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, April 30, 2008

Never Say Die (1995)

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This film was packaged with Silent Hunter, the Miles O'Keefe/Fred Williamson classic, when I rented it on Netflix. I needed Silent Hunter, because I had it on VHS, but have no way to capture images from VHS to my computer for the DTVC. So I got the pics I needed, then sat down and indulged in this movie, figuring, "what the heck, right?"

Never Say Die is about a man who looks like a lesbian fitness instructor from the early nineties who works as a freelance boat repairman somewhere in the Florida Keys. He was once in an elite military unit with disturbing and annoying yet always working character actor Billy Drago. As you can imagine, Drago's a bad guy, and in this case he's running a cult that fronts as a drug running operation or something. When the FBI raid his compound, he flees, bring him and the suspicious FBI right into the lesbian fitness instructor's path. He's the only one who can take down Drago and his men, it's just a matter of whether the FBI will let him or not.

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I don't know what I was expecting to get out of this film, so it's hard to really gauge whether or not it was good or bad. There were a lot of superfluous explosions, which, for a true action movie buff like myself, there's really no such thing as a superfluous explosion, but I digress. I think if the plot was just thrown out the window, and the film was a serious of explosions, the Lesbian guy kicking people's asses, and a bunch of guns and boobs, I could say this was great, but as such, the plot makes it just good.

The hero made no sense, but I think was awesome just the same. Early on he wears a baseball cap, and looks pretty bad ass. Then he takes off the hat, to reveal a bad lesbian fitness instructor buzz cut. Coupled with the Jennifer Beals cut T-shirt, he just looks ridiculous-- yet, again, awesome just the same. At the end of the movie, he goes to walk off into the sunset, but the girl he saves stops him, so he can kiss her. Then he goes back off into the sunset. What makes this funnier is his Jennifer Beals T-shirt is all torn and draped over his torso from all his dispatching of baddies, and as he walks off, he takes one shred from around his bicep and pulls it over his shoulder, like he's trying to put what's left of his shirt back on. I didn't know what to make of it, but that too was awesome.

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Billy Drago doesn't work for me. He's never worked for me. I just never got the appeal. As a big time action movie and TV buff, he shows up a lot, and that makes me distressed a lot. He's just creepy and annoying... I don't know... I guess that's the point, but if I had my druthers, I'd rather he wasn't in a movie I was watching. I'm not saying he shouldn't work... everyone has the right to make a living. I just think he should get a better agent and do movies that I think suck and don't want to watch anyway like Enchanted or National Treasure. Then we can all be happy.

A man by the name of Todd Jensen plays Roper, the head FBI agent. I'd never seen this dude before, until he showed up as an FBI agent in the Bernhardt film The Cutter (which also starred Chuck Norris-- lame!). Then I saw him a week later in the new Van Damme film The Shepherd (coming soon to the DTVC), as a head border patrol agent. It's weird how these That Guys don't exist one minute, and then they're ubiquitous the next. He's not quite a Norbert Weisser level, where he gets tagged at the end of the blog, but he's getting there. At the DTVC, getting tagged is a high honor for a That Guy.

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From time to time I'm known to make a typo or two while typing an entry, but I try my best to have a solid grasp of the grammatical rules of the English language-- even if I may break them on purpose. That being said, I'm also not one for correcting someone else's grammar, even if I know they're in the wrong. I feel it's rather presumptuous to play the role of Grammar Hammer. The end of this film, though, committed a grammatical sin that I couldn't pass up mocking: the misuse of quotation marks. Movie titles are supposed to be in italics, not quotes; but when the title of a film is being displayed at either the beginning or the end of the movie, the italics are assumed: no punctuation is required. You'd think people making a movie would know that, but these ones didn't, and they put their movie title in quotes. So instead of watching Never Say Die, I watched Figuratively Never Say Die, it was in a sense, an if you will, if you will. Either that, or as the lesbian hero walked off, he was thinking "Never Say Die", and the movie makers wanted to give him credit for his though.

This movie is a bottom barrel production: we're taking Bruce Penhall/Julie Strain type stuff here. I'm not saying don't watch it. I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed myself. But I'm a veteran bad movie watcher and something of a sadist when it comes to these things. If you don't think you have the intestinal fortitude, I say skip this for a Dolph Lundgren flick. If you think you're up for the challenge, though, by all means, give this a shot. I'd still get the Lundgren flick as well, just so you have something to cleanse the palette after.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113964/

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