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.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Moving Target (2000)

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This film took quite a bit of work to get to me, spending a huge chunk of time in my Netflix queue under "Short Wait" status, yet constantly being passed over for other films further down the line. Then one day Netflix sent me an e-mail, essentially saying "Hey sweet-ums, we're going to ship it to you from somewhere else, and it'll get to you later." But after a week, I didn't see it, so I clicked on "report a problem", which means that's it, it's considered lost, and I wrote it off, only to have it pop up in my mail box a few days after that, like a dirty dog that's been lost for a while, then shows up at your doorstep out of the blue, all wrinkled and messy. I should also point out that this film should not be confused with the 1997 Moving Target, starring Michael Dudikoff, or the 1998 Miles O'Keeffe flick Moving Targets.

Moving Target has Don "The Dragon" Wilson as an American kickboxer who comes to Ireland to meet the woman he'd been dating on the Internet. At the same time, a rogue off-shoot of the IRA is trying to sell a six-pack of Beamish stout, which has nuclear detonators in it, and somehow Wilson ends up in possession of it. Now everybody wants him, people are getting gunned down, his Internet woman has been kidnapped, and he has to kickbox his way out of all of it.

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This film should be confused with Bloodfist IV, because it's a remake of it, only without the too sweet Gary Daniels. Another thing it could be confused with is a Marx Brothers picture, because the whole "who's got the Beamish?" felt like a goofy construct from one of their films. Wilson's fight scenes were so clunky they felt like acts of physical comedy as well. I don't know what that means for a recommendation though. You tell me what "remake of Bloodfist IV that devolves into bad Marx Brothers style comedy" means.

Looking at it though, I'm not sure another actor could make this as ludicrous as it was-- and I don't know if that's a good or a bad thing either. Wilson has this combination of "awe-shucks" and kickass kickboxer that just makes the whole Marx Brothers element more... I don't want to say surreal... how about real?... He enhanced that side of it, made it feel more like it was a parody of action films, as opposed to an actual action film. The thing is, I know that's not what they were going for, which makes it that much harder to know how to take it. Maybe so bad it's good?...

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I can point to one moment where the movie jumped the shark, that cemented its "I can't possibly be expected to take this seriously" status. Wilson, in escaping from the law enforcement net closing in on him, grabs a horse out of a stable and rides away. Really? And it's done with a total straight face. I ask you, what am I supposed to do with that?

This film brings to mind and interesting difference between the English spoken in America, and the English spoken in Ireland and the UK. C. U. Next. Tuesday. is like one of the worst things an American man can say to a woman, and the only situations where it wouldn't be is if the woman is someone who isn't easily offended, which means the word would probably not be used in malice. On the other side of the pond, however, it's really not that big of a deal, evidenced by this film where a dude calls another dude that after he's shot by him. I know people personally from England who also don't care about it, and it's through them that I've learned to love the word in less uptight company. It's very fascinating, and I'd like to know how the difference came about, because what we're looking at is a different definition for the same word, based on how the two cultures take it.

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I've never been to Ireland before, but Galway, where this was shot, is the city where a couple of my friends went for two weeks during one of our college breaks. It was some kind of exchange program I guess. I don't remember anything they said in particular about the trip, other than one of the professors looked like Marty Stouffer 0f Wild America fame.

I think you can buy this rather cheaply at Amazon. I'm not so sure Netflix is a great route, considering what it took for me to get it from them, but you can try. Of course, all of that hinges on whether or not you want to see this at all. I'd say go through a much bigger chunk of Wilson's filmography first, especially Bloodfist IV, and see how you feel, before you tackle something like this.

For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0213094/

2 comments:

  1. I actually have this on VHS; got it in that big box of action movies a few months ago. Still unwatched. Might drag it out sometime soon.

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  2. If you've already seen Bloodfist IV, I'd go for it, otherwise, see that first, just because this is a remake.

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