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Did anyone miss Jean-Claude Van Damme in The Expendables 3? How could they when the Belgian action star has been making so many commercial appearances lately? The guy has risen as one the most notable pitchmen on television over the past year, showing up in hilarious spots for GoDaddy, Volvo and now Coors Light. For the beer brand, Jcvd is not just pulling an ice block on a sled with his mullet. He's not just carving a bull's head ice sculpture by kicking it. And he's not just destroying giant icicles with his powerful roundhouse to the sound of an awesome '80s-era action movie-style synth score. He's building an ice bar in the mountains, like one that you can win a trip to if you're a resident of the U.K. Yeah, this is an ad for Coors...
- Christopher Campbell
The Universal Soldier films are a strange case of life imitating art. Much like how series protagonist Luc Deveraux is killed in action then resurrected into something post-human, Universal was a pretty standard 90s action film which crashed and burned when it came to sequels, but became something unique and beautiful when it was reanimated for the straight to DVD market.
It’s a hushed secret among genre fans, but Universal Solder 3 and 4 (or possibly 5 and 6, it’s complicated) are some of the most remarkable action sci-fi films of the 21st century so far. Yes, really. I actually watched the series backwards when I first saw them, after being blown away by Universal Solder Day Of Reckoning and deciding to work my way back, and Roland Emmerich’s perfectly acceptable 1992 blockbuster »
“Kickboxer,” one of two upcoming remakes of a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie from the ’80s (“Bloodsport” being the other one) has officially added a pretty impressive list of fighters to its cast. At least, if you like your martial artists in a movie to know actual, you know, martial arts. The film, set to be directed by “Tai Chi Zero’s” Stephen Fung (who is also bringing a kung fu drama called “Badlands” to AMC later next year, can’t wait for that one myself!), will star proven asskickers Scott Adkins, Tony Jaa (of “Ong Bak” fame), and Alain Moussi. The trio will join “Guardians of the Galaxy’s” Dave Bautista and former Ufc welterweight champion George St. Pierre (last seen getting his ass kicked by Captain America) in the flick. Despite those big names (well, in the realm of action movies, anyway), the lesser known Moussi will be your star. »
The name Peter Hyams may not be the mentioned in the same breath as contemporaries like Robert Zemeckis, Richard Donner and Barry Levinson, but this somewhat underappreciated filmmaker is far from a journeyman. During his five decade career he has effortlessly jumping between genres, churning out some entertaining and understated work, his most fruitful period being the 1980’s which saw the likes of Outland, The Presidio, Running Scared and 2010, a brave (and pretty enjoyable) attempt at crafting a sequel from Stanley Kubrick’s seminal work, 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Enemies Closer, his first film since the 2009 Michael Douglas-headlining Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, sees him reunited with aging action hero Jean-Claude Van Damme (their two previous films together, Sudden Death and Timecop, are arguably the highlight of the former martial artist’s career). Enemies Closer is a fun, unpretentious B-movie which bears the unmistakable mark of a cinematic craftsman (Hyams, »
- Adam Lowes
Enemies Closer, 2013.
Directed by Peter Hyams.
Deep within a forest on the Us-Canadian border, two sworn enemies must work together to escape a ruthless drug cartel hell-bent on retrieving a drug shipment which went missing there.
Having been given the lead villain role in Expendables 2, and become an internet phenomenon thanks to that fantastic Volvo truck advert, Jean Claude Van Damme may have expected slightly more of a career resurgence in the last year or so. Much like the follow-On from his career best (and what could/should have been redefining) performance in Jcvd, when you expected perhaps one or two big name directors or producers to take a shot on Van Damme, it didn’t quite happen. In the end, on both occasions he merely reverted back to his place as one »
- Gary Collinson
With a career spanning over 30 years, Hawaiian director Albert Pyun has worked in just about every genre, and forged a reputation as a modern era answer to Ed Wood. Pyun’s career has pretty much entirely taken place in B movies. Almost fifty films ranging from low budget, to virtually no budget. His passion for movie-making is immense and he still works to this day, even through ill-health.
Pyun broke through in the early 80’s with fantasy epic, The Sword and The Sorcerer, which alongside Conan The Barbarian, played it’s part in re-popularising the sword and sorcery genre throughout the 80’s. He followed that with a string of often strange, cult films (Radioactive Dreams being a stand out). Pyun was also at the helm of an unsuccessful Captain America film back »
- Gary Collinson
Principal photography has just wrapped on Jean Claude Van Damme's latest martial arts thriller, Pound of Flesh, which was filming at Ace Studios in Nanhai, China under the direction of regular collaborator Ernie Barbarash (6 Bullets, Assassination Games). Jcvd stars alongside British actor Darren Shahlavi, familiar to many from his work in Ip Man 2 and Mortal Kombat Legacy, as well as Hong Kong's Jason Tobin (Fast & Furious: Tokyo Drift), Andrew Ng (The Man With The Iron Fists) and veteran performer Aki Aleong. The film also stars John Ralston, Charlotte Peters and Marsha Yuen. Produced by Kirk Shaw and Henry Luk, with Mike Leeder as co-producer, Pound of Flesh features fight choreography from John Salvitti, whose work with Donnie Yen has been highly praised in films...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
In the age of sequels, prequels, reboots and megafranchises, it’s not uncommon for an actor to play the same character multiple times throughout his or her career. This gives an actor time to grow into a role, time for the character to grow as a franchise grows, and time for an audience to fall in love with a character.
