SPOILER ALERT !!
THE CONTRACTOR, which comes out July 10th, is probaly the best DTV Wesley Snipes picture so far. Sure, it’s got that usual DTV vibe – Avid farts, cheesy electronical music, somber tone, not gonna make you smile or laugh too much, definitely not original in any way. But for this type of movie it’s pretty solid, and it takes advantage of Wesley’s talents. He runs alot, he gets in some shootouts, some car stunts, one quick but impressive fight. But most of all they let him act. He plays the sort of quiet, unfriendly-but-ultimately-kind badass he excels at. He gets to communicate what’s going on with facial expressions and posture more than with words, which is his thing. He gets some good bonding moments, including with his adversary after he mortally wounds him. In a DTV movie if there’s anything other than black and white/good and evil, any grey area at all, it deserves a shiny star on its sticker chart. I like that kind of shit.
When I got a screener for THE CONTRACTOR I got kind of nervous because I hadn’t seen his last one, THE MARKSMAN. And since the front cover for THE CONTRACTOR calls him “the world’s greatest marksman” I thought this might be an unadvertised sequel like Seagal’s BLACK DAWN was to THE FOREIGNER.
So I rented THE MARKSMAN first. In that one he plays a man with no name who leads a group of bland soldiers on a mission, I already forget what the mission was. Something to do with a nuclear power plant. This is the worst kind of Snipes movie, the kind where he obviously wasn’t on set very much, and the whole movie is built around the idea of doing as many Snipes-free scenes as possible while still pretending he’s the main character. The result is generic and incredibly boring, and the one and only moment I liked was at the end when the soldier he got along with least tried to talk to him buddy-buddy and he responded only with facial expressions. I bet they actually scripted something for him to say but Snipes knew he could do it better without words. Most of the movie has to do it without Snipes at all, though, and that’s a problem because the movie sure doesn’t have anything else to offer.
So THE CONTRACTOR, which turns out to not be related to THE MARKSMAN, is a relief. Right from the beginning Wesley is in the middle of everything. In his everyday life he’s some kind of hick, he lives on a ranch, rides horses, wears a red plaid shirt and a cowboy hat. But his CIA contact comes to visit and gives him a mission written on the inside of a match book. Some time in the past Wesley had a clear shot on a dangerous terrorist, but he saw the guy’s daughter and hesitated, got stabbed and the bastard got away. Now that bastard is in custody in London, and the U.S. needs to assassinate him so that he doesn’t launch terror attacks from his jail cell. Who knows what he could do in there, it’s dangerous.
Of course Wesley pulls it off. He is, after all, the world’s greatest marksman, and the guy’s daughter isn’t there to get in the way this time. But Wesley’s escape gets messy, his accomplice gets killed, he gets shot and limps back to an apartment. (His partner had given him this safe house address earlier – an address that changes all the rules.)
One thing that makes THE CONTRACTOR stand out from others of this type is his relationship with a little girl who finds him in the safehouse and looks after him while he heals. They do a good job with that. The mission he was given was “Moscow rules,” which apparently is different from Olympic rules. According to these guidelines, the mission has failed and he is “already dead.” So his CIA contact shows up in town, butts in with the Brit police and tries to get in there so he can disavow Wesley through the medium of bullets. So Wesley’s new mission is to get out of there or clear his name or at least not get killed. And the little girl’s mission is to harbor a fugitive assassin without grandma finding out. He feels bad for her because her parents are dead and she’s lonely. You know how these go. Their friendship is as much the story of the movie as the whole trying-not-to-get-assassinated-by-the-CIA-or-caught-by-Scotland-Yard thing is. And you get to know his character through the way he first grimaces at and ignores her and eventually warms up to her, in his own way. (don’t worry, this movie is not French, there’s no uncomfortable pedophile moments.)
The adult female lead by the way is Lena Heady of 300 and not-Linda-Hamilton fame. It’s not a huge role (which is a good thing – we don’t need a romance in this thing) but she’s good at playing the glamorous but tough lady role.
In previous Wesley Snipes reviews I have questioned why a guy who’s such a unique combination of actor and action performer could go from the height of his career (BLADE 1&2) to an endless slew of generic DTV action. And now he’s got that whole tax problem. So I might have to get used to Wesley only existing on the small screen.
Well, if that’s true then maybe I’m going about this backwards. Instead of begging for filmatists to rescue Wesley from DTV, I should politely ask them to raise DTV to Wesley’s level. So this is your annual reminder that you motherfuckers are wasting the opportunity of DTV. Previous generations had their outlets for low budget filmmaking. You’ve heard about all of Tarantino’s heroes, the drive-in directors, the so-called grindhouse. You know about the wave of directors that started out working for Roger Corman, or by funding their own classic low budget horror debut, from George Romero to Sam Raimi. Shit, Steve Spielberg started out doing TV movies! But he didn’t say “it’s just a TV movie, who gives a shit, I will put no effort or imagination into this,” instead he said “eat it motherfuckers, I’m making DUEL!” (paraphrase).
These were outlets with many drawbacks and limitations that made it hard for the movies to be good. In many cases they weren’t even meant to be good, they were just meant to be cranked out so there was product out there. So alot of these forms are shit, but shit makes good fertilizer. Eventually some roses are gonna start growing out of it and they might even be better than the roses that grow out of the plain old dirt of the studio system.
But in the shitpile of DTV there aren’t a whole lot of roses yet. Somehow I don’t see 20 years down the line any directors talking about how they were influenced by the CGI giant snake subgenre. In some other countries they actually try, for example I believe the original JU-ON movie was made as a straight to video feature. But you don’t get much of that here in the States. I sure hope I have missed the best American DTV movies, because I don’t know about too many that are worth writing home about. “Not completely terrible” is about the biggest surprise you tend to get watching these things. Almost every time it feels like somebody just trying to complete a contract to get paid. So far there doesn’t seem to be a Jack Hill or Larry Cohen type who decides to have fun with it.
This is coming out of nowhere, but what the hell. There’s a guy I would like to draft to the DTV team: Robert Rodriguez. This might be a bad time to ask, because he currently has BARBARELLA on his plate and must be consumed with the task of not fuckin blowin it. But when I heard he was gonna really do MACHETE as a DTV movie I was pretty happy. A name director with plenty of hits under his belt willingly going straight to video? Sounds too good to be true, and of course soon they started talking about it being a theatrical release, and then they stopped talking about it at all, so who knows if it will happen. I’d love to see it in a theater, of course, but I was actually more excited for DTV. Hell, release it in an oversized VHS box if you want. Personally I’m more of a Tarantino guy than Rodriguez, but I like alot of his movies and I think he would be the perfect guy to prove you can make a real good DTV movie and not have to worry about the pressures of studio executives fretting over your budget and assholes counting every penny you make on the opening weekend.
Let’s look at Mr. Rodriguez’s qualifications:
- The tools. This guy has a god damn movie studio in his house. He has the first digital cameras that actually look good, his own special effects company, complete editing and music recording facilities, everything. I bet he has a green screen set up in his bathroom so he can do pick up shots while he’s takin a shit. Also he seems to be able to get everybody from Bruce Willis to Johnny Depp to just come over to his house and film some scenes at the drop of a dime. Hey superstar, here’s a dime, come stand in front of a green screen. And he can stretch a budget and make something like this more personal than the current system seems to allow.
