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Benoit Poelvoorde is now the biggest film star in Europe

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Benoit Poelvoorde is now the biggest film star in Europe

Old 11-20-07, 11:11 AM
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Benoit Poelvoorde is now the biggest film star in Europe

Belgian comedian Benoît Poelvoorde - made famous by his first film Man Bites Dog / C'est arrivé près de chez vous (1992, Criterion Collection) - is now the biggest box office star in Europe.

He has three major films coming out in the next three months alone, none of which will probably be seen in America or even be available in Region 1 DVD - if the past is any indication:

The first one, opening tomorrow, is called Le Deux Mondes and is about an ordinary guy who leads a double life in a parallel universe:

Here are two teasers and a trailer:

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<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WMtwN54xDYc&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WMtwN54xDYc&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/5foj3nVJwG8&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/5foj3nVJwG8&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

The second one, premiering in December 2007, is Cowboy, a reprise of the satire of the medias from Man Bites Dog (including a few pointed barbs at Michael Moore, apparently):

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/KUFC4p4X9Vw&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/KUFC4p4X9Vw&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

(many more excerpts on youtube)

And, finally, Poelvoorde is Brutus, Caesar's sworn enemy, in the latest installment of the Astérix séries, Astérix aux Jeux Olympiques, coming out in January 2008. Here he is discussing the turtle formation:

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Sorry, no subtitles. I'm sure they would include them if they thought anyone in North America would be interested.

Last edited by baracine; 11-20-07 at 03:36 PM.
Old 11-20-07, 01:27 PM
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While I couldn't understand most of what was said, I get the gist of those scenes. He seems funny.
Old 11-20-07, 02:22 PM
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Actually, he's not, I've seen many of his French comedies, and I just don't understand why he's considered funny. He's the most annoying French actor...

Last edited by toddly6666; 11-20-07 at 02:26 PM.
Old 11-20-07, 02:28 PM
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I also think Jerry Lewis was funny, so....
Old 11-20-07, 03:18 PM
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Benoît Poelvoorde became very well known in 1992 right after his first film, a ferocious media satire, which he co-wrote and co-directed, C'est arrivé près de chez vous (1992) won two prizes at the Cannes Film Festival. (I included that film in my list of all-time "films ahead of their time" - http://forum.dvdtalk.com/showpost.ph...&postcount=144 .) He had already created a character which can only be described as "supremely annoying" - as only supreme intelligence can be.

Right after his triumph, he was interviewed by an uppity Belgian TV host who berated him publicly for publicly berating the Belgian state TV. Poelvoorde's ability to hold his own in the most dire circumstances won him the undying love of the whole country. Excerpt from that 1992 interview here:

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His later public persona included the ability to make fun of overanalysing, overintellectual interviewers like this one who asks him whether his latest film "fictionalizes the documentary form of documentarizes the fictional form":

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/kcQon6zHFBc&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/kcQon6zHFBc&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

... as well as the ability to be supremely annoying for no particular reason:

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/btYfcW6ItM8&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/btYfcW6ItM8&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>


... or to simply be himself (promoting Le Boulet on a late-night show, with co-star Gérard Lanvin, while trying to ingest day-old sushi):

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/_8ZHcMb8EcU&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/_8ZHcMb8EcU&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

Last edited by baracine; 11-20-07 at 04:33 PM.
Old 11-20-07, 09:18 PM
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No, I'm pretty sure Mr. Bean is. Either him or that guy from Die Hard.
Old 11-20-07, 10:14 PM
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So this is the guy that James Lipton always quotes at the end of his show with a questionnaire of when interviewing actors?
Old 11-20-07, 10:29 PM
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Who is the biggest film star in North America? That's right I don't care.
Old 11-21-07, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Joe Molotov
No, I'm pretty sure Mr. Bean is. Either him or that guy from Die Hard.
For what it's worth, unlike Mr. Bean or Bruce Willis, who was nominated four times as Worst Actor at the Razzie Awards (and won twice), Poelvoorde has gathered quite a few Best Actor, Best Director and Best Screenplay awards and nominations through his long career: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0688143/awards .
Old 11-21-07, 07:44 AM
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Poelvoorde is better at playing serious or as an a-hole, but he's pretty annoying when he does his comedies...
Old 11-21-07, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666
Poelvoorde is better at playing serious or as an a-hole, but he's pretty annoying when he does his comedies...
So you don't like Poelvoorde the comedian. You prefer him in more serious roles. We get it.

Maybe you would appreciate Poelvoorde the porno actor:

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/FWc3iMTZ1ak&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/FWc3iMTZ1ak&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

Last edited by baracine; 11-21-07 at 05:03 PM.
Old 11-21-07, 09:58 AM
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BARACINE,
I just want to remind you that I don't like him and I don't like his comedies.


And that was nasty!
Old 11-21-07, 10:08 AM
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Haha! A Sharon Stone joke. Wait, what?

