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