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 21, 2007

The Hard Easy (2005)

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I, like most people, rent my movies based on their potential. Who's in it? Who directed it? What did so-and-so say about it? In the case of this film, it seemed to be oozing with potential. Sure, the cover listed a bunch of actors I have no time for like Nick Lachey or David Blahblahblah from Angel; but it also listed two DTVC Hall of Famers in Peter Weller and Gary Busey. Now that's potential.

The Hard Easy is a 90 minute film consisting of 50 minutes of fade-outs. When it's not fading out, the plot involves David Blahblahblah and the guy from ET (who was also in Psycho IV) as two fellas from two totally different situations who need cash bad. The guy from ET has mad gambling debts, so his friend Gary Busey hooks him up with the not-as-cool-as-the-movie-makes-him-out-to-be Bruce Dern, who, with the chick from The Departed, are planning a jewel heist. David Blahblahblah works with Nick Lachey, and his boss Peter Weller has gotten them all in hot water with some junk bonds or whatever. You guessed it: P Dubs has also planned a diamond heist, and it's at the same diamond shop the guy from ET's hitting. They're on a collision course to wackiness.

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This film had two things going for it: Busey and Weller. That's it. Whenever the two of them are on screen (and they're never on together, unfortunately), they hoist the film on their shoulders and carry it to a level beyond what the poor film makers could possibly hope to achieve with this complete and utter lack of imagination and creativity they're calling a movie. After Busey and P Dubs, this is simply a low-rent Tarentino knock-off.

And even worse, Busey wasn't in it much. It's one thing to make a movie bad, it's another to go light on the Abuse. If I see the name Gary Busey on the cover, I want it to be as Abusive as possible. Hit me with it, damn it. Haven't these people ever seen Point Break? The worst irony of this movie is that the film makers probably think they're above a classic like Point Break, and they're wrong, so wrong.

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Peter Weller is sweet in this, but his character becomes a monster that's just too big for the amateurs who made this sack-of-asscrack to handle. His death is a totally played-up-for-laughs yet very unfunny scene where he loads up his weapons in a stand-off, gets ready to go out guns blazing, and is felled with a single shot in the heart by a police officer. It was a travesty that they'd kill off Weller's character like that, after all he did to elevate their fried shite of a film to something resembling respectability. The best thing these people could've done was see the movie Styx. Those people knew what to do with a too sweet Weller character.

The overuse of the fade out gave me a headache. Nothing spells amateur like not being able to transition from one scene to the next. I'd expect something like that from a horrible Star Trek movie some Finnish kids put up on YouTube that my friends might make me watch; but from film makers that were able to cast Busey and Weller, it's just unacceptable. My friends and I got bored saying "Next week on The Hard Easy" or "When The Hard Easy returns", which is kind of a tradition whenever a film employs a fade-out.

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I don't get Bruce Dern in this. He was great in The 'burbs, but here we're supposed to believe he's some kind of criminal mastermind that's hardcore and really cool. He'll kill you if he gets the chance or something. Even worse, we're supposed to buy that he's anywhere near as cool as a Weller, when he's not even in the ballpark. My favorite scene is where Busey's telling the guy from ET about him, and he recalls some heist Dern pulls off dressed in clown clothes. I think the clown part is supposed to be funny and irreverent, but instead it's overused and cliched. The funny thing for me was how Bruce Dern kills his partners in the heist. Who does that? This happens again and again in movies, where the bad guy kills the people he does business with. Why do people keep working with him? And if this film's supposed to be so smart and different, why do they fall back on the same bad movie plot devices?

This is almost worth renting if you're as huge a Petter Weller guy as I am. If you cut out his death scene, it's sweet. On the other hand, you have to sit through another crummy Tarentino knock off that spends as much time as possible telling you how smart it is, when in reality, it's dumber than BloodRayne. If you're not a Weller guy, don't even consider this sack-of-asscrack.

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