Tag Archives: Jean Claude Van Damme

Crazy New Van Damme Trailers: ‘Enemies Closer’ and ‘Welcome to the Jungle’

Now some people may say John Claude Van Damme is back, but for me he never left.

Much like his brother in arms (though they may not see it that way) Steven Segal, they have toiled their trade in the DTV market with varying results. They were both a huge part of the 80s/90s action genre and they both still entertain audiences today. But it is Van Damme on this occasion that is having a more main stream popularity surge. We had the incredible JCVD movie and then it all went quiet until The Expendables 2 with a very nice villain turn which he also used in the fantastically dark Universal Soldier Day of Reckoning movie. But strangely it is his comedic turn in the Coors Light adverts which really grabbed people’s attention

Oh as well as the splits advert he recently did, showing off he still has the dexterity of his youth

This all culminated in Welcome to the Jungle (not the Dwayne Johnson one) where Van Damme really gets to play in the comedy sand pit.

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Here the premise is simple, preppy style office workers go on a retreat to chill out and learn combat skills from none other than Van Damme himself. See the trailer below and be prepared for maximum chuckles.

Storm Roughchild, man that’s an awesome name. The great thing about this movie is that Van Damme gently mocks his own self-image but still manages to come off as generally rock hard. The scene where Van Damme’s anguished fight moan goes on a little too long is genius. Some of the other comedy elements fall a bit flat to be honest, though the Lord of the Flies scene has promise.

That takes us to Van Damme’s return to his action roots with Enemies Closer. Check out the trailer below…

With hair that Doc Brown would be jealous off and a relaxed approach to random killings Van Damme really shines in this trailer. Tom Everett Scott and Orlando Jones come out of this pretty good too, with some nice action scenes throughout the trailer, but it is once again Van Damme’s show. He gets some great action here, especially with him dressed in a Mountie uniform kicking ass and taking names. This film has a ‘Ten Little Indians’ feel to it with the two guys being hunted by Van Damme’s militant group. The thing I liked about Van Damme here is he plays a character very similar to the type of people he would normally be fighting against. The complete lack of interest in the deaths around him as well as the mad glint in his eye makes this all come together nicely.

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Welcome to the Jungle and Enemies Closer have a 2014 release date. With all this going on it looks like Van Damme is going to be a busy man and this reviewer cannot wait to see what he round house kicks our way in the future. Until then here are the posters for both movies to keep you going until 2014.

It’s Time for a Timecop Reboot!

I often get ripped on for one of my favorite time travel movies being the Jean-Claude Van Damme starrer Timecop. Sure it’s not on the same level as a time travel masterpiece like Back to the Future or The Terminator, but I like the concept of people using the technology for financial and personal gain. Timecop was cheesy, but it starred Van Damme so what did you expect? It was almost like a less intelligent version of Looper.

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The story is about… well Timecops. Law enforcement agents who travel through time to stop those with rogue technology trying to get rich and gain influence for political gain. The time travel tech began in the government’s hands but soon enough was used by the wrong people. Of course Van Damme’s character, Agent Walker, runs afoul of a crooked senator and goes after him for more personal reasons than the guy just wanting to be President. Various one liners and splits ensue throughout. The most interesting concept in the movie was the whole “The same matter cannot occupy the same space” where if you so much as touch your past or future self while on the same temporal plane you merge and are effectively reduced into… nothingness.

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According to Heat Vision, Universal is in the initial steps of rebooting Timecop and it will be a “reimaging” of the concept from the old movie. Also, Jean-Claude will not be involved in the reboot of the movie so take that as you will. I can understand them not using Van Damme, his time has sort of come and gone. (That pun was not intended but it sure did work.) I look forward to them rebooting a movie I thoroughly enjoyed and can’t wait to see what they do with the concept. The closest thing that I can think of to compare Timecop with is The One, that involved agents traveling through a multiverse to stop criminals… but it was god awful. Cheers and good luck to Universal on their latest venture.

Is anyone upset that Jean-Claude won’t be returning for the reboot? Spout off below in the comments section!

