Movie Blogger Answers Movie Related Reddit Questions

When I published my review of To Catch a Spy back in June, it became my 250th movie review! I also published my 550th post in July, with that month’s Word on the Street article helping me reach that number. With these two milestones, I knew I was due to write something special! Sometimes, I listen to Youtube videos where a chosen question from Reddit is answered by various people. Since I’m a movie blogger, I find Reddit’s movie related questions to be interesting. This served as the inspiration for this list post, where I’ve chosen ten questions and will provide my answers to them. If you’re interested in seeing other answers to these questions, you can type these questions into Youtube’s searchbar and find the videos that way. Now, let’s read what I, as a movie blogger, have to say about some of Reddit’s movie related questions!

Movie time image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.
  1. What Movie Was Basically Just an Ad?

As soon as I read this question, I immediately thought of When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing. Even though the movie is objectively good, it is basically a two-hour commercial for When Hope Calls. For those who are not aware, When Hope Calls is the spin-off series of When Calls the Heart. The film’s main plot serves as the premise for When Hope Calls, giving that show’s protagonists more attention than When Calls the Heart’s series regulars. When I reviewed When Calls the Heart: The Greatest Christmas Blessing three years ago, I said this part of the story should have been a subplot, as it contained little connection to When Calls the Heart’s stories. While one of the spin-off’s protagonists did appear in two of When Calls the Heart’s sixth season episodes, When Hope Calls survived for only one season.

2. What Movie Franchise Should’ve Stopped at 2?

For this question, I’ll say the All of My Heart series and the Christmas at Graceland series. With the All of My Heart series, the third movie should have been the sequel, as the second movie is just that forgettable. If you’ve never seen the All of My Heart movies, skip the second one altogether. Meanwhile, the Christmas at Graceland series should have never received a third film. The third installment, Christmas at Graceland: Home for the Holidays had nothing to do with the previous two stories. While I have never reviewed any of the All of My Heart movies on my blog, I have shared why I don’t like the third Christmas at Graceland movie. You can read my thoughts in my list of the worst movies of 2019.

The Top 10 Worst Movies I saw in 2019

3. What Fact From a Movie Will Change The Way You Look at it?

On several occasions, I’ve talked about the “studio intervention” that affected the production of The Crow: City of Angels. Had I not known that vital piece of information prior to watching the movie, my opinion on the project would have been very different. I also would have never cared whether or not the film’s Tim Pope cut ever got released. But I’m thankful I learned about the “studio intervention” before I saw The Crow: City of Angels, as it gave me an idea of why certain creative decisions were made. If you’d like to learn more about this “studio invention” I’m referring to, you can read my editorial on why the Tim Pope of The Crow: City of Angels should be released.

Why Now is the Perfect Time to Release the Tim Pope Cut of ‘The Crow: City of Angels’

4. What Movies Would Be Great From Another Perspective?

I actually have three answers for this question! From what I remember, Chel was very secretive about her past in The Road to El Dorado. If the movie had been from her perspective, we’d get to learn more about Chel’s backstory as well as the culture within El Dorado. While I love Atlantis: The Lost Empire, I think it would be interesting if it had been from Kida’s perspective. Parts of the story that take place in Atlantis, such as when Kida single-handedly creates Atlantis’ shield barrier, would have had a greater impact. In my review of The Crow, I talked about how the story was presented as a mystery. This made me think about how Vladimir and Dimitri are trying to solve a mystery throughout 1997’s Anastasia. If this movie had been a mystery where the audience has to discover Anya’s true identity alongside Vladimir and Dimitri, that would have been such an interesting and engaging experience!

5. What’s a Sign That a Movie is Going to be Bad?

I’ve heard that if a movie has red font in their title, then the movie is destined to fail. However, I’m not sure how accurate this information is.

Since I mentioned The Road to El Dorado and Atlantis: The Lost Empire in this list, I thought including this picture would be appropriate. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

6. What Movies Released Together are Basically the Same?

I said in my review of 1931’s Dracula that if you’ve seen Nosferatu, you’ve already seen Dracula. Therefore, these are the films I’m choosing for this question. If you’d like to hear my thoughts on both films, I’ll provide the links to them in this list.

