3.5 stars

Better

Author: Rheanna

Series: 2009 reboot

Pairing: gen

Summary: Two weeks after his sixth birthday, he took apart the family holovid.

Why rec this fic? Scotty is my favourite character, and I’ve always felt like he’s underappreciated in the fandom. Scotty is a mad genius who loves his ship and the crew, and this fic really shows that. It’s short and sweet, and it has a heart warming ending. I love that Scotty fits in on the enterprise!

Their rating: General audiences

My rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars

Link, for those who wish to read.

My One Christmas Wish (UP, 2015)

Until you acknowledge the pain of your past, you can’t appreciate the joy of your present.

Starring: Amber Riley, Ali Skovbye, Matreya Fedor, Jarod Joseph

Plot Synopsis: Jackie Turner is a straight-A college student, who was abused, abandoned and starved as a child. Although she has resolutely turned her life around, the holidays are still very painful for her. Facing another lonely holiday break on campus, Jackie takes an ad on Craigslist for her one wish - a family for Christmas - and even offers to pay $8 an hour. To her surprise, responses flood in. Among the numerous heartfelt invitations and letters of support, she also hears from other young people struggling with the same overwhelming emptiness that comes with spending the holidays without loved ones. Moved and inspired, Jackie decides to throw a big Christmas party - with the last-minute help of her adviser, friends and support group - to find families for all those troubled folks who emailed her, and finds one for herself as well.

In My Humble Opinion: Every year, just when I’m about ready to give up on UP’s Original Programming, they have a surprise up their sleeves that makes me believe in their mission all over again. My One Christmas Wish is a treacly, mushy feel-good story that is 100 percent what UP should be making. It’s inspiring in a real, joyful way that I can appreciate even if its not made exactly for me.

Yes, there are parts that overstep in the way it aims to teach kids important lessons. In particular, there is one long confessional scene from Amber Riley’s Jackie that completely threw me off, and felt random and weird instead of being the organic gut punch of a moment it was meant to be. However, these are just small false moments in a whole that works more than it doesn’t.

Amber Riley continues to make herself a space in her post-Glee career that I am admiring, and between this movie and The Wiz, one can’t help but think that’s she on a roll of sorts right now. Maybe she’s the one having the best holiday season of us all.

Watch If: You think a night doing laundry sounds like hella fun, if you used to date someone who ate your furniture, or if being in a relationship with you means a lot of dog walking.

Skip If: Your time in juvie wasn’t the best time of your life, if you think that there is crying in martial arts, or if you don’t think your lullabies needs non-religious remixes.

Final Rating:  ★ ★ ★ (★) ☆

A Chance of Snow (Lifetime, 1998)

“He proposed again too. He came to the school with a firetruck, and told her that she still sets his heart on fire.”

Starring: JoBeth Williams, Michael Ontkean, Barbara Barrie, Dey Young

Plot Synopsis: After signing her divorce papers, a woman heads out to her Minnesota airport with her sister and daughters for a flight to her mother’s home. At the airport, her sportswriter husband shows up to catch a flight to Miami to visit his father. When a blizzard hits, the two suddenly find they have time to re-evaluate their relationship with assistance from an older couple. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: It may be weird to say this, but I love this movie purely for its subplots. Its subplots which feature old people in love (a weakness of mine), and two old classmates (including a single dad!) reconnecting and falling in love while playing arcade games are decidedly adorable, and right up my alley.

As for the main plot, it’s pretty paint by numbers, couple on the outs reconcile while trapped at an airport before Christmas Eve with the help of many other trapped passengers. It’s not one of those plots that are especially memorable, but the movie has enough charm that you are never really rolling your eyes and counting down the minutes until its over.

I first watched this off a recommendation from a friend, and I think it lives up to what she had to say about it. Is it cute & fun & likable, if not maybe groundbreaking.

Watch If: You think the best time to flirt is when playing arcade games, you think that six is the prime number of roses to give to a lover, or if you know that the best way to work through your relationship is to find an older couple who went through a similar situation years before and talk to them.

Skip if: The idea that old people have fantastic sex is disgusting to you, if you were that weird kid who made farmyard noises during class, or if you think ruining your hair for airport security is dumb.

Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ (★) ☆

As above, so below (2014)

When a team of explorers ventures into the catacombs that lie beneath the streets of Paris, they uncover the dark secret that lies within this city of the dead.

As above, so below gets under your skin. Maybe it’s because everything is filmed below ground, which definitely made me claustrophobic, maybe it means this movie is just good. I personally love horror combined with history and relics. The mysterious mythical and religious atmosphere made my day.

Watch the trailer here.
Director: John Erick Dowdle
Stars:  Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge |
Genre: Horror, Adventure, Mystery
On Netflix? No. 

'The Monsters Inside' Review

Quick Facts!

  • Written by Steven Cole
  • Published in 2005
  • 256 pages
  • Features the Ninth Doctor and Rose Tyler

Um…hi. Guess who’s back with a review for the first time in months? It’s me! (I’m terrible, I know, but I’ve long since accepted and even embraced my terribleness.) Anyway, on to the review!

