So here I am again with an "I'm sorry" for being absent for so long. No real reason other than I had become really busy with both work and in my personal life. Plus, I think my heart was just not in it. I still watch an insane amount of films on a daily basis, but just never had the urge to sit down and right anything about them. What I found myself doing more often than not was posting a quick blurb on my Facebook page to get a dialogue or a good conversation going on a title I just saw. Sometimes I find it fun to just go back and forth with other filmgeeks since all our opinions vary so much rather than post my thoughts on something in the hopes that someone comments. So I encourage you to friend me on Facebook so that you can be a part of this because I will admit, the majority of my friends do not share the same passion as I do for film, save for Ingo Holtorf (Hellford667 Movie Reviews), Jack Thursby (Collected Cinema) or Martin (A Hero Never Dies). I'd love to have more of you on there with me and getting some good conversations going.
But anyway! I think I will be posting more reviews and thoughts soon. Some maybe be long and some may be extremely short. I more than likely won't be following the format I had started with and might just stick with the "Quick Shot" format in an effort to get then out a lot faster. So bare with me! And if you would like to friend me on Facebook, email me or leave me a comment and I'll point you in the right direction.
So for shits and giggles, here's a trailer for J.C.V.D.'s Lionheart (1990)
I hadn't seen this since it first came out and was surprised at how much I liked it when I saw it again a few weeks back.
I have to admit, this was pretty solid from every angle and one I would consider one of his better films from the J.C.V.D. Golden Age. I had always thought this wouldn't have been up to par with some of his better films, I don't know why, just judging by the cover I guess? I know I saw it in the theaters (of course!!), but I never tried very hard to catch it again and when I finally did a few weeks back thanks to a Van Damme kick I'm currently experiencing at the moment, I found it extremely entertaining. Now don't get me wrong, it's not a game changer or anything, but that didn't bother me. Van Damme is in top form, though his dialogue is extremely limited in this (on purpose I'm sure), you can actually understand what he's saying. And director Sheldon Lettich handles the visuals and action nice. He's always been a hit or miss director for me, but Lionheart is definitely one of his best efforts behind the camera. Of course it's all slow-mo fight scenes. I have yet to see Van Damme go full on real time action. Maybe I'm just forgetting a few films or scenes, but I can't ever remember him just going at it in a balls-to-the-walls fight. Everything always seems to be slow and choreographed and then made worse by the extreme use of slow-motion. But that's just me. If I'm wrong, please feel free to correct me.
You can call the story cheesy, which it is, but alas I found it rather quite enjoyable. Much more than another one of his films that came out the same year; Death Warrant. I'll get into that one later. I'm not hatin' on Death Warrant! Just didn't find it as good as this one. But here everything just seemed to fall in place nicely. The many fight scenes, the supporting cast (Brion Thompson!), and the fast moving plot never allows the viewer to get bored. And Van Damme himself is just a badass in this.
It's shocking to think that it's been almost 25 years now since he was going toe to toe with Seagal at the box office. I mean, the guy was even throwing out as many as 2 films a year at this point, and all theatrical releases! The Golden Age man, I miss the fuck out of it.
Caught this a few months back when I was on a Van Damme movie binge. It's very rough around the edges but still quite fun. A step down from Bloodsport and Kickboxer but not as bad as The Quest or Nowhere to Run.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean about his fight scenes feeling slow and overly choreographed but it kind of suits his style.
You know, I still haven't gotten to Bloodsport or Kickboxer yet. And I'm gonna blow your mind a bit, but I actually like Nowhere to Run. Ha ha! I'm not sure exactly what it is, I think it's mainly the director, Robert Harmon (The Hitcher). I like how he shot it, I thought it was really well made. And though it's slow, there's just something about it that kept me interested. Not a lot of fighting of course, but just entertaining enough.Delete
Nice write-up. Lionheart is a decent Van Damme. Not as good as Bloodsport or Death Warrant. Agree with Jack that Nowhere To Run is weak.ReplyDelete
Oh man, I must be in the minority with Nowhere to Run. lol. I don't know why I like that one so much! I do, however, need to see Bloodsport and Kickboxer soon. I remember nothing about them. I recently saw Death Warrant though. I liked it quite a bit, but just seemed to have more fun with Lionheart for some reason.Delete
Welcome back man! Things have been dull without your reviews!ReplyDelete
Ha! Thanks Mitch! :)Delete
Quick general question to everybody. What would you consider to be Van Damme's best films from the early part of his career before the DTV era?ReplyDelete
For me, it's Timecop, followed by Kickboxer and Bloodsport.ReplyDelete
Just saw Timecop as well, really good, well made and also by Peter Hyams. Man, I need to check out Bloodsport and Kickboxer. lol. Those seem to be everyone's favorites. Thanks!!ReplyDelete