Take 3: Nosferatu Review (A Month Without the Code — #1)

Take 3: Dracula (1931) Review + 180 Follower Thank You

7. What Franchise Was Milked/Is Being Milked Too Much?

I have three answers for this question. They are the following:

From 2008 to 2019, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has, for the most part, been a well-executed concept. Each character, story, and film was delivered at a specific time for a specific reason. After the release of Avengers: Endgame, it seems like Disney and Marvel are just desperate to keep their ship afloat. Instead of relying on a pre-created game plan, it feels like they are throwing anything and everything at a wall, in an attempt to find something that sticks. I haven’t seen any of Marvel’s projects post Avengers: Endgame. But based on what I’ve heard, the overall quality is much lower than the studio’s earlier entries.

If you’ve been following my blog, you would know that I stopped watching Hallmark’s Good Witch series after the premiere of Good Witch: Spellbound. Based on what I’ve heard from people who continued to watch the show until its end, the franchise was milked for so long and for so many times, that it strayed far away from its roots. In the first Good Witch movie, Jake’s children, Brandon and Lori, believed Cassie was a witch because strange things happened whenever she was near. But the possibility of Cassie actually being a witch was never alluded to, as the magic in the series had been figurative/intuitive. In the show’s last season, Cassie and her relatives admit they are witches and practice actual magic. What happened to the Good Witch series presents one of the dangers of keeping a particular story around longer than it was welcome.

Hallmark’s Christmas line-ups are the textbook definition of being “too much of a good thing”. While this is a collection of movies, not a franchise, the line-ups have become bigger than they should be. In the early years of ‘Countdown to Christmas’ and ‘Miracles of Christmas’, both of Hallmark’s networks released a limited number of movies. Because there were fewer offerings, it gave the movies an opportunity to possibly become classics. When an actor or actress was announced to star in a Christmas movie from Hallmark, it felt like they were joining an exclusive club. With Hallmark creating so many Christmas movies and showing them year-round, their event is now bloated. I, honestly, have my doubts that Hallmark can continue making these line-ups as highly anticipated as they once were.

8. What Movie are You Surprised That Hasn’t Had a Sequel Yet?

I’m actually surprised 1989’s Steel Magnolias has never received a sequel. It is one of those stories where if you were to revisit these characters and their world now, it would probably work. So much has changed since the theatrical release of Steel Magnolias, so I’d be interested in seeing how the characters live their lives in the 21st century. The sequel could also serve as a reunion with the return of the original movie’s cast.

9. What Plot Twist Made You Shout ‘Bullcrap’?

When I reviewed Yes, I Do three years ago, I said that Charlotte’s chocolate allergy was poorly written to the point of appearing very unrealistic. However, I never got into the specifics of how poorly written this part of the story was. Throughout the movie, Charlotte said she was allergic to chocolate, despite working in a chocolate factory. She claims that when she smells chocolate, she knows whether or not it will taste good. Toward the end of the movie, Charlotte eats a piece of chocolate, discovering her allergy has magically disappeared. Meanwhile, Nicole (Jessica Lowndes’ character), has a strawberry allergy that is written more realistically. She even has a serious reaction after she accidently eats a strawberry flavored piece of chocolate.

10. What Plot Twist Would You Add To a Movie to Mess with the Audience?

It took me a while to figure out what my answer would be for this question. But I’ve chosen Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar. Toward the end of that movie, Oliver proposes to Shane at Norman and Rita’s wedding reception. What would have made the fans of the series upset is if Oliver had thought about proposing to Shane at the reception, but then changed his mind at the last second, deciding to propose on another date instead. Since it’s been three years since Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar premiered, fans would have had to wait for any developments in Oliver and Shane’s relationship.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: To the Altar poster created by Crown Media Family Networks and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. Image found at https://www.crownmediapress.com/Shows/PRShowDetail?SiteID=143&FeedBoxID=845&NodeID=302&ShowType=series&ShowTitle=Signed%2c+Sealed%2c+Delivered+To+the+Altar

What are your thoughts on my list? How would you answer these questions? Tell me in the comment section!

