JCVD (Blu-ray)

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Description

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.

Product Details

Barcode
5060018490335
Department
Movies & TV
Released
2 Feb 2009
Type
Movies
Format
Blu-ray
Genre
Foreign Language
Region
Region B
Language
English
Secondary Languages
French
Extras
  • Interactive Menus
  • Scene Access
Runtime
96 min
Age Restriction
15
Supply Source
UK

Movie

Title
JCVD
Release Year
2008
Running Time
96 min
Language
English
Categories
Comedies / Action / Actors / Crime / Heists / Satire / Theatrical Release
US Box Office
$382.0 million
Official Website
http://www.jcvd-lefilm.com/
Ratings
IMDb
7.1
Rotten Tomatoes®
84%
Metacritic
64
Synopsis
In JCVD, a French- and English-language film from savvily tenebrous director Mabrouk El Mechri, Jean-Claude Van Damme is Jean-Claude Van Damme. Losing his roles to Steven Seagal and a custody battle over his young daughter, the international action hero is struggling to maintain relevancy on levels both professional and personal. But when Jean-Claude walks into a bank to withdraw his attorney fees and is suddenly in the thick of a heist, is the haggard superstar orchestrating the stickup? Or is he simply a hostage, as trapped by fame as he is by criminals, who happens to know a couple of take-down moves?

Don't be fooled by its action-ready premise; JCVD isn't quite the latest kickboxing carousal from the Muscles from Brussels. It's something even better: a sad, seriocomic meta-movie that may recall BEING JOHN MALKOVICH or one of Charlie Kaufman's many other ontological curios in the minds of some viewers. But, while both JCVD and MALKOVICH examine the strangeness of celebrity through the lens of absurdist self-referential filmmaking, and both films choose a fascinating, quasi-alienating aesthetic of vibrantly muddy mid-tones, JCVD dresses its dankness in glaringly blown-out lighting effects that acknowledge a topsy-turvy world in which artifice sits just upon reality. It also assumes the opposition of its Kaufman counterpart by being the one to look at fame from within (which is ironic, since it isn't the one that features people entering an actor's head and peeping though his eyes). Buzzily hilarious, JCVD is a personal, deeply felt film. Van Damme's delivery of a Fellini-esque soliloquy about the angst of fame could've resulted in the action star coming across as a crybaby. Instead, the speech, in which he breaks the fourth wall and expresses his ironic frustrations, is revelatory and heartbreaking.
Poster
Poster for JCVD
Cast & Crew
Director
Mabrouk El Mechri
Star
Jean-Claude Van Damme / Karim Belkhadra / Francois Damiens / Zinedine Soualem / Jean-Francois Wolff
Screenwriter
Frédéric Bénudis / Sidonie Dumas
Composer
Gast Waltzing
Producer
Sidonie Dumas
Director of Photography
Pierre-Yves Bastard
Movie Critics
Box Office
3 stars out of 5 -- "Taking true embarrassing events from Van Damme's life and putting a silly spin on them makes for a great ride of action, comedy and mistaken identity."
Marco Cerritos (1 Dec 2008, p.36)
Empire
4 stars out of 5 -- "[A]n immensely watchable postmodern thriller....A strangely compelling collision of BEING JOHN MALKOVICH and DOG DAY AFTERNOON."
David Hughes (1 Mar 2009, )
Entertainment Weekly
"Sympathetic director Mabrouk El Mechri creates a marvelous netherworld of ambiguous scenarios, and Van Damme rises to the challenge -- of acting -- like the real pro he is." -- Grade: A-
Lisa Schwarzbaum (14 Nov 2008, p.55)
Film Comment
"[T]hrough his unrelenting dissection of Van Damme, El Mechri adds real poetry and feeling to the mix."
Evan Davis (1 Nov 2008, p.70)
Los Angeles Times
"[Jean-Claude Van Damme] is reborn, playing a role he has never previously essayed: himself, or at least a fictional facsimile thereof."
Sam Adams (14 Nov 2008, )
New York Times
"[JCVD] aims for a knowing, cerebral mood, allowing its hero moments of moody contemplation, during which he reflects on the strange, lonely life of middle-aged, globally known martial artist."
A. O. Scott (7 Nov 2008, )
Total Film
3 stars out of 5 -- "[A] treatise on celebrity, a confessional for its star. It aims playful cuffs at his waning physicality, his dwindling career, and one remarkable seven-minute take even sees Van Damme address the camera to direct roundhouse kicks at his chequered past."
Jamie Graham (1 Mar 2009, )
USA Today
3 stars out of 5 -- "JCVD is a much better and more thoughtful film than anything he has been in before. Director Mabrouk El Mechri reveals the muscular superstar in a way we've never seen him" achingly human, self-deprecating, funny and even a bit weak."
Claudia Puig (7 Nov 2008, )