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.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Extreme Honor (2001)
I saw this on Netflix, saw Olivier Gruner and Michael Ironside on the cover, checked it out on imdb and saw it had a bunch of other people too, and knew I had to get it. The Netflix synopsis gave me some pause, when it mentioned that Gruner was essentially the bad guy, but I figured there was enough star power to make up for that, right?
Extreme Honor is about a 300-pound pork roast of a man who is dumped from the Navy SEALs in a rather dubious decision requiring a massive leap of faith on our part. His son has cancer, and he needs to raise $5 million for some experimental treatment (I know, another leap of faith). So he breaks into evil billionaire Michael Ironside's and grabs the cash. Now Ironside wants revenge.
This film angered me, deeply. First and foremost, let's hit the bait-and-switch. It's not only an Olivier Gruner bait-and-switch-- he's barely in it for two scenes-- it's also a Michael Ironside bait-and-switch and a Michael Madsen bait-and-switch. All three mentioned on the cover, all three barely in the film for a quarter to half of it. The bait-and-switch was so obvious, in the DVD menu, in the biographies section, they don't even list the 300-pound pork roast who was supposed to be the star. Second, after the bait-and-switch, there was a serious lack of action. I mean, we're talking half-hour stretches of gratingly bad dramatic scenes about the most inane crap by people thinking they're pulling this crap off. Seriously, no one cares how the 300-pound pork roast is doing in his new job post Navy SEALs, if he's in a bar with his buddies, spend that 10 minutes with a bar fight. It is an action film, right? Third, kids, cancer, and action flicks do not mix. Totally sauteed in wrong sauce. And finally, speaking of sauteed in wrong sauce, who centers an action film around a 300-pound pork roast, and tries to sell him to us as a smooth Navy SEAL? What's next, Donald Gibb from Bloodsport will be the next James Bond? Bad, bad, anger-inducing bad.
That's right, egregious Olivier Gruner bait-and-switch. I mean, it wasn't even funny how bad it was. He's pretty much here for a little in the beginning, and then comes back in the end so he can be thrown around a hospital kitchen by a 300-pound pork roast. God damn it! I put this frickn' DVD in my queue for that shit? What about the poor saps who bought it. I almost feel like reporting the distributors and packagers of this sack of asscrack to the Better Business Bureau, because this is so dirty. Just look at that cover and tell me what you think the film is about. You'd think it's an Olivier Gruner asskicking fest, right? Highway robbery.
You might think by my constant use of the term "300-pound pork roast" that I'm picking on the lead too much. That would be the case, if the actual people selling this film had thought he was important enough to promote, or even put on the damn cover, since he's the lead. Hey, if it's not a big deal to them, then it's not a big deal to me, hence 300-pound pork roast. The other reason why I keep driving this home, is to elucidate how much his being cast for this part was so wrong. We've seen big guys in action leads really kill it-- One Man Force is an obvious example, but in that one, the lead, John Matsuzak, wasn't given to us as a smooth talking Navy SEAL, he was a big, boisterous, ass kicking cop, charging at guys with refrigerators and trashing his superior's desk yelling "fuck you!" Also, I don't know if you noticed this, but Matsuzak's face is all over the cover. Exactly.
This had some mega star power in cameo and supporting roles. We already mentioned Ironside and Madsen. Then there was Martin Kove, Charles Napier, Antonio Fargas, Philip Tan, Arnold Chon, Grand L. Bush, Sven Ole-Thorsen, and Edward Albert. All of these guys have been in a film reviewed at the DTVC at least once, and some of them multiple times. Michael Ironside was the closest to having more than a cameo, but, as much as he was great as the baddie, it was so poorly written that it did him as an actor a disservice. Our hero never at any time faced an obstacles in defeating him. Dude, you got Michael Ironside here, show some respect, write him a better part. I think with Michael Madsen, because he's an old buddy of the 300-pound pork roast, was there to make him seem cooler and less like a 300-pound pork roast. That move never works, as much as us guys like to think it would. If Michael Madsen was ever nice enough to hang out with me one night, I too wouldn't be any cooler, any more appealing to the ladies, just because he's so cool.
I wanted to wrap this up with a little what would you do paragraph. In this movie, all the guys in on the Ironside heist with the 300-pound pork roast got $1 million for their troubles, and they were told "no shopping sprees for 6 months", as in, chill out and don't call attention to yourselves. I don't think that would be such a problem. I'd probably catch a bus out of town somewhere, go to a city, spend a little here and there on food and what not, but nothing big. The biggest problem would be the hotel, because you'd need a credit card for that, and that leaves a paper trail. Depending on the time of year, one could hit a sporting goods store and grab a one-man tent and sleeping bag-- but you'd need a car to take advantage of campgrounds, and cars are always easy to track. Youth hostels? I'm too old for those. Nope, I'd be a sitting duck, waiting for Ironside's men to pick me off...
Stay away from this sack of asscrack. The lowness of the bait-and-switch alone makes this beneath your time and money, but beyond that, the movie is boring and poorly made. The sheer star power give this a siren song effect. Don't fall for it, they're barely in the flick, and all you're getting for your trouble is a 300-pound pork roast.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0264606/