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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Luc Besson (10)

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.

Wednesday
Jun052013

Yes, No, Maybe So? "Malavita"... Which is Now "The Family"

It's not every month, hell, it's not every year when we get the trailer to a new Michelle Pfeiffer movie so naturally we have to talk about Malavita again. Or, I guess, The Family as it's been rechristened before release. It's always a pity when a movie ditches a really specific title for one that could work for thousands of movies and thus stakes no claim on personality whatsoever.

Perhaps the trailer itself has personality. Let's watch and discuss.

[watches]

Okay. Only watch that if you're the kind of person who doesn't care about spoilers. IF you are this kind of person i envy you because the movie studios don't care about them either - they love shovin' them into trailers. I get the sense you're basically seeing the whole movie here.  But we gotta break it down anyway as we do because...

LA PFEIFFER IS BACK

YES

  • Michelle Pfeiffer saying "merci"
  • This might be funny. It's kinda tough to tell in the trailer because so much of comedy depends on good editing and trailers never have a sense of that since they're cutting entirely different scenes and dialogue together for their specific 2 minute effect
  • The return of Michelle Pfeiffer's Married to the Mob accent "we're not in Brooklyn anymore"
  • Michelle Pfeiffer driving that car with those sunglasses
  • Tommy Lee Jones has been on a real roll lately. Does this end the party or continue it?
  • and Michelle Pfeiffer as fire starter. Bring it bitch. 

NO

  • After Silver Linings Playbook, I'd like to believe that Robert DeNiro is back to acting rather than cashing in but a mob comedy is probably not the place to believe that.
  • Whenever trailers show this much of the wink-wink laughs and action, I worry about "those are all the best parts" and there's a lot of ways in which this might be super offensive (xenophobia, "hurting people is hilarious!" immaturity and so on) rather than funny. 

MAYBE SO

 

  • Luc Besson, in the director's seat, isn't totally reliable.
  • The casting of the kids looks great visually but Dianna Agron coasts a lot on her looks and when you're playing Pfeiffer's daughter... well, she better take it up a notch. Pfeiffer never did that and good lord she could have coasted for decades with the ones she got.
  • Also: Can you believe my restraint that I only used one photo of Pfeiffer to illustrate this?

Here's the trailer if you don't mind spoilers.

Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So?

Sunday
Apr282013

Scarlett Stays Super

...superhuman that is.

It appears that after her third stint as The Black Widow for Captain America: Winter Soldier (it's not just a cameo), Scarlett Johansson isn't ready to part with the super-powered set just yet.  

She'll be starring in Lucy as a woman who gains superpowers after being a mule for an experimental serum. It's a new project for director Luc Besson (who seems to be aiming for a big comeback after a quiet decade starting with Malavita this fall). This latest deal suggests she's content to stay in franchise mode for awhile longer still despite surely being one of the richest young actresses in the world what with so many spokesperson deals and big budget thesping already behind her at only 29 years of age. The size that nest egg must be by now (!) but maybe that's purposeful and her interests lie outside of acting like, say, Angelina Jolie. And since Angelina seems to have vacated the A List Action Heroine niche, someone's gotta fill it. 

But for those of us who fell in love with dreamy Scarlett early on it's kind of shocking in retrospect that Action would prove to be her genre of choice. That languorous Ghost Worldly Girl With the Pearl Earring Got Lost in Translation somewhere; how does that girl have all this energy to run around kicking ass? Wouldn't she rather sleep and pout and stare forlornly off into the distance? Doesn't it make you even more curious about the upcoming sci-fi but not that kind of sci-fi drama Under the SkinScarjo doesn't seem to have sizeable artistic ambitions -- or she's storing them up secretly for her 30s (she's still only 28!) -- so why did she opt to work with the very artful Birth director Jonathan Glazer inbetween all the green screens?

Time will tell... and hopefully reveal that movie. Still no release date for Under the Skin and hasn't it been in post for ages? At this point it's been almost a decade since Glazer trained his hypnotic camera on Kidman in catatonic grief crisis mode at the opera.

#ticktockticktock

Saturday
Oct062012

"Malavita" Before Cameras... All Kinds

Malavita, the new Pfeiffer film we've mentioned a couple of times, is starting its PR trek. The plot concept:

Malavita is the story of the Manzonis, a notorious mafia family who gets relocated to Normandy, France under the witness protection program. While they do their best to fit in, old habits die hard and they soon find themselves handling things the “family” way.

The cast has now gone before the lens, not just movie cameras, of multiple kinds. Like...

Photo Ops They aren't wasting any time announcing themselves since the cast including Tommy Lee Jones, Robert DeNiro, and Michelle Pfeiffer are already posing for cameras. This image is from the new Paris Match. The stars gathered for the opening of their director Luc Besson's Cite du Cinema which is the largest studio ever built in France and is hoping to attract more big productions.

Pity that La Pfeiffer is hidden in the fold!

More Malavita photos after the jump...

Click to read more ...