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Top 10 Characters Ruined by Hallmark

I apologize for not posting any new content lately. I’ve been working on a personal project for my American Girl Instagram account, which has taken me longer than I expected. But I’m ready to get back in the saddle and continue with your regularly scheduled programming! I also plan to review the newest Martha’s Vineyard Mysteries film. However, I forgot to record it on the day of its premiere, so that review will be posted later than I had hoped. Recently, I watched a video on Youtube titled ‘disney ruined these characters and i’m mad about it’. Created by a Youtuber named Caitlin McKillop, this video discussed Disney Channel characters that were “ruined” over the course of their respective series. It made me think about all the characters from Hallmark that, I feel, were ruined at one point or another. For my list, “ruined” will mean characters who regressed in character development or were not given an opportunity to reach their full potential. None of my choices were picked out of disrespect, mean-spirit, or negativity. As I have mentioned in past lists, this article is based on my own opinion. The characters on my list and in the Dishonorable Mentions section are from movies, movie series, or television shows created by Hallmark.

Archaeological excavation of ancient ruins image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. Banner vector created by macrovector – www.freepik.com

Dishonorable Mentions

Juan Medina from After the Glory/An American Story, Barry Klemper from The Boys Next Door, Jace from The Music Teacher, Chideh from The Wild Girl, Matthew from The Valley of Light, every character from Back When We Were Grownups, Brett from Love in Winterland, Willow from Our Wild Hearts, Alex from Date with Love, Emma Graham from Love by the Book, Charlotte from Yes, I Do, Cowboy from A Painted House, every character from Firelight, Belinda Phillips and Dustin Cooper from Christmas Scavenger Hunt, Laurel Cooper and Clay Shepard from Wedding in Graceland, Blair from The Nine Lives of Christmas, Wil Fuller from Good Witch: Spellbound, Bree O’Brien from Chesapeake Shores, and Lauren from A Cheerful Christmas

10. Florence and Rose from The Magic of Ordinary Days

At first, I was going to put Jace from The Music Teacher in the number ten spot, as I found his transformation from bullied victim to a man who overcame his traumatic past a little too unbelievable. But the more I thought about how the creative team of The Magic of Ordinary Days glossed over the subject of Japanese internment camps, as well as missing out on a good opportunity to explore the theme of racial prejudice, I knew Florence and Rose had to be placed on this list. It’s been several years since I’ve seen The Magic of Ordinary Days. From what I remember, it felt like the sisters’ role in the story was to, simply, boost the protagonist. When one of the sisters received her own subplot, it primarily revolved around a romantic relationship that the audience knew wouldn’t lead anywhere because of where the man in that relationship was from. As I said in my article, ‘My Tier Rank List of Every Hallmark Hall of Fame Movie I’ve Seen!’, this movie is based on a book, one that I haven’t read. Therefore, I don’t know which parts of Florence and Rose’s story were true to the source material. What stings, though, is how these two characters weren’t given a chance to reach their full potential, especially in a collection of films where prominent Asian American stories are far and few between.

9. Jess O’Brien from Chesapeake Shores

In the first episode of Chesapeake Shores’ third season, Jess said how she had to deal with a lot of horrible things in her life, but was able to live with those parts of her life because they were secret. Jess has also mentioned dealing with PTSD. But as the show progressed, those parts of Jess’s life were never explored. Instead, more emphasis was placed on Jess’s love for David. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it does put a hindrance on her potential for growth. With Chesapeake Shores receiving a fifth season, I hope Jess’s past is incorporated more into her story.

