movie - Valerian

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movie - Valerian

Postby willpell » Fri Jul 21, 2017 5:11 am

Just saw. Was amazing. Review to come, but don't wait - go see it now.
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby Khedrac » Fri Jul 21, 2017 7:48 am

I don't think it is out here yet, but I saw the trailer yesterday (I went to see Spiderman Homeconing - great film, I wasn't expecting a comedy) and I thought it looked interesting.
Anyway thanks for the advice, I will now make a point of seeing when it comes out and going to see it.
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby Havard » Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:19 pm

I'm interested. Reviews I have read say it is visually fantastic, but pretty bad dialog and acting and lacking in plot, which is what I suspected when I saw the first trailer, but I will probably check it out.

I recently got hold of the comic, so just started reading it. Pretty interesting.

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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby willpell » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:36 pm

Havard wrote:I'm interested. Reviews I have read say it is visually fantastic, but pretty bad dialog and acting and lacking in plot, which is what I suspected when I saw the first trailer, but I will probably check it out.


The visuals are absolutely jaw-dropping, especially in the first ten or twenty minutes of the film. My mind was legitimately blown at least two times, probably three. I could only afford to go once, so I saw it in 3D, and I was absolutely not disappointed. It's a beautiful, spectacular feast for the eyes.

The plot (and dialogue and acting and so forth) could certainly have been stronger, but for the most part I found it satisfactory. Comparing this movie to "Avatar" (with a bit of "Star Wars" thrown in, but not close to the level of archetypal characterization which made that one so successful) is very legitimate; neither movie has the most brilliantly original writing, and this one did succumb to cliche in several places, but also managed to have a few somewhat unconventional plot points, and there was at least a faint ghost of chemistry between the two leads. (Dane DeHaan has exactly the same voice as Keanu Reeves, which probably is not helping people like him; I'm the rare person who actually approves of Keanu's acting style, and I don't think Dane was quite as flat as he usually is, though he may still seem flat overall to some audiences. He's clearly not as charismatic as his character is meant to be; sadly, I think that was inevitable due to budget issues.) The lowest point of the film is probably the several intercut scenes where we have to watch this bureaucrat guy slowly figuring out what our main characters already know; it happens at around the same time we also meet a character played by the singer Rihanna, who is somewhat heartfelt and somewhat funny, but also somewhat shallow and annoying, and somewhat difficult to take seriously in what is ostensibly a serious part of the story.

Overall, I absolutely got my money's worth getting to see this once, and I think it's a legitimately good movie - but then, I also think "Gods of Egypt" is a legitimately good movie in spite of its flaws, so I won't be surprised if my word isn't good enough for most people. I would still encourage everyone to go see this at least once and make up their own mind; it's absolutely worth it just as a visual treat, and since the studio clearly broke the bank paying for top-notch VFX, I think they at least deserve to make their money back, even if they don't go down in history as the next "Star Wars" (which they doubtlessly hoped they would, but didn't try quite hard enough to have much hope of succeeding).
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby shesheyan » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:48 am

willpell wrote:
Havard wrote:I'm interested. Reviews I have read say it is visually fantastic, but pretty bad dialog and acting and lacking in plot, which is what I suspected when I saw the first trailer, but I will probably check it out.


The visuals are absolutely jaw-dropping, especially in the first ten or twenty minutes of the film. My mind was legitimately blown at least two times, probably three. I could only afford to go once, so I saw it in 3D, and I was absolutely not disappointed. It's a beautiful, spectacular feast for the eyes.

The plot (and dialogue and acting and so forth) could certainly have been stronger, but for the most part I found it satisfactory. Comparing this movie to "Avatar" (with a bit of "Star Wars" thrown in, but not close to the level of archetypal characterization which made that one so successful) is very legitimate; neither movie has the most brilliantly original writing, and this one did succumb to cliche in several places, but also managed to have a few somewhat unconventional plot points, and there was at least a faint ghost of chemistry between the two leads. (Dane DeHaan has exactly the same voice as Keanu Reeves, which probably is not helping people like him; I'm the rare person who actually approves of Keanu's acting style, and I don't think Dane was quite as flat as he usually is, though he may still seem flat overall to some audiences. He's clearly not as charismatic as his character is meant to be; sadly, I think that was inevitable due to budget issues.) The lowest point of the film is probably the several intercut scenes where we have to watch this bureaucrat guy slowly figuring out what our main characters already know; it happens at around the same time we also meet a character played by the singer Rihanna, who is somewhat heartfelt and somewhat funny, but also somewhat shallow and annoying, and somewhat difficult to take seriously in what is ostensibly a serious part of the story.

