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

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Eyeborgs (2009)

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I caught wind of this after doing a search of Adrian Paul on Netflix. I'm not sure why I did that, but I gotta cover all my bases, right? Eyeborgs looked hilarious enough, so I figured why not give it a look see, and as luck would have it, I got it from Netflix the day after it came out.

Eyeborgs is part comedy, part sci-fi, part political thriller. It takes place in the near future, after another terrorist attack. The Patriot Act has been expanded to allow for these little robots with cameras for heads to film our every move. What no one planned on was the bots having a life of their own, or there being big ones that can kick some ass. Now Adrian Paul, a member of the Department of Homeland Security, has to blow the lid off all this before they blow the lid off of everyone else.

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I didn't plan on this, but it's interesting that I'm reviewing Eyeborgs on the same week as Hostage, because this film exists on the other end of the political spectrum. As Hostage says "leave everything to us rich white guys, and we'll protect you", Eyeborgs says "the more power we give them, the more they'll piss on the American flag" (I took that line from Hostage when the UHF guy was commenting on the hijackers). The problem is, they created a metaphorical future America to comment on the current one, but they couldn't trust us to figure out this mock society's rules on our own, so they had to give them to us in some shoddy dialog and plot exposition. That same issue of politics getting in the way of the action-- though as an answer to the political agenda of Hostage, it does definitely does a good job. Wings, would you like a rebuttal?

Where this movie shined was in the silly looking, yet sometimes scary, eyeborgs. Some of their kills were downright laughable, but some were chilling, and it's there that the politics got in the way. Had they kept it all in the background and allowed us to pick up on it for ourselves, we could have had a much more complete horror film, and maybe even something special, even in the DTV world. Then the end of the film devolved into some great bad action as well, making me wonder where that was earlier in the movie-- I mean we had it in fits and starts, but nothing like this. Delivering a political message in a movie is harder than it seems at first blush-- not everyone can make Dr. Strangelove.

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Adrian Paul. Like Kevin Sorbo, he'd make a syndicated TV hall of fame, but also like Sorbo, that great syndicated TV work hasn't translated to the DTV world the way it has for someone like Lorenzo Lamas. If Eyeborgs turns into a franchise, though, and they improve upon this one, he could make a move past Sorbo, whose Walking Tall 3 killed what was looking like a good thing. Highlander: The Series might be the all time best syndicated series ever (some will argue Star Trek: The Next Generation), and a big reason why it was so good was Paul. Hopefully he'll finally make that into DTV gold.

DTVC favorite Danny Trejo makes his way onto this, playing guitar mechanic G-Man. It would've been awesome if he was a real G-Man instead. Like a fed trying to cover up the conspiracy as Paul investigated it. Can you imagine Trejo in a black suit and Ray Bans? Movies like this can't get over the hump because they don't think outside the box like that. They're too stuck recycling Battlestar Galactica commentary on the Bush Administration to see some real inspired thinking like Trejo as a no-nonsense FBI agent.

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The biggest surprise in the film came not in the plot or any acting performance, but in the soundtrack. Bad Religion's "21st Century Digital Boy" was playing in the background as one of the characters was walking down the street. I hadn't heard that in years. See, more stuff like that, and movies like Eyeborgs get 8 paragraphs of stellar review, instead of this one paragraph, and seven others of "what if".

Eyeborgs has some fun moments. I think I'd be able to forgive a lot of its cheesiness as endearing if they weren't so big on hitting me over the head with the political aspect. Bad horror, bad sci-fi, and bad action all get solid marks, just wish there were some more of them. If they make another one, hopefully with the background out of the way here, they can jump right in and give us more meat.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1043844/

3 comments:

  1. I gotta watch this. I saw the trailer a while back and I was like Trejo! Little cyborgs! I must watch this.

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  2. I've looked forward to this since I saw the trailer over a year ago. Shame it's not as awesome as it could have been, but looks fun at least.

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  3. I would say watch it in a group, and it'll be a little more awesome. Trejo is good, but he doesn't have much screen time. His fight against the Eyeborgs is hilarious, though, so he's almost worth it. He also quotes the Patriot Act.

    I think you should still check it out, Sutekh, but if you've got some PM Entertainment gems lined up, you'd probably be better off doing them first.

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