- The track record. This guy has made plenty of interesting movies and many of them on low budgets. Of course we can never forget the $7,000 EL MARIACHI, somehow that’s probaly a fraction the budget of even THE GINGERDEAD MAN. But I’m sure alot of people still consider it Rodriguez’s best movie. My favorite is DESPERADO but I am all for the simplicity of those earlier movies. The more he gets involved in these digital effects he kind of loses some of that energy and focus that made him good in the first place. Imagine him taking that fancy camera down to Mexico (or wherever) and taking a couple weeks to shoot another one guerilla style. I fuckin KNOW this guy could make MACHETE good. I want to see this.
- Danny Trejo. He does all kinds of DTV but nobody makes him look as cool as Rodriguez does.
- A rich DTV heritage. Rodriguez had a hand in what I still consider the best DTV sequel to date, TEXAS BLOOD MONEY: FROM DUSK TILL DAWN 2. And part 3 (which he was more involved in) has its moments too. Regardless of what you think of those two, they were a rare moment in DTV history when the people behind the movies were putting genuine elbow grease into them. They saw the opportunity to have fun with sequels that would not be economically feasible for a theaterical release, but took advantage of their under the radar DTV status. They were not just rehashes of the original. They didn’t have the same production values but they had good-for-DTV-casts and clever ideas and were totally different from each other. We need more people trying to show off in DTV instead of just trying to be passable.
- Wesley Snipes. As far as I know Rodriguez doesn’t know Wesley Snipes, but I bet if he wanted to he could make a movie for him. Wesley is DTV’s secret weapon. He’s not some guy past his prime, he’s not bloated, he looks great. He is still a great actor, he can still fight as good as ever, he can be a badass but can do a non-action role and nobody will laugh. Unless they’re supposed to. If somebody doesn’t snatch him up and put him in a truly great movie then we, as a society, have failed.
So whattya say bud, let’s do this.
Until then, THE CONTRACTOR is pretty good as far as instantly forgettable goes. So Wesley maintains dignity.
Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/33212
View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback
July 2, 2007, 5:50 a.m. CST
What happened to Snipes?
Why does he mostly do DTV’s now?
July 2, 2007, 5:56 a.m. CST
great one Vern
actually got excited again about the DTV shit i saw in my life. And thats not easy!
July 2, 2007, 5:57 a.m. CST
Hey Vern, have you ever watched “Chaos”?
Not the torture one that only seem to exist to made you write one of the 3 greatest reviews ever written, but the other one with Snipes and Jason Statham. It’s good. Not great, but good.
July 2, 2007, 5:57 a.m. CST
Up his own arse after Blade III.
Actually, he was in the process of doing just that after Blade 2…
July 2, 2007, 5:59 a.m. CST
But Snipes Aside….
Why the fuck is this ‘Cool News’?!
Who gives a shit about DTV straight-to-DVD shitfests starring fading actors?
Isn’t Vern allowed to review any proper films?
July 2, 2007, 6:25 a.m. CST
some stories need to be told (or reviewed)
by just pillow talk
Vern is just the man to do it. And who you calling fading? Wes is the man!
July 2, 2007, 6:30 a.m. CST
It’s true about Snipes
by Franklin T Marmoset
He’s one of the great wastes of potential in modern films. Great actor, plus he’s excellent at the physical shoot ’em up, kick ’em up type of thing, too. Snipes should be one of the biggest stars in the world, but he seems content to take his place alongside the Dean Cains and Casper Van Diens of the film world.
You can do better than that, Wesley Snipes, tax problem or no tax problem.
P.S. I, too, like to imagine that Steven Spielberg actually said “Eat it motherfuckers, I’m making DUEL!” Trouble is, he would later go on to say the somewhat similar “Eat it motherfuckers, I’m making HOOK!”
July 2, 2007, 6:30 a.m. CST
Snipes is an awesome guy. Even though the hard ass action movies that blanketed the eighties are gone, Snipes still has the guts to keep trying. I think the perfect role for Snipes is a Terminator 4. Hell Yeah. Snipes is the TX-4, A bad ass Terminator programed in various human fighting styles thats takes on John Connor in the First Battle for Human Kind.He has the ability to see your next move before you using advanced AI. Thus being the only way Connor can beat him is by being a human in the end, chaotic and unreasonable.
July 2, 2007, 6:35 a.m. CST
C’mon Vern…”From Dusk Till Dawn 3″ was better than 2!
It at least had atmosphere, solid direction, and an original storyline. The sequel merely felt like Scott Spiegel aping Tarantino (“hip” dialogue about porn, the “push-up” cam).
And while we’re on the topic of vampires and DTV, the director of part 3’s currently filming “The Lost Boys 2: The Tribe” in Vancouver as a DTV release (probably this Halloween) for Warner Premiere (Warner’s DTV label). The premise? Surfer vampires. I fully expect a retread of the original, except for this will most likely be “The Covenant” with surfer vampires. I hope I’m wrong. I wish “The Lost Girls” had entered production, but Warner Brothers said fuck you to that happening.
July 2, 2007, 6:42 a.m. CST
…excelllent idea, of course too good for the hacks of Hollywood to even get behind…
July 2, 2007, 6:57 a.m. CST
My all-time great legit straigh-to-vid picks…
They are all from the 90’s (when I worked in a video shop). They were all, to the best of my knowledge, intended for a video debut. They are all, quite possibly, nowhere near as great as I remember them… But still.
American Yakuza. First time I saw Viggo. New he’d be a movie star one day. Good undercover thriller with nice action, high level of violence and a sense of humor. (honorable mention for its, more or less unrelated save for theme, sequel)
Automatic. Mad Olivier Gruner vehicle. Like Robocop meets Gremlins 2 (same bad guy even). It just had a sense of scale and inventiveness that is unusual in DTV. Good action too. I think it represents the high-watermark of the Albert Pyun inspired wierd-cyborg DTV sub-genre.
Hollow Point. Most generic movie title for the wierdest movie. Thomas Ian Griffith (the poor man’s Michael Wincott, but with karate), Tia Carrere and, AND, Donald Sutherland. Totally bananas assassin comedy action bollocks. Worth seeing primarily for Donald’s mad buddhist hit man who has to balance the karma of his executions by doing something nice as soon as possible.
I almsot feel like the hey day of this stuff has been and gone. The days when Van Damme movies that debuted on vid could out-gross stuff on the big screen. Anyway, please somebody have seen one of these movies so i can finally discuss them…
July 2, 2007, 7:28 a.m. CST
Vern, it’s good to see you posting more seriously…
…recently, but without losing the funny. You make some good points. And I would probably buy Machete, though I really wish Rodriguez and Miller would hurry up on their other films and get back to Sin City 2.
July 2, 2007, 7:29 a.m. CST
fire down below review, vern?
by Acne Scarface
inquiring seagalogists got 2 know.
