Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Last Movie For The End Of The World

Le Cinquième Élément 
(The Fifth Element) (1997) France

Why am I ending the world with a movie about, well, the near end of the world made 15 years ago? Because except for a few things, this was a near-perfect movie. You had action, sci-fi, romance, and of course serious butt kicking. Funny thing is, the first time I saw this movie in the theaters I wasn't really into it. I guess I was expecting a straight sci-fi space movie like Star Wars or something - I remember waiting almost half of the movie for it to 'begin' before I realized that this WAS the movie. I also had no idea it was a English speaking French film, directed and based on a story by Luc Besson (who Milla was married to at the time). It was the first time I'd seen Milla, the first time (unfortunately not the last) I'd seen Chris Tucker, the second time I'd seen Gary Oldman (and didn't recognize him at all), and I think the first time Bruce Willis played a character that had a little more dimension than usual. He was actually likable in this one.

This movie is so familiar to most that I won't go into great detail - if you're like me you've seen this movie at least several times, if not regularly. It's a particularly long one (126 minutes) but every bit of it is worth it. We start in 1914 and we find that aliens have been protecting us from destruction for... well, ever. But they do warn that an attempt will be made in the future, so be ready. The rest of the movie takes place in the 23rd century. A cool bit of future look, some reminding me of Blade Runner except a lot brighter, and the fact they could reconstruct a being from a living cell was a neat idea. But I'm picky - if this 'being' is perfect, why does she have orange hair and blonde roots? Is that a 'perfect' color? But Leeloominaï Lekatariba Lamina-Tchaï Ekbat De Sebat, if she's perfect, is what I want to be - strong, agile, smart, and almost indestructible (well, one cell anyway).

And we have Mr. Zorg, our bad dude played very well (and strangely) by Gary Oldman. Super cool, super weird, super great. Just couldn't place what kind of accent he was going for. I loved his line, "Never be ashamed of who you are - you're warriors, be proud." And, "Life comes from destruction, disorder and chaos." Korben Dallas was basically Bruce Willis in every movie, except he seemed to be a bit more human in this one, therefore more likeable. And Miss Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker) was actually funnier than hell - until I realized that's pretty much the only type of character he plays. Ick.

The cruise ship on Fhloston Paradise (love how the word is so close to 'flotsam') was a neat piece of special effects and the opera house (actually The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London) was a lavish set all by itself. The performance by the alien Plavalaguna (another cool in-joke, in Bosnian, Croatian, Slovene, and Serbian it's a two word phrase meaning blue lagoon) was a great job mixing real voice and synthesizer sounds and her character was really over the top. And yes, she was blue. Which made for one continuity error - Korben digs the stones out of her gut, literally - they're covered in blue goo. But when the priest looks them over, they're clean and dry. Must be because they were magic. Oh well, in such a fantastic movie, even I could forgive them for that one. And Leeloo loving Korben? Okay I understood there had to be a romance especially for the ending to work but that was a bit of a stretch.

Phrases from the movie stay with you long past seeing this - it's been 15 years but whenever I see Milla as 'Alice' in the Resident Evil movies I still mutter 'multi-pass' - I just can't help it. I also remember Bruce Willis, when asked if he was human remark 'Negative, I am a meat popsicle'. Oh, and of course big-bada-boom. Just like Shaun Of The Dead, which I find myself quoting constantly, this is a movie with great, memorable lines.

 And that's it for the end of this world, it's been a real privilege pulling movies apart for you. I apologize to those in earlier time zones - your world is already over so you won't be reading this. If by a very, very small chance the world is still here after (what is for me) tomorrow, well then - on with the show.