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

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Paranoia 1.0 aka One Point O (2004)

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This movie's been in my instant queue for sometime now, and my sincerest apologies to my good friends, the ladies at Bruce's Angels (a link to which you can find in the section titled Other Great Sites) for not getting to it, or any other Bruce Payne film, sooner. As far as I can tell, Steal was the last Payne film I did, which was back on November 5. Too long.

Paranoia 1.0 has Jeremy Sisto as a computer programmer living in the near future. He's been receiving these odd empty packages, and is naturally very suspicious. He suspects his neighbor, Bruce Payne, but later rules him out. As he grows more suspicious, he finds himself becoming sick, and the only thing he wants is Farm Fresh Milk. The plot thickens.

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I actually liked this movie. It had that Brazil/Flowers for Algernon type of future, where things aren't that different, but they're definitely not the same. We don't know how far in the future it is, we don't know what the world is like beyond this apartment complex, but yet we can kind of relate to it. There was a grocery store that Sisto kept going to that was really cool in that Radiohead "Fake Plastic Trees" yet darker kind of way. The whole thing was this Neo Noir crossed with Cyberpunk, sprinkled with a dash of Bruce Payne: and it all worked for me.

All except one thing. Yep, Payne's rockin' the fake Brooklyn accent again. Why? Why does anyone do this? What is it about his real English accent that makes film makers want to screw it all up and have him talk in this abomination? Okay, forget that for a second. I once made a bold claim that Bruce Payne never plays anything but baddies. For the most part I was right about that statement, but here he plays, not exactly a baddie, but not a goodie either-- more like a random. As you can imagine, that makes me even more upset that he's sporting the fake accent, because his character was pretty cool otherwise.

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You're probably wondering how good Jeremy Sisto is as the protagonist. Considering the type of movie it is, not bad. Like the rest of the movie, except for Payne's accent, it worked. A buddy of mine at work and I were talking about Punk'd episodes, and Jeremy Sisto's came up. It's not bad. If you go to MTV.com you can see it. He gets a silly field sobriety test. I don't see how that's getting Punk'd, though. I mean, having someone impersonate a police officer takes the prank aspect out of it for me: you're not stupid if you're just doing what you think a police officer is telling you. "Oh my God, you looked hilarious trying not to be arrested! Why did you do all that stupid stuff?"

This film also has Lance Henriksen and Udo Kier. Henriksen plays a maintenance man who knows more than he seems, and Kier plays Sisto's neighbor who's working on a robot. The two have acted in over three hundred films combined, and this film and the biopic Modigliani, released the same year, were the only two films they were in together. Just thought I'd put that out there.

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Though this was filmed in Romania, it was co-produced by the Icelandic Film Corporation. According to imdb, they haven't produced anything since 2005, which would be sometime before their economy collapsed. If you haven't read that Vanity Fair article on what happened to them, you should. It's pretty insane. In one instance, one of their banks bought up shares in a British company, and when the company went to them about visiting Iceland to tell them how the company was doing, they were totally uninterested. That makes me wonder if they even knew they were funding this picture. Did they just throw money at it because someone asked? If so, where was I to get in on some of that dough. What're we gonna do with you, Iceland?

This is actually a legitimately solid film in my opinion. I don't just mean for DTV. I think this is one of those hidden gems you find on the shelf at the video store. I admit, I only originally picked it up for Bruce Payne, and he's not in it that much, and when he is, he has that horrible fake accent; but in spite of all of that, everything else was really good.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0317042/

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