Friday, May 13, 2016

Movie Review: Garage Sale Mystery - All That Glitters

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Fun sub-plot and likable characters
Cons: Weak mystery
The Bottom Line:
Storage unit bought
With danger lurking inside
Light mystery film

Glittery but Still Pretty Average

If you are doing a series of movies around second hand items, you’ll do plenty of stories about items that are worth more than they appear or stolen items mixed in with the other items.  That second idea forms the basis of All That Glitters, the second in Hallmark’s Garage Sale Mystery franchise.

Things are going well for Jennifer Shannon (Lori Loughlin) and her business partner Danielle (Sarah Strange).  In fact, they have so much merchandise to sell in their store, Rages to Riches, that they have to rent out a storage unit.  When the owner of their storage unit, Martin (Michael Kopas) lets Jennifer know about an upcoming storage auction, Jennifer is excited to join in, and she gets one of the units up for bid.

A couple of days after the auction, Martin is murdered.  Since Jennifer had seen him fighting with someone, she begins talking to the police.  But a break in at the shop makes her wonder if there is more to the murder than she initially thought.  Can she figure out what is happening?

Of course, the viewer knows that stolen diamonds are involved thanks to the first scene, which was set five years before the movie really starts.  We then spend the majority of the film waiting for Jennifer and the rest of the characters to catch up.  The movie doesn’t build the suspense quite well enough to make that worth it, and the who done it is fairly easy to figure out as well.

The one thing that I had really enjoyed in the first movie was the relationships between the characters.  Jennifer’s college age daughter and her love interest are both absent for this film, although they do reference the daughter being off at college.   I really missed them.  They’ve also recast Jennifer’s husband, Jason, and I didn’t feel the connection between Lori and new actor Steve Bacic I did while the original actor.  Not that Steve did a bad job or that their relationship was bad in this movie.  In fact, many of the characters and the relationships between them I really liked once again.

However, I did really enjoy a sub-plot involving Jennifer’s son Logan (Brendan Meyer) and a treasure map he’s found.  It added a light touch to the film.

Not that the movie needed it.  This is definitely a cozy mystery like I love to read with a few laughs and a light tone.  Yes, there is some danger a few times, but nothing truly scary.

Unfortunately, this is also a Hallmark made for TV movie.  There are some awkward short scenes that truly didn’t need to be in the film and the acting is a tad off as well.  Nothing bad, but they do keep this film from being all it can be.

This is a perfect case where something isn’t really good or bad.  All That Glitters will entertain those who love light, cozy mysteries.  Just sit down with your expectations in place, and you’ll be fine.

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