VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (2017)
Starring Dane DeHaan, Cara
Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu, Sam
Spruell, Alain Chabat, Rutger Hauer, Peter Hudson, Xavier Giannoli, Louis
Leterrier, Eric Rochant, Benoit Jacquot, Sasha Luss, Aymeline Valade, Elizabeth
Debicki, Olivier Megaton and the voices of Robbie Rist and John Goodman.
Screenplay by Luc Besson.
Directed by Luc Besson.
Distributed by STX. 137 minutes.
Besson obviously has an active imagination and a smart artistic eye. He has
been responsible for some fine films over the years: Léon: The Professional, La Femme Nikita, The Fifth Element, even
the first Taken movie. So, I’m not
sure why at this point in his career, he pretty much insists on being the
French Michael Bay.
On the plus side, many of
the special effects in Valerian and the
City of a Thousand Planets are mostly rather impressive and mind-boggling.
On the minus side, the movie looks and feels grimy, the dialogue is awful, the
action is not exciting, the actors are lifeless, the characters are annoying,
the leads have no romantic or physical spark, and the story is absolutely
Oh yeah, and the plot
basically revolves around a cute alien lizard creature that poops magical energy
pearls. Yeah, you read that right.
Back in the ‘80s, small
exploitation houses like Cannon Films and Vestron used to make cheap space
adventures to play third in a drive-in triple-feature or to loiter unnoticed in
the sci-fi sections of video stores – cheesy crap along the lines of Battle Beyond the Stars, Galaxina, Saturn 3,
Megaforce and the like. Valerian probably
belongs in this sorry company, though honestly it may not even be good enough
to pass muster even with these pathetic losers. If nothing else, none of these
older films took themselves seriously.
And those films were made
on a shoestring budget, while Besson wasted $225 million dollars to make this
visually interesting, but storyline-bankrupt space opera.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets seems to think it is an
important film, a potential blockbuster, possibly even the beginning of a
long-running series. (Please, God, no!)
What it really is, and I
cannot stress this enough, is a completely muddled and ridiculous waste of over
two hours of your life; an orgy of mindless violence, sparkless romance, crass
political commentary and pseudo-philosophy. Watching a blank screen for that
long would be more intellectually and emotionally stimulating.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is apparently based on
a French comic book series I’ve never heard of called Valérian and Laureline. I can’t really speak on how good or bad the
series is, though since it is a long-running cult favorite I must assume that
it’s better than its cinematic cousin.
A big part of the problem
is, quite simply, the two leads are awful. Dane DeHaan, who is a competent
actor, seems to be channeling Bruce Willis in one of the later, bad Die Hard sequels. He never quite comes
off as an action figure, and he has zero romantic or sexual chemistry with his
winsome co-star. He sets off more sparks with a giant blue tub of goo alien
shapeshifter (voiced and periodically played by pop star Rihanna) than he ever
has with his stunningly beautiful hard-ass co-pilot, who he keeps asking to
About that co-star… Cara
Delevingne is gorgeous, but did not
connect with a single emotion. I know it’s easy pickings to point out that the
supermodel can’t really act, but her monotone line readings and lack of facial
expressions quickly got distracting. I’ll even give her the benefit of the
doubt that it was not totally her fault. She’s a model, not an actress. A smarter
(or at least more conscientious or actor-friendly) director could have probably
coaxed a better performance out of her. Besides, forced to recite the lines she
was given, even Meryl Streep would have come out looking ridiculous.
The most entertaining
part of Valerian was Rihanna on a
stripper pole. Let’s face it, you don’t have to sit through this movie to find
footage of Rihanna on a stripper pole. Another oddball cameo (in fact, it was
in the same section) was Ethan Hawke’s affected (and borderline offensive)
performance as an effeminate, lisping, face-pierced space pimp. And how the
hell did they talk respected jazz-fusion musician Herbie Hancock into doing a
cameo role in which his character was only shown on video communication
If Valerian isn’t the worst movie this year, it’s going to be pretty damned
close. It’s certainly the dregs of what I have seen so far. Expect to see this
movie on a whole slew of year-end “Worst of 2017” lists.