July 2, 2007, 7:32 a.m. CST
PS, Zach and MidnightExpress…
…sorry but those T4 ideas made me cringe they were so poor.
July 2, 2007, 7:47 a.m. CST
I’m with ya vern
dtv is an unmined vein of potential influence… let’s hope there are enough people who wind up in hollywood with goals other than the CRIBS lifestyle, who can start to make it happen..
July 2, 2007, 7:48 a.m. CST
The Lost Girls!!! I would have loved that
by Col. Tigh-Fighter
Big Lost Boys fan. Will have to check the surfer vamps out
July 2, 2007, 8:04 a.m. CST
How do you get into the DTV business?
by Franklin T Marmoset
It doesn’t seem all that hard, and I have often thought I could write something that is at least as good as much of the stuff they do.
Is there a DTV academy? Do they accept unsolicited material? Where are these DTV people? How do you apply for a job in DTVland?
July 2, 2007, 8:06 a.m. CST
Damn, posted too soon
by Franklin T Marmoset
Anyway, I think it would be fun to do that kind of thing. Everyone knows Hollywood is shit – I would much rather blow stuff up and crash cars and meet Wesley Snipes and whatnot.
July 2, 2007, 8:30 a.m. CST
I read the first few talkbacks…
but couldn’t be arsed with the rest, so someone may have already made this point; how in fuck’s name does this constitute cool news? This site has been getting pretty slack of late to be honest. The same stories headlining over an entire weekend. I know Hollywood is a slow-moving, backward, out-of-the-way sort of place, but surely there must be more happening there than Snipes DTV efforts? Harry’s tete-a-tete with someone pretending to be Rorschach? Why not start a blog about all the fucking junk mail you get? I do really like this site, because when you cut through a lot of the shit posts (which many will probably see this as one), there’s a great deal of humour and film-lovers making incisive, interesting points. Don’t take this solely as a diatribe against falling standards, but seriously, pull your fucking finger out.
July 2, 2007, 8:51 a.m. CST
A couple of things for the_outsider
by Franklin T Marmoset
The first one is to say you’re right – someone has already made the same point.
The second one is, it is Cool News because Vern wrote it, and many of us like to read his thoughts on these films, no matter how bad they might be. DTV type stuff is Vern’s bread and butter, and either you like his reviews or you don’t. And if you don’t (and since it’s pretty clearly labeled on the front page), why not just skip the whole thing and read something else? Here’s one you can try: www.fightnews.com, where you can read all about Evander Holyfield’s latest comeback win. Sure, he should have packed it in a while back, but are you going to tell him? Of course you’re not.
In conclusion, Vern is good. Thanks.
July 2, 2007, 9:22 a.m. CST
well done Vern
you’re championing a great idea: DTV not being synonymous with ‘sucky’. in this DV camera age it should be happening! MAIDEN OF DEATH, anyone? i’m just sayin…
July 2, 2007, 9:25 a.m. CST
Sorry Franklin, you’re gonna have to…
say that again. It’s hard to make you out with Vern’s cock lodged so solidly in your mouth. Nah, just kidding. I’m not gonna go down the abusive route. My problem is not with the quality of the review, but rather the subject matter. You just can’t polish a turd. Maybe you and other accolites of distinct un-news could create a sister site called prettyaveragenews.com? Also, why was half your post concerned with a pretty pointless digression on the merits of Evander Holyfield’s extended career? Stick to the point if you’re going to try and be a smartarse.
In conclusion, when laying out an arguement, give a valid reason for your points that don’t come across as subjective whining. I’ve seen quite a few of your posts over the years and you usually come across as an intelligent poster. It’s unfortunate in this set of circumstances you’ve allowed a pet love of your own influence the way you think rationally about something that should patently not be on here. Thanks
July 2, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST
Wrong again, the_outsider
by Franklin T Marmoset
I was working the balls when I posted earlier. The balls.
As to the Evander Holyfield thing, I was just offering you an alternative to the AICN (since you seemed so annoyed at the lack of cool news), and that was the first thing that came to mind. Holyfield earned himself a decent win over the weekend. It’s only Lou Savarese, but it’s better than losing to the likes of Chris Byrd and Larry Donald, and his march toward what he hopes will be an unprecedented fifth heavyweight title continues unabated.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, the_outsider – “But Frank, it’s been over twenty years since Holyfield first won the Cruiserweight title. Yes, his acheivements since then have been impressive to say the least, but shouldn’t he just call it a day?” And I’d have to say it’s hard to argue with that assessment. But he is a stubborn man, the_outsider, and that stubbornness was always one of his great strengths, so we can hardly fault him now that it has become something of a weakness.
I hope this helps, the_outsider. Take care.
July 2, 2007, 10:14 a.m. CST
Sarcasm duly noted
but allegorically dealt with or not, your silence on the original issue we were discussing speaks volumes. I reiterate, your posts are often interesting and pretty accurate in their assesment, but I think pride is prohibiting you from put your hand up and saying “OK, you got me. DTV is the poor relation of entertainment. Take me out of the house and into a cinema.”
Oh yeah, kudos to Holyfield. He’s not really my bag, but power to him.
July 2, 2007, 10:31 a.m. CST
I too have been watching your posts over the years. Just as I have been reading Vern’s DTV reviews for years. I consider you (no offence) to be a lesser AICN institution than Vern, but an AICN institution nonetheless. I would miss you if you left. Just as I’d miss Vern reviewing the movies of beloved former superstars that no other reviewers will touch, all in the vain but glorious hope that one of them might not be shit. But I really wouldn’t miss the obligatory cries of “This news is not cool”, by these unelected arbiters of news temperature. I don’t go into TB’s for the stuff I don’t like (pretty much all of CoAx, the comics stuff, et al) and attempt to deny the frigidity or otherwise of the info held therein.
This site is free. It is fun. It does not ask, nor does it frankly deserve to be held up to any high standard of journalistic integrity.
I find the news that Snipes has done a halfway decent DVD action flick significantly cooler than anything about Dr Who or whatever. Because, coolness (or lack thereof) is in the eye of the beholder. Surely that’s obvious. Christ, the best bit (when Vern dips in to join the TB) hasn’t even happened yet! Whatever. Mr PawPrint and TheunderscoreOutsider I suggest you maybe go to Vern’s Sight. He may win you over with his talent to the extent that you’ll get excited by his reviews too. Or not, but at least you’ll know for sure that you’ll never need click on one of his articles again.
July 2, 2007, 10:37 a.m. CST
I’m not on Vern’s balls or anything. We just held hands one time at a Thunderbox gig is all…
July 2, 2007, 10:48 a.m. CST
July 2, 2007, 10:49 a.m. CST
WTF happened to Snipes career?
by Judge Dredds Dirty Undies
So sad. He has done nothing worthwile since the first Blade.
July 2, 2007, 10:56 a.m. CST
I don’t get it either
Snipes is what 40?, he looks just the same as he always has done and he has starred in some pretty big and popular films. Why he is doing DTV films is a little strange, maybe he has pissed off a few too many Hollywood bigwigs!.