The Doctor takes Rose to her first alien planet, where they are promptly assaulted, jailed, and shipped to different sections of the galaxy, because the universe hates them. The Doctor ends up being forced to work for a matronly plant-named scientist, while Rose becomes the hero of her prison.

Oh yeah, there’s also Slitheen (and Blathereen!), in case you wanted to see more of the enterprising gaseous aliens. Their plans have taken a step up this time around, though, as they’re plotting to relocate an entire solar system, regardless of the cost of life…

This book contains instances of…

  • Very deep plant metaphors
  • Rose starting a food fight riot in jail and attempting to unzip someone’s head
  • The Doctor flirting with a lump of sugar
  • Attack globs
  • An arsonist with a crush on Rose
  • Several gassy aliens

In conclusion…

3.5/5 stars. Not a bad book by any means, and thoroughly enjoyable to read! The whiplash between the childish humor and descriptive gore was a bit too much for me, however.

Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus (Hallmark, 2004)

“Come fly with me child! Come fly with me on a magical mission!!!”

Starring: Steve Guttenberg, Crystal Bernard, Thomas Calabro, Dominic Scott Kay

Plot Synopsis: Nick’s plan to let fate bring his wife to him must be altered because he must replace his father as Santa Claus on December 26. Ernst, the right-hand man to several generations of Santas, generates a list of potential mates. Nick dutifully sets off to meet them, but fate may have a candidate after all. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: The best part about this movie is that it finally answers the question that lingered on everyone’s mind for years: If you merged Obi-Wan Kenobi and Buddy the Elf into a single character what would that be? The answer: Steve Guttenberg’s version of Santa. Well, Santa Jr. to be more precise… he can’t take over the Christmas throne yet, because he isn’t married! Which wouldn’t be a problem for Nick (like he was going to be named anything else), it’s just that he hasn’t found “Someone who feels like the other half of [his] heart.” Understandable. Even if it made me puke on the insides a little bit with its cheesiness. I digress though.

The main draw of this movie really is to see Steve Guttenberg in action. The overarching romance is fine, if a tad super predictable (She’s a career woman AND single mom [because they are near always single moms in these movies], and she’s cynical and she falls in love with Nick and after they leap over that cynicism hurdle everything works out.) Steve Guttenberg, though? A MASTERPIECE. Like I said, he is Obi-Wan Kenobi (using the force on hotel clerks so that they don’t care he has no last name) and Buddy the Elf (see above quote), and it’s so ridiculously perfect that I nearly wept at how ridiculously perfect it was. The one problem I had with the performance is a the end, he does this natural laugh that turns in a natural “Ho Ho Ho” laugh that Steve Guttenberg obviously practiced really hard at perfecting, but still comes off as creepy. It marred the ending of the movie for me, a tiny bit.

I would be remiss to not mention that while Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus features a child, Jake, they managed to make him 1000% more bearable than the child in A Christmas Caper. I really appreciated not completely hating him.

So, in general, this movie is a not too bad way to kill 85 minutes on a Sunday. Especially if you need a Steve Guttenberg fix. (And that Party Down episode he was in was quite some time ago, so I could completely understand if you needed to fulfill the Guttenberg urge.)

Watch If: You really loved Santa Clause 2 and wished all the movies had a similar plotline, you want to learn how singing “Bum Bum Bum Bum” repeatedly can improve your basketball game, or if you want to know why Santa believes strategy games could possibly corrupt our youth.

Skip If: Southern accents annoy you endlessly, watching adults whimsically play on a children’s playground in the middle of the day pisses you off because you know kids want a chance to swing on the swings too, or if the idea seeing Thomas Calabro play a douchebag ad exec instead of a douchebag doctor throws you off too much.

Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ (★) ☆

Today’s reading:)
Keep It Simple, Stupid (Lomonaaeren)
AO3

Summary: Draco has kept tabs on the Death Eaters since the war, but they’ve made up such ridiculous plots that he hasn’t been very concerned about them. Now they’ve got a competent leader and a plan to assassinate Harry Potter. Draco’s worried—but Potter ignores his warnings and flirts with him instead. Draco’s life is not very much fun right now.

-Read Hilarious! Harry is cute.

Silver Bells (CBS, 2005)

“Just try to picture him… chopping down one tree.”

Starring: Tate Donovan, Anne Heche, Margo Martindale, Courtney Jines

Plot Synopsis: Manhattanite Catherine O'Mara bonds with a young man who has run away from his father. When the father returns to New York a year later to sell his Christmas trees, he and Catherine cross paths. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: Generally, this film is cute and schmaltzy and basically everything you look for in a Christmas television movie. However, I found the fact that a major aspect of the film relies sympathizing with a teenager who decides that running away instead of talking things out are the best way to solve his problems, made it hard for me to fully enjoy it. I wish that more time was spent on the second chance at love plotline with the two widowers which I really enjoyed, instead of that questionable plot which pissed me off.

