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Cara Delevingne Admits To Directing Ambitions


Cara Delevingne Luc Besson

As she prepares for her latest cinematic outing, the long-awaited sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, actress and model Cara Delevingne has spoken about her ambitions to be a director in the future and how Luc Besson has sparked inspiration within her.

Luc Besson with Cara Delevingne at CinemaCon 2017Luc Besson with Cara Delevingne at CinemaCon 2017

The British actress, 24, was speaking at CinemaCon in Las Vegas alongside the movie’s director, Luc Besson, and admitted that her experience of playing Laureline, opposite main star Dane DeHaan’s titular character of Valerian, plus the experience of being on-set with Leon and Nikita director Besson, had inspired her to get behind the camera herself.

Continue reading: Cara Delevingne Admits To Directing Ambitions

Reviews: Scarlett Johansson Saves Luc Besson's Messy "Lucy"


Scarlett Johansson Luc Besson

Let’s talk about Lucy. Luc Besson’s latest sci-fi/action/horror/mess has so far been described as anything from unscientific to outlandish to downright laughable. So far critics have decried the plot, interspersed with gratuitous stock footage of hunting cheetahs (no, really) as a “frantic exercise in pseudoscience and goofball metaphysics” (The Chicago Reader). Still, even its worst critics admit that Lucy has its strong points – Scarlett Johansson’s performance being the strongest. Based mostly on her acting, The Telegraph's review goes as far as to call Lucy "the blockbuster of the summer."

Scarlett Johansson
If nothing else, Lucy is worth seeing for Scarlett Johansson alone.

According to Den of Geek’s Ryan Lambie, Johansson is “the magnet which holds Besson’s bonkers storyline together. The genre elements may scratch up against one another or sometimes collapse entirely, but Johansson remains a relateable, likeable lead, even when her character does things that go against the grain of a leading lady somewhat.”

Continue reading: Reviews: Scarlett Johansson Saves Luc Besson's Messy "Lucy"

A Week In Movies: Guardians Holds Two Premieres, Plus First Glimpses Of Fifty Shades, The Imitation Game And Mad Max: Fury Road


Chris Pratt Zoe Saldana Vin Diesel Scarlett Johansson Luc Besson Chadwick Boseman Donald Sutherland Benedict Cumberbatch Keira Knightley Dakota Johnson Jamie Dornan Tom Hardy Charlize Theron

Guardians of the Galaxy

In the wake of especially strong buzz from critics who have seen the film, the cast of  assembled for their world premiere in Los Angeles this week, including Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel, Glenn Close, Karen Gillan and Michael Rooker. They then dashed across to London for a Leicester Square premiere, where they were joined by Disney/Marvel colleagues Mark Hamill and Chris Hemsworth, plus Diesel's Fast & Furious costar Elsa Pataky. The film opens next week. Browse through our gallery of the premiere of Guardians of the Galaxy - Los Angeles, California, USA. We also have some shots of celebrities at the 'Guardians of Galaxy' premiere in London.

Luc Besson's new action romp Lucy opens today in the US and next month in the UK. In a new short feature, Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman give a backstage look at working with Besson on the movie, including glimpses of the crew filming elaborate action scenes. The clip ends with a brief trailer for the finished film. Watch 'Lucy - Luc Besson' Featurette.

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Guardians Holds Two Premieres, Plus First Glimpses Of Fifty Shades, The Imitation Game And Mad Max: Fury Road

What The Critics Are Saying About Scarlett Johansson's 'Lucy'


Scarlett Johansson Morgan Freeman Luc Besson Amr Waked Choi Min-sik

Early reviews of Scarlett Johansson’s new movie Lucy are piling up ahead of its theatrical release, and it’s looking like the film is an entertaining, if mixed, bag.

Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson plays the lead in forthcoming thriller Lucy

Directed by Luc Besson, Johansson plays Lucy, a woman living in Taipei and forced to work for drug gangs as a mule. After the drugs she is carrying absorb themselves into her body, her brain begins to use more than the normal 10% of its capacity and becomes close to superhuman.