Overall, I absolutely got my money's worth getting to see this once, and I think it's a legitimately good movie - but then, I also think "Gods of Egypt" is a legitimately good movie in spite of its flaws, so I won't be surprised if my word isn't good enough for most people. I would still encourage everyone to go see this at least once and make up their own mind; it's absolutely worth it just as a visual treat, and since the studio clearly broke the bank paying for top-notch VFX, I think they at least deserve to make their money back, even if they don't go down in history as the next "Star Wars" (which they doubtlessly hoped they would, but didn't try quite hard enough to have much hope of succeeding).


Having read bad reviews I decided to wait for Valérian to be on cable rental. I was actually positively surprised by this movie. Having read Valérian albums in my teens it was cool to see the original spaceship and aliens superbly done in cgi. The badinage between Valerian and Laureline was enjoyable - somewhat reminiscent of the Han Solo and Leia duo. While the story is not the most original it was fun to watch and had good moments. Besson's taste for caricatural/old school comic book costumes maybe one of the reasons some people are turned off. But they are less silly than those in The 5 Element (which I hate with a passion - looking at you Chris Rock).

I give Valerian a 3.25 stars on 5. It deserve 65%. But I also gave 3+ stars to John Carter of Mars and Prince of Persia which also turned out (imho) to be better than what the critics led me to believe. By comparaison I gave only 1 star to : Jupiter Ascending, Suicide Squad, Hercules, Ironman III (Mandarin), Green Lantern and Batman VS Superman*. Those a really rotten movies.

(*I read the Frank Miller graphic novel Dark Knight Returns when it came out. You will never convince me that Batman VS Superman is a good movie.)
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby Morfie » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:54 am

Chris Tucker, not Chris Rock was in 5th Element.. I nearly called it 5e as an abbreviation :)

But I agree, Valerian was a lot better than I had been led to believe. Yeah, the acting was poor from the leads but it was quite a good movie overall.
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby Havard » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:29 am

I sort of regret not seeing this in the theatres. I will try to get around to buying it on BluRay or DVD when I have the time.

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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby shesheyan » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:36 pm

Morfie wrote:Chris Tucker, not Chris Rock was in 5th Element.. I nearly called it 5e as an abbreviation :)

But I agree, Valerian was a lot better than I had been led to believe. Yeah, the acting was poor from the leads but it was quite a good movie overall.


Oups ! sorry about that... but I still hate the over the top, useless and very distracting performance.

I wouldn't say the acting is poor. They simply don't have «star power». They are competent enough for the purpose of the story.

Valerian is definitely too young. In the comics he is an accomplished, mid-thirties man. Laureline could work. We don't know her age because of her origine.

The one thing that disappointed me about the movie is that Valerian is an agent of the Human Time-Police in the comic books. He travels back or forward in time to catch bad guys who want to change the time line. IIRC its not even mentionned in the movie... I would have preferred an expanded and extended version of La Cité des Eaux, in which Valerian travels back in time to New York, in 1986*, where the arctic melted and the city is half underwater.

(*the album was written in 1970)
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby ripvanwormer » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:15 pm

shesheyan wrote:Valerian is definitely too young. In the comics he is an accomplished, mid-thirties man. Laureline could work. We don't know her age because of her origine.


What bothered me is that he's written as an "accomplished, mid-thirties man" even in the movie. He talks about how many years he's been in the service; it's been a while since I've seen the movie (I saw it in the theater when it came out), but it was for something like a decade, and I remember thinking at the time, "What, did he enlist when he was 12?" But he's written as a fairly seasoned veteran who's earned his way up the ranks: cynical, experienced, and doggedly loyal to the institution he's dedicated many years of his life to. And he just doesn't look it, or try to play it that way. He plays the role like the cocky, fresh-faced kid he seems to be while saying lines that make him sound like a jaded veteran. I think part of what we mean when we instinctively think "this acting is bad" is the disconnect between how the character was written and how he was performed.

My guess is that Luc Besson had the optimistic thought that Valerian and Laureline could continue as a franchise indefinitely. Robert Downey Jr. is still playing Tony Stark after ten years and Mark Hamill is still playing Luke Skywalker after 40 years, so under that premise it might be best to start with a young cast and let them age gracefully into their roles.
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby shesheyan » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:38 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:
shesheyan wrote:Valerian is definitely too young. In the comics he is an accomplished, mid-thirties man. Laureline could work. We don't know her age because of her origine.


