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Thread: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Luc Besson)

  1. #1
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (Luc Besson)


  2. #2
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    Ha curious to know what you thought.
    MOVIES

    • Thor: Ragnarok (Waititi, 2017) ♦♦♦
    • Control (Verheyen, 2017) ♦½
    • Detroit (Bigelow, 2017) ♦♦♦
    • Assassin's Creed (Kurzel, 2016)
    • Blade Runner 2049 (Villeneuve, 2017) ♦♦♦½
    • Patriot's Day (Berg, 2016) ♦♦♦½
    • Deepwater Horizon (Berg, 2016) ♦♦♦
    • Sully (Eastwood, 2016) ♦♦♦
    • American Made (Liman, 2017) ♦♦♦
    • The Deer Hunter (Cimino, 1978) ♦♦♦
    • Lion (Davis, 2016) ♦♦♦
    • It (Muschietti, 2017) ♦♦♦

    TV

    • The Missing (S2) ♦♦♦♦ // The Missing (S1) ♦♦♦ // The Night Of (S1) ♦♦♦½
    • Fargo (S3) ♦♦ // 24: Legacy (S1) ♦♦♦ // The Man in the High Castle (S2) ♦♦♦♦

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  3. #3
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Will post thoughts tomorrow, but this film is both worth seeing on the biggest screen possible and best experienced at a matinee price. Judge your biases accordingly.

    Quickly: no shortage of imagination, every non-human creature is a highlight, especially a trio of opportunistic space ducks, a deeply dumb tribe of primitive gluttons, and an exotic stripper named Bubble. The vistas are gorgeous, the production design is gorgeous, and a few action scenes have some real pop and verve, especially an early sequence that relies on navigating two dimensions (someone call Link or Samus) and a later one where Valerian has to smash his way from one artificial biome to the next (and the next, etc.). If you're looking for the comic edge of The Fifth Element, you won't find enough of it here, and the film takes too long to engage us with the two leads. DeHaan does what he can with some clunky dialogue, but he soars compared to Cara, who only really comes alive when forced into the most absurd circumstances (like trying to walk with a hat so large that it risks covering the entire top half of the frame). What the flick reminds me of is how Guillermo Del Toro made Crimson Peak out of a deep and very observable love of the eerie Gothic romances that inspired it - and what we got was exactly one of those stories, for better or worse. Valerian has been marketed as a film Luc Besson's wanted to make for decades. He's finally made it. It's probably exactly the thing he loved when he was young. As the old gypsy woman said, may you get what you want.

    I'd recommend it on the basis of its joyful middle hour, production design, and fun digressions (the movie is best when it's not about what it's about, which thankfully occurs more often than you'd expect). But I'd completely understand if someone wouldn't on the basis of the dialogue, Cara, or the obscurantist mystery at the heart of it.

    [If I pick up tomorrow, it'll be more story-related stuff.]
    Last edited by Dead & Messed Up; 07-11-2017 at 06:43 AM.

  4. #4
    Supporting Actor Philip J. Fry's Avatar
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    I heard someone comparing this a lot with Futurama, meaning I MUST watch it.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Deeper story wonk thoughts:

    [
    ]
    Last edited by Dead & Messed Up; 07-11-2017 at 04:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    Sometimes I wonder about Besson. Is he a good director? I mean, the reviews for this aren't bad, but they're about what can be expected. And yet, it's a lifelong dream of the man to get this made and it seems it isn't quite a home run. Or is the property considered unfilmable and he did about as good as can be expected?

    The movie reminds me of the Beyond Good and Evil 2 trailer.

    Thanks for sharing Damu. Go over to RT, they think you're not sharing thoughts over there because you have to comply with a reviews embargo.
    MOVIES

    • Thor: Ragnarok (Waititi, 2017) ♦♦♦
    • Control (Verheyen, 2017) ♦½
    • Detroit (Bigelow, 2017) ♦♦♦
    • Assassin's Creed (Kurzel, 2016)
    • Blade Runner 2049 (Villeneuve, 2017) ♦♦♦½
    • Patriot's Day (Berg, 2016) ♦♦♦½
    • Deepwater Horizon (Berg, 2016) ♦♦♦
    • Sully (Eastwood, 2016) ♦♦♦
    • American Made (Liman, 2017) ♦♦♦
    • The Deer Hunter (Cimino, 1978) ♦♦♦
    • Lion (Davis, 2016) ♦♦♦
    • It (Muschietti, 2017) ♦♦♦