Watch If: You love newspaper driven scavenger hunts, you have spent tons of time bunking with friendly maintenance men, or you want to go through all of Margo Martindale’s fimography after seeing her beast it out as Mags Bennet.

Skip If: You dislike Canadians, you dislike harried work women trying to fall in love again, or you dislike kids who think discussions are a bad way to solve problems and that running away is the best solution.

Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ (★) ☆

Allegiant Review

rating: 3.5/5

I wanted SO BADLY to give Allegiant a higher rating because I absolutely adored Divergent and the whole concept of factions. I thought this world had immense potential as a vehicle to examine a society that takes certain morals too far to the point that they actually become terrible people.

However, I couldn’t rate Allegiant above a 3.5 for a few reasons. (and trust me 3.5 is me being generous)

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Keep reading

A Christmas Romance (CBS, 1994)

Starring: Olivia Newton-John, Gregory Harrison, Chloe Lattanzi, Stephanie Sawyer

Plot Synopsis: Times are tough for Julia Stonecypher and her family. A widow with two young daughters, Julia has struggled to keep up financially. To make matters worse, she loses her job just days before Christmas. So when Brian Harding, an upscale banker from the city, comes to collect on her outstanding bills, Julia is unable to pay. After informing her that she will lose her house, Brian takes off into the snowstorm, but doesn’t make it far. When he crashes his car and injures himself, Julia allows him into her home despite his surly attitude. But as they wait out the storm together, Brian seems to have a change of heart and it looks as though this might be a merry Christmas for Julia after all. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: I’m ending this year’s edition of TV Movie Christmas with the movie that inspired it all, A Christmas Romance. This movie is the definition of fabulous stupidity in Christmas movies. The good family is virtuous to a point of ridiculousness and poor in a modern Little House on the Prairie Way. The banker is surly and “evil” in all the stereotypical ways. You throw them in a blizzard, you shake things up and eventually everyone has to fall in love! This film clearly inspired every other that came after it, most noticeably in Holiday in Handcuffs, and you can see why. It’s easy to digest ridiculousness. None of it is plausible, none of it makes any sense, but it’s tons of fun to get plastered to and watch. (And as someone who has seen this film both sober as laundry folding background noise and completely trashed as something to make fun of, it was more fun to watch trashed. The sheep being born is more joyously crazy with a great buzz.)

No movie comes close when it comes to getting that mix of ridiculous and schmaltz calibrated perfectly. It’s probably because no sheep are born in any of the other films I watched this year.

Watch If: You love to see sheep being born, you have the funds to get helicopters to rescue people on Christmas day all the time, or if you think the best way to deliver a bike is via horseback.

Skip If: You are a banker, Xanadu wore you out on Olivia Newton-John, or you hate sheep and don’t want any to be born.

Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ (★) ☆

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (Hallmark, 2008)

“You don’t trust someone with 800 dollar shoes.”

Starring: Brooke Burns, Henry Winkler, Warren Christie, Woody Jeffreys

Plot Synopsis:  Disenchanted single mom Jennifer Cullen is a Scroogette when it comes to anything Christmas. In fact, even her six-year-old son, Brian, is having trouble believing in Santa Claus. But when her Uncle Ralph visits and brings a fellow passenger from his flight named Morgan Derby, Jennifer s dubious heart awakens to the possibility that perhaps Christmas really does hold miracles. It s uplifting and laugh-packed and a story that will inspire the whole family to believe. (x)

In My Humble Opinion: This movie normally would just be your average, run-of-the-mill, single mom (yep! another one!), hates Christmas, but finds love, and as a result loves Christmas kind of movies. But it has an ace in it’s back-pocket, and that ace is Henry Winkler.

Henry Winkler makes this movie completely worth watching, as he plays the adorable, yet lonely older character to a hilt. You wish he was your uncle when he jokes about how he misses the bribes since retiring as a cop, or gives corny speeches about how you need to take risks to make life worth living. If Henry Winkler was in all the TV Christmas movies, they all would be worthy of your time, if I say so myself.

And while Henry Winkler makes up for a lot of sins, there are still aspects of the movie even he can’t make up for. Mainly in the fact, that the leads do not have a lot of chemistry, and the single mother in particular seems to act for no other reason than serving the plot at times.

Henry Winkler does make up for most faults though, and if you only have time to watch one Christmas movie featuring a single mother finding love and then loving Christmas, his performance alone in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year makes it a pretty good option.

Watch If: You’ve always wanted your tv movie love interests to have a love for wearing vests, if you want to stick it to your neighbor for making you decorate your house when you have tons of perfectly good reasons not to, or you love the tale of “The One Red Candle”.

Skip If: You’re bitter because you are an airport worker who has been duped into giving away free stuff tons of times before, you’re incredibly OCD about your Christmas light displays, or you still haven’t recovered from the Tickle Me Elmo toy insanity in the ‘90s.

Final Rating: ★ ★ ★ (★) ☆