July 2, 2007, 10:57 a.m. CST
Oh and Chaos
Was a pretty darn good film, i’m sure that was going to be a cinema release at some point.
July 2, 2007, 11 a.m. CST
Cuba Gooding Jr
Here is another OSCAR WINNER and very talented (at times) actor who will soon be relagated to the DTV world. His career choices have been the worst i have ever seen from a top actor (Boat Trip anyone!) and he should just fire his agent and sue him for neglect!.
July 2, 2007, 11:10 a.m. CST
Vern is DTV…
If he hasn’t seen it, it doesn’t exist.
July 2, 2007, 11:12 a.m. CST
I can now see that there is a sub culture of mediocrity appreciation on this site that I hadn’t previously picked up on. Fair is fair, if that’s what your’re into and there are enough of you out there, then who am I to piss on your parade? It just jars when someone can write eloquently and then champions shit (well, not in your eyes). I like no-brainer action films as much as the next guy, but only when they’re of a certain quality. DTV is a badge of mediocrity. 90 minutes of anyone’s life spent absorbing this is an insult to their intelligence. I like kitch movies that are entertaining. I mean that is the chief reason for films. It just bothers me that people settle for so little. Familiarity should breed contempt. Instead trite, run-of-the-mill regurgitated shit is welcomed with open arms. Snipes should be aiming higher. If people continue to watch stuff like this, I doubt you could say they’re being entertained, but are simply making do.
July 2, 2007, 11:13 a.m. CST
THE WATERDANCE, and other stories
Snipes was great in that. Now it seems he’s got the same agent as Jeff Fahey and Jeff Speakman. Shit, if Stallone can resurrect his career, and if Willis can do a kiddy version of his best film, I say get all the DTV heroes together for one last adventure: Norris, Snipes, Campbell, Seagal, Van Damme, Brian ‘The Boz’ Bosworth, Rothrock, Lundgren and Shannon Tweed up against all-star second-rate villainy: Eric Roberts, William Forsythe, Lance Henriksen, Meg Foster, Julian Sands, Bruce Payne and David Warner with a walk-on role each for Al Leong and Linnea Quigley. Like a remake of Seven Samurai against the background of some inner-city drugs war…
July 2, 2007, 11:18 a.m. CST
Get Sheldon Lettich, Rowdy Herrington or (to good to be true) C.R. Baxley to direct and I am sold!
July 2, 2007, 11:22 a.m. CST
surely you can make room for Michael Ironside?
July 2, 2007, 11:25 a.m. CST
Lordy, I’m an idiot…
Of course Ironside gets an invite. And we should reserve a seat for Powers Boothe. Baxley gets my directorial vote, being the auteur genius behind STONE COLD. Unless we ask Mark L Lester to do it, purely because of SHOWDOWN IN LITTLE TOKYO.
July 2, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST
Then we’re gonna need…
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as the really-not-very-good-at-martial-arts-but-makes-up-for-it-with-actorly-menace-non-specific-Asian-Bad-Guy-Overlord!
See how much fun this is once you surrender to it?
July 2, 2007, 11:51 a.m. CST
May I suggest Starship Troopers: Hero of the Federation? Not bad at all.
July 2, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST
Vern, I have a request
by Drexl Spivey
Thanks for the review, I’ll check this one out. Snipes is the man when allowed to be what he’s good at. I always bet on black. Vern, I avoid most DTV movies.. any chance you could put together a list of recommendations or top 10 DTVs. thanks
July 2, 2007, 11:53 a.m. CST
Allegedly, Snipes is really really really hard to…
Deal with. I’m sure you remember reports on the Blade II set of him attacking the director, not once but twice.
Combine that with lack of any box office draw (but still being a recognizable name) and you have a guy made for the DTV circuit.
July 2, 2007, 11:56 a.m. CST
Check out Vern’s website, he has a review of that movie on it.
July 2, 2007, 11:57 a.m. CST
Blade vs David O. Russell
by Drexl Spivey
Love to see Snipes do a Russell flick. Bloodshed would ensue for sure.
July 2, 2007, 12:05 p.m. CST
Then we need Pam Grier and Joe Don Baker involved too. And Vernon Wells in chainmail.
July 2, 2007, 12:14 p.m. CST
That movie sounds classic. Any chance of Bill Duke as a police chief? Bolo Yeung has to have a part aswell.
July 2, 2007, 12:21 p.m. CST
The shithouse of cinema! York Entertainment!
by Spandau Belly
You guys need to check out this “studio” called York Entertainment specializing in comedies for black and hispanic Canadians (yes, you read that correctly). Check out their titles: ‘Dirty Kopz’, ‘Hip Hop 4 Life’, ‘Platnium Playaz’, ‘Player in Training’. They even have little trailers for some of them. I really liked the trailers for the one about the sorority that is really a satanic witch cult and the trailer for the one about a cowboy and convict fighting ghosts. Some of these movies even star Luke Perry. Check it out.
For those of you wanting a career in DTV filmmaking they even have contact information where you can submit a resume. I’m sure if you’ve seen a movie and heard a rap song they’ll hire you. You could help establish a brand of filmmaking called shithouse, and twenty years from now Robert Rodriguez will reference your movie when he co-directs ‘Shithouse’ with Eli Roth and Quentin’s love child.
July 2, 2007, 12:34 p.m. CST
Mmmmm Bill Duke (or Yaphet Kotto)
As long as Bill/Yaphet gets a speech like this: “Damn it, those motherfuckers shot up a church. Now that’s got Jesus pissed off. And that pisses the Cardinal off. So he gets on the phone and pisses the Mayor off. Who storms down to the Chief’s office, and tears him a new asshole. So now the Chief needs an asshole, so he’s just torn mine out. Now I need an asshole and all I got is you. You get these motherfuckers, or I’ll have you busted down to janitor in the pedophile wing of San Quentin by morning. You got me?” That kind of thing.
July 2, 2007, 12:54 p.m. CST
The reason Vern watches and reviews DTV ‘films’
is because they make ‘him’ the premiere! Also, Spandau Belly – you win today’s most humorous TB post with your ‘shithouse’ comment, had me fucking laughing out loud here in my cubicle.
July 2, 2007, 1:17 p.m. CST
CASABLANCA, starring Robert Davi, Shannon Whirry and Pruitt Taylor Vince.
July 2, 2007, 1:52 p.m. CST
Snipes for 24’s newest agent.
by SID 8.0
Awhile ago on this site there was question of who would take over for Sutherland when he decides to leave the show. Another TBer mentioned Snipes. He would be perfect. He could step into the role of a CTU agent like a pair of gloves.
July 2, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST
You know it. I know it. None of that Vin Diesel BMX rubbish and none of Ice Cube’s fake gangsta idiocy. Just Snipes. Hitting people until they tell him what he wants to know in order to save the motherfucking day.
July 2, 2007, 2:05 p.m. CST
SID 8.0. Great idea.