    TV

    • The Missing (S2) ♦♦♦♦ // The Missing (S1) ♦♦♦ // The Night Of (S1) ♦♦♦½
    • Fargo (S3) ♦♦ // 24: Legacy (S1) ♦♦♦ // The Man in the High Castle (S2) ♦♦♦♦

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  7. #7
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Morris Schæffer (view post)
    Thanks for sharing Damu. Go over to RT, they think you're not sharing thoughts over there because you have to comply with a reviews embargo.
    Maybe. Posting in RT anymore is about as fruitful as throwing seeds at the Gobi.

  8. #8
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    ScreenCrush said this movie delivered while The Hollywood Reporter called it disastrously bad.

    I can't wait to see it for myself.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    Justice League (Snyder/Whedon, 2017) 6.5
    Coco (Unkrich, 2017) 8.5
    Wonderstruck (Haynes, 2017) 5
    Tank Girl (Talalay, 1995) 8.5
    Jane (Morgen, 2017) 7.5


  9. #9
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    This was everything I expected, both in hopes and fears. As frequently dazzling and stunning as it is also stilted and goofy.

    I think DeHaan is a good actor, but his Valerian is just a bad protagonist, and his awkward performance does it no favours. It's very telling that the sections of Delevingne's Laureline telling him off and being on her own on screen are the only times the film sings with tangible personality amongst all the hodgepodged space elements swirling around the human characters meant to drive the story for us as an Earthly audience. It also makes a lot less sense for her to be written to ultimately feel so compatible with him when she's designed to speak and act like a conduit for what our feelings towards him often are.

    So all that aside I mostly really liked it it, even though it's not often actually great. Ambition goes a long way when it's this well-realized and feels like its stemming from a passionate vision, as much as that love for the material might cloud its cohesion.

    See it on the biggest, loudest, most brightly projected theatre you can (in very strongly done 3D as well). Preferably before that Nolan flick that likely demands the same, and is probably much more substantial as an actual film on all fronts.

    At it's best, it really looks and feels like a dream. At it's worst, it still plays on the better, more imaginative of more familiar human creations like it.
    Last edited by Henry Gale; 07-20-2017 at 04:56 AM.

    Blade Runner 2049 (Villeneuve, 2017) - ***½ / 8.8
    Blade Runner [The Final Cut] (Scott, 1982/2007) - **** / 9.7
    The Big Sick (Showalter, 2017) - ***½ / 8.2
    Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Vaughn, 2017) - *** / 7.6
    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (McDonagh, 2017) - ***½ / 8.5
    I Kill Giants (Walter, 2017) - **½ / 5.6
    I Love You, Daddy (C.K., 2017) - ***½ / 8.3
    Hostiles (Cooper, 2017) - ** / 4.4
    The Shape Of Water (Del Toro, 2017) - **** / 8.9
    mother! (Aronofsky, 2017) - **** / 9.4

  10. #10
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Along with Dunkirk, I decided to do a double feature and saw this movie afterward, and... I actually liked this movie better of the two. >_>

    But seriously, this is the movie Jupiter Ascending should have been! There's just so much fun and creativity and imagination on screen, it was just an absolute cinematic delight. This is the movie that deserves to be seen on as big a screen as possible! Awesome, awesome movie!

  11. #11
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Don't wanna doom this before its first weekend (though.. c'mon), but I actually really like the idea of doing a sci-fi franchise non-starter trilogy marathon of John Carter, Jupiter Ascending, and this.

    If only Giacchino had done the score for this then that'd be a pretty perfect link between all three. Desplat's score actually has a lot of magnificent moments here, though. One has to wonder if he took some of his Rogue One ideas with him.