Continue reading: What The Critics Are Saying About Scarlett Johansson's 'Lucy'

The Family Review


Weak

Despite a promising trailer and a great cast, this French-American comedy-thriller is a complete misfire because Luc Besson seems unclear about how to create a black comedy. He merely mixes silliness and violence, but the script is so lazy that it's neither funny nor suspenseful. With the talent on screen we keep hoping everything will come together at some point, but it never does.

It's set in Normandy, where the Manzoni family has just moved after another disastrous attempt at witness relocation. They snitched on the mob back in America, and are having a tough time blending with locals anywhere. Even here, Fred (De Niro) gets a little too frustrated with a plumber while Maggie (Pfeiffer) doesn't take insults lying down, and their kids Belle and Warren (Agron and D'Leo) quickly take over the system at their new school. Their handler Stansfield (Jones) is doing his best, but it can't belong before what they are up to gets them noticed back home.

For a French movie, this is oddly packed with negative French stereotypes, from the ugly casting to the locals' backwards technology (only the Americans have mobile phones). And everyone speaks English with a silly accent. But then the script is packed with head-scratching inconsistencies and far-fetched touches. We never believe a single element of the plot, which leaves these solid actors looking lost on screen. De Niro, Pfeiffer and Jones have at least played these characters before, so know how to punch the comedy notes.

Continue reading: The Family Review

'Prisoners' Steals Away The Top Spot At Slow Weekend Box Office


Hugh Jackman Jake Gyllenhaal James Wan Chris Brown Luc Besson

Prisoners successful rode the wave of critical acclaim thrust it's way to emerge as the top performing movie at the box office this weekend. Taking in £21.4 million between Friday and Sunday, the film easily beat it's closest rival, the horror sequel Insidious 2, to the top spot, in what was one of the slowest weekends at the movies all year.

Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal
Hugh Jackman (L) and Jake Gyllenhaal (R) star in the kidnap thriller

The Warner Bros. action-drama opened across 3,260 locations this weekend, and off the back of strong critical reception and with little else on offer, the film was always front-runner for the box office crown. With a strong cast led by Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal, the films see's father Keller Dover (Jackman) as his world is torn apart when his six-year-old daughter and her friend go missing at Thanksgiving. When Detective Loki (Gyllenhaal) is called in to find the girls, he makes a promise to Keller that he will see his daughter again. The case looks solved when the RV-dwelling loner Alex Jones (Paul Dano) is found at the scene and immediately becomes the prime suspect. But with only a 48 hour hold on him, the police are unable to make Jones talk in time before he can be re-released. Enraged, Keller decides to take matters into his own hands and it is soon up to Loki to get to the bottom of the case before it's too late for the missing girls, and too late for Keller and Jones.

Continue reading: 'Prisoners' Steals Away The Top Spot At Slow Weekend Box Office

'The Family': Who Says Robert De Niro Doesn't Make Good Movies Anymore?


Robert De Niro Michelle Pfeiffer Luc Besson

Thinking of heading to the theater this weekend to catch a new release? Well, as the major studios prepare their premium Oscar-bait for the November and December release dates, there isn't a whole lot to choose from. Still, Luc Besson's new comedy The Family - starring Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer and executive produced by Martin Scorsese - should satisfy family crowds not keen on seeing another Insidious movie.

Robert De NiroRobert De Niro Means Business In 'The Family'

The off-beat movie follows a mafia boss and his family who relocate to a sleepy town in France under the witness protection program after snitching on the mob. Despite the best efforts of Tommy Lee Jones's Agent Stansfield, the family can't help but revert to its old ways and eventually get tracked down by a couple of former mafia cronies. Of course, chaos ensues in the most unlikely of settings.

Continue reading: 'The Family': Who Says Robert De Niro Doesn't Make Good Movies Anymore?

I Will Find You, And I Will Give You $20 Million: Liam Neeson Will Get Massive Pay Cheque For Taken 3


Liam Neeson Maggie Grace Luc Besson

Many people must have left the cinema having seen the first Taken and thought; "that was great, I can't see any sequels coming out of it though." Well how wrong you were because not only did they manage to milk a sequel out of it but they've also managed to turn the kidnap thriller into a whole trilogy, and one time renowned thespian Liam Neeson will be around for the full trio of films.

