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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Carriers (2009)

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I got lucky on this one, because I was a day late in getting my DVDs back to Netflix, and was a little concerned that, with this being a new release and all, by not getting in early enough I'd be put on the dreaded Very Long Wait list. I'm kind of curious who gets these movies that ends up bumping me down the pecking order. I get it with GI Joe, but Carriers or Death Warrior? Do people just have it set on Netflix that any new release is slapped on their queue in the number one position? If so, how do I get in on that, because I could use that kind of system.

Carriers stars Lou Taylor Pucci and Chris Pine as brothers seeking refuge from an extremely contagious and extremely deadly plague that is sweeping the globe. They have with them Pine's girlfriend, Piper Perabo, and a girl Pucci knows, Emily VanCamp. They have some pretty simple rules for survival: if you're infected, you're already dead; stay off the interstate; assume everything you come in contact with is infected; and trust no one. As they travel, they come across other people looking to escape too or trying to find a cure or just fortifying themselves to keep out the outside world. Everything goes fine, until one of them is infected.

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This was actually pretty good. Better than most movies released in the theater, I can say that. The trailers made me think it was a zombie flick, but it isn't-- no one come back to life or bites people or anything. I had trouble deciding what to tag it as, so I went with horror. I liked it better for that. Though it took place across the open road in various settings, the virus and the lack of basic provisions gave the film a very closed in, almost claustrophobic feeling, which was a cool juxtaposition. Also, the weather was always amazing, the towns and landscape always beautiful, and it made for a great backdrop to the chaos in the world around our characters. I really liked it.

I think what made it best was how little the film makers tried to do with it. You could see this as a two and a half hour blockbuster with a multi-million dollar ad campaign that's utter crap, but to strip it down to 84 minutes, have a limited but solid cast, and give us a few, real sets instead of green screens, and you have a good movie. Maybe it's not a classic, but it's also not a stinker, and I can appreciate that.

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One of my favorite movies of 2009 was the new Star Trek, and one of the reasons was Chris Pine. I think he's just as good here in a starring role that is much smaller in scope. His character is kind of an asshole, but he feels like he's doing what's best for him and his brother to get them to safety. It will be cool to see him in some other stuff, though probably won't be anything in the DTV world. His brother, played by Lou Taylor Pucci, was also good. I'd seen him in two other films: The Informers, and a small indie flick called Fifty Pills, and he was good in those two as well. He seems to do more lower budget films, so this may not be the last we see of him.

Piper Perabo as the girlfriend was a good casting choice too. She wasn't bad in Whiteboyz, even though I wasn't a fan of the rest of that film (I hated the ending), but then it seems like everything else she did, maybe because of Coyote Ugly, sucked. I didn't know how old she is either-- 33-- which made her the oldest of the four kids by four years, over Christ Pine who was born in 1980. It also makes her older than me by almost three years, which I didn't know. Still not as shocking as finding out John Cho, the guy from Harold and Kumar that wasn't Kumar, was born in 1972.

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All right, I have to dedicate this paragraph to Chris Meloni, and one of the best roles in a comedy ever, his part as the camp cook in Wet Hot American Summer. If you've only seen Meloni in a film like this or Law and Order SVU, then you haven't seen Meloni, because he's hilarious. And just when you think he can't get any funnier, he has this amazing montage where he teaches the guy who played Doug on The State "The Way." Wet Hot American Summer is a must. (Also, the alternate audio track that's just fart noises is great too.)

But we aren't talking about Wet Hot American Summer, we're talking about Carriers, and that's good too. I'm not sure, based on the short length, if it's worth new release money, but definitely put it on your Netflix queue. If anything, it was a great way to get the awful taste of Maniac Cop out of my mouth.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0806203/

4 comments:

  1. I saw the previews for this one a while back, didnt look all that bad. I love it when films do something good with little budget, Ill get down to watching this one at some point.

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  2. Best way to describe it is just a good movie. Not a classic, but not a stinker either.

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  3. Good review. Will definitely check it out.

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  4. Yeah, this was a pleasant surprise. I think you'll dig it.

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