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The boys kick off year two with a few new bells and whistles, while heading back in time to bring back “The Fifth Element”. After Jeff finishes his orgasm, they head to the theaters to check the post-apocalyptic vampire flick, “Priest”. If that’s not enough saving the world, they check out the new trailer for “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. Will the Michael Bay train stay on track or will we be as disappointed as we were with Trans 2? The boys also bring you up to date on “Akira”, “Thor 2” and “Titanic” in 3-D? Doesn’t the boat sink the same in 2-D? For the heck of it, they also reflect on their favorites from year one. Whether a long-standing fan or a newbie, this is definitely a show you don’t want to miss! Leeloo Dallas Multipass
- Update – Keanu officially passes on Akira
- Major Overhaul planned as much of the studio activity on this has halted.
- Thor 2 on the way – and the villains are…….
- Names being tossed around internally are The Enchantress and The Executioner.
- Will be released AFTER The Avengers
- Titanic 3D coming to theaters … will it float?
- Was announced over 2 years ago… he’s been working on it forever.
- Digitally remaster at 4k – painstakingly converted to 3D
The Past: The Fifth Element (1997)
Rotten Tomatoes: 72% Fresh; 84% Audience
Director: Luc Besson
Starring: Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Gary Oldman, Ian Holm, Chris Tucker
- The language spoken by Leeloo was invented by director Luc Besson and further refined by Milla Jovovich. By the end of filming they were able to have full conversations in this language.
- The explosion in the Fhloston main hall was the largest indoor explosion ever filmed. The resulting fire almost got beyond control.
- Early in the film, Gary Oldman’s character quotes Friedrich Nietzsche, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Oldman’s costar, Bruce Willis, released a record album on Motown Records with that title in the 1980s. 11 years later, Heath Ledger said a variation of the famous line in The Dark Knight (2008) (also starring Gary Oldman).
- This is one of two science-fiction movies featuring Ian Holm in which there is a character by the name of Dallas. The other one is Alien (1979), which stars Tom Skerritt as Captain Dallas.
- Ruby Rhod was not the original name for Chris Tucker’s character, it was Loc Rhod. The original name appears in the script and the movie novelization.
- When Korben Dallas wakes up, the date can just be seen on his bedroom wall: March 18th, 2263. 18 March is director Luc Besson’s birthday (a day before Bruce Willis’).
- The only phrases from Leeloo’s alien language that are included in the captioning are “mlarta,” “big ba-dah big boom,” “akta,” “seno akta gamat,” “san agamat chay bet. Envolet,” “danko,” “domo danko,” and “apipoulai.” Everything else appears as Unknown Language or, after it’s specified, the Divine Language.
- When the Mondoshawan aliens appear in 1914 Egypt, the Professor, panicking, says, “A… A… Are you German?” In the German version he says “Sind Sie… hier von der Erde?” which roughly translates as “Are you from here… Earth?”
- The hero (Bruce Willis) and the villain (Gary Oldman) never meet, nor do they communicate in any way.
- Luc Besson wrote the original screenplay when he was in high school.
- Leeloo’s full name is “Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat”. According to the subtitles in English DVD Region 1.
- At the time, this was the most expensive production in Gaumont’s history.
- At US$80 million, the special-effects budget of the film was the highest of its time.
- At the time, it was the most expensive film ever produced outside of Hollywood.
- According to the Ultimate Edition DVD, Prince and Lenny Kravitz were sources of inspiration for the part of Ruby Rhod.
- In every New York visual effects scene with flying traffic there is a flying bus with the Digital Domain (the facility responsible for most of the VFX) internal reference, or shot name, stenciled on the roof of a bus. The instructions for the visual effects team were to include one bus with the shot name but then all other buses and traffic could have personal references including birthdays, initials, etc. The front marquee for a bus’s destination and side billboards were customized by the artists at Digital Domain to reference, invisibly or subliminally, some personal stamp or message.
- The flying traffic created by the visual effects team at Digital Domain allowed artists to create personalized license plates. Though never visible in the film, the state slogan printed on all license plates reads, “New York, The Fuck-You State.”:
- The text scrolling across a Times Square theater marquee as Korben dives down through traffic is actually an excerpt from an e-mail dispute between several artists at Digital Domain. Other signs on digital and practical, miniature buildings contain similar in-jokes and references and the large cylindrical tanker truck that Korben’s cab almost hits at the end of his decent is decorated with the logo of a Venice, California, pizza parlor that was a favorite of Digital Domain artists.
- The people populating the roofs, decks and windows during the visual effects sequences in New York are actually the artists and employees at Digital Domain who worked on the film.