Deadline reported on Monday (June 24) that the Irishman was closing in on a whopping $20 million deal to reprise his role as retired CIA man Bryan Mills for a third time, with production on the film expected to begin in February next year. Neeson was initially reluctant to take on the role of Mills for a second time, but a massive $15 million offer proved too good to turn down and now to entice him for another film EuropaCorp - the production team behind the first team - are looking to bump up his pay cheque once again.

Once Neeson is on board, the film company will look to strike up deals with co-stars Maggie Grace, who played his kidnapped daughter in the first film and his rescuer in the second, and Famke Janssen, who played his ex-wife. Neeson is the top priority for the filmmakers though, because no Liam Neeson equals no Taken. No word on who will direct yet, although Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, who wrote the first two films together, are currently working on the script. Taken 2 director Olivier Megaton looks the most likely appointment to direct.

Continue reading: I Will Find You, And I Will Give You $20 Million: Liam Neeson Will Get Massive Pay Cheque For Taken 3

Robert De Niro Stars In Mobster-Comedy 'The Family' [Trailer And Pictures]


Robert De Niro Luc Besson Dianna Agron John D'Leo Michelle Pfeiffer

John D'Leo, Michelle Pfeiffer and Dianna Agron in 'The Family'
John D'Leo, Michelle Pfeiffer and Dianna Agron in 'The Family'

From director Luc Besson (Taken, Léon) comes a new gangster movieThe Family- only this time Besson has made a black comedy. The Family stars Hollywood heavyweights Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer as a husband and wife duo. The pair co-starred together in 2007's Stardust but hadn't actually 'performed' together until now.

The plot follows the Manzoni family, led by patriarchal Giovanni (De Niro), who are placed under witness protection after snitching on the mafia. After the mafia turn on him, wanting him dead, Giovanni's family are moved en masse from Brooklyn to Normandy in France reinventing themselves as 'the Blakes' but encounter difficulties when trying to fit in.

Continue reading: Robert De Niro Stars In Mobster-Comedy 'The Family' [Trailer And Pictures]

The Family Trailer


Giovanni Manzoni is a gangster boss who has been placed under witness protection by Agent Stansfield after betraying the mafia. However, wherever they are relocated and whatever names they are given, they always manage to get themselves into trouble as blending in to their new towns becomes more and more difficult. With their lives under threat from their old pals again, the Manzonis are moved to Normandy in France where they become the 'Blakes'. Unfortunately, they have barely moved one day before the family manage to create chaos yet again, with Mrs Blake blowing up a convenience store in response to a snide comment from the French shopkeeper, the daughter getting into numerous fights and the son in trouble at school for theft and bribery. As expected, they manage to attract attention from the mob and they are forced to fight back to protect themselves in the only way they know how.

Continue: The Family Trailer

Taken 2 Review


Weak

There wasn't really anywhere for the story to go after 2008's surprise hit Taken, and this movie quickly proves that. Not only does it have that same appalling moral vacuum at the centre (it doesn't matter how many irrelevant people you torture and kill to rescue your loved one), but the plot becomes increasingly absurd as it progresses. So the only genuine response is weary laughter.

The action picks up shortly after Bryan (Neeson) has recovered from his ordeal in Paris. His daughter Kim (Grace) seems to have forgotten it completely, and soon she and her mother Lenore (Janssen), Bryan's ex, jet off to Istanbul to join him after he finishes a business meeting. But they don't know that the family of the Albanian thugs Bryan killed in France have followed him to Turkey intent on vengeance. They soon grab Bryan and Lenore, so Bryan calls Kim on a secret mobile device and coaches her on how to rescue them. Of course, it gets increasingly messy as the hours tick by.

Perfectly named director Megaton (Colombiana) never bothers to make any sense out of the story, merely charging into each scene with guns blazing and grenades exploding, while suggesting that only unshaven Albanian-looking men get killed in the process. Well, all of them, to be exact. He also delights in presenting shameless stereotypes of Muslims who take their run-down lifestyle with them wherever they go. Meanwhile, the Yanks are efficient and unruffled, speaking in cliched slogans. Neeson sleepwalks through the film, shifting into action mode or hitting the dramatic notes where necessary. Jansson is actually asleep (or unconscious) most of the time. While Grace has the most fun in a series of insane action set-pieces.

