Turkey Hollow Is 2015’s Best New Holiday Movie

Courtesy:  Lionsgate

Courtesy: Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s new Thanksgiving movie Turkey Hollow is this year’s best new holiday offering. This movie, originally crafted by Jerry Juhl and the late, great Jim Henson, is a must have for every single family not just this year but every year. It proves this centrally through its writing. This includes not just the story presented within the script but the script’s dialogue and even the feeling of the story presented throughout. That will all be discussed shortly. It is just one way in which Turkey Hollow proves itself to be such an impressive movie. Being that Turkey Hollow is a TV movie instead of a big screen feature, its transitions are just as important to note in its presentation as its writing. That will be discussed at more length later. Last but hardly least of note here is the work of the movie’s cast. From veteran actress Mary Steenburgen’s ecclectic Aunt Cly to rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges’ own comic portrayal as the story’s on-screen narrator, to that of Cly’s nephew Ron and his kids Annie and Tim, the cast’s work in front of the camera rounds out the movie’s most important elements. Even Sheriff Grover (Reese Alexander) offers his own share of laughs. That is not to ignore the work of the movie’s makeup and costume department either. Thanks to their work, Cly looks somewhat akin to famed singer Cher. And Linden Banks, who portrays the vile Eldridge Slump, looks every part the evil old money-grubbing persona. Whether for the work that was put in to bring each actor’s character to life, for the cast’s work, the editors (in regards to the movie’s transitions) or for those responsible for the movie’s script, all of the noted elements play their own important part to the whole of this movie. Altogether, they make Turkey Hollow the single-best new holiday movie of 2015 hands down.

Turkey Hollow is the single-best new holiday movie of 2015. This movie, which originally aired on Lifetime over the weekend, will be available Tuesday, November 24th in stores and online. For those that were not lucky enough to see the movie in its original broadcast this past Saturday, there is so much to like about it beginning with its writing. This includes not only the movie’s script but its dialogue and the very feel of the story presented within that script. Jim Henson and Jerry Juhl’s script is so important to the movie’s overall writing thanks in large part to its simplicity. It sees a divorced father–Ron Emmerson (Jay Harrington–American Reunion, Better Off Ted, Benched) bringing his kids Annie (Genevieve Buechner–The Final Cut, Caprica, Jennifer’s Body) and Tim (Graham Verchere–A Girl’s Best Friend, Perfect Match, Impastor) to visit Ron’s ecclectic aunt–Cly (Mary Steenburgen–Back To The Future Part III, The Proposal, Step Brothers) after a family shakeup–a divorce. Anyone that saw the movie will get that joke. While there, Tim ends up getting into trouble and bringing to a head a years-long fued between Cly and her vile farmer neighbor Eldridge Slump (Linden Banks–Deep Rising, Antitrust, Wind Chill). Thanks to Tim’s curiosity, Slump is able to threaten Cly, telling her that he can take her farm. It is a variation of a classic story. But it is still original in that it isn’t just the standard old school story of a person/family trying to hold onto a farm. The story’s execution is what makes it so wonderfully enjoyable. There are some friendly little magical forest animals who lend a hand along the way and who also reveal to Tim and Annie the truth behind Turkey Hollow’s legendary Howling Hoodoo. Yes, that is really what it is called. And it is such a silly name that one can’t help but smile every time that one says its name. The occasional cutaways to narrator Chris “Ludacris” Bridges offers even more enjoyment to the script. It shows that neither Juhl nor Henson (may he rest in peace) took themselves seriously in crafting this script. Rather they had so much fun in creating it. In turn , audiences will have just as much fun in watching it. It is all just one part of what makes the writing behind Turkey Hollow such a strong point of the movie.

The script that lies at the center of Turkey Hollow’s writing is clearly among the most important aspects of the movie’s enjoyment. It is just one element of the writing that makes the writing (and the movie in whole) so enjoyable, too. The dialogue incorporated into the movie is just as important to the movie’s whole as the movie’s story. Being a Jim Henson story, there is not a single foul word to be heard anywhere in the movie. That being the case, one can only wonder why it received a TV-PG rating. Audiences will love hearing Annie complain, like the typical teenager that she is, about not having internet access while at Turkey Hollow or even television. Her complaints are even accompanied by the use of the term “hashtag.” On the opposite side, there is Tim and his wide-eyed optimism and interest in everything. Audiences will love the pair’s back and forth when they meet Squonk, Zorp, Burble, and Thring. And yes, those are in fact the names of the monsters. Again, much as with a Dr. Seuss story, the names are so silly that they will put just as much of a smile on audiences’ faces. Audiences will love hearing Annie ask Tim incredulously about his ability to suddenly speak the language of their new furry friends. His reaction to her questioning is just as classic. It won’t be given away. But it will have audiences laughing just as much as her question. There is also the dialogue between Cly and Sheriff Grover to note in regards to the dialogue. Sheriff Grover trying to hide his feelings for Cly are great. that’s just because he gets so tongue-tied as he tries to maintain his professionalism around her. And of course what great family movie would be complete without the hilarious lines from the evil villain’s bumbling henchmen? There are plenty of laughs from their lines as from any of the movie’s other dialogue. There are so many other examples that could be cited to show just how important the dialogue is to the movie’s writing. Of course there is nowhere near enough time to discuss every one of the movie’s lines. That being the case it can be said that the examples noted here show in their own way just how entertaining the script’s dialogue proves to be just as important to Turkey Hollow’s overall writing as the movie’s script and its presentation to the presentation of the movie in whole.

