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.

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Announcement

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--Matt

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Absolon (2003)

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Christopher Lambert has always been a fan favorite in the DTVC Hall of Fame. My friends and I have always dug his movies. There's something about the combination of the usually ludicrous plot, his great voice, and the interesting co-stars he seems to drum up. Whether it's a sexy thriller about chess players or a futuristic remake of Beowulf complete with bad techno music, homeboy seldom fails to deliver.

Absolon stars our man as a cop in a future ravished by a horrible disease that's nearly wiped out the entire population. In order to stay alive, the survivors take Absolon, the eponymous drug that keeps them from dying of the disease. A man who may have found the cure is murdered, and Lambert and his partner are on the case. Suspicious federal agent Lou Diamond Phillips is tracking them, and his motives become clear when we see him talking to Ron Perlman, the head of the corporation who makes Absolon, and the last person who'd want to see a cure on the market. Anyway, the guy who worked with the guy who was killed has Lambert unknowingly ingest what will eventually, after it incubates in his system, will be the cure. Now he's just gotta survive the incubation period so he can save the world. You can do it, Lamby baby!

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This is a pretty bad movie, but I think I liked it. I'm not sure exactly. If you asked me specifically what I liked, I'm not sure I could tell you. Perlman was cool, as always. The guy that gave Lambert the drink with the cure in it had the same Ben Sherman full-zip cardigan I bought at Foxwoods with the winnings off a huge horse bet, so that was sweet. On the other hand, the future made no sense. For some things we regressed in technology, and in others it was better: like we have the ability to fill a whole room with a hologram to reenact a murder (not one that can interact with you physically like in Star Trek, so it wasn't that silly), but our clock radios are worse than they were in 1968.

Lambert did his thing. I liked his laid back look, including the hoodie and messed up hair. If he wasn't so old, you could see him hosting TRL. I guess if you flash forward twenty years to when I'm his age, I'll probably still dress like that, and so will other people my age who dress like that now, so I guess it's not that much of a stretch. He hooks up with his female lead, Kelly Brook, which isn't that much of a surprise because action heroes usually get a piece of the heroine; but here Lambert's character seemed surprised he was getting some, and that was kind of refreshing. None of the Van Damme wink-wink nudge-nudge don't you wish you me kind of stuff.

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Lou Diamond Phillips, or LDP, as his fans call him, didn't do too much for me. It was interesting to see him in it, because it was LDP, the dude from Young Guns and whatnot, but he wasn't as cool as he was in The Big Hit. I think it was the way the character was written; but Lou Diamond's supposed to be a good actor, he needs to do more with a poorly written character than he did. We could've had any number of Highlander, or even Beastmaster, villains come in and scowl a lot and it would've done the trick. It probably would've cost less too... though maybe I'm wrong about that.

Speaking of Highlander, beyond the obvious with this being a Lambert film, we also have Ron Perlman, who did a guest turn on a Highlander episode. I love Perlman in pretty much everything except Beauty and the Beast (because that was just a dumb show), and this was no exception. He plays a great evil company head, and he steals every scene he's in. I remember watching the interviews done with the cast and crew after I watched the Highlander episode he did on DVD. One of the producers complained that Perlman "mailed it in". I think that makes me like him even more. He probably mailed it in in this movie too, but he's still the man.

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Lambert's partner is this hot woman named Roberta Angelica. If you watched any syndicated TV, you may remember her as the chick who mud wrestled Tia Carrere in Relic Hunter. For some reason in this film, they kind of ruin her by giving her weird hair and whatnot. The only reason I could see for that would be how much hotter she was than the female lead, Brook, who we had to believe Lambert would want to do. What they should've done was not ruin Angelica's looks, and then just had Lambert hook up with both of them. We'd buy that, I think...

I don't know how to recommend this. Don't buy it. Maybe rent it, but don't center your night around it if you're having people over, unless they're huge Lambert fans. If you see it on TV, you could TiVo it for shits and giggles, but don't go in expecting much. It's bad enough that you and your friends can mock it, but there's plenty out there that's a better investment to go for before you try this.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0300902/

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