Tag Archives: cara delevingne

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (2017) – My rating: 8/10

Since I don’t read comic books, I didn’t know what to expect or even that this movie was derived from a comic book series. The pitch was “Valerian is the most beautiful movie we’ll ever see.” It was compared to Avatar and I was convinced that if it was half as good as Avatar, it still would be pretty fantastic as far as outstanding special effects goes. As it turns out, some of this was right but not all. It wasn’t until two thirds through, I found Valerian becoming more than tolerable and even interesting. The acting was good but the story was a little confusing. Then something happened; camera, action, a change of pace — oh boy, I think I like this after all.

A space station called Alpha was started in the 28th century where millions of creatures from different planets could live peacefully, exchange knowledge and cultures without any problems. What began as a space station around the planet Earth, grew as many nations from Earth and races from other planets joined. One of the planets called Mül was a low-tech humanoid race that lives peacefully in a tropical paradise. They fish for energy-containing pearls and use certain animals to duplicate the pearls.  Their philosophy was to give back what was given to them, much like Luke 12:48 – (NLT) “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

Major Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Sergeant Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are romantically involved as well as special agents of the human police forces. In a dream, Valerian sees this planet in all it’s beauty and glory.  As this idyll is destroyed by spaceship debris crashing onto the planet, Valerian wakes up to find he and Laureline on a mission to retrieve one of the rare animals from his dream, called a “converter”, from a black market dealer.

Valerian interrupts a meeting of the dealer with two prospective customers for the converter, both looking like the humanoids from his dream. He and Laureline obtain the converter, and he surreptitiously steals one of the pearls that had been given to the dealer as payment.  They now return to Alpha, where they are told by their Commander, Arün Filitt, (Clive Owen) part of the station has been infected by an unknown force, rendering it highly toxic, and troops sent into the area have not returned, plus the infection is spreading. Laureline and Valerian are assigned to protect the commander. However, while briefing an assembly about the infection, they are ambushed by the humanoids, who incapacitate all participants and kidnap him. Valerian frees himself and the others and chases the kidnappers, who head for the infected area. Valerian loses control of his vehicle and Laureline loses contact with Valerian who infiltrates the residential sector of the group with the help of a shapeshifter named Bubble (Rihanna).

While this is all starting to sound a little confusing, you probably can understand why I became a little loss in the beginning.  Trust me, it all comes together and even is fun and very interesting, especially when Rihanna enters the scene.  It definitely was not the fabulous movie they promised but it was descent.  You’ll learn why and who destroyed the planet Mül, as well as what happened to the planet’s beautiful inhabitants.  Also Valerian ask for Laureline’s hand in marriage, does she say yea or nay?  Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is not too violent and the special effects are fantastic.  Nicely done!    You will also get to see: Ethan Hawke as Jolly the Pimp, Herbie Hancock as a Defence Minister and hear John Goodman as the voice of Igon Siruss, a Kodar’Khan pirate captain and the galaxy’s most-wanted criminal.  Check it out!

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SUICIDE SQUAD (2016) – My rating: 6.5/10

suicidesquadI tried really hard to like Suicide Squad because I’m into the whole super hero thing.  I have to admit, as much as I like super heroes and meta-humans, Suicide Squad was suicide.  Some of the most deplorable meta-humans you can imagine are housed in Belle Reve Prison for their hideous crimes.

INTELLIGENCE OFFICER – Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), the government official who gives out the Squad’s orders.  Ambitious and devious, she has big plans and intends to let no meta-human or military protocol get in her way. Davis stated she is fascinated by the character, singling out her psychology and strength and describing her as a “powerful black woman, hard, ready to pick up a gun and shoot anyone at will.” She described Waller as “relentless in her villainy” and noted that her powers are “her intelligence and her complete lack of guilt.” Davis read M.E. Thomas’ autobiography Confessions of a Sociopath to prepare for her role.

ARMY SPECIAL FORCES COLONEL – Rick Flag (Joel Kinnaman), a West Point graduate who leads the Suicide Squad in the field. He is all business and executes Amanda Waller’s orders but does not always agree with her goals or methods.


