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Hi guys! I’m Andrew Parker, Film and Performing Arts Editor for Dork Shelf, and you can catch me defending Steven Seagal at TIFF Versus starting on November 11th against Calum Marsh and his defense of Jean-Claude Van Damme. Really, the true defense (and the better movies) begin with my defense of Above the Law on November 15th. But seriously come out to the opening night when I’ll still be victorious no matter what movie is showing?
Why Seagal over a worldwide treasure like Van Damme, you might ask? I don’t want to give away too much for free and because I think viewers are going to have a blast at the screenings watching the two of us go at it. I will say that to a great degree, Seagal’s films are a lot more genuine, a lot less forced, and even though you wouldn’t necessarily think so, a lot more original. I find it hard to believe that someone could love Van Damme’s films so strenuously and not have the same respect for what Seagal did during the same era. Also, three out of four of the Van Damme films screening are decidedly bad. (Where’s Timecop? Where’s Sudden Death?)
Also, and perhaps most importantly, I believe that film criticism should be fun and something everyone can get excited by, and I think many of Van Damme’s critical defenders are coming from a place of ironic detachment and not from a critical perspective.
Want to know more? Ask away. Or better yet, come on out to the critical throwdown.