Continue reading: Taken 2 Review

Box Office No.1 Expected To Be ‘Taken’ By Action Sequel


Liam Neeson Famke Janssen Luc Besson Tim Burton Adam Sandler

Taken 2 is expected to shove aside all it's competitors at the Box Office when the kidnapping sequel hits cinemas over the weekend, with pre-release audience surveys suggesting that the action flick could take up to $45-50 million.

Liam Neeson returns to his role as a former CIA operative with a knack for kicking ass and taking names, only this time round it is Neeson's Bryan Mill character and his on-screen wife (played by Famke Janssen) who are taken hostage. The sequel was co-financed by Fox and writer/director/producer Luc Besson's Europa Corp for about $45 million, a sizeable increase compared to the last instalment. Still, if these estimates are anything to go by then the investment will be more than worth it.


The only major competition for Taken 2 comes in the form of two animated films, the Tim Burton's remake of Frankenweenie (a live-action short that Burton made in the early 80's) and the Adam Sandler starring Hotel Transylvania. Whilst Taken 2 will presumably take care of the adult audiences, it is up to the two spooky animations to do battle for the attention of the younger audiences, with Frankenweenie predicted to just edge past it's rival.


Were The Critics Taken With Liam Neeson’s Taken 2?


Liam Neeson Luc Besson

Liam Neeson returns as CIA agent Brian Mills in Taken 2. He’s already confirmed to MTV that there won’t be a Taken 3, as he “couldn't envisage a storyline that would warrant a sequel” but was there really a need for Taken 2? The first movie, which he describes as “a wonderful little compact European thriller,” told the tale of Mills attempting to rescue his daughter, who had been kidnapped.

Obviously, repeating that storyline would have been a little tiresome, so the writer / producer Luc Besson turned the tale on its head and this time around, it’s Mills himself who gets kidnapped. According to Neeson’s interview with The Guardian, Besson “propositioned a couple of ideas and came back with this scenario and I remember thinking ‘yeah, this could maybe work. It’s rooted in something real, you know?” Describing the premise of the Taken movies, Neeson explains “it’s a guy trying to be a father, albeit an overprotective one… 100% of his energy goes into that; suddenly he’s taken into the field.”

Unfortunately for Neeson and Besson, movie critics have not agreed with the need for another Taken movie. Time Out’s Tom Huddleston said “A cynical, contemptuous film whose sole reason for existing appears to be to squeeze the pockets of anyone who enjoyed the first movie. Don't give it the satisfaction.” Empire magazine agreed, saying “The first one offered the novel sight of Oskar Schindler going Commando. Unfortunately, this half-hearted sequel is low on novelty and lower on fun.”


The Source Review


Very Good
Strikingly well-made on a big scale, this film takes on some important issues without ever preaching at us. Instead, the filmmakers remain rooted in the vivid characters, which adds depth to the involving story and the pointed message.

Leila (Bekhti) is an outsider in her village, married to the suspiciously intelligent schoolteacher Sami (Bakri). And when she speaks out about the injustice, and danger, of women scaling a treacherous path every day to get water, everyone tells her to remain quiet. Eventually, she manages to convince the women to go on a "love strike", withholding sex until their husbands stop sitting around and get water piped into the village.

Continue reading: The Source Review

The Lady Trailer


Aung San Suu Kyi, born in Burma, watched her father die when she was three years old. Her father had lead Burma into independence from the British empire in 1947, as well as founding the modern Burmese army. But in that same year, he was assassinated by his rivals.

Continue: The Lady Trailer

Luc Besson Saturday 14th January 2012 Cinema For Peace Event Benefitting J/P Haitian Relief held at The Montage Hotel

Luc Besson
Luc Besson
Luc Besson

The Lady Review


Very Good
The inspirational story of Aung San Suu Kyi comes to the big screen in the unlikely hands of Luc Besson, better known for mindless action like Taken and The Transporter. This is an emotionally involving film, with terrific central performances.

