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, October 1, 2008

Hardball aka Bounty Hunters 2: Hardball (1997)


First saw this back in the late nineties early 2000s when a buddy of mine and I were on a Dudikoff kick. We actually saw it without seeing the first Bounty Hunters. I'm not sure that matters. Do I care about the continuing misadventures of Jersey Bellini? Could he just as easily be Dakota Pasta Primavera fighting the same baddies as another bounty hunter with Lisa Howard as his screwball romantic comedy-esque love interest? Sure, and I wouldn't care either way.

Hardball picks up where Bounty Hunters left off, with Howard and Duds trying to make the whole bounty hunter/lovers partnership thing work. She dumps him, and he gets the mob after him because she botches a jewelry store heist and they trace the botch to him. So he beats guys up, has a bunch of almost deaths, blows some shit up, and Lisa Howard gives him a hard time and kicks some more guys' asses. Pretty much the first Bounty Hunters.


The question, of course, is why was this movie made? It's one thing for scriptwriters to get lazy and rip ideas off for bad DTV films, but a whole 'nother level when they're too bored to come up with new characters and package the thing as a sequel. Was the first Bounty Hunters so successful? Were people writing the producers, clamoring for more stories involving bounty hunter Jersey Bellini and his on again/off again woman? I'd like to meet those people if they existed.

Getting past the fact that this movie was needless as a sequel, it was as much fun as the first one. There's still the suspending belief that Lisa Howard and her 110 frame can punch people out as effortlessly as Mike Tyson, Dudikoff is as funny yet kick ass as ever, and there's plenty of action throughout. All in all, this does the job. It's what you're looking for in a bad action movie.


With the 2008 class of Hall of Fame inductions coming in a week or two, it's nice to take a second here and recognize a member of the inaugural class, Michael Dudikoff. No one says DTV better than he does. He really hasn't been in any major motion pictures. His fame is only through cable TV and the video store shelf. He's a real classic, and this film is classic Dudikoff. According to imdb, he hasn't done a film since '02. Come on, man, get back in there and make Bounty Hunters 3... or Cyberjack 2... or American Ninja 5.

Tony Curtis is in this as a crime boss. I'll always love him from Some Like it Hot. It's weird seeing him in this, because his role's really small, and it's not very good. Then I look him up on imdb, and he's doing all sorts of bad stuff, some of which they don't even sell on Amazon. Tony, baby, what's going on here? Does this mean if I put together a picture, I got a shot at landing a screen legend like Tony Curtis? Wow.


There's one interesting scene where a guy who looks like Screech has the snot beaten out of him by the bad guy. Anyone who's seen him on Celebrity Fit Club knows what an asshole he was, and so this was kind of an after-the-fact applause scene for us, but it was welcomed. Considering Screech was having trouble paying his mortgage, I wonder what it would cost to land him in a movie where you could have Tony Curtis beat the crap out of him.

Are you a Dudikoff fan? If you are you've probably already seen this. If not, you may not want to. Watch the first one, and if you're really hungering for more misadventures of bounty hunter Jersey Bellini and his partner/love interest... well, you're in luck.

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