The script and dialogue presented throughout Turkey Hollow are both equally important to the whole of the movie’s writing as already noted in-depth. For all of the importance of said elements, the story’s look plays just as important of a role in the writing. Audiences will note in watching this movie a presentation that wasn’t written to look or even feel like so many other big screen holiday features or movies in general. It looks and feels just like Henson’s classic creature features (of sorts). From the backdrops to the shooting style, to the very fact that it used actual hand-made puppets instead of CG creatures, everything about the look and feel of this movie makes it one that every audience should see. It proves convincingly that there is still just as much of a place in the movie making business as there is for CG if not more so. It shows that a movie doesn’t need CG and other special effect or even big sets and other cosmetic elements in order to be enjoyable. It rounds out the ways in which the movie’s writing shows itself to be so important to its overall presentation. All three elements together show clearly why Turkey Hollow’s writing is so important to the movie’s presentation in whole. Of course even considering all three elements, there is even more that could be considered such as the themes of parenting’s trials and triumphs, family dynamics, and even possible hidden messages about nature versus business and so much more. There is nowhere near enough time to delve into all of that. So we will rest it all in saying that considering those additional topics and those more directly noted here, the writing that went into Turkey Hollow proves without a shadow of a doubt to be rock solid. it makes a solid foundation on which the rest of the movie’s elements rest comfortably.

Turkey Hollow’s writing is a hugely important piece of the movie’s overall presentation. Just watching this standout family friendly holiday movie, this is obvious. Even as important as the movie’s writing proves to be to the whole of the story’s presentation, the story’s transitions should not be ignored, either in their importance. It is a minor element to consider on the surface. But in the grand scheme of things it proves truly important to note. That is because the movie is a TV movie rather than a big screen feature. Audiences that were lucky enough to see the movie in its Lifetime premiere this past weekend will note that there were obviously commercial breaks which ended up making the movie a full two-hour presentation. Without those breaks, that run time is cut down by half an hour. So why is this important to note? It is important to note because the movie is presented in exactly the same fashion in its DVD presentation as it was on television. The breaks (the story’s transition points) in the DVD’s presentation are set in exactly the same spots as they were in the movie’s television presentation. What this means is that audiences get the piece of mind knowing that they got in the movie’s TV premiere the full, unabridged version of the movie. And they get the same presentation on DVD. Nothing has been changed in the transfer from Lifetime to DVD. That makes for even more enjoyment for audiences with each watch. It still is not the last of the movie’s key notable elements. The work of the movie’s cast is just as important as the movie’s writing and its transitions to the movie’s overall presentation.

The writing behind Turkey Hollow and its transitions in regards to its TV broadcast versus its DVD presentation collectively make for plenty of enjoyment among audiences of all ages. For all of the enjoyment that each element generates, they are not the only ways in which this movie proves itself to be such a great holiday movie. The work of the cast in terms of each member’s portrayal is just as important to the whole of Turkey Hollow’s presentation as the movie’s writing and its transitions. Veteran actress Mary Steenburgen leads the cast as the eccentric Aunt Cly. She is great in her handling of Cly’s modern-day hippie persona. At no point does Steenburgen ever try to ham it up in her role. She [Cly] is so reserved in her character. Yet there is still a certain fire inside her that alongside that reserved nature makes her so entertaining to watch. And that is thanks to Steenburgen’s professional take on the character. Genevieve Buechner and Graham Verchere are just as entertaining as Annie and Tim. The pair really comes across as a brother and sister. That speaks volumes in regards to . the duo’s on-screen chemistry. On a related note, rapper Chris “Ludacris” Bridges is just as enjoyable as the movie’s narrator. While he may not be on screen nearly as much as his cast mates he is still wholly entertaining in his role. It’s tough to put fully into words what makes his portrayal so entertaining. But it can be said that the attitude that he portrays in the studio and on stage plays a part in that entertainment. He uses that same attitude but in a different fashion. The end result is a character that has some edge but is still a great standard narrator at the same time. Linden Banks and his henchmen are just as entertaining on the other side of the story. They are classic villains that audiences will love to root against and at whom they will love to laugh just as much in their bumbling. Together with the work of Steenburgen and the others, the work of Turkey Hollow’s cast in whole makes the movie’s presentation even more fun for the whole family. Together with the movie’s writing and its transitions, Turkey Hollow proves in the end to be a movie that every family should see this and every holiday season. As a matter of fact, all things considered, Turkey Hollow shows in the end to be this year’s best new holiday movie.

