Friday, July 28, 2017


Imagine if you could eating a bowl of Lucky Charms but without any cereal and only the marshmallows. That's how I'd describe seeing VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS for the first time. After two bites you're probably done, and you might be sick...or have diabetes?

My feeling we're so mixed the first time I watched the film. I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. The visual effects are amazing, but I knew deep down that wasn't the only thing good about the movie? Talking about VALERIAN to a friend at work I began to hate the film. I made up my mind that it wasn't very good. My thoughts on the film were put to rest.

A few days later I received some Russian science-fiction films in the mail. After watching the film SOLARIS, I started to think about VALERIAN again. The two films could not be further from one another, but they are both science-fiction films, and I've been on a big kick for the genre ever since watching 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY on the big screen for the first time ever!

I noticed that this week was the final time that Alamo Drafthouse was going to show VALERIAN in 3D. And 3D is the ONLY way to experience the film. So I decided to see it in the format one last time. If you love the film, then by all means 2D it on home video. But, your first experience must take place in Three Dimension.

VALERIAN probably isn't going to make my Top Ten list this year, but I sort of love the film after watching it a second time.

This film continues to get mixed reviews. And there is no middle ground, either you love it or hate it. My favorite criticism has been comparisons to the Star Wars Prequels. I find that kinda funny, and my disagreement will consist of me saying that VALERIAN is what George Lucas was trying to accomplish with those first two prequels. To me the movie was THE PHANTOM MENACE done correctly. If that's even a thing?

So you're probably thinking what the heck is VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS anyways? Something original? That's what I thought at first, but I was wrong. The film from visionary filmmaker Luc Besson is adapted from a French graphic novel published in the Sixties. And come to find out, the comic was very influential to films like Star Wars.

Tomorrow is the 4th anniversary of my favorite comic book store, and when I go there I'm going to ask them if they can order me a collection of the source material! I'm curious on how well Besson adapted the material? Even on the first viewing I loved how the viewer is dumped into the universe. No boring origin of Valerian and Laureline in the academy, instead we get a day in the life adventure of this interstellar team.

IMBD lays it all out pretty simply: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

And that's all you really need to know about the plot of VALERIAN. If you're thinking it sounds pretty generic and been-there-seen-that, you wouldn't be wrong. But sometimes film is about the journey rather than the destination.

Probably my only criticism of the film is that while I adore it's lack of pointless exposition dumps, VALERIAN could have used some? I found myself confused in the mythology of it all. Another thing I found distracting was the guy who played Valerian, Dane DeHaan and his choice to sound like Keanu Reeves? I swear it's not just a coincidence!

Despite how great I thought the two leads in the film were, my favorite character is probably Bubble, a shape-shifting alien played by pop star Rihanna.

But of course, my favorite thing about VALERIAN is how the film looks! The best way I can describe the production design of this movie is to imagine a Roger Corman science-fiction film with a $200 million dollar budget! If you're a Corman fan, I think you know what I'm talking about.

By now you already know if VALERIAN is a movie for you, with all the criticism available to watch or read on the web zone.

In conclusion, if you love pulpy science-fiction then I highly recommend VALERIAN. Just please watch it in 3D if you can!

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