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A Decade in DTV

NCS

Active Member
#1
I felt compelled to make this post/topic after watching Half Past Dead last night. It has been months since I've watched a Seagal movie, (apart from Maximum Conviction which I did genuinely forget about whilst writing this as it is so forgettable in itself,) and last night I stuck on HPD just because it is easy to watch and unlike many, I actually really like it and think it is one of Seagal's best movies all-round. You may not feel the same but when you compare it to stuff like Submerged. Plus, he at least looks interested in it and the chemistry with Ja Rule is certainly there; something you don't often see in his movies. He had no chemistry with Steve Austin at all, (it all felt very forced.)
What did strike me though is how young he looked and how he really isn't that heavy in the movie in comparison with now. I know everyone gets older but after having only watched him in DTV movies for the past few years, I noticed the difference was quite stark. Then something else struck me; this year is his 10th year in DTV land. It also just hit me how old he is now and how there may not be many more chances left for good action movies.
I know that Stallone is a good few years older and Arnold is too, and without being critical, they are indeed in better shape. But I wonder if Seagal has noticed this landmark? I know sometimes he forgets just how many movies he has made and for a few years (2005-2008) just seemed to "get on with it." He was probably churning out so many that it just felt like a day job. But in all seriousness, I wonder if, during this relatively quiet spell for him, he has noticed this and I wonder if he has made any sort of pledge to himself to change direction or just do something different. It would be nice if we even saw the Seagal from HPD - because he genuinely looks like he is having fun.
 

marky96

Active Member
#4
I felt compelled to make this post/topic after watching Half Past Dead last night. It has been months since I've watched a Seagal movie, (apart from Maximum Conviction which I did genuinely forget about whilst writing this as it is so forgettable in itself,) and last night I stuck on HPD just because it is easy to watch and unlike many, I actually really like it and think it is one of Seagal's best movies all-round. You may not feel the same but when you compare it to stuff like Submerged. Plus, he at least looks interested in it and the chemistry with Ja Rule is certainly there; something you don't often see in his movies. He had no chemistry with Steve Austin at all, (it all felt very forced.)
What did strike me though is how young he looked and how he really isn't that heavy in the movie in comparison with now. I know everyone gets older but after having only watched him in DTV movies for the past few years, I noticed the difference was quite stark. Then something else struck me; this year is his 10th year in DTV land. It also just hit me how old he is now and how there may not be many more chances left for good action movies.
I know that Stallone is a good few years older and Arnold is too, and without being critical, they are indeed in better shape. But I wonder if Seagal has noticed this landmark? I know sometimes he forgets just how many movies he has made and for a few years (2005-2008) just seemed to "get on with it." He was probably churning out so many that it just felt like a day job. But in all seriousness, I wonder if, during this relatively quiet spell for him, he has noticed this and I wonder if he has made any sort of pledge to himself to change direction or just do something different. It would be nice if we even saw the Seagal from HPD - because he genuinely looks like he is having fun.
I too enjoyed Half Past Dead both upon its release and looking back at it now. Apart from Machete it was the last true Seagal film I saw in the cinema and although it was somewhat watered down compared with Exit Wounds for example I can understand what the producers were trying to achieve. It also fares well when you compare it with Seagal's DTV output which as you say now encompasses a decades work. I'm not sure whether Seagal will have noticed that landmark or whether he is just getting on with his career and looking to where the next easy paycheck will come from. I say it like that because quite often it has seemed like that's all he cares about, rather than keeping in shape to play a believable character or actually looking interested and energised on screen. I hope that Seagal has noted that he's been 10 years in DTV and wants to do something about that, by either making a great DTV, making a film for release in theatres or simply retiring before the quality of his work drops any further. As you say Seagal is older now and while he still could be in better shape for his age, time is running out for him.
 
#5
It’s actually painful for a Seagal fan like me to review his decade of DTV material.

Even a cursory look shows an actor that appears totally disinterested in his work or career. Some of these films boarder on unwatchable. I cite a few examples below.

