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]yahoo.com. I'd love to check out what you got.

Announcement

Announcement

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.

--Matt

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Time Runner (1993)

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This film seems to pop up from time to time on Sci-Fi at 3AM. I saw it a while ago at that time, and it's been on twice since in that same slot. I would imagine a cheesy sci-fi movie with Mark Hamill would do best at that time when World of Warcrafters are burning the midnight oil and need a little background noise. Or, when morons like me scan my program guide for potential horrible movies.

Time Runner starts in 2022, when aliens are invading the Earth, and things look grim. Mark Hamill goes back in time thirty years to find then senator Brion James to stop him from killing funding for a space station that would've prevented the alien ships from attacking. In 30 years, Brion is "World President". Anyway, he meets Rae Dawn Chong, who just happens to be a rogue alien of the same ilk that plans the invasion. Surprising no one, Brion actually is an alien too, and he gets elected for the sole purpose of stopping the space station so his alien boys can invade. Now the question is can Marky Mark and his funky bunch get to the church on time and stop ol' Brion so he doesn't do bad things thirty years later?

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This movie is right where it belongs at 3AM. It made zero sense. Hamill lands thirty years in the past, and he suddenly gets these visions of the future. Then, for the convenience of the plot, Rae Dawn can see them too if she touches him. Also, there was nothing particularly alienly about the aliens. It wasn't like they pretended to be humans but looked like aliens with the disguise off. As far as I could tell, they were humans. The only thing that made them less human was they displayed no emotion; but Brion, running for public office, was an exception to that rule. He was very charismatic. I would say, though, that this is a pretty solid cheesy film, and the addition of Mark Hamill makes it pretty fun to watch.

Mark Hamill. What else can you say? The entire movie he seemed to speak in that voice that said: "But I wanna go to Tashi (sp?) station and get some power converters!" It amazes me that the kid who played the young Darth Vader in the new ones hasn't been relegated to the same bad movie fate, because he sucks even more than Hamill. Hamill's at least silly. That other kid was a sulking moron. If Lucas didn't take his new bad Star Wars movies so seriously, he should've just cast Hamill as the young Vader. I like that better.

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The late Brion James is so amazing as the World President. I never thought anyone could be cooler than the Jerry Spring pres in Defender with Dolph Lundgren. Even if he is a sinister alien masquerading as a politician, I'd still vote for him. As in many films that feature Brion James, though, he's not in this too much. That's too bad, because he really outdoes himself in this role as a man running for, and eventually winning, public office.

Rae Dawn Chong is in this, and she doesn't sport her classic poofy hair. Instead she has a kind of bob cut that just goes past her ears. On the one hand, it looks better, but on the other, it doesn't feel like it's Rae Dawn Chong. People watching this will be like: "That's not the same chick from Commando!" Or Soul Man. Cut it out with the Saleisha from America's Top Model hair-do, Rae Dawn, we expect it big and poofy. (I have a roommate that watches that show, honest!)

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In order to amp up the geek factor here, I'm going to mention some Highlander: The Series connections this film has. Rae Dawn Chong, you may remember, played a young immortal who was a savant musician. Brion, of course, played the ogre-ish fur trapper who made good a century later after a local school teacher in the 1800's taught him to read. Also, Gordon Tipple, who plays the local airplane mechanic that helps Hamill and Chong get to James was the hangman in the episode where the businessman blackmails Duncan. It's not like it's all that uncommon to see people who guest starred on Highlander: The Series in one movie, considering how many people were on that show at one time or another; but I just thought it would be cool to add to the Star Wars mentions. Unfortunately, no one in this that I could tell had an appearence on Star Trek, otherwise I could really put this blog into geek overdrive.

This movie is good for the insomniac or person up late writing a paper or something. There's much worse to watch at 3AM in the morning. I'd also go as far as saying give this a look if you see it at the local video store. It's pretty funny in its cheese, and you can't go wrong with Mark Hamill and Brion James.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0108342/

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