- Bruce Willis ad-libbed the line, “Whoa, lady, I only speak two languages, English and bad English.”
- Luc Besson, an admitted comic book fan, had two famous French comic book artists in mind for the film’s visual style when he started writing the movie in high school. Jean Giraud (Moebius) and Jean-Claude Mézières. Both artists have long-standing comic book series in France. Moebius is best known for “Blueberry” and the (French) Magazine and (US) movie Heavy Metal (1981). Mézières is best known for the “Valerian” series. Both series are still in production today. Moebius and Mezieres, who attended art school together but had never collaborated on a project until The Fifth Element (1997), started renderings for the film in the early ’90s and are responsible for the majority of the over all look of the film, including the vehicles, spacecrafts, buildings, human characters and aliens. However, only Giraud is credited, and even then he wasn’t even granted a premium when the movie was eventually produced.
- As Korben and Leeloo approach an intersection in his cab the camera whips forward to reveal to the audience that six police cars are waiting for him ahead. In the far background, behind the police cars, is a chase between a police car and a long black car complete with muzzle flashes to represent gun fire between the two cars. Ever an eye for detail, Luc Besson noticed the embellishment the first time the visual effects shot was reviewed, thought that it was funny and it remains in the final film.
- Part of the song that the Diva sings is from the opera “Lucia Di Lammermoor”, and very often goes by the title “The Mad Song”, as it is sung by Lucia just after she murders Arturo (whom she was forced to marry) on their wedding day – Lucia is hallucinating that she has married the man she really loves; Edgardo, her brother’s nemesis.
- When filming began, the production decided to dye Milla Jovovich’s hair from its natural brown color to her character’s signature orange color. However, due to the fact that her hair had to be re-dyed regularly to maintain the bright color, Milla’s hair quickly became too damaged and broken to withstand the dye. Eventually a wig was created to match the color and style of Leeloo’s hair, and was used for the remainder of the production.
- Plavalaguna, Diva’s name, is actually composed of two words: Plava and Laguna. “Plava” in Serbian, Croatian, Montenigrin, Macedonian and Bosnian language means Blue (feminine, masculine would be “plav”). “Laguna” in same languages means lagoon, though Laguna is used in English as well as in Laguna Beach, California. So her name is Blue Lagoon. (‘Mila Jovovic’ also played Lilli in Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991).)
- When composer Eric Serra showed soprano Inva Mula (who dubs the voice of the Diva) the sheet music for the Diva Dance, she reportedly smiled and relayed to him that some of the notes written were not humanly possible to achieve because the human voice cannot change notes that fast. Hence, she performed the notes in isolation – one by one, as opposed to consecutively singing them all together and they digitized the notes to fit the music. There are a few moments when you can hear the differences in the vocal tones of The Diva’s voice.
- WILHELM SCREAM: Heard when Zorg blows up Right Arm at the airport and when Leeloo tosses two Mangalores out of the Diva’s room.
- Nick Dudman’s creature crew created a group of spindly, long-nosed alien garbage collectors that never made it to the final film. In the scenes at the spaceport, there’s a huge pile of garbage which has gone uncollected because the garbage collectors are on strike (as explained in some dialogue). These creatures would have been seen amidst the garbage, holding sandwich board signs reading “On strike” if they had made it to the final cut.
- While cartoonist Jean-Claude Mézières isn’t directly credited in the movie, he is indeed the confirmed author of most sets, as his album ‘My Fifth Element’ (Mon cinquième élément) was published at the same time the movie came out in France, reusing the movie’s logo on the cover. Similarly, at the time the movie was being shot, Christin and Mézières published ‘Les cercles du pouvoir’ which contained a hovercraft taxi (which led Luc Besson to rewrite the movie’s opening scenes) and a caricature of Besson.
- Cartoonist Jean-Claude Mézières of ‘My Fifth Element’ also says that Luc Besson approached him for ideas, telling him: “I want to make a movie based on your visuals. But I am ready to pay you for the work.” The nuance is because there has long been a controversy that many elements in the Star Wars series (several aliens, Darth Vader’s costume, Leia’s golden bikini, Han Solo’s carbonite) were lifted almost unmodified out of Valerian (in particular ‘L’Empire des Mille Planètes’, published in 1971) – of which George Lucas is known to own several original editions, as seen during interviews in his study.
- Could anyone but Chris Tucker played Ruby Rhod as well?
- Jean-Paul Gautier’s influence on the film
- What is the fifth element?
What We’ve Learned:
- You can’t drink a toast with water
- If they don’t chase you after a mile.. they don’t chase you.. wait maybe that’s two miles.
