The Direct to Video Connoisseur

I'm a huge fan of action, horror, sci-fi, and comedy, especially of the Direct to Video variety. In this blog I review some of my favorites and not so favorites, and encourage people to comment and add to the discussion. If you click on an image, it will take you to that post's image page, which includes many more pics from the film and other goodies I couldn't fit in the actual review. For announcements and updates, don't forget to Follow us on Twitter and Like our Facebook page. If you're the director, producer, distributor, etc. of a low-budget feature length film and you'd like to send me a copy to review, you can contact me at dtvconnoisseur[at] I'd love to check out what you got.



Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

First and foremost, it appears a dubious site has claimed the old url, meaning any link in any review that goes to the old mattmovieguy url is corrupt. I'm in the process of trying to remove them all, but it's a lot! It's best not to click on any link without hovering over it first to make sure it doesn't have mattmovieguy in the url.

Second, it appears since my last trip to the blog, Photobucket has decided to charge for third party hosting, meaning none of my images are appearing anymore. That's simply an aesthetic issue, but still annoying.

Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Cutaway (2000)

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When my buddy and I saw this in the video store we knew we had to have it. On the cover we saw Stephen Baldwin, Tom Berenger, and potential first ballot DTVC Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman, which made it a no brainer pick (note: there's a new cover with just Dennis Rodman's face, but all three names on it). We found out later Casper Van Dien is in it too. That makes four kinds of hot right there.

Early in the movie, we get the idea that Cutaway is a rip off of Point Break, replacing surfing with skydiving. We get over that, though, when we see Steven Baldwin's character undercover with this great beard. Unfortunately he dumps it, much to the viewer's chagrin.

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If you understand the Point Break paradigm (used also in the hit Fast and the Furious), then you already know what's going to happen, and I won't waste my time telling you. The chick that Baldwin falls for is hot in a not-so-in-your-face kinda way, which is refreshing for a film like this. It also has Ron Silver as Baldwin's superior, the guy you hire when you can't decide on Al Pacino or Andy Garcia, and can't afford either anyway; and the kid from American Pie who did Tara Reid after the prom.

Of course, I dug the star power in this movie. Stephen Baldwin and Tom Berenger definitely don't mail it in. Neither do Casper Van Dien and Dennis Rodman, they're just not in it enough. I got what I expected from a direct to video rip-off of Point Break. Having the stars gives me, the viewer, a solid starting point from where I can launch jokes.

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That being said, I was very disappointed with the lack of Dennis. He's billed as a top star, but he's not in it enough-- no where near as much as his other two hits Simon Sez and Double Team. I own the film, of course, because it has Rodman, but only as a completest. If you're a Rodman guy, see it just so you've seen them all, but know the other two are better. I'd also be advised that this film is very montage heavy. I know you really can't show people preparing for a skydiving competition without montages, I just think it's important to note that they're there.

Overall, the star power makes this a worthy choice if you see it at the video store. My buddy and I spent new release money on it, and I eventually bought it for the same price three years later. It's probably worth a dollar or two to rent, or at the most $5 to buy. Definitely TiVo it if it's on a movie channel. You're looking at 100 solid minutes of making fun of Stephen Baldwin, which I think is a pretty good deal. I wouldn't include it in a Rodmanfest, though, unless you stick it in last, after the other two.

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