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A Bennett Song Holiday

USA 2020
produced by
Nancy Oeswein, Thor Grandview (executive), Corbin Bernsen (associate), Harley Wallen (co) for Auburn Moon Productions, Painted Creek Productions
directed by Harley Wallen
starring Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haskins, Calhoun Koenig, Harley Wallen, Aphrodite Nikolovski, Bryce Xavier, James Caverly, Fred Buchalter, Kaiti Wallen, Morgan Nimmo, Evan Keoshian, Dennis Marin, Rees Curran, Arielle Olkhovsky, Janellyn Woo, Da'Mya Gogoua, Lucas Yessayan, La'Kenya Howard-Luster, Aleksandra Luca, Joseph Ouellette, Maya Patel, Cailey Nicole Brown, Victoria Mullen, Angelina Danielle Cama, Kyle Patrick, Chevonne Wilson, Phillip Shaun DeVone, Vickie Lynn Smith, Velly Hay, Dax Moore, Skylar Mayton, Kimberly Cruchon Brooks, Denise Emilia Sandulescu, Shirley Moon Koebbe, Heather Fairbanks, Elizabeth G. Moore, Rochelle Nichole, Jeffrey McMahon, Shawn Jones, Jordan Prisby, Marie Muhammad, Brooke Mallon, Colleen Gentry, Chris Newman, Walker Fairbanks, Dahlia Sessions, Sasha Jackson, Koi Thompson, Shelby Bradley, Bennie Taylor
written by Nancy Oeswein, music by Gregory De Iulio, songs by Peter Moon

Bennett's Song

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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This film picks up not too long after Bennett's Song left off, telling the futher adventures of the Bennett-Song patchwork family: Pearl (Calhoun Koenig) and her band have just returned from their first tour when Stefani (Angelina Danielle Cama), her best friend and saxophone player, tells her she wants to leave the band - which leaves Pearl heartbroken as Stefani was her perfect sounding board and it was their understanding that they're in this together for the long haul ... but it seems that Stefani's boyfriend Robert (Kyle Patrick) doesn't have the right influence on her. On the plus side, Pearl meets teen sensation Logan French (Bryce Xavier), and he takes an interest in her, and not only professionally, and the feeling's mutual.

On a more dramatic note, Adam's (James Caverly) community center, where he does much work for special needs children, is to be forced out of the building if they don't manage to come up with all of next year's rent until Christmas as evil realtor Aiden Neville (Corbin Bernsen) wants to gentrify the whole neighbourhood. So to save the community center, the whole Bennet-Song family comes together to make up a plan, which involves a big Christmas concert with Pearl headlining - especially if they can get Logan French to also perform, this should sell out in no time. But some of Pearl's siblings come up with an alternative plan that involves playing an A Christmas Story like prank on Aiden's softer-hearted brother Paul (Fred Buchalter).

Loosely connected to all of this, pregnant Susan Song (Aphrodite Nikolovski), one of the cornerstones of the family, thinks her husband Cole Bennett (Harley Wallen) is cheating on her, and thinks she has proof even, without knowing the whole picture ...

 

A Bennett Song Holiday is basically a very sweet film for the whole family, but not one that sugarcoats things but does pick up social issues and delivers nice messages about inclusion, working with special needs children, the importance of the arts and the like, all while tell a handful of parallel stories in a way that balances drama with comedy, and finds an agreeable outcome for all of them, just in time for the holidays. But what makes the movie is that it isn't dumbed down just to capture the whole family, but tackles its issues in a realistic and grown up way - which will actually probably sound very agreeable with younger audiences. Still, better pack a few tissues just in case, there are a few tearjerking moments - and as much ought to be expected from any Christmas movie.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD