Milla Jovovich

The Fifth Element

Year:1997
Directed By: Luc Beeson
Written By: Luc Beeson

RYAN’S REVIEW

I mentioned this movie to a couple of friends of mine, people whose opinions I respect, and they turned their noses up at it. I told both of them that they were crazy and I was telling the world they had no taste in movies. While I can understand some criticisms of this movie I think no matter what anybody could say about it that it is still awesome. I have even gone as far as to call this my favorite Bruce Willis film and that’s putting it ahead of a lot of great movies. Watching it now I find that it is only reaffirmed as my favorite Bruce Willis movie, he is great as Korben Dallas. I think this movie is an interesting science fiction movie that manages to be both exciting and funny. It has a few great actors giving outstanding performances and great use of music. I will argue on behalf of this movie with anybody that doesn’t like it and encourage them to give it another chance.

This was a family favorite in my house growing up in the late 90s and that will always make it a little bit more special to me. With some of those movies, I watch them now and see that they simply reflect my immaturity at the time but not this one. Every time I watch this movie I am amazed at how much I still love it. I am not a fan of most of Luc Beeson‘s work, I think Taken was one of the dumbest movies ever made.  Nevertheless it has a sequel coming out sometime soon that will no doubt be equally as stupid.  Despite my opinion of Beeson he did do an outstanding job with this movie. Even going as far as to create an entire language for Leeloo to speak in the movie. He and Milla Jovovich would actually write each other letters in that language to learn it better. This movie is a Bruce Willis vehicle though and he does an excellent job.  As Korben Dallas he is cool, funny, and badass all in one.  This movie came off the heels of his latest installment of the Die Hard franchise in Die Hard with a Vengeance and it only built his status as a mega action star.  Milla Jovovich got her first starring role in this movie and immediately fan boys all over the world went wild.  I have never been a big fan of hers but I do think she was awesome in this movie and she looked great with the orange hair.  Gary Oldman was absolutely incredible as the bad guy Zorg.  That voice that he uses is so peculiar and he talks with the confidence and authority that comes with his position. Oldman has always been a very diverse actor and I think it is performances like this that prove that.  One of the greatest roles in this film was without doubt the role of Ruby Rhod and Chris Tucker delivered his finest performance with it.  I think the movie was funny in general but Tucker brought a lot of comedy into the picture as well, he is very funny in this one. There was a great supporting cast behind these actors as well including Ian Holm, Luke Perry, and Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister of all people playing the President.

I am not usually a fan of science fiction movies set this far into the future.  I think most of what we see in the movies is impractical and so much of it just looks silly.  We have no idea what the world will be like in the future and too many movies make the mistake of trying to predict what it will look like.  For example, 2015 is a mere three years away and we have no possibility on the horizon of the hover boards or flying cars we saw in Back to the Future IIThis movie is set like 200 years in the future, I think, and it does have a somewhat interesting idea of what the world will look like then.  For the most part this movie does look a bit silly when it comes to some of the costume design (obviously not Leeloo’s outfit) and ideas about the future.  I have always been curious about how one actually hails a flying taxi cab, unless they all just dive right in like Leeloo did.

I have read before that Luc Beeson said the fifth element is never said to be but is intended to be sex.  That Milla Jovovich was preferct for the part because of her sexual dynamic.  Earth, wind, fire, water, and ….sex, well it works for me I suppose.  I think more than anything this is just a really fun movie to watch.  There is a lot to like about it but nevertheless there are haters out there, like my two friends who totally suck.  I think this is a movie that anybody would like and I think if you didn’t like it the first time it is worth a second chance.  Willis, Jovovich, Oldman, and Tucker are all so good in this movie that their performances need to be watched. I think this movie is worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone.

