Take 3: Christmas on the Coast Review

Back in May, I reviewed an INSP film called County Line. I chose to review this movie because I wanted to help this network’s films receive their “standing ovation”. Within this review, I said that I would review Christmas on the Coast when it was released. Six months later, this movie has finally premiered! This means that it’s now time for me to review Christmas on the Coast. As much as I was looking forward to the film, I will admit that my expectations for it were low. This was, mainly, because the film’s plot sounded like a typical Hallmark movie. However, I stilled watch this film with an open mind. What did I think of Christmas on the Coast? Set sail through this review if you want to find out!

Christmas on the Coast poster
Christmas on the Coast poster created by INSP Films and INSP Network. Image found at https://www.insp.com/pressroom/christmas-on-the-coast-earns-seal-of-approval/

Things I liked about the film:

The acting: I thought the cast of Christmas on the Coast was really talented! All of the acting performances in this movie were such a highlight for this film! Everyone brought so much emotion and versatility to their roles, making all of the portrayals captivating to watch. When I first found out that Bonnie Bedelia had been cast in this movie, I was so excited to see her performance in the film, especially after seeing her portrayal of Joy in A Joyous Christmas. After I watched this movie, I felt that Bonnie did a really good job portraying Dru’s mother, Ellie! I also thought Cait Pool really shined in this movie as she portrayed the character of Peyton. Bonnie, Peyton, and the other actors in this film are those that I’d like to see appear in any type of Hallmark project!

 

The scenery: According to IMDB, Christmas on the Coast was filmed in the state of Georgia, specifically in the areas of Darien and St. Simons Island. While watching this film, I thought that the natural landscapes featured within the movie were great to look at! I also think that the scenery was captured really well on film. To me, the scene where Dru was at the beach while a sunset was in the sky was beautifully filmed!

 

The on-screen chemistry: While Julie Ann Emery and Burgess Jenkins each pulled off a good performance within Christmas on the Coast, I also thought that they pulled off a good acting performance as a pair. As the film progressed, it truly felt like Dru and Brysen’s relationship was growing over-time. Julie and Burgess’ performance appeared so believable on-screen, giving the impression that their characters really came to care about each other.

Merry Christmas Card
Blue sparkly Christmas tree image created by Macrovector at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/frame”>Frame vector created by Macrovector – Freepik.com</a>. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/merry-christmas-card_2875396.htm’>Designed by Macrovector</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

Too many quick-cuts: In Christmas on the Coast, there were several images of stock footage that were used to introduce a scene. These images were featured in-between scenes and were sometimes used as a transition from one scene to another. When these images were shown, they appeared a little too quickly on-screen. This didn’t give me, as an audience member, enough time to get a good look at what was featured in these images.

 

The lighting: In some scenes that were filmed outdoors, I noticed that the lighting looked darker than in scenes that were filmed in buildings and homes. At one point, I honestly thought something was wrong with my television.

 

Lack of subplots: While watching Christmas on the Coast, I was disappointed when I found out that the only plot within the film was the main plot. Before I watched the movie, I had expected, at least, two subplots to be included alongside the main plot. Even when Dru decided to join her mother’s Christmas event planning committee, I though that a subplot would emerge and take shape as the movie went on. Unfortunately, that never happened.

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Good sailing day image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/summer-landscape-with-a-houselight-and-a-boat_866882.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/design”>Design vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

I really enjoyed Christmas on the Coast! It improved upon the things that I didn’t like about County Line, such as having a good pace and utilizing the talent of everyone within the main cast. Yes, this movie did remind me of a Hallmark movie. However, it reminded me of a Hallmark movie that was good in quality. Although INSP doesn’t make a lot of movies, especially those that are Christmas themed, I think the network has what it takes to create films that are memorable and have a lasting impact. Hopefully, INSP will be encouraged to make more movies as time goes on. In a day and age when several networks compete against each other to be crowned the most watched network during the Christmas season, INSP definitely deserves to have their voice heard. This network definitely has a unique perspective that can bring something creative and special to the table.

