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.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Into the Sun (2005)


The fact that it took Steven Seagal so long to get into the DTVC Hall of Fame is something that looks worse and worse for the Direct to Video Connoisseur with every movie we see. He is consistently turning out quality bad action films in his post Big Screen career, and unfortunately some of my friends' bias against the big fella has kept me from seeing these gems. If it wasn't for me stumbling on a couple on Spike TV, I probably wouldn't have seen any at all. But now that I have had a taste, you can be sure there'll be more to come.

Into the Sun takes place in Tokyo, where there's a deal in place to hook up members of the Yakuza with members of the Chinese Triads to distribute heroin they can get from Myanmar's portion of the famed Golden Triangle. Seagal, a CIA agent, is called into investigate due to his experience with the Yakuza. As he digs in he finds out these are renegade factions of their respective crime organizations, and he needs to bring them to justice. Things get personal when the Yakuza guy, Kuroda, sends his baddies to kill the woman Seagal wants to settle down with and marry. Now he's pissed, and that's a bad thing.


This is a pretty sweet film. We see parts of Tokyo we seldom see in other American pictures, like the city's Chinatown and suburbs. I'm kind of a geek when it comes to stuff like that, so it may not be as cool to others as it was to me. The action was definitely solid. Seagal was good, the bad guys were cool, the women were hot, I liked the fight scenes, and plenty of things were blown up. I'm not sure I need much more in a bad action film.

Seagal was sweet. He kicks some ass, wields a samurai sword, and says things like "I grew up here, this is my neighborhood" about areas of Tokyo, when we know he has a Detroit/Midwestern accent. In some cases he dispatches the bad guys a little too easily for my tastes, but overall I can't complain. Seagal delivers again. I only wish his energy drinks tasted as well as his performance in this.

As in many other CIA type films, Seagal, the seasoned veteran, gets a rookie tagging along whose sole purpose is to annoy us. What makes this one interesting was the casting decision. He's this guy who played the heroine's love interest in the first BloodRayne. What makes it interesting is how as an annoying rookie tagging along, he works really well, but as the cool guy who's so hot it makes Painkiller Jane want to do him he fell flat on his face. In both pictures, we want him to bite it, but only in Seagal's do we get the satisfaction. I think this is a lesson to bad movie makers: casting's important. It's the difference between annoying your audience intentionally or accidentally, and you never want the latter.


I loved the bad guys in this. I almost didn't want them to lose. The Triad guy had a sweet fight scene with Seagal, and he also took care of the annoying rookie for us. The Japanese dudes were sweet too. The head bad guy wore these suits where he draped the top coat over himself with his arms out of the sleeves. His hatchetman was this crazy dude with weird hair that wore a cowboy hat. When he shot people, he'd have these silly looks on his face where his eyes were wide open, like he was the Runaway Bride. It totally made the movie for me.

Of course, with every movie set in the Pacific Rim, you have to have your hot Asian chicks, and this film wasn't lacking. The chick Seagal proposed to was a good deal, and it was too bad she died. There was also the Chinese woman sent to protect him. She was like Xiaoyu from Tekken Tag, which was the sweetest game ever. My buddy used to use her with Lei Wulong, and I would kill him with the Kings. I killed everyone with Kings. Giant Swing, baby.


One thing I've found over time with my bad movie watching is that most people who share my love don't share my other love, which is sports. I think I'm the anomaly, and not the other way around, but it gives me a different perspective when I view these movies. Often sports stars cross over, and they usually don't care what kind of movie they cross over into, especially if their agents aren't that good. This film has former Ohio State and Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George in it, and he gets shot while on a covert mission in Myanmar with Seagal. It was one of those "Oh My God, That's Eddie George" things, where everyone else was like "Who?" Eddie George's best year as a player came in 1999, when his Titans made the Super Bowl and came within a few feet of winning it against the St. Louis Rams. Now he does Seagal films.

I scooped this on Netflix, and if you have that, shoot it to the top of your queue, because it's worth it. If you're a Seagal fan sans Netflix, I'd go out and rent this right away, because it's sweet. This is the kind of film you and your buddies can feature on a bad movie night and yell at the screen, or you can rent and enjoy by yourself on a quiet night in. It's a good deal.

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  1. Really enjoyed this one! Seagal with a sword was awesome and his Japanese is completely fluent. I love Asian cinema so watching half of this subtitled was no issue and really different for a Seagal movie. I thought his partner was atrocious though, and the scenes with his girlfriend pretty lame - though her death did give him reason enough to go on a slaughterfest in the last fifteen minutes, so for that I am thankful. Even had the EPA guy from GhostBusters in it. Good stuff.

  2. Yeah, this one was a fun time. With Seagal films they can be either hit or miss, and this one was a hit. I'm glad you dug it too.