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The Town That Banned Christmas
The Town That Banned Christmas
Actors: Matt McCoy, Jane Sibbett, Adam Ferrara, Carol Alt, Christa B. Allen
Director: John Dowling;Jr.;Karl Fink
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family
G     2008     1hr 25min

The competition heats up at the annual Greenlawn Christmas Decorating Contest when Norbert Bridges moves to town and stirs up trouble with the reigning champion Donnie Manning. But when the town outlaws Christmas after thi...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Matt McCoy, Jane Sibbett, Adam Ferrara, Carol Alt, Christa B. Allen
Director: John Dowling;Jr.;Karl Fink
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Comedy, Family Films, Christmas
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 11/25/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 25min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: G (General Audience)
Languages: English, Spanish

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Movie Reviews

The Town That Banned Christmas
xmas movie reviewer | 12/28/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"The Town that Banned Christmas ***

For many years now, the Christmas movie has been a frequent staple in cinemas during the holiday season with every year bringing us a new festive cinematic delight and some films that will likely be remembered as true classics for a long time to come. Over the past few years, however, there have been a few such films that have failed to really inspire audiences and despite having extremely big production budgets have really failed to wow moviegoers. `The Town that Banned Christmas' couldn't be much further removed from such films. Now it has finally been released, albeit only on DVD, and what we have here is a film that more than holds it own against its closest Hollywood competitor, the 2006 Danny DeVito/Matthew Broderick starrer `Deck the Halls' and shows that it is possible to make an enjoyable Christmas film without a huge budget.
Norbert Bridges (Matt McCoy) is a teacher who has taken time out to write a book entitled `A Merry Little Christmas'. The subject of the book is human behaviour during the holidays, and his work has seen he and his family move from town to town as his work repeatedly creates a mess that forces them to move on. And it appears that he is about to repeat this once again when he hears about the annual Christmas decorating contest in the town of Greenlawn, where he and his family have just moved to. Neighbour Donnie Manning (Adam Ferrara) has run the competition for several years running and when Norbert sneakily goads him into a fanatical "must win" mentality in order to observe his reactions so that he can continue researching his book, things start going very wrong in the neighbourhood, as Donnie obsessively attempts to come up with the best Christmas display to the dismay of his neighbours. Caught in the middle, are Norbert's son Kevin (Hunter Gomez) and Donnie's daughter Holly (Christa B. Allen), who form a special friendship but find it at risk as their parents' rivalry grows out of hand. When the actions of Norbert and Donnie ruin the Christmas festival, the town decides that the only option is to ban Christmas. With Kevin and Holly apparently the only ones who recognise what the true spirit of Christmas is, Norbert and Donnie realise that they must put aside their differences to save the holiday once and for all.
From the outset, it is clear that `The Town that Banned Christmas' is a very low budget film. The low budget also shows in the lack of the grand sets and costumes that many big budget Christmas movies tend to have, but this is a film about a small town and as such what we see is at least realistic. Instead of grand spectacle, however, the charm of the film comes from the characters and the lessons that they learn. After all, this really is a film with a message to put across and whilst the `love conquers all' message may not be anything particularly new or original it is still put across very well nonetheless. Also, while the film isn't exactly hilarious it does have some glimpses of humour that will raise a chuckle or two. All in all, this film certainly isn't one of the best Christmas movies you will ever see and the concept is wasted, only coming to effect near the end and being resolved far too quickly, but it is still has qualities that make it worth giving a go. While it is unlikely that `The Town that Banned Christmas' will ever be considered a classic , it is a film that has a certain charm that makes it well worth checking out, and if you like Christmas movies and can find a copy of this film I would recommend that you do.
Trust me - don't waste your time!
D. Lundgren | 12/26/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I realize I may have high expectations, but I generally expect that a film's title bears some relevance to the storyline.
In this 85-minute yawn-fest, the town doesn't actually ban Christmas until 67 minutes into the movie (and it's banned for a lame reason, at that). Christmas is promptly reinstated 10 minutes later at the 77-minute mark, although viewers aren't privy as to exactly *why* (the main character goes into the courthouse and returns shortly after to triumphantly announce that Christmas has been reinstated). Need I say more?
Viewers can then spend the last 8 minutes regretting that they just wasted their time with this movie, and wondering how it ever got made in the first place. Unfortunately, those are two things I end up doing more often than I'd like. The only thing that could've made this movie worse is if I actually spent money to rent it, but fortunately I got it as a free MVP rental at Hollywood Video."