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, August 20, 2008

Nirvana (1997)


The only reason to check this out was Lambert on the cover. They gotta know when they sign a dude like him on that people like me will give anything a shot if it has him in it. If Bridget Jones' Diary 3 has Lambert in it, I may queue up to the theater to watch it. All right, I'd wait for it to come out on video. Okay, I'd fast forward until the scenes with Lambert showed up. But I'd still get it!

Nirvana takes place in the future, where Lambert is a genius computer programmer whose wife left him. Anyway, he designs this game where the lead character is sentient, and pleads with Lambert to delete him so he doesn't have to continue his false existence. Lambert just can't do that, though. He has to hack into the company he works for's whatever and delete it there, before it's duplicated a million times. The ensuing adventure is the most forced action plot ever.


I fell asleep during this and had to rewind it. It was pretty boring. There was no plot to speak of. The concept could be a great short story or something, but shoving an action plot between the beginning and end didn't work, and with nothing really cool happening from that action, it was pretty much just Lambert counting sheep for me from my TV. But it worked for the film makers, because his being on the cover made me rent it.

This was a pretty random Lambert role. Computer programmer? Yet who can still handle himself in a fight? Really? Actually, I think that's pretty funny and one of the better aspects of the film, so I can't get on it too much. Lambert is one of the more fascinating members of the DTVC Hall of Fame. He's probably as big a star as the trio of Dolph, Van Damme, and Seagal, but not quite. Yet he's not as far down the totem pole as say a D "The D" Dubs, or Wings Hauser. By the same token, he's not the icon a Peter Weller or Rutger Hauer is. He stands alone, Christopher Lambert (pronounced "LAM-bear".)


This film is Italian, so pretty much everyone is dubbed. Lambert, as I recall, is dubbed by himself. The others don't always fit, and it's like watching Iron Chef, only with Italian people. I wonder if Fellini ever considered using Lambert? Or Antonioni? Too bad Lambert was so young in the 50s, because he'd have been great in a Neorealist film about an Italian family struggling to survive the mean streets of Rome. Maybe someone should try to make that now. Or just Lucas him into Umberto D.

The music was interesting in this. It was pretty solid quality for a film of this caliber. That actually works against it, unfortunately. Bad synthesizer or electric guitar would have added a level of silliness this bad boy needed. Mullets would've helped too. You can never go wrong with mullets. And Lambert... well they had Lambert, so they just needed the bad music and mullets.


One cool aspect of the movie was how the film took place in a city where three major Asian ethnicities: Arabs, Indians, and the Chinese, are represented by their own section. It's kind of a throwback to old Film Noir, where Asian communities represented mystery and seduction and danger, and the tension was palpable as our hero tried to negotiate the environment. The problem is, this wasn't good Film Noir, it was crummy DTV schlock from Italy that I only rented because it had Lambert in it.

Don't believe the hype. Don't let the Lambert on the cover fool you. This isn't good. See every other Lambert movie first. If you have your choice between this and Highlander 2, and you've already seen Highlander 2, still watch this second, when everyone's ready to go to bed. It's a real snoozefest.

For more info:


  1. Way to throw somore Lambert in here! I love this site. I got my copy of Live By The Fist yesterday (75 cents new off Amazon Marketplace, ha ha) and watched that last night. It was glorious as described. Those are the ones that make wading through all the boring ones worth it. Thought I would throw this review at you that comes out this week:
    I put in a pre-order after that review, it sounds like it hits the DTV sweet spot big time. I had never heard of it, you? Anyway, thanks for the updates!

  2. I had never heard of it, and I thank you for bringing it to my attention. I'm glad you dig the site, and don't hesitate to bring me more good movies to to look at!