The Silver Emulsion Podcast: Ep. 104 – Bloodsport

This week on the Silver Emulsion Podcast, Stephen and I check in with one of the greatest films of all-time: Newt Arnold’s BAD ASS Bloodsport! Listen and enjoy! 🙂

Watch Bloodsport along with us on Blu-ray (with TimeCop), DVD, iTunes or Amazon Prime!

Also: the show is on iTunes! So if you feel like subscribing there, or rating/reviewing the show, feel free to share your thoughts!

Music Notes

Intro:

  • Paul Hertzog – Kumite

Outro:

  • Paul Hertzog – Flashback / Martial Science / Father And Son / Training / Tree And Sword

If you’ve got feedback, throw it into the comments below or email it to me via the contact page! We’ll include it in a future show!

The podcast is embedded directly below this, or you can go directly to Podbean (or use their app) to listen. If you want to subscribe, paste http://silveremulsion.podbean.com/feed/ into whatever reader you’re using.

Timecop (1994)

timecopStarring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Mia Sara, Ron Silver, Bruce McGill, Gloria Reuben, Scott Bellis, Jason Schombing, Scott Lawrence, Kenneth Welsh, Brent Woolsey, Brad Loree

Directed by Peter Hyams

Expectations: JCVD is always a good time.

On the general scale:
twohalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threehalfstar


If I could go back in time and tell my young self one thing, it would be to re-watch Timecop. I remember seeing Timecop when it was first released to VHS, and being very disappointed with it. I can’t remember why, but I know that my expectations were through the roof at the time. It’s a movie called Timecop for Christ’s sake, even then I was powerless against something so instantly enticing. But now after re-watching it, I don’t know what movie I watched back then, because I clearly should have loved this movie. It’s easily one of Van Damme’s best films, and while I won’t argue that it’s a great movie, it is definitely a great, stupid action movie.

That last sentence is a great example of how much my mindset has changed on films, and perhaps when I first saw it at around age 13, I had begun to lose the eyes of a child and had started to expect more from movies. It took me a while, but over the last couple of years while running this website, I have successfully regained my ability to just sit back and have a good time. I also think I disliked Timecop initially because of my undying love for Bloodsport. I don’t know how much I’ve talked about it here on Silver Emulsion, but I love Bloodsport more than most movies. If I were to make a Top 10 Favorite Films list, it’d definitely make the cut and be near the top, as there are few films I find as solidly entertaining as Bloodsport. I remember looking forward to each subsequent Van Damme release, hoping that one of them would reach the heights of Bloodsport. None ever did, although some, like Kickboxer, Hard Target, or Lionheart, satisfied me enough to make the grade as “awesome JCVD films.” So really I think it came down to me once again looking for another Bloodsport-quality experience and not finding it here. But enough about the me of nearly 20 years ago.

Continue reading Timecop (1994) →

The Expendables 2 (2012)

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Scott Adkins, Nan Yu, Amanda Ooms, Charisma Carpenter, Nikolette Noel

Directed by Simon West

Expectations: Pretty high. JCVD, man!


You want some action? WELL THEN WE HAVE SOME INCREDIBLE, JAW DROPPING, EXPLOSIVE, MEN WITH MUSCLES ACTION FOR YOU! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! BOOM! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! BOOM! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! BOOM! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! KABOOM!

This approximates the opening scene of The Expendables 2, and for my money it was worth the price of admission. I had to restrain myself from literally leaping up and making the most primal noise my thin, feeble frame could muster. Nevermind that we later get Arnold, JCVD, Bruce Willis and Chuck Norris showing up in varying degrees, this immediately explosive opening is something to be reckoned with. While it played out, I imagined writing a four-star review for the film and how I’d buy it on Blu-ray and watch it any time I felt less than a man. So when the dust finally settled (the scene is quite long and full of cascading “Oh shit!” moments), I was disappointed to find that it would be a long time until the next legitimate action scene, and that nothing in the film would live up to its opening. But that’s OK, because even if the opening completely blows the film’s wad, the rest of the film is quite entertaining.

