Hey, everyone. ”Moriarty” here. When confronted with an argument as well-mounted as Vern’s in this piece, one has little choice but to capitulate to whatever it is the person wants. Vern, I will watch this trailer. Now stop giving me those sad puppy dog eyes…
It’s hard for any actor to burn bright for their whole career. Most actors get old, washed up, maybe fat, they lose their sex appeal or they become too associated with a particular role or time period for mass audiences to take them seriously. Once they’ve hit that stage it’s only the very lucky ones that find a role that can change all that, reinvigorate their careers, make us see them in a new light and remember what we used to like so much about them. There was John Travolta in PULP FICTION. Josh Brolin in NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN. Some of us might have thought Sylvester Stallone did that in ROCKY BALBOA or RAMBO. But what if you’re not exactly the greatest actor in the world, and are best known for kicking, doing the splits, and not wearing pants? For you, Jean-Claude Van Damme, it might be even harder. But I wish you luck. Usually I only do reviews, I don’t introduce links to trailers, but I feel I have a responsibility to society to spread the word about this one. Taking a break from pumping out formulaic DTV action, Van Damme has courageously returned to Belgium to do a different kind of movie, and in French. The movie is called J.C.V.D. because he’s playing himself. I guess it’s not so much his PULP FICTION as his BEING JOHN MALKOVICH. I’ve been hearing about this one for a while, but details have been muddled. The latest information and this trailer indicate that a washed up, drunk Van Damme returns to Belgium, loses a child custody case, loses all his money and then is mistaken for a bank robber/folk hero and it turns into DOG DAY AFTERNOON. With more kicking, I hope. Pacino didn’t do enough kicking.
I think the trailer looks good, especially for modern day Van Damme. And I give them 2 Funk & Soul Points for the use of the song “Hard Times” by Curtis Mayfield-protegee Baby Huey. If you missed it there was another, more mysterious teaser that circulated a while back:
From what I understand this one isn’t part of the movie. It’s a promotional short about Van Damme supposedly bumrushing a casting call for the movie and forcing the director to hire him for the part. It didn’t make me laugh but I found it really appealing anyway. Using a more improvised style and speaking in his first language Van Damme seems to be a way better and more charismatic actor. Van Damme recently did an interview with MTV where he said that J.C.V.D. is the best movie of his career, that he did it for free, and that he has pulled a George Clooney and decided not to do crappy movies anymore. (He does not specifically draw a comparison to Clooney, but does compare his performance in J.C.V.D to Deniro in TAX DRIVER. But I don’t think he meant it that way.) He also claims to have turned down RUSH HOUR 3 and the new STREET FIGHTER. I have no idea how good this movie will be, how good Van Damme will be in it or if it will really make us see him in a new light. But man, I hope he knocks everybody on their ass. I hope it gets nominated for best foreign language film at the Academy Awards, wins a special jury prize for awesomeness at Cannes and creates a resurgence in the splits and fake Cajun accents around the world. I love it when a guy like Van Damme, who excels in a lowbrow art and gets made fun of left and right, really comes through and surprises everybody. I hope that’s what he’s about to do. If not, well, in the tradition of Chance Boudreaux’s mom, he took a chance. Give him credit for that. thanks to Vlad M. for tipping me off to the newer trailer.
Originally posted at Ain’t-It-Cool-News: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35954
View the archived Ain’t-It-Cool-News Talkback
March 11, 2008, 7:35 a.m. CST
JCVD sounds like an dvd cam
March 11, 2008, 7:38 a.m. CST
I like the trailer. Why not?
March 11, 2008, 7:41 a.m. CST
hehehe “TAX DRIVER” could actually be an interesting movie.
March 11, 2008, 7:46 a.m. CST
I’ve done my duty
by just pillow talk
I have watched the muscles from brussels….it’s no universal soldier 2, that’s for sure.
March 11, 2008, 7:49 a.m. CST
I will watch the shit out of that.
March 11, 2008, 7:50 a.m. CST
Gee… looks kinda all right.
Let me just collect myself. Thanks Vern. I’ll keep an eye out.
March 11, 2008, 7:56 a.m. CST
Well, I’m happy
This looks good; him having regented SF and RH3 got me thinking what will his nexct move will be, and after seeing this I can say I understand his decision. Good move JC, and good luck!
