‘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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‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ Film Review

Grade: B-

Since late 2009, when James Cameron’s spectacular ‘Avatar’ came out and became the highest grossing film at the time (until J.J. Abrams’ ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ broke that domestic box-office record a few years back), 3D was mainly used as a marketing gimmick in order to bring in the big bucks. Not to say that CG is a bad thing; I don’t mind looking at colorful characters or immersing myself in a world of beauty. I am starting to catch on to the techniques filmmakers are using. CG is looking more noticeable; making it really hard for me to “feel the moment” so to speak. There are times when the CG in Luc Besson’s ‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ looks noticeable, but if one were to sit back and relax, you could immerse yourself in a world of beauty and realize that things aren’t as bad as they seem.

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