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

Monday, March 9, 2009

30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007)

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The Asylum is back, and this time they've enlisted a DTVC Hall of Famer, Lorenzo Lamas. This is big. Even if Lamas is a lower level on the HOF totem pole, he's a Hall of Famer nonetheless. We ain't talkin' no C. Thomas Howell or William Katt here. This is the frickin' Renegade, Reno Raines.

You wanna guess what 30 G's is all about? Pretty much the standard adaptation, except Lamas has invented some kind of bubble-izer that makes bubbles in the water that people can live in, and Nemo wants it, so when Lamas and some other people try to rescue a submarine, he captures them and tries to enlist Lamas to help him. If this guy had ever seen Renegade or Snake Eater or Falcon Crest, he'd know not to mess with Lamas; but alas, he didn't, and instead is blown up by the bubble-izer as it hits the Nautilus.

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Man, I don't know what to say. I mean really, what can I say? This is about 90 minutes of sheer goofiness. I watched it on my Roku Netflix TV player after a soccer game, and my buddy was with me looking at stuff on his iPhone. Every now and then he'd look up from what he was doing and laugh. That sums it up. I don't really remember he or I cracking too many jokes about it. The movie just kind of did it for us. Just silly scene after silly scene, and then the credits.

I guess the question is, is that good enough? Part of me wants to say yeah, part of me wants to say no. I've always disliked 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, so to see it in this way where Nemo gets his pretty quickly was good for me. There was a part towards the end where Lamas was being taken to a holding cell, and he dispatches the men taking him there, and I thought we were in for a Die Hard rip-off. I think I would've dug that better. Maybe cut some of the junk at the beginning, have Lamas and his crew captured in the first twenty minutes, then at the half-hour mark just go straight Die Hard and have Lamas Reno Raines style destroying the ship and taking out bad guys on his way. Then he rescues the crew like he did and blows up the Nautilus.

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Speaking of Lamas, it was hilarious to have him as a scientist. He does it in this completely serious manner, as if there's nothing hard to swallow about him being an expert in any scientific field. For me it's even better that this scientific expert is also an expert in martial arts. What would've made it better than that would have been if he could quote Shakespeare the way a cult leader can quote scripture. "As Shakespeare so eloquently put it 'What, is my beaver easier than it was?'"

As far as The Asylum goes, this was a pretty solid effort from them. It had that extreme mailed-it-in quality that can be a tad disconcerting, especially with the CGI and the atrocious acting. When Lorenzo Lamas is the most seasoned thespian in any given scene, the whole thing takes on a YouTube high school video quality. What that did, at least for me and my buddy, was made it hard to make fun of, because all we did was laugh at it. It's like watching Rudy Giuliani on SNL.

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But there's hope. On May 19th, The Asylum, in collaboration with Lorenzo Lamas, is releasing Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. If that doesn't sound like the most amazing thing imaginable, I don't know what does. If they can build on the foundation they've established from this film, it should be a first rate stinker of hilarious proportions. I can't wait.

Here's the final analysis: if you're up at 3AM doing a paper or eating pizza or just trying to sober up enough so the bed stops spinning when you lie down, there's a lot worse you could watch than this if it happens to be on Sci-Fi or whatever. If you have Netflix and have unlimited access to watch instantly, you may want to put it in your instant queue for just such an occasion. I have a feeling this Mega Shark thing will be the one you want to get your buddies together for for the bad movie night, not this one.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1056026/

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