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.

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Thank you all for your patience, and again, hopefully this will all be fixed soon.

--Matt

Monday, November 23, 2009

Murphy's Law (1986)

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We start our celebration of Golan-Globus with Murhpy's Law, a Charles Bronson film that works as the blue print for every Bloodfist film after part III. I vaguely remember seeing this on TV when I was younger-- one line in particular I had completely forgotten about-- but I know I definitely appreciate it more now at 30 than I did at 10. Maybe not Golan-Globus' most well known film, but a great one from which to start.

Murphy's Law stars Charles Bronson as our eponymous hero. He's been framed for his ex-wife's murder, and while in the holding cell, he escapes with a girl handcuffed to him, played by the waitress from the Double Deuce in Road House. After a short tribute to the Defiant Ones, Bronson goes after the person who set him up, a local mob boss. Turns out it's not him, but now he's pissed off that mob boss, which makes finding the real culprit that much tougher.

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This really is a perfect introduction into the world of Golan-Globus. A world where every foot chase turns into a small scale riot with 10-14 innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire, only instead of these people being disembodied numbers of death tolls on the evening news, we see them as starving actors looking for a little a face time to put on their resumes. The violence, though at times extreme, is often too cartoony for anyone that doesn't have a stick up his buttocks to ever have a problem with it. If you ever wondered where the people who made Grand Theft Auto came up with their ideas, you can find them in the world of Golan-Globus.

This is the first time I've had a chance to look at Bronson on here, which I know is much to the chagrin of some of my readers. That was another reason why I did this week-long tribute to Goland-Globus, so I could look at two actors in particular, Bronson and Chuck Norris. As far as the former goes, I've often said Dolph is the modern day Bronson, which after seeing Murphy's Law, I think that's only partly true. Dolph is the modern, PG-13 Bronson. Also important to note is Bronson's age. He was 65 when he did this, meaning Dolph still has 13 years to go. In fact, he made Death Wish V in 1994, when he was 73. Maybe we shouldn't be looking for the next crop of action stars to replace this current one quite yet.

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"What took you so long, butt crust?" One of the all time greatest lines in movie history. The woman from Road House says it after Bronson rescues her at the end of the film. She had tons of other good ones too, making this a much more memorable role than her than he small part in the Swayze classic. Most of her current work is done on CBS TV dramas, but it must've sucked for her knowing, nothing she ever did would ever be better than "what took you so long, butt crust?" When we were younger we used to call each other butt crust all the time, which I know one of us got from watching Murphy's Law.

I had one small issue with this movie that kept it from being perfect. The running time. 100 minutes was a little too long, and had they cut the opening 20, which I felt was pretty superfluous, it would've been an amazing 80. Bad action should seldom be longer than 88 minutes, and the further past 90 they go, the more they're treading on territory they'd be better served editing out.

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I've always loved The Rockford Files, and Murhpy's Law had the guy who played Lt. Chapman as, what else?, a dick cop. This time he gave Bronson a hard time, but unlike Jim Rockford, Bronson decked him when he got out of line. Can you imagine if Bronson had played Jim Rockford instead of James Garner? I bet he would've gotten along surprisingly well with Angel. There would've been way more explosions, gunplay, and severe beatings, which might have been a bit much for prime time TV in the 70s.

Though I'm not reviewing the films in any particular order, this is as good a start point as any into the world of Golan-Globus. You get a great sense of the violence that, though at times can be brutal, is more often than not cartoonish and over the top, which is great, if you ask me. Also, Bronson works well as that quintessential Golan-Globus one-man army protagonist.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091575/

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for reviewing two of my all-time favorite Charles Bronson films. Murphys Law really should be shown in film classes the world over on how to make the perfect movie. Heck, it's not just a film, it's an ecstatic experience. Bravo! It's too bad 'Mr Majestyk' wasn't Golan-Globus- it sure could've been, with the watermelons and all.

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  2. We could use more Murphy's Laws and fewer National Treasures.

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