Snipes would be great on TV. By all accounts he isn’t as hard to work with as most believe. He’s just a bit wierd and intense. I have a friend who worked with him on one of his earlier DTV jobs, and she said he was very respectful and professional. However actors are often one way with other actors and another way with everyone else.
But back to our DTV mega-flick. What to do about love interest? Shannons Tate and Whirry, whilst deliciously Milfy, may be a tad advanced in years for our needs. Maybe we could bring in Cynthia Rothrock as a kind of feminist answer to Bill (from, y’know, Kill Bill), who has created a strike team of new sexy young future DTV babes culled from the pages of FHM and etc.
July 2, 2007, 2:09 p.m. CST
I used to have a nice handle…
with a few years behind it and a few interesting debates to call my own. Then I criticised Anime too vehemently and had to start again. Hence, the_outsider. Palimpsest has thrown a nice arc on this thread. Be honest Marmoset, it’s good to have an opportunity to argue DTV’s case isn’t it? It would be to much of a love-in if not.
You want DTV royalty? I call to the stand the much-missed Brion James. IMDb him. You’ll love it.
July 2, 2007, 2:12 p.m. CST
DTV female actors
Patricia Tallman. Denise Richards. Pamela Anderson. Barbara Crampton. Caroline Munro. Personally, I’d love to have CCH Pounder play The President.
July 2, 2007, 2:14 p.m. CST
Snipes’ DTV downfall is quite sad…
…the guy was talented and fairly charismatic and he could act – The Waterdance, Jungle Fever, One Night Stand, White Men Can’t Jump…he was doing some good work and to be honest, his decision to make lots of action films (as good as he was in ’em) may have gone against him when the big roles started drying up; why no-one has cast him in some worthy indie flick when we know he has the leading man chops is crazy.
July 2, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST
Brion James? That’s a lovely call.
TK Carter. Dick Miller. Luis Guzman. Harry Dean Stanton. Hell, let’s have Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura cameoing briefly. Let’s not also forget a minor god of DTV: Rutger Hauer. Richard Lynch. Jon Polito. Lin Shaye. Michael Wincott.
July 2, 2007, 2:19 p.m. CST
Wow, She is like Dennis Haysbert…
But with boobs. Now there’s an image. So the president is involved huh. This is getting into super-complicated Seagal DTV espionage-thriller territory. So really we should bring Big Steve into it. Maybe he can ride in at the end to Knight Dolph Lundgren so he can marry Vanessa Angel. Got to have a happy ending.
July 2, 2007, 2:28 p.m. CST
Back to Snipes momentarily
The action hero thing came at the wrong time for Wesley. He wasn’t well enough established as a mainstream actor for BLADE and its sequels to be seen as him as a star playing a part, it seems. It’s a real shame, as Snipes has genuine acting ability, yet he’s now on a starring level with Michael Jai White. Indie respectability may be the way ahead. Or perhaps a move into TV for a year or two. The 24 idea that was posted earlier wasn’t a bad one, and let’s face it, that show has done wonders for Sutherland.
July 2, 2007, 2:39 p.m. CST
And back to the DTV mega-flick
Stick with the Seven Samurai (or Several Samurai, if we get lucky casting all of them). Some die, some don’t. Sequels a-go-go. Any actor gets precious, or gets ideas above their Hollywood station, they’re gone. Anyone who’s there for the work and the payday, and who wants to give something for the viewers, they’re in. There are literally hundreds of vaguely recognizable faces out there who can do quality work (J.E. Freeman, where are you?) and/or who come with a culty pedigree. Sign them up and get them to work. Workable, but not excessive budgets. Emphasis on physical action, decent plots and tough but witty language. Pitch at R rating (15/18 in the UK). Break even on domestic US release, make money on DVD and overseas cinema releases, plus TV. It’ll never happen, though, but there’s both money to be made, and damn fine entertainment to be had right there.
July 2, 2007, 2:47 p.m. CST
Palimpest, this film of yours….
is there any chance we could have Verhooven (I know, but you try spelling it) directing and possibly have some form of barbaric king? It would be worth writing the part for this actor alone. A man who can drift seamlessly between big budget and no budget. Will do any genre for the right money. I give you, swathed in furs and with a horned crown….Rutger Hauer. Oh yes. Even Ironside would bow before him.
July 2, 2007, 2:54 p.m. CST
I’m all in favour of Rutger Hauer. He is, as was mentioned above, a DTV deity and as such, should be accorded due respect. In this talkback I’ve been advancing the idea (as daft as it may sound) of a Seven Samurai remake (itself a perfectly fine, if less than original, exploitation idea). Hauer? White suit? Vaguely camp and menacing? I am so there. I like the “swathed in furs and with a horned crown” thing you throw in, but we can do that in the inevitable follow-up: THE VIKING 2: VALHALLA IN LITTLE TOKYO
July 2, 2007, 3:01 p.m. CST
he’s already in talks. Right after he finishes BEST OF THE BEST 6: GOING DUTCH
July 2, 2007, 3:02 p.m. CST
I know this is way of the subject
but for inspired casting, how about John Hurt for Moloch in Watchmen? And now back to DTV…
July 2, 2007, 3:06 p.m. CST
Yes it is, but…
as long as Paddy Considine gets Rorschach, I’ll be happy.
July 2, 2007, 3:35 p.m. CST
You said that DTV was a “badge of mediocrity” and therefore I shouldn’t write about it. I’m not sure if you read it but this one only started out as a DTV review, and turned out to mostly be an essay requesting DTV people to stop letting it be a badge of mediocrity. So really maybe you would like it.
July 2, 2007, 3:38 p.m. CST
Rorscach is being played by…
Jackie Earle Haley from Little Children.
But guys, I’m worried the heroic fantasy/historic rampage thing we’ve snowballed into may be too ambitious on a true DTV budget. Maybe more of a Running Man/Battle Royale retrea is more in order. That way we get to see all sorts of wish list death matches. Matthias Hues vs Ralf Moeller! Who ya got?
July 2, 2007, 3:45 p.m. CST
the best DTV movies I’ve seen
Somebody asked for a list. I’m not the most qualified, honestly I’ve seen way more than the average human being but a very small percentage of what’s out there. I’m sure there are other people here more qualified to make a list. But I’ll try.
I already mentioned the FROM DUSK TILL DAWN sequels, and somebody mentioned STARSHIP TROOPERS 2. Most people hate that because it’s so small compared to the original (mostly taking place in one building) but I was impressed by all the effects, which were are pretty great for DTV. It’s directed by Phil Tippet I think.
LOVE AND A BULLET starring Treach is kind of cool. The action should be better and it’s of the “wouldn’t it be funny if hitman was like a regular job” school of comedy, but Treach is kind of charismatic and some of the jokes in it are pretty good. I think it’s the writers of that movie THE BIG HIT.
CARLITO’S WAY: RISE TO POWER is not as bad as you’d expect. The HOSTEL guy stars as Carlito, and doesn’t pull it off, but Mario Van Peebles saves the movie with a totally badass blaxploitation style supporting role, with mustache.
