Friday, August 7, 2009

JCVD -- One Superb Movie!

Back in the 90's, Nick and I studied Karate together for several years. We started in 1993, he was 5 and I was 36. We moved along the belts at the same time (the progression is quite regular if you are within norms in skill) and I got my black belt in September 1996; Nick had already left the dojo as a brown belt. He was simply too young.

While we were at the dojo regularly, we got hooked on karate movies. The karate kid movies go without saying, but we enjoyed one in particular, called "No Retreat, No Surrender." It is about a kid to hallucinates Bruce Lee to train him in Kung Fu because his Dad's karate school was threatened by a gangster backed by Jean-Claude Van Damme, who busted his dad's leg early in the movie.

We watched it many times, and Nick would ask for it by the name "No Turreet, No Surrender" ... it was really cute. Anyway, I developed a bit of a taste for Van Damme movies, and we really liked Bloodsport a while later.

(I know that the kids were young for that kind of movie, and yet they are both doing English Honors degrees and are entirely non-violent, so please shelve the judgement if you were tempted.)

I watched most of what he did, disliking only a few movies (didn't dig the Street Fighter movie) ... I quite enjoyed Time Cop and the one with Rosanna Arquette, Nowhere to Run I believe. That might have been the presence of her fine anatomy ...

Anyway, I never thought of Van Damme as anything but a B movie actor. Until I saw JCVD. He has the most expressive face I have ever seen, he can do 10 minute takes, and he emotes like nobody's business ... there is a monologue in the middle of the film that has him pouring his guts out and if you do not get a lump in your throat then you are made of stone.

I think he deserved a nomination for best actor.

You have *got* to see this movie.

No comments: