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Musings from the Edge of Forever

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Random Movie Quotation of the Week: JCVD


The “Muscles from Brussels” delivers a bravura performance in JCVD, a genre-bending 2008 film from French Algerian director Mabrouk El Mechri. Now I realize that me saying that the film boasts Jean Claude Van Damme’s finest acting turn may sound like sarcasm or faint praise when talking about the man who rose to fame in films like Bloodsport, Kickboxer, and Cyborg, but, it’s not meant to be thinly-veiled diss at all.

This movie was a brave and smart choice for Van Damme to make; let’s just hope he can follow it up with something that’s equally as interesting. Otherwise, his “comeback” will be short-lived indeed. If not, there’s always this to remember him by:

But let’s get back to the reason I posted this in the first place — a random movie quotation. Filled with fourth-wall breakages galore, clearly meant to evoke Godard, JCVD contains a number of funny references to Van Damme’s life and career. One relevant bit of Hong Kong cinema-related verbiage comes when a character openly questions why Van Damme hasn’t worked with John Woo since 1993’s Hard Target. Siding with his idol, the man gets indignant about Woo’s “behavior.”

“If it weren’t for you, he’d still be filming pigeons in Hong Kong!”

 Funny? Accurate? Quoteworthy? You be the judge.

Dr. Woo

Dr. Woo approves this blog post.

2 Responses to “Random Movie Quotation of the Week: JCVD”

  1. TheGoldenRock Says:

    A totally unrelated, self-serving comment: Woo got that doctorate at my film school. He gave a “master class” to earn it. Too bad it was in Mandarin.

  2. Mark M Says:

    As a former fan of Van Damme, I look back on the movies he made at the beginning of his carreer with a lot of excitement. But since Time Cop it went downwards. Although I did like his 3 collaborative productions with Hong Kong directors. But it is because of his own unwillingness to develop for which he blames others. John Woo still is the master of its craft, but due to Hollywood rules the movie was trimmed down from its actual form, resulting in a medium movie (Woo could have tried Europe considering the freedom in movie-making, but back to China was the best move). Van Damme hasn’t developed any new moves or techniques to entertain the audience. Just look at what Scott Adkins has achieved till sofar in so little time. Van Damme can act (acceptable) and does know how to charm an audience. I saw two interviews in France where he did a funny Stallone impression, but if you think further, he was actually mocking Stallone, an actor who has dearly earned his respect. And The Expendables, is just a fun project of a get together of a bunch of macho guys. However this movie might turn out: THEY HAD FUN MAKING IT!!! And you can see that chemistry and energy work on screen! When was the last time Van Damme enjoyed a production like this? With a big crew, a simple story and just old friends teaming up to do something great!? To a smaller extent it was when he was working in Hong Kong or Hong Kong directors. I hope Van Damme starts having fun again with making movies and tones down his attitude towards other people in the industry.

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