We skipped the ‘trailer for the trailer’ earlier this week and waited for the goods on The Expendables 2. If this franchise continues to bring on new and old cast members, I cannot imagine what the 3rd or 4th entries are going to look like. As it stands, this trailer shows you want you want to see: A shot or two of each of the principle cast members, most of them either looking badass or shooting off one liners (or in the case of Jason Statham, both). Also, it seems by bringing in Con Air and Tomb Raider director Simon West, it looks like there is a bigger flair for set-pieces and vehicular carnage.
Do we know what the movie is about? Hell no. Do we want to see Chuck Norris, JCVD, Sly, Arnie and Bruce Willis (and Dolph Lundgren, Jet Li, Scott Adkins, Nan Yu, etc. etc!) all in the same movie. Yessum.
The Weekend of Trash is back (backstory and previous write-ups can be found here – 1, 2, 3 & 4, 5 & 6). The guys visited me for the first time, saving me the trip down to Bristol. We didn’t all get together until the Saturday, but I snuck in a trash-classic on Friday to make up for it. There were no horrors this time around, but we got plenty of action films watched which is fine by me.
The reviews are a bit brief because I’m ultra busy, but I’ve included plenty of clips and trailers for your enjoyment. Lets have a look at what we watched:
How on earth did I miss this? JCVD and Dolph Lundgren rippin’ shit up. Together. Again. And I missed the announcement?
Now we get a behind the scenes look at the movie which has been shooting in Bulgaria since February and though I’m not impressed by the footage itself, I am really excited to take my dad to the movies. He’s not a guy that gets out much but I’m sure when he sees the names Van Damme and Lundgren together on the same billboard, his eyes will light up and he’ll jump at the idea.
I’m not holding my breath for Universal Soldiers: The Next Generation to be a great film but if it manages to capture some of the fun of the originals, it’ll be time well wasted. Here’s looking forward to a trailer. In the meantime, be sure to head over to QE for additional pictures and the behind the scenes video.
Going back over some films that we have mentioned before, but this time with a little more depth; including talk on Slumdog (which gets a bit spoiler-y), JCVD, and Milk. And new tangents on villains and 80’s TV shows. Of course the DVD picks are here and few things more.
Thanks again for listening!
While I was sitting in the theatre today waiting for my next movie to start I was listening to to the people behind me talk about JCVD and Jean Claude Van Damme’s previous movies. Later, after that movie I was browsing the web and I came across a review of JCVD that neatly matched up with the discussion that the audience members were having. The discussion focussed not on JCVD but on what is expected in a Van Damme movie. No one watches his movies for acting the simply watch him for spin kicks. We’ll I have to say that I went into JCVD with the exact opposite intention. I wanted a movie that didn’t rely on his just his kicking skills but instead I wanted a movie that had a point to it while being fun and entertaining and I wanted a chance to see Van Damme actually act.
JCVD opens with an amazing minute or two single shot fight scene which rivals any long take from any action movie. The only thing though is that you know going in that this isn’t going to be your typical Van Damme generic action movie. This is a movie that will poke fun at the whole nature of celebrity, Hollywood and just who Jean Claude actually is. In JCVD everyone refers to Van Damme as Jean Claude so I am going to do likewise. Jean Claude takes aspects of his actual personal life and intertwines it with the story of a bank robbery where everyone naturally assumes that he is the culprit. Jean Claude is having money troubles because of his wanting to complete a real movie and a custody battle over his daughter. He returns to Belgium after a humorous yet extremely heart felt trial where the main case against him is that he kills people in bad movies. Upon his return his money troubles cause him to stop in a bank to receive a wire transfer where he stumbles into the bank robbery. The police immediately believe him to be the one robbing the bank.
The bank robbery is told in 4 parts which jump around in time. The first part we only see what the police see. The second through 4th we get a combined view which pushes forward the story while also giving glimpses of what has lead Jean Claude to this point. For me this is the one real weakness of the movie. The bank robbery started to drag during a few moments while it was repeating the story from a different perspective. There is a lot to like and even love in JCVD though.
Jean Claude is capable of acting. I truly felt sorry for him at several points throughout the movie and I was truly rooting for him not as an action hero but as a real person. He is able to laugh at himself while still remaining a sense of earnestness. There is one scene where he rises up out of the set in order to provide a monologue that is causing a bit of a split in the reviews. People either seem to love it or hate it. You can count me in on the love it side.
JCVD is not a typical Van Damme movie but is much more. It is a Jean Claude movie that will sorely disappoint viewers who are simply looking for a good not direct to DVD Van Damme movie. It will however provide great experience and will even give you something to think about for a while after. Oh and here is one final comment; the ending of JCVD provided the audience with what both the Van Damme fans and also the Jean Claude fans with what they wanted. It was truly a perfect moment when the whole audience erupted with a cheer during the last few moments of the bank robbery.
JCVD is really going to be one of the treasures of TIFF and even if you are not a fan of his action movies it is one you need to check out.
There probably isn’t anyone here around Row Three who wouldn’t give up their left arm to be wandering around Cannes right now. Since that is not going to happen** I figured I’d point you over to JoBlo.com to see some banners and other cool stuff that has been set up. My favourite is:
One of the commenters over at JoBlo made me laugh pretty hard when they asked why Lance Henriksen was on the JCVD poster.
**While none of us are actually at Cannes (this year anyway), we do have a review for the film that opened the festival – Fernando Meirelles‘ Blindness (here)