As daughter of Aung San, founder of independent Burma, Suu (Yeoh) has a place in her nation's heart. She lives in Britain with her Oxford-professor husband Michael (Thewlis) and their sons (Raggett and Woodhouse), and when she returns home to care for her ailing mother, she gets involved in the pro-democracy movement. This terrifies the military junta that rules with an iron fist, so they put her under house arrest just before the 1990 election that her party won in a landslide. Then the military refuses to cede power.

Continue reading: The Lady Review

Luc Besson and Grauman's Chinese Theatre - Luc Besson, Virginie Besson Hollywood, California - AFI Fest 2011 Premiere Of The Lady held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre Friday 4th November 2011

Luc Besson and Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Luc Besson and Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Luc Besson and Grauman's Chinese Theatre
David Thewlis, Luc Besson, Michelle Yeoh and Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Luc Besson and Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Luc Besson and Grauman's Chinese Theatre

Luc Besson - Director Luc Besson Rome, Italy - 6th International Rome Film Festival - 'The Lady' - Photocall Thursday 27th October 2011

Luc Besson
Luc Besson
Luc Besson
Michelle Yeoh and Luc Besson
Michelle Yeoh and Luc Besson

Luc Besson and Michelle Yeoh - Luc Besson and Michelle Yeoh San Rafael, California, USA - attend Spotlight on Michelle Yeoh/The Lady part of the Mill Valley Film Festival at the Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center Saturday 8th October 2011

Luc Besson and Michelle Yeoh
Luc Besson and Michelle Yeoh
Luc Besson and Michelle Yeoh
Luc Besson and Michelle Yeoh
Luc Besson and Michelle Yeoh
Luc Besson

Colombiana Review


OK
This preposterously overwrought revenge thriller is entertaining simply because it so rarely pauses for breath. It makes virtually no sense if you think about it, and the writing and direction are mostly incoherent. But it's also guilty good fun.

In Colombia, feisty 9-year-old Cataleya (Stenberg) witnesses her parents' massacre of by Marco (Molla), henchman the drug kingpin Luis (Benites). Years layer (now Saldana) she's in Chicago, where she's been raised by her uncle (Curtis) to be a stealthy assassin. Now she's trying to draw Marco and Luis out of protective CIA custody by leaving clues at each murder scene. And it seems to be working. With an FBI agent (James) on her trail and a boyfriend (Vartan) who knows nothing, she's playing a dangerous game.

Continue reading: Colombiana Review

Luc Besson - Luc Besson, Bill Pohlad and Dede Gardner Cannes, France - 2011 Cannes International Film Festival - Day 12 Sunday 22nd May 2011

Luc Besson

The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec Review


Excellent
Lively and raucously entertaining, this female Indiana Jones romp makes little sense but keeps us engaged due to its sparky characters and a bit of deranged subtext. And writer-director Besson clearly has fun adapting comic book imagery to the big screen.

In 1911 Paris, Adele (Bourgoin) is a novelist who travels the world in search of adventures to write about. Her latest quest takes her to Egypt, where she uncovers a Pharaoh's tomb and sneaks off with his physician's mummy, who she plans to resurrect with help from her mad-scientist friend Esperandieu (Nercessian), all in an attempt to cure her badly injured twin sister (de Clermont). But the doctor's experimentation has brought to life a hatchling pterodactyl, which is now menacing Paris. Apparently surrounded by incompetents, Adele will have to fix everything herself.

Continue reading: The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec Review

The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec Trailer


Maverick French film director, writer, and producer Luc Besson takes us on another wonderful journey through an imaginary world in his adaptation of 'The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec' a much loved 1970's Franco-Belgian comic adventure written and illustrated by Jacques Tardi.

The setting is Paris, France. The year is 1912. Our protagonist Adele Blanc-Sec is an intrepid young investigative journalist who will go to any lengths to achieve her goal.

Continue: The Extraordinary Adventures Of Adele Blanc-Sec Trailer

22 Bullets [l'immortel] Review


Very Good
As violent as this mob thriller is, it also has a terrific sense of its central characters, focussing on strong emotions and moral decisions. And even though it's overcomplicated, the result is a sleek and very classy.

Charly (Reno) retired from his job as a Marseilles mob boss to spend time with his family. But someone has it in for him, and after he survives being shot 22 times, Charly and a cop (Fois) start looking for who did it. Charly immediately turns to the other local bosses (Merad and Berry), childhood friends with whom he took a vow of loyalty. But soon all-out war breaks out between thugs on various sides, and the division of loyalty isn't as clear-cut as it should be.