Turkey Hollow is a simple movie. But there is so much that went into bringing this movie to life. Its writing is extremely in-depth. Its scene transitions on DVD are the same as they were on television. This means that audiences get the same presentation on DVD as they did on television. The work of the movie’s cast rounds out the movie’s most important elements. The work of the movie’s cast will put a smile on every audience’s face. Of course one shouldn’t ignore the work of the movie’s makeup and costume department or those charged with handling the movie’s look and feel. Thanks to all involved, Steenburgen looks somewhat like famed singer Cher. And Linden Banks looks every part the evil, old businessman. Thanks to the work of those charged with handling the movie’s overall look and feel, the movie looks and feels just like Jim Henson’s classic “creature features.” It really looks just like his classic movies and specials thanks to the reliance on actual puppets and sets instead of CG and special effects. It makes suspension of disbelief all the easier and in turn the movie’s enjoyment greater. The end result of that enjoyment is the agreement that Turkey Hollow is, in whole, the best new holiday movie of 2015. Turkey Hollow will be available in stores and online on Tuesday, November 24th. It can be ordered online direct via Turkey Hollow’s official website at http://www.shopturkeyhollow.com. It can also be ordered online direct via Lionsgate’s online store at http://www.lionsgateshop.com/search_results.asp?Search=Turkey%20Hollow and via Lifetime network’s online store at http://www.mylifetimestore.com/jim-henson-s-turkey-hollow-dvd/details/117624982. More information on this and other titles from Lionsgate is available online now at:

Website: http://www.lionsgate.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lionsgate

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lionsgate

More information on this and other titles from Lifetime is available online now at:

Website: http://www.mylifetime.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lifetime

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lifetimetv

More information on this and other titles from The Jim Henson Company is available online now at:

Website: http://www.henson.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hensoncompany

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hensoncompany

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Inspector Morse prequel is a successful “endeavour”

Courtesy: PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Crime procedurals are among the most popular shows on television today, next to “reality television.”  All four of the “Big Four” have their own share of crime dramas.  NBC has at least one show remaining in the Law & Order franchise.  CBS has NCIS and a handful of others.  Even ABC and Fox have their shows, as do the cable networks.  But what most audiences might not know is that PBS also has its own hit crime drama in the Inspector Morse series.  The Inspector Morse series is just as gripping as any of the shows that are all over cable and “The Big Four.”  And now, fans of Inspector Morse are getting a special new treat with a prequel to the series titled, “Endeavour.”

“Endeavour” will air on PBS this Saturday, July 1st.  And then it will be available on both dvd and blu-ray July 24th.  Whether one is new to the Inspector Morse franchise or a seasoned fan, “Endeavour” will pull audiences in and hold them through its entire ninety-minute run time.  The movie opens with a young Constable Morse writing his resignation letter from his police department.  He is going to turn it in until a young teenage girl goes missing.  That missing persons case turns into a murder investigation that would become the biulding block of Morse’s career. 

Morse starts investigating the girl’s murder.  And the more he invesitgates, the bigger the web of deceit grows.  Not only does Morse have to face off against suspects in the case, but also fellow members of the police force.  One member of the force in particular would seemingly do everything in his power to keep Morse from making any progress on the case.  And the reason why is later revealed.  It plays its own role in the ultimate outcome of this well written mystery.  The story has just enough twists, turns, and red herrings to keep even uninitiated audiences watching right up to the end without losing track of what’s going on along the way.  When the person behind everything is revealed, it’s so shocking that no one will have even suspected said person.  Even Morse himself didn’t suspect the criminal in question behind it all at first.

The Inspector Morse franchise may not be as popular as the crime dramas that populate network and cable television.  Chances are that’s only because it’s on PBS.  But if anything can be said of “Endeavour”, it’s that much more proof of the value of PBS.  It proves that PBS’ programming can be (and in many cases is) as powerful and entertaining as anything on standard network and cable. 

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