March 11, 2008, 8:29 a.m. CST
That’s a good trailer
I don’t know what the film has in store, it made me laugh and I’m legitimately interested. In these days of an entire movie and all it’s beats being laid out for all to see, that’s cause for celebration all by itself. Thanks, Vern.
March 11, 2008, 8:31 a.m. CST
by Motoko Kusanagi
And I’m not even a JCVD fan!
March 11, 2008, 8:33 a.m. CST
But did you like it, Moriarty?
It worked for me. And if you’re in need of some GOOD recent Van Dammage, check out ‘The Sheperd’. Some well-shot action.
Beer & Pizza also recommended.
March 11, 2008, 8:52 a.m. CST
Sent you a link to that trailer about 6 months ago
but it was before your mailbox suffered TOTAL FUCKING DESTRUCTION so I guess you’re not to blame Mori.
And this movie looks very funny indeed. My only gripe is that it’s been written by a snarky French TV host, the kind of asshole who talks down to the usual audience of JCVD flicks because, y’know, he’s so much smarter than them… So I hope it’s not another cynical project using poor Jean Claude as a laughing stock for the happy few.
March 11, 2008, 8:58 a.m. CST
I am sold already.
Kudos for JCVD doing this. A big risk. This looks like it could do a “Juno” if marketed the right way. I really want to see this.
March 11, 2008, 9:02 a.m. CST
Yeah, good trailer
That really was a well-done trailer. This is the first Van Damme film I actually want to see in a long time. Hoping for the best…
March 11, 2008, 9:11 a.m. CST
Has a Kitano touch no?
by Evil Hobbit
Looks like a hell of a lot of a fun :D
March 11, 2008, 9:19 a.m. CST
that was awesome
not sure about the dog day parts, but the rest of it was awesome
March 11, 2008, 9:25 a.m. CST
Well, it looks entertaining, but…
…I don’t know, there are too many celebrities outthere who are nothing but a joke for everyone and then suddenly decide to join this joke, just to show the masses that they are cool.
March 11, 2008, 9:49 a.m. CST
This actually looks really good
It’s about time he does a good film – and in his own language – though by the looks of it, this film is really quite bilingual.
March 11, 2008, 10:07 a.m. CST
by marcus torrance
is Mabrouk el Mechri, a french guy. His first feature, VIRGIL, was really good. In France, people think he might be the next Luc Besson. Well, i think el Mechri could be way better. (And i hope so coz Besson is a jerk.)
March 11, 2008, 10:32 a.m. CST
Slap me sideways and call me susan!
That movie looks really good.. not in a “Holy Shit!! This is one terrible Van Damme flick”… but in a wow, that actually looks like a quality film!
March 11, 2008, 11:08 a.m. CST
Jalal Mehri biopic on the works
starring Bruce Baron, Richard Norton, Robert Ginty, Jan Michael Vincent and Richard Harrison. Produced by Menahem Golan.
March 11, 2008, 11:27 a.m. CST
Van Damme it! Jean-Claude goes legit!
The fictional Variety headline from “Film Club.”
March 11, 2008, 11:30 a.m. CST
Louis & Costas Mandylor in a Dead Ringers remake
directed by Brett Ratner.
March 11, 2008, 11:37 a.m. CST
I love me some old school Van Damme…
…and this looks great. Echoing the sentiments of Forsakyn, this is the first Van Damme movie I’m actually excited about seeing in a long time.
March 11, 2008, 11:38 a.m. CST
Cynthia Rothrock played by Michelle Williams
March 11, 2008, 11:42 a.m. CST
Sam Firstenberg biopic, anyone?
starring Bryan Bosworth, Fred Williamson, Miles O’Keeffe, Marc Singer, Eric Allan Kramer, Dennis Alexio and Gary Daniels.
Tentative title: “Not Another Ninja Movie”. Directed by John McTiernan.
March 11, 2008, 11:43 a.m. CST
That looks fantastic!
Consider me sold.
