Hallmark Review: A Christmas Detour (2015, dir. Ron Oliver)


I see nothing wrong there.


Or there.


Or there either. Nothing wrong at all.

I think I said the last time I reviewed a movie that had a plot based on rules for finding the perfect man that I would rather have hernia surgery again capped off with a catheter put in me again. While this does have Candace Cameron Bure in it, it’s still way better than Just The Way You Are. I guess this movie falls in between that one and Dater’s Handbook.

I finally got to it, Michelle! I certainly won’t be able to tear into this film the way she did, but I may have seen some of the same things.

Hmm…have no idea why that came to mind.


The movie begins as Paige Summerlind (Candace Cameron Bure) is arriving at LAX to fly out to New York to be with her fiancee. But first we find out that Paige writes for Radiant Bride magazine.


I was so convinced that shot was from Before You Say ‘I Do’, but looking at promo pics and the film itself turned up no results. I’m sorry.

Anyways, you see those hands? Those belong to a very smart lady. You see, Paige spotted her magazine being held by this lady, and immediately tried to push it on her. She even gave her the money to pay for the magazine.


The lady put the magazine back and pocketed the money. I love her!


Now we are introduced to Frank (David Lewis) and Maxine (Sarah Strange). You know it never fails. No matter how many screenshots I take throughout the movie, I will always end up with the worst possible shot, but it will be the one I need. Oh, and on this film, I took 2,738 screenshots.


Next we are introduced to Dylan played by Paul Greene who I’ve seen play a nurse, event planner, and now a bartender. Well, he might own the bar. I’m not sure. He looks as jazzed to see A Christmas Melody as he is flying home to New York after a four year absence. According to his friend, “the statute of limitations for licking the wounds of a broken heart expired a long time ago.” So he’s off to LAX.

Now Paige makes a bit of a scene at the check-in counter. She thought she was going to have an aisle seat, but she’s going to get stuck with a window seat. Also, she can only bring two things aboard the plane. She checks one of her bags because she must bring her “vision board” onto the plane with her.

IMG_9527 (1)

So her dream wedding is the current cover of her magazine, and there’s her boyfriend Jack played by…

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 8.59.35 PM

who is preparing for his role as the wrong guy named Reed in Appetite For Love.

We now cut to Doctor Zhivago 3D…


before cutting inside to meet Jack, then it’s back to the plane all these people are on.

Jack and Paige have to sit next to each other cause Hallmark. He nearly doubles over laughing about her magazine. She defends her “100 proven ways to find your perfect mate.”


Sometimes you do get the right screenshot. I would now put the screenshot of the ridiculous looking eye mask they put her in for the following shots, but let’s move on.

Of course a storm front forces the plane to set down in Buffalo, New York. Now they wait outside for a shuttle.


I’m pretty sure what they did here was tint it blue and CGI in foreground snow. The shuttle takes them to the Buffalo Airport Hotel, which from the exterior made me think of the Overlook Hotel from The Shining (1980). They end up with adjoining rooms again because Hallmark.

Now dialog that left me scratching my head happens. I’ll just say I nearly looked like this when I heard it.


After that, we cut back to house to see that this shot was probably done by a different person.


I think you know how it plays out for Paige and Dylan at this point. They spend more time together. Paige keeps calling Jack. We get another shot of a different house.


They kiss under a sign that says Mistletoe Junction. They wind up at the O Tannenbaum Inn. We see that they simply expanded the black region in the middle of the cellphone screen to cutoff the provider, which in turn cutoff Decline and Accept under those buttons.


She ends up running away from Dylan to Jack. She finds out she doesn’t want to marry Jack. Dylan reunites with his family. They end up together. Blah, blah, blah. Nothing you haven’t seen before, and nothing interesting either.

I want to call special attention to the other plot line running while this is going on. Remember Maxine and Frank? They are the best part of this movie in my opinion. Although, it was a little weird at first. I thought they were just a lovable bickering married couple, but by the time we got to the inn, I realized they were having trouble.


They weren’t even supposed to be sleeping in the same room. Even when they do, they push themselves to the opposite sides of the bed. However, they eventually come around in the end. There’s nothing fancy or overly dramatic about it. They just acknowledge that neither of them are very happy pretending to be bitter at each other. The charade is over, and they go into a house together holding hands having arrived at their destination plotwise and completing their character arcs.


So why did we even need the whole Paige and Dylan storyline? I’m not a big fan of Candace Cameron Bure. She’s okay in the Aurora Teagarden movies cause it’s fun to watch her run around like a crazy person in those films. I do kind of like what I’ve seen Paul Greene do so far. However, I’ve seen Hallmark do the mature couple story, and do it well. I’m thinking Lead With Your Heart here. I think David Lewis and Sarah Strange could have carried this film all by themselves as a seemingly lovable bickering couple who are actually in trouble, but discover they seemed lovable because they do still love each other. If they had fleshed that out to a complete film, then I could have enjoyed this a lot more. As it is, don’t bother.

Oh, and Hallmark, please give Ron Oliver a budget next time. This house thing was ridiculous.


Not to mention the CGI’d in Christmas decorations at the beginning of the film, and other things.

Here’s the songs since they did include them in the credits:


Art Profile: Ten Detective Aces


Of the many pulp magazines that were published in the 1930s, Ten Detective Aces was one of the most popular.  First started in 1930 as The Dragnet Magazine and focusing on gangsters, the title was changed, after three issues, to Detective-Dragnet.  In 1933, the magazine abandoned the gangster genre, focused on detective stories, and changed its title one last time to Ten Detective Aces.  Ten Detective Aces ran for 16 years, ceasing publication in 1949.

The covers of Ten Detective Aces were sometimes surreal and always exciting.  Take a look at a few of them below:

August 1949

By John Hilkert

By John Hilkert

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders

By Norman Saunders


By Rafael DeSoto

By Rafael DeSoto

By Rafael DeSoto

By Rafael DeSoto

September 1949Unknown Artist

I knew Batman and Superman were rivals, but Batman and The Green Hornet?

Since we have Batman v Superman coming out this month, I went digging for any more knockoffs I have, and stumbled upon these two videos. Apparently, this was a thing. The first is a television appearance Batman and The Green Hornet made together. The second are actual scenes from an episode of the show. Yes, in the second one you do get to see Bruce Lee beat up Robin. It’s moments like that, which we live for.