What bothered me is that he's written as an "accomplished, mid-thirties man" even in the movie. He talks about how many years he's been in the service; it's been a while since I've seen the movie (I saw it in the theater when it came out), but it was for something like a decade, and I remember thinking at the time, "What, did he enlist when he was 12?" But he's written as a fairly seasoned veteran who's earned his way up the ranks: cynical, experienced, and doggedly loyal to the institution he's dedicated many years of his life to. And he just doesn't look it, or try to play it that way. He plays the role like the cocky, fresh-faced kid he seems to be while saying lines that make him sound like a jaded veteran. I think part of what we mean when we instinctively think "this acting is bad" is the disconnect between how the character was written and how he was performed.

My guess is that Luc Besson had the optimistic thought that Valerian and Laureline could continue as a franchise indefinitely. Robert Downey Jr. is still playing Tony Stark after ten years and Mark Hamill is still playing Luke Skywalker after 40 years, so under that premise it might be best to start with a young cast and let them age gracefully into their roles.


True. Those are two fails by Besson. He is the writer, director and chose the actor. What this movie needed was a Han Solo/Firefly Captain Reynolds mix. Harrison Ford wasn't a big name at the time of New Hope. Its not really a question of budget. Its a question of finding the right actor for the written role.
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby shesheyan » Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:50 pm

Besson also made a «miscast» for Adèle Blanc Sec based on the comic of the same name. The main character is rather bland (ugly to some) but determined and intelligent. He cast a very good looking woman (Louise Bourgoin) in the role. That killed the movie for me (2 stars). I guess he doesn't want to take risks. At the same time this prevents him from doing 4-5 star material...
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby Yaztromo » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:13 pm

shesheyan wrote:Having read bad reviews I decided to wait for Valérian to be on cable rental.

Personally, I think this was a mistake. This move definitely gives its best on 3D/4X.
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby shesheyan » Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:31 pm

Yaztromo wrote:
shesheyan wrote:Having read bad reviews I decided to wait for Valérian to be on cable rental.

Personally, I think this was a mistake. This move definitely gives its best on 3D/4X.


Probably, but it doesn't make the actors better, and at 7$ for two (or more) instead of 30$+parking+snacks I don't mind not seeing it in 3D. ;)
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby Yaztromo » Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:54 pm

If you wait a bit more, you will see it on freeview and save also that 7$.
Recently, good actors on sci-fi or fantasy or supers movies are getting more and more uncommon.
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby Angel Tarragon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 8:55 am

I paid $3.50 to see it in the discount theater...but I would easily paid $14 and concessions. I fricking love the movie. I normally don't buy steelbooks of movies (unless I have darn good reason to), but the deep personal connection I have with this movie I couldn't help myself.
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby shesheyan » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:55 am

Angel Tarragon wrote:I paid $3.50 to see it in the discount theater...but I would easily paid $14 and concessions. I fricking love the movie. I normally don't buy steelbooks of movies (unless I have darn good reason to), but the deep personal connection I have with this movie I couldn't help myself.


Awesome !

I bought the special hardcover paper omnibus of the first three albums with a exclusive interviews of Besson and the two authors of Valerian. A great read. Brought back a lot of memories. I'm debating if I should get the six other omnibus... $$$
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby Angel Tarragon » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:33 pm

shesheyan wrote:I bought the special hardcover paper omnibus of the first three albums with a exclusive interviews of Besson and the two authors of Valerian. A great read. Brought back a lot of memories. I'm debating if I should get the six other omnibus... $$$
I haven't read the source material yet. Hoping to get my hands on it soon-ish.
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Re: movie - Valerian

Postby Saunatonttu » Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:47 pm

I really liked the film. It had some great worldbuilding (the introduction montage to the setting is an amazing piece of work) and it was visually a marvel - not as impactful as the Fifth Element was back in the day, but still pushing the sci/fantasy settings visually way further of what we see in the usual stuff like Wars and Trek. Not a perfect film, it could use a good trim and I understand not everyone being onboard with De Haan and Delevinge as the leads, but for some reason they worked for me in the context.

And cutting back to Delevinge beating up Clive Owen, which she had started a few minutes before was priceless :)
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