Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Unexpected Return of an Old Friend: JCVD

Hi there, boys and girls! Welcome to the weekend edition of PLANET GRIFFIN!

Once upon a time, in the lore of 80's action heroes, there was a little known martial artist/actor emerging from Belgium known as Jean Claude Van Damme. His well-documented cockiness and high flying kicks cemented his name as an action star, but nothing, it seemed, would ever rank him above the B-movie ghetto's into the A-List high rise... Well, Hard Target would've got him closer if he weren't trying to tell director John Woo how to direct... Maybe.

Heavy drug use, the inability to land decent acting roles, and ugly custody battles have forced the self-titled 'muscles from Brussels' star to fall from grace much faster than most. Then came the silence.

But that's not the end of the story.

Jean Claude decided to follow the route of Mickey Rourke and give it one last shot. Man, was that shot ever worth it. JCVD is a strange combination of self-parody, autobiography, suspense film, and dramatic poignacy, a film that no one could've predicted... Jean Claude playing himself.

JCVD follows the exploits of a time ravaged Jean Claude Van Damme whose time in front of the camera may have finally come to an end (he's losing film roles to Steven Seagal of all people). Plagued by the aforementioned problems in his life, Jean Claude returns to his Belgian hometown to sort out his financial problems and figure out what should his next move be... As fate would have it, that's being decided for him.

As the film takes a huge left turn revealing itself slowly and surely, you shockingly learn that Jean Claude can act! Even more unexpected, midway into the film , Jean Claude pulls off the one trick with this film that most great actors won't even attempt anymore--- Jean Claude breaks the fourth wall of the film to talk to the audience! Nothing hokey or desperate, he simply gives you straight talk--- and you'll love him for it!

Personally, I like movies of all kinds, but even I know good acting from absolute crap, and I'm telling you, JCVD is a GREAT movie that's already getting critical raves from the world media and is making Hollywood notice him again... Once you see it for yourself, you'll also notice that this film is Jean Claude's personal revenge on the Hollywood system that almost blacklisted him as bad as it did Mickey Rourke.

... And he's currently living happily ever after.

JCVD hits DVD later this month. Definitely worth feeding the dollar to RedBox!

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