Seagal’s best and weirdest DTV effort is BELLY OF THE BEAST. If you want something less weird, INTO THE SUN is the best made. If you want something hilarious, go for OUT FOR A KILL (where he plays a Yale professor of archaeology) or OUT OF REACH (where he is out to save his pen pal who is being auctioned into white slavery on the internet).
GINGER SNAPS is not actually straight to video in its country of origin, Canada, but I was happy to discover it in a box of DTV screeners. And the first sequel is pretty good too.
If straight to cable counts, BLACKJACK (John Woo and Dolph Lundgren) might be my all time favorite. It’s a movie that actually makes Dolph seem charismatic. It has some great HARD TARGET era violence (although not as gorey) and the crazy premise that he is afraid of the color white and is fighting a celebrity stalker who has henchmen on motorcycles.
I know I’m forgetting some good ones… help me out here guys.
July 2, 2007, 3:52 p.m. CST
I’m not sure if these went DTV in the US, but…
GINGER SNAPS BACK, STONE COLD, DOG SOLDIERS (admittedly a cinema release in the UK), SPLIT SECOND (Lord, that’s a cheesy flick, but it has a certain something), and CUBE for starters.
July 2, 2007, 4:27 p.m. CST
Dog Soldiers was a good time at the movies
by Spandau Belly
I thought it showed a writer director who knew how to do the most with what he had. It wasn’t the greatest film ever, but it was steadily entertaining.
This guy apparently is finally completing his second film, which is some sort of sci-fi terrorist hunter deal. I haven’t heard anything about it but would give it a chance based on Dog Soldiers.
July 2, 2007, 4:30 p.m. CST
Neil Marshall also made THE DESCENT, which came out two years ago, and works very well indeed. His third, DOOMSDAY, is a sci-fi horror piece with Bob Hoskins that’s finishing filming this summer. Then he’s on with a big budget Sherlock Holmes movie.
July 2, 2007, 4:39 p.m. CST
OK Vern, fair enough
I’d only initially read the review and not the full essay afterwards. I have since done it and you make some good points. Unfortunately, they’re points that are pretty much going to remain wishful thinking on a computer screen. Most talented directors these days seem to emerge from advertising or self-penned numbers that play at film festivals. Anyone getting their directing chops as journeymen for hire do it through tv series. Anyone worth their salt skips straight over dtv and into any one of these other three areas. The truth is DTV is no longer the genre, but rather the system by which to judge the value of the product. Gone are the days where anyone with a modicum of talent is allowed time to grow into the role of director, via dtv. It’s like professional sport. It’s so money-driven, that at the first sign of talent, teams/companies swoop down on the unfinished article and throw money at the individual, terrified that the other teams/companies might get there first. For so many people in the world who are interested in film and the film-making process, why is it that the names that are still bandied about are guys that broke in the 70’s? Would you rather see a Scorcese film, or something from Eli Roth? I don’t believe it’s just dtv which is swimming in tepid pools of mediocrity; Hollywood is awash with it too. It’s just an economy of scale.
July 2, 2007, 4:40 p.m. CST
I know that was a shitload…
of cliched phrases, for which I apologise. DTV classic? LA Takedown.
July 2, 2007, 4:43 p.m. CST
Death Warrant, Van Damme’s best flick (“You can’t kill me! I’m the SANDMAN!”)
July 2, 2007, 4:44 p.m. CST
palimpsest, you’re right
by Spandau Belly
I totally missed that on IMDB. I was looking at films he editted or something. I really liked The Descent, too.
July 2, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST
One of the best DTV movies I’ve ever seen was Frank Darabont’s Buired Alive. Actually that was made for USA movie so I’m not sure if it counts. Damn good flick though.
July 2, 2007, 5:12 p.m. CST
I second that crayotic.
And that movie is a great idea.
I have a similar one whereby, again, they all play themselves. But, thay are all making an action movie together in an exotic land with lots of cheap labour, a good exchange rate and lots of tax breaks for film production. Then a violent milatary coup kicks off and it’s up to our boys to make good on their super-human alter egos and save the day!
I’m toying with the title Greenlight: For Justice!
July 2, 2007, 5:28 p.m. CST
The Cube Movies
by Wed Vid Guy
Don’t know if it started as made for TV or DTV, but I thought the first and third movies were really well done little thrillers. I mean I wouldn’t see them in a theater but they are a good rental.
July 2, 2007, 6:28 p.m. CST
Anyone seen T-Wrecks?!
I wanted to rent it but it was all out (all two copies).
July 2, 2007, 6:32 p.m. CST
Boa vs Python
Brilliant! So bad!! A girl gets eaten out by a talented giant snake. I also saw a weird movie called “Earthquake” where they lifted the tram action scene from “Metro” without explaining why there was a black guy as the passenger.
July 2, 2007, 6:36 p.m. CST
a Steven Seagal with Wesley Snipes movie = instant hit
by Big Dick
July 2, 2007, 7:48 p.m. CST
“Address changes all the rules”
Nice reference. I have faith in Snipes. Always bet on black.
July 2, 2007, 7:49 p.m. CST
VERN, PLEASE REVIEW THE SUBSTITUTE SEQUELS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by Darth Fabulous
I would kill to read Vern’s reviews of either, The Substitute 2: School’s Out, The Substitute 3: Winner Takes All or The Substitute: Failure Is Not An Option.
July 2, 2007, 9:36 p.m. CST
Wesley Snipes is currently hiding out…
in a compound located in Wyoming with radical militia that doesn’t believe in paying taxes, and thinks the World is sliding down in the abyss that was depicted in Demolition Man. They are well armed and only will take out from Might Taco. We
July 2, 2007, 9:39 p.m. CST
Mansquito > Boa vs python
Mansquito make the David Cronberg’s the Fly look a like an episode of Ms. Spider’s Tea Party
July 2, 2007, 9:47 p.m. CST
That’s funny, I was just thinking I wanted to watch The Substitute again. Haven’t seen it in years, but it’s so funny to combine those “white teacher in urban school” dramas with the ol’ “ex-CIA badass cleans up the neighborhood” movie. I never seen the Treat Williams ones though, just the original with Tom Berenger.
July 2, 2007, 9:58 p.m. CST
Vern exercised a measure of restraint
not working Seagal into the Snipes movie review until the second paragraph.
And the rest of you are killing me.
July 3, 2007, 12:35 a.m. CST
Wesley Snipes made earrings cool for bad guys…
…in Demolition Man. More movie bad guys should wear earrings. It makes them look fashionable.
July 3, 2007, 12:46 a.m. CST
What tax problem?
July 3, 2007, 12:59 a.m. CST
I Thought This Was About A Guy…
that builds houses.
That’s all I got.
