I love the way Luc Besson views the universe. Besson sees the universe in bright bold colors. It’s the way I would like to view the universe. While my mind is often clouded by the often sad and tragic state of humanity, and especially man’s inhumanity to man, Besson manages to look beyond and see the beauty beyond our planet and into the stars.
Somehow, despite having seen the movie La Bamba more than a dozen times in my life, watching the movie on its 30th Anniversary felt brand new. La Bamba was a film of my youth; I was 11 years old when the film hit theaters in 1987. I watched it repeatedly when it was on pay cable and free TV in the later 80’s and 90’s and then the film fell from my memory. You might be wondering how I could have allowed something I must’ve treasured to leave my memories. The answer is more complicated than I had imagined.
With The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, director Christopher Nolan has ascended to that rarefied air of directors who can sell a movie with his name alone. Nolan now stands shoulder to shoulder with fellow relative newcomers J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon and the original superstar director, Steven Speilberg.
I cannot decide which is the more difficult type of review: positive without fawning, negative without being mean-spirited or ambivalent. The last type of review is where I find myself with the new movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets:; utter and complete ambivalence. There is much to admire about the latest from director Luc Besson (The Fifth Element, Leon: The Professional, among others) but there is also plenty of empty, sci-fi spectacle.
The Big Sick broke my heart into a million little pieces and slowly pieced it back together throughout its gentle, sweet and very, very funny 120 minutes. Featuring an unconventional but brilliant lead performer, a radiant love interest and two of the best possible supporting players anyone could ask for, The Big Sick is, thus far, the best movie of 2017.
As RoboCop turns 30 years old this month it’s as good a time as any to look back on the career of director Paul Verhoeven and examine his unique oeuvre. Verhoeven’s career is marked by overreaching his talent. It is marked by attempting to deliver great, thoughtful work that comments on humanity via characters and storytelling and then settling for titillation of the lowest common denominator kind. To put it metaphorically, throughout Verhoeven’s career he’s become known for using a chainsaw when he should be using a scalpel.