7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Christmas at the Plaza Review


It’s time for the third Hallmark film. This time we’ve got a big hotel to play with in terms of the decorations so it looks really nice by the end. The Hotel already looked good on its own so that doesn’t really come as a surprise anyway. It’s another good movie and while it does borrow a lot of elements from the others, that’s true for most of these titles. It’s all about how you use the elements and this one does a pretty good job I’d say.

The movie starts off with Jessica heading to the hotel as a historian here to do a piece. She finds out that this actually entails finding a theme for the hotel’s big Christmas anniversary. That’s not really her area of expertise as she prefers history to celebration but then she meets the guy in charge of the lights, Nick. Nick is all about Christmas and he loves putting on a good shot. He’s going to help her find her Christmas spirit and make this big showcase a success. The toughest part is going to be finding the missing ornament. See, every year the hotel always had a different tree topper for the Hotel except for one year where it seems to have been empty. The owner Amanda will not accept a blank spot in her presentation so Jessica is going to have to move planets to find this. Can she do it?

First off, I have to say that Amanda is definitely a little more unreasonable than the other Hallmark owners I’ve seen. She refuses to listen to a single thing that Jessica says. Now I know that she is hyped for the big celebration and there’s nothing wrong with that, but if Jessica does have an actual issue you’d think that Amanda would want to hear about it. Then you can also factor in the fact that Jessica almost did leave the project and Amanda really would have been in quite a bit of trouble there. I suppose she just likes to live dangerously.
Reginald is one of the main characters here, but he can be a bit on the annoying side at times. He has a past that really comes into play as the film goes on so you can give him some sympathy points. That being said, he could have been a little more helpful. Even if he didn’t want to actively help Jessica he could have at least given her a direct answer on what he knew and that would have saved them all a whole lot of time searching and everything. It’s one of those things that should have been simple, but he complicated the issue.

Nick’s a pretty good main guy. I was glad that he was very assertive compared to a lot of the others and also didn’t even entertain his ex’s proposition to show up once more. In this case he handled the situation perfectly even if Jessica did take things the wrong way. Nick was firm without being rude and didn’t let any of this psyche himself out of the job. He was professional at all times. Meanwhile Jessica is one of the weaker heroines. She jumps to conclusions pretty quick with Nick near the end of the film which didn’t seem all that reasonable. Additionally I feel like she was a bit rude to Nick at the start for no reason. Once he pointed out that he did have a sign up warning people not to get too close, Jessica seemed to take it personally. She was the one who bumped into him so I don’t see why she was so defensive. She even refused his help right away even though Amanda is the one who told him to help. Things worked out, but it was in spite of Jessica as opposed to being because of her at some points.

While she may not be as good as some of the others, it should still be noted that the character cast is still good. You don’t have to be perfect to be a great character after all and these two were able to hold their story up pretty well. We got our classic family Christmas party as well and this time we even got the “current boyfriend” character. I feel like it’s been a while since we got this guy to show up so that was nostalgic. He’s about as obvious as you would expect. The guy always loves talking about his job and barely seems to care about what Jessica does.
He’s quick to tell her to give up her job to work with him on his project which shows how dismissive he is. The guy was more eager to get his next drink than to hear what she was going to say. All of the warning bells were there from the start and the party was probably one of the last straws. That was a time where he openly said her job didn’t sound as important and he sent her off on her own. The cab driver helped to salvage the situation at least. It does mean that this romance is a complete rebound even compared to some of the others though so that part doesn’t work quite as well. Even if your current relationship didn’t work out, you’d think that it would take a few weeks or months until you move on to the next guy. If you can do it in the span of a day then the feelings may not be as serious as you think.

Overall, Christmas at The Plaza is a fun film. It’s a pleasant Christmas movie as you would expect. There’s a lot to look at with all of the Christmas lights and having one of the characters actually be an professional decorator was a good move so the film could really go all out. We get some nice Christmas movies as well and this one will have a lot of replay value as you’d expect. It’s true that after a while all of the Hallmark films start to feel the same, but I’ve never thought that was a bad thing. It’s like having a favorite movie and then you see everyone remaking it every year. It may be the same story, but it’s just as strong as it ever was. If you haven’t watched this one yet then it’s time to change that. The period from Christmas to New Year’s is still super festive outside and it’s never too late to check this one out.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Jingle All the Way Review


I’ve seen this film many times over the years, but that was before my reviewing days. I finally got a chance to rewatch it the other day and the film holds up well. It’s a fun Christmas film that you can certainly watch time and time again without the story getting stale or losing its charm and for me it’s probably the most iconic Christmas film thanks to how many times its been viewed in my household.

The film follows Howard, a rather successful business man. His problem is that he tends to forget about everything else once he’s at work and this leads to him not getting his son Jamie a gift for Christmas. He can’t afford to lose this opportunity though since tensions are already high since he missed Jamie’s karate promotion. Howard goes on the hunt for the Turbo Man toy that Jamie wants, but he will have to contend with Myron. Myron is a cynical delivery man who wants to get the toy for his son at all costs and he’s not above using cheap tactics to get it. Criminal organizations and mean spirited police officers also stand in Howard’s way, but he has the determination to keep on going. He is on the clock though since his corrupt neighbor Ted is trying to pull the moves on his wife while he’s gone. Run fast Howard!

