Showing posts with label Mathieu Amalric. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mathieu Amalric. Show all posts

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Quantum of Solace

"This is about trust. You said you weren't motivated by revenge"

A direct sequel to 2006’s Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace stars Daniel Craig as British Secret Agent James ‘007’ Bond. Following the death of someone close to him Bond sets out to enact revenge while also uncovering a Coup d’état in Bolivia. Enlisting the help of Bolivian Agent Camille Montes (Olga Kurylenko), Bond travels the globe tracking the environmentalist Dominic Greene (Mathieu Amalric) who is in fact a member of the secret organisation Quantum, about which little is known. Despite frequent calls for restraint from his boss M (Judi Dench), Bond is unable to control his urge for revenge and ends up with both MI5 and the CIA hot on his tail.

The fact that it’s taken me four years to watch this film may give you some indication as to my indifference when it comes to 007. I used to like watching the Sean Connery and Roger Moore film’s as a child and remember enjoying the Pierce Brosnan Bond when I was growing up but there is something about ‘modern Bond’ which I just don’t get. Nevertheless I gave this a go and here’s what I thought…

Friday, 15 June 2012


"It's not the sex I've had, it's the sex I want that you can smell"

Young billionaire Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) decides to take his stretch limo across New York City for a haircut. Along the way he conducts business, meets friends, family and acquaintances before being mobbed by anarchists and confronting someone who has malicious intent to harm him. 

This film reminded me of a good Shakespearean play; I only understood about half of it but enjoyed it a lot. There are long elongated stretches of duelling dialogue which are spoken in a half alien language of metaphors and double meanings. The word ‘this’ takes on new meanings and is used in – it feels like – almost every sentence. Much like a Shakespearean play there are odd comic moments and in keeping with Director David Cronenberg’s cannon, brief scenes of extreme violence. These few instances ignited some of the more drawn out and dare I say duller scenes to keep the audience on tenterhooks. Despite these flashes this wont be a film for everyone and a man next to me in an early afternoon screening fell asleep while a couple on the row in front left about half way in.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec

Luc Besson’s The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec is a loose interpretation of Jacques Tardi’s historical comic book of the same name. Staring Louise Bourgoin in the role of adventurer and writer Adele Blanc-Sec, the plot follows Blanc-Sec to Egypt in 1912 where she attempts to bring back to Paris the mummy of Ramesses II’s personal doctor so that he can be bought back to life by her friend, Professor Espérandieu in order to save her sisters life. The reason for Blanc-Sec’s sisters injuries are that during a tennis match, she fell onto a hat pin which went right through her head. If all this isn’t strange enough, while Blanc-Sec is in Egypt, Professor Espérandieu resurrects a 130 million year old Pterodactyl that is hatched from an egg in a Paris Museum.

As you can probably guess from the plot, this film is absolutely bonkers. While every effort is made to maintain the historical accuracy for most of the film, the addition of flying Dinosaurs and 5,000 year old Egyptian nuclear physicists can only be described as silly, but in a good way. The film has the look of an early silent movie with makeup and prosthetics that look very similar to what was used in the 1910s. Actors have deep eye shadow and lines drawn on their faces to indicate wrinkles and the costume is accurate of the period. This early twentieth century look is complemented well by the up to date computer graphics of the Pterodactyl and Egyptian mummies. While these effects are not incredibly realistic, they are pleasing to look at.

Beautiful period makeup

The script is fast paced and snappy with most of the best lines going to Bourgoin as Blanc-sec. The best line of the whole film is left to the mummy of Ramesses II however as he looks at the Louvre and suggests someone should build a pyramid in its courtyard. Bourgoin is also the standout as far as the acting is concerned. She is irresistible on screen, playing a kind of female Indiana Jones but with even more attitude. She completely controls every scene she is in and I was surprised to learn that this was one of her first roles. She appears very comfortable on screen. She manages to remain very beautiful and ladylike while fighting all who get in her way.

Bourgoin is stunning as Adele Blanc-Sec
The fast cutting and snappy dialogue help the film to push along through some of its less exciting scenes, giving the film a frenetic feel. It is also funny in places though I felt that it lost some of its humour in translation. As the film is so fast paced at times, subtitles flash on and off the screen in an instant, sometimes leaving no time to take in and enjoy what is being said.

Overall I enjoyed this odd, French blockbuster. It was one of the strangest films I’ve seen in a while. The makeup and costumes were satisfying to look at and Louise Bourgoin is surely a star in the making.