Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Most Anticipated Films Of 2011: Gabe's #7

Okay, stay with me here.

In interviews and public appearances, Van Damme is a changed man. He is no longer the young, flexible braggart. A career falling from grace, followed by a brush with the arthouse in "JCVD" has revitalized him.

In "JCVD," he played a humble version of himself, a disgraced martial artist who feels that he probably deserves every indignity piled onto him. He is broke, ravaged by years of drug use, and his self-esteem is at an all-time low, especially as he loses a role to Steven Seagal. The scene in the film that grabs everyone, however, is when Van Damme breaks the fourth wall, the set visibly rotating around him as he turns to the camera, breaking down crying as he talks about all the ways he failed to live up to his potential and threw his life away with fast cars, drugs and women.

It was the most honest moment in Van Damme's career, and its clear he knew it. In the last few years, his efforts have involved him in more of a dramatic capacity, as his extensive martial arts skills have taken a backseat to this new skill at emoting. And from the information released, it appears that has carried over to his directorial debut. Originally titled "Full Love," this actioner, currently being re-edited from an unwieldy (or brilliant?) three hour length concerns a taxi driver in Asia who falls for a fare just as she's kidnapped by criminals. The film played the puzzled audiences in Cannes, and reports are the film in extremely experimental, ending with a "2001"-like montage concerning life and death. I have to say, I am ready for JCVD to get experimental. This could be awesome.

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