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 16, 2007

Silver Hawk aka Fei Yang (2004)

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I first caught this film late at night on Encore Action. I had some friends over, and they were ready to leave, but watched the first five minutes with me. It was way too silly for them, but they knew full well that I would be watching it, and the next day I told them how it was.

Silver Hawk is an interesting take on Batman, set in a futuristic Asian metropolis called Polaris City. Michelle Yeoh plays a rich socialite by day who dons the costume of Silver Hawk to fight crime by night. A childhood friend from her martial arts school is the police detective charged with stopping her vigilante justice. At the same time, this Evil Baddie has usurped this technology that reads people's minds and can control them, and has inserted it into this extremely popular cell phone ear piece. He plans to take over the world like this, and Silver Hawk and her new boy toy/police detective must stop him.

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I couldn't in good conscious call this simply a Batman rip-off because it does some really interesting things with the paradigm. It would be like calling Apocalypse Now a rip-off of The Heart of Darkness; only Apocalypse Now was good, and this was a fun, yet bad action movie. It was definitely infinitely better than that atrocious Catwoman movie Halley Barry did.

Speaking of Halley Barry, Michelle Yeoh is ten kinds of hot in this. According to imdb, she's over forty (, but the character she was playing was about fifteen years younger. Just the same, she kicked tons of ass too. I don't remember exactly, but I don't think she was ever in the position of the preening damsel in distress in this either. The whole thing worked for me.

There were a lot of things that didn't work, though. One of them was the student of the guy who invented the mind control chip. He kept tagging along behind the cop friend, and was a member of the Silver Hawk fan club, a la Buckeroo Bonzai. He was always in the way and whining and annoying the cop, which annoyed me the viewer too. He was like Dane Cook to Dennis Rodman in Simon Sez. He was a hard pill to swallow.

The martial arts was two parts solid and exciting and one part silly Crouching Tiger FX. I think it was meant to be fun, but it looked ridiculous. I'm tired of all this flying around and shit. It worked in Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" video, and that's about it.

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The bad guy was weird. He had bionic arms. As a take Batman, the bad guys have got to be better. I'd say maybe a female Joker or a Catwoman was needed instead. That's one of the problems in making a good use of the Batman paradigm: the original had the best villain's gallery ever. Ask Moon Knight and it's lack of consistent success for Marvel if you don't believe me. In fact, all successful comics have great villain's galleries: Spiderman, X-Men, Batman, even Lex Luthor in Superman. If they make another Silver Hawk, I hope they rectify this.

This film is worth a rental. If you're into Asian chicks, it's worth buying, because Michelle Yeoh is amazing looking in it. Her martial arts are great too. I liked it as a bad, yet fun action movie. For me TiVoing it when it's on Encore Action again is the best bet.

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