JCVD  [DVD]
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2008 crime comedy starring Jean-Claude Van Damme. Unlike most of his other films, this is not an all-action thriller but instead an opportunity for Van Damme to play a meatier role. The role he plays is himself, but in a kind of parallel universe. Unable to find work in Hollywood, broke and involved in a custody battle for his daughter, the eponymous JCVD returns to his native Belgium, where he still enjoys hero status. Once there he finds himself caught up in the middle of a hostage drama and acting out a different sort of role to the ones he is used to playing in films.
A DARING HEIST. A MAN ON THE EDGE - JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME IS BACK!
Washed-up, fighting bankruptcy and caught in the midst of a desperate struggle to win his daughter back from the jaws of a bitter custody battle, Van Damme unwittingly becomes embroiled in a dangerous bank robbery led by a gang of armed and violent criminals.
Trapped inside, Van Damme is framed for the robbery and the murder of innocent hostages. Now he must win the approval of the crowd as well as the trust of the police if he is to survive this deadly heist!
With a killer mix of action, murder, mayhem and no shortage of laughs JCVD delivers with the impact of a roundhouse kick to the face! Van Damme is back and this time he’s taking no prisoners!
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Top Customer Reviews
To begin, I am a big Van Damme fan. I know its not all that clever to admit that, but I have followed him since I was a young teen becoming enchanted by his dynamic action movies that always seemed to combine high octane balletics with a real desire to make something different within the genre (hence his insistence on bringing hong kong directors to the US) - granted, some of his movies have been less than favourable (Derailed, The Order, Second In Command, etc) but he has still delivered solid genre flicks in the form of Hard Target, In Hell and AWOL. However, after seeing this - the new film ''JCVD'', his industry perception as a one note action star may well be turned on its head...
The story has JC playing himself. He's a down on his luck, over the hill action movie star with money problems, an agent who cannot get him a decent gig and a public child custody battle which isn't going in his favour. Retreating to his home of Brussels, he is embroiled in a post office robbery where he is held hostage by a gang of crooks who are at first astounded by him, then cannily plan how his name can help them with their scheme.Read more ›
Probably touching the bottom of his life and careers, Van Damme abandoned any resistance and decided to stage his own drama through a very particular kind of film, where he plays himself in a sort of fictional situation that looks a lot like a drama therapy. JCVD is full of dark irony, sarcasm, bitterness and reveal the deep and existential personality and spirit of this neglected actor and man, who finally finds the strenght to put himself back on his feet.
An excellent screenwriting where you can't tell when it's real life dialogue and when it's just script, a dense directing style, with a dark photography, a good action/thrilling approach, a certain knwoledge of dramatic visual language and an intimate touch, plus a fantastic long monologue (all in one long shot and camera dolly) by Van Damme himself, where he proves some unexpected acting qualities and a unique courage in talking about himself and his misery, with a great dramatic intensity.
A film that, while talking about a star fall and redemption, that basically happens before our eyes, while it is staging it, takes this story to talk about contemporary unstable and meaningless hysteria, where everyone becomes famous for few minutes, even a falling star who is suddenly remembered by people who never even watched his film, and whose drama is to believe that this will last for a while.
Fortunately, this film helped him live a second life: without it, we would have never seen the now superpopular Volvo epic split
It amazes me, as im watching JCVD how good an actor he really is. His facial expressions transmit so well his emotions without any dialogue. The film, superbly shot and paced is what van damme has needed for so many years instead of the quick buck, straight to dvd, action films, that put action before acting.
The film is shot with a soft focus for the majority of it. Some clever angles, and very good french actors. Nice comedy scenes, and seriousness in other scenes. It's a nice telling of a situation drama with Van Damme's trademark flash kicks, coming into play in certain scenes, although it must be said, it is drama before action but the balance is about right. Blu-ray is nice and clear in some scenes, but grainy in others, but something you will overlook quite easily while watching.
If you want only the best Van Damme films to have on Blu-ray, then this should definitely be in that list. Yes it's probably 90% french, but there are subtitles, and this film is such a mesmorising and justified praise to Jean Claude that you will overlook this without even realising.
The extra features add value to the film. There is an extended interview with Jean Claude Van Damme wherein he returns to Brussels and revisits childhood haunts; through the interview he gives intriguing insights into why a slightly paranoid and low on self esteem Jean Claude made the movie as well as reflecting on previous films and his personal life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best, if not THE BEST indeed, Van Damme's movie, the JCVD blu ray it has one huge issue: the cover print. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jianu Mircea
purchased this jcvd dvd only to discover when going to play the disc with film //////// missing /// one disc in case showing how film was being made ////most disappointed .. Read morePublished 9 months ago by donald mackay
ruined by subtitles. impossible to watch and read at the same timePublished 17 months ago by graham priestman
JCVD is a very clever made movie, I love Van Damme, I have most of his movies.
Ths movie is different to his other movies though. Read more
As a fan of JCVD movies this was just not one of the better ones it had potential to be excellent with a story that should have kept the viewer interested but unfortunately... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mark