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.


Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Hunt for Eagle One: Crash Point (2006)

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I'm sure the first question in seeing that I'm reviewing this film is: "Matty baby, if you hated the first one so much, why are you watching the sequel?" The answer is: I got them both at the same time, so I figured I might as well watch it if I've got it. The rule that the sequel is always worse than the first is followed to the letter here.

This film picks up where the other left off, only with Lifetime movie mainstay Jeff Fahey as the commanding officer, replacing the indifferent Rutget Hauer from the first one. The terrorists are back, and this time they've stolen some device that allows anyone to control planes while they're in the air. I guess the Pentagon developed it to prevent another 9/11. Now it's up to Mark Dacascos and Theresa Randle to beat back the terrorists, fend off the pesky liberal news media, and make the world safe again for God fearing, meat eating, conservative America.

This film does for the right what Battlestar Galactica (not the cool old one with Dirk Benedict, but the politicized new one) does for the left. In fact, it takes everything that was bad about the first movie, and makes it ten times worse. Just the same, I think it's a great recruitment tool for the Marines, and I seriously think our government should consider using it to bolster enlistment.

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One interesting twist from the film's ideological paradigm was Theresa Randle's character. At first she seems to be a statement by the film makers on why women have no place on the front lines. But then she handles herself heroically beside Mark Dacascos, not as a sidekick, but as an equal partner. It kind of threw me off, and maybe that was the intent: to dull some of the conservative edge.

The pesky liberal news media gets hers in this as well. She just won't get out of the military's way and let them do their job, and luckily the terrorists come in and give her her retribution. The best scene is when she's saved by Dacascos after being held hostage, and when he frees her from her bonds, he looks at her patronizingly, but doesn't say a word. As an afterthought he sends for medical attention for her.

One of the best parts of the film was the remote control device. It was stored in a heavily unfortified tower in a safe that someone might buy at Wal-Mart for $49.99 to keep a will or stock certificates in. Yet, despite this horrible lapse in security and the lack of a contingency plan if the thing was ever stolen, no one in the Pentagon is held responsible. It just the terrorists' fault. It's like leaving your keys in your car with it running, and someone steals it: the law still comes down on the thief, but it's also your fault it was stolen. Two planes were crashed in this film, probably killing 1000 people, and none of those planes would have crashed if the Pentagon didn't invent this device and leave it so open to theft. I just didn't get who I was supposed to root for.

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The Hauer bait-and-switch upset me. imdb listed him as an actor in this, but he's not in it at all. I can only assume his deliberately poor performance forced the film makers to switch. That's okay, though, because Jeff Fahey was much more willing to play ball. There's no eye rolling in his performance: he takes this role seriously. But from my standpoint, Fahey, though he's great in the occasional Lifetime picture, can't hold a candle to what Hauer brings to the table, and I bet Fahey'd be the first to admit it.

Unlike the first one, which was politicized too, but not so much in your face with it, this one is straight ludicrous. There really isn't anything redeemable in it, unless you factor in Dacascos stretching his martial arts wings a tad in fighting a baddie at the end. I'm not saying I'm a bed wetting liberal, but I can only take so much in a bad action movie. Take Dolph's Red Scorpion, which is equally political, yet is also so damned silly, I can at least enjoy myself while watching it. This one's not silly, it's just dumb.

My final verdict: this movie has one purpose in this society, and it's as a recruiting tool for the US Marines. If Marine recruiters aren't using this movie, then the thing's being wasted. Maybe if the Vice President were hosting some friends on a hunting trip, they could get drunk and watch this after a long day of shooting pheasant. Otherwise, it's not worth it.

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