- Life comes from disorder destruction and chaos
- If you’re going to transport Mystic stones for the ultimate weapon against evil, hide them inside the body of an alien opera diva
- Ugly, big forehead. big ears, must be a Mangalore
- Mangalores won’t fight without a leader
- Flying a starfighter is like driving a cab
Jeff: One of my favorite films of all time. This needs to be in everyone’s DVD/Blu-Ray collections
Ray: This is what I call the perfect storm… Sci Fi action comedy’s are hard to nail.. but this one does it repeatedly.
Steve: I think it’s alright. Creative, but a schitzo film. I do really like Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich in it!
Intermission: Favorites of the Past Present and Future
The Present: Priest
Rotten Tomatoes: 18% Rotten; 49% Audience
Director: Scott Charles Stewart
Starring: Paul Bettany, Karl Urban, Cam Gigandet, Maggie Q, Lily Collins
- Director Stewart says, “The priests of our story are like Jedi knights. They have these supernatural abilities to fight vampires and they saved humanity before the movie even begins. Now, a generation later, society has moved on from war, and the priests are like pariahs. They’re almost like Vietnam vets—they’ve been cast aside by society and they’re now reviled and feared.”
- Gerard Butler and Steven Strait were originally cast.
- The film is based on the Korean comics Priest by Min-Woo Hyung.
- The film diverges from the comics in following a different timeline of events. The director described Priest’s vampires as not being human in origin, and humans bitten by vampires became familiars instead. There are different forms of vampires, such as hive drones, guardians, and a queen.
- Since the vampires were intended to move quickly, they were fully computer-generated for the film. While vampires are harmed by sunlight in most lore, the film’s vampires are instead photosensitive, being albino cave-dwellers.
- Director Stewart said, “They are the enemy we don’t really understand, but we fought them for centuries. They are mysterious and alien, with their own culture. You sense that they think and communicate, but you don’t really understand what they are saying.”
- The Director also called Priest an homage to The Searchers with the title character being similar to John Wayne’s character and the vampires being similar to the Comanche.
- Priest was panned by critics. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 18% based on reviews from 57 critics and reports a rating average of 3.9 out of 10. It reported the overall consensus, “Priest is admittedly sleek and stylish, but those qualities are wasted on a dull, derivative blend of sci-fi, action, and horror cliches.”
- Priest was released in the United States and Canada on May 13, 2011. The film’s release date changed numerous times in 2010 and 2011. It was originally scheduled for October 1, 2010, but it moved earlier to August 27, 2010 to fill a weekend slot when another Screen Gems film, Resident Evil: Afterlife, was postponed. When the filmmakers wanted to convert Priest from 2D to 3D, the film was newly scheduled for release on January 14, 2011. It was delayed again to May 13, 2011 so the film could attract summertime audiences.
- Mad Max meets Bladerunner meets Blade – in a Western with a steam punk twist?
- What’s it trying to say about religion?
- What do you think the story is trying to say? (Return from war? PTSD?)
- Sets are awesome!
What We Learned:
- Being a priest sucks when there is no war against the vampires!
- Want to prove there is a vampire menace? Throw the head of one at the Pope!
- All vampire movies must have a red-headed female character named Lucy.
Jeff: I love post apocalyptic action movies, especially if martial arts or other hand to hand combat is involved. Wish there was more action though. Not terrible, worth seeing in the theatre in 2D otherwise, okay to waive for DVD.
Ray: This movie bored me to death.. It seems like most of the action sequences were all shown in the trailers.. nothing new to see.
Steve: I liked it…didn’t particularly care for the “vampires”, but thought the concept was cool. Enjoyed the action sequences a lot. Found it pretty thoughtful as I watched.
The Future: Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
Director: Michael Bay
Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Tyrese Gibson, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong
- Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, who worked on the screenplay for the previous two films, declined to work on this film due to schedules with other films and because they “risked getting stale.”
- When Megan Fox dropped out shortly before filming began, Gemma Arterton, Ashley Greene, Brooklyn Decker, Miranda Kerr, Bar Refaeli, Amber Heard, Camilla Belle, Katie Cassidy, Heidi Montag and Anna Kendrick were all rumored to replace her before Rosie Huntington-Whiteley was cast.
- This is director Michael Bay’s first threequel (third instalment in a series/trilogy).
- The Autobots have upgraded their alternate modes: – Bumblebee has received an upgrade and is now a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro – Ratchet’s color scheme now includes white and his green is more grass-green than his previous neon/yellow green – Sideswipe is now a Chevrolet Centennial Corvette convertible
- James Avery is the second actor from “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” (1990) to star in a Michael Bay film. The first was Will Smith, who did the Bad Boys series.