AMBER’S REVIEW 

I really enjoy this film every time we watch it. This is one of those movies Ryan made me watch a good handful of times, adding to that the amount of times he stopped to watch it on television. This movie is fun and has good ol’ Bruce acting his badass self. I love Bruce Willis and I think the chick that played the fifth element was accurate. I love the fiery “Agent Orange” colored hair. This movie is strange and fun, and is a definite movie that you should watch. It is interesting and out there and gives a look at an alternate or future Earth.

NEXT MOVIE: Fight Club (1999)

Dazed and Confused

Year: 1993
Directed By: Richard Linklater
Written By: Richard Linklater

RYAN’S REVIEW

This was a movie I once immortalized, and I still enjoy quite a bit. Ten years ago it taught me something about the repetitive nature of generations in high school. We all go through this stage of life.  The style and sound changes with every generation but the activities and personalities are practically universal.  This was a movie I related to as a teen but as a parent I see the obvious problems.  This movie totally idolizes the kinds of things I loved but really don’t want my kids getting into.  I think the high school hazing is a bit much in this movie, there was a lot of emphasis put on it and I never understood that.  Maybe that was something that had phased out of the high school world by the time I was going through nearly twenty-five years later.  Hazing went on when I was in high school, but it was nothing like it is in this movie. I’ve always thought that what we see going on in this movie must be a Texas thing if it was ever like that at all.

This movie is more or less based off of the real life high school experiences of director Richard Linklater.  Universal Studios was actually sued by three of his high school classmates in 2004 because their real last names were used in the film.  It was Floyd, Slater, and Wooderson, still living in their hometown in Texas, who filed the suit.  The case was dismissed because more than 10 years had passed since the film’s release and certain statutes of limitations had passed. This was one of the high points of Linklater’s career though, so good for him for making the most of his high school glory days.  This isn’t so much a movie about high school as it is a movie about partying and having a good time. There is always that one giant party among many during any given high school year and many high school movies choose to center around this event.

There are several things that make this movie significant.  Number one being the soundtrack because it is one of a kind.  1/6th of the film’s budget was actually spent putting it together and it was worth it. This film also launched the career of Matthew McConaughey, who really made the Wooderson character memorable.  McConaughey is super cool and I like several of his films. This was one of the first roles for Milla Jovovich, who enjoys a huge fan base today.  I have never been a fan of her Resident Evil movies, but I think she was awesome as Leeloo in one of my favorite Sci-Fi movies ever, The Fifth Element. I think Ben Affleck is appropriately cast in this movie, as a douche bag. The part just seems to come so naturally to him, it’s like he isn’t even acting at all.

Bottom line, this movie is significant because it is cool and it captures an era that we all want to remember fondly.  Looking back I can see really clearly right now that this movie was a horrible influence on me as a teen and honestly, no teen has any business seeing this film.  Enjoy it yourself and keep it away from your kids! I had a hell of a time in high school but I did all these things we see in the film.  Everything from getting high to keg parties to bashing mailboxes to getting into fights and I can see now where I was lucky to relatively stay out of trouble when so many kids are not.  I don’t think it was because of this movie that I did those things, but it certainly didn’t help.

AMBER’S REVIEW 

Ah, Dazed and Confused. I remember really liking this movie in college; I can’t imagine why that was. I still really enjoy this movie even though those days are long gone. This movie is set during a time when I wasn’t even born. I didn’t come along until 1984 and this movie takes place in the mid-seventies. For me, it is interesting to see the dynamic of high school life in a time that I was not a part of. Even though everything happens in a different time, the things that take place are normal, everyday high school plot lines. We continue to have the same things happen in high school no matter what time period it is. This is pretty much how high school went for all of us whether we were in high school in the 60s, 70s, 80s or for me the 90s/00s. We can all relate to this movie because we all had to go through high school. It was a pain in the ass, but we did it and then we moved on. I think I can safely say that I think all high school students are Dazed and Confused. If you haven’t had the opportunity to watch this movie, it is one you should definitely see.

NEXT MOVIE: Dead Poets Society (1989)