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It's 1950s Washington State. Fisherman Carl Heine's body is found. Japanese fisherman Kabuo Miyamoto is accused of the murder. Sheriff Art Moran (Richard Jenkins) and prosecutor Alvin Hooks (James Rebhorn) lead the prosecution. Nels Gudmundsson (Max von Sydow) is the defense lawyer. Judge Fielding (James Cromwell) presides over the court. Ishmael Chambers (Ethan Hawke) is the only reporter in this small town. He's a returning vet with only one arm who still loves Kazuo's wife Hatsue from his childhood. In flashbacks, Ishmael and Hatsue struggle against war paranoia. Ishmael's father Arthur Chambers (Sam Shepard) is hounded for supporting the Japanese in his newspaper.It's got the snowy romantic moody atmosphere. However it lives too much off of it. The murder mystery is given short shrift. While watching the movie, I kept wanting the case be presented in a coherent way. The romance, the operatic style, and the prejudice are important but they keep getting into the way of the trial and investigation. This needs a short section where Sheriff Moran explains the case against Kabuo in a neat tidy package.

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"Despite the Falling Snow" from 2016 is a well-produced film with very good music and a good cast, including Rebecca Ferguson in a dual role as Lauren and her Aunt Katya.The story is told in flashback. Lauren, an excellent artist, has been invited to show in the new Russia. She intends to go, despite her Uncle Alexander's (Charles Dance) protests. Lauren knows she bears a strong resemblance to Alexander's wife, Katya, whom he left behind in Russia - unwillingly. She wants to know what happened to her aunt.Alexander, Katya, and Mischa (Anthony Head) were all spies in the Soviet Union in the 1960s. Katya meets Sasha at a cocktail party. She is encouraged by her handler, Mischa (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), to cultivate Sasha. While she pretends to be an avowed Communist, Katya hates the Communists for killing her parents and is spying for the U. S. Mischa believes that Sasha will have some good information for her to pass along.However, Katya falls in love with Sasha and marries him - not what Masha had planned! Does as told. But, what starts as espionage ends in Katya falling hard for the personable and handsome Misha, as he also loves her, and marrying him, much to Misha's dismay. Complications arise.I found this story slow, and I also realized immediately it wasn't filmed in Russia, and that no one involved with the production knew much about Russia. First of all, it's quite cold there. These people are walking around with woolen coats, scarves jauntily around their necks, and little wool hats. And the clothes were wrong. Not believable.There was a complaint that the Russians spoke with British accents. I have a question - did you expect them to speak English with a Russian accent? How about that they're speaking Russian, and a British accent, used in Chekov and many other Russian stories, is completely appropriate.The film moved slowly. The acting was good. I just couldn't get swept up in the story.

Smilla Jaspersen (Julia Ormond) is a loner living in Copenhagen who befriends a young Inuit boy from Greenland. He's unwanted and one day he falls off the roof of their apartment to his death. Nobody cares except Smilla. Only her sense of snow convinces her that he was murdered. Her investigation dives deeper and deeper into intrigue and danger.This has great atmosphere. I absolutely love the desolate tone of the snowy north and of Smilla's life. Julia Ormond really personify the iciness of this world. It's moodiness really pushing the story into a great mystery. But it does get into unrealistic territory. It's not so much a mystery rather as an action adventure. The ending in the ice really made the whole thing too outlandish. The mood of the earlier parts are lost.

A tabloid reporter (Katrina Law) trying to get a scoop on a Kennedyesque family winds up meeting one of the rich single sons (Jordan Belfi), lies to him about who she is so she can get the story, then falls in love with him and feels bad about her revolting career choice. If there was ever a Hallmark romcom that was propped up by one person, it would be this one. Katrina Law is the only thing about this that isn't completely forgettable. Having seen her playing tough chicks in the Spartacus and Arrow TV shows, it was nice to see her tackle a romantic comedy role. Still a tough chick (of sorts) but a different kind. But there's only so much she can do here as the predictability of the script (this is Hallmark, after all) and the unlikable nature of many of the characters works against her. Plus there's this skeevy undertone to so much of this. The lying, the scumbag tabloid press, the guy dating his brother's gold-digging ex, etc. It's just not much fun to watch, despite Katrina Law doing her best to keep things light.

Ellen Langford (Eliza Taylor) is a rich party girl who creates salacious newspaper headlines. Her father has had enough. To prove to him she is fit to inherit the family business, she is sent on a bus with $100 to deliver and a special Christmas letter to her dad's former partner in the small town of Snow Falls which has no mobile phone signal. Ellen cannot tell anyone who she really is.Her suitcase is run over by the local cabbie and innkeeper Jake Collins (Jake Lacy) who once spent some time in New York but he did not like the big city life. Ellen is stranded in the town during a snowstorm. She works in the inn to make some money, learns how to bake with the help of Jake's aunt. Ellen after spending some time in Snow Falls has a different outlook in life and falls for Jake despite being engaged.Although made by Netflix this is not too far removed from the Hallmark Christmas cookie cutter formula. Ellen and Jake give appealing performances but it all too syrupy. A sugar laced romance with the subtext of you have to go to a small town to find the true meaning of life.

Will never tire of Christmas, it is always been special to me and my favourite time of year and always will be. It is not just all the fond memories of being with family and doing the usual festive traditions but also the atmosphere of it all, it is just wonderful reliving the charm and nostalgia every year.There was one main reason for watching 'Christmas Inheritance'. That being wanting to see more festive films, and ones different to the ones familiar with, adored and watched every year. Sadly, although 'Christmas Inheritance' is not one of the worst festive films seen it is really quite weak, even when taking it for what it was and trying to be (really did try honestly) it ended up feeling like a typical cheesy comedy romance with a few but not many merits. Despite how that sounds, that is not meant to imply that there is a personal bias against this type of film, there are some good to great ones out there. They do however have traps, and they are all fallen into here.Good things there are but they are overshadowed by how much wrong there is with the film. There is a real festive charm to how 'Christmas Inheritance' looks, it's beautifully shot and the locations are even lovelier. This festive charm can be heard aurally too, with an infectiously catchy soundtrack that does get one into the Christmas spirit.Most of the actors, more the support than the leads, do their best too, they at least try and don't look bored or go too histrionic. With such wanting material, that is a miracle.Unfortunately, 'Christmas Inheritance' falls well short on all its genre elements. The romance suffers from a complete lack of chemistry between the leads and from being completely bland, with especially cheesy dialogue that doesn't flow and a rather impossible to root for protagonist. Neither of the leads came over as believable to me, the main character has no charm or likeability and the male lead overdoes the goofiness, it's hard to see what the characters see in each other. The comedy throughout felt forced and limply timed and over-sentimentality and gone-off cheese are far from kept at bay, the film is practically covered in it and at its worst it is hard to stomach. None of the cliched characters are interesting and are instead annoying, any attempts at development for the main character is so rushed and her change is not believable at all when she is so difficult to endear to for most of the film.Only fleetingly, and even those fleeting moments are pretty small, does 'Christmas Inheritance' have any degree of charm or heart. It then is further hurt by everything being easily foreseeable long before it happens due to being done so many times before. Then going so over-the-top straining credibility, with far too many glaring story lapses, that it becomes increasingly far-fetched before being completely unrealistic. The direction is routine at best.All in all, weak, very cheesy and totally charmless and unengaging. 3/10 Bethany Cox

It's a Christmas movie. I don't understand why people are taking it too seriously. It's sappy and snowy and predictable, defiantly not masterpiece material, but still a cozy romantic movie to watch during the holidays. I'd defiantly recommend it if, you're looking for that kind of warm movie. 041b061a72

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