It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with his inventive adventure The Fifth Element, and now he's back at at again with this adaptation of the popular comics by Pierre Cristin and Jean-Claude Mezieres. The film is a blast of visual animation, with a wildly over-complicated story involving time and space. It's all rather messy, but there's plenty of comedy and adventure to hold the interest, plus some offbeat romance and a hint of present-day politics.
It's set in the 28th century, when the human-created mega-city Alpha has travelled across the universe and is now home to beings from a thousand worlds. Valerian (Dane DeHaan) is a security officer working with his bickering partner Laureline (Cara Delevingne) to retrieve illegal contraband. After a mission on a desert planet with parallel dimension issues, they return to Alpha with haunting information about a lost civilisation, which seems to be at the centre of a secret war Alpha's Commander (Clive Owen) is waging. Amid a complex power struggle, Valerian and Laureline head into a no-go sector of Alpha to find out what's going on, getting help from a chatty pimp (Ethan Hawke), a submarine pirate (Alain Chabat) and a shape-shifting pole-dancer (Rihanna).
Besson fills the nearly two and a half hour running time with outlandishly colourful effects, lively action and lots of verbal banter, but not so much character development. Only Valerian and Laureline emerge as fully formed people, even as they conform rather oddly to gender expectations that are old fashioned today, let alone 700 years in the future. So their tetchy romance is enjoyable but rather aimless. Meanwhile, Rihanna has some strong moments once she stops dancing and changing costumes like she's in a music video. And Sam Spruell and Kris Wu make a solid double act as Alpha officials trying to work out what's going on.
Continue reading: Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Review
For Luc Besson's latest foray into the sci-fi stratosphere, he has decided to bring the popular graphic novel 'Valérian and Laureline' to life in a screen adaptation; Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne have been cast in the lead roles of Valerian and Laureline respectively.
A remix of The Beatles' much loved track 'Because' from their 1969 classic album 'Abbey Road' can be heard sound tracking the trailer.
Set thousands of years in the future, Valérian and Laureline journey far and wide around the universe at the behest of the government in charge of the human territories. Their mission is to keep the peace and make sure order is continually maintained. Valérian can't help but be enamoured by Laureline obvious beauty and strong mentality but she is hesitant toward his advances and tries to keep their relationship as professional as can be.
Colin (Romain Duris) is a rich inventor living in fantasy Paris who has focused his career on advancing his latest machine, the pianocktail; a piano that can also make cocktails for the thirsty instrumentalist. But his sights are soon turned away when he discovers that his best friend Chick is in love with a woman called Alise. Aggrieved by the thought of a life of loneliness, he decides to embark on a romantic adventure himself when he meets the quirky Chloe (Audrey Tautou) at a party. Initially a little awkward, Colin and Chloe fall dazzlingly in love. However, their happiness is soon compromised when Chloe falls deathly ill with a rare disease whereby a waterlily is growing inside her lung. Her only cure is to be surrounded by fresh flowers, but the question is, just how long can Colin keep up the treatment?
Originally entitled 'L'écume des jours', 'Mood Indigo' is a French fantasy romance based on the 1947 cult novel 'Froth on the Daydream' by Boris Vian. The movie has been directed by Academy Award winner Michel Gondry ('Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind', 'The Science of Sleep') and co-written by Luc Bossi ('The Prey', 'L'empire des loups'). It won a Cesar Award at the 2014 ceremony where it was nominated for a further two awards, and it was also nominated for four prizes at the Lumiere Awards. 'Mood Indigo' is due for UK cinematic release on August 1st 2014.
Sid, Manny and Diego are doing a good job so far of surviving the Ice Age but now a new danger is threatening to finish them off - continental drift. The three heroes are now living on a small iceberg in the middle of the ocean and they are determined to find the rest of the herd, while trying to work out how it all happened. Unbeknownst to them, the cause of the problem leads back to Scrat and yet another attempt at rescuing his precious nut.
Continue: Ice Age 4: Continental Drift Trailer
After scoring so perfectly with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and its follow-up, Dave Chappelle's Block Party, it was maybe inevitable that Gondry was going to slip up, and this film is that slip-up. Firstly, it's hard to shake the feeling that the scraps of story that leak out around the visuals are not much more than leftover ideas from Eternal Sunshine, further notes on the fantastic. As Stephane, the neurotic star of his own dream-TV show, Stephane TV, Gael García Bernal uses that slightly blank charisma of his to singular effect. Though Gondry takes awhile to lay his cards down on this character, leaving audiences not entirely sure whether to view Stephane as an innocent dreamer or immature creep, it's hard not to warm to Bernal's enthusiasm -- even he did put it to better use in The King.
Continue reading: The Science Of Sleep Review
This picture, starring the radiant and naked-most-of-the-time Victoria Abril (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and High Heels), is a schizophrenic tour of Loli's (Abril) life. Her philandering husband Laurent (Alain Chabat) walks all over her. The kids are a constant effort. And when Marijo (Josiane Balasko, who co-wrote and directed as well), a butchest-of-the-butch lesbian, shows up owing to car trouble, a sudden bond of friendship is formed. When Laurent's dalliances finally go too far, Loli finds comfort in the arms...and the bed...and even the bathtub of Marijo.
Continue reading: French Twist Review
Castella (Jean-Pierre Bacri) and his wife have to attend a local stage production of Bérénice, in which their daughter plays a small part. They don't care for the theatre and can't understand the verse, but, to Castella's own surprise, he finds himself unusually moved by a leading actress Clara. The charming point here is that Clara isn't a young aspiring theatrical diva but an aging, harried, and often unemployed actress from a small provincial theatre. Castella, however, doesn't see her that way: For him, she brings into his dispassionate routine the whiff of a free-spirited life including cozy, drunken late-night talks and vibrant gallery gatherings. Through happenstance, Castella's new business arrangement requires him to learn English, and Clara (Anne Alvaro) becomes his teacher.
Continue reading: The Taste Of Others Review
Romantic frustration is the common thread that ties together a piquant assembly of interconnected but quite divergent lives in "The Taste of Others," a deft, distinctive and personal multi-character dramedy from France.
Nominated for nine César Awards and this year's Best Foreign Film Oscar, this simple yet manifold film was co-written and directed by a César favorite, actress-screenwriter Agnés Jaoui, who also plays a pivotal role in the film as a bartender at the pub where all the film's stories converge.
Although it is a balanced and equally penetrating ensemble piece, if "The Taste of Others" has a primary character, it would be Castella (Jean-Pierre Barci, Jaoui's husband), an irritable middle-aged businessman in the manufacturing trade whose business negotiations with an Iranian company have forced several changes into his static life. His insurance company has insisted he hire a bodyguard and he's reluctantly agreed to take English lessons so he can more effectively communicate with his international partners.
Continue reading: The Taste Of Others Review
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