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  1. #1
    Rotting Zealot
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    Luc Besson hasn't made a truly great film since The Professional

    Also known as Leon The Professional, it's more than just an action film it has an emotional poetic story. Heck the film always makes me tear up at the end. Sure he followed it up with the fifth element which is good but it doesn't compare and it seems like his films got worse as well as his writing abilities.

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  2. #2
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    While I agree his earlier stuff is amazing, La Femme Nikita, The Professional being one of the best character studies of the 90s, and The Fifth Element being a Sci-fi game changer. I'd say my favorite movie I've seen from him is The Fifth Element. It seems the most "complete" to me. The film creates an entire world and lets the characters play and grow inside it. His biggest strength has been character development and progression and I think this was one of his best along with Bruce Willis's most competent performance (maybe only Unbreakable is as good) though that's not saying much as Willis is a character actor.

    I guess on a whole he's not a director I actively seek out, though I think he's had some solid work. I'll probably end up seeing Lucy, though the whole "10%" thing is dumb.

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    "Fools believe bullshit without evaluation. Fools believe bullshit without reason, because they like the story or they want to fit in. Fools believe bullshit that has no scientific basis, or in some cases, directly conflicts with scientific knowledge. But foolishness can be cured. We have all been fools at one time or another, and intelligent people learn from their foolish mistakes and try not to make them again." - Dave Silverman

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  3. #3
    Rotting Zealot
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    CountOrlok's Avatar
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    Nikita is my favourite of his that I've seen. I also like Leon and The Fifth Element.

    Didn't care for The Big Blue, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec and The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.

    Wouldn't mind seeing some of his earlier french films like Le Dernier Combat and Subway.

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    Last edited by CountOrlok; 01-14-2015 at 10:31 PM.

  4. #4
    Rotting Zealot
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    Subway wasn't that great. I only watched it because of Lambert and before I knew who Besson was.

    I really enjoyed The Big Blue. I still want to see the super-duper-Euro version with even more underwater footage one of these days.

    Nikita, now there was a fantastic movie. Of all of his that I've seen so far it's his best. It's got an interesting, evolving story, fantastic well-drawn characters and it ends bittersweetly and not entirely un-tragic. It introduced me to French action films and I loved how much grit and character was put into the film compared to how hollow and un-inspired and un-satisfying American action films had become by this time. They were dreadful. If you wanted interesting action movies in the early '90s you turned to France and Hong Kong. With Luc Besson you got a Hong Kong action movie through a French filter, which is a great combo for style.

    I lost count of how many times I saw The Professional in the theater. I was completely in love with the film. Seeing Victor from Nikita resurrected and combined with the Trevanian archetype teamed up with a jaw-dropping performance and character from Natalie Portman was just magic, not to mention one of Oldman's best villains ever. Ever! EVER-Y-ONE!

    I loved this film, and Nikita, so much I was beside myself when I found out I'd get to work with Besson on his next picture. I was, however, disappointed it ended up being The Fifth Element. He was fantastic. It was my favorite work experience to date. I wouldn't trade it and all the collateral experiences related to it. But I thought the film was pretty terrible compared to everything he'd done to date. I really don't like that kind of camp and I didn't care for the production design. It was a script written by a 15 year old (seriously, Luc wrote this thing when he was a teenager). Still, I wouldn't change the experience even if I don't enjoy watching it. He's pretty brilliant to work with so I don't understand why it ended up the way it did. Bruce was a twat to him the same way you hear Kevin Smith talk about what it's like to work with him but it's not Bruce's fault the whole film feels like it's made of plywood.

    I've not seen all of The Messenger from beginning to end. I couldn't help but feel like Mila's performance was maybe a little too earnest. After that I lost track of his French films.

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    Last edited by BurnetRhoades; 01-14-2015 at 11:18 PM.

  5. #5
    Rotting Zealot
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    Nobody likes a show off.

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  6. #6
    Rotting Zealot
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    It's not showing off, that was a part of my life. You want to talk about this film you're talking about over a year of my life.

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    Last edited by BurnetRhoades; 01-14-2015 at 11:28 PM.

  7. #7
    Rotting Zealot
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    I was just joking. That's great you got to work on that film.