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Dr. Kronner’s Joy: THE EXPENDABLES 2

I was born in 1983, which means that by the time I was old enough to watch and actually understand what was happening in movies, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone were the 2 biggest names in Hollywood. Those two were churning out some of the greatest action movies of all time, stuff like Predator, Conan, Terminator, the Rambo series, and the Rocky movies. However, they were also rolling out crap like Cobra and Red Heat too. As young as I was, I couldn’t really tell which ones were destined to be remembered as classics and which were fated to be forgotten (Raw Deal? Lock Up?) but I loved all of them. I was just a kid, but I can remember many an evening spent on the couch with the old man watching Rocky IV or The Running Man and through that, I grew attached to the genre and its stars. The action movies of the era were totally over the top (get it?) and I couldn’t get enough.

the expendables 2Here is Stallone, Schwarzenegger, and Willis back when Bruce was still wearing hats everywhere to hide his hairline. This particular one he probably got from the ‘Hudson Hawk’ set…

As the ’80s came to a close, a third action icon would emerge – Bruce Willis. His breakthrough role in Die Hard, still arguably the greatest action movie in existence, placed him rightfully in the conversation with Arnold and Sly, and for years, that was the hierarchy. But, as with every hero, age took its toll. Stallone did Cliffhanger in ’93 and Arnold had True Lies in ’94, but after that they both turned out a series of near unwatchable garbage – The Specialist, Assassins, Daylight, End of Days, Collateral Damage, The 6th Day – the list goes on and on. While Willis would find success in a few more Die Hard movies, even he started to shy away from the genre for a while. That is until 2006 when Stallone, desperate for a hit, went back to the role that made him with Rocky Balboa. At 60 years old, he proved he could still draw audiences and he repeated the feat 2 years later with a 4th Rambo movie. Suddenly, the gears started turning and the movie I had prayed for 20 years earlier began to take shape…

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In 2010, Stallone started recruiting his aging contemporaries to make a star-studded action movie that revolved around the idea that they could all still fire guns and blow shit up, and it was great. Ok, so maybe not ‘great’, but it was entertaining as hell and pure nostalgia was often enough to power you through the weak dialogue and thin plot. Then on Thursday night, August 16th, at about 11:55 pm, I loaded myself into a theater seat and got ready for the sequel to begin. I was not disappointed.

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This time around, we were given not only Stallone (66) and Jason Statham (45) again, as well as much larger roles for Willis (57) and Schwarzenegger (65), but we also get the return of Jet Li (49), Dolph Lundgren (55), Randy Couture (49), and Terry Crews (44). Not to mention the inclusion of Chuck Norris (72 years old!), Thor’s little brother (22), and a 52 year old JCVD! It was awesome. Norris told a ‘Chuck Norris’ joke while going by the moniker ‘Lone Wolf’ (like Lone Wolf McQuade), Van Damme did multiple roundhouse kicks as the villain named ‘Vilain’, and Dolph Lundgren’s backstory was that of his real life – a chemical engineering degree from MIT…it’s like Stallone was writing the script while watching an action marathon on SpikeTV and reading Wikipedia.

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The movie also featured Nan Yu, who’s mostly Chinese resume I’m unfamiliar with. While she wasn’t bad, I would’ve gone with Maggie Q instead. With her resume already boasting adrenaline fueled flicks like Live Free or Die Hard, Mission Impossible: III, and the action-packed TV show Nikita, it just felt like a missed opportunity to grab the biggest cast they could. However, Nan Yu probably has more global pull and that could be why the decision was made. That being said, Yu did kick some ass in here.

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This was a movie that didn’t take itself too serious and delivered on the action. There were a few parts that might have come off as cheesy dialogue-wise, and it’s doubtful many people under the age of 18 could really appreciate most of the references, but for me, at the wise age of 29 – I was thrilled. The Expendables 2 delivered exactly what was promised and didn’t try to be something it wasn’t. The ‘R’ rating is barely warranted as the language wasn’t super harsh, there were zero female chesticles exposed (as Aaron pointed out), and much of the violence was so stylized it wasn’t intensely gory.

There is also something I want to give them credit for – something that seems to be a lost art form in most newer action movies – HOLDING THE GODDAMN CAMERA STILL!  Ever since Spielberg wow’d everyone in ’98 with the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, directors have been shaking the camera around so much you can’t tell what is happening. Perfect example would be ALL of the Bourne sequels. This time around the camera stayed stationary long enough for us to actually see the action happen – so thank you Simon West (Con Air, The Mechanic).

Overall, while the plot was a little thin and, quite often, the characters just seem to appear out of nowhere for the purpose of delivering a one-liner, this movie was a fun ride, and I think trumped the first movie easily. I give it 4/5 Grizzlies for delivering on its intended purpose and staying fun.

