Welcome one and all to MoJoe's Movie Mania! In an effort to bring order to the chaos that is my writing, I have decided to start a weekly installment. And here it is.
I love movies. Even more than that, I love critiquing movies, and I am quite sure I am not alone. Admit it, after watching a movie you spend the next hour or so arguing about it with your friends. You talk about it with co-workers, sometimes even your customers.
However, deep down, we all consider ourselves to be movie critics. Sure we don't have a fancy piece of paper from "movie college" saying we are "experts" in movie-ography. And most of us don't know very much about the camera angles used in such "great" movies like Citizen Cain and in fact, and for the most part our real reactions are something like "it was boring and has something to do with a sled." Inside though, we feel like yelling back something like "damn it, I know movies and have an opinion on movies, an opinion that is just as valid as anyone's."
So in honor of our own brand of movie criticism, I propose to you that each week I will pick of a movie of my choice (it is my post after all) and talk a little about it. Then I want to hear what you think about the movie. Be honest about it. Don't hold back. Don't be a shy Broo, because I know that that is an anomaly.
Remember, there is no right or wrong answer here. As any good postmodernist knows, right and wrong are relative, especially when it comes to a good movie. Now then, on to the movie. To kick this sucker off, I have selected an old favorite of mine: The 5th Element.
The 5th Element was released way back in 1997. I remember seeing it at the theater twice, which at the time was the most times I had seen any movie; this of course was before Starship Troopers and Star Wars Episode I. I was instantly in love with this movie and have been ever since. I even owned it once. In fact, I once owned about two hundred DVDs. But circumstances changed, which included a slutty ex-girlfriend and an apartment bill, whom apparently conspired against me, and I ended up selling all of my movies so I could buy smack. Actually I just had to pay the rent, but whatever.
Anyway, it is rather difficult for me to buy a movie these days, particularly because I probably already owned it. However, if money was not an object, I would buy The 5th Element again because it features great graphics, great writing, and some great actors who all combine to make what I would consider a good movie. See, great + great + great = good.
I remember when I first saw the movie I was blown away by the CGI. This was one of the first movies I recall where they used a lot of CG for the backgrounds. Or maybe it was just one of the first ones where it looked really good. Anyway, it looked incredible. The vision of New York City of the future is breathtaking and more than a little awe-inspiring. Having re-watched this movie fairly recently (yesterday night), I was amazed to realize that the graphics still look really good, even compared to the more modern stuff. Usually you watch a movie from ten years ago remembering awesome graphics and cool fight scenes, only to realize that such movies as the Star Wars prequels and The Matrix have ruined it all for you. Not so in this case. The 5th Element still looks awesome. I wonder what it would look like in blue-ray.
The 5th Element was written and directed by Luc Besson. Sound familiar? He is also responsible for such classics as The Professional, starring a very young Natalie Portman, and the over-the-top action series The Transporter. He also wrote the screenplay for Taken. If you've seen this one you know all about Qui-Gon Jinn and his deadly Jedi throat-chop. Besson can be a very creative writer and directer, and The 5th Element is no exception. One scene that sticks out in my mind is when Zorg is trying to get the stones and is asking questions which are answered by Leeloo, who is another place altogether. By jumping from character to character, it creates a dialogue that makes complete sense, even though both characters are not in the same place. The thing I like the most is that, most of the time, the movie feels very serious, what with the fate of all life hanging in the balance. But then strange things start happening, characters show up unexpectedly, and sudden it feels like you're watching something like Snatch or Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels. Props to Luc Besson for a job well done.
One cannot talk about The 5th Element without talking about the star power in the movie. Hopefully I wasn't the only one who wanted to strangle Chris Tucker, although I can't imagine his eyes bulging out any more than they already are. Every time he spoke, all I could think about was, "You got knocked the fuck out!" Also, I hope I am not the only one that thinks Bruce Willis always plays a character who seems infinitely hungover, even though he never seems to drink. And what's with the hair Bruce? In every movie his hairline is in a different place. Creepy. Gary Oldman was the absolute shit as Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg. With his metallic-clicking limp, his clear plastic skullcap and futuristic mullet, and his oh-so-evil soul patch, Oldman is the perfect villain for this movie, one who is at once evil and ruthless, but also a little absurd. He definitely makes my top five for the best villains of all time. And I mean Gary Oldman himself, not necessarily just Zorg. Seriously, have you seen Bram Stoker's Dracula? Or The Professional? Gary Oldman is one evil bastard. Of course, we can't forget Mila Jovovich. Who else could look completely confused, babble in a made-up language, kick some serious ass, and still manage to be absolutely hot at the same time? Mila, you're beautiful, even if Resident Evil is a truly awful series of movies.
So there it is. I declare that The 5th Element is a good movie. Maybe even a great movie. So what do you think?