Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Director: Luc Besson
Writer: Luc Besson
Based on:  Pierre Christin and Jean-Claude Mézières‘s comic Valérian and Laureline
Cast: Dane DeHaanCara DelevingneClive OwenRihannaEthan HawkeHerbie HancockKris WuSam SpruellAlain ChabatRutger HauerPeter HudsonXavier GiannoliLouis LeterrierEric RochantBenoît JacquotOlivier MegatonElizabeth DebickiMathieu KassovitzJohn Goodman
Seen on: 31.7.2017
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Plot:
Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Care Delevingne) are operatives, charged with maintaining peace across the universe. A new mission brings them into possession of a converter, the last creature of its kind. But they can’t expect to be the only ones who want that converter. Their mission brings them to Alpha, a city made for all kinds of species that harbors a secret in its heart.

The fact that this film thought that it would be the right move to take the comic Valerian and Laureline and transform it into Valerian alone, is already pretty indicative of the decision making in the entire film: it might look cool at first glance, but it’s short-sighted, stupid and offensive.

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Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner [Final Cut]
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples
Based on: Philip K. Dick‘s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong
Seen on: 24.04.2015

Plot:
Humanity has managed to create replicants: genetically engineered robots. But after an uprising of the replicants, they have been outlawed on earth and have been banned to the off-world colonies. But when four replicants manage to escape back to earth, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is called on in his capacity as blade runner – a special police force tasked with hunting down replicants – to take them down. Although Deckard didn’t want to take on any more jobs, he agrees to do this last job. He starts his investigation at the company who builds the replicants, where he discovers Rachael (Sean Young), a new version of replicant that doesn’t know that they aren’t human.

Blade Runner was one of those classic films that I never saw until now – and now I’m afraid that I’m too late. In any case I was not particularly taken with the film. In fact, I thought it was rather boring, if very pretty.

bladerunner

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Re-Watch: Sin City (2005)

Sin City
Director: Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez, (Quentin Tarantino)
Writer: Frank Miller
Based on: Frank Miller’s comics
Cast: Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Jessica AlbaElijah Wood, Rosario Dawson, Benicio Del Toro, Powers Boothe, Michael Clarke DuncanRutger Hauer, Michael Madsen, Devon AokiJosh Hartnett, Alexis BledelJaime King, Carla Gugino, Brittany Murphy, Nick Offerman, Nick Stahl

Plot:
Basin City is called Sin City for a reason. A town full of crooked politicians, even more crooked cops, murderers, sex workers and pretty much everyone who was thrown out everywhere else. After the last good cop Hartigan (Bruce Willis) saved Nancy (Jessica Alba) from a pedophile and Senator’s son (Nick Stahl), he had to take the fall for it. But now he is out of prison and full of worry for Nancy’s continued safety. Nancy works as a stripper in a local club. At that same club, Shelly (Brittany Murphy) works as a waitress and she’s freshly in love with Dwight (Clive Owen). But her ex Jackie (Benicio Del Toro) is not done with her yet and Dwight suddenly finds himself in over his head in the part of town run by the sex workers. One of them (Jaime King) was just murdered – while Marv (Mickey Rourke) slept next to her no less. Now Marv is determined to find her killer and to exact vengeance.

I remember when I first saw Sin City – I was completely blown away by it (back then I was also a rather unaware baby-feminist, so I barely noticed the incredible sexism). Now I look at it with a more critical eye, but it’s still an awesome film.

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Dracula 3D (2012)

Dracula 3D
Director: Dario Argento
Writer: Dario Argento, Enrique Cerezo, Stefano Piani, Antonio Tentori
Based on: Bram Stoker‘s novel
Cast: Thomas Kretschmann, Marta Gastini, Asia Argento, Unax Ugalde, Miriam Giovanelli, Giovanni Franzoni, Rutger Hauer
Part of: /slash Filmfestival

Plot:
Jonathan Harker (Unax Ugalde) just arrived in a small town in the middle of nowhere where his old friend Lucy Kisslinger (Asia Argento) managed to get him a job as a librarian with the local Count Dracula (Thomas Kretschmann). As Jonathan nervously starts his job while waiting for his wife Mina (Marta Gastini) to arrive as well, it becomes quickly clear that not all is right with the Count and the village.

Ever since the film was shown in Cannes a couple of years back, the /slash Filmfestival has been trying to get this film to Vienna. And finally they succeeded, and even managed to bring Dario Argento as well which is pretty damn awesome. Unfortunately I missed about half the program with him and only saw the rest of his audience talk and this film.

And while I understand Argento’s status as a living legend, Dracula really didn’t prove that it’s justified. In fact, the film was rather horrible.

dracula3d

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Re-Watch: Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins
Director: Christopher Nolan
Writer: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan
Based on: Bob Kane‘s comics
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Katie Holmes, Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Tom Wilkinson, Rutger Hauer, Mark Boone Junior

Plot:
After the death of his parents in a robbery and a foiled attempt to kill their murderer, billionaire Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) leaves the country to search for something else entirely. While his hometown of Gotham City is slowly falling apart and swallowed by crime, Bruce ends up first in a prison, then with the League of Shadows, a mysterious organisation that wants to fight corruption, where he is trained by Henri Ducard (Liam Neeson). But when Bruce finds out about the actual goals of the League, he decides that he’d rather come home to Gotham and fight crime on his own terms – as the Batman.

Batman Begins is a wonderful start to the trilogy, and a film that is not only still enjoyable when you’ve seen the 10th time (or so), but also one that stands the test of time very well.

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The Rite (2011)

The Rite is Mikael Håfström‘s newest film, starring Colin O’Donoghue, Alice Braga, Rutger Hauer, Ciarán Hinds, Toby Jones and Anthony Hopkins.

Plot:
To escape his oppressive hometown, Michael (Colin O’Donoghue) decides to go to seminary despite the severe doubts he has about the church and his quasi-atheism. But when he tells his Father Superior Matthew (Toby Jones), Matthew exerts some pressure and “asks” him to attend an exorcism course before he decides for real. So Michael ends up going to Italy where he meets the eccentric Father Lucas (Anthony Hopkins) who performs exorcisms all the time.

I went into the film knowing that I might end up annoyed at the religiousness of it all. And I was slightly annoyed, but it wasn’t really bad. Generally speaking, there are some very effective scenes and some that didn’t work so well. In the end, the movie is only little better than average.

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