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.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Baller Blockin' (2000)

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I'm not sure exactly how this movie fell into our laps. I know my buddy got it, and I believe it was a gift from his brother. That's not necessarily so important. What is important is just how big this movie became amongst my friends. It may only be an hour long, but it's packed with more memorable moments than your average full length Nicolas Cage feature.

Baller Blockin' was an attempt by New Orleans Hip Hop impresarios the Cash Money Millionaires to make a film. Juvenile stars as a young man in his twenties, struggling with the memories of his dad's violent death when he was very young; and with the decision of whether or not he should leave his life in the gang he runs with with the other Cash Money Millionaires to settle down with his nice girlfriend. At the same time, the crooked New Orleans cop Curly is trying to muscle in on the gang's turf. This brings Curly in direct conflict with Beatrice (pronounced BE-ah-TRICE, played by Brian "Baby" WIlliams, or Birdman) who runs the gang. Will Juvenile live long enough to end his life of crime? Will Curly get what's coming to him? Will Lil' Wayne make any sense? We never know, because the movie ends only an hour in with a "To Be Continued". I'm not kidding.

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It's very obvious from the finished product that the Cash Money Millionaires found out just how much goes into making a movie, and they got tired of it. It's not just the abrupt "To Be Continued", but in people messing up lines without doing second takes, and in characters who were dead a scene ago coming back to shoot people. With that said, I think my friend put it best when he remarked: "this movie is perfect."

I don't know where to begin. Maybe the scene at the start when a young Juvenile watches his dad die after he didn't have the money for Gar, the crime lord of that time. The dad's funny, Gar's funny, and even funnier, Gar comes back later in the film, and hasn't aged a day in the fifteen some-odd years since he killed Juvenile's dad. And his death scene is even better. Let's just say Birdman had a hooker "bake a cake" for him.

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The dude who played the crackhead in Friday steals the show in this as Curly the bad cop's partner. He has a few moments early on that give you a taste of what he can do, and then showcases his total repertoire in the memorable Interrogation Scene. I'll just quote some of the better lines "I'ma shoot you in your fuckin' tongue!" "Did he just say [inaudible]? You're fucked up? You know that?" and who can forget "It's not in his ass, we already checked!" You haven't lived until you've seen the Interrogation Scene in Baller Blockin', and my friends and I have made sure many people have enjoyed it.

There's a mailman who's killed, not for not passing the welfare checks on time, but for giving Birdman and Turk (another Cash Money Millionaire, if you're not in the know) lip when Birdman tells him to "Pass them fuckin' checks out on time, bitch." The mailman responds to them with: "Fuck you, and fuck you." So they shoot him. Why not? That scene alone garnered myriad playbacks. Who kills a mailman? The Cash Money Millionaires do, apparently.

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That's just the tip of the iceberg. You have the All The Time Guy (a guy who responds to everything with "All the Time"), Lil' Wayne hiding from the cops in an ice cream cooler at a local grocery store, a ridiculous party that ends in a hail of gunfire, and the perfect soundtrack done in all Cash Money Millionaires songs. Oh yeah, and it's to be continued. Words can't give this film justice. It must be seen to be believed.

I have a lot of friends that're into bad movies, and only a certain segment of them really enjoy this one the way I do. We've tried our best to share this joy with others, but they don't always find it as fun. That's why I'm recommending this, but with a huge caution: it's not for everybody. Don't buy this and after watching it say: "this is crap, what was the DTVC thinking?" If you can rent it first, do so, or buy it on VHS for like $2. It's extremely ridiculous, and I want everyone to experience it once, but I'd feel bad if anyone bought it after my review and didn't find it as amusing as I do, and in the process wasted $20.

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