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] I'd love to check out what you got.



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.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Slip & Fall (2011)

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This is another submission from Kevin at MTI Video.  When I saw the trailer, and saw that it had William Forsythe and Andrew Divoff, I wanted to check it out.  Then when I saw that it took place just outside of Boston, I really wanted to check it out.  Let's see how it did.

Slip & Fall is about a guy, Danny, who's struggling to make ends meet while going to law school and taking care of his grandmother.  When his grandmother spends their mortgage and his tuition on a satellite dish, he's forced to come up with cash quick, or Dean Dickman (Divoff) will have him kicked out of school with only one semester to go.  So he goes to his uncle Jerry (Forsythe), who makes a living off of slip and fall scams, to pull off one of his own to make some quick cash.  This brings him into contact with all manor of funny, shady characters, but also Sarah, the beautiful, kind secretary of Jimmy O'Malley, the shyster lawyer in charge of Danny lawsuit.  While falling for her, he's increasingly stressed out by the fate of his suit and his ability to make it through school and make ends meet.  Will he succeed?

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I really enjoyed this.  It was funny in parts, but overall it was more fun than it was funny, if that makes sense.  Part of it might be that my growing up an hour north of Boston, a lot of the characters and the things they talk about hit close to home.  William DeCoff's Jimmy O'Malley was one of the best, with his thick Boston accent and hilarious obnoxious Bostonian Guy impression.  I think there's a lot here for people not from the Boston area too though.  Danny's story about struggling to make ends meet in the new economy, and the things he has to do when the situation becomes desperate, rings true everywhere, and the film carries these themes off in a fun and charming way with great characters and enjoyable moments.

One of those characters was the great Andrew Divoff, and while he's still a heel and a bad guy, he's not a diabolical criminal holding a bunch of people hostage or something like we usually see him here on the site.  Not only that, but he's a joke of a bad guy, playing it straight, and very funny.  I think it's good for us at the DTVC to get outside our comfort zone of action and sci-fi and horror to do something like this and see Andrew Divoff do something different.  For fans of Divoff, this is a must watch, I know you'll like it.

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I have to get back to William DeCoff's Jimmy O'Malley, because he was the best.  He was so That Guy you hear on the T after a Sox or B's game, who's had a few pops, is really loud, and who you just hope gets off at the next stop, but you know he's on that Red Line all the way to Ashmont, and it's you that gets off first at South Station, and you and your buddies will be mocking him and his accent the whole ride home.  My favorite line was "hur ass was like Mohrgan Fuckin' Fayrchild dood."  There were some other characters like him, but none as great.

Among the other people in the film, I mentioned William Forsythe above.  He was great as the uncle who gets Danny involved in the scam.  One thing I liked too was that he didn't affect a Boston accent-- maybe being from Brooklyn he couldn't bring himself to do it.  Sam Cohen played Danny, our hero, and he was good too.  The idea with a guy like this is that we want to root for him.  When he resorts to this decision, we need to not only accept his motives, but we have to like him too to have sympathy for him, and he pulls that off.  Zofia Gozynska plays Danny's Russian domineering girlfriend, who thinks Danny will be her meal ticket.  She was funny too, but she was also listed in the opening credits with the dreaded "Introducing" tag, so let's hope she transcends that curse and ends up having a long career, because we know that too often "Introducing" means "never hear from him/her again."  And then we had famous attorney Alan Dershowitz playing himself in a quick cameo.  It's always great to see him in anything.

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Finally, because this was filmed in the Boston area, I saw actors I recognized from local Boston commercials, including Marie Polizzano here, whom I remember from a commercial for one of the local private healthcare companies.  It had a bunch of "regular" people, all with lines that were supposed to follow one another, and hers was "and they won't drop you", which she said while holding an infant.  Here in Slip & Fall she was Sarah, Danny's love interest.  What I liked about her character was that she was strong and independent, and also going through the same troubles Danny was in pursuing a career in law.  Unlike a lot of comedy movies like this where our hero wins a woman who's way out of his league, we see right away that Sarah likes Danny because he's earnest and real in a world where so few people are.  To make this work we had to believe too that she was down to Earth, and she had that down perfect.  This movie could've been every other comedy romp, and she helped make it something more.

According to the MTI website, this film doesn't come out until September 10th.  When it does, you should definitely give it a look.  It might be a little slow at the beginning, but it really takes off and is a lot of fun.  Even if you don't live near Boston-- or you're from a city that hates Boston and all our sports teams-- this has enough in it for everyone to enjoy.

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