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.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
It's always been my dream to get a Michael Fassbender film on the DTVC, and, while this isn't exactly DTV, it did only earn about $150K on 12 screens here in the US; plus, in the context of my UK Week, it isn't so much of a shoehorn job. Nope, the DTVC is officially getting Sassy with Fassy, and it feels so good.
Centurion has Michael Fassbender as a Centurion defending the Roman frontier border in Britain when he's attacked by the Picts and taken prisoner. He's set free so some of them can hunt him down, and as he's running away, he bumps into General Dominic West's 9th Legion. He joins them, only to have almost the entire legion destroyed in a guerrilla attack. In an attempt to rescue West, who was captured, a less scrupulous member of the survivors kills a kid in the Pict camp, a kid who just happens to be the king's son. Now Fassy and his remaining men are in a struggle for their lives as they're stuck behind enemy lines, with a bloodthirsty hunting party hot on their heels. Will they make it back alive?
I really liked this one. Very bloody, nasty, yet very cool in a comic book adventure kind of way. Fassbender anchored the cast, but there were also two killer Pict warrior women that were fun to watch, and a slew of other UK notables. I mentioned West above, plus I have a particular fondness for Paul Freeman and Liam Cunningham. I also liked how this was ambiguous in who the good guys were. We're rooting for Fassbender because he's Fassbender, but are we rooting for the Romans or the Picts? Do we not sympathize more with the Pict warrior woman who leads the hunt because of the savage way the Romans treated her in the past? Yet we can't help but be caught up in Fassbender's struggle for survival. This is a fun movie and worth checking out.
About a year ago I saw Hunger, and it was the first time I looked up Michael Fassbender on imdb. Two things struck me. First, his birthday is on April 2nd, one day after mine; and second, he is only 2 years older than me (or one year, 364 days). The idea that Fassbender would've been a junior when I was a freshman if we had gone to the same high school, is tough to fathom. Trying to imagine Fassbender as a high schooler is tough to fathom. I think Centurion is a great and unique way to experience Fassbender, because it's not the big Hollywood blockbuster or the hard hitting indie drama, but Fassbender delivers the same kind of professional performance. That's Sassy Fassy for you.
This is another flick from Magnet Releasing. Look at their rap sheet just on the DTVC: Hobo With a Shotgun, Rubber, and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. All four of these have been great, yet all four are totally different. The only thing they have in common is that they're off the beaten path, not quite mainstream. I guess they're also all very bloody. The red in the logo stands for blood. I think it's great though that we have someone like Magnet out there fighting the good fight, and getting us flicks like these that we might not otherwise have.
I wanted to mention Dominic West and Paul Freeman quickly. West was in a great version of King Richard III (Richard III) starring Sir Ian McKellen and Robert Downey Jr. If you haven't checked that out I suggest you do so. This isn't his first time on the DTVC either. He played Jigsaw in Punisher: War Zone. (This also isn't his first time with Fassy. They were in 300 together.) Paul Freeman is a different story. DTVC readers may remember him in Aces: Iron Eagle III, or, more notably, from Double Team. I wonder where that ranks for him. On the one hand, Michael Fassbender. On the other, JCVD and Dennis Rodman. Gotta love those guys.
On my school trip, we finished up in Edinburgh, spending a couple days there. It was cool, we got to check out the Johnny Walker plant, along with some famous castles and whatnot. We also hit a lot of pubs, which didn't just mean drinking, but also meeting a lot of great people, who were often older but very gracious and welcoming to an 18-year-old-- which, looking back on it as a 33-year-old, was very good of them. At that time in my life, I didn't hike-- it wouldn't be for another 11 years before I'd discover that passion in my life-- and when I think of the mountains there that I didn't summit, it upsets me. I need to go back there sometime and make it happen.
And you need to get on Watch Instantly and make this one happen. Sassy Fassy, cool comic book style adventure, and loads of gore. This is the Roman period flick you came for, you won't be disappointed.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1020558/