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, June 23, 2009

The Marksman (2005)

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This film's been sitting in my Netflix queue for sometime now, and I finally bumped it up when I realized I hadn't reviewed a Wesley Snipes movie in a while. I think maybe part of me had pushed it down because I was so focused on getting movies with other stars up, and the previous Wesley Snipes films didn't exactly do it for me. Why sit through a notsomuch, when I can be entertained by a Nemesis or Stone Cold.

The Marksman is about some special military soldiers called painters that place tracking beacons in targets so planes can hit them with missiles. Snipes is one of them, and he's sent with a special forces unit to plant devices in a hijacked nuclear facility in Russia. But Snipes thinks things aren't what they appear, and he's right. Before he can get to the escape chopper, he sees the special forces betrayed and almost killed. Three are captured, and one hides out and finds Snipes, so they can go back in and save them. Emma Sands is working with the NSA, and she's the only person Snipes can trust. Luckily he doesn't rely on her fully, because by the time she realizes what's going on and who's behind it, the missile's in the air and ready to blow them up. Snipes has something up his sleeve, though.

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I don't know what to tell everyone. This was okay. But does okay cut it? Explosions? Sure, there were some. Car chases? Not really. Martial arts? Considering how good Snipes was in the Blade films, the few minutes here and there were pretty lackluster. Nice shootouts? They were okay, but pretty run-of-the-mill. Nothing like the graveyard shootout in Pistol Whipped. Am I being too harsh on Snipes? He was good, but the movie was pretty blah.

The Blade movies were so good. Sure, they were effin' ridiculous, but they were awesome too. Yes, this movie would've been enhanced by a Ron Perlman with a small bomb stuck on the back of his head. Yes, this movie would've been better if a previously incapacitated Snipes regained his strength and took out a slew of Eastern European foot soldiers to Crystal Method's "Name of the Game". Is it so wrong to find that kind of shit awesome? Why do I need slow moving scenes with weird jumpcuts and bad techno only to end in Snipes shooting someone and sneaking off and trying to contact Emma Sands? Give me a Dominic Purcell as Dracula saying in a deep voice with no irony whatsoever "I saw Christ die." Yes, I want to laugh out loud every once in a while.

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It's because of Blade, though, that I'm not giving up hope. He has a film coming soon called Gallowwalker, where he plays a gunman whose victims come back to life as zombies. That just sounds brilliant, doesn't it? This is the sixth Snipes film I've reviewed. Chaos, the one he did with Jason Statham, doesn't really count, because it was more a hidden gem that should've been a major release than a DTV actioner. Of the other four, my verdicts fluctuated between this wasn't bad to this didn't do it for me. This one's in that range as well. I just need that punch me in the face killer, and stylized military suspense thrillers with no identity won't get me there.

On initial viewing, I was like, wow, Emma Sands is hot for her age. Then I looked her up on imdb and saw that she's only two years older than Snipes. Oops. Is that still a compliment? She looks good for her age, but I thought she was older? Maybe I should stop while I'm ahead. She was able to parlay her success in this role to work on a BBC drama Doctors, and then a reoccurring part on General Hospital, on which she starred a long time ago with Demi Moore.

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Skip this. It's just not worth it. I've softly recommended a few Snipes DTV films-- you know, the classic "you could do worse" or "if there's nothing else, give it a try." I'm not even going the soft recommendation route. You got better things to watch with your time.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0457090/

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But since I have an extra paragraph, why not discuss another film that came out on DVD recently, the new Friday the 13th. I don't know about you, but I grew up on the old ones. Sure, they were silly, but that's what made them so great. Jason was this supernatural killer that beat women in sleeping bags against trees and punched boxers' heads off, and that's how we liked it. Think of part four with Corey Feldman and Crispin Glover. Do horror movies get any better than that film? Four words: "No wa-hay, not to-ni-hight." With this in mind, my buddy and I rented the new one, and it sucked balls. First, they tried to make Jason realistic, like he was a real human being. Really? Real human beings that raised themselves after their moms were killed when they were ten have the capacity to build intricate tunnel systems under the ground wired with electricity? Really? Jason shooting an arrow through a man's head driving a speeding boat from 500 yards out is much more believable if we see that he won an archery tournament when he was ten? And that sleeping bag scene I talked about above, that's somehow better if the woman is instead hung upside down in it over a fire? In trying to make something silly from the 80s more "real", they came off even sillier. And not in a good way. Who comes up with this stupid shit?

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758746/

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