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.

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.

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

--Matt

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hot Boyz (1999)

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This film has some first grade talent: Busey, C. Thomas Howell, Snoop, Jeff Speakman, Master P, and Clifton Powell. I figured it couldn't go wrong. The only thing that could derail it would be if it ignored that great talent and focused on someone else, like Silkk The Shocker. They wouldn't do that, would they?

They did. Hot Boyz is about Silkk as a dude in LA whose girlfriend is wrongly accused of killing a cop. Gary Busey and C. Thomas Howell are corrupt cops that want to catch the other corrupt cop that really killed the cop, not Silkk's girl. Anyway, they want him to go undercover and get evidence, but as he does, his girl is killed in jail by that bad cop. Silkk goes over the deep end, and he and the boys he grew up with start their own gang and kill hundreds of people. Then the net finally drops, but for some reason Silkk, after killing hundreds of people, is let out of jail on a technicality.

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What? Where do I start? First, I understand Master P wanted to use this film to showcase Silkk the Shocker so he could make more money off him, but when he surrounded him with the talent he did, it left us wondering why they were all playing second fiddle. Snoop Dogg as an underling in Silkk the Shocker's gang? Not a chance. And Master P himself has a great scene where he's being interrogated-- but it's his only scene, and it just left me wanting more. Why weren't Master P and Snoop Dogg just kicking ass and taking names in some kind of new age Fred Williamson-type flick?

The plot was ridiculous. First, killing off the girl was a bad move. Then having him start a gang when he was unbelievable in that role was dumb. Finally, having an epilogue where Silkk gets out of jail leaves the story with a "huh?" kind of bad after taste. Baller Blockin' this definitely wasn't. They knew better than to kill off the girl, they made the cops sufficiently corrupt, and the overall level of charm was higher.

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This was all right as far as Busey went. He's first billed, which is slightly misleading. Silkk was supposed to be the star. Obviously I think Busey should be in any movie as much as possible, no matter what it is. I absolutely loved Slumdog Millionaire and The Wrestler, but each would've been that much better with Gary Busey in them. Speaking of which, why doesn't Busey have an Oscar? He should've gotten best supporting actor in 1991 for Point Break over Jack Palance, but that's neither here nor there...

There isn't much C. Thomas Howell. He plays a detective that works under Busey. With the momentum from The Da Vinci Treasure, I was hoping to build on it with another great performance-- and he was good-- but there just wasn't enough here to work with. Like Master P and Snoop Dogg, they all did well, I just wished they could've been in it more. Silkk the Shocker should've been the one with the limited role.

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Because this and Baller Blockin' were both made by competing New Orleans rap outfits, I thought it necessary to compare the two in an earlier paragraph. One thing the two have in common is Anthony Johnson, the guy who plays the crackhead in Friday. The only thing is on imdb he's not listed in the credits of Baller Blockin', so you won't find it on his bio. As with everything else in Baller Blockin' they use this comedic actor much better than Hot Boyz did. The crazy cop was funny, while the stuttering, jealous member of the gang didn't work for me. One of his best attributes is his fast speech, so making him a stutterer ruins that.

This movie was sauteed in wrong sauce right from the start, from conception to production. Every good move they made was coupled and trebled by myriad bad moves. I just don't get people who make movies sometimes. Avoid this, and watch Baller Blockin' and then Point Break again instead.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0191191/

1 comment:

  1. I thought this was pretty amusing entry from PM Action and was surprised that Artisan (later owned by Lionsgate) distributed this. I saw plenty of familiar stuntmen faces, the rap OST was kicking and the action never let up. The plot is clumsy but that was to be expected. I guess I wanted more of Brent Huff who I saw in Hijack (A.K.A. The Last Siege: Never Surrender) and Strike Commando 2 since he stole every single one of his brief scenes.

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