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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--Matt

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Keeper (2009)

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This movie was supposed to have come out in 2009, which explains the release date, despite it coming out today. That means it's been a while since the last Seagal film was released, Driven to Kill, and that was pretty good. Can he keep it up?

The Keeper has Seagal as former cop who's forced into retirement after injuries sustained when his partner tried to kill him for some drug money. Of course, Seagal being Seagal, those injuries really weren't that bad, it was just bureaucracy that cost him his job, but it also meant he had some time on his hands, so when an old friend from San Antonio needs him to be a bodyguard for his daughter, Seagal is available. When he gets there, he finds out things aren't what they seem (they never are), but it's Seagal, he's seen it all before. There's nothing he can't handle.

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This wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great either. It had its moments, especially when Seagal first gets to San Antonio and he takes out two goons giving his limo driver's cousin a hard time. But then it falls into lull periods, and spends more time exploring a useless relationship between Seagal and the girl he's supposed to protect. That's too bad, because at the end, when Seagal dispatches the main baddie's hatchet man by taking his open hand and shoving it through the guy's carotid artery, I wonder why there wasn't more of that in the movie.

Seagal in a cowboy hat was pretty good, though. I'm not sure why he's affected this bad Southern accent. I think it's bad Louisiana, right? Dude, you're from Detroit, the Motor City needs you right now, stop pretending you're from some place else. I mean, I've never heard Iggy Pop talk with a silly Southern accent. There was definitely some of Seagal's patented "Slap-Chop" fighting technique (you're gonna love his nuts), but the director used that horrible Bourne Identity shaky camera thing with the jump cuts. It's like, I wait all movie for Seagal to tear it up, and then I can't see what's going on. Driven to Kill may have had some of that, but not as much, and it also had very few lull periods, so if Seagal wasn't Slap-Chopping, he was at least blowing shit up. We have another film called A Dangerous Man coming out on February 9 (one week after the new Universal Soldier), so maybe that will be a better one.

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The friend's daughter is played by Liezl Carstens, and as you can tell, she's pretty hot. She was also in the Seagal film Urban Justice, I believe as the person renting him the apartment. Anyway, I can't figure out how old she is in real life, but it was really weird seeing her fall for Seagal. They never hooked up, but she was digging it. I know it's one of the perquisites of being the star of the movie, and I guess we can be happy some restraint was shown in not having the plot go to them having sex, but this was just weird. And they tried to cover the same ground as The Bodyguard, but in a poorly written Cliff's Notes version that didn't play well at all. Maybe it was that more than the May-December element of it, because the May-December thing's been around since Bronson.

The whole premise of this film is based on the idea that a contract entered into through means of extortion is still a legally binding document, ie, Seagal's friend owns land, and the baddie wants it, so he thinks by kidnapping the friend's daughter, he can force the friend to sign over his land, and then he can do with it what he wants. I know it's a movie, so I should suspend some belief, but that's pretty outrageous. Not only that, but the guy demanded five million in cash and diamonds. How does that look in the city records department? "It says here the guy not only gave away this extremely valuable land, but he actually paid this man in five million dollars in cash and diamonds to take it. That doesn't look suspicious at all." I guess in the world of action movies, where cars explode in relatively minor accidents and glass can be run through as easily as the tape at the end of a marathon, it's not that inconceivable that land transactions can be made legally through extortion.

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This movie marks a major milestone here at the DTVC: it's the first movie I've ever seen to feature a McDonald's that I've actually been to. You can't see it on that smaller picture there, but if you click on it for the bigger version, you can see it towards the bottom center-left. I'm not sure where this movie was supposed to take place, but that right there is San Antonio. They also had a shot of The Alamo and the Riverwalk. According to imdb, the film was shot in Santa Fe, NM, and they don't mention San Antonio at all. Maybe it was filmed there, set in San Antonio, and the shots were just from something else. Anyway, it was just cool to see a McDonald's that I have eaten at in a Seagal film.

This had it's moments, and might be fun in a group, but I don't know. I guess you need to ask yourself "are a few moments worth it?" The best way to put it is, if in other Seagal films, when he's tailing someone, he'd probably end up being cornered by some thugs, and he'd take them out. In this film, he tails someone, and then goes home and talks about it in a bad Southern accent.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1296869/

7 comments:

  1. Yeah, this looks like a pass for sure. You nailed the accent though, it's completely adopted Louisiana. It's from him spending all that time in Jefferson Parish, being a deputy, as documented on the new show this year Steven Seagal: Lawman. You seen that one? The premise is way better than the actual show in my opinion. It's hilarious for two reasons though. First, the show is oddly edited to make it seem like Seagal has some sort of Spidey sense on crime, via these slow motion replays. Secondly, they work so hard to build up Seagal as a master lawman that the rest of the department comes across as kind of incompetent. Nice.
    Boston area has the same phenomenon where people who didn't grow up there will adopt the accent for no apparent reason either.

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  2. Hi! I love your blog, man... is addictive!!!.
    I have my own blog about movies (good and bad)... it´s in spanish but... ¡what the heck!...

    http://aquivaletodo.blogspot.com

    Best always...

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  3. I have not managed to see the Seagal reality show, which I know is really bad. A&E is just one of those channels I don't get to, and I keep forgetting it's on. The same thing happened with the Two Coreys when that was on.

    I grew up about an hour north of Boston, and I've fought both that and the Maine accent all my life. I find myself over-pronouncing er's at the end of words to compensate, but when I'm drunk all bets are off.

    Naxo, thanks for digging the site. I wish I could read Spanish, because I'm curious about some of the movies I saw posted on your blog.

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  4. LOL, I've totally eaten at that McDonalds too! I love downtown S.A.

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  5. Yeah, I've only been to San Antonio once, but it was pretty cool. Dirty Nellie's was the bomb.

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  6. This was pretty good but you are right, there are some lulls in the middle. The girl he was protecting was pretty crap as were the nightclub scenes. The Mexican driver sounded like Pedro from Napolean Dynamite, which was hilarious.

    It was good to see Seagal at least appear to be fighting more and less obviously stunt doubles. If there were doubles, it wasn't at obvious as previous movies. The gunplay was reasonable too.

    Overall I think with Pistol Whipped, Ruslan, this and I expect A Dangerous Man (my copy should arrive next week) Seagal is really getting better at this DTV thing. The films are more polished and this one visually at least approached cinema-level film, although at the cheaper end of the spectrum.

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  7. Yeah, it'll be interesting to see how this latest scandal affects his movie output. If the allegations turn out to be true, it'll put me in an odd situation as far as supporting his work goes too. I won't rush to judge just yet, though.

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