8. Kevin O’Brien from Chesapeake Shores

Within the first season of Chesapeake Shores, Kevin was shown displaying PTSD-like symptoms. Even though he claimed he didn’t have PTSD, Kevin was clearly dealing with some personal issues. Similar to Jess, Kevin’s issues were not brought up throughout the show. What made me put Kevin in the eighth place on this list is how he and Sarah were not given the wedding of their dreams because Chesapeake Shores’ fourth season contained only six episodes. Because Kevin was the first character from the main cast to get married, it feels like the show’s fans were cheated out of witnessing Chesapeake Shores history unfold. Hopefully, the show’s creative team makes up for this in season five.

7. Shane McInerney from Signed, Sealed, Delivered

The way Shane’s story has played out in this series is similar to Angela’s story from Bones. At the start of their respective series, each character was given a piece of their identity that set them apart from the other characters. For Angela, it was her passion for art. For Shane, it was her affinity for all things technological. But as time went on, these pieces were either ignored or morphed into something else. Angela’s passion for art evolved into exclusively utilizing technology. Meanwhile, Shane’s love for technology was abandoned. Out of the four main characters from Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I feel like Shane’s backstory was explored the least. From what I remember, the only time Shane’s backstory was highlighted was in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: The Impossible Dream. If Hallmark decides to continue this film series, I hope Shane receives a little more attention in the script.

6. Nathan Grant from When Calls the Heart

Having the same occupation and looking similar to Jack Thornton doesn’t help Nathan, driving home the idea of being the late Mountie’s replacement. His involvement in the love triangle just made things worse. Whenever I think of Nathan, his desperate attempts to win over Elizabeth’s heart overshadow all of his good qualities. Since the love triangle has lasted as long as Nathan has appeared on the show, this has prevented the audience from seeing Nathan as his own person. Now that this event is over, Nathan’s positive attributes will hopefully be highlighted more throughout season nine.

Group of unhappy image created by Rawpixel.com at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by rawpixel.com – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

5. Elizabeth Thornton from When Calls the Heart

You could make the argument that Elizabeth has always been entitled. However, from season one to most of season five, that entitlement was masked under a veil of sincerity. One example is when Elizabeth forbade her sister, Julie, from seeing Jack’s brother, Tom. But when Jack passed away, that veil disintegrated, making Elizabeth more self-centered. There are several examples I could give to illustrate my point. But the one I will use is how, toward the end of season eight, Elizabeth unnecessarily snapped at Rosemary when Rosemary tried to give Elizabeth advice. Elizabeth apologizes to Rosemary in the season eight finale, but it feels like she apologized just so Rosemary could listen to her problems. Similar to what I said about Nathan, the love triangle did Elizabeth no favors. She claimed she didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or give anyone the wrong idea, even though she ended up doing both of those things. I’d like to think Elizabeth will change at least some of her ways in season nine. Since she has acted this way for so long, though, I’m not holding my breath.

4. George O’Hanrahan from Good Witch

In the movie series, George was the glue that kept his family together. It was also nice when he fell in love with Gwen, allowing him to have his own subplot. But when Good Witch converted into a television show, Gwen was no longer in the picture. This took away the only subplot George had, as well as leaving the audience with no explanation for Gwen’s disappearance. What adds insult to injury is how he regressed into a vulnerable and gullible man. The change in George’s character makes him appear as a stereotypical version of who he used to be. Because older adults are usually given smaller roles in Hallmark shows, it’s disappointing to see Good Witch not give George the quality story he deserves.

3. Martha Tinsdale from Good Witch

Martha’s personality, in the movie series, was not for everyone. Determined and head-strong, Martha was almost always talking about how great Blairsville was or how Blairsville has more to offer than Middleton. But the reason why she did this was because she saw the potential her town had. She encouraged others to care about their neighborhood in an attempt to help them see Middleton the way she saw it. No matter what she said or did, Martha was never mean or a bully. That changed when the Good Witch television show reached its third season. In an episode where the Middleton Theater was about to open, Martha bullied Stephanie into not serving gourmet popcorn because Martha didn’t like the idea. I was taken aback by how Martha treated Stephanie, as this was completely different from the Martha I had come to know. Martha’s character development was complex, but the show’s writers oversimplified it to the point of watering it down.

