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

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Last Sentinel (2007)

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I first saw this on Sci-Fi a couple years ago. It was advertised as a Katee Sackoff picture because she was one of their big stars while on the new Battlestar Galactica. Flipping through channels that same night, I came across a movie that had Don "The Dragon" Wilson in it, and figured, this looks like a good deal. Then they go to commercial, and I realize I'm on the Sci-Fi channel, this is the movie with Sackoff they advertised, and in fact it was really a D "The D" Dubs film repackaged as a Sackoff feature to get the fanboys on board. Nice work, Sci-Fi, you know where your bread is buttered.

The Last Sentinel is a post-apocalyptic actioner that mixes together Star Wars, The Terminator, The Omega Man, and Cyborg into this mish-mash of a story where Wilson is the lone survivor of an engineered group of soldiers looking to fight a bunch of mindless droid cops that have gone beyond their programming to try and wipe out humanity. Katee Sackoff is part of a rebel group living underground that Wilson happens upon, and he tries to teach her how to fight so she can help him fight them. He makes it to some central nervous station that shuts down most droids, but the elite ones survive, and he has one big showdown of a samurai fight with one at the very end.

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This was pretty bad. But it was plenty good to make fun of. The action was pretty crappy. Don's fights were poorly choreographed and kind of slow and klunky. The bullets and laser beams sounded like people doing their impressions of Star Wars sound effects. Not only that, but this film didn't have an original thought from start to finish. Even the cuts from scene to scene were Lucas style, which he took from Kurosawa. I don't think a scene goes by that you can't make fun of.

But does that make it worth the price of a rental? Depends on what you're looking for. As far as Donny goes, this was nowhere near as awesome as Operation Cobra. Everything that made that great, this movie lacked. Katee Sackoff is kind of naked, so the fanboys will probably like that. It had a couple of gross scenes, most notably when Bokeem Woodbine dies, and Wilson takes this thing out of his eye. The eye looked like it was made out of some kind of rubbery material, and it was all gooey and nasty. Blah.

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No matter what the cover or Sci-Fi tells you, this is a Don "The Dragon" Wilson film. Sackoff's in it for a fair amount, but not as much as Wilson, and I don't think she has any scenes without him. As a Wilson film, it was pretty rough. On imdb it's listed as his last film, and I hope that changes, because he needs at least one more to leave us on a good note. Wilson doesn't work as a military man, he works as a martial arts expert fighting his way out of impossible situations with only his wits and his hands and feet. The last fight scene with the droid was even kind of pedestrian. It was the director's homage to Kurosawa and samurai films, but really it just wasted Wilson.

I have friends who watch the new Battlestar Galactica, but for some reason it just doesn't work for me. Part of it is the lack of Dirk Benedict as Starbuck. I'm not complaining that Katee Sackoff shouldn't play Starbuck because she's a woman, I'm complaining that she isn't Benedict. For me that role is meant for only one person. I guess after this season they're done with the show, so I wonder what's next for her. Maybe she'll play Faceman on a remake of The A-Team that acts as a critique of the Bush Administration's War on Terror.

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Jerry Trimble was listed as being in this, so I was excited when I watched it again to see what he did in it. He's actually only in it for one five minute scene. What a waste. He should've been the droid Wilson fought at the end of the movie. Steven Bauer from Scarface is also in the film for a grand total of one scene. What's the deal here? Don't these guys have better agents? At least Bokeem Woodbine was in it a little more.

This will show next Saturday at 3AM on Sci-Fi, so if you're up then doing whatever you'd be doing at that time, this is probably a good bet. Renting it is another story. I'd think even as a fanboy you'd be hard pressed to enjoy yourself. Sure, there's plenty to make fun of, but you can just as easily tape it and make fun of it with your friends and save yourself the money and the hassle of returning the rental.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758762/

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