I'm not trying to be a hero! I'M FIGHTING THE DRAGON!!

Nic Cage on J.C.V.D.

mega-faceoffThis guy Vlad Martinescu contacts me every once in a while to keep me up to date on Jean-Claude Van Damme happenings. He wrote to me today to tell me I should post about the upcoming super-limited theatrical release of ASSASSINATION GAMES starring Van Damme and Scott Adkins. I already did, and you can click the title there for the official websight which still has the same theater listings I posted earlier. But Vlad also mentioned a little video clip I hadn’t seen before so I thought I would share it with you guys in case you didn’t either.

Okay, there’s almost no substance to it and it’s done in a painful junket-interviews-transformed-into-entertainment-TV-for-stupid-people style, but in this clip from whatever “Rotten Tomatoes TV” is Cage will be allowed to briefly mention his admiration for Van Damme’s performance in JCVD. Ironically they’re trying to get him to do a sort of “guilty pleasures” type approach even though he’s fucking promoting THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE.

There are two other cast members that choose their own “Movie Confessions” and I’m a fan of one of those movies too but I won’t say which one.

http://youtu.be/EuCYXI__O0I

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.
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40 Responses to “Nic Cage on J.C.V.D.”

  1. Neat. I hope one day Cage can do a project with Van Damme. Speaking of which, have you all seen the new commercials he’s been doing? These have been playing in the UK:
    http://youtu.be/OdHocrK59bo
    http://youtu.be/wzlEDAuKlo4

  2. caruso_stalker217

    July 20th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    That Australian Kristen Stewart weirds me out.

  3. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    July 20th, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    I assumed Van Dam was so good in JCVD because he spoke in his native tongue. But since I’ve seen his Coors commercials, I know he is gifted in both languages.

  4. caruso_stalker217

    July 20th, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    “My pants froze. And froze hard. So tight.”

    Epic commercials. And he’s starting to sound like Christopher Lambert.

  5. Wait, when the fuck did Phantom of the Paradise become some kind of guilty pleasure? That movie is two hours of pure awesome.

  6. so Vern is a fan of Now And Then?

  7. Oh I forgot about Phantom of the Paradise, that’s 2 out of 3. Yeah, I don’t know if they just asked the question to him incorrectly or if that’s honestly how Turteltaub answered it. You can see that Cage didn’t like the question as asked and specified that he wasn’t “guilty” about liking JCVD.

  8. I hallways thought Cage’s Cameron Poe from CON AIR would team up well with JCVD’s Chance Boudreaux from HARD TARGET. They both have accents, and sweet mullets. They could call it SOUTHERN JUSTICE or something generic like that.

  9. “hallways”!?!? Sorry guys careless spell checking strikes again.

  10. CON TARGET. I’d watch that.

  11. Or Hard Air even.

  12. I thing an action based COMEDY OF ERRORS/BIG BUSINESS riff could be just what both these guys need to get going. 2 Cages, 2 JCVDs? How is that not solid gold?

  13. I love how Cage brushes off the “guilty” part of “guilty pleasures.” I think he has a point. If you enjoy something, then you should defend it. I also really like Predator 2. It’s somewhat of a retread of the first film, but there’s still some great craftsmanship to that move. It has a great sense of atmosphere and really captures that pervasive sense of urban decay that seemed to inhabit a lot of films from the seventies through the early nineties.

  14. Predator 2 is one of my personal favorite sequels

  15. caruso_stalker217

    July 20th, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Plus, Danny Glover’s pants are gigantic.

  16. I don’t feel any guilty by liking either Predator 2 or JCVD. JCVD is pretty much the closes Van Damme will get to make something artistic. You will never call Van Damme an artist, but that film very much felt it came from a real artist, and for 2 hours you got a look into JC’s mind. Watching Behind Closed Doos, you realize how emotional Van Damme is, and that he some real issue, that will take year of therapy to fix. He got to be crazy to want to fight against a real Muay Thai boxer, and be crazy to think that he has to do it to so that his family will be proud of him.

    Vern do a review of Behind Closed Doors. I think you find most of the episodes on youtube.

  17. You can see Cage giving the kid a total fuck you glance when he tries to play liking about the film as a joke.

  18. Jay Baruchel came off as a complete douche in that interview. I’ve never really liked that guy as an actor. He keeps on getting cast as some sort of everyman, but he ends up looking really smarmy.