March 11, 2008, 11:47 a.m. CST
Ask any person watching a movie produced by Gaumont: they WANT the kid to be kicked in the head as the logo’s displayed onscreen. The kid is picking a FLOWER for Christ’s (or should I say Jean Clausde?) sake! He deserves to be kicked, for that and for opening the most recent Luc Besson’s “masterpieces”.
March 11, 2008, 11:53 a.m. CST
by Kurutteru Yatsu
That “Hard Times” song was indeed bad ass too, good call Vern. And for the record, I’d totally watch a Cynthia Rothrock biopic. China O’Brien FTW.
March 11, 2008, 12:30 p.m. CST
is the whole movie set inside The Matrix?
Why is everything green?
March 11, 2008, 12:53 p.m. CST
JCVD – J.esus C.hrist V.enerial D.isease?
Oh… John Claude. Gotcha.
March 11, 2008, 2:13 p.m. CST
I’ll see it.
Why not? I’ve already seen a bunch of his shitty movies knowing they would suck, so I might as well watch the one that actually looks like it has some things going for it.
March 11, 2008, 3:01 p.m. CST
Looks good!I love the DTV!
Do some splits for me Claude!pleaseee
March 11, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST
call me crazy
by The Real MiraJeff
but that actually looked pretty good
i liked van damme doing van damme
dare i say there’s potential here
p.s. sudden death rules
March 11, 2008, 5:40 p.m. CST
Kicking flower picking kid…
It’s a friggin animation…anybody taking ofense to that needs some serious boeboe time…
March 11, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST
Stallone has taken his career back by putting heart into movies that still deliver the goods. If Damme is going to reject action all together because of some new found dramatic chops then that sucks ass. Still this movie looks great! I know you still have it in you to crush that bottom brick Jean Claude
March 11, 2008, 6:08 p.m. CST
Prooves one thing…
…Van Damme has one heck of a screen presence: if you can get over the accent/lack of acting ability, this fact explains the guys appeal…as Impact magazine said about 20 years ago: he LOOKS like a movie star…AND, as Vern says – he’s way better in his own accent………i.e. He duznot bake coooookeeess fir a leeeing.
March 11, 2008, 6:18 p.m. CST
JCVD played himself in an episode of ‘Las Vegas’
And died. At least that was amusing.
March 12, 2008, 5:01 a.m. CST
Anyone who’s up for taking the piss out of themselves
is cool with me.
I’ll be at my local rental gaff when this is released.
P.S. Anyone else get a tingle down below when Halle Berry swore on Jonathan Ross a while back? No? Just me then …
March 12, 2008, 7:27 a.m. CST
This looks really cool.
Van Damme should just do all his movies in french from now on (and start sporting a mullet again like he did in Hard Target). Hope this works. Although, I can’t believe him when he says he’s done doing shitty movies. The man’s gotta make a living, after all. It’s not like Scorsese’s gonna be knocking on his door after this.
March 12, 2008, 7:52 a.m. CST
Yeah, can’t wait. I get all of his films. He has actually been making what I’d call pretty good films recently. Wake of Death, Until Death, In Hell for starters.
I hope he continues to make films. I’ll continue to buy them.
March 12, 2008, 10:03 a.m. CST
If this trailer can’t sell this film, nothing can
by Harry Weinstein
Bravo, anonymous French trailer editor, on a job well done.
March 12, 2008, 1:27 p.m. CST
That looked pretty good actually??
I wasnt expecting much but having watched the trailer I will most probably definatly maybe watch the film!!
March 12, 2008, 6:15 p.m. CST
“not like Scorsese’s gonna be knocking on his door after this.”
by Harry Weinstein
There won’t be a door for Scorcese to knock on because Quentin Tarantino’ll have kicked it in already. This older, seemingly wiser Van Damme seems like an Inglorious Bastard to me, if ever I saw one. And seriously, watch the trailer again. Van Damme is actually delivering one hell of a performance. It’s not easy to play yourself in a movie and come off natural doing so. This film looks solid as fuck. Sony Classics should step up to the plate before the Weinsteins get any funny ideas.
March 12, 2008, 8:21 p.m. CST
The casts of Andy Sidaris’ films star in a Harold Pinter play!
Feb. 15, 2010, 1:48 a.m. CST
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Feb. 15, 2010, 1:48 a.m. CST
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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.