**I know it's been a while since my last post...My house lost our internet for a while. So here's a belated Christmas post, and I'll move back to my random actors soon enough. Hope everyone's holidays have gone well!*
The Search for Santa Paws (2010)
When Santa and his new best friend, Paws, discover that the boys and girls of the world have lost the spirit of the season, they take a trip to New York City. But after Santa loses his memory, it's up to Paws, a faithful orphan named Quinn (America's Got Talent's Kaitlyn Maher), her new friend Will (The Game Plan's Madison Pettis) and a wonderful group of magical talking dogs to save St. Nick and show the world what Christmas is really about.
You can probably tell from the synopsis that this is a very...very corny movie. If you have a 4-year-old who is a puppy-lover, this movie might be for them. The dog is cute (except when it's in the creepy fake dog mode...), the little kids are fairly adorable, and it has a 'little orphan Annie' feel to it.
There's Christmas magic and talking dogs and an odd-looking Santa to help the kids and the audience remember the spirit of Christmas.
And, of course, the common face to Christmas movies, Danny Woodburn, as Santa's main guy.
I'm not doing many 'thoughts' on these movies, because chances are no one has seen them or will watch them unless they are really adventurous or are looking for new movies to introduce to their small children. This movie is cute, but only if you're planning on watching it with 2- to 5-year-olds around to show you when to laugh and when to be concerned. My family and I were never really sure...But at least there's a happy ending, of course.
There's also a sequel, Santa Paws 2: Santa Pups (2012). I'm probably not going to watch it, but I thought I'd at least let you guys know that it's out there. If you've got an interested youngster, you should watch it and let us know what you think.
Kaitlyn Maher (playing Quinn) was also in other puppy movies: Santa Buddies (2009), Treasure Buddies (2012), and Santa Paws 2: Santa Pups (2012). (I guess there are a lot of Buddy movies these days...I've only seen the original and a few of the early sequels, so I don't know if they're any good. Any of you have thoughts?)
Christmas in Canaan (2009)
DJ and Rodney are two boys who don't like each other from the start. Rodney thinks DJ is an ignorant white farm boy, and DJ thinks Rodney acts too smart for his own good. After a school bus scuffle between them, DJ's father and Rodney's grandma come up with a clever idea that brings them closer than either would have liked. Living in Canaan, TX in the 1960's does not make it easy for a black boy and a white boy to forge a friendship. It is only amid the magic of an unforgettable Christmas that DJ and Rodney discover a land of milk and honey where hope and love make all the difference.
I tend to steer clear of Billy Ray Cyrus' acting attempts, but this movie came home from the library, and I figured I might as well. I wouldn't really call it a Christmas movie; it's more focused on the race issues of the 60's and how difficult it is for a black kid and a white kid to figure out their differences and find a way to be friends anyway. It's kind of a surface examination, but you can see the underlying issues all over.
Halfway through the movie, after the boys have grown up and their relationship has cemented, Christmas finally comes and they're tested a few more times. Hard economy and people split down the middle. The "some Christmas" part was super corny, but it made its point. It really is the thought that counts, and Christmas shouldn't just be about stuff...If you can get past the cliche phrases and corny acting, it really is a great thought.
It's hard to watch movies with such hatred for everyone. And it never ends up well for anyone...It's tough to even figure out how people end up like that. Even today, people fight before they talk...Half the time they agree with each other, but don't even realize it because they're so busy yelling at each other. Everybody just take a deep breath and chill out :-)
I'd say this one's worth a watch if you can get past Billy Ray's corny phrases. He sings most of the soundtrack, too. It's an all right movie, though, with a good message.
Canaan, Texas is a small town northeast of Denton, Texas, near the Oklahoma border.
This movie was based on the book co-written by Kenny Rogers.
Christmas Lodge (2011)
During a weekend trip to the mountains, Mary (Erin Karpluk) finds herself at the now-dilapidated lodge where she spent the holidays with her family growing up. She becomes determined to restore the building to its former glory. Inspired by her grandfather and guided by her grandmother in heaven, Mary throws herself into the project, and during the process finds herself drawn to Jack (Michael Shanks), a handsome man who loves the lodge as much as she does. Historically unlucky in love, this chance encounter allows Mary to renew her faith in life and discover her one true love.
I can really identify with Mary in this movie. Her attachment to the mountains/hiking, her feeling of dedication and obligation and loneliness, even though there are people everywhere. Just not connected the way she way she wants to be. Hopefully, this movie provides her with the chances she needs to get happy, the way that real life tends to not do so easily. I'm sure it will...
Michael Shanks will always be Dr. Daniel Jackson from Stargate to me. He looks different without the dorky glasses, but he's still Dr. Jackson. I know he's been in a ton of stuff since then, but I was very attached to that show and its characters. I like him quite a bit without the glasses and with the tool bet, though. The mountains look good on him. :-)
Sometimes I don't understand why people can't see themselves. When they're with people that they should obviously not be with. Not necessarily bad people, but people who they do not belong with. Mary and ???? definitely do not belong together...But I'm sure she'll figure it out soon enough.
Everyone should take a night every now and then to listen to the stories of their grandparents and parents. It's so fun to sit and listen and watch how much they enjoyed their lives. And you can learn a lot of interesting things...like how your grandparent might have burnt down a school bus or fallen out of a car back in the day. :-)
This is a Thomas Kinkade movie, so it is a little scripture/Jesus focuses. I like this movie a lot, but I can't really explain why. It takes a while to get to Christmas, but it's a pretty good build up, and the family parts seem fairly realistic. Some of the lines seem a little forced or out of place, but it's still pretty good overall.
John Innes (Grampa) was also a little involved in the Stargate story. He was Zaddik in Stargate: Atlantis.