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Van Damage!
Jean-Claude Van Damme on DVD

The "Muscles from Brussels", Jean-Claude Van Damme, was born Jean-Claude Van Varenburg in Brussels, Belgium on October 18, 1960. Growing up, he was a tiny, skinny, bespectacled kid, who took up karate, kickboxing and ballet at the age of 10. By the time he was 18, he owned his own gym, was crowned bodybuilding's Mr. Belgium, and had a coveted spot with the acclaimed Paris Ballet. All that mattered little to Van Damme -- his heart and head were in Hollywood, so that's where he headed. After selling his gym, he and a friend took off for the golden highways and byways of America, dedicated to the dream of one day making it big as an actor. But getting there wasn't easy. Van Damme took odd jobs as a pizza delivery guy, a carpet installer, and a waiter (he even modeled underwear -- not all at the same time, of course).

The Muscles from Brussels: Jean-Claude Van Damme
Eventually, Van Damme happened into his famed meeting with the president of Cannon Films, Menahem Golan. As the legend goes, Van Damme spotted Golan sitting in a lush Beverly Hills restaurant on a sunny afternoon, and, summoning all the cockiness he had in him, he proceeded to nail a 360 degree kick. Golan was so impressed, that he handed Van Damme his card on the spot, and gave him the lead role in Bloodsport. The next thing you now, the world of cinema was blessed by a 5' 8'' ball of ego, and a small cannon of modern classics like Black Eagle, Double Impact, and of course, Legionnaire.

No success story would be complete without rumor and hard times. Van Damme lost the title role in the film Predator, because he didn't like the way the costume felt. He has had some problems with certain addictions, for which he's checked himself into clinics. It's been rumored he has had a temper in his domestic life, and he that has a problem "acting" during fight scenes (he reportedly gets a little too "into the moment", the most famous incident being an eye-gouging on the set of Cyborg). But Van Damme hasn't let these things get him down. Love is truly his savior: Van Damme has been married five times (twice to the same woman -- Gladys Portugues -- most recently in June), and he is the loving and dedicated father of three.

Jean-Claude, we at The Digital Bits salute you. As an actor, you've filled the shelves of many a DVD fan like no other, with a whopping 15 titles to your name (not including your cameo in Last Action Hero). Of course, of your major films, four are not available currently: No Retreat, No Surrender, Blood Sport, Death Warrant and Double Impact. We can only hope this is a studio oversight, and that these wonderful films will find their way onto DVD sometime in the near future. It's up to the fans, after all, to make known their passion for one of Europe's greatest gifts to Hollywood filmmaking.

Fans of DVD rejoice, for we are reviewing all of the Jean-Claude Van Damme films currently available on DVD. He has a wide selection of genre work, including sci-fi martial arts, comic book martial arts, inner-city martial arts and desert martial arts. But no matter what kind of martial arts, JCVD has dedicated himself 100% to entertaining us, the fans of cinema -- and the fans of DVD. So enjoy our look at the work of Jean-Claude Van Damme, the Muscles from Brussels!



Van Damme films available on DVD

Click on the link to read the reviews.

Legionnaire: Millennium Series
Knock Off
Double Team
Maximum Risk
The Quest
Sudden Death
Street Fighter: Collector's Edition
Timecop
Hard Target
Nowhere to Run
Universal Soldier
Universal Soldier: The Return
Lionheart
Kickboxer
Cyborg
Black Eagle


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