    Blade Runner 2049 (Villeneuve, 2017) - ***½ / 8.8
    Blade Runner [The Final Cut] (Scott, 1982/2007) - **** / 9.7
    The Big Sick (Showalter, 2017) - ***½ / 8.2
    Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Vaughn, 2017) - *** / 7.6
    Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (McDonagh, 2017) - ***½ / 8.5
    I Kill Giants (Walter, 2017) - **½ / 5.6
    I Love You, Daddy (C.K., 2017) - ***½ / 8.3
    Hostiles (Cooper, 2017) - ** / 4.4
    The Shape Of Water (Del Toro, 2017) - **** / 8.9
    mother! (Aronofsky, 2017) - **** / 9.4

  12. #12
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Dead & Messed Up (view post)
    this film is both worth seeing on the biggest screen possible and best experienced at a matinee price
    That sums it up perfectly.

    It's good fun while the fun lasts, but that's not as long as I would have hoped. Like so many other blockbusters, it's front loaded. All of the best action scenes, visual spectacle, etc. is all found in the first half of the film. For all of the amazing environments the film can conjure up, it literally ends in a nondescript warehouse. It could have used a lot more Rihanna, too.
    Making yet another effort again in 2017.

    The Killing of a Sacred Deer (Yorgos Lanthimos) **½
    Justice, My Foot! (Johnnie To) ***
    The Square (Ruben Östlund) ***
    The Florida Project (Sean Baker) ***½
    The Foreigner (Martin Campbell) ***

  13. #13
    What is best in life? D_Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Morris Schæffer (view post)
    Sometimes I wonder about Besson. Is he a good director?
    No, he's not.

  14. #14
    Since 1929 Morris Schæffer's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting D_Davis (view post)
    No, he's not.
    I had my suspicions.
    MOVIES

    • Thor: Ragnarok (Waititi, 2017) ♦♦♦
    • Control (Verheyen, 2017) ♦½
    • Detroit (Bigelow, 2017) ♦♦♦
    • Assassin's Creed (Kurzel, 2016)
    • Blade Runner 2049 (Villeneuve, 2017) ♦♦♦½
    • Patriot's Day (Berg, 2016) ♦♦♦½
    • Deepwater Horizon (Berg, 2016) ♦♦♦
    • Sully (Eastwood, 2016) ♦♦♦
    • American Made (Liman, 2017) ♦♦♦
    • The Deer Hunter (Cimino, 1978) ♦♦♦
    • Lion (Davis, 2016) ♦♦♦
    • It (Muschietti, 2017) ♦♦♦

    TV

    • The Missing (S2) ♦♦♦♦ // The Missing (S1) ♦♦♦ // The Night Of (S1) ♦♦♦½
    • Fargo (S3) ♦♦ // 24: Legacy (S1) ♦♦♦ // The Man in the High Castle (S2) ♦♦♦♦

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  15. #15
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Yeah, this was just okay. It was breathtaking visually but it went off the rails with its story really fast, and Dane DeHaan is not good in the lead role. He tries to make Valerian into a tough badass, complete with a voice affectation that makes him sound more like if Ted from Bill and Ted had a sore throat. Not much else can be said about it except that it exists.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    Justice League (Snyder/Whedon, 2017) 6.5
    Coco (Unkrich, 2017) 8.5
    Wonderstruck (Haynes, 2017) 5
    Tank Girl (Talalay, 1995) 8.5
    Jane (Morgen, 2017) 7.5


  16. #16
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    I was really excited for this film because the trailer looked like science fiction nirvana and Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element is a cool flick. Then the reviews reared their ugly heads, and I opted to wait for dollar theater. And here we are.

    Like The Fifth Element, the special effects are positively gorgeous. They make it worth the price of admission alone. Whether traversing dimensions in a virtual marketplace, crossing the galaxy space travel, or practical surroundings, it all looks great. Sure, you know the bulk of it is CGI, but its damn good looking CGI and very immersive. This movie had the guts to make a little alien lizard a central part of the story for an amazing reason. Whatever it eats, it immediately shits out about ten thousand of whatever it just ate. I'm not kidding. Its hilarious and amazing to behold.

    The style of the future was awesome. From clothes to ships to robots to weapons and everything in between, it all looked cool and practical. Some sci-fi movies have their “future” style look so ridiculous it pulls you out of the story. That was not the case here.

    The plot and story are really good as well. It’s a mystery that unfolds nicely over the course of the film and wraps up nicely. I wasn’t sure where it was all headed, so I was intrigued to find out what would happen next. I purposefully didn't explain much because its more fun to take the ride without knowing anything.

