Skip to main content
Now building my TET.Life Store.

Movie Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017) *Spoiler Free*

I was excited to see Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets for the sole reason that, based on the trailers, it was writer/director, Luc Besson's return to his visionary best since The Fifth Element (1997). Beyond that I'm not familiar with the comic series, Valerian and Laureline, that the movie is based upon.

The comparison to The Fifth Element is very easy to make as the visual style of Valerian is very similar. So much so that it could easily be another story set in a different part of the same universe.



The story its self isn't nearly as visionary, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne), are two special space operatives, working for the government, set out to retrieve an item of extreme importance that could determine the fate of the City of a Thousand Planets. Things go don't quite go to plan, chaos ensues.

Though the plot is pretty standard, get the item give it the right person/people/alien before everything goes to crap, it's really the journey, the gorgeous visuals, and ideas that will keep you engaged for the majority of the film.

I've read other reviews where the general consensus is that this movie has a great first half then falls away towards the end. I tend to agree with those reviews, though it isn't a failure by any means and the end isn't unsatisfying at all. Generally it's a solid film. I feel the first half seems stronger simply because you're presented with so many new and cool ideas, whilst the second half is focussed on bringing the story together into its final act.

I do feel Cara Delevingne is short changed some what by the movie's title which puts the focus on Dane's character, Valerian. The two of them pretty much get equal screen time and are both very capable characters, saving each other and both doing kick-ass things all through out the movie. I guess 'Valerian and Laureline' (as per the comic title) would've made this sound like too much of a romance picture - even though the two are more than just friends right from the start.

Speaking of Dane, I'm not a big fan of his work. He was absolutely fantastic for Chronicle (2012) but doesn't quite work for me here. Possibly because he looks too young and sounds too 'emo' to be the capable, special operative he's supposed to be. He never feels threatening to me. He also doesn't have quite the comic timing  and charm needed to sell some of the dialogue as natural (in the way, Bruce Willis does in The Fifth Element).

That aside, he's fine in the role of Valerian but maybe the movie should've been called 'Laureline and the City of a Thousand Planets' because Cara does a better job of selling the idea she's a capable special operative.

Beyond that I can't really highlight too many other issues I had without spoiling the story - other than to say one character's fate seems a convenience to save on the special effects budget rather than a necessity of the story - it's not terrible but it's obvious keeping the character around would be problematic.

As I said earlier, this movie is all about the journey, the visuals, and the ideas. Watching how the City of a Thousand Planets evolved at the start of the film is pretty engaging in itself (all to David Bowie's song, Space Oddity), even if it isn't actually essential to the story other than to understand why the city is so varied in every way.

If you are a fan of The Fifth Element, Valerian is going to be right up your alley. The story and its twists and turns are not nearly as well crafted as that film but the visuals and world of the movie certainly are (in some cases they're even superior - as they should be for a film made 20 years later).

Overall I did enjoy the film. I thought the two hour and seventeen minute runtime was going to be an issue but by the end it really didn't seem that long.

Well worth seeing on a big screen.

Comments


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

Movie Review: Avengers: Infinity War (2018) *Spoiler Free*

Ten years in the making and Marvel finally releases part one of the Avengers versus Thanos, A.K.A. Avengers: Infinity War.

After seeing all 18 films in the MCU prior to this, and liking most of them, I was pretty confident this movie would not disappoint.

Other than a few minor issues - that are all my personal taste and in no way reflect on the quality of the film - it really delivers. Thanos is indeed the big, bad villain of the MCU that we've been antcipating.

Finding Time to Skate - Swap a Skateboard Session into Your Weekly Workout Routine

A common problem among skaters dealing with work/life commitments (typically older skaters with families, careers, or both) is finding the time to actually spend on a skateboard. In fact, life in general getting in the way of skateboarding, is what often leads so many to drop out of the sport, only to rediscover it later, once everything else starts to even out.

I'm certainly in that category. Never really giving skateboarding away altogether but only using a skateboard to get from A to B, when I didn't have a vehicle, for many years. In the last couple of years I've been trying to get back into the sport properly, i.e. building up my trick list and skating for fun and not just to get from A to B.

The problem is I have so many interests, projects, paid work, and more, that I would often leave skateboarding to the end of my day. Kind of as something to look forward to. Except I wouldn't be that motivated to really improve because my mind would be fried from everything …

Creating a Mobile Independent Artist Business - Part 10: Opportunities to make money (Part A)

In my last post I looked at What to Create and Finding Your Market. This post is something of a natural follow on from finding your market as many of these money making opportunities include their own market places that you can research to see what kinds of themes and subjects sell best.

It's worth doing this research to find out if the art you're already creating is a good fit for that market place - which is ideal - or if you may have to consider expanding your interests to cover popular themes in order sell in a particular market.

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard.

I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned.

Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board.

The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your front toe downward, mid drag, causing the front of the board to drop away from your foot. I demonstrate this method in my v…

Making Money with Stock Photography and Skillshare Courses - Two Real Life Experiences

I'm a big advocate for earning a living online through various business opportunities that you can start with little to no up front capital. Two that I've often mentioned are stock photography sites and creating an online course.

Personally I haven't done either because I've gone down the Print on Demand, Blogging, and Selling Digital Products path of making money online, starting with next to no capital. Though I am planning an online course in the near future.

However, I recently came across two videos that dive into the detail of earning money through stock photography sites and creating online courses that I thought were really worth your time if either sounds like something you want to do.

Earning Money with Stock PhotographyRachel Lerch is a photographer who spent three years earning a living through taking photos for several stock photography sites. In this video she gives a very detailed run down of her business, and pretty much everything you need to know goi…

How Much Can You Earn from YouTube Ad Revenue?

It's rare for any YouTuber to talk specifics on the ad revenue they earn from their YouTube channel because Google didn't originally like anyone talking specifics on ad revenue earnings to the point where it used to be part of the Terms of Service not to discuss it.

It appears they've changed their stance because I reviewed their current TOS and it is now says you can accurately disclose your gross earnings if you wish.

Getting back to the point of this article, YouTuber and Business Coach, Roberto Blake posted a video detailing how much he earns just from ad revenue on his YouTube account.

Before watching the video it's important to note, ad revenue isn't his only income source, or even his main income source. The point is to give you some idea of how a relatively small, niche channel like Roberto's can earn fairly decent ad revenue, potentially even out earning larger channels due to the type of content he makes.



After watching the above video you might thin…