Jack Atlas: “JACK ATLAS SPECIAL SYNCHRO DON” (Rice + Hot dogs + Salmon + Fries + Meatballs + Fried shrimp + Orange + Strawberry + Lettuce) Kiryu Kyosuke: Satisfaction Pasta (Carbonara sauce + Meat Sauce Parmesan Cheese + Shrimp + Squid + Tomato) Mazaki Anzu: “If You Squeal…” Burger (Cheeseburger)
Kuriboh: Kuriboh & Winged Kuriboh Mont Blanc (Chocolate Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc and Fresh Cream) Johann Andersen: “Johann’s Crystal Beast Parfait” (Fruit Parfait with Vanilla Ice Cream) - this was so good, it was reaaally good vanilla ice-cream though I gave the mint-choc chip scoop to Cara cos eww mint) Akaba Reiji: Trap Sweets – Dark Contract with the Berry (Strawberry Cake + Strawberry Sauce)
(Coasters pictured with each item were the ones randomly gifted hence why they’re mostly not associated with the character of the menu item)
Some of you have been contemplating the possibility that Louis & Harry have broken up. I wouldn’t be too worried.
1. ‘They aren’t all over each other like they were in the early days.’
That would be due to the fact that they are no longer in the 'honeymoon phase’ which happens to most couples. Take Barack & Michelle Obama, for instance; they have been married for a long time & have children together. They are not constantly over each other, does this make them less of a couple? This is most likely relatable to many parents who have been together for years. Again, it does not mean they have broken up. Also, it has been 4 years; they will have gained experience in restraining themselves on stage, in interviews, etc.
2. 'Eleanor is so close to Louis’ family, if she was a beard she wouldn’t be.’
This isn’t necessarily true. She may be covering up Louis’ actual relationship, but the family might actually view this as helping him keep Larry out of the public eye until they feel ready to tell the world. This may explain her involvement in Jay & Dan’s wedding, they view her as a close family friend. There is also the possibility, however slight, that all/some of the family don’t know about Louis & Harry. Coming out is a difficult step for anyone; if he is not ready to share this with his entire family, he wouldn’t dare share it with his fans. This would also be the time to mention that Harry appears to be just as, if not more close, to the family, so this point may not be the best one to abandon your belief in Larry over.
3. 'Louis wouldn’t let himself be miserable for so long.’
Simply put, if it were for the other boys, I’m sure he would do everything in his power to protect them. Also, if their management team is as vicious as we give them credit for, he may not have a choice. He’s not invincible.
4. 'They would have come out by now.’
This point, while ludicrous, seems to be a popular one. As it is 4am, I’m just going to bullet point reasons as to why this is not a valid reason to abandon ship:
a) They may not be ready. As stated above, coming out is such a difficult thing in today’s society.
b) Whilst equal rights are beginning to come into play, there is still such a long way to go & religion is still a huge part of modern life. They couldn’t risk losing those ticket & album sales.
c) We all saw the uproar caused by the Zouis video; it was trending on Twitter for days & is still mentioned in articles to this day. Imagine the media attention that would be caused by the 'front man’ and a committed boyfriend coming out as in a relationship. The band’s reputation would be ruined & they’d be portrayed in a negative light.
d) They are the biggest boyband in the world, and therefore, management’s biggest cash cow. If anything were to jeopardise this, it would have an effect on the boys, CEOs, secretaries, etc. in that company. There is no way they’d risk not being able to bring in a paycheck to everyone they employ.
5. 'Haylor & Hendall.’
I thought this was dead & buried, but apparently not. Haylor, without a doubt in my mind, was a publicity stunt. From the paps waiting at the side doors, the New Years Eve fiasco, to Union J flat out insinuating Taylor was a beard in an interview. I believe this speaks for itself. Hendall was possibly a larger stunt; Keeping Up With The Kardashians had failing ratings & Kris is well known for her publicity deals. Linking Kendall to Harry undoubtedly helped her modelling career in London, given his connections to Cara & co. She’s now promoting a new clothing line with Kylie, I believe. It is also worth mentioning that, during these two stunts, Louis was absolutely miserable (Haylor, in particular) which says a lot, interpret tha as you will. The bottom line is that if Louis didn’t care, he wouldn’t have looked so dead inside throughout the duration of these 'relationships.’ If you didn’t doubt Larry then, there’s no reason to doubt it now.