Naturally, it also risks that character becoming really, really annoying: after five movies of similar shenanigans, most would just wish for a fresh hero with a clean slate. Sometimes actors get so caught up in a particular character that the routine spills over into other roles, and the actor ends up trapped in a perpetual loop, doing the same shtick over and over again.
There are two film genres that are inherently guilty of this: comedy and action, with stars of both drawn to sticking to their talents, »
- Matt Hannigan
The new take on Kickboxer is set to be directed by Stephen Fung (who helmed Tai Chi Zero), with Alan Moussi set to take the lead role. He'll be joined by Ufc's Georges St Pierre and WWE's Dave Bautista.
The synopsis for the new film? Glad you asked...
"David and Kurt Sloan are the descendants of a well-known Venice, California dynasty of champions. Both are top-notch fighters and athletes in the prime of their lives. When David wins the Karate World Championship, a promoter lures him to Hong Kong despite Kurt's protests that the man is a crook. Not soon after, Kurt receives a letter from David and heads to Thailand to meet him. »
I am an unabashed fan of Jean-Claude Van Damme. For a period in the early 90s, I would see every one of Jcvd's films theatrically while my dad tried to cover my eyes during the simulated sex scenes. He failed and i am the bewb-obsessed cinephile that writes for you daily here at JoBlo.com. Needless to say, I feel a little bit of my movie soul weep each time a remake of a Van Damme movie is announced and the new Kickboxer is no exception. The 1989 action flick starred Van Damme as a man »
- Alex Maidy
If you've always wanted to see Jean-Claude Van Damme as a French-Canadian Mountie/vegan drug-dealer, then Enemies Closer is the incredibly specific movie for you! It's a must-see film, not because it's that great, but because it's about as crazy a role as Jcvd has ever played. His one-liners are amazing, his antics are worth the price of purchase, and that hair just never quits. Tom Everett Scott and Orlando Jones also star in the Peter Hyams-directed action thriller that's available now on DVD and Blu-ray. Hit the jump for my review. Feature Let me take you to a peaceful, secluded lake somewhere along the U.S.-Canadian border. Forest Ranger Henry (Everett Scott) has relocated here for some relative peace and quiet, and to put some distance between himself and his military past. He picked the wrong lake. After a botched drug transport lands a small plane at »
- Dave Trumbore
We all know that Jean Claude Van Damme was the original actor cast to play the Predator in John McTiernan’s Arnie starrer in the fim of the same name, but little footage of the actor in said role has been seen over the years. Until now.
The Stan Winston School have just released a cool little behind-the-scenes video featuring the original Boss Films design of the Predator, which, quite frankly, is bloody ridiculous. Along with it, comes a cool little commentary from Steve Johnson, who reveals that Jcvd allegedly couldn’t stand wearing said red-suit, and though that the red-look of the mosters was the actually design and not a ‘cloaking device,’ and couldn’t believe that he would be ‘invisible’ in most of his scenes. It’s a great little piece of Bts nostalgia, and fans of the superb film will love this rare look at the making of the 1987 classic. »
- Paul Heath
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
"The Great Beauty" (Criterion)
What's It About? A blast from the past sends man-about-town Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo) reeling and reminiscing about his life and loves in Rome. The 65-year-old writer (of a sort) has had quite a life so far, but has he grown to take the richness of life and Rome for granted?
