Even though I swear to god I wasn't planning on making this martial arts week, check out this trailer to JCVD, the new film from Jean-Claude Van Damme and the first made in his native Brussels:
I have to admit, this one looks interesting. And I don't mean "...interesting", but potentially very interesting, as if it could possibly be a bit of a comeback vehicle for the guy. I've always had a soft spot for Van Damme, mainly because I could always tell that the guy was really trying to make good movies, as opposed to the Seagals and other martial artist of his time. And he did make a few good ones, like HARD TARGET, TIMECOP, MAXIMUM RISK and the very stupid but very fun Tsui Hark combo of DOUBLE TEAM and KNOCK-OFF (looooove KNOCK-OFF). Even though his films no longer rate theatrical releases, the guy has been through a lot, and what I find intriguing about the guy is that he's the first person to blame himself for his slew of problems, like his drug addiction and poor career choices (as evidenced in this interview in this week's Onion). JCVD looks like it could go either way, possibly being too melodramatic and phony to get the audience involved, but it also looks like it could be just the right film that Van Damme needs to win his audience back and to earn himself a little respect for once. I don't know if there's a U.S. distributor lined up yet (though I'm sure Sony's direct-to-DVD unit has first dibs like they do on all the other recent Van Damme films), but perhaps some festival play would be a good idea for this one; hey, let's see how it goes. Honestly, would it be such a bad thing if Van Damme makes a comeback? Worse things have happened.