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  8. #8
    Rotting Zealot
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    Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BurnetRhoades View Post
    Subway wasn't that great. I only watched it because of Lambert and before I knew who Besson was.

    I really enjoyed The Big Blue. I still want to see the super-duper-Euro version with even more underwater footage one of these days.



    Nikita, now there was a fantastic movie. Of all of his that I've seen so far it's his best. It's got an interesting, evolving story, fantastic well-drawn characters and it ends bittersweetly and not entirely un-tragic. It introduced me to French action films and I loved how much grit and character was put into the film compared to how hollow and un-inspired and un-satisfying American action films had become by this time. They were dreadful. If you wanted interesting action movies in the early '90s you turned to France and Hong Kong. With Luc Besson you got a Hong Kong action movie through a French filter, which is a great combo for style.

    I lost count of how many times I saw The Professional in the theater. I was completely in love with the film. Seeing Victor from Nikita resurrected and combined with the Trevanian archetype teamed up with a jaw-dropping performance and character from Natalie Portman was just magic, not to mention one of Oldman's best villains ever. Ever! EVER-Y-ONE!

    I loved this film, and Nikita, so much I was beside myself when I found out I'd get to work with Besson on his next picture. I was, however, disappointed it ended up being The Fifth Element. He was fantastic. It was my favorite work experience to date. I wouldn't trade it and all the collateral experiences related to it. But I thought the film was pretty terrible compared to everything he'd done to date. I really don't like that kind of camp and I didn't care for the production design. It was a script written by a 15 year old (seriously, Luc wrote this thing when he was a teenager). Still, I wouldn't change the experience even if I don't enjoy watching it. He's pretty brilliant to work with so I don't understand why it ended up the way it did. Bruce was a twat to him the same way you hear Kevin Smith talk about what it's like to work with him but it's not Bruce's fault the whole film feels like it's made of plywood.

    I've not seen all of The Messenger from beginning to end. I couldn't help but feel like Mila's performance was maybe a little too earnest. After that I lost track of his French films.
    Have you seen the expanded version of the Professional that was released in 2000? It's even superior to the normal version I believe but I've Luc Besson actually prefers the shorter one

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  9. #9
    Resident Omega
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    Yea The Prof was definitely a pretty fun badass theater experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by BurnetRhoades View Post
    EVER-Y-ONE!


    That's actually one of the first things I think of any time I see The Oldman up on the screen.
    It's usually either that classic line, or his memorable Romeo Is Bleeding performance where he's constantly reminding himself to "feed the hole."

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    "I have been toying with a notion... that if one could find the perfect arrangement of all objects in any particular space it could create a resonance;
    benefits from which to the individual dwelling in that space could be extensive - could be far reaching... far reaching."


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  10. #10
    Rotting Zealot
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    Quote Originally Posted by CountOrlok View Post
    I was just joking. That's great you got to work on that film.


    Quote Originally Posted by Faust View Post
    Have you seen the expanded version of the Professional that was released in 2000? It's even superior to the normal version I believe but I've Luc Besson actually prefers the shorter one
    I have once. I don't recall a whole lot of differences except for the longer scenes in the hotel between Mathilda and Leon, where she talks more about her feelings for him. I don't know for sure but I think the studio might have been trying to avoid any sort of pedo overtones to Leon. I had many an argument with a good friend of mine who's opinion I usually respected highly about this aspect of the film. He just couldn't get over feeling uncomfortable that Leon was a pedo and I never got that feeling at all from his character. I agreed that Portman played the character, whether it was explicitly written this way or not, with sometimes a provocative, sexual tension but I think this made for a believable character in this sort of situation.

    Kids develop sexuality earlier in poverty and under extreme stress. It's both a physical acceleration as well as cultural, based on the pressures and exposure around them. Your average viewer is oblivious to this, or otherwise in denial. This reality makes them uncomfortable. Even shown in a tasteful, delicate way, he was put off and just couldn't get passed this aspect of the film that wasn't, I thought, a major influence on tone or plot or the actions of Leon in particular, even if they were a substantive part of Mathilda's character. He and I didn't see eye-to-eye on Heat either, though for different reasons entirely of course and Portman being in both was just a coincidence.

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    Last edited by BurnetRhoades; 01-15-2015 at 12:50 PM.

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