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.

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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

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Scorpio One (1997)

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I was looking for more Jeff Speakman, and found this in a Robert Carradine double feature on Netflix. I already made my joke about what a Robert Carradine double feature is in the last post, but really, I was wondering what kind of Speakman output I'd be in for. We'd been working our way up to Speakman in a starring role in the previous the posts of his, so hopefully, this was the big one.

Scorpio One is about a space station that is the victim of a terrorist attack. On board is a 3 1/2 floppy with the formula for cold fusion on it. The CIA sends a group of Rangers up there, on a NASA spaceship, led by Speakman. Naturally, the shuttle crew is a little put off by this, but when they find out there's a saboteur on board, they find Speakman is their only hope. At the same time, on Earth, a congressman that heads a committee on NASA is in cahoots with a corporation that is infiltrating NASA and hoping to steal the cold fusion plans. It's a mess, and only Speakman can untangle it.

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This wasn't bad. It had some good action in parts, and we got to see Speakman flex his martial arts skills. On the other hand, there's only so much that can be done in space to make it awesome. I'm still kind of of the opinion that this, when paired with Firestorm, make for a pretty good bad movie double feature... if you're looking for a bad movie double feature.

This is definitely an upgrade from the previous three Speakman entries, but we're still not all the way there. He's in it more, but we only get great fight scenes at the beginning and at the end. I'm going for Running Red next, and I think that will be the one. Cross your fingers.

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I liked Robert Carradine in this movie better than Firestorm. Here, he got to be more off-beat and witty, which is more his style. I tried to find the the cop movie he did that I saw a while back, but I got nowhere scanning imdb. I'm sure I'll figure it out eventually, if it matters.

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The NASA pilot was played by Steve Kanaly. He's one of those smooth, close-cropped, salt and pepper haired cats that always looks good drinking a cup of coffee, especially when shot from his profile. These guys show up everywhere, from DTV films, to TV crime dramas, to Lifetime Pictures Originals. They tend to be neutral in tone, so you never know if you can trust them, which adds to their over all allure. The addition of Steve Kanaly in this film gave it a little more depth than the average slow-moving bad action flick.

This is definitely not a movie to go to if you want your Speakman fix. His being in it is more of a cute addition than anything else. Carradine's the same. Together with Firestorm, this works as a bad double feature, so if you've got your buddies together and they want to make fun of something, there's plenty to work with between these two.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120080/

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I missed X-Men Origins: Wolverine when it was in the theater, so I got it this week on Netflix. I didn't really know what to think of it. It didn't work for me. I was a huge comic guy back in the early 90s, and Deadpool and Gambit were two of my favorites, so I was excited to see this. Deadpool was a mess, because he was really different from his comic book self. Instead of being a human assassin with cancer who was given Wolverine's healing power to survive, he was a mix of 10 mutants, Wolverine and Cyclops included. Yes, that means he shot laser beams out of his eyes. Gambit wasn't bad, but he wasn't in it much. There were some other issues. Wolverine was Sabretooth's brother, not son, and they were born in the Northwest Territory of Canada before it existed in 1840. Then they inexplicably travel to the US and fight in all our wars. And for some reason they aged to middle adulthood and stopped. Why? Then there were a lot of action sequences that went nowhere, complete with a "Cool guys never look at explosions" scene.

I was never a big Wolverine fan, but that's not really the problem. I read some reviews from some of my more prestigious colleagues, like Roger Ebert and AO Scott. I agreed with them for calling this lame, but I also see where their not knowing comics means they don't get all of it. Ebert wanted to know where Wolverine got his powers, when we all know mutants get them at birth. That being said, his not knowing comics means the Deadpool character isn't a disappointment, he's just crap. It sucked for fans of the comics, and it sucked for people who didn't read them. I guess in the end, all we're left with is a sub-par big budget action film.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0458525/

4 comments:

  1. One Speakman flick that is hard to find is "Land Of The Free" co-starring William Shatner! Damn Netflix with their "save" option!

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  2. You ain't sayin' nothin' man, I've seen too many, including that one, disappear from my queue and end up in the dreaded save section. It's a travesty is what it is.

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  3. The best movie of Jeff Speakman is his first: "The Perfect Weapon" (when will we see it officially released on DVD/blu-ray in widescreen format?!!). The second is also interesting: "Street Knight". Unfortunately the filmcompany went bankrupt when this one was released. The following movies "The Expert" and "Running Red" were OK, but his movies never were as good as the first two.

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  4. Mr. Kenner over at Movies in the Attic is a bigger Speakman guy than I am, and he sent me The Expert, which I'll be reviewing soon. The Perfect Weapon I saw on VHS not long after it came out in the theater over here, and it sucks that it never made it to DVD.

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