From Paris With Love

Viewed – 05 March 2010  Cinema

French director / producer Luc Besson has made a bit of a career for himself in recent years since hanging up his directing cap, as a writer mostly responsible for a slew of credible thrillers like Taken, The Transporter and District 13.  Yet such writing credits pale in comparison to his directorial work, and again this is another offering that doesn’t quite do the man justice.

Brit actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays a rookie government agent, thirsty for promotion who gets paired up with a reckless, gung-ho John Travolta (sporting a surprisingly cool looking bald head & goatee) and find his life turned upside down in the process.  Set in Paris for no other reason than the fact it’s a cool setting, and 90% of the production team are French, we follow our odd-couple of government agents from gun battle to gun battle interspersed with some bonding.  Story is so light as to be none existant and this seems mostly a vehicle for Travolta to show off his action credentials in some stylish, frantic gun battles as we watch him gun down stereotype drug dealers and terrorists and eventually reveal his plans to stop an assassination.  Rhys Myers is likable if poorly developed, and not one character in this has any depth and a few throwaway lines to their past count for nothing.  This is primarily a male testosterone fantasy of a movie with car chases and plenty of attitude.  I at first found Travolta’s over-acting a bit forced and unbelievable, but after a while grew to like the guy, and paired with such a straight man, it made for a fun buddy movie – but sadly there is little else to recommend this over a wealth of better movies out there.

Verdict:  2 /5

Other movies, better than this that Luc Besson has wrote:

District 13: Ultimatum



Viewed – 24 June 2009  Blu-ray

Anyone who reads this blog regularly should know I have a soft spot for animated movies, especially those from Disney studio Pixar.  This entry, although not from Pixar themselves, has the involvement of John Toy Story Lassiter as executive producer, and it shows … as this is a thoroughly entertaining and a dazzling treat for any fan of well made movies.


Bolt is a TV show dog who believes he has super powers as the shows producers keep him in a Truman Show world of action, bad guys and hidden cameras, and its not until he accidentally gets transported to the other side of America does he discover the real world and the real dangers.  Teaming up with a street-wise cat by the name of Mittens and a hamster in a ball called Rhino who just happens to be Bolt’s biggest fan, Bolt must journey across the states and some how find a way back home.  Yeah I know, it’s Buzz Lightyear all over again, but hell – it worked then, why not now?

Fit to bursting with adrenalin fueled action and some stunning imagery, not to mention faultless animation, this zips along beautifully, is heart-warming, feel good and surprisingly, laugh-out-loud funny thanks to the scene stealing hamster Rhino.  As you can guess I thoroughly enjoyed it, and even the involvement of that manufactured pain-in-the-ass Miley Cyrus can’t ruin this movie’s unmistakable charm.  Oh, and John Travolta is great as Bolt even if at first I didn’t realise it was his voice!

As a Blu-ray, it should go without saying that this is a stunning representation of the format, with the vivid colours and attention to detail really impressing.  The movie is also presented in DTS-HD Master Audio and this is also a joy to the ears, with the action sequences particularly standing out.  Extras are sparse for a film that has obviously had a lot of work put into it, with brief featurettes about the voice cast and the directors, but very little light shed on the actual animation process.  And nobody needs a video duet between Travolta & Cyrus.  There  is a mildly diverting game included where you guide bolt with the remote, and the set also comes with the DVD version, which although not as stunning as the blu-ray, still looks the biz.

Verdict:  5 /5