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

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ninja Cheerleaders (2008)

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After watching Michael Pare in Direct Contact, I decided to look him up on imdb and see where to go next with him. This jumped to the top of potential candidates because it also has George Takei. I'll watch that guy in any movie. He's amazing.

Ninja Cheerleaders follows the exploits of three young girls who are attending a crummy local junior college with dreams of going to Brown. To make money, they work as Go-Go dancers, or de facto strippers that don't show boobs or vagina. They're also well trained ninjas. Their sensei, George Takei, is also their boss at the strip club, and he's captured by Michael Pare, a crime boss that just got out of jail, and who wants the strip club back. Pare also took the money the girls saved to go to Brown. Now the girls have to free Takei, make the game as cheerleaders, and pass all their finals.

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This wasn't bad. It was funny, it had Takei and Pare, and the martial arts was decent. One of the ninja cheerleaders was Trishelle from The Real World Las Vegas and various challenge episodes after, which was interesting. It also wasn't over-the-top silly, which sometimes these movies can be. It definitely came off better than Zombie Strippers.

What I didn't like was the fact that A) these empowered women were working as strippers, and B) the man that gave them their empowerment was their boss at the strip club, Takei. Then it got even more muddled, when, after Pare took Takei and their money, they talked about how much they couldn't stand being strippers and how they didn't want to do it anymore. I guess what I'm wondering is why Takei would hire them as strippers if he wanted them to be empowered females. Waitresses at his club would've been a more realistic job for the plot. Even more realistic would've been to dump the money angle, have them going to Brown based on their grades with need-based grants, and them having to save Takei and get their finals done at the same time. Sometimes the people who make these movies just need to understand the art of parsimony.

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Michael Pare as the bad guy wasn't in this much, which kinda sucked. He was also the bad guy in Direct Contact. I guess I'll just have to get my act together and procure some of his older catalog. I was talking to a buddy the other night, and he was saying how the CD version of the John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band album doesn't have "Tender Years" on it. I only had the tape, so I had no idea, but when I looked it up on Amazon, "Tender Years" was listed among the tracks. Either way, that album is very underrated in the discussion of great 80s music, and if you haven't checked it out, you should.

George Frickin' Takei. Gotta love him. The voice is the best. What I'd like to see is a Rush Hour style film with Takei and Pare as cops. They had such great on screen chemistry, they'd be more fun to watch than any I've ever seen in a cop buddy picture. Maybe you could have a scene where Pare and Takei are forced to do kareoke at a Japanese gentleman's club, and they sing "On the Dark Side". He's just so Takei-tastic, you know?

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As I mentioned above, this has Trishelle from The Real World Las Vegas. That season, of course, was the one where MTV officially decided that pretty people fighting made for better ratings than interesting people fighting, and the show hasn't been the same since. I stopped watching it around Austin, I think. The second and third seasons, LA and San Francisco, to my mind, were some of the best television ever. Forget reality television, I'm talking television. Especially season 2. I can't believe that's not on DVD. As far as Trishelle being a great actress, she was playing a ninja cheerleader with the academic chops to go to Brown. Do you see her making that believable?

I wouldn't make a priority out of seeing this. It was good, but it wasn't that good. If you need some Takei, go with Live By the Fist first, and maybe listen to him saying "Wang" on Howard Stern, before you waste any effort on this bad boy.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0972857/

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