‘The Fifth Element’ Film Review

The Fifth Element (1997) - IMDb

When I first took Film as Literature in high school, back in 2010, one of the films our teacher made us watch was Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element. While I am sure it resonated well with most of my classmates, I found it to be the most irritating, ridiculous, poorly-made film I had seen. Needless to say, I hated it with the utmost passion I had felt for any movie. For almost eleven years, I have written it off as a terrible movie that I could never bring myself to watch again. However, thanks to a good friend of mine who loves discussing movies with me (and a scratch-off list of the 100 Must-See Cult Movies), I brought myself to watch it again, with the help of my fiancee, who absolutely loves this movie more than I ever could, and a trip to her parents’ house to borrow the DVD, as to appease my friend and see what was under that opaque substance I was eager to reveal with my dime. I fully expected it to be a torturous slag of an experience with no merit, except to waste two hours of my life, what I witnessed upon this particular viewing surprised me more than any movie ever could.

As I was watching a series of 90’s science-fiction blueprints grace the screen with rapid-fire quickness, a feeling had indeed changed inside me. The dreaded disgust and annoyance that once seemed to exist no longer vacated the soul within me. Instead, what creeped in was a light of calm and contentment as I soaked in every ridiculous, goofy moment that came my way. I kept thinking that this particular feeling was only temporary, and the rotten taste would return eventually. Yet as Besson’s film was coming to an end, I had noticed that what I was feeling never left like I thought it would, then the sign became clear. Here was a movie that made such a bad impression on me as a young aspiring film critic that I dare even look its way, only for it to finally win me over with its bright visual flair and sense of humor. There was no denying it, I may have been a bit too harsh on this movie, and I knew it (I was young and cynical then).

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‘Darkest Hour’ Film Review

Grade: A

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour (2017)

Gary Oldman is Winston Churchill in what would be the most thought-provoking movie of the year. Directed by Joe Wright (‘Pan’), ‘Darkest Hour’ is not just the portrayal of Churchill during his run as prime minister, but also a look at the controversy surrounding his election (and last-minute replacement for Neville Chamberlain). It takes place during the Nazi regime and even documents what sounds like real-life sound bytes of calls between Churchill and President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt, and footage of Nazi marches. To its core, ‘Darkest Hour’ also feels like a connection to another Best Picture nominee; Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’, since it is also a retelling of the decision to bring home the 300,000 men trapped on the sandy beaches.

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