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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Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Missionary Man (2007)

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I'd been waiting for this one for a while. Imdb had it on his bio as in post-production or whatever for what seemed like ages. Then, out of no where, I did a search of Dolph on Netflix, and it just appeared along with Final Inquiry. I put them both at the top of my queue, and had a mini-Dolph Fest to commemorate their final release.

Missionary Man is about Dolph as a dude on a motorcycle that also preaches from this dirty old Bible. He comes to this Native American reservation to attend his friend's funeral, and sticks around when he finds out this local dude that looks like Tom Hanks' brother is trying to strong arm the tribe into signing on to build a casino. Dolph, always here to defend the underdog, kicks some serious ass. This should be a lesson to all communities opposed to having casinos built in their towns: hire Dolph, and you won't have to worry.

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This is a pretty awesome film. We're spared the frivolousness of a plot: for the most part, the film's a series of scenes where a bunch of guys in pick-up trucks and SUVs corner Dolph, and he beats the crap out of them. I wouldn't have it any other way. There's this one baddie who's above the guy that looks like Tom Hanks' brother on the bad guy food chain, and Dolph blows his brains out with a shotgun at the end of the movie. It's so sweet.

On the other hand, Dolph directed this, and his directorial work ain't so great. This isn't The Defender, which I felt was passable. Here, he uses this distorted color effect which makes the screen look bad. You can see these moving pixels on anything white, like someone's forehead. I felt like I was waiting for my eyes to adjust to coming inside after sitting in the sun for a few hours. Why he did that is beyond me. Come on, Dolph, did you ever see Bergman or even Scorsese try a stunt like that?

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For UFC fans, Brad Imes, from the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, is in this. He plays a henchman who turns good after a Dolph beating. At the end of the film, when Dolph's gunning for the whole crew of baddies, Imes saves Dolph. He also saves the girl from being attacked by his fellow henchman, which saves him from a second Dolph beating when the girl tells him this.

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The girl in this is fascinating. She's supposed to be 15 (imdb says she's 18 in real life), and she lives on what seems to be a rather impoverished reservation. So with no obvious means of income beyond her mom, who herself wasn't rolling in cash, she managed to dress herself in designer jeans. First off, there couldn't have been any stores nearby that sold clothing like that: I mean I live in Maine, and some places in Portland have lower end stuff, but for the most part you've got to go to Boston to get what she was wearing, and I couldn't imagine a city that big was within 1000 miles of where she lived. Second, that means she needed to order them over the Internet, which would cost even more. I know they didn't want her to look like a scrub, but come on, Dolph... on the other hand, if Dolph didn't have stupid stuff like that in his movies, there'd be nothing for me and my friends to make fun of.

This is a pretty nice film. It's not one of Dolph's best, but definitely not one of his worst. If you're a huge Dolph fan, I would recommend getting this. I'm not sure if you're planning a Dolph Fest if you'd want to showcase it, but if a bunch of you haven't seen it, you may want to stuff it into a full second night of films. I'd put it right behind Detention and right above Hidden Assassin.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0926110/

7 comments:

  1. I agree completely. Good movie, although the filter was horrible applied to the look of the movie. The shotgun blast fully shown to the face redeemed it though, and the shot of Dolph rolling by in the background while the baddies have the "Cant anyone kill this guy?" speech. Now, when is that review of The Russian Specialist coming? Dolph's sophmore directorial piece and easily the best. Blows The Defender and MM away.

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  2. Funny you should mention it, because Russian Specialist was my next planned Dolph review. I try to space them out, and do one every 8 posts. I made an exception for these two because they came out in the US at roughly the same time. Expect it on post 184, three to four weeks from now.

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  3. Jeff L. (htlp_12@yahoo.com)April 18, 2008 at 10:44 AM

    That is great, I cant wait to hear your thoughts. Personally it's my fav of this century Dolph, and would put it in my top 5 all time with I Come In Peace (at the top), Bridge Of Dragons, SILT, and probably Men Of War. (MOTU is pretty solid too, but Dolph's He-Man is pretty sedate.) On a side note, I remember you mentioning not having I Come In Peace on dvd, and your affinity for that flick. I have an extra copy (widescreen and region free/ awesome artwork) that I would be glad to hook you up with. Call it appreciation for your work in the DTV community.

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  4. I'm at a loss for words. That would be great. Thank you very much.

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  5. Not a problem, us Dolph fans got to look out for each other. Hit me up at the email I posted above and I will ship it out to you.

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  6. Always been a huge fan of The Dolph. I love how deep you went on that chick's bluejeans (that was not meant to sound sexual). Gotta love Hollywood - where penniless reservationistas can dress like J Lo.

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  7. Yeah, the jeans stuck out for me, growing up in Maine, I know it's not as easy to hook up designer clothes as it would seem to someone living in LA. It's always fun to poke fun at crap like that. If the rest of the movies wasn't so awesome, it would've come off as dumb, but it was awesome, so it was more silliness that just made it work.

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