2. Abigail Pershing from Good Witch

Abigail was one of my favorite characters from this series because of how complex she was. While she was different from Cassie, it’s not as simple as comparing these characters to the Wicked Witch of the West and Glenda. Abigail did things that Cassie would not normally do. But when the audience learned why Abigail did these things, they realized Abigail had the right reasons for doing them. In the movie, Good Witch Halloween, Abigail entered the Halloween Queen contest, the same contest Stephanie entered. Abigail knew how much Stephanie wanted that title, so she became Stephanie’s rival in order to make Stephanie work for what she wanted instead of expecting to receive the title like in years past. While the rivalry in this movie made sense, it felt pointless within the rest of the series. Both characters appear immature, with Abigail becoming meaner. Like Martha’s character development, Abigail’s character development was oversimplified. Just thinking about how much Abigail has regressed breaks my heart.

1. Cassie Nightingale from Good Witch

Cassie is, singlehandedly, what made this series so special. She was the embodiment of what makes a great character; carrying good morals and showing the audience how anyone can make a difference. But as the show went on, Cassie became a shell of who she used to be. In one episode from season three, one of Cassie’s friends suggested Cassie should be less like herself. This statement is the problem with the Good Witch television show: Cassie isn’t like the Cassie I had come to be a fan of for almost a decade. What makes things worse is how Cassie doesn’t make as many contributions to the story as she did in the movie series. In fact, when I think back to Good Witch: Spellbound, I can’t recall Cassie doing anything significant within the plot. If I had known this is what would happen to one of my favorite characters, I would have objected the conversion from movie series to television show.

Adhesive bandage image created by aopsan at freepik.com. Background photo created by aopsan – www.freepik.com

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

When Creativity is Squandered: The Wasted Potential on Hallmark’s Good Witch

If you’ve read my list of the Top 10 Worst Hallmark Movies of All Time, you would know that Good Witch: Spellbound is in the Top 3. I disliked this movie so much, that I chose to stop watching the Good Witch television show. But something caused me to tune in to the most recent episode. What was this, you ask? Well, it was the inclusion of a royal character. This was the first time when a royal character has ever been featured on any of Hallmark’s television shows, so I was curious to see who would portray this character and what kind of subplot they would be given. However, I was hesitant about getting my hopes up. The third season of Good Witch and Good Witch: Spellbound left a bad taste in my mouth, due to the screen-writing that, in my opinion, was terrible. Still, I gave this episode a fair chance and hoped that the creative team behind this show would do something special with this particular “first” in Hallmark history. There were even factors leading up to this episode that led me to believe that this aspect of the episode would be handled with special attention. As you’re reading this, you’re probably wondering why I would talk about this, despite the fact that I no longer watch Good Witch. I feel that my experience is one that can be relatable among my readers and followers. We’ve all felt disappointed, at least once in our lives, about “wasted potential” within a creative project. This post is about just that; me being disappointed about the creative decisions found in this episode of Good Witch. Because this is not an episode re-cap, I will only talk about the subplot involving the royal character, which will include spoilers. I will also document the factors that made me believe that this specific story would be handled better than it was. Now, let’s discuss this episode and the royal disappointment it was.

Screenshot_20190621-173612_IMDb[1]
In this screenshot that I took on my cellphone, there were only four cast members listed on the official cast list for Good Witch’s episode “The Prince”. The cast list was featured on IMDB. This screenshot was taken on June 21st, two days prior to the episode’s release date. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
Recently, when I was visiting Hallmark Channel’s website, I saw an advertisement for the latest episode of Good Witch on their main page. My level of excitement came to fruition when I saw that this episode was called “The Prince”. As I’ve already stated, this was the first time a royal character had ever been featured in any television show from Hallmark. So, I was looking forward to watching Hallmark Channel history in the making. In the commercial for this episode, the actor who was to portray the prince was nowhere to be found. I figured this was because of one of two reasons: a.) because the story would be an afterthought compared to the other stories within the episode or b.) the actor portraying the prince was such a big deal, that the creative team behind Good Witch wanted to keep his identity a secret in an attempt to surprise their audience and fans with their choice of casting. I chalked this decision up to the latter, especially considering the factors that I’m about to share. Leading up to the episode, the actor portraying Henry, who is the titular prince, was not listed on Good Witch’s IMDB cast list. This actor’s name was also not mentioned in the episode’s official synopsis that was featured on Crown Media Family Networks’ website. Speaking of the synopsis, whenever Henry was mentioned in the episode description, the statement was always brief. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:

