Sunday, May 22, 2011

Film Review Request: The Fifth Element (1997)


So the other day I was talking to Nuno (the devil in Chris Messina’s form) and he tells me that just within the last few weeks he saw The Fifth Element for the first time and “...it has exploded into my top 10 favorite movies.”

So at long last...after all these years...we can finally say...that everyone...in the United States of America...has seen this film.

Like most 13 year old girls, Nuno is a big anime fan and he loves this movie because it reminds him of a live-action anime. He clearly has never seen Machine Girl, Casshern, Zeiram and various other live action anime films.

But that’s ok, he’s a very busy man...he must be, otherwise it wouldn’t have taken him 14 years to see THIS MOVIE!!! Really crazy, Nuno! All those movies you’ve seen and you never saw this till now? Whole anime collections and not once did you have a chance to watch this until 2011???

Anyway, since this was a review request, I’m obliged to review it for him. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how to review a film that every American has seen.

What can I say that isn’t already known or hasn’t already been said?

I’m sure that he and many other Americans realize that the film, stylistically, was inspired by French sci-fi comic books. In fact, Luc Besson, the French director, even hired legendary French comic creators, Moebius and Jean-Claude Mézières to do the French conceptual and French production design for the French film.


This may not seem like all that big a French deal but in truth it’s quite interesting as French sci-fi comics have a French look that differs greatly from Japanese or American sci-fi, hence the unique look of the French film. A similar French look can be found in the classic film Blade Runner, as Moebius was a primary inspiration, visually (he was initially offered the job as a French production designer but turned it down...French dumb-ass).

But this is supposed to be a review, so what did I think of this film? Well, honestly, the first time I saw The Fifth Element I didn’t really like it. I guess I just didn’t get it or was expecting something different...something less French. On subsequent viewings, however, I completely fell in love with it. I don’t even have to watch this movie again to review it because I’ve seen it so many times. Which goes to show, you never know when you’re going to like or dis-like a movie. In fact, there are several movies that I equally like and dis-like...I know, I know...it’s amazing that I can be so comfortably contradictory...so...so...non-committal, within the confines of my own opinion and the criteria that I have set up in order to form those opinions...but what can I say...I have my opinions like I have my orgasms; multiple. Yikes!

Another friend of mine is not a fan of The Fifth Element, namely because he disapproved of Gary Oldman’s plastic toupee and Chris Tucker’s...well...Chris Tuckerisms. But this same friend liked the film Devil (coincidently enough, starring Nuno) so his opinion doesn’t count. He’s a fool...A FOOL!!!!!


Now, if you’re like Nuno and have recently crawled out of the rock that you lived under for the past 14 years; and are hungry for more space movies that are like The Fifth Element. Rest assured ground control, Major Tom’s got your hookup.

I won’t go as far as to say these are better than the The Fifth Element, or even as good, but they are clearly cut from the same French cloth:



Immortal

Directed by Enki Bilal, another French comic book writer and artist, I feel that Immortal is kind of a spiritual sequel to The Fifth Element. It’s in no way as good but it’s not...horrible...in and of itself. It’s a “green screen” film, which kind of works for the story but is still a little cheesy looking at times. Good flick though, if you’re into eye candy...and by eye candy I mean the hot blue lady who stars in it.






Blade Runner

Actually, this movie is better than every film mentioned in this article combined. If you haven’t seen this one then you’re probably a replicant and will need to be “retired.” Also, it takes place in 2019, which is just 8 years from now...interesting to see how far we haven’t come in comparison to our modern folktales.











Barbarella

Literally based on a french comic, this movie stars a young and very hot Jane Fonda in space, fighting the forces of evil, armed only with her naivete and her sex appeal. On a side note, it’s also where the band Duran Duran got their name from. Probably because Jane Fonda will leave you Hungry Like a Wolf after watching her change from her spacesuit into her...um...other space suit...at the beginning of the film.













Dune

A very interesting film, visually. Extremely boring, too. This is a movie your better off watching 10 minutes a week until you’re finished. I love everything about this movie, except the movie itself. I’m unsure how this happened but it did. It has all the makings of a great film; one of my favorite directors, David Lynch...a talented cast including a young Kyle MachLachlan...and the tantric cowboy himself, Sting (this guy knows what I’m talking about when it comes to multiples...eh? eh, Sting?). It may be that the story was a confusing mess but in the end it feels like no one really cared about Dune and just made the movie for a paycheck. Visually it’s so cool....it’s just reeeeaaaaallly boring.






City of Lost Children

Another French offering, with a style all its own. The farthest thing from Fifth Element on this list but it’s so good...and so French...that I had to put it on here.












Anyway, these are the only movies I could think of to recommend to Nuno...and to you my dear readers...all 5 of you.

So here’s the contest: If you have any other film suggestions please let us know in the comments section. The first person that suggests a movie that piques Nuno’s interest and actually prompts him to watch it within the next 14 years will get a French kiss from him for 14 seconds.*

Keep it French y’all.



9 out of 10 Leeloo Dallas Multi-passes

Recommendation: If it turns out that you have not seen this film, and in fact Nuno is not the last person to see it, then you probably just woke up from a coma. First, make sure that you are not alone (if you are then the End times have come and the only people left are actually zombies). Next, (if you are not alone) make sure the people who are with you are not Replicants (I actually am not sure of the science behind this so you’re better off just going with it...they have pleasure models anyway, so...multiples). Finally, go to France. In addition to being a wonderful place, the French love coma patients...oh and then watch the FUCKIN’ MOVIE!!! HOLYSHIT it’s only been 14 YEARS!!!!



*Filmdeviant staff and spouses of Filmdeviant staff members are not eligible for contest. Filmdeviant is not responsible for any communicable diseases that contest winners may and ultimately will catch from kissing Nuno. Be advised Nuno is the Devil and that any sexual contact with a malevolent being will more-than-likely lead to madness and possibly the End Times. Nuno is not obligated to brush his teeth before mouth contact. Nuno is not French. At any time Nuno reserves the right to fondle/grope contest winners during oral to oral exchange.



til next time,

Thomas Drew



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