  19. I got a different impression, Mr Batty. I got the feeling that he really likes Predator 2 and part of that enjoyment comes from how ridiculous it is. I didn’t think he was mean spirited or anything.

    I know we have talked about how we all reject the notion of a “guilty pleasure” before. This site wouldn’t be what it is if we thought there was such a thing. We’re all pretty fearless and individualistic enough that we don’t care what the rest of the world thinks. Other sites may have people dog piling on a movie that only 10% of them have seen but we’re very much a site that’s willing to give any movie a chance if someone here recommends it.

    Or maybe Mr Cage was annoyed at the question because he’s fully aware that some of his films may be considered “guilty pleasures”.

  20. This made me want to watch JCVD again… and strangely Predator 2 as well. And Vern, you should review Van Damme’s reality show Behind Closed Doors. It was really weird at times.

  21. SirVincealotThere

    July 21st, 2011 at 8:11 am

    Holy fuck is the “style” of BEHIND CLOSED DOORS a total pile of steaming shit. I’m not sure I wouldn’t like the clap more than that being subjected to this “documentary”.

    I’ll give it an ep and see if the substance is worth my having to wear a full hazard suit against this diarrhea Vesuvius.

  22. Yeah I got the vibe that Baruchel really likes Predator 2 (and JCVD) as well, even though there’s a semi-smarmy tone in his voice, I think that’s just how he is. Any one of us, if asked to name a guilty pleasure on camera, would come off the same way.

    And re: Predator 2, if he was trying to be jokey/ironic, there’s about a million crappier movies he could have chosen, if anything, Predator 2 is under-rated and kinda forgotten, even though it’s awesome and actually gets better with age (except the fashions). I saw it to prepare for Predators and was surprised how fast-moving and propulsive the story was, and how much it really added to the canon of what we know about the Predator race. Plus that ending was so bizarre at the time! Every kid I know was totally blow away by it.

  23. Might be a hacky observation, but it amuses me that PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE and JCVD have great tomatoemeter ratings come up on screen when the cast are “confessing” their admiration

  24. Guilty pleasures are much less about your ability to enjoy a bad movie than it is about enjoying a movie that is seen as being low class.

    There are lots of shitty movies that fit the bourgeois aesthetic and yet they are not considered bad in our national zeitgeist. A good movie that is perceived as being low class or otherwise seen as being directed for the poor are seen as somehow deficient. No matter how good JCVD is, and it is quite good, it will always be seen as less than something like those Underworld movies.

  25. Yeah PREDATOR 2 is as awesome as all hell. Very underrated gem right there. Almost reminded me of a Verheoven flick at times. I agree with Nic Cage. If you find pleasure in something then there is nothing to feel guilty about. I couldn’t careless what the fuck people say whenever I manage to see RAD online I still see the same awesome as fuck BMX movie I remember from the VHS days; for example.

  26. *care (space bar stroke) less.

  27. Knox Harrington

    July 21st, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    I’m not a fan of Rotten Tomatoes. The very idea of giving a movie a percentage based on what a handful of critics have to say, like it’s some end-of-the-year exam average, is just plain fucking lame. Actually, I find it offensive, like I find racism and Sally Field offensive.

    Worse than rape, really.

  28. BEHIND CLOSE DOORS was 90% a celebrity documentary handjob and 10% an interesting insight into the bizarro life of Van Damme.

    It was a bit strange to see Van Damme getting all teary eyed over his existential ruminations, fate of the planet, his past history, love for animals and all that, when he’s living a multimillionaire lifestyle with multiple penthouse apartments, tanning at private beaches in Dubai and partying in exclusive night clubs. His heart might be in the right place, but it all comes across as the kind of superficial and overinflated troubles a person with a shit ton of money and zero actual worries has.

    And his proposed actual fight with some Muay Thai champion over ten years his junior seems a bit puzzling too. Declaring it as his comeback fight seemed like a completely wrongheaded – not to mention longshot considering the age & training difference between the two – direction to take his life and career.

    Van Damme had claimed at least some amount of prestige with JCVD. Pushing his career more with more new and interesting might do him good. Take the Eastwood route and start doing smart films for his age range and he might shine. He’s got that grizzled, world weary badass look in him now. Use that and make his Unforgiven or In the Line of Fire whatever. Work with talented people with good scripts. Direct-to-video action fodder shot in quickly Eastern Europe might be an easy and fast paycheck, but it’s a rather bad long-term career move.

