Jenna and he is in love.

At the party, Jenna admits she didn’t finish her article. (Which is just SO unlike her.) They dance the two step. Just as Kevin is about to tell Jenna his feelings, her ex-boyfriend arrives to get her back and she agrees to take him back. WTF!

Kevin has a conversation with “Carol” or Mrs Clause and even though he missed his opportunity to tell her, he can show her. He finishes the article for both of them, finds a certificate to save the inn, and tells Jenna he lover her in writing. Jenna leaves her loser boyfriend at the airport and goes to Kevin’s family house.

They kiss!

Normally on Hallmark this would be the end, but since we are on Lifetime we get a little bit more. Kevin gifts Jenna his Dad’s stocking with her name on it. Then we see the family playing games and just enjoying the holiday, which is really what the season is all about!

Side Note

So many endearing moments with Andrew W Walker. The PJ moment, sign language scene, and just him in general as an actor.

POC Alert: Loved that the niece was biracial and referred to as beautiful multiple times by her uncle. (Also the Sister’s husband had some nice character development too.) Tasha Smith playing the matchmaker boss was fun too.

The Santa stuff usually drives me crazy, bit I didn’t mind it in this movie. Probably because it is so close to CHRISTMAS!

Happy Holidays, blog friends.

Overall rating

🎄 🎄🎄 (3 Christmas Trees)

🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)

 

*Photo Credit: © 2017 Lifetime