Continue reading: 22 Bullets [l'immortel] Review

From Paris With Love Review


Good
From the gun-happy guys who brought us Taken, here's another slice of misogynistic, xenophobic mayhem from the City of Light. And like Taken, it's both utterly preposterous and annoyingly entertaining.

James (Rhys Meyers) is assistant to the American Ambassador to France (Durden) and is hoping to get involved in intelligence work. James' big break interrupts a romantic evening with his fiancee (Smutniak) as he's assigned to team up with notorious agent Charlie Wax (Travolta). The next 24 hours is a blur of bullets, bombs, cocaine, hookers and terrorists, while James just tries to keep up with Charlie's trail of carnage. And eventually he begins to see a method to Charlie's madness.

Continue reading: From Paris With Love Review

District 13: Ultimatum [banlieue 13: Ultimatum] Review


Very Good
Luc Besson and pals are back with another crazed action movie that, despite its ludicrous plotting, keeps us entertained with sheer energy and wit. And the central duo is turning into a pretty good movie team.

It's been three years since the super-fit cop Damien (Raffaelli) teamed up with the shady, athletic Leito (Belle) to bring the government to its knees.

Predictably, nothing has changed since then and in 2013, France's new president (Torreton) is convinced to take drastic actions against the violent thugs in District 13. Except that the whole scenario has been staged by the secret security service, led by the mysterious Gassman (Duval) and his top goon Roland (Mosconi), who try to do away with Damien and Leito (as if!), in order to enact their evil plan.

Continue reading: District 13: Ultimatum [banlieue 13: Ultimatum] Review

Taken Review


OK
Of all the men you would expect to tear through Europe to save his daughter, leaving a trail of dead like Jonestown in his wake, Liam Neeson would be relatively low on the list, coming in somewhere between Chevy Chase and Zero Mostel. Neeson has always been known for playing men of impassioned rhetoric, guys whose tongues are more powerful than their physical prowess. So, watching the man who played Alfred Kinsey, Jean Valjean, and Michael Collins take two large nails and slam them into a another man's thighs before connecting jumper cables to said nails might leave a viewer understandably flabbergasted.

This is just one of the actions taken by Bryan Mills (Neeson) when he receives a call from his daughter (Maggie Grace) as she is being kidnapped by Albanian sex-traffickers while on vacation in France. An ex-CIA man, Mills uses a few decades worth of weapons knowledge, intelligence training, and fighting styles to basically purge France of any and all Albanian abducters to find his sugarplum and return her to the loving arms of his ex-wife (Famke Janssen) and her absurdly rich second husband (Xander Berkeley).

Continue reading: Taken Review

Transporter 3 Review


Weak
Remember the Star Trek films theory? You know, the argument that says every even-numbered entry (two, four, six, so on) in the series was great, while every odd numbered movie was mediocre to awful? Well, the Transporter franchise could soon take the place of everyone's favorite serious science fiction romp, except in this case, the conflicting criticisms would be "tolerable" and "oh no, not again." You'd figure that with this third journey into Jason Statham's six pack, we'd have something akin to a guilty pleasure. Instead, all we're offered is a director named "Olivier Megaton," and sadly, both his name and his effort is a dud.

After retiring to an isolated life in France, driver for hire Frank Martin (Statham) believes his transporting days are over. But when a man he suggested as a replacement literally winds up in his living room, expensive sports car and all, our sullen hero finds himself back behind the wheel. His mission this time around? Deliver a package to the Ukraine, in time to stop a high ranking government official from cancelling a contract with some American energy interests. Seems the U.S. wants to use the former Soviet Union as a toxic waste dumping ground, and a concerned cabinet minister wants no part of the deal. Of course, when a Western thug (Robert Knepper) kidnaps his daughter Valentina (Natalya Rudakova) and holds her hostage, it's up to Martin to step in and save the day.

