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.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
Knight Moves (1992)
I wasn't sure if I wanted to write a post about this film, strictly for selfish reasons: the title always gets the Bob Seger classic "Night Moves" in my head. But considering the film had DVTC Hall of Famer Christopher Lambert in it, I felt I needed to suck it up. Talkin' 'bout the night moves...
Knight Moves is about a chess pro/diva played by Christopher Lambert. Someone is framing him/playing a twisted game with him which involves murdering people. Tom Skerritt is cop investigating the crimes with his dimwitted meathead of a partner, played by an expertly cast Daniel Baldwin. Throw in a sexy psychoanalyst played by Diane Lane, and you've got a thriller. Who could the killer be? I'll give you a hint: you'll never guess who it is, and for once, I'm not being sarcastic.
This is the kind of bad film I'd expect on Lifetime or Hallmark starring people like John Laroquette and Meredith Baxter Burney. The difference, of course, is that the run-of-the-mill Lifetime thriller isn't as much fun to mock as one with Christopher Lambert and Daniel Baldwin. It'd be like having a movie where a woman is stalked by her old high school sweetheart 35 years later, and the stalker is Dolph Lundgren. I guess it's fun for us, but it was a huge box office failure, which is why self respecting movie makers pitch these sacks of asscrack to cable networks. (Lambert was one of the producers... oops.)
One of the things that interested me while viewing this with some friends was the way we mimicked Lambert's voice. It sounds kind of raspy with a tinge of old man in it. I wondered out loud what Lambert would think of us if he were there listening to our impersonations. "Well, that's how he talks" a friend said. Sure enough, right after I said that, Lambert got into an argument with Daniel Baldwin, and he was impersonating our impersonations of him, so to speak. His chess grandmaster was really a diva who strangely got laid a lot. It sounded more like something Van Damme would think up, then Lambert.
When Diane Lane did this film with Lambert, the two were married. I'm not sure how it went down exactly, but Lambert must've had some say in her showing her boobs in their love scene. Now that the two are divorced, and she's doing bigger budget bad movies, I wonder if she regrets doing that scene. I can't remember if she did a nude scene with Keanu Reeves in Hard Ball. (I saw it on a bus ride... honest!)
Diane Lane's marriage to Lambert brings up another issue with this film: nepotism. And who is one of the biggest nepotists in Hollywood? Big Danny Baldwin. In this, like other films, he chews up scenery as this big meathead who says and does obnoxious things. Not much of a stretch, I guess, after seeing him as himself on Celebrity Fit Club. In fact, I'd say he toned his natural meatheadedness down a few notches for this role. All I can say is, this film would've been a lot better with Frank Stallone.
The ending of the film was pretty stupid. After Lambert saves Lane and his daughter and kills the baddie, this flash of light goes off, which is the same flash of light that would go off to signal he was killing a woman. This time, though, the flash of light just leads to credits. I've always been annoyed when writers leave open-ended endings. Maybe what's worse is that a critically acclaimed show glorifying a nasty crime organization on HBO went to the Knight Moves well in finding their own series ending.
I can't think of anything particularly memorable about this one. There wasn't that great horseback slapping scene like in Day of Wrath, or a scene like every scene in Fortresses 1 and 2. That doesn't necessarily make this useless, just not as big a deal. With that being said, this is probably worth the $5 my buddy just paid for it on DVD, but that's still up for debate. If anything, you should rent it or catch it on TV first. My buddies and I are bad movie veterans, so we could tackle this and keep ourselves entertained. If you're a rookie, and you haven't seen the Fotresses start there, and work your way up to this one.
For more info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104627/