Continue reading The Expendables 2 (2012) →

Stephen reviews: The Expendables 2 (2012)

Starring Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Chuck Norris, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Terry Crews, Randy Couture, Liam Hemsworth, Scott Adkins, Nan Yu, Amanda Ooms, Charisma Carpenter, Nikolette Noel

Directed by Simon West


Expendables was a huge riot of nonstop action without much purpose beyond reveling in its own masculinity. So the only thing you can do with the sequel is make it bigger, badder, and bolder. That’s just what Expendables 2 tries to do, but it’s honestly hard to top the intensity of the first one. It does manage to succeed at this lofty goal, but by how much? Well, not a whole lot. Expendables 2 is a better movie, but your opinion of the first one will probably be the same the second time around.

One major improvement I do have to mention is the FX. The first film had some of the ugliest CG to ever ruin a bloody killing spree. Thankfully, those ridiculous looking exploding bodies, that laughable man on fire, and the worst, to me at least, that wince inducing scene where Stallone stabbed a dude in the neck were not used this time around. I apologize for dredging up bad memories, but I want you to realize just how much easier it is to watch the film because of the improved FX work. I spent the first film waiting for the next terrible CG effect to pop up, but in this film I forgot to think about the FX after the first ten minutes. That alone makes this movie superior to the original.

Continue reading Stephen reviews: The Expendables 2 (2012) →

Uncle Jasper reviews: Hard Target (1993)

Starring Jean Claude Van-Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butler, Wilford Brimley, Kasi Lemmons, Arnold Vosloo, Willie C. Carpenter

Directed by John Woo


To the seasoned viewer of early 90s action films there are only two things wrong with Hard Target. One, there are like twenty dudes trying to kill Van Damme at any given moment and Al Leong is not one of them. Two, the painfully obvious musical selection “Born on the Bayou”, which could have made any scene in this film infinitely more awesome, is not played until the end credits. Despite these two obvious flaws, the movie was a pleasant experience to return to since I had last viewed it over 15 years ago.

Hard Target is forever cemented in history as the film that brought John Woo to Hollywood. Language barriers as well as unfamiliarity with the Hollywood system were obvious concerns. The brass over at Universal Pictures were apparently shitting themselves so badly over letting John Woo take the reins of this film that they hired producer Sam Raimi to babysit the production. Woo was working in horrendously stifling conditions, being given only two months to shoot the film, and was relentlessly hounded by studio execs to go easy on the violence, which ironically is the very reason he became such a desired Hollywood import in the first place.

Continue reading Uncle Jasper reviews: Hard Target (1993) →

Black Eagle (1988)

Starring Sho Kosugi, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Doran Clark, Bruce French, Vladimir Skomarovsky, William Bassett, Kane Kosugi, Shane Kosugi, Dorota Puzio, Jan Tríska, Gene Davis, Alfred Mallia

Directed by Eric Karson

Expectations: Sho Kosugi. JCVD. I heard it’s bad, but I gotta see it!

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Hot off the heels of the amazing Bloodsport, Jean-Claude Van Damme landed the main villain role in this Sho Kosugi vehicle, and regardless of whatever flaws the film has, it definitely delivers on the schoolyard playground promise of “Sho vs. JCVD!” They face off a few times throughout the film, with two major battles occurring during the closing half hour. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself, but Black Eagle is the type of movie that doesn’t lend itself much to beating around the bush.

Basically a low-budget version of the James Bond film Thunderball (but with better underwater sequences… fuck Thunderball‘s torturous underwater filmmaking), Black Eagle sees Sho Kosugi as the title character: a covert CIA operative capable of fucking up any evildoers holiday plans. An experimental plane went down off the coast of Malta and even though it’s Sho’s scheduled family vacation time, they force him to do the job. How does the U.S. government do that exactly? By picking up his kids and flying them directly into harm’s way in Malta, and then using their presence there to force him into a position where he has no choice but to agree, that’s how! Stand up guys those CIA suits. Of course, he’s not the only one looking for the plane, and this is where JCVD and all the requisite Russian baddies come from. It’s the Cold War as told through a mediocre James Bond rip-off starring two of the screen’s favorite Western martial arts stars.

Continue reading Black Eagle (1988) →

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