For a few years a running gag between my brother and I involved a special kind of shorthand. Its editorial power was such that just a certain short sentence was all I had to say to sum up my feelings regarding a movie.
One beautifully sunny summer day in 1991 an acquaintance came by my apartment and asked me if I wanted to see a new movie release with him:
"Double Impact, Van Damme's new movie, is playing at the Cumberland (theatre)."
I said yes. My tastes are and were broad. It would also be a chance for us to hookup one last time since he was to leave Toronto the next day for a new job. Even though you would not know it by looking at him at the time, Mark was into the martial arts. His interest in the new picture made sense.
As we exited the movie theatre I told Mark that I enjoyed Double Impact. In fact, I found it to be a profoundly enriching and fun movie. (Yes, it had quite the impact.)
Jean-Claude Van Damme's then latest cinematic effort became a marker, a bar of platinum, if you like, whenever my brother and I would discuss a movie and our respective opinions came to the fore. My preferred comment might be a thoughtful: "It's good, but it's no Double Impact."
(My brother might laugh and editorialize: "Come on, man, that movie's s**t.")
First posted as "It's Good But It's No...." on August 12, 2018.