In the aftermath of Superman’s death, Amanda Waller assembles Task Force X, which is placed under the command of Rick Flag, to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions to rid the world of other deplorable rejects for the United States government. Each member has a nano bomb implanted in their neck, designed to detonate should any member rebel or try to escape.  Task Force X is comprised of the following dangerous meta-human, criminal rejects:

ELITE HITMAN – Deadshot aka Floyd Lawson (Will Smith), an expert marksman and assassin. A mercenary by day and a concerned father by night.  Deadshot is a conflicted criminal who enjoys the hunt, but is still trying to do right by his young daughter.

FORMER PSYCHIATRIST – Harley Quinn aka Harleen Quinzel (Margot Robbie), a crazed supervillain and former psychiatrist. Producer Richard Suckle describes this character as “a fan fave. Funny, crazy, scary. … You can’t come up with enough adjectives to describe all the different things you see her do.” Robbie describes Quinn as one of the Squad’s most manipulative members, and her relationship with Joker as “incredibly dysfunctional”, adding that Quinn is “mad about him—like, literally, mad. She’s crazy. But she loves him. And it’s a really unhealthy, dysfunctional relationship. But an addictive one.

PYROKINETIC EX-GANGSTER El Diablo, aka Chato Santana (Jay Hernandez), a former Los Angeles gang member who has powers that allow him to summon flames, and transform himself into a monstrous horned demon-like entity. He has squelched his fire-conjuring powers to a solitary flame as penance for the horrors he inflicted on those he loved. Hernandez set his character apart from his teammates as he “just wants to stay out of the fight”, while “most of [Task Force X] are happy to get out there and kill people”.

OPPORTUNISTIC THIEF – Captain Boomerang aka George “Digger” Harkness (Jai Courtney),  a thief who utilizes deadly boomerangs, described as rugged, unpredictable and mouthy. About his role, Courtney stated, “he is an absolute bogan, in the purest sense”.

SPECIALIZED ASSASSIN – Slipknot aka Christopher Weiss (Adam Beach), A mercenary specializing in tactical grappling and scaling, who is the first member of the squad to be killed.

The following are significant characters who were not part of Task Force X:

The Joker (Jared Leto), a psychopathic supervillain and major love interest of Quinn. Leto described his role as “nearly Shakespearean” and a “beautiful disaster of a character”.  Leto never broke character throughout filming, with Smith going as far as stating he never met him.

Some FYI on the Joker:  In preparation for the role, Leto spent his time alone, listened to gospel music from the 1920s—commenting he senses “Joker may be much older than people think”—and read literature on shamanism. Influences for the character’s appearance include Mexican cartel bosses and the work of Alejandro Jodorowsky. Leto stated that he spoke with doctors and spent time with psychopaths in preparation for his role. The character’s tattoos were added by Ayer, who believed it gave a modernized gangster look to the Joker.

Dr. June Moone / Enchantress (Cara Delevingne), an archaeologist who is possessed by an ancient evil force that transforms her into a powerful sorceress. Unleashed after a long period of imprisonment, the entity draws the attention of Waller who intended to recruit Dr. Moone for the squad, Enchantress instead seeks revenge against mankind for imprisoning her and her brother’s souls in artifacts after years of worshipping them. Delevingne described Moone as “an adventure-seeker who’s always wanted some excitement” and Enchantress as “a feral being.”

Tatsu Yamashiro / Katana (Karen Fukuhara), an expert martial artist and swordswoman who mourns her husband’s death. She serves as Rick Flag’s bodyguard and wields the mystical Soultaker blade, capable of trapping the souls of its victims. As she is a volunteer, not a criminal, she does not have a micro-bomb implant. Fukuhara stated that Katana “has morals and codes. She can also slice through hundreds of people without taking a breath.”

GQ Edwards (Scott Eastwood), a Navy SEAL who assists Flag during the squad’s mission.

The dialogue was slick, ultra modern and a little strange in some places.  The special effects were absolutely brilliant and the plot was really out there with multiple routes to follow.  Most of Suicide Squad was too congested and overshadowed with too many crazy plots.  It was hard to follow however, despite the busyness, bits of entertainment shone through. If you are a fan of the comic book series you will probably get more out of the movie than a novice who doesn’t have a clue what they’re walking into.  I did like the movie but it’s definitely not for everyone.  Suicide Squad is available on DVD and Blu-Ray.

[Suicide Squad WON the 89th ANNUAL OSCAR AWARD for Makeup and Hairstyling]

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