Okay, since it is Stupid O'Clock in the morning, I’m going to leave it here. I’ve probably forgotten something or some of this doesn’t make sense, but a girl’s gotta sleep. So go enjoy some tea & Larry videos while you await new matching tattoos.
AL MEU PARE · A MI PADRE · FOR MY FATHER (1939-2014)
Ja mai més res serà igual. Ho sabia, ho sé, ho sabem tots. La mort és aquesta amiga indesitjable que ens visita puntualment quan ens arriba l’hora. Ens apareix i ens agafa de la mà i ens porta, per un camí sense retorn, cap a paratges sembrats de silencis pesants com roques de marbre, mentre els que quedem al món intentem omplir les absències amb la raó, enganyant-nos amb pensaments falsaments reconfortants que mai no seran capaços d’omplir el profund esvoranc que portarem al cor la resta de la nostra existència.
La vida, ara, encara serà més dura. També ja ho sabia, que seria així. Tot serà una mica més difícil i hauré de treure coratge —un coratge inexistent, tanmateix— de les parts més remotes de les cèl·lules de l’organisme fent servir alquímies secretes, inefables, gairebé impossibles.
Més que mai em sent un rodamón a qui els saltejadors han assaltat en un camí perdut enmig del no-res i que han deixat nu dins una natura inhòspita. Em miro i em veig amb les mans desertes, buides; em miro i em veig que tot el meu interior s’ha convertir en una caverna obscura plena d’ecos de fosca. Però també veig, dins la profunda tristesa, una part de llum càlida, plena d’agraïment, que m’han mostrat, que m’han demostrat, tots els que vertaderament m’estimen, i a la qual m’he aferrat i m’ha permès mantenir el cap fora de les fosques aigües. També, ara, em veig a mi d’una altra manera, com si sortís del cos físic em pogués analitzar amb més detall i conèixer com sóc vertaderament… i ara, més que mai, sé que sóc així com sóc perquè per les venes em corre la mateixa sang que a tu t’omplia el cos i sé que sóc així com sóc perquè tu em vares modelar de la mateixa manera que el terrissaire fa néixer una eina d’un pilot de fang sense forma.
He heretat molt de tu. Potser tots els de casa ho hem fet: les ganes intensíssimes de fer coses, moltes de coses, de no aturar-nos davant les adversitats; de saber acceptar —i superar— les derrotes, les nombroses derrotes; d’intentar viure sempre amb la vista posada en el futur, amb prudència sí, perquè sabem que mai les coses són tal fàcils com suposem, però també amb il·lusió i esperança; hem après a intentar fer servir el seny —un seny antic, que ja corria per les venes dels avis— basat en la senzilla lògica de la supervivència sense passar per damunt els que ens rodegen. Hem après a ajudar els demés, però mai abandonar-nos. Hem après a demanar perdó, una i mil vegades si era necessari, quan el nostre geni —terrible com una caixa de Pandora, es destapava i ho malmenava tot com una pandèmia—. Hem après a ser una mica franctiradors de la vida, a fer-nos advocats de l’impossible, i anar al nostre propi so intentant compensar el gran desequilibri entre la grandiloqüència que tant ens agrada amb el viure i el deixar viure. Hem après a no fer-nos por de fer el més espantós dels ridículs, d’oferir-nos per tirar endavant allò que ningú volia fer. I fracassar. I fracassar. I alguna vegada triomfar i llavors sentir-nos una part útil de l’engranatge de l’univers. Hem après a estimar les persones, i a intentar ser agraïts sempre… I hem après, sobretot, llibertat. Una llibertat practicada amb l’exemple: mai no ens obligares a res, mai no ens condicionares. Ens deixaves fer, sempre ens has deixat pensar per nosaltres mateixos.
En un dels teus darrers moments, quan et tenia la cara, el cos entre les mans i pel cap ja m’ha passat l’inevitable, he tingut la impressió que la resta de la meva vida em quedaria al cervell la imatge dolorosa, tràgica. I ho ha estat, dolorós, ho ha estat, tràgic. Però juro pels déus que per a mi ja és la imatge més dolça, més plena d’amor, que fins ara mai no han vist els meus ulls.