Attack Force has Seagal’s voice dubbed by someone who sounds nothing like him. The photography is poor with Seagal half submerged in darkness and a story line that seemed to be made up as it went along.

Submerged makes no sense.

The ending of Kill Switch has absolutely nothing to do with the story line.

In Against the Dark he plays a enigmatic (you can substitute the adjective ‘stupid)’ character called Tao that would have the Chinese philosopher and Taoist Lao Tse roll over in his proverbial grave.

Need I say more about this mishmash of a decade? This is a tragic body of work that is more like the corpse of Seagal’s career.

I dare not read the thread regarding Seagal as the next James Bond for fear that the writer is serious.
 

DiDa

Super Moderator
Staff member
#6
It’s actually painful for a Seagal fan like me to review his decade of DTV material.

Even a cursory look shows an actor that appears totally disinterested in his work or career. Some of these films boarder on unwatchable. I cite a few examples below.

Attack Force has Seagal’s voice dubbed by someone who sounds nothing like him. The photography is poor with Seagal half submerged in darkness and a story line that seemed to be made up as it went along.

Submerged makes no sense.

The ending of Kill Switch has absolutely nothing to do with the story line.

In Against the Dark he plays a enigmatic (you can substitute the adjective ‘stupid)’ character called Tao that would have the Chinese philosopher and Taoist Lao Tse roll over in his proverbial grave.

Need I say more about this mishmash of a decade? This is a tragic body of work that is more like the corpse of Seagal’s career.

I dare not read the thread regarding Seagal as the next James Bond for fear that the writer is serious.
I know what you mean, but not everything is Seagal's fault. All the things you mention is because of the studio. Sometimes the director shoots a movie that the studio doesn't like. This leads to changes of the story...They have no money left (everything is on low-budget) so they have to do re-shoots and some new voiceovers. The only fault Seagal makes is that he doesn't come back to do some ADR. That's too bad...
 
#7
I agree it is not ALL Seagal's fault, but he does produce these 'films' and could take a few pennys out of his salary to at least do necessary post production work so that at least his voice is coming out of his mouth and the fight scenes actually featured him and not his body double.

In some of the DTV movies Seagal's body double is in them so much he should get top billing over Seagal!.
 

DiDa

Super Moderator
Staff member
#8
Seagal has had a really bad period in dtv movies (Attack Force, Black Dawn, Kill Switch, Flight of Fury). But since he started to work with Keoni Waxman his movies became better in terms of quality (also Driven To Kill from director Jeff King was good).

But right now Steven only works with Waxman. Don't understand me wrong. I really like Waxman's movies but it would be refreshing if Seagal changes studio and director for some time...
 

DiDa

Super Moderator
Staff member
#9
I agree it is not ALL Seagal's fault, but he does produce these 'films' and could take a few pennys out of his salary to at least do necessary post production work so that at least his voice is coming out of his mouth and the fight scenes actually featured him and not his body double.

In some of the DTV movies Seagal's body double is in them so much he should get top billing over Seagal!.
I totally agree with you. The reason for the body doubles is because Steven is only working 4 hours a day. So every shot that doesn't need Seagal's body in front, is being done by a body double. This is just because they shoot on a very tight schedule and short period. Pay attention on this for example: when Seagal has a dialogue on screen with another actor the shots from behind Steven show the body double.

But Steven is not the only one with a body double onscreen. Just look at Dolph Lundgren in The Package for example. Almost every shot from his back isn't Lundgren. Also Van Damme has a body double in Assassination Games.
 

DiDa

Super Moderator
Staff member
#10
By the way, this is what's always bothering me:

For example, Attack Force was changed by the studio. And I mean really changed. They cut and re-shoot a whole different movie. It was all done behind Seagal's back and so people say "Okay this is not Steven's fault". But at the same time Seagal was a PRODUCER on the movie. Seagal invested money in this production. The producer always decides what happens. So in that way Seagal could have said: "Hold on, this is not gonna happen"!! I really would like to know what happened here...
 
#11
Seagal as producer would be well aware of any picture changes on Attack Force.

The fact that the horrible dubbing occurred and Seagal let it go demonstrates how little he cares.