    I can tell you’re all waiting for that big “but” to happen, so here it is. There are only a couple things that don’t work in this film, and unfortunately they’re a problem throughout. I’ve read some reviews that said the two main stars DeHaan and Delevingne have no charisma and their chemistry is totally unbelievable. I don’t think that is the real issue. I think their performances were fine. I think their dialogue (and only of the two mains) was incredibly cliché and clunky. Its not their performance that didn’t sell it, the words written on the script page was awful. The romance was misguided from the start. They wrote DeHaan as a womanizing space bro without giving him any good Han Solo quips. I didn’t blame Laureline for declining his continuous advances throughout the entire film because they just felt gross, as his character was written far too pushy and couldn’t take a hint. Again, everyone else in the film had fine believable dialogue, but I groaned a fair amount with the cliches coming from the leads. That could have easily been fixed as well as the romance smoothed out before filming ever began.

    The film could’ve also been ten minutes shorter, starting with dropping what felt like a seven-minute dance performance by Rihanna that was completely unnecessary and brought the film to a screeching halt. Also, she’s a singer, and acting is her second job. I’m trying to be kind, but she needs an acting coach or more practice or something. Every syllable that falls from her lips is as clunky and wooden as she was in Battleship. Her character was decently cool and needed, but her part ended terribly, another fault of the writing. It almost seemed like an on-the-day rewrite to get her the hell out of there.

    When all is said and done, I didn’t love or hate Valerian. It has enough awesome sci-fi-ness to appease this dork, but I was disappointed that with some better dialogue and some editing this could have been a real homerun.

    Grade: C

  17. #17
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Stay Puft (view post)
    That sums it up perfectly.
    Agreed!

  18. #18
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    That's funny that you disliked the strip sequence; I thought it was one of the few times the film really had itself figured out and was doing something with its lead hero.

  19. #19
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    I didn't dislike it per se, it was a cool special effects scene, but it just went on and on and on. It really had no purpose other than to show off some special effects. Could've just as easily walked in to the club and met Bubble and moved on. For a minor character (that exits very quickly and stupidly) it just felt like bloat.

  20. #20
    good for health Skitch's Avatar
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    To be clear, I did enjoy the movie. I will buy this on Blu-ray. I'm a sucker for sci-fi. But I have to be honest with my grade, and I feel its fair.

  21. #21
    Body Double Rico's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Morris Schæffer (view post)
    Sometimes I wonder about Besson. Is he a good director?
    Good question. For me he is still a director that if I see his name and the trailer looks somewhat interesting I'll give it a shot, and it's usually a mixed bag. Like his last movie Lucy for example.

    I haven't seen this yet (I'm only skimming this thread) but probably will eventually because I watch a lot of crap anyway. So may as well watch crap from a director that once blew me away.

  22. #22
    A Platypus Grouchy's Avatar
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    This is a film I wish I'd liked more because of its really awesome world building and aesthetic. But, as skitch notes, the writing is terrible. At least it made me curious about the comics.

    Mainly I hated the love story and wish they'd cut all that shit from the film. I don't know if that comes from the source material but it did the movie no favors. It was terribly written and needed a pair with a lot more chemistry to work. I wouldn't have minded if Valerian and Laureline were simply two Bond-type soldiers who enjoy fucking. But having random characters spout shit about commitment to Valerian grew old very quickly.

    An interesting aspect of the film involves the general's cover-up plot which I thought was very well justified by Clive Owen's monologue - I mean, he can't simply reveal what he's done lest humans be banned from Alpha City and judged as a species. I was wondering how they were going to resolve that and then they simply didn't. They seemingly forgot or didn't care enough about their own set up.

    But yeah, cool shooting in two alternate dimensions.
    Last edited by Grouchy; 09-05-2017 at 03:19 PM.

  23. #23
    Second star to the right [ETM]'s Avatar
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    There's a complete edition of Valerian comics in a single book. We got it for a friend, I have it with me and it's pretty awesome.

  24. #24
    The first five minutes is the best thing in the film, the last act the worst. The rest is alright.
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    Stuff at Letterboxd


  25. #25
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Is this available for digital rental yet?

    Just Watched
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    Saw (2004) ★★★
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    Uwe Boll movies > all Marvel U movies

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