Thursday, May 4, 2017

Thursday Movie Picks: Clones/Doppelgänger


There's a crackpot theory out there that somewhere out there, every person has a doppelgänger, a perfect match that looks just like them. There is also the idea that human cloning is not only a possibility, but an inevitable and not so far off probability. There has been a time or two when I imagined running into mine. All I'll say about him is that's one handsome dude.

My rambling can only mean one thing. It's time for Thursday Movie Picks hosted by Wanderer at Wandering Through the Shelves. The topic, if you haven't guessed is clones and doppelgängers. Typically, this is a subject explored in science fiction and/or horror. But hey, I'm a martial arts kinda guy in a martial arts kinda mood. When I get this way, it doesn't even have to be good martial arts. Oops, did I let that slip? What I meant was these represent the pinnacle of the genre. No I didn't.


The Clones of Bruce Lee
(1980)
After Bruce Lee's death in 1973, a strange and shameless sub-genre emerged within the world of martial arts movies known as Bruceploitation. These were films that used Lee's name in the title and/or had other actors impersonate him. Some titles include Bruce Lee Fights Back From Beyond the Grave, Enter Another Dragon, and Dragon Lee vs. The Five Brothers. This one...yeah...this one...sigh. It's set in the immediate aftermath of Bruce dying. A doctor from a secret government agency takes some of the master's brain tissue to create three clones. They are very creatively named Bruce Lee 1 (Dragon Lee), Bruce Lee 2 (Bruce Le), and Bruce Lee 3 (Bruce Lai). If you were paying attention you might have noticed how uncreatively named the actual actors are. Just never mind the fact that only one of them even vaguely looks like the real deal. I shouldn't say that. The other two look just like him if you squint hard and use your imagination. Oh well, at least this movie does have the incomparable Bolo Yeung. He stars as the guy responsible for training our three Lees. After that they are put to work taking down drug smugglers and the like. One of them has henchmen that were injected with some sort of serum to turn them into steel. No, seriously. Hmm, I wonder if that doctor has any ulterior motives.


Double Impact
(1991)
I may be cheating a bit with this one because they aren't doppelgängers in the truest sense of the word, but oh well. Chad and Alex (Jean-Claude Van Damme) are twins who were separated as kids when their parents were gunned down in front of them. Fast forward 25 years and they have been reunited and want to avenge their parents' death. Sounds like a plan except they don't really get along too hot. That means we're getting some Van Damme on Van Damme action! Truthfully, I'm not really a fan of The Muscles From Brussels, but I have lots of fun with this one. It's not really a "good" film, but it is highly entertaining. For my money, it easily cracks his top five, for whatever that's worth.


The One
(2001)
Remember when I talked about theories? Try this one on for size. There is not just one universe, there are many. In each of them resides a different version of you. Now imagine that if your were to somehow travel to one of these other universes and kill its universe's version of you, you would absorb their strength. If you managed to kill all of the other versions of yourself you would become an all-powerful being. That's the premise behind The One. In short, we get to watch one Jet Li try to kill all the other versions of himself and take over everything while another version of Jet Li tries to stop him. Unlike the other two movies in this post, this one is legitimately good, and certainly more of a sci-fi flick, though Li kicks plenty of ass. So yeah, watch this one.



22 comments:

  1. I love that Katy and Zooey are in your banner, some lady actually argued with me on an airplane when our in flight movie was "Yes Man" because she thought that was Katy Perry and wouldn't believe me when I told her it wasn't.

    I've only see The One, the other two look fun.

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    1. Can't really blame the lady. I have trouble telling them apart, myself. Double Impact is fun. The Clones of Bruce Lee is fun, too, but in a special kind of way.

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  2. DOUBLE IMPACT!!! YES!!! I almost went with Replicant this week because of the clone angle, but Double Impact is definitely more fun. Basically, I am HERE for any van Damme-on-van Damme action! I've seen neither of the others, but have heard of The One, which sounds completely ridiculous in the best possible way.

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    1. The One is ridiculous in exactly that way.

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  3. Ah yes, Katy Perry and Zooey Deschanel do kind of look each other.... well until recently. Double Impact.... FUCK YEAH!!! The One is alright as I do like Jet Li. I have never seen nor am I interested in seeing The Clones of Bruce Lee. Anything made after Bruce's death w/o his involvement is a no.

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    1. Yeah, I wouldn't suggest watching The Clones of Bruce Lee unless you just want something nutty.

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  4. Don't feel like you cheated by selecting Double Impact. I actually used two Bette Davis movies in which she plays a pair of twins, one trying to take the other's identity.

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    1. Thanks, I saw that. I need to watch those.

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  5. I've only seen Double Impact and yes within the whisper thin margins of Van Damme movies it is one of the better ones.

    Even a non martial arts movie fan like myself couldn't miss that Bruce Lee infused subgenre when it was flourishing shortly after his death. They were just crankin' out like sausages. I saw one of them, can't remember which, and it was so ghastly-SURPRISE! SURPRISE!-that I never bothered with another.

    This week present a bit of a challenge but ended up being fun when I realized I could hope genres-drama, comedy and war films to mix it up some.

