Dueling Van Damme Remakes: Bloodsport & Kickboxer

bloodsport When it rains remakes, it pours. It looks two different studios have been watching Jean-Claude Van Damme’s filmography with an eye towards making some new cash.

Variety reported yesterday that Relativity’s looking to bring 1988’s Bloodsport back to the big screen, this time with V For Vendetta director James McTeigue at the helm. The new version, which was written by Robert Mark Kamen (Taken, The Transporter), is said to “explore the life of 21st century mercenaries as they collide with the underground world of Brazilian Vale Tudo fighting.”

With McTeigue on board, the remake — which previously had Salt‘s Philp Noyce in the director’s chair — he’s going to work closely with Craig Rosenberg (After The Sunset) on a rewrite more in line with his vision. No casting announcements have been announced yet.

kickboxerMeanwhile, Deadline posted a story that same day about Radar Pictures’ interest in revisiting the world of 1989’s Kickboxer. Hong Kong director Stephen Fung (Gen X Cops, Tai Chi Zero) has signed on to direct the project which is being written by Jim McGrath and Dimitri Logothetis.

Casting is currently underway. The original Kickboxer found Van Damme learning Muay Tai to avenge his brother. It’s currently unknown whether that same fighting style will be the focus of the remake or not, butere’s hoping Tony Jaa’s somewhere in the running!

Halloween Scene: The Raven (2012)

the raven poster I don’t remember hearing many good things about The Raven. I also don’t remember hearing any particularly negative things, but that’s not really a great sign either, is it? But, being a big fan of Edgar Allen Poe’s in high school and loving John Cusack from movies like High Fidelity and Grosse Pointe Blank so when I saw The Raven pop up on Netflix Instant, I figured I’d give it a watch anyway. And, you know what? I liked it!

Now, it’s important to frame this movie in a particular way to really enjoy it. First, this is not a biopic. The less you know about Poe the better. I knew very little, so that worked out for me. I also liked thinking of Cuasack as doing a bit of a Nic Cage impression while doing his scenes because he’s got an over-the-top quality that might encapsulate Poe pretty well, I’m not really sure.

So, here’s the plot. Edgar Allen Poe is asked by the Baltimore police to help them solve a rash of murders that take some of their cues from Poe’s stories. He’s towards the end of his career and having some real writers block, so he’s kind of a washed up has-been at this point, but after convincing the cops he’s not the killer himself, he gets involved in trying to not only find the killer but also his girlfriend played by Alice Eve who the killer kidnapped.

I’ve got to say, I was a little surprised at how gruesome some of the kills were, especially the one based around The Pit And The Pendulum. I guess I don’t expect that much from big-ish budget Hollywood movies like that, but it was kind of cool to see. The movie isn’t exactly soaked in blood, but it’s there. More so, it depends on the psychological thrills and craziness, especially in the films final moments which were pretty intense.

At it’s heart, The Raven is a fairly simple whodunit mixed with cat-and-mouse but framed in a fairly interesting locale and wrapped in the familiar tropes of Poe. I think if you’re a fan of those kinds of films and you go into this movie with a fairly open mind — or at least few preconceptions — you’ll have a good time with this one.