Thursday, September 23, 2004

Jean Claude, Mary Kate and Ashley

In 1987 at the age of one, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were featured in an ABC television show called Full House. The show was a big hit with drunks and derelicts who mistakenly thought it was a show about poker.

In an amazing coincidence, Full House was a replacement for a failed show called Royal Flush, about a plumber who becomes Queen of England.

Royal Flush was a big hit with drunks and derelicts who mistakenly thought it was a show about three single guys trying to raise three girls.

Through careful management and brilliant business decisions, Mary-Kate and Ashley slowly became a powerhouse brand name.

Today it is impossible to run into a mall without seeing their photos EVERYWHERE. They have everything from video games to a full line of clothing.

Yet, clearly their MOST successful venture has been home video. Aisle after aisle at Best Buy is devoted to the twin’s films.

Another big shot in the world of home video is Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Van Dammes story is quite different. Once an international box office superstar, Jean-Claude has since been relegated to the video store due to an amazing series of missteps.

In 1998 Van Damme was featured in an exciting, but thoroughly bizarre film called Knock Off. Knock Off did not electrify the box office, and was another nail in the cinematic coffin of Van Damme. After Knock Off, Van Damme quickly rushed out a sequel to his biggest hit, Universal Soldier.

The Universal Soldier sequel was not a hit. Soon the action section of your local video store was being FLOODED with straight-to-video Van Damme flicks.

He played a cop whose wife was murdered, an inmate whose wife was murdered and at one point a Chinese Rabbi who meets a female murderer who marries him, only to wind up murdered- BY HERSELF. Yes, the golden age of Van Damme was over.

One of these films was Replicant. In Replicant he played a serial killer who was cloned, so his clone could help catch him. Think about that hard enough and you might go blind in one eye.

It is with Replicant that we fully see the synergy between Van Damme and Mary-Kate and Ashley. Van Damme was basically starring in a straight to video film about two people that LOOK ALIKE. One could only assume that Mary Kate and Ashley turned it down, BEFORE Van Damme signed on.

Oddly, Van Damme has starred in THREE films playing two look-alikes.

The other two were:
Maximum Risk (1996)
Van Damme plays a policeman who takes his twin brother's place and inherits his problems and a beautiful girlfriend. Most of the problems are solved by kicking people.


Double Impact (1991)
Jean Claude Van Damme plays Alex and Chad, twins separated at the death of their parents. Chad is raised in Paris, Alex in Hong Kong. They then get together and kick people.

Surprisingly, he does NOT play twins in his 1997 film Double Team. Equally surprising, Mary-Kate and Ashley have never made a movie CALLED 'Double Team!'

Maybe I should suggest it! The only question left is:

Do I call them on my Mary-Kate and Ashley phone? Or, write to them on my Mary Kate and Ashley stationary?

Hmmm... The stationary. It's cuter.

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