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Entries in Luc Besson (14)

Thursday
Aug032017

Five Lessons Learned from Valerian 

By Spencer Coile 

Although Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is not particularly good (see Dan's review), it is at least somewhat fascinating. Luc Besson's world-building is admirable if bloated, and there is definitely a lot of thought behind the action. It would be easy to detail all of the film's shortcomings but instead, let's talk takeaways.

Five Notes on Valerian

01. Laureline really knows Valerian's name
You could turn the number of times Laureline says Valerian's name in one scene into a very dangerous drinking game. In every line she utters she repeats his name in case we've forgotten it or the film's title. The film's title was initially Valerian and Laureline and was later changed to Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. It's not enough that the demoted Laureline must say Valerian's name constantly, but must bombard us with his importance, too...

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Wednesday
Aug022017

Valerian in the shadow of The Fifth Element

by Dancin' Dan

Luc Besson's comic adaptation Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a mess. But so was his magnum opus The Fifth Element, and that Bruce Willis-starrer went on to become something of a modern-day sci-fi classic. Only time will tell if Valerian will go on to a similarly charmed afterlife, but for my money it suffers under the weight of expectations.

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Friday
Jul212017

Celebrating "The Fifth Element"

by Seán McGovern

Occasionally I receive a text message from my mother that The Fifth Element is on television. Why she feels the need to tell me, I'm never quite sure. Possibly because my adoration for the film is palpable, or because she like many critics at the time believes that it "may or may not be the worst movie ever made." But The Fifth Element does not need to be defended. It can only be celebreated. As Valerian launches from the imagination of Luc Besson into cinemas everywhere, now is the perfect time to celebrate France's greatest foray into a very American genre: the intergalactic sci-fi action movie.

There's a blonde Bruce Willis, Leeloo Dallas Multipass and of course - Ruby Rhod - all after the jump...

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Thursday
Nov102016

First Look at Luc Besson's "Valerian".

Chris here. With the events of this week, some cheesy intergalactic journey doesn't sound too bad if it means we get to escape our planet for a little while. Here for a quick distraction is next year's scifi saga from Luc Besson Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:

Some quick thoughts:

  • I can't quite decide if these visuals are exciting or ugly/boring. It's certainly energized, but still nothing we haven't seen before.
  • Dane DeHaan is a strong young talent, but action movie material? Curious casting. But my goodness was he sultry in Kill Your Darlings, so maybe at best he won't be bland here.
  • Speaking of casting, this romantic pairing is a bit icky considering they look like they could be siblings.
  • This will come around the 20th anniversary of Besson's The Fifth Element. I'm not a fan, but Valerian might be a fun way to celebrate Element's milestone for the fanbase, especially as this appears to be chasing its vibe.
  • ... but I do miss the Besson that gave us Leon: The Professional and La Femme Nikita.

Valerian opens on July 21. Thoughts?

Wednesday
Aug132014

Podcast: Boyhood & Lucy

The gangs back together! It's a Joe, Nick, Katey & Nathaniel reunion. We rarely get all four of us together anymore but this week we're discussing Luc Besson's Lucy and Richard Linklater's Boyhood, and, super briefly: tree frogs, forever bangs, green lantern, Interior Leather Bar and Guardians of the Galaxy.

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments. We'll continue this particular conversation again tomorrow. We just kept talking (not about these two movies) so there's a bit more to come.

Lucy & Boyhood

Wednesday
Jul302014

Why I'm Not Seeing "Lucy"

"Lucy" will be discussed soon on the podcast but at least one member of Scarjo-loving TFE refuses to see it. Here's Matthew Eng to tell you why. - Editor


I don't care if Lucy is every bit the gloriously silly and shamelessly outré action fireworks show that gung-ho summer audiences have made into a "surprise hit." I care even less that Luc Besson has managed to curb his own gonzo cheese-fest tendencies to a running time of less than 90 minutes, compared to the ceaselessly spinning tops and chiseled self-mythologizing of every Christopher Nolan movie post-Insomnia. And, though it's been tempting, I finally don't care that Besson and Co. have seemingly put the newly-rejuvenated Scarlett Johansson (so good in Under the Skin; so great in Don Jon) on a pedestal of full-out Film Goddess proportions, in a genre where movies in which women are front and center and not merely killjoy bystanders or fatal love objects is an all too well-known rarity.

That last fact has been my greatest lure towards shilling out for Lucy (aka Scarlett), but I refuse to believe that we should have to tolerate, much less applaud, any old action movie, no matter how dire the prospects, because some Hollywood bigwig has had the amazing insight to put a more-than-deserving actress at the forefront. I, too, was giddy about Angelina Jolie snatching Salt right out of Tom Cruise's hands, until I actually sat down and watched the thing, only to realize what a sorry, secondhand vehicle Jolie was actually driving. If you really want to watch a fully-realized femme figure take names and kick ass with the full support (and smarts) of the filmmakers behind her, then by all means rent/stream/buy the Alien series or the Kill Bills or the Terminators, or, for something less familiar, take a gander at Kathryn Bigelow's exquisite Strange Days, in which a bravura Angela Bassett is every bit the strong and stalwart action heroine she needs to be, while also, you know, playing a recognizable human being.

But what finally set aside any and all chances of me seeing Lucy was this image, ℅ of Rena Meownegishi, who found it and translated. [more ...]

 

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