    In any case, a MMA (or whatever it’s going to be) ain’t going to do shit for him. It’s just going to look sad. And even he somehow does manages to win it, which is highly unlikely, that time of martial arts stars parlaying their skills into superstardom is long gone. Nobody is going to offer him better roles or bigger paychecks after the fight.

    His kids are trying their hardest too. Of course, so far they’ve only been in Jean-Claude Van Damme films, so that’s not necessarily any guarantee of any success in the wider acting pool.

    But maybe that’s a blessing in disguise. His daughter auditioned for the role in an “upcoming action film Mortal Kombat”. It of course ended up being that micro budget and very shitty webseries. She didn’t get the part, so consider that bullet dodged.

  29. Okay, maybe my dislike for Baruchel as an actor has affected my dislike for him as a person. Douche may have been too strong of a word, but I stand by smarmy.

    Rottentomatoes is a strange development on the interwebs. I don’t take aggregate opinions all that seriously (if I remember correctly, Way of the Gun received a rotten score. Way of the Motherfuckin’ Gun!). I will, however, admit that I use it quickly if I have to make a decision between two movies. I don’t have infinite time or money, so I have to rely on something to determine how I spend both. Although, I more often rely on trusted film critics if I’m able. With all of this talk of the death of the film critic, I wonder whether sites like Rottentomatoes has hurt of helped. If a critic agrees with fifty other critics do people start taking his views seriously?

  30. neal2zod – I wouldn’t say Predator 2 is that forgotten seeing as how it did get a blu ray release

  31. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    July 21st, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    A guilty pleasure for me is rubbing one off over a weather girl or smoking a joint at work.

  32. Baruchel came off really normal, I’m not seeing the douchey part of him here. He just discusses the movie in a fairly even tone. And then he gets excited about JCVD.

  33. Griff – I guess i still hold a grudge when Predators came out, and every review/preview/promo piece made a big deal about it being a “direct sequel” to the first one, and disregarding all the crappy sequels, blah blah, nevermind there was only one sequel not counting the AVP’s, and it wasn’t crappy! Plus people forget that almost all the weapons, the Predator’s honor system, and even the multiple Predator aspect, all came from Predator 2.

  34. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    July 23rd, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Predator 2 holds up well. It certainly works better than Predators for me.

    And you’re right Neal2zod. Predator 2 expanded on the honour system and culture perfectly. I spent years wondering what an Alien vs Predator film would be like. I never imagined it would take place in a frozen pyramid under the ice with wrestler predators and bullet time face huggers. Not in my worst nightmares.

  35. PREDATOR 2 is a great sequel. Not as good as the original, of course, but a really good effort. It took elements from the first film and spun them into a new and interesting directions. The city locale, different dynamic between the main characters, humans trying to hunt the hunter, expansion of the Predator culture. All good stuff.

    PREDATORS wasn’t bad. But it was pretty much a loose remake of the first movie. And that’s a dull and not a very interesting way to make a sequel.

  36. HT is 100% correct about BEHIND CLOSED DOORS – the occasional real (or at least, what I think is real) insight into JCVD reveals a decent guy under all the massive ego, who seems so piss-bored with his life when not in the limelight that he does “rock star” things like opening dog sanctuaries around the world.

    His rant, after being told they didn’t want him for a new BLOODSPORT 2 flick was awesomely telling – HAF A DAY, ME AND BOLO!! HAF A DAY!! At once disturbing, funny and sad.

    It really is a must-see for any JCVD/action movie fan.

    That said, he is easily the best actor to ever come out of the 80s action film genre and, I’d argue, one of the best actors out there period.

    And “guilty pleasures” is a bullshit thing to say about something you like. I hate that phrase. I’ve always had people try to make me feel dumb for loving the things I love; be it music, films, books, whatever.

    Fuck that. It was invented by high and mighty pretentious assholes looking for ways to make what they deem acceptable the norm. Pure snobbery.

  37. Put me on the “quite liked Predator 2” bandwagon also. Plus the “hates the ‘Guilty Pleasures’ label” bandwagon.

    Knox – I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed your sense of humour. “Worse than rape” indeed.

  38. I love how director John Turtletaub, the Michael Bay of B-list Hollywood hacks (Phenomenon, The Kid) doesn’t appear to know that Phantom of the Paradise was directed by Brian DePalma.

  39. Are you going to see Assassination Games in the theater today, Vern?

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