A new holiday film, Pete’s Christmas will premiere Friday, Nov. 8 on the Hallmark Channel. When an overlooked middle child finds himself in the unexpected spotlight, he realizes his family’s terrible Christmas day keeps repeating. He decides to use his unique gift to give the holidays a makeover and his family a Christmas they will never forget. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Keefer B says, “This is a uplifting, coming of age film” and gives it 5 out of 5 stars. Gerry O adds “This movie is definitely a great holiday movie and a very loving movie at that!” Their full reviews are below.
By Gerry O., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11
Video review available here.
This movie is definitely a great holiday movie and a very loving movie at that! It has so much comedy and a lot of other elements too. “Pete’s Christmas” is a movie the entire family just must see.
This movie has so much to love about it as well as many things to enjoy. It has comedy, romance, thrilling scenes, adventure, a heartwarming story and so much more.
The adventure begins when a young boy (Zachary Gordon) has a horrible, horrible Christmas. We are talking about no presents, no home cooked meal, getting beat up and a lot of other crazy stuff. His grandfather gives him a box and leaves. When he goes to bed, he wakes up on Christmas morning again.
The movie had very nice actors that play the emotions very well. You would never think they were acting. The directing is very smooth and clear. The camera work is also very nicely done. Overall, it is an amazing and very cool film.
My favorite scene has to be when the boy wakes up and thinks everyone is playing a big prank on him. It’s very funny and very, well, confusing too. It makes you want give him a hug.
I recommend it for kids ages 5 to 18 and give it 5 out of 5 stars.
by Keefer B, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 13
This is a uplifting, coming of age film. The story is about Pete (Zachary Gordon) a middle child who has the worst Christmas ever. He wakes up the next day and realizes…it’s Christmas day again and again and again… Will Pete fix Christmas and have the best day of his life or will he be stuck in the same day forever?
What I love about this film is the cinematography. The Christmas decorations and snow look amazing. The sets create a great atmosphere for the film. I also like the story. At first it seems cliché - boy has a bad day and has a chance to fix it - standard issue. However, the pacing is different. Instead of it being just a few days of Pete reliving the same day, it feels like months before he realizes that he can affect the outcome of his Christmas. At first I didn’t like this, but once I thought out it as a coming of age film I accepted the change. One think that distracted me is the writing. Don’t get me wrong, the dialog is fine. I just felt the set-up for the story to be a bit rushed. The writers want the story to go a certain way and force it by placing the pieces together instead of allowing the characters to live through this situation.
My favorite character is Grandpa (Bruce Dern). He’s a grumpy man who doesn’t want to get the cold shoulder this Christmas. I love how Bruce plays this role, how he wants to spend time with family. Sadly he wants Christmas to be like his deceased wife’s Christmases. In his mind, the family doesn’t celebrate it right.
My favorite scene is when Pete tells his dad why Grandpa judges their Christmas. I pick this scene for one reason - the reaction on the father’s face. He takes his time to roll through all the emotions and it’s just perfect.
The moral here is, “It’s not what you put in the box that matters. It’s what you take out.” No matter how much Pete recreates Christmas and gets what he wants, he stills feels that something is missing, something that is important in Christmas. Giving!
I rate this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 6 to 15-year-olds. Younger kids can enjoy the funny moments and the merriness. When you get a little bit older, you know the story is predictable but it is still a movie to get you into the Christmas spirit.