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

Hi everyone, it's been a while since I checked the page, and I wanted to make a few announcements.

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

--Matt

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

One Tough Bastard aka One Man's Justice (1995)

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I first discovered this film through my friends at Bruce's Angels, a fan site dedicated actor Bruce Payne which I have a link to in the section Other Great Sites. The first thing that drew me to it was his too sweet mullet. The second thing was Brian Bosworth and MC Hammer. Then I saw it had one of my favorite character actors, Jeff Kober. I just didn't see how this could go wrong.

One Man's Justice is about a drill sergeant played by Brian Bosworth who has his ex-wife and child killed in a botched deal for stolen military goods by Jeff Kober. Kober is let out of jail by crooked FBI agent Bruce Payne so he can complete the deal for the goods so they can be sold to drug lord MC Hammer (just Hammer at this point in his career). Bosworth is none too pleased about this situation, and he goes down to LA where all this is happening to deliver his own brand of country justice.

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This had so much potential. The star power alone should've been enough. But a slow moving plot with limited and stupid action killed any chance this had of being great. I knew I was in trouble when I was watching it with one of my roommates, and I hit the display button, and saw I was only ten minutes in. We were both shocked, thinking we'd endured much more than that. The only action we got for most of the movie came in the form of people buying stolen this or that from other people, then killing them after the deal was done. This is a group of actors we may never see put together again, and the result was a disappointing mess.

I'm sure the ladies at Bruce's Angels will agree that it was an egregious error, yet again, to have Mr. Payne speak with an American accent. Sure, the Ape Drape and Adam Curry hosting the MTV Top Twenty Countdown circa 1991 look was awesome, but it can't overcome the lack of his native accent-- if anything, it makes it worse, because we see how much better he would've been. This is a mistake that was perpetrated in Sweepers to a similar dissatisfaction. Here, it was worse, because his character was pretty sarcastic, and we all know sarcasm sounds better when it comes from the Brits.

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Brian Bosworth: not sure where I stand. My best recollection of him came during his playing days as a Seattle Seahawk, when he was run over by Bo Jackson. I have a lot of memories of Bo Jackson doing things, like hitting a homerun one-handed while trying to ask the umpire for time. I think that's a metaphor for Bosworth's performance here: I found myself thinking of other things. It was good, but I've seen it before and better done by people like Bronson. With a huge plate full of other action stars I want to see and want to review here at the DTVC, it'll be hard for The Boz to get another shot anytime soon.

Gotta love Jeff Kober. Great character actor that in my mind has been elevated beyond the level of just a That Guy. I believe the only other film we have here of his is Desert Heat, which he did with Van Damme, and another great character actor, Danny Trejo. Here he plays a slightly higher than small time thug who tries to ingratiate himself to Hammer as a service to Payne. He also kills Bosworth's family. What I liked about this role was the volume of him in it. I'm used to seeing him for a few minutes of screen time, and here we had him for the duration.

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Speaking of That Guys, this film had a slew of them. Let's start with M.C. Gainey, a big fella, who I know best from two things: Sideways, when he chases Paul Giamatti out of his house naked; and when he played himself on Cheap Seats, advertising a fake energy bar that keeps character actors fat. Then there's Asian That Guy Leo Lee, who's been in a bunch of things as whatever baddie's henchman. Probably the best paid of the film's That Guys is Neal McDonough, a Boston man whose most recent credits include Minority Report, the new Walking Tall, and 88 Minutes. He's maybe in the movie for five minutes.

All in all, not a great time. The addition of Hammer does pretty much nothing, because he's just an angry drug lord the whole time, which is just as boring as the rest of the film. It's just a shame, that's all. To have a collection of talent like that, and waste it with a bad plot and making Payne speak with an American accent? Someone should've gotten a hold of this train before it ran off the tracks, and added superfluous explosions, more mullets, and some better martial arts. But they didn't, so you should avoid this one.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113999/

5 comments:

  1. Oh man, you picked One Man's Justice as your start with the Boz? I'm crushed, as his opus, his epic success is of course Stone Cold, which I just watched for the 20th time last week. If you haven't seen, The Boz (sporting an even better mullet than in One Man's Justice), is a cop coerced into infiltrating a biker gang led by Lance Hendrickson (!) with Sergeant At Arms William Forsythe (!!). To say it's good would be an understatement. The Boz is in full homoerotic mullet mode, has a giant pet lizard as a pet, and it's very quotable. I implore you, give the Boz one more chance. This isn't quite my favorite cop-infiltrates-biker-gang movie, as that honor would be the Charlie Sheen/ Michael Madsen collaboration Above The Law, but Stone Cold is the more fun movie. If Howie Long had ever done anything this ridiculous (and in a good way), then maybe the football star turned DTV action hero genre would still be alive, and not turned over to pro wrestlers. Well, maybe.

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  2. I didn't really think of it, but I probably should've mentioned Stone Cold in my paragraph about him. My bad, I was just so disappointed in the movie. I actually saw Stone Cold not long after it came out on video. The movie was great, but unfortunately was too mainstream for me to put it up here. I have two hurdles that the movie must pass to be considered DTV: first, it can't gross more than 10 mill in the box office. This one did slightly less than that, so it's okay there. The second one is if I can take a date to see it in the small suburban town in New Hampshire I grew up next to. Even though I was only 12 when it came out, had I been older, it was playing in the local movie theater. So I guess the Boz is SOL.

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  3. Ah, that makes a ton more sense. I would have assumed, because as you pointed out, Stone Cold was a fairly high profile affair (for what it was) and proudly sits next to Road House on my shelf for mulleted awesomeness on film. Indeed, I shall not weep for the lack of Boz inclusion then. Great update, Matt. NH rules by the way. I apent every summer in the Funspot or on Weirs Beach near Lake Winnipesaukee growing up.

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  4. And that Sheen/Madsen biker flick is Beyond The Law, not Above it, obviously. Segal flashback!

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  5. I didn't even notice the gaff in the Sheen title, I just knew instinctively what you were talking about. Thanks for your comments and support. As far as the infiltrating a biker gang goes, I think two of the most influential instances came in the Ross Hagen classic Hellcats, then the Rockford Files episode where Bo Hopkins guest starred. It's a very interesting sub-genre that is often overlooked.

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