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Elle. Basically the same movie as The Piano Teacher but sillier. Huppert is great, but when is she not? -Jonathan

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Entries in Luc Besson (11)

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 ...]

 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr022014

Thoughts I Had... While Watching The "Lucy" Trailer

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Maria Full of Grace if it had been a Luc Besson picture bankrolled by a major studio

That part with the eyeball is cool but I don't understand how increased brain capacity allows you to make your eyes change color and your hair grow super fast and change colors? These are brain functions of which I was not yet aware.

Wednesday
Mar262014

The Temple of Link

Vulture Pharrell on his Oscar loss and Frozen's "Let it Go"
Cinema Blend super depressing think piece about Chris Evans planned retirement after Captain America and why our franchise culture kills an actor's passion
Empire Madonna is not done directing. Next up: Ade: A Love Story based on the novel by Alice Walker's daughter

Guardian wonders when we'll start seeing gay parents in family films from Disney
Variety True Detective will compete in drama rather than in miniseries at the Emmys. Interesting move, right? I still think the Emmys need to start making rulings on this sort of thing just so there's consistency, rather than letting the shows decide. 
The Wire FWIW this is the article that seems to make the most sense as to why HBO is doing that
Film School Rejects Plans for Prometheus 2 move forward. Rumors of multiple Michael Fassbender sound perfect to me. Fill the screen with him.
Salon on Wes Anderson and the art of Twee "It's not easy being twee"
What Culture on 18 screenplays every aspiring writer should read. Some interesting choices / points but it's VERY man's man oriented. Obviously written by a guy who doesn't get into female protagonist cinema because I don't know how you make a screenplay list and don't include All About Eve
St Paul Lutheran Church Get this. Oft employed character actor James Rebhorn (Homeland, The Talented Mr Ripley, Far From Heaven) wrote his own obituary before he died. It's beautiful

From CinemaCon in Vegas
i09 sees and loves footage from Luc Besson's "insane" Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule turned superpowered killer. They liken it to Kick Ass which is unfortunately for me a superpowered deterrent.
In Contention on Angelina Jolie's Unbroken preview - I haven't drawn up my "april foolish" predictions yet but I think I'm probably less bullish on this one than most. I keep thinking Seabiscuit. Not that that film wasn't an Oscar hit but that type of inspirational power of human (or animal) spirit isn't as easy of an Oscar sell as it once was, I'd wager. 

P.S. And in case you haven't heard Jonathan Groff (Looking, Frozen) and Lucy Liu will announce the Tony Award nom this year on April 29th.

P.P.S. I'm not going to link to any of the many articles about the possible reboot of the Indiana Jones franchise (a.k.a. Indiana Jones 5 or 6)  because the only way to end reboot culture and get some actual NEW material up in here is for the media and the public to start ignoring these creatively bankrupt cash-ins that desperately want to keep giving us things we've already had.

What happened to youthful rebellion, I ask? Why do kids today want to see watered down versions of their parents favorite heroes instead of getting their own? Katniss aside, it's ALL their parents heroes over and over again.