Jonathan checks out a book strong in Van Dammage


Jean-Claude Van Damme : A Career in Kicking Ass

“Jean-Claude Van Damme: A Career in Kicking Ass” by Nathan Shepka, a big fan of the Belgium Brawler, Jean-Claude Van Damme, has just hit Amazon’s Kindle. With Van Damme’s recent resurgence in popularity due to his explosive role in the summer action hit, “The Expendables 2”, he’s had many of his movies given the Blu-ray treatment which has introduced his movies to a whole new generation and re-introduced them to many that have had to watch subpar versions on the television for years.

Shepka’s book is a fine companion piece to these movies, with anecdotal references, humorous bits, and a witty review style that is energetic and engaging, while giving the reader a snapshot into the time at which each movie came out. He doesn’t hold punches, as he discusses the good, the bad and the ugly of Van Damme movies, but his passion and enthusiasm as a fan is always present and he’s able to find something positive in even the worst films. Often, it’s actually Van Damme’s performance that is the highlight amidst the carnage of a script gone horribly wrong and Shepka astutely points this out.

The synopsis of the book as shown on Amazon reads:

Jean Claude Van Damme: actor, martial artist and to a legion of loyal fans, an icon. The man who brought his on screen high kicking antics to the West and built a career on low budget fighting tournament movies, followed by a stint as a Hollywood A-lister in the 90’s before the changing face of cinema and drug addiction problems got in his way. But after years making direct to video movies, he has become a more recognized face once again and has received recent acclaim for his acting performances in J.C.V.D. and The Expendables 2.

“Jean Claude Van Damme: A Career in Kicking Ass” chronicles his filmography from his first movie through to his most recent, this is Van Damme as you’ve never seen him before, providing the perfect accompaniment to any action aficionado or moviegoer looking to delve into the Belgian bruiser’s back catalogue and explore the highs and lows of his decades of experience in the business. Welcome to the journey from fresh faced young heartthrob to brooding older avenger and proof that The Muscles from Brussels is not just a silly nickname, but a man striving to become something more than the stereotype the media has created.

If you are a fan of The Muscles from Brussels, an action fan in general, or someone that enjoys a tongue-in-cheek analysis of an actor’s career through the high points and low points, the evolution from b-lister (“No Retreat, No Surrender”) to cult classic (“Bloodsport”), to DTV purgatory, to near thespian status (“J.C.V.D.”) and returning to big screen glory (“The Expendables 2”), then you will enjoy the insight, pacing, and humor of Nathan Shepka’s “Jean Claude Van Damme: A Career in Kicking Ass.”

Order the book here.