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  #27001  
Old 11-09-2017, 03:50 PM
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Comparable in some ways, at least in the pros/cons of visual spectacle trumping character/story, but beyond that it is more weird sci-fi than space opera.

I couldn't make it through the entirety of Jupiter Ascending. I just couldn't do it.
Then it sounds like I may love Valerian. I fucking LOVEEEE Jupiter Ascending so goddamn much. Eddie is the goddamn best in it.
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  #27002  
Old 11-09-2017, 09:59 PM
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Valerian makes the case of how casting the wrong people front-and-center can fuck up everything else.
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  #27003  
Old 11-13-2017, 08:44 AM
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I watched as Luc Besson failed categorically to bring to screen more enjoyable and bizarre Francophilic insanity by hiring children/plastic toys to be adults with chemistry.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets has so many weird things that are visually stunning but it is all ultimately a beautiful backdrop to a high school play.

Dane Dehaan, who can be good, turns in a Baby Keanu performance. It's frightening how close he gets to emulating Johnny Utah's inflections here it becomes its own source of entertainment in that ironic hipster prick sort of way.

Cara Delvegne is just an anomaly. It's as though in place of person, there is a complete void for the first two acts. She comes around much later, but is still constantly undermined by being so damned young.

The entire film hinges on their chemistry, and that is where it just crumbles immediately. The characters of Valerian and Laureline as in the comic have a rivalry of sorts but it barely functions as a mask for their genuine care for one another. The film gets it pretty wrong, but it could have probably found its footing with a more charismatic duo that were out of diapers and wearing full-blown pants.

That said, it is a gorgeous looking film with interesting concepts that just loses steam after the marketplace sequence in the early goings. It's a shame, as if Besson put as much care into the story as he did with the world, then it would be somewhere in the ballpark of Fifth Element, but instead ends up being an interesting albeit failed sci-fi/ fantasy romp.

This movie is fucking beautiful and has some of the coolest sci-fi ideas I've seen on film but it's held back by a complete lack of a cohesive story and terrible leads. You're spot on in regards to Keanu DeHaan. Jesus christ, that shit was distracting.

Overall, Jupiter Ascending works better for me because there were actual stakes. I legit had no idea what was going on in Valerian for chunks of the movie but I went along with it because of the pretty pictures on the screen.

Cara is a terrible actress. She was the worst part of the movie. I had no idea why Valerian would be in love with her. Terrible.
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  #27004  
Old 11-13-2017, 09:13 AM
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MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS? Pretty good.
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  #27005  
Old 11-17-2017, 12:12 PM
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Blade of the Immortal.

Based on the manga of the same name, it is Takashi Miike's 100th film (Does the madman even sleep?).

As an adaptation, it's pretty faithful to the comic I remember reading some ten years or so ago.

The problems of adapting a 30 volume manga into a 2.5 hour film are uncountable to be sure, the truncated version of the story playing like a greatest hits album. You'd have to read the manga for the deep cuts, but the basic premise of the story is here. It would be impossible to do the story justice in one film, but Miike tries his best.

Miike excels in balancing the strange and making it feel like it belongs, and there is plenty of it in the characters to begin with, but it was somewhat mind-boggling that he really screws the pooch on the bigger fights here. Those expecting 13 Assassins levels of violence balanced with solid camerawork will be a bit disappointed, as Miike eschews the choreography that made that one so special and instead adopts a lot of medium shots and handheld close-ups during the most intense sequences. As a result, the geography of the fight scenes gets really cramped and at times hard to navigate.

The casting is spot on for the characters and they do as well as can be expected with the sometimes ridiculous shit they have to fight in. At times the vibrancy of their appearances threaten to take one out of the film, often looking like cosplayers on break at the food court. Thankfully, there is always a fight of some kind about to uncork to keep one from losing complete immersion.

It's flawed but it still offers up some interesting and often fucked up things to enjoy.

Thankfully, it's for rent on most streaming services now to those of us in the less cultured centers of the world.
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