So baracine, Poelvoorde would receive a bigger reception than Tom Hanks across all of Europe? Note the all, that is, not just Francophone countries.
Old 11-21-07, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by FantasticVSDoom
So this is the guy that James Lipton always quotes at the end of his show with a questionnaire of when interviewing actors?
You're confusing Benoît Poelvoorde with Marcel Proust, French novelist (1872-1922).
Old 11-21-07, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
Haha! A Sharon Stone joke. Wait, what?
Benoît (what a lovely name!) actually says: "Well, what did you expect for 15 bucks? Sharon Stone?" (It's a DVD extra on one of his films.)

So baracine, Poelvoorde would receive a bigger reception than Tom Hanks across all of Europe? Note the all, that is, not just Francophone countries.
All I'm saying is the guy is now putting out one film a month and they're all extremely successful, whether or not he is understood in Japan, Italy, Germany or the United States. And that is more money than anyone else in Europe.
Old 11-21-07, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by baracine
All I'm saying is the guy is now putting out one film a month
So he's more of a Jude Law ca. 2004 or Tommy Lee Jones ca. 1992-1994.
Old 11-21-07, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by The Bus
So he's more of a Jude Law ca. 2004 or Tommy Lee Jones ca. 1992-1994.
Or like a Charlie Chaplin 1918-1924.
Old 11-21-07, 03:50 PM
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definitely not Chaplin...more on the lines of Pauly Shore, Jim Varney, Stephen Baldwin, Norm MacDonald....
Old 11-21-07, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666
definitely not Chaplin...more on the lines of Pauly Shore, Jim Varney, Stephen Baldwin, Norm MacDonald....
I must defer to your superior knowledge of the question as I haven't followed any of their careers.
Old 11-21-07, 08:39 PM
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FWIW, Man Bites Dog is one of my favorite films ever. If he has found great success, kudos to him.
Old 11-21-07, 09:20 PM
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Baracine, have you even seen any of his comedies?
Old 11-21-07, 09:50 PM
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Shouldn't this be in the International forum? You know...where nobody will see it?
Old 11-22-07, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666
Baracine, have you even seen any of his comedies?
I have seen what is available in Region 1: Man Bites Dog (1992, Criterion Collection) and Le Boulet (2002, in a fullscreen/open matte-only, French-only version, http://www.amazon.com/Le-Boulet-Orig...734279&sr=1-1), both highly recommended. I'd certainly like to see more.

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/M1DrtAP0z_4&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/M1DrtAP0z_4&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/WPReSiR8aAc&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/WPReSiR8aAc&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

A lot of his TV work (Les Carnets de Monsieur Manatane) is also available on youtube.

Last edited by baracine; 11-22-07 at 08:19 AM.
Old 11-22-07, 08:58 AM
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Baracine, you liked The Bullet? That's one of his annoying films. If you really like it, you should seek out the French PAL English subtitled/Anamorphic version of it - it's got great video/audio quality. It had a good ferris wheel scene and good ninja scenes at the end, but that's about it. And the movie shamefully underuses Djimon Hounsou.
I would only recommend it to people who like B-movie action movies.

If you do have a multi-region player, I highly recommend my favorite movie with him -Atomik Circus - where he plays an asshole villain to the T. You can buy the only English-subtitled, anamorphic video, DD 5.1 French as a Thai Pal DVD at http://www.ethaicd.com/show.php?pid=19519 for about 8 bucks including shipping. It's a great sci-fi horror wacky Sam Raimi/Peter Jackson-influenced flick with surprisingly amazing special effects. It's great!
Check out the trailer here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DFc0Oga3Q8
Old 11-22-07, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by toddly6666
Baracine, you liked The Bullet?
The International Title (whatever that means since it never played in the US) is Dead Weight. "Boulet" is the French word for "ball and chain" or "millstone around your neck" when talking about an annoying person.

That's one of his annoying films.
It's not only the title of the film, it's also the film's subject. The question is not whether the Poelvoorde character is annoying in that film - that's a given - but whether Poelvoorde plays an annoying character convincingly.

If you really like it, you should seek out the French PAL English subtitled/Anamorphic version of it - it's got great video/audio quality. It had a good ferris wheel scene and good ninja scenes at the end, but that's about it. And the movie shamefully underuses Djimon Hounsou.
It's called a cameo.

I would only recommend it to people who like B-movie action movies.

If you do have a multi-region player, I highly recommend my favorite movie with him -Atomik Circus - where he plays an asshole villain to the T. You can buy the only English-subtitled, anamorphic video, DD 5.1 French as a Thai Pal DVD at http://www.ethaicd.com/show.php?pid=19519 for about 8 bucks including shipping. It's a great sci-fi horror wacky Sam Raimi/Peter Jackson-influenced flick with surprisingly amazing special effects. It's great!
Check out the trailer here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DFc0Oga3Q8
I am exclusively Region 1. I don't think I could stand watching this kind of action at 25 frames per second. I started this thread in part to generate interest in bringing more of his films to Region 1.

That's too bad because Atomik Circus (2004) looks fantastic:

<object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/3DFc0Oga3Q8&rel=1"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/3DFc0Oga3Q8&rel=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

Last edited by baracine; 11-22-07 at 01:52 PM.

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