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

Monday, January 11, 2010

New World Disorder (1999)

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I saw this from somewhere in the middle of it on TV a long time ago, and was intrigued by the idea of 80s Tiger Beat mainstay Andrew McCarthy as a bad guy. But I lost track of it, started the DTVC, and my attention was taken by other things. I never forgot about it, though-- I was just never sure it really existed, chalking it up to an overactive imagination and falling asleep with the TV on-- I must've only dreamed Andrew McCarthy was a bad guy in a bad DTV actioner, it can't be real. Then I look through Netflix for any Rutger Hauer flicks I may have skipped or to see if he had anything new out, and what do I come across? You guess it, New World Disorder, starring Andrew McCarthy as the baddie. Oh, be still my heart...

New World Disorder has McCarthy as this gang leader who steals microchips and sells them on the black market. He just so happens to rob a factory while two dudes are finalizing a multi-billion dollar program that would give the possessor the ultimate in Internet security. One of the men dies trying to protect it from McCarthy, and the other hides, McCarthy thinking he's dead. Enter Hauer as the local cop with no computer savvy, and this hot shot FBI chick who's all about computers. They clash at first, then fall in love-- the usual fare-- but at the same time, it's a game of deadly cat and mouse as McCarthy and the cops try to get their hands on this program.

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Pretty good, but not in a serious way. Probably funniest was how everyone had their data stored on Zip disks. Remember those? I think our high school year book was stored on one, and we thought ourselves the height of technology. McCarthy as a bad guy worked as horribly as you'd expect, which of course meant he worked perfectly in terms of the humor quotient. I'm not sure if the person who made this has seen Mannequin or Pretty in Pink, nor am I sure he or she has seen The Hitcher or Blade Runner, but Rutger Hauer is a legit bad ass, and Andrew McCarthy isn't, and when you try to get postmodern with it and switch the roles, it's just funny, and not in a good way, like Pierce Brosnan singing in Mama Mia!. Also, the classic late 90s techno geekdom was funny too. There's the perfunctory club where everyone is in latex or PVC clothing dancing to bad Aphex Twin wannabes, the young expert computer hacker, and all the cute animations telling us what all the programs are doing. You'll be partying like it's 1999.

Rutger Hauer was great. He's one of those rare actors that works in a big screen multi-million dollar production or a cheap sack of asscrack like this. In fact, he's the one who delivers it from sack-of-asscrackdom. As he's gotten on in years, his roles have been fewer, and the Rutger Hauer bait-and-switch has been more prominent, so it's good to go back to the 90s, when seeing his name on the cover meant seeing him for more than ten minutes in the movie. Total Hall of Famer in every sense of the term.

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Tara Fitzgerald is supposed to be a hot shot kid showing Hauer the ropes in the computer world. In fact, though she was 32 when this was made, her character was 26, but she didn't look 26, she looked more like 32. I know older people play high schoolers all the time, and six years isn't that big of a deal, but here it kind of was. People tell me all the time that I don't look like I'm 30. I used to take it as a compliment, but now I understand better what they mean. There's no difference between looking like 27 and looking like 30, it's the word that 30 that sounds old. When someone looks at me and is surprised, it's because they don't associate 30 with looking like 27, they associate it with looking like 35. I guess what I'm saying is at 32, Tara Fitzgerald looked, at least in this film, like 35, so she didn't pass for 26 at all. I'm not saying she's not hot-- all right, I'll stop while I'm behind.

Is it wrong that Jefferson Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" would start in my head every time I saw McCarthy on screen? The best was how he'd still do that wide-eyed stare at people for no reason like he did in his heartthrob roles. He'd be like getting ready to torture someone for information, and his eyes would get all wide, like they did when he talked to Kim Cattrall in Mannequin. Speaking of Mannequin, I had a conversation with someone the other day who was describing that movie to me as if I'd never heard of it, because I guess she hadn't. It was surreal, like me telling all of you about this movie called Indiana Jones where Harrison Ford plays some kind of archaeologist adventurer or something. She was like "Kim Cattrall I guess was in it, but I didn't really recognize her from Sex in the City, and the deal was she'd turn into a person, but only Andrew McCarthy could see her... it was weird." I was kind of stunned at first, then replied "yeah, Mannequin, it was a big deal when it came out. You've never seen it?"

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Finally, I want to vent about one of my pet peeves in movies: bad guys who are suddenly dumb for the convenience of the plot. I think I may have brought this up a long time ago, but this time it was so egregious I couldn't let it pass. What happens is McCarthy kidnaps the FBI agent so he can exchange her with Hauer for the program. At his hideout, he has her taped to a chair and gagged so she can't warn Hauer of her whereabouts while they're on webcam. Perhaps she looked more like Jerry Lewis in King of Comedy, but the point was, she was restrained so she couldn't adversely affect McCarthy's plans. Fast forward to the end, where McCarthy is holding her, completely unrestrained, at gun point, as he confronts Hauer. You can guess the rest, she hits the gun out of his hand, and Hauer takes him out. It just makes no sense. It's not like they were in public and her being tied up would've drawn someone's attention, they were in McCarthy's hide out! Who thinks of this kind of dumb stuff? We're supposed to believe that this criminal mastermind who carries off all these complicated computer chip heists can't think to at least tie his hostage's hands behind her back, when he already had her tied to a chair earlier? And this kind of thing happens more than I can count in movies like this. It just makes no sense.

Okay, enough of that. I do think this is worth throwing on your Netflix queue. Hauer is great, the time warp to 1999 techno geekdom was cool to see, and of course, there's Andrew McCarthy as a baddie. ... And we can build this dream together, standing tall forever, nothin's gonna stop us now... Sorry if I got that one in your head.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0174982/

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