The Screening Room
THE STUDIO GATE
It's hard to criticize actor/director Tim Matheson because I've always
enjoyed him as an actor. As a director, well...
"Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia" is now available on DVD.
This direct-to-DVD movie isn't something you should expect a lot out of. I
knew that going into this assignment to take out drug lords and rescue my
comrades. Dangerous job being a DVD reviewer. Every once in a great while,
I'll review a made-for-DVD movie that isn't half-bad. Unfortunately, "Behind
Enemy Lines: Columbia" doesn't pass inspection.
The story is routine about a group of Navy SEALS going into the dark jungle
to blast away at bad guys. We've seen this kind of routine a thousand times
and then some. Everyone of the actors overacts, trying to be serious and
cool. I'm sure this production was great fun for the actors because they get
to carry some bad ass guns and blow up things. I don't know of many of my
actor friends who wouldn't love a role in an action film like this. But come
on, guys. Watching this movie, it looks like you left your jovial selves
back at the airport. This ain't a freakin' Scorsese flick! Loosen up, bros.
Matheson directs with a heavy hand. It's almost as if he's trying to make
this a super serious action thriller. Yet it plays the cliches like they're
going out of style. Zoom lens shots, shots through binoculars, lots of shots
of the SEALS running through the jungle. Matheson, himself a Marine
reserve according to iMDB, seems comfortable with the military lingo and
how the SEALS act. He's directed a number of television episodes, so he
knows his way around the set. But "Behind Enemy Lines: Columbia" plays too
The action sequences are the same you've seen in any number of movies, good
or bad. I'm sure after a few beers with the buddies, the movie might play
like a no-brainer actioneer. "Dude, did you see how he killed that other
dude? Whoa!" Yep, it's that type of movie.
Now I'm not expecting miracles from a direct-to-DVD movie. Obviously there
is a considerable market for it, otherwise Fox wouldn't have ponied up the
dough to make it. Sell and rent enough copies, and show it on the pay
channels, Fox will make some good money from it. But I like more than the
typical cliches that are present in this movie.
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © 20th Century Fox. All
DVD Quick Glimpse
No brainer action flick that may entertain
you if you've had a couple beers
Director: Tim Matheson
Cast: Joe Manganiello, Ken Anderson, Mr. Kennedy
Commentary, Making of, and more
The explosions are kind of cool
Aspect Ratio (1.78:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD RELEASE DATE
January 6, 2009