Reviews of Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (by Luc Besson), A Ghost Story (by David Lowery), and Kuso (by Steve Ellison, aka Flying Lotus).
BY DANIEL MATTI / BLURT FILM EDITOR
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Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Directed by Luc Besson
(3.5 out of 5 stars)
Luc Besson is not a common household name. For most hardcore action movie fans he is something of a staple name when it comes to the genre. Directing such movies as Le Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, and The Fifth Element. Also on his resume is a long list of writing credits including the hits Taken, District B13, and The Transporter series.
Valerian and City of a Thousand Planets is Luc’s newest film to hit the screens. Based off the late comic book series “Valerian and Laureline”, Valerian is now France’s most expensive movie ever made. Essentially letting Luc make his dream project. A dream project that is stunning but has its flaws.
While watching the movie myself I was nothing but pleased with the visual effects that were on par with Avatar (c’mon, Avatar had some beautiful visual effects) and a story line that was fun and comic book like (unlike Avatar). The dialogue was a little campy at times, but it seemed to be meant to be that way. The ongoing struggle between main characters Valerian (played by Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (played by Cara Delavigne) was the ‘ biggest weakness. The two characters were not a 100% match made in heaven or space, for that matter.
Overall, the film is a fun summer popcorn flick that will definitely please some of the audience, but not all who are looking for the year’s perfect film.
A Ghost Story
Directed by David Lowery
(3 out of 5 stars)
The newest movie by David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) starring Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara is an exploration of love, death, and the afterlife.
A brutal car accident that leaves “C,” played by Affleck, dead. “M” is played by Mara, and both will have to find their ways of dealing with death and the afterlife.
Most of the film plays around with the thoughts of an afterlife and that if when we die and were to become a ghost (with a sheet over us—yeah, like in Peanuts), we will wait for whoever fulfills our life most. “M” quickly leaves the house that she and “C” once shared, showing that “moving on” is sometimes difficult but also necessary at times. As “M” leaves, “C” is left there waiting for her as more tenants move into the house that they once shared.
This movie is full of turns that will keep you here ‘til the end and will leave you with your own thoughts and expressions on death—but will also leave you scratching your head at times.
The biggest flaw in the movie is the scene near the middle of the movie, where a group of friends throw a party and a partygoer goes philosophical and tries to sum up death and the afterlife while cracking jokes. For the most part it comes off as the guy at a party who, when he opens his mouth, you immediately go to the other room to avoid him at all costs.
The imagery of the entire film is really what holds it together, but other than that I would say this one is a rental after you knock back a few cold ones.
Directed by Steve Ellison (Flying Lotus)
(4 out of 5 stars)
Steve! Steve! Steve!
Recently the film Kuso by Steve Ellison, aka Flying Lotus, aka Captain Murphy, gave hardcore fans a real shock and awe for their money. With a cast that is full of Steve’s friends (including Hannibal Buress, David Firth, Anders Holm, Regan Farquhar aka Busdriver, and the one and only George Clinton) the film will have you saying what the fuck out loud more than just a couple times.
Clocking in a little over 90 minutes, Kuso is nonstop something. Something that is hard to stomach, visually that is. Something that is amazingly pleasing to the ears.
With the help of other musicians, the film is scored perfectly. Alongside the visuals that are hard to digest with your eyes, your ears are tested to keep the fuck up. Mr. Oizo, Aphex Twin, Busdriver, Akira Yamaoka, and Flying Lotus himself all lend their diverse taste in electronic music to the film—that I have to say, is one of the best and most disgusting films of the year. It’s easily of the most disgusting films I’ve ever seen, on par with films like Salo, or 120 days of Sodom, or A Serbian Film.
Horror geeks and fans of electronic music will find this movie to be a hit. Everyone else, grab a barf bag and prepare for your eyes to have “Kuso” rubbed in them.
Daniel Matti is a 29 year old movie/music enthusiast who drinks too much whiskey and tries to watch movies on a daily basis. Contact him via email: dmrorschach (at) gmail.com