Continue reading: Transporter 3 Review

Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Review


Excellent
Rare is the individual who can leave a mark on his chosen profession. In the case of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, there's an entire school of journalistic thought named after him. Architect of the now infamous "gonzo" style of reporting (taken from a random critical comment offered by a friend), the man who followed the Hell's Angels for a year, struggled to see the America Dream in seedy Las Vegas, and hit the campaign trail in '72 to discover more "fear and loathing," remains an icon to an entire generation. Disaffected and constantly cantankerous, there was nothing predictable about the artist also known as Raoul Duke. Even his abrupt death by a self inflicted gunshot wound in 2005 seemed shockingly apropos.

Along with the more personal documentary Breakfast with Hunter, Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson stands as a seminal work of talking head biography. It tracks down many of the important people in the Kentucky-born bad boy's life, and lets them wax poetic and profound for almost two hours. Within the reminiscences we learn of his initial love of writing, his time as part of the notorious outlaw motorcycle gang, his experiences with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, a run for sheriff of Aspen, Colorado, his eyewitness account of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, and his various run-ins and affiliations with members of both the counterculture and Establishment.

Continue reading: Gonzo: The Life And Work Of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson Review

The Secret Review


Terrible
The Secret's trailer surfaced on the Internet in 2002, and for years I waited and wondered why it was taking an eternity for the movie to hit theaters. Finally, in 2007, the movie came out in French theaters, and just recently it went straight to DVD in the United States. And now that I've finally watched it, it's crystal clear why The Secret was kept on the down low: Boy, is it a bad movie -- and an incredible waste of an intriguing premise.

You can't help but feel ever so curious about how the characters are going to get themselves out of this conundrum: Upon awakening after a car accident, Hannah (Lili Taylor) realizes she's in possession of her daughter Sam's body (Olivia Thirlby). Hannah's husband Benjamin (David Duchovny) is in a tough spot: He loves his wife to death (and wants to do nasty things to her) but she's trapped in their 16-year-old daughter's body. What's a guy to do?

Continue reading: The Secret Review

Hitman Review


Bad
Gamers typically get all gooey when supposed console-less critics nitpick the big screen adaptation of their favorite platform title. It's part and parcel of the joystick jockey's mantle. Hitman, based on the popular series from Eidos Interactive, is the latest attempt to bring the PlayStation to the Cineplex. Begun in 2000, and with four gaming titles under its belt, players act as a hired assassin, working their way through various levels of intrigue and crazy, chaotic firefights. The purpose, clearly, is to slaughter everyone who's in your way. It's all bloodlust and cloying cat and mouse. Sadly, someone forgot to tell screenwriter Skip Woods about this. Instead, he's crafted something that plays like John Woo drained of all his slo-mo energy and drive. Even worse, it's then turned over to a director who further weakens the material's inherent excessiveness.

For three years, a top Interpol agent (Dougray Scott) has been chasing an elusive, unknown assassin. When a Russian politician is murdered, the cop clearly suspects that Number 47 (Timothy Olyphant) has struck again. The paid killer is informed that a prostitute named Nika (Olga Kurylenko) witnessed the crime. He is ordered to take her out. Of course, it's all a setup. Belicoff (Ulrich Thomsen), the supposedly dead candidate, shows up for a speech, and the Russian Intelligence community is out rattling 47's cage. Our antihero saves Nika from a bullet, travels to Istanbul to interrogate Belicoff's drug running brother Udre (Henry Ian Cusik) and returns to the scene of the initial shooting to discover why he was framed. Turns out, it has more to do with one man's paranoia and ambitions than a simple contract hit -- and 47 is destined to play a part in it all.

Continue reading: Hitman Review

Bandidas Review


Bad
In the history of really silly wigs, Dwight Yoakam's long, crimped black hair in Bandidas has gone and snuck its way into the top ten. It's part of the silliness of the film that stops it from being a truly terrible movie. That being said, there's no other compliments I can ratchet out for this sucker.

It's the old west and things aren't well. Tyler Jackson (Yoakam) has used a six-shooter to take over much of the land in Mexico, and wants to use all of this to make connections and money through big time land developers. He makes a mistake when he shoots the father of Maria (Penélope Cruz) and poisons the wealthy father of Sara (Selma Hayek). After some squabbling over class, they decide to pair up as bank robbers and steal all of Jackson's money, getting tips from retired bank robber Bill Buck (Sam Shepard, why?). They eventually pair with a forensic psychologist (Steve Zahn) who starts falling for both the girls as they plan to breach Jackson's big vault.

