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.


Monday, March 2, 2009

The Detonator (2006)


This is the fifth Wesley Snipes film we've done, which isn't a lot considering he's up for DTVC Hall of Fame consideration in the future. On the one hand, I should probably watch more Snipes films, but on the other, the first couple he did that I reviewed weren't that good, and so he was pushed down the totem pole a bit. I'm sure he has other things to worry about, though, like serving time in a federal prison for tax evasion, so I doubt he'll raise too much of a stink for not being given enough recognition here at the DTVC.

The Detonator has Snipes as a federal agent or cop or something undercover in Romania buying AK-47s off a dealer. Things go bad, but he's given a shot to redeem himself if he protects a woman linked to a Romanian mob boss. Thing is, the mob boss is also looking to buy a biological weapon off a Ukrainian, and the woman is holding the bank codes so he can pay for it. Now Snipes is really in it, and every time he thinks he can trust someone, he ends up in the shitter.


This was okay. A couple okay car chases. A couple okay fight scenes. A couple okay shootouts. Just plain okay. I'm not saying it was bad. I liked it all right. But there was no "Oh my God... that was awesome!" feeling afterward. Not like the way I felt after watching Blade 2, for instance. When I think of a movie called Detonator, I'm definitely thinking more a bomb strapped to Ron Pearlman's head more than some biological weapon that Snipes really has nothing to do with. He should've at least been a detonator of some sort.

But what I did see was what made Snipes cool in Blade. He had the smooth martial arts skills that make him unique from his fellow action stars. There was one scene toward the end where the bad guys have him hand-cuffed in the back of a car, and he reveals to them that he's able to take them off, and as they're realizing that he's free, he takes them all out. This movie definitely had more of that than say The Contractor, which was a total plus, but to make the Hall of Fame, we need those seminal pics: his Bridge of Dragons, or Out for a Kill, or Fortress. What we need is Blade 4: DTV.


This is another Snipes in Romania film, the other I reviewed being 7 Seconds. He's not the only one going there to do films. Seagal, Van Damme, and Dolph have all had movies filmed there. They also seem to like Bulgaria. How does that work? Is there a rivalry between those two countries, like Sweden and Norway? Are they trying to one up each other as a destination for DTV action movie shoots? I know Romanians speak a Romance language, while Bulgarian is Slavic; throw the Hungarians in there, who speak a Uralic language, which isn't even from the Indo-European family, and you got quite an eclectic quite a mix. Is this the future of DTV action, filming in Eastern Europe? The Canadians must be up in arms. How will all those Stargate actors get work to pad their resumes?

There's some weird thing with the main baddie's club soccer team, where at the end they're playing for a spot in the world championships, which take place in Washington DC. What? First off, what European soccer tournament exists where Romanian teams dominate? Rapid Bucharest taking down Man U? I don't see it. I know it's a movie, but how hard would it be that this bad guy is taking a lowly Romanian team and bringing them prominence in the domestic league, and earning a Champion's League spot? Even better, maybe they play one of the bigger European clubs and upset them. Second, why bring the US into it? It's not like they ended up using the trip to DC as a front to get the bomb in. I'm a huge soccer fan, so it annoyed me quite a bit that they invented some tournament that the US hosts, and made these two Romanian teams compete for a shot in the finals, for no reason at all. It just made no sense. [What did make sense was just seeing Villa come from ahead to choke away a 2 goal lead to Stoke, leaving the door open for my Gunners to gain that coveted fourth spot in the league. Go Arsenal!]


The female lead is played by an Italian woman named Silvia Colloca. As you can imagine, she's extremely attractive. I'm not sure how warm it is in Bucharest, but she spent almost the entire film in a skimpy tank top that showed off her stomach. Anyway, I looked her up on imdb, and she's in a film that will be released soon in England called Lesbian Vampire Killers. It looks pretty sweet, but it also looks like a mainstream release kind of deal, so it may not turn up on the DTVC-- if it ever makes it to the US anyway.

The verdict is still out on Wesley Snipes. If this had been the first DTV film of his I'd seen, I'd think he's showing a lot of promise as a potential Hall of Famer. It's really not that bad, it's just not amazing. At the very least, we can say he flexes his martial arts muscles more than he has in all the other films of his I've reviewed here, except maybe The Art of War 2. The next film of his I'll look at is The Marksman, so we'll see what happens.

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