July 3, 2007, 1:36 a.m. CST
My big ass list of goofy DTV favorites.
by Neo Zeed
I’ve never rented them, but sometimes they show up on cable. They are all are from the 90s.<br /><br />
Zero Tolerance: with Robert Patrick. It’s an action flick where he plays an FBI dude who takes out an entire crime syndicate for killing his family. Lots of two gun action, explosions.<br /><br />
The Sweeper: with C. Thomas Howell and Ed Lauter. He’s recruited as part as vigilante force to kill criminals. Fakes ass Tarantino dialogue, two guns, explosions, plus C. Thomas sporting a bad goatee (as seen on 24).<br /><br />
The Ambulance: with Eric Roberts. Nice goofy thriller by Larry Cohen about an ambulance that kidnaps people. Not Larry’s best but OK by DTV standards. Features a cameo by Stan Lee as Eric’s boss at Marvel Comics.<br /><br />
Drive: Really well done kung-fu stunts with Mark Dacostos.<br /><br />
Showdown: With Billy Blanks. Silly Karate Kid wannabe with Patrick Killpatrick as the baddie.<br /><br />
Bloodmoon: Pretty good and silly kung-fu movie with Gary Daniels and his partner who sounds a lil’ like Eddie Murphy. Frank Gorshin is the boss.<br /><br />
American Ninja 4: Only because it unites Micheal Dudikoff with that asshat who replaced him in part 3…thus getting points for respecting ACTUAL continuity in DTV!<br /><br />
Showdown in Little Tokyo: With Dolph and Brandon Lee kicking ass. Also that guy playing Tatsu from Ninja Turtles part one is a baddie.<br /><br />
The Punisher: I’m one of those dudes, who prefer it to the Thomas Jane version. Badness and all<br /><br />
King of the Kickboxers: Goofy ass movie with Loren Avedon and a snarling, drooling Billy Blanks. The last fight is hilarously awesome. <br /><br />
Prayer of the Rollerboys: Corey Haim in a post-apocolyptic rollerblading action thriller thingy movie.<br /><br />
There’s many others, but for for info consult your local imdb. Later!
July 3, 2007, 2:37 a.m. CST
So many issues, so little space
by Franklin T Marmoset
the_outsider – Apologies for the sarcasm, buddy, but I am always baffled that someone would take the time to enter a clearly marked article and then post the way you did. But it’s your world, the_outsider, so you should do what you want. What I failed to mention while I was Holyrambling was that I have no defense for DTV films. You’re right – most of them are shit. But I do like Vern’s reviews, and the ensuing talkbacks are usually pretty entertaining, too (Vern Vs Chaos still ranks as the greatest of all time, I think). I see you’ve even taken part yourself, so that can’t be all bad, right?
TELF and monster2Bpitied – Thanks for the kind words. That was nice of you both.
Spandau Belly – You are the man, as always. I now intend to make it my life goal to become an auteur of Shithouse. My masterpiece will be an action/horror/buddy comedy starring C Thomas Howell and Coolio. I’d prefer LL Cool J, but I reckon he’d be too expensive.
July 3, 2007, 4:22 a.m. CST
Fair enough Franklin
As I said, I didn’t realise that there existed a sub-set of talkbackers who were specifically into this and that Vern was meeting that demand. I just approached it as I would any other thread. For that, I apologise. And you’re right enough when you say that they’re not all bad. It just seems to me that the 80’s set a precedent for the template of this style of film and everything thereafter has been imitation. Then again, if Vern is trying to point you guys in the direction of a good one, I suppose he’s attempting to redress the balance.
July 3, 2007, 4:48 a.m. CST
This is good, plus Google stuff
by Franklin T Marmoset
All is well and harmony has returned to the Ain’t It Cool News. We have found balance, the_outsider, and we didn’t even have to call each other turds or tards or whathaveyou. Pretty good, I think.
Also, I decided to Google myself after reading what monster2Bpitied posted (I’ve never done that before) and the results were interesting. Here I am, just some nerd posting on the internets when I am bored, and this Google malarkey keeps a record of it all! Strange stuff. I recommend everyone Googles themselves – you may also be surprised at the amount of stupid crap you have written, just like I was!
July 3, 2007, 5:52 a.m. CST
Eric Roberts= DTV quality
Just like Christopher George and Lynda Day George back in the 80’s. IF they showed up in a horror movie, it had to be good.
July 3, 2007, 6:28 a.m. CST
Keith David and David Keith should team up.
Just for the poster.
July 3, 2007, 7:18 a.m. CST
its been years since i’ve actually set foot in a video rental place. life was tough in the early days. id rent out soft core movies from blockbuster as the internet hadnt been invented.</p>
so im in a little queue at blockbusters, with my copy of emnaulle to hire, only to be told to grab the other film as well because it was a two pack sepcial.</p>
why emmanueal? it was the only prono i could see around blockbusters that i recognised. then came the advent of Shannon Whirry she was magnificent in Animal Instincts. seriously. magnificent, best opening to a movie since betty blue. and as a bonus it had reconginsable names such as jan micheal vincent and maxwell caulfield</p>
kid today you’ve got it easy, i had to rewind and fastforword a video tape and go through loads of useless storylines to find a hint of boobies and now with the internet you’ve got it all on tap. too easy dammit too easy. dumbass that i am i even rented that crapfest madonna movie ” a certain sacrifice” to see a hint of her boobies, little did i know the next year she was flaunting everything in her “sex” book phase”</p>
July 3, 2007, 8:20 a.m. CST
Wesley Snipes’ Gotta Eat
by Stuntcock Mike
DTV pays the rent(see Seagal, Van Damme)
July 3, 2007, 8:32 a.m. CST
I was just wondering how many failed tv shows has that clown been in. His shown get shot down quicker than O.J. at a singles bar.
July 3, 2007, 8:43 a.m. CST
Best DVD titles.
Isaac Florentine has done some very good DTV work over the last few years, particularly:
Cold Harvest- Gary Daniels (Blood Moon) fights Bryan Genese (the Street Justice TV series with Carl Weathers) to save Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator) in a post-apocalyptic (Road Warrior) kung fu (Enter the Dragon) western (Fistful of Dollars).
U.S. Seals 2- A bunch of people you’ve never heard of take over for the cast of a movie you never bothered to watch, and the result is an over-the-top martial arts picture with ridiculously little gunfire for a military-themed movie.
Undisputed 2- Michael Jai White (Universal Soldier Part 4) takes over for Ving Rhames (Undisputed). Seriously. The result is some of the best MMA-style movie fight scenes since SPL (Killzone).
As far as non-Florentine stuff goes:
Suspended Animation- The story is sort of odd, but it manages to be very violent and disturbing and also rather clever. When a teenage boy’s blood splatters all over his mother’s breasts and it’s a happy conclusion to one of the subplots, then you know you’ve got something interesting.
In Hell- Van Damme’s best DTV. A prison film where anal rape is a key plot point, the good guys set a wheelchair-bound man on fire, and the story is pro-pacifist.
Legionnaire- Van Damme’s second-best DTV is a serious war film about the French foreign legion, and it actually kind of works as a serious war film.
Guyver 2: Dark Hero- The slow pace and blatant racism of the first live-action Guyver film are set aside in favor of more fight scenes featuring guys in rubber suits tearing each other into little bloody chunks.
Out of the stuff that’s already been mentioned, I’ll throw my support behind Ginger Snaps, Ginger Snaps 2, Bloodmoon, Drive, Belly of the Beast, Cube, Blackjack, and Carlito’s Way: Rise to Power.