Why We're In: Even if you're not hip to Italian cinema and Sorrentino's influences, you'll still enjoy this Oscar-winning film.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
"The King of Comedy" (30th Anniversary Edition)
What's It About? Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro) is desperate to become famous. Once he meets talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis), he's sure his dreams of fame and fortune are coming true. All he has to do is convince Langford to have him on his show, and then Rupert will be the real king of comedy. »
- Jenni Miller
Given his character's condition at the end of The Expendables 2, you'd be correct in assuming that Jean-Claude Van Damme will not show up in The Expendables 3. But that hasn't stopped fans of the franchise asking Van Damme if the villainous Jean Vilain will ever return in possible further instalments. The answer to that question is no. Claude Vilain, on the other hand... that's a different story. Yup, fan site Expendables Premiere has come up with a twin brother idea so ridiculous that it might actualy be a perfect fit, and Jcvd himself seems to agree."I had a great time shooting The Expendables 2 with Mr. Stallone and other big action stars," he responded via Twitter (although it must have been a Dm since the exchange isn't on his feed). "Mr. Stallone is an inventive man. He may even create a stronger character than Claude Vilain, the twin brother of Jean Vilain. »
Jean-Claude Van Damme movies aren't exactly known for their subtlety. Even still, we're a little surprised at just how unnecessarily over the top filming was for a simple motorcycle ride in 1993's Hard Target. But once you learn a bit of the backstory behind the action classic, it all makes sense. Directed by John Woo, Hard Target starred the muscles from Brussels as a drifter who helps a pretty woman search for her missing father, only to discover he's been killed by a rich maniac (Lance Henriksen) who hunts homeless people for fun. Then things get weird. It's a cool, sweaty action movie with stunts as elaborate and groovy as Jcvd's mullet. It was Woo's first Hollywood movie after a handful of hits in Hong Kong, and as you can see in the below clip...
- Peter Hall
Tom Jolliffe on the must-see straight-to-video action films of 2014...
If you’re a little fed up of the never ending stream of remakes, kid friendly PG13 (12A or 15 here) CGI heavy theatrics and Marvel/DC action films that fill up the multiplexes, or you’re no stranger to the unrepentant, simple delights of a bit of straight to video (or Netflix) action, then here is a list of the best to look out for this year.
As big screen action caters more and more for younger audiences, straight to video still largely offers a bit more adult entertainment. What it might lack in big budget thrills it makes up for with F-bombs and gallons of blood (if that’s your thing). As for myself, alongside a steady upbringing of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly Stallone and Bruce Willis in the late 80’s and 90’s, I’ve also had more than my share »
- Gary Collinson
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 13 Feb 2014 - 06:39
Our voyage through history's underappreciated films arrives at the year 2008 - another great year for lesser-seen gems...
For some, 2008 will be memorable as the year of The Dark Knight, with its astonishingly unhinged turn from the late Heath Ledger. Alternatively, it could be remembered as the year a legion Indiana Jones fans left cinemas glum-faced, having sat through Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.
Elsewhere, Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan sang and danced on a Greek island in Mamma Mia!, while Will Smith played an alcoholic superhero in Hancock. But as usual, 2008 offered plenty of watchable movies outside the top 10, which is where we swoop in - like Hancock after a bottle of gin.
So as usual, here's our selection of 25 underappreciated films from the year 2008 - starting with a British horror film starring Michael Fassbender...
25. Eden Lake
James Watkins had written »
Jean-Claude Van Damme is a man known for roundhouse kicking people into oblivion, not making audiences laugh (well, not intentionally), but that doesn’t mean the iconic action star isn’t up for the challenge! Welcome To The Jungle sees Van Damme’s first purely comedic role, as he plays a motivational leader of sorts conducting a big-business team building “vacation” on a remote tropical island. He’s still a badass hero and his martial arts expertise are still called upon, but Van Damme cleverly indicates he’s keen on the satirical joke – unfortunately, he might be the only one. In the words of Guns N’ Roses vocalist Axl Rose, “Welcome to the jungle, we’ve got fun n’ games” – minus most of the “fun n’ games.”
Welcome To The Jungle isn’t your typical office get-together, which our newly stranded castaways are about to find out. Following their guide »
- Matt Donato
Peter Hyams Takes Us Closer
Peter Hyams has been making movies for over forty years. A native New Yorker, Hyams has the distinction of being one of the only directors who also serves as his own cinematographer on his films, a hyphenate that has caused him some controversy among cameramen (see below for more details). After making his mark with such classics as Capricorn One, Outland, The Star Chamber, 2010, and many others, Hyams hasn't slowed down, bringing us his twenty-first feature film. Enemies Closer is a white-knuckle thriller starring Jean-Claude Van Damme as the ruthless (and flamboyant) leader of a drug cartel on a search and destroy mission for his missing cache of product, which sits at the bottom of a lake on the U.S.-Canadian border. Tom Everett Scott plays the U.S. Park Ranger with a murky past who tries to stop him, along »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Jean-Claude Van Damme has had a career resurgence of sorts, ever since 2008′s Jcvd. Appearing as the villain in The Expendables 2 and impressing us all with his flexibility in a series of Volvo commercials, the Muscles from Brussels has risen once more to the heights of a B-action star. Now he’s working on his comedic chops in Welcome To The Jungle, starring as a former Marine who takes a bunch of office workers on a ‘team-building’ exercise to a jungle island.
Van Damme plays Storm Rothchild, a rugged outdoorsy type hired to whip some of those weak office workers into shape. Landing on the island, the team gets up to hijinks that include such comedic gems as having to go to the bathroom in the woods, fighting tigers, and Asian stereotypes. Unsurprisingly, things take a turn for the much worse when their pilot is discovered dead, effectively stranding them. »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
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