Tag Archive: Jean-Claude Van Damme


Van Damme in Enemies Closer

Jean-Claude Van Damme’s recent resurgence (because of his awesome splits stunt in a Volvo truck ad we raved about here last week at borg.com) may have prompted the studio to finally give his next film a release date.   Enemies Closer looks exactly like what you’d expect from a Van Damme movie–two bad guys try to kill each other, then have to partner up to survive being pursued by many more bad guys.  Heap on the action and add in some Van Damme one-liners.

Enemies Closer also stars genre actors Orlando Jones (Sleepy Hollow, House, M.D., Office Space) and Tom Everett Scott (That Thing You Do, An American Werewolf in Paris).

Van Damme Enemies Closer

Check out the preview for Enemies Closer:

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Parker as priest

Review by C.J. Bunce

It was one of our 24 films to look for in 2013 that we previewed here at borg.com at the end of last year.  With Parker you have Jason Statham’s umpteenth role as a thief who knows how to fight.  Really, how can you go wrong?

Parker (Jason Statham) is a professional thief, whose old friend and mentor Hurley (Nick Nolte) asks him to do a job with a five-man crew he hasn’t worked with before, made up of Melander (The Fantastic Four I and II and The Shield’s Michael Chiklis), Carlson (Wendell Pierce), Ross (Star Trek 2009’s #2 Romulan Clifton Collins Jr.).  The result is a successful crime, but the men betray him, shoot him, and leave him for dead, and the bulk of the movie is Parker’s efforts after recovery to locate and plan the ultimate revenge for the crew.

Parker_2013_Movie_Poster

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Van Damme splits trucks

If you’re a fan of early Jean-Claude Van Damme action movies then you will love this new ad from Volvo Trucks.  It’s probably the best idea anyone has had to thrust back into the spotlight an actor/martial artist who once was on the heels of becoming the next Stallone or Schwarzenegger.  Expendables 2 wasn’t enough to do it, but showing off on TVs across America the physical skill and the result of a lifetime of martial arts prowess that Van Damme used in early work like Bloodsport could be enough to get him back into big movie roles.  Van Damme just needs to find his version of Mickey Rourke’s big comeback film The Wrestler.

If you haven’t watched Van Damme movies, you’re missing out.  First, add Bloodsport and Timecop into your Netflix queue.  Some may say it is blasphemous to compare Van Damme to Bruce Lee, but if you liked Enter the Dragon you will at a minimum appreciate Van Damme’s style, passion and effort in Bloodsport.  Like Schwarzenegger, Van Damme had the European immigrant with an accent action star shtick going for him.  He had proven fighting skill outside of movies, too.  And he had a real appeal–usually playing the underdog or defending the underdog, he usually had the good guy role in his best work.

Van Damme splits in Timecop

More splits. Could you save yourself if your kitchen floor was suddenly charged with electricity? Van Damme could, and did, in Timecop.

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Movie concession food alone in theater

There might be a reason the movie concession food in the above photo is alone in the theater and the popcorn doesn’t look happy.

We have six trailers for this weekend’s edition of Trailer Park, all with something in common:  They all will be competing for your entertainment dollars as they all will be opening the weekend of June 28, 2013.  Another thing they have in common?  They might prompt you to find something else to do on the weekend of June 28, 2013, other than go to a movie.  But at least there’s a new Jason Statham movie.

Decide for yourself:

Byzantium is a mother vs. young daughter story about living with a mother who is a vampire, a “woe is me” daughter, and a very uninteresting-appearing melodramatic story in a 19th century setting.  The only thing this has going for it is Bond girl Gemma Arterton stars as the vampire mom.  But if you want to enjoy watching a bad movie starring Gemma Arterton you’d probably be better off renting Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

Here is the trailer for Byzantium:

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Manborg banner

No matter what you study in college sometimes you can’t get work in the summer because no one wants to hire for jobs with decent pay on a temporary basis.  That’s how I ended up at Movies-to-Go, a pretty typical VHS chain rental store in the 1990s that went the way of the dodo bird when DVDs came along.  You learn a lot about people generally while working a video store, disturbing things like the fact that I Spit on Your Grave and Faces of Death outpaced new release sales time and time again.  At every store there were aisles of direct to video releases–some action, some sci-fi, some horror.  All of them had one thing in common–someone spent a lot of time creating covers that would get renters to actually rent the movie, despite the fact that most of these movies weren’t worth renting.  Some of these edge the others out, and as an employee I remember being able to rent free any film overnight that didn’t get checked out, which meant I learned to like a lot of films from John Carpenter, Jean Claude Van Damme and Bruce Lee movies. 

Manborg Edmiston Art Poster

Some of these B-movies weren’t really good enough to be called B-movies, and were nothing but grindhouse pictures that would be shown at the then dwindling drive-in theater’s weekend third late show.  Others, like Denise Crosby’s Eliminators, Dolph Lundgren’s I Come in Peace, Guyver 2: Dark Hero, Caroline Munro, Christopher Plummer and David Hasselhoff’s Starcrash, and Captain America (1990), prompted one ambitious young Canadian filmmaker named Steve Kostanski to spend three years in the 21st century creating one of these 1970s-1980s-type B-movies, with a name like a made-for TV Syfy Channel movie: Manborg.  The amazing thing is Manborg actually received acclaim as an official selection of not one but six international film festivals: Austin’s Fantastic Film Festival, Montreal’s Fantasia Film Festival, Sweden’s Lund Film Festival, Switzerland’s Neuchatel Film Festival, Toronto’s After Dark Film Festival and the London Sci-Fi Festival.  And Manborg is being released on DVD on April 30, 2013.

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Enough of politics, enough of personal issues.  It’s about time audiences get Arnold Schwartzenegger doing what we all love to seem him do–star in action movies.  Brash, cool, obnoxiousness, big in every way, no one surpasses Arnold as the biggest action hero, although everyone who ever has come close will be joining him in the new movie, The Expendables 2.

I passed on the first of the series, The Expendables, when I had heard that Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwartzenegger signed up only for cameo roles.  But it will be hard to pass up the sequel coming this summer.  Every action hero who has ever been a BIG action hero from the 1980s onward has apparently signed on for this sequel.  I’m not talking about guys like Cruise or Gibson or Damon.  I’m talking about the guys who look like they could actually bend something, or someone, in half.

Here’s the preview:

So who’s on the team?

They’ve got Chuck Norris.  What constellation of events had to occur to bring in Chuck?  Did you hear he and Superman once had a bet?  The loser had to start wearing his underwear outside his pants.  Did you hear that when Batman needs help he turns on his Chuck Norris symbol?  (We’re here all night, folks).

They even have Jean-Claude Van Damme as the apparent bad guy.  Who doesn’t miss Van Damme and his mid-air balancing splits, flying 360 kicks, and cool accent?  Bloodsport, Sudden Impact, Timecop?  I’ve seen all his 1980s and early 1990s flicks over and over.  Arnold says “I’m back” but I’m glad Van Damme’s back.

Sure, Jason Statham is back, too–probably the current mega-action star of every other action film Hollywood churns out.   Check out The Italian Job if you want to see his best.  Jet Li and Dolph Lundgren are back from the original, too.

Sylvester Stallone returns as the lead.  Bruce Willis is in.  And Arnold.

Who the heck are they missing?  (Scratching head).  Maybe Steven Seagal?

The Expendables 2 is scheduled for release August 17, 2012.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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