- In view of the technology’s rising popularity, Paramount/Dreamworks were adamant to have this film either shot for 3-D or converted in post-production. Director Michael Bay was initially wary of the technology, calling it a “gimmick” in various interviews and noting the poor quality of post-production conversion. Vince Pace, the co-found of PACE 3D who developed 2D and 3D cameras with James Cameron reported in July 2010 that he was working on Transformers 3 and that it will be shot in on PACE 3D cameras. However, for scenes that required higher image quality or were in slow motion, traditional anamorphic 35mm film was used and converted into 3D in post production.
- Optimus Prime’s trailer bears a resemblance to the original one from “Transformers” (1984) with the decorative stripe running along its side.
- Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is playing Carly, a primary character that was introduced in the second season of “Transformers” (1984).
- During filming in Washington, DC, the 2011 Chevrolet Camaro that plays Bumblebee was struck by an metro police K-9 SUV responding to a bomb alert. The police officer involved sustained minor injuries, and Bumblebee sustained considerable damage. Filming was able to continue, as there were copies of each automobile for shooting purposes.
- A tilting office set was constructed to simulate a Decepticon attack.
- The Wreckers take the alternate modes of NASCAR Chevrolet Impala automobiles, resembling those of Juan Pablo Montoya (#42 Target), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (#88 AMP Energy/National Guard) and Jimmie Johnson (#48 Lowe’s/Kobalt).
- The “dark of the moon” is defined as a phase (approximately three days) when the light of the moon is obscured, and thus absent (i.e. a no-moon time), and precedes the new moon and the beginning of a new lunar cycle. Symbolically, it represents a time of inner stillness and contemplation, and preparedness for a new beginning.
- The Autobot Wheeljack’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a Lancia Stratos sportscar, but this was revised to a Mercedes-Benz E550 automobile.
- The idea of Apollo 11 being connected to the discovery of the Transformers had been previously put forth in the Transformers (2007) tie-in prequel novel ‘Ghosts of Yesterday’.
- Production stalled in Chicago as Gabriella Cedillo, an extra was seriously injured driving her own car as background for a stunt shot. The stunt was taking place in the opposite lane and a metal object – rigging from a snapped cable – went flying through her windshield and struck her in the skull. Cedillo suffered permanent brain damage, included left side paralysis and limited vision in her left eye. Paramount Studios provided an undisclosed amount of money to cover the cost of her medical care.
- Corey Burton, who voiced Shockwave in “Transformers” (1984) and “Transformers: Animated” (2007), was approached to reprise Shockwave for the film, but turned it down as he’d done that role too many times. He had earlier been approached to voice Jazz and Brawl for the first film.
- Megatron’s alternate mode in this film is a Mack Titan tanker truck, his first Earth disguise. This was chosen to put him on parallel with Optimus Prime (the filmmakers described him as “a demented version of Prime”). This mode also pays homage to the “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001) Decepticon Scourge (also known in Japan as “Nemesis Prime”), who is an evil clone of Optimus Prime.
- Michael Bay described the tone of the film as “a homeland version of Black Hawk Down (2001) with giant alien robots.”
- Sentinel Prime is primarily based on his role in the “Transformers” comics (Optimus Prime’s yellow-colored predecessor) and his lance and shield were taken from his “Transformers: Animated” (2007) incarnation, but his later form on Earth – a red Rosenbauer Panther fire truck – is a homage to “Transformers: Robots in Disguise” (2001)’s Optimus Prime, whose alternate mode was a fire truck.
- Laserbeak’s alternate mode in “Transformers” (1984) was a tape cassette, but that was considered old-fashioned. He retains his robotic condor form throughout the film.
- This is the first movie that starts with Megatron being conscious. In previous installments Megatron was awaken or resurrected.
- A Decepticon attack leaves Simmons in a wheelchair. This is a homage to Chip Chase, a wheelchair-bound human from “Transformers” (1984) who was an ally of the Autobots.
- Michael Bay compared Megatron to Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now (1979): “He’s hiding in the jungles of Africa, nursing his wounds and vainly hiding his pulverized visage while plotting – what else? – revenge!”
- Peter Cullen’s favorite moment in the film is when Optimus Prime meets with astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
- Lots of references to old school Transformers
- Why do all of the Decepticons look the same?
- Transformers meets V meets Battle: LA?
The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the Moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and learn its secrets, which could turn the tide in the Transformers’ final battle.
Jeff: Ooo, shiney. Here’s my money.
Ray: Im going just to watch chicago burn.
Steve: I hate Shia, but I’ll still see it.