 

Despite the movie only being out a day in its spread its seed of unabashed 80s magnificence, there are already rumors that for the 3rd movie Harrison Ford, Clint Eastwood, and Nic Cage are all wanted.

the expendables 2As sweet as Eric Roberts and JCVD were in the first 2 movies, Nic Cage could be the greatest villain since Hans Gruber if written correctly (Editor’s Note: Honestly, he’d be the best villain ever if written incorrectly, which is what I’m rooting for.-C Tan)PUT HIM IN A BEAR SUIT!!!

Personally, I’d like to maybe see Linda Hamilton or Sigourney Weaver pop up as they were the baddest ass action heroines around when I was a kid. You could also see if Uma is busy, let her do some more sword play as it will have been over a decade since Kill Bill

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And, it may just be my movie-riddled mind drawing connections where there are none – but I spotted references to all the following movies – did anyone catch one that I missed?

– Good Guys Wear Black (1978)
– Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
– Conan the Barbarian (1982)
– First Blood (1982)
– Lone Wolf McQuade (1983)
– The Terminator (1984)
– Die Hard (1989)
– Total Recall (1990)

I’m sure there are more, I just have to go see it again…

The Expendables 2 – 2 AM Text Review

My buddy Aaron is a bartender for a certain movie theater here in Michigan, and on occasion, the theater will have advanced screenings for movies the Wednesday night prior to the film’s release. Well early this Thursday morning I got a few texts from my good friend about his thoughts on Stallone’s newest epic one-liner fest…

Aaron: It’s 2am and I just saw expendables 2 so you gotta wake up!  – 2:21 AM

Aaron: I’d hate to insult the definition of plot by saying this movie had one. It’s more like, simple reasons we’re about to kill these guys. – 2:22 AM

Aaron: That being said, it was the prefect kind of movie for a cheesy ass script.  – 2:22 AM

Aaron: Rambo, Die Hard, Terminator, even Chuck Norris jokes. Lots of action, average acting, some pretty good humor. – 2:24 AM

Aaron: Boob count: Zero. But I’ll give an award to Walker Texas Ranger for having the best kill.  – 2:25 AM

Aaron: 3.5 Grizzlies out of 5. Is that the scale? I don’t know. I’m tired. Leave me alone. Go to sleep. – 2:28 AM


For more of Aaron’s 2 AM Reviews – CLICK HERE!

‘The Expendables 2’ Trailer Has Arrived! Explosions! One-Liners! More Explosions! Chuck Norris!

There are a lot of haters out there for The Expendables, which I don’t understand. Out of any movie franchise out there right now, it clearly knows what kind of movie it wants to make, and packs it full of the actors who are going to do that well. It was a star-studded action movie that provided action and stars. Great success. So believe me when I tell you how excited I am for the second one. The cast list has expanded to include almost every possible action star from the 80’s on including some new faces and a hell of a lot more action.

Continue reading ‘The Expendables 2’ Trailer Has Arrived! Explosions! One-Liners! More Explosions! Chuck Norris!

Radical Review: Time Bomb

It turns out the Mayans were right, the world does end in 2012. How they predicted that Hitler’s top-secret doomsday device would be discovered and then accidentally triggered is beyond me though. Fortunately for the human race the “New World Order”, a CIA/FBI/Interpol type of organization, has put together a crack team of special agents to go back in time to prevent the world-wide disaster from happening. This is the setup of Radical Comics graphic novel Time Bomb. Time Bomb is actually the name of the time travel device, which operates by harnessing a small nuclear explosion, not the name of the Nazi created missile that spreads an unstoppable virus throughout the world’s atmosphere.

Radical Comics is a publisher that, according to their Wikipedia page, produces only products that they think would be directly translatable to the big screen. Essentially, by this definition, Radical comics are jazzed up screenplays. With that in mind Time Bomb is, in movie terms, Armageddon meets Inglorious Basterds meets Timeline. While it’s true that I could see this story being made into a movie, it would likely be a B-movie starring the likes of Jean-Claude Van Damme and whoever is the modern equivalent of Lorenzo Lamas.

Continue reading Radical Review: Time Bomb

Movie Trailer Roundup: MiB III, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Expendables 2 and MORE!

Men in Black III

 The MIB duo of Agent Jay and Agent Kay are back in action. When the world is threatened by an evil alien, Agent Jay travels back in time to 1969, where he teams up with the younger Agent Kay to stop an evil villain named Boris from destroying the world in the future. 

Stars: Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones, Emma Thompson, Josh Brolin, Alice Eve, Jemaine Clement

Release Date: May 25th, 2012

Continue reading Movie Trailer Roundup: MiB III, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, The Expendables 2 and MORE!