One can't imagine actors like Stallone allowing a voice totally unlike their own to be dubbed for them.

Seagal has had minimal interest in his career or DTV movies he produced.

Yes all actors use body doubles but even Seagal's doubles often are shaped nothing like him.

He is incapable of doing much if his own stunts due to being grossly out of shape.
 

JoeDirt

Active Member
#12
By the way, this is what's always bothering me:

For example, Attack Force was changed by the studio. And I mean really changed. They cut and re-shoot a whole different movie. It was all done behind Seagal's back and so people say "Okay this is not Steven's fault". But at the same time Seagal was a PRODUCER on the movie. Seagal invested money in this production. The producer always decides what happens. So in that way Seagal could have said: "Hold on, this is not gonna happen"!! I really would like to know what happened here...
Well to be fair to Seagal, we don't really know at what capacity was he working as a producer.

He is actually a producer on most of his recent movies, and in most cases I would guess he is not a hands on producer at all, but it is more than likely just a contractual title given to him.

Sometimes producers give their big name actors producer titles for the simple reason, that they pay a large part of their salary as a producer fee to them, because if you hire an actor and pay his salary, you need to pay a certain percentage of their salary to SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) as a P&H cost (Pension & Health costs) So sometimes producers might offer their star a deal, where they only pay them scale for their acting work, thus only paying the P&H percentage for $800+ a day salary, and pay most of the star's fee as a producer salary, of which you do not need to pay a percentage to any guild or a union, so they save a nice chunk of cash by doing that.

Also what happened with Attack Force, was that they had shot and produced it as a science-fiction movie with Seagal fighting against some aliens or something, but the buyers probably went "Hey wait a minute, we can't market a science-fiction movie starring Steven Seagal, we don't know how that will sell, it needs to be a traditional action movie or we won't buy it" so the producers had to to re-shoot and re-edit the movie into a traditional action movie, which resulted in undoubtedly one of Seagal's worst movies.
So that one was not entirely Seagal's fault.

And regarding the dubbing of his voice. Usually when producers hire an actor, doing ADR is usually mandatory to all actors, since in most cases a large part of the dialogue has to be re-recorded in post, but it seems that Seagal has been able to negotiate so that he doesn't have to do ADR ever, or he simply chooses not to.
Or his schedule is so busy that he doesn't have the time, as some directors have told the fans, which I think is BS in most cases.

The truth is, Seagal has absolutely zero percent passion for acting or making great movies, he simply does them for the money, period, end.
And not only does he do them only for the money, but he always seems to negotiate a deal where he can do the bare minimum, only being on set for 4 hours a day, only shooting for a wek or two, no ADR, no promotional interviews, no photoshoots for the DVD covers, instead they photoshop the same 10 year old picture of his face onto someone elses body etc.

If they can get him to appear in EX3, maybe a miracle happens and he all of a sudden decides to give a damn and start focusing on his career and lose some weight, and pick better projects, maybe audition to some supporting roles in bigger movies, do a higher level DTV movie for free, so that they can use the money they would have paid him to get more filming days, write a better script etc.

But I highly doubt that will happen, as fans were hoping that would have happened when he got hired to do Machete, and clearly that changed nothing.
 

DiDa

Super Moderator
Staff member
#13
Well to be fair to Seagal, we don't really know at what capacity was he working as a producer.

He is actually a producer on most of his recent movies, and in most cases I would guess he is not a hands on producer at all, but it is more than likely just a contractual title given to him.

Sometimes producers give their big name actors producer titles for the simple reason, that they pay a large part of their salary as a producer fee to them, because if you hire an actor and pay his salary, you need to pay a certain percentage of their salary to SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) as a P&H cost (Pension & Health costs) So sometimes producers might offer their star a deal, where they only pay them scale for their acting work, thus only paying the P&H percentage for $800+ a day salary, and pay most of the star's fee as a producer salary, of which you do not need to pay a percentage to any guild or a union, so they save a nice chunk of cash by doing that.

