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.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Into the Blue 2: The Reef (2009)


This movie came across my radar when one of my roommates saw something on the Internet about it. Her exact words: "I found another dumb movie for your site, and it has that chick from that stupid show you watch in it." More on the second part later, but as far as the first, I was skeptical, but I was looking for maybe a Point Break or even better, a silly film with a lot of hot people in the vein of an old Ross Hagen film from the 60s.

Into the Blue 2 is about a couple who have a diving company in Oahu. They don't make much, but they have big dreams. Enter a rich British couple looking for something. That something is two large cargo containers with explosives in them that have fallen below to a reef. The couple get in deep with the Brits, only to have the Brits turn on them when the couple finds out what's in the containers. Now they have to use all their wits to get out of this situation alive.


This was crap. I know what you're thinking "Duh, I could've told you that before you watched it." Yeah, but that's not the point. This could've actually been good. There were the pieces. The leading woman was actually not a bad actress. The problem is the writing was so bad she was stuck between being weak willed and the voice of reason. They should've dumped the guy and had her go it alone and just be strong throughout. The guy they hired as the heel was great too. You know you're movie's bad if the heel is endearing, and the two guys you want us to root for annoy the hell out of me.

The biggest issue was the plot. It was an attempt to merge a sleek, stylish, thriller with a Hitchcockian sense of ordinary people having their world turned upside-down by forces beyond their control, and how they deal with it. First off, they didn't deal with them well, until the baddies acted way out of character and allowed the two lead males to dominate them. It was like the writers wrote themselves into a corner. I love this idea that anyone who went to film school can be Hitchcock if he or she has seen North by Northwest and Rear Window 200 times. Maybe The Catalina Caper and Point Break were silly, but they were both fun too. The film makers could think about that when they make part 3.


So what would I have done? As I was watching it, I realized I would've remade The Catalina Caper. It was almost the same premise: kids recruited under false pretenses to dive for lost valuables. Why not ham it up? The leading male would've made a great Lyle Waggoner, the leading woman his sister. The female Brit was a perfect Creepy Girl. You'd just need to hire someone like Eric Roberts or Dennis Hopper as the rich dad, and another to play the rich Greek. Think of how awesome that would've been.

The guy who played the heel is the guy from the Coors Light commercials that leaves his girlfriend to go "vent" with his buddy. I know, who'd've thunk it that he'd be good, but he was. He totally played up the dumb jock aspect, but in playing it up he added a level of silliness to it that made me like him, as opposed to thinking "wow, what a dumb jock.", which is what I think I was supposed to think. That's what happens when you combine bad writing with bad acting: the talent rises to the top. The writers inadvertently made the leading males the heels, and the actors themselves couldn't overcome that.


Okay, so this is the big confession part of the blog. This is kind of a big deal here. I have a major guilty pleasure: The Hills. I know, I know, Shock, Horror, Gasp. Spit Take. Glass Breaking. I'll be honest, I have no idea why I like it. People say "Those people sound so stupid. Don't they annoy you?" They should. They do on other shows. They do when they sit next to me on the subway, or when I have to listen to them on their cell phones in the airport. Believe me, I'm not defending it, and I'm not defending myself either: I know it's silly, and I know it's silly as I watch it. Maybe that's why I like it, I don't know. I'm just saying this is a huge confession, and don't hate me for it. Anyway, Audrina from The Hills has a small part in this as the heel's girlfriend.

You should skip this. It's an amazing missed opportunity, but that's not gonna make you feel any better after you've wasted 90 minutes of your life. Maybe someone will take my advice for part 3, and it'll be better.

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