From the start of the movie you can tell that it’s going to be a fun adventure. The clip from the Turbo Man show was pretty fun and a nice homage to the Power Rangers. Howard may have forgotten about Jamie’s event, but at least he was working while the rest of his staff was having fun at the party. Howard’s a hard working guy…things just don’t always work out very well for him. He does make it up to Jamie pretty quickly. His next mistake was maybe a little worse as he had weeks to get the toy, but forgot until the very last night. I can definitely see why it would be hard to find a toy by then, just look at the Nintendo Wii from a few years back. It was incredibly difficult to get that toy and it seemed like every store was out of stock. I pulled through of course.

The main part of the film that makes for good entertainment are the battles between Howard and Myron. First off, I have to acknowledge that Myron is the best character in the film. I’ve always had a knack for attracting people like him in real life so I’m pretty familiar with the type. He could talk about anything for days and it’ll always be complaints. One of these characters once called me a casual as a result and I just let it pass through me. I’m only a casual when it comes to my Godzilla knowledge and even then I’m mainly just a casual to get people to let down their guards. Myron is a charismatic character from the start with his speech about how toys are made to be cheap on purpose nowadays and how it’s all a conspiracy. I’m always eager to hear about conspiracies and this guy was full of them. Things escalated quite a lot from there as Myron and Howard would bodyslam each other and get into a lot of chaos.

Howard typically took the high road or at least the less painful one. Myron slammed him into CDs, blasted him with pepper spray, threatened Howard with a gun, threatened Howard’s son, etc. Howard hit him with a toy car, got a mob to tackle Myron, and slammed a door in his hand. You can easily tell who the more unhinged one is here. Myron is always ready for a truce when he’s losing though and Howard was all too ready to except the quick shot of Miller Time. It wasn’t enough to quench his thirst though.

While not quite as great as Myron, Howard’s still a good main character as well. Once he infiltrates the villain organization, he definitely gets into the fight. He’s also a quick thinker and manages to get out in one piece. His only failing is taking a shot at the reindeer. That was pretty uncalled for and he should have just run for the hills. I didn’t really mind him deciding to get even with Ted. Breaking into the house would help teach Ted a lesson before knocking him out with the toy. It doesn’t really help that Liz refused to listen to him at all during the scene though. Howard sure does drink a lot though. He went through quite a few bottles before coming back to his senses. He may not be perfect, but he can certainly hold his own film.

Ted is the worst character in the film and that’s probably intentional. He is always flirting with Liz even though she’s married. Liz probably should have gotten Howard to step in a little sooner, but at least she ultimately gave him a stern rejection. There’s not really anything good to say about Ted and his polite facade never gets all that convincing. I wasn’t a big fan of Liz either though. It felt like she was upset for about 90% of the film. If anything, Howard seemed to have a better Christmas than her even though he was the one who kept getting attacked by just about everyone. Jamie was a little worse though. I always feel like the little kids are pretty unreasonable and he is no exception. While he can’t really guess how much effort Howard is putting into the search, he isn’t making things any easier by going on tantrums. He just needs to accept the fact that Howard can’t usually keep his promises and it’ll help him learn to expect the unexpected.

There was a Cop who got a fairly large role in the film. He came across as a jerk the whole time though so it’s hard to sympathize with him when a bomb blows up in his face and his motorcycle is destroyed by Howard. The guy was basically asking for it, but I guess you can’t say that he’s not determined. The guy certainly went all out. There aren’t really any other big characters as the cast is relatively small. The rest of the people who show up are typically just people trying to make life hard for Howard. The little kid, the store owners, they all believe that this is some kind of fun joke.

Jingle All The Way has a nice soundtrack, which helps the film out overall. You’ll get to hear a nice array of classic Christmas themes as the film goes along. It’s definitely good to have and I’m always on board for that. While there are no real fight scenes to test the effects, the climax of the film plays out a bit like a real Turbo Man clip with Howard getting to take down Myron once and for all. That was a fun way to end the film and you’ll just feel bad for the actor who got knocked out by Myron. The poor guy never even saw it coming.

Overall, It’s easy to see why Jingle All The Way is such a solid film. It has rapid pacing and the writing is on point. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and embraces the battles between the two leads the whole time. The only weak part of the film is the Ted plot as it seriously did not need to be here. Liz also handled the whole thing as badly as you can imagine. She shouldn’t have let him even help set up the lights, much less be in a position to put up the Star while Howard was watching. It added the extra drama, but I don’t think the film would have changed much if he wasn’t around. Well, I definitely recommend this film. You may have missed out on the chance to see it for Christmas, but it’s a fun enough film to watch anytime. Also, it is snowing today so now might be a good chance to check it out right?

Overall 7/10