Continue reading: Bandidas Review

Taxi Review


Good
Meet Belle (Queen Latifah), a classic New York loudmouth with a hunky boyfriend and a dead-end job. By day, she works as a bike messenger, hustling from destination to destination, utilizing garbage truck roofs and crowded department store floors as shortcuts. By night, she spends her time skipping out on dates and transforming her Crown Victoria into supercharged yellow taxicab. After all, if she's going to drive at NASCAR someday, she will need a lot of practice, and if she can win the title as the Big Apple's fastest taxi driver, it might help her chances.

Now, meet Andy Washburn (Jimmy Fallon), a bumbling misfit of a New York City police officer. He screws up nearly every case his lieutenant -- who also happens to be his ex-girlfriend -- throws at him. Most recently, he blew an undercover assignment by getting his partner shot in the arm just before crashing the police car into a street market. His driver's license has been revoked (not that he could ever drive), and now might fight the streets of New York on foot.

Continue reading: Taxi Review

Le Dernier Combat Review


Very Good
In the wake of 1982's post-apocalyptic powerhouse The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2) theaters were glutted with cheap imitations. Anyone with access to a desert, some leather, beaten up cars and a few prop guns could make a post-apocalyptic film. Theatergoers thrilled by the prospects of seeing another Road Warrior were suckered into bottom-of-the-barrel rip-offs like Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone and Warrior of the Lost World. But most missed Luc Besson's (La Femme Nikita) 1983 take on post-apocalyptic life.

Operatic, furious, and unrelenting, The Road Warrior is nearly devoid of humanity. It is a vision of a world where the only escape from maddening chaos is blinding speed - moving as fast as possible along a road with no ending, no future. And The Road Warrior captures that nihilistic bent wholly. Le Dernier Combat approaches the same chaos - civilization reduced to rubble, humanity profaned - and suggests that the only way out is order, not escape. Besson sees the same world but with a fanciful eye. (While Le Dernier Combat was begun in color, it is Besson's stunning use of B&W Cinemascope that lends the film its polished, big-budget look. The style is "cinema du look," vogue in the '80s relying heavily on aesthetics over depth, consumer fetishism and "window shopping.")

Continue reading: Le Dernier Combat Review

Luc Besson

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Luc Besson

Date of birth

18th March, 1958

Occupation

Filmmaker

Sex

Male

Height

1.73


Luc Besson Movies

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Trailer

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Trailer

Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are partners. Skilled government agents whose job it...

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Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Trailer

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets Trailer

For Luc Besson's latest foray into the sci-fi stratosphere, he has decided to bring the...

The Transporter Refuelled Movie Review

The Transporter Refuelled Movie Review

Like James Bond, wilfully anonymous driver Frank Martin is reborn as a new actor without...

Taken 3 Movie Review

Taken 3 Movie Review

As with the first two films in this dumb but bombastically watchable franchise, writers Luc...

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The Homesman Movie Review

The Homesman Movie Review

Strong characters and a vivid sense of life in frontier America give this film a...

Lucy Movie Review

Lucy Movie Review

Luc Besson gleefully combines two of his favourite movie elements - fit women and wildly...

Lucy - Luc Besson Featurette Trailer

Lucy - Luc Besson Featurette Trailer

The cast and crew of 'Lucy' - actors Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman and Amr Waked,...

3 Days to Kill Movie Review

3 Days to Kill Movie Review

French filmmaker Luc Besson continues to combine family themes with intense violence (see Taken), but...

Lucy Trailer

Lucy Trailer

Lucy was just a regular girl living in Taipei, Taiwan before she was brutally kidnapped...

The Family Movie Review

The Family Movie Review

Despite a promising trailer and a great cast, this French-American comedy-thriller is a complete misfire...

The Family Trailer

The Family Trailer

Giovanni Manzoni is a gangster boss who has been placed under witness protection by Agent...

Taken 2 Movie Review

Taken 2 Movie Review

There wasn't really anywhere for the story to go after 2008's surprise hit Taken, and...

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