    The Devil’s Double (2011)-During Saddam Hussein’s iron fisted reign in Bagdad Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper), a lieutenant in the Iraqi army, is called to the palace and told that because of his resemblance to Hussein’s depraved son Uday (also Cooper) he is commanded to be his body double or his family will be exterminated. Having no choice but sickened by the corruption, inhumanity and evil he witnesses he searches for a way to escape and save his family at the same time. This is Cooper’s movie all the way and he’s just great but it’s a hard film to watch.

    Dave (1993)-Dave Kovic (Kevin Kline) is an affable Midwesterner, running a temp agency and making appearances at small events due to his resemblance to the current US president, Bill Mitchell (also Kline). The Secret Service takes note of the similarity whisking Dave off to the capitol as a stand-in for Mitchell at an event. While there an emergency arises, Bill Mitchell has suffered a devastating stroke and his power mad aide Bob Alexander (Frank Langella-oozing slime) and press secretary Alan (Kevin Dunn) talk Dave into assuming his place theoretically for the good of the country. Actually Alexander is seeking to usurp the political reins until he can figure out how to take full control. At first the subterfuge is known only by the two and a dutiful Secret Service agent Duane Stevenson (Ving Rhames) but as Dave starts to rebel against their treachery and display his very different personality First Lady Ellen Mitchell (Signourney Weaver) begins to suspect. There’s plenty more machinations in store all delightfully directed by Ivan Reitman and put over by exactly the right performer in each role. Thoroughly beguiling comedy with a perfect cast.

    I Was Monty’s Double (1958)-A retelling of the true event where an enlisted man, M. E. Clifton James (who plays himself) was chosen to imitate Field Marshal Montgomery--the leader of the British forces during WWII. The plan (Operation Copperhead) was to have Monty’s double go on a tour of North Africa around the same time as the Normandy invasion in Northern France--so that the Germans would assume the assault would come later than actually planned and from the South. The film is about the formation and execution of the ultra-top secret plan but while it treats the subject seriously it leavens the situation with a much needed humorous undertone aided by a terrific British cast including John Mills and Cecil Parker.

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    1. The Devil's Double didn't work for me. Cooper was great, but I found the story severely lacking. I also found it highly repetitive. My review explains it better.

      http://dellonmovies.blogspot.com/2013/09/the-devils-double.html

      Haven't seen your other two. At some point I had planned on watching Dave years ago and never got around to it. Forgot about it after a while. Haven't heard of that last one.

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    2. Watch Dave, it's such an ultimately sweet-natured movie with a phenomenal cast. It will make you long for a first couple like Kevin Kline & Sigourney Weaver...especially considering the piece of garbage and his Euro-trash mail order bride that sadly reside there now. Plus it's old enough and well enough cast that even the smaller roles are full of now famous faces, for instance Laura Linney has a tiny but key role as one of the secretaries in the Oval Office!

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    3. Garbage and Euro-trash. Sad, but true. Sigh.

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  6. I actually knew there's 7 of each of us which means we each have 6 doppelgangers. And I guess the ladies on your banner kinda proves that. Anyway, I haven't seen any of your picks but they seem fun.

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    1. I can believe it. There's another meme out there that adds several more ladies to the ones in my banner. It's downright bizarre how much they all look alike.

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  7. Holy shit, I love all of this.

    As a kid, too many times to mention I would rent/watch something thinking I was getting the real Bruce Lee only to end up with something starring Bruce Lei. Or Jackie Chen. The amount of knock off bullshit out there (in the martial arts world) is epic. That said, now, as an old gunslinger myself, I'd be down to watch all of these cheapass films.

    How many times has JCVD pulled the twin bit? I know I've seen Double Impact, but I swear there's at least another one or two of these out there. Like, the bad one has a scar, or something? Anyway, if you want to laugh, or roll the Hell out of your eyes, look no further than some insane Van-Damage. Shiiiiiiit.

    The One is good? I have the trailer on my desk at school (like, the film reel) and so I often have to explain the premise of that movie. I remember it being shitty...(surfer Jet Li?), but maybe I was just being a dick that day. Might have to revisit it.

    GREAT post.

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    1. It's just weird how they just started slapping his name on all sorts of crap after he died.

      I know there was Replicant and Timecop, both of which saw him playing multiple versions of himself. So, 3 by my count.

      Take good as code for I liked it and don't give a damn what everyone else thinks.

      Thanks.

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  8. Not seen any of these but was interested The One even though I'm not a huge martial arts fan.

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    1. It's an interesting movie. I recommend it.

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  9. I like that banner of those 3 gals. I think of Amy Adams and Isla Fisher. I like Bruce Lee but I pass on all the films that capitalize on who he was. I am not into the Muscles from Brussels but the last film sounds really good and I think Jet Li is excellent from the few films I saw him in.

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    1. Thanks. Nice call on Adams and Fisher. Fair stance on Bruceploitation. The Jet Li flick is a fun one.

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  10. Oh my god Double Impact! Yes! What's better than JCVD? TWO JCVD's.

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