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, January 21, 2009

Cyborg 2 (1993)

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I first saw this on Spike really late at night. The crazy thing about it is that it flew completely under my radar. It came out in 1993, but I had no idea it existed until like 2006. And not only that, it has Oscar winners Jack Palance and Angelina Jolie in it. I figured with the Academy Awards last Sunday, this would be an apt post.

Cyborg 2 takes place some time in the future after the first one. Things are somewhat better, and two companies, Pinwheel and Kobayashi are vying for corporate supremacy in the field of cyborg technology. Pinwheel has created a cyborg that doubles as a bomb, and they've made Angelina Jolie into one. Elias Koteas is her fight trainer, and Jack Palance, playing a disembodied voice, convinces the two of them to escape Pinwheel. Pinwheel sends the always gross Billy Drago after them, but Pinwheel's CEO has other plans, and he sends a cyborg of his own to get things done. Palance manages to get the two on a ship to Mombasa, the free-zone for cyborgs.

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This wouldn't have been a bad film, except for Billy Drago. Not only was he in it, which was bad enough, but they made his face all bad after he gets glass in it. Eww. He has a fight scene with Koteas at the end, but with a gross face, I didn't enjoy it. Why do people do things like this? Whose idea was it to A: have Billy Drago, and B: make him grosser than he already is? He was all preening in the mirror and pulling his face apart like he's trying to make himself look nice for William Holden in Sunset Boulevard, and it made me cringe the whole time.

I'm not saying it totally ruined the film. The future was pretty cool. I'm not sure what happened to the great Atlanta from the first one, but this was a pretty bleak time. Koteas, Jolie, and Palance were all good. What wasn't Billy Drago all gross was pretty awesome actually. But like Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight, the specter of Drago lurking made even the scenes he wasn't in intense.

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Obviously The DTVC doesn't come across Oscar winners often, so when we get one, it's kinda a big deal. This time we got two. Jack Palance technically did win in 1991 for City Slickers despite the fact that Gary Busey should've won for Point Break; and then there's Angelina Jolie. I realized when looking her up on imdb that other than this and Hackers, I haven't seen any of her films. I think I saw five minutes of a Tomb Raider movie on TNT, and who knows why that was. Anyway, even with Elias Koteas and Jack Palance, Jolie is head-and-shoulders the better actor/actress. I didn't realize she's only 33 years old. That's four more than me, but also 12 less than Brad Pitt. I don't know why, but I always thought she was older and closer in age to him.

Speaking of Brad Pitt, Elias Koteas was in the Oscar nominated The [notso] Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Personally, I liked his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Crash better than either this movie or the one that garnered all the award nominations. And let's be clear, the Crash I'm talking about is the good one with James Spader, not the sack-of-asscrack that won best picture when Brokeback Mountain was ten times better. Also, Koteas is the second TMNT alum featured on the DTVC, Corey Feldman being the first.

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I wasn't sure what to do about tagging Jean-Claude Van Damme. He's in it in the form of clips from the previous movie. I guess I'll tag him, and then whoever reads it can see that he's really not in it, only sorta kinda. Word on the street is that he and Dolph are teaming up again for another Universal Soldier. I hope it's DTV, though if it is in the theater, I'll make an exception and review it here.

If you think you can handle the Drago grossness factor, I say give this a shot. It may just be something wrong with me, too. Most people probably don't find Drago that gross, even when his face is all cut up and falling apart. This isn't as good as the first Cyborg, but how many Godfather II's are there out there anyway? It's good for what it is.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0106639/

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