Also what happened with Attack Force, was that they had shot and produced it as a science-fiction movie with Seagal fighting against some aliens or something, but the buyers probably went "Hey wait a minute, we can't market a science-fiction movie starring Steven Seagal, we don't know how that will sell, it needs to be a traditional action movie or we won't buy it" so the producers had to to re-shoot and re-edit the movie into a traditional action movie, which resulted in undoubtedly one of Seagal's worst movies.
So that one was not entirely Seagal's fault.

And regarding the dubbing of his voice. Usually when producers hire an actor, doing ADR is usually mandatory to all actors, since in most cases a large part of the dialogue has to be re-recorded in post, but it seems that Seagal has been able to negotiate so that he doesn't have to do ADR ever, or he simply chooses not to.
Or his schedule is so busy that he doesn't have the time, as some directors have told the fans, which I think is BS in most cases.

The truth is, Seagal has absolutely zero percent passion for acting or making great movies, he simply does them for the money, period, end.
And not only does he do them only for the money, but he always seems to negotiate a deal where he can do the bare minimum, only being on set for 4 hours a day, only shooting for a wek or two, no ADR, no promotional interviews, no photoshoots for the DVD covers, instead they photoshop the same 10 year old picture of his face onto someone elses body etc.

If they can get him to appear in EX3, maybe a miracle happens and he all of a sudden decides to give a damn and start focusing on his career and lose some weight, and pick better projects, maybe audition to some supporting roles in bigger movies, do a higher level DTV movie for free, so that they can use the money they would have paid him to get more filming days, write a better script etc.

But I highly doubt that will happen, as fans were hoping that would have happened when he got hired to do Machete, and clearly that changed nothing.
Great post! Thanks for clearing this up.
 

marky96

Active Member
#14
Well to be fair to Seagal, we don't really know at what capacity was he working as a producer.

He is actually a producer on most of his recent movies, and in most cases I would guess he is not a hands on producer at all, but it is more than likely just a contractual title given to him.

Sometimes producers give their big name actors producer titles for the simple reason, that they pay a large part of their salary as a producer fee to them, because if you hire an actor and pay his salary, you need to pay a certain percentage of their salary to SAG (Screen Actor's Guild) as a P&H cost (Pension & Health costs) So sometimes producers might offer their star a deal, where they only pay them scale for their acting work, thus only paying the P&H percentage for $800+ a day salary, and pay most of the star's fee as a producer salary, of which you do not need to pay a percentage to any guild or a union, so they save a nice chunk of cash by doing that.

Also what happened with Attack Force, was that they had shot and produced it as a science-fiction movie with Seagal fighting against some aliens or something, but the buyers probably went "Hey wait a minute, we can't market a science-fiction movie starring Steven Seagal, we don't know how that will sell, it needs to be a traditional action movie or we won't buy it" so the producers had to to re-shoot and re-edit the movie into a traditional action movie, which resulted in undoubtedly one of Seagal's worst movies.
So that one was not entirely Seagal's fault.

And regarding the dubbing of his voice. Usually when producers hire an actor, doing ADR is usually mandatory to all actors, since in most cases a large part of the dialogue has to be re-recorded in post, but it seems that Seagal has been able to negotiate so that he doesn't have to do ADR ever, or he simply chooses not to.
Or his schedule is so busy that he doesn't have the time, as some directors have told the fans, which I think is BS in most cases.

The truth is, Seagal has absolutely zero percent passion for acting or making great movies, he simply does them for the money, period, end.
And not only does he do them only for the money, but he always seems to negotiate a deal where he can do the bare minimum, only being on set for 4 hours a day, only shooting for a wek or two, no ADR, no promotional interviews, no photoshoots for the DVD covers, instead they photoshop the same 10 year old picture of his face onto someone elses body etc.

If they can get him to appear in EX3, maybe a miracle happens and he all of a sudden decides to give a damn and start focusing on his career and lose some weight, and pick better projects, maybe audition to some supporting roles in bigger movies, do a higher level DTV movie for free, so that they can use the money they would have paid him to get more filming days, write a better script etc.

But I highly doubt that will happen, as fans were hoping that would have happened when he got hired to do Machete, and clearly that changed nothing.
Great post!