July 3, 2007, 8:55 a.m. CST
Franklin, you could probably get Kid ‘n Play to reunite
by Spandau Belly
They could do a sequel to House Party, only this time with the ghosts and ninjas.
July 3, 2007, 9:01 a.m. CST
Machete < Hobo With A Shotgun
seriously, if they made Hobo With A Shotgun into a full length movie i would be so fucking there.
July 3, 2007, 9:31 a.m. CST
Van Damme prison movie – Death Warrant; I already gave it a shout out. You’re right; it is his best DTV film
July 3, 2007, 11:20 a.m. CST
The Further Adventures of Tennessee Buck
This truly was David Keith’s “Braveheart”.Not only starring in but directing it as well!!! After this film it was all down hill for Mr. Keith, though “Locusts: The 8th Plague” was a return to form.
July 3, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST
I like Van Damme best when he’s twins in a movie
Twice the action! Twice the acting!
July 3, 2007, 1:12 p.m. CST
by Neo Zeed
Yeah, (as mentioned by FatPaul) he’s an upcoming DTV director. The fights in Undisputed 2 were good and that Dolph Lundgren movie Bridge of Dragons had good kung-fu scenes. He’s now directing Van Damme in The Shephard…so it has potential to be Van Damme’s best DTV.
July 3, 2007, 1:51 p.m. CST
Snipes maybe the king of DTV but he is a pretty cool guy,he filmed this outside my office in Cardiff,home of Doctor Who, and had plenty of time for us office bums
July 3, 2007, 3 p.m. CST
Neo Zeed!!! (and Vern)
by Bass Bastardson
Neo – Drive is absolutely BAD ASS. I love that movie. There is some definite cheese involved but the fight scenes are awesome.
Vern – That you actually think Blackjack is even remotely watchable is beyond me. That movie was sooo fucking bad I couldn’t even wrap my brain around how bad it was. You have lost ALL credibility to me.
July 3, 2007, 6:55 p.m. CST
Dolph Lundgren bouncing up and down on a trampoline firing two guns in slow motion. He’s afraid of the color white and has to fight a guy in a dairy with milk spraying all over the place. The villain is a pervert stalking a supermodel, but there are guys on motorcycles willing to die for his cause. Dolph is temporarily blinded and has to run around with a little girl on his back telling him what direction to shoot in. And he has some kind of manservant that seems to be his life partner, but it is never clearly addressed. (I actually wrote to the screenwriter, now a prominent 9-11 conspiracy theorist, to ask if this was intentional. He didn’t respond.) These are not just isolated incidents, the whole movie is like this. I don’t think I need to defend the watchableness of BLACKJACK, it defends itself.
July 3, 2007, 6:59 p.m. CST
None of the previous arguements have convinced me, but that synopsis hit me like a bolt from the blue. CONVERTED! I need to see this movie!
July 4, 2007, 1:43 a.m. CST
by Bass Bastardson
Okay, well… when you put it that way, it does sound kinda awesome. Maybe my problem was with the fact that – when it came out- I still held John Woo in high regard as a maker of ACTUAL GOOD films, not SO BAD ITS GOOD ones. Maybe some day I’ll give Blackjack another shot – its amazing what hopes and expectations can do to ruin a movie.
July 4, 2007, 3:59 a.m. CST
I saw Cube and Pi in the same week
at the local indie cinema. Both were excellent films. DTV classic and a film that could possibly negate my entire initial arguement with a man I can’t believe hasn’t been mentioned? MIDNIGHT STING with Lou Gossett Jnr. and Oliver Platt. You could throw Iron Eagle in there, but it’s shit.
July 4, 2007, 4:24 a.m. CST
El Mariachi WAS DTV!
or at least, it was SUPPOSED to be, according to Rodriguez in “Rebel Without a Crew” – but somehow the studios got excited enough about it to allow him to TELECINE it to film (his master was VIDEO!) for a film festival (I can’t remember which… Sundance?) and the rest is history…
July 4, 2007, 5:48 a.m. CST
“pretty good as far as instantly forgettable goes”
by Bob Cryptonight
Good one, Vern! Now if only THE TRANSFORMERS was forgettable, too! PLEASE GOD GET THAT OUT OF MY MIND!!!!! Just kidding. Didn’t see it. Don’t want to.
July 5, 2007, 12:54 p.m. CST
Snipes and Gooding Jr.
All these poor guys should be teamed up with Sly Stallone, lets just get all these old action fuckers together and make a monster 80’s style asskicker.
I wish John Rambo wouldda taken that route, but going from the trailer, it looks pretty low budget.
Snipes,Sly,Cuba Gooding jr, and throw Lou Gosset ( unless he’s dead, what happened to him?) and Chuck Norris in for good measure.
And tell that asshole Seagal he can be in it if he does a scene with a guy raping his ass Deliverance style.
July 5, 2007, 12:57 p.m. CST
And Cynthia Rothrock
can be in it too, as some kind of Socker mom psycho kung fu killer bitch. Eric Roberts can be her hubby, as long as he’s not allowed to talk.
July 5, 2007, 3:51 p.m. CST
Nice review Vern. I’m actually interested in seeing it now.
DTV isn’t all that bad. I mean bigger market these days than cinema (which the studios claim is just expensive advertising for dvd releases now…). I like some of Van Dammes recent DTVs (In Hell, Wake of Death and Until Death). And Chaos (with Snipes) was pretty good.
July 5, 2007, 4:43 p.m. CST
The Gingerdead Man
Just finished reading Vern’s review of ‘The Gingerdead Man’ that’s linked off this page. Glad to see that flick getting some attention. It’s a real oddity – Not even so-bad-it’s-good really, just plain bad (though kinda fun, all the same). Charles Band is a legend and hopefully the sequel that’s allegedly in the works will be as much of a guilty pleasure as the original.
July 6, 2007, 9:04 p.m. CST
Wesley Snipes would make a cool villain in 24
He’s in DTV hell because of his being difficult and burning bridges with some very powerful producers/writers, who came to the conclusion that his dwindling B.O. did’nt justify the headaches of dealing with an asshole. David Caruso went through the same thing, but only backwards while on NYPD Blue. Tried his hand at trying to be a movie star which failed miserably – “Jade”, did a few direct to video and cable movies before lucking out and landing that primo gig with CSI Miami. If Wesley can resolve his issues with the IRS, he should really consider tv or cable as a new medium to mend his bad rep and hopefully generate some good P.R. with some affluent producers who’ll give him another chance to participate in some quality productions.
July 11, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST
Snipes has an attitude problem….
he’s probably on some secret blacklist. You see, when you decided not to show up for work, you cost people a lot of money… they tend not to want to work with you again… and those people with money have friends with money who also make movies and they get to talking and and soon everyone else decides that they don’t want to hire a guy who doesn’t show up for work or threatens to beat co-workers up or sues people for crazy reasons. Never ceases to amaze me how actors forget how truly lucky they are to hit it big in hollywood. I’m not saying they have to shuck and jive but coming on time to do your job and doing a good job goes a long way in any industry.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.