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.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Today You Die (2005)

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Steven Seagal, though entering the DTV arena only a few years ago, has become quite the prolific actor. I always loved Seagal's films at his peak in the 90s with cats like Van Damme and Schwarzenegger. His DTV fare has actually been an improvement on his big screen roles, and for anyone who's avoided these films, I suggest you consider giving them a look-see: this is bad action at some of it's finest.

Today You Die has Seagal as some kind of Robin Hood type looking to settle down with his wife and live a straight life. Of course, he makes the stupid move of taking a job driving an armored truck for Kevin Tighe. Only Patrick Swayze has been able to take a job from Kevin Tighe successfully, as everyone else has been double crossed. Seagal is no exception, and he's forced to plot an unlikely escape from prison with Naughty By Nature's Treach. It seems he's hid Tighe's money. After some shootouts and what not, Seagal kills everyone not on his side, and then they donate the money to a local children's hospital. Sweet.

Seagal is off the hook in this. He's put on some pounds, so he's not as fit as Dolph or Van Damme, and as such, he has to wear a puffy sweatshirt to bed in order to not show off his spare tire. I guess the question is: would Orson Welles ever be caught dead sleeping in a sweatshirt? I doubt it. Don't be so self-conscious, Stevy baby, we've all put on some pounds since the 90s. His martial arts is still solid, which is really what counts. The tagline on the cover is: "What Seagal does in Vegas, nearly destroys it." Does it get any better than that?

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I'd be remiss as the Direct to Video Connoisseur if I didn't quickly mention the short lived Steven Seagal energy drink. As far as I can tell no one sells them anymore, and I can understand why: they weren't that good. After the silliness of drinking a Steven Seagal energy drink wore off, the bad after taste kicked in. It wasn't a pretty sight.

One of the best elements of this film is Seagal's Ebonics. He talks in Ebonics usually when he's talking to Treach. It rules so much. I'm not sure whose idea it was to make Seagal "down", so-to-speak, but it had to be an inside joke with those people, because he sounds ridiculous. I know now for future reference if I make a Seagal film, I'll write in the script that he speaks Ebonics.

As a fan of the UFC, I totally dug Karo "The Heat" Parisyan and Randy "The Natural" Couture making cameos. In Karo's case, he was shot by some dude, but for Randy, he had his ass kicked by Seagal. Now, I'm not totally sure, but I have to assume in real life Randy could dominate Seagal because I don't think Stevy can grapple. I wonder if that scene made both of them uncomfortable, or if Randy was like "wow, I just got my ass kicked in a movie by Steven Seagal", and he didn't care, and Seagal was like "I'm Steven Seagal, damn it", and he didn't care either.

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Kevin Tighe was a wasted bad guy. He was barely in it, and when he was, the script writers tried to make him sound sophisticated, but instead made it sound like he had one of those word-a-day calendars, and he was trying to work his new additions to his vocabulary into his everyday speech to impress everyone. That's not how I want my Kevin Tighe. I need a guy who talks about "sweeping the eyeballs off the floor after last call". For a film that (not really) had so much going for it, they dropped the ball on this one.

This movie is so worth renting, just not for too much money. Say, on a two-for-one night or whatever your local video store does. I'd also TiVo it if you see it in your guide. This is pure bad action, and with the right group of friends who make fun of movies with you, you could be left in stitches. It's that silly, and, I think, that's what we like.

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  1. hahaha Segal speaking ebonics. Similar to that movie with Ja Rule where he wore a du-rag in jail?

    I would love to see this, and a bunch of these movies on television. Do they actually show them on cable? USA, right? Sci-fi always has a nonstop stream of bad movies playing, but there's only so many half-reptlie, half-something movies you can make....or not, apparently. Need some Segal/Van Damme/Norris movies to change it up.

  2. This film was on Spike recently. Spike is a pretty decent source for films like this, especially since FX, USA, and TNT have slowed up on their great bad action (though USA will show them from time to time if you look, especially on weekdays in the afternoon or morning). Sci-Fi, as you said, usually doesn't show action films, and I agree, there's definitely a point where you need your bad action fix.

    Also, if you have digital cable, try Encore Action. I have a friend with the Showtime package, and with that you get ShowtimeXtreme, another great source.

  3. Hilarious Seagal movie! "Walks like a black man, breathes like a killer!"

    Also I wonder what Chloe Moretz was thinking when she had to hug Seagal at the end of the movie? haha.

  4. She must've been creeped out! This was good bad Seagal at its best.