 

Overall score: 8 out of 10

 

Have you seen any of INSP’s films? Would you like to see this network continue to make movies? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Take 3: County Line Review

INSP Network does not make films often. In fact, only four films have been released since the network started making movies in 2015. One of these films is County Line. The reason why I chose to review this film is because, as a movie-viewer, I wanted to support INSP Network’s creative efforts. While I haven’t seen Christmas in the Smokies, I have watched Heritage Falls and most of Savannah Sunrise. Personally, I enjoyed Heritage Falls more than Savannah Sunrise. But where does INSP Network’s newest film rank? Let’s crack the case in my review of County Line!

County Line poster
County Line poster created by INSP Films and INSP Network. Image found at http://www.insp.com/movies/county-line/

Things I liked about the film:

  • The acting: The acting in County Line was good. However, the three strongest performers in this film were Tom Wopat, Jeff Fahey, and Patricia Richardson. Both Tom and Jeff gave performances that were well-rounded and versatile. Also, their portrayals of Alden and Cliff seemed very believable. Patricia’s performance was a delight in this film, with her character, Maddie, being very likable.

 

  • The mystery: In County Line, the mystery was engaging. What was great about it was that it not only allowed the viewers to solve the mystery alongside Alden, but to also experience the mystery and the events surrounding it alongside Alden as well. This makes viewers feel like they are taking a journey, with Alden at their side.

 

  • The cinematography: There was some really good cinematography in this film. One example is when there is a shot of the Intensive Care Unit doors followed by a shot of Alden’s left hand. Without the use of dialogue, this was a good way to remind viewers of what Alden had gone through in earlier scenes. It also helped viewers to understand Alden’s motives and feelings through the use of these visuals.
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Sheriff badge image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/brown-cowboy-label-set_1543252.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/vintage”>Vintage vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

What I didn’t like about the film:

  • The pace: My biggest problem with County Line was the pace. For a movie that has an engaging mystery and some action in it, the pace was really slow. Because of this, it made scenes feel like they are drawn out longer than they were intended to be.

 

  • Too many establishing shots: Before a scene would officially start, there were several establishing shots, sometimes five or more, that came before it. While establishing shots are a necessary component to any film, some of the establishing shots in County Line were pointless. Because of the previously mentioned pace, these shots felt like they were drawn out for too long and given too much emphasis.

 

  • The under-utilization of Patricia Richardson: While Patricia was one of the strongest performers in this movie, she didn’t have as many appearances as I had expected. Even though she is the top-billed actress in County Line, she is only in about four or five scenes throughout the entire film. Also, Patricia’s character, Maddie, did not have as big of a significance in the film as I had thought she would. Because of the movie’s synopsis, I had assumed that Maddie was going to solve the mystery alongside Alden. Sadly, this was not the case.
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Diner image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/american-vintage-restaurant-hand-drawn_902205.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My overall impression:

At best, County Line is ok. Even though there was a good cast involved and an engaging mystery, the pace prevented this movie from reaching its full potential. However, I do respect what INSP Films was trying to accomplish with this movie, as well as the stories and messages they were trying to tell. For this, I will continue to support INSP Network as they work to create quality, original films. According to the official website for INSP Films, they have an upcoming film called Christmas on the Coast! While INSP Films has not made any official announcements about when the movie will premiere on INSP Network, I will definitely support the film and review it for 18 Cinema Lane!

 

Overall score: 6 out of 10

 

Have you seen County Line? What is your favorite INSP film? Tell me what you think in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

Link to the County Line movie page: http://www.insp.com/movies/county-line/?=top_nav

Link to the County Line movie website: http://countylinemovie.com/?utm_source=insp_com&utm_medium=movies&utm_campaign=county_line

Link to the INSP Films website: http://www.inspfilms.com/