Of all the DTV stars Seagal has had the most involvement in his films either as a writer, producer or actor (Only Dolph Lundgren comes close as he has directed or written screenplays for some of his films). Yet somehow Seagal's films have generally turned out worse when you look at the last decade as a whole and as you point out that's down to Seagal himself and his attitude to making films.

You also point out that Seagal had a great opportunity,after his well received role in Machete, to turn things around yet chose not to. I'm very sceptical that Seagal will actually end up being in Expendables 3. If he is and he loses weight and gets with the programme then it could be good for him. If he doesn't and turns up on set the way he looks now and with the attitude to making films that he's had he will just look like a joke. However I still don't think that being in that film will change anything long term. Afterwards he will just sink back into DTV hell again with offers of easy contracts from Voltage etc rather than going out and looking for something that could be harder work with less control but could lead to a cinema release.
 

Martin01

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#15
Great post!

Of all the DTV stars Seagal has had the most involvement in his films either as a writer, producer or actor (Only Dolph Lundgren comes close as he has directed or written screenplays for some of his films). Yet somehow Seagal's films have generally turned out worse when you look at the last decade as a whole and as you point out that's down to Seagal himself and his attitude to making films.

You also point out that Seagal had a great opportunity,after his well received role in Machete, to turn things around yet chose not to. I'm very sceptical that Seagal will actually end up being in Expendables 3. If he is and he loses weight and gets with the programme then it could be good for him. If he doesn't and turns up on set the way he looks now and with the attitude to making films that he's had he will just look like a joke. However I still don't think that being in that film will change anything long term. Afterwards he will just sink back into DTV hell again with offers of easy contracts from Voltage etc rather than going out and looking for something that could be harder work with less control but could lead to a cinema release.
Well, to be fair, besides from Stallone and Schwarzenegger a lot of the stars of EX 1 and 2 (Van Damme, Lundgren, Austin, ...) actually work again in DTV productions.

But yes, I also don't think that we will see him in more theatrical movies after his appearance in EX3 (maybe sometimes we will see him in a movie from Robert Rodriguez or Quentin Tarantino again, that would be great). I just would like to see Seagal in this movie, he made a lot of great action movies in the 90s and because of that it would make sense to have him in an EX movie.
 

DiDa

Super Moderator
Staff member
#16
Well, to be fair, besides from Stallone and Schwarzenegger a lot of the stars of EX 1 and 2 (Van Damme, Lundgren, Austin, ...) actually work again in DTV productions.

But yes, I also don't think that we will see him in more theatrical movies after his appearance in EX3 (maybe sometimes we will see him in a movie from Robert Rodriguez or Quentin Tarantino again, that would be great). I just would like to see Seagal in this movie, he made a lot of great action movies in the 90s and because of that it would make sense to have him in an EX movie.
You are right Martin. In my opinion Seagal and Snipes are the only one who are missing in the Expendables franchise.

And yes, probably Seagal will be back in the dtv business after EX3. I don't really mind. BUT...I think it's time to work with some new people (with all do respect for Keoni Waxman, Lauro Chartrand and their crew). I really would like to see Steven working with William Kaufman or Jesse V. Johnson.
Great directors!
 

JoeDirt

Active Member
#18
Seagal will not be called up for Ex3.

He is in hopeless physical shape and being a man of action is now beyond him.
Stallone already called him. In fact I believe they approached him before but it didn't happen because of Seagal's beef with Avi Lerner.

Stallone and the producers clearly want him.
 
#19
He will never be in a movie with Stallone.

Whatever hype has been floating around is just that...hype.

He will also not be up for an Academy Award at next years Oscars
 

DiDa

Super Moderator
Staff member
#20
He will never be in a movie with Stallone.

Whatever hype has been floating around is just that...hype.

He will also not be up for an Academy Award at next years Oscars
It's not a hype. This news about Seagal is coming directly from Stallone himself. He and Seagal had a meeting to talk about Seagal being in EX3. The chance he will be in it is 50-50. I believe the answer is coming soon.