 

From the official Good Witch episode guide on Hallmark Channel’s website: “Cassie plays host to Henry, a dashing stranger…”

 

From the Crown Media Family Networks’ website: “Cassie hosts a guest with a surprising secret”

 

“When shocking news emerges about the visiting royal, though, he risks hurting someone he’s grown to care for”

 

Based on everything I’ve just said, I predicted that Henry’s “secret” was that he was Cassie or Abigail’s long-lost brother. That way, the show could have introduced a male family member to the Merriwick family and Grace could have had a new uncle become a part of her life. If this was where the story went, it, possibly, would have encouraged me to give Good Witch a second chance. But, if you remember what I said in the introduction, I was disappointed by the “wasted potential” that was actually featured in this episode.

20190623_2200281.jpg
In this screenshot that I took with my cellphone, the official synopsis that is featured on Crown Media Family Networks’ website discusses the various subplots within this episode. As you can see, the actor portraying the prince was not mentioned in this synopsis. Meanwhile, other actors featured in this episode have their names listed next to their character names. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Because of the screen-writing associated with Good Witch’s third season and Good Witch: Spellbound, I had a feeling that the screen-writing in “The Prince” would probably be less-than-stellar. I also predicted what would likely happen on the episode. However, I was hoping that the creative team behind this show would prove me wrong. I watched this entire episode with an open mind and I gave it the fairest of chances. When Henry and his story were introduced on-screen, however, I was, unfortunately, proven right. Everything about this story was a blatant rehash of every single royal themed movie that Hallmark has ever made up until this point. You had the same generic British guy from the same generic, fictional European country that has a name ending with the letter “a”. You also had the same generic, romantic relationship between generic British guy and small-town, American woman. As for Henry’s “secret”, it was the same kind of secret that has been included in almost every Hallmark royal themed film: he’s a prince who didn’t want to be treated differently because of his royal title. There was even a part of the subplot about Henry wanting to go against tradition because he fell in love with a woman that’s not from a royal family. As disappointed as I was by this lack of creativity, I honestly can’t say that I’m surprised. This story felt lazily crafted, like the creative team behind Good Witch didn’t even try to apply any amount of creativity or imagination to this story. The entire execution of this concept was very poor, especially considering that this was a “first” in Hallmark television history.

20190623_215955[1]
In this screenshot from my cellphone, the official episode synopsis is featured on Good Witch‘s official page on Crown Media Family Networks’ website. From the first line, it’s clear that this sentence about the prince’s subplot is very brief. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
I love Hallmark, hence the reason why I talk about it on 18 Cinema Lane. I want their movies and shows to be the best that they can be. However, when a Hallmark project doesn’t reach its full potential, I will be honest about my feelings and opinions related to that project. This was my intention for bringing up my experience of watching this episode of Good Witch. Henry and his story could have been really good, with the potential for this story to be revisited in future episodes. Unfortunately, all of the potential this particular story had was wasted on a script that was poorly written. It also doesn’t help that it was also competing with about five other subplots. This example of “wasted potential” represents a pattern that has been common among Hallmark’s various projects. It’s understandable that Hallmark has an image that they’d like to uphold. But it feels like Hallmark puts so much focus on upholding this image, that they’re afraid of taking creative risks and thinking outside the box. I’m hoping that the disappointing results of this subplot from “The Prince” encourages the various creative teams at Hallmark to go out of their way to go against the grain and move out of their comfort zone. This doesn’t have to be frequently done, but enough to keep stories on Hallmark interesting and engaging.

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen