VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS
2017, STX Entertainment, 137 min, France, Dir: Luc Besson

Luc Besson’s visually spectacular new adventure film is based on the groundbreaking comic book series. In the 28th century, Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives charged with maintaining order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the Minister of Defense, the two embark on a mission to the astonishing city of Alpha - an ever-expanding metropolis where species from all over the universe have converged over centuries to share knowledge, intelligence and cultures. There is a mystery at the center of Alpha, a dark force that threatens the peaceful existence of the City of a Thousand Planets, and Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha but the future of the universe. With Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu and Rutger Hauer.


SIN CITY
2005, Dimension Films, 124 min, USA, Dir: Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Director Robert Rodriguez - with a little help from Quentin Tarantino - turned graphic novelist/co-director Frank Miller’s neo-noir tales of dark doings in Basin City into one of the most visually striking films of recent years. An anthology of several short stories (“The Hard Goodbye,” “The Big Fat Kill,” “That Yellow Bastard” and “The Customer Is Always Right”), SIN CITY features an all-star ensemble cast including Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Josh Hartnett, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro. The violent crime thriller was one of the first films shot on a digital backlot, with most of the sets (and color accents to the high-contrast B&W cinematography) added in post-production to create a look of glittering grime.


WORDS AND PICTURES
2013, Roadside Attractions, 111 min, USA, Dir: Fred Schepisi

Alcohol and arthritis, respectively, have slowed the careers of writer Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) and painter Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche); the two now teach at an exclusive New England prep school. But both are re-energized when a debate rages across campus - which is stronger, words or images? Director Fred Schepisi’s skill in both of these areas has produced a romantic drama that’s as emotionally involving as it is thought-provoking. With Bruce Davison and Amy Brenneman.


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