REVIEW: JCVD

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jcvdNow I like Jean-Claude Van Damme as much as the next action junkie, but lets be honest here he hasn’t made a decent movie sense Double Team. And was that not only really not that good but it was also twelve years and and sixteen movies ago. Wake of Death a few years back was his supposed comeback to greatness, and it sucked. So now we’re presented with JCVD. In this film our side kicking friend isn’t playing an underground fighter, or some cyborg solider, he simply plays Jean-Claude Van Damme. It’s a role that even he should be able to handle. Van Damme is, as it were, an actor. He’s in the middle of making movies and being in and out of court for a child custody battle, balancing this out with the every day problem of just trying to find the money to pay his bills. In the middle of all of this the man needs to hit the bank to get some money to cover a check he wrote, seems normal enough. However this is JCVD and Van Damme walks right into a bank robbery. However he does not, as you would expect, spin kick the criminals and save the day, no instead he is taken hostage and inadvertently framed for the robbery. The cops go to the bank when they hear gun shots, see Van Damme moving a cabinet and jump to conclusions. Not only is this possibly the first Van Damme with a solid, non-80′s action, story line. If you pay attention there’s also a little bit of acting throw in here. Your waiting for that hero moment the whole movie, but it never comes, well it does but its fake. And that’s one of the best things I like about this, that and the ending which is pretty stellar. Yes you can proudly display this on your shelf next to Kickboxer and Bloodsport to make your Van Damme essential collection complete.

Get JCVD from Amazon HERE

REVIEW: Street Fighter(s)

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streetfighterStreet Fighter (1994):

1993, rumors hit they’re making a Street Fighter movie. A movie of my favorite game? Fuck yeah! This is going to be great. Jean-Claude Van Damme as Guile? What? Really?…And then photos from the set start to roll in. First clue the movie will suck, Guile does not have his trademark flattop. This movie was so shitty it made the Mortal Kombat movies look good. Ok maybe not good, but better. Steven E. de Souza wrote and directed this crime against video games, he’s also written such terds as Tomb Raider, and the Flintstones. However I do have to give him credit for putting the ink down for Beverly Hills Cop III and 48 Hrs, I do like these, but not the man I would have chosen to write Street Fighter. As for his directing, the only decent thing he’s got there is an episode of Tales from the Crypt. At least with this movie it seemed like they were trying to make a good Street Fighter adaptation, or started out that way. Character wise we did have Blanka, Dee Jay, T. Hawk, Zangief, Vega, E. Honda, Balrog, Ryu, Sagat, Dhalsim, Cammy, Ken Masters, Chun-Li, Guile and M. Bison.  All of which (except one) was casted, written, and acted terribly. That exception being Raul Julia taking the role of the game’s final boss, M. Bison. In the movie Bison actually had the look right, (about the only person that did), and Raul did an excellent job portraying this would-be world dictator. Unfortunately this was Raul Julia’s last major role as he was very ill and finally had a stroke while in New York died eight days later. As much as I would like to say Julia’s Bison performance saved this movie, it was not nearly enough to do so. This, as all video game movies, sucked.

streetliStreet Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li:

2009, thirteen years have passed sense the last fiasco of a Street Fighter movie has hit screens. I’m much older now and know this movie will suck, no question in my mind. But I’m a Street Fighter fan, maybe even a Street Fighter superfan, it is my favorite game so of course I know what I must do and purchase a ticket. Early warning signs confirm my suspicion this will once again be a disaster of catastrophic proportions as the theater employee hands me the tickets and spouts “Enjoy your mo–, just go see it”.  Could this movie really be so bad it doesn’t even warrant fake enthusiasm? Yes, yes it can. There were no cries of “BISON!!” as he rode down a rail car with lightning bolts shooting from his hands, nor was there anyone else in the theater except the friend who dare come with me for the same reasons I decided to torcher myself by wasting 8 bucks and 1 hr 36 min of my life. This being one of the only good things seeing as how we just talked through the movie much like watching a DVD at home. I being someone who needs total silence in a theater to get my money’s worth should clue you into how bad this was. This movie seemed like it was sabotaged from the start as soon as Andrzej Bartkowiak sat down in the director’s chair. Who? You say? Andrzej is the fine man who brought such garbage to the screen as Exit Wounds, Doom, Romeo Must Die, and of course, Cradle 2 the Grave. As far as the cast, well, We got Rose in there (I guess). Also a poor attempt at Vega, an awful try at Gen. Charlie was there, apparently they couldn’t get Keanu Reeves so they settled for Chris Klein. We had Bison, for some reason was attempted by Nazi looking Neal McDonough. Of course we had Chun-Li, at least she was easy on the eyes, about the only good thing I can say for the movie being centered around here. And last we have, and I’ve left him for last because he was the only great thing about the movie, Michael Clarke Duncan as Balrog. Michael Clarke Duncan is great in about everything he does, and this surprisingly is no exception. If this had been a Balrog movie it may have been enjoyable, but alas, it was not. About the only good thing I can say about this movie (besides Michael Clarke Duncan) is the fact that it’s over, I don’t have to see it again, I’ve now filled my Street Fighter fan criteria….and it was in fact better than the last Street Fighter film failure.

About the only reason I could recommend seeing either of these movies is if your a Street Fighter superfan and need to see them, however if you do dare risk viewing these, be prepared not to enjoy yourself.

Get Street Fighter from Amazon HERE

Get Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li from Amazon HERE

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