The Hollywood Movies That Aren’t

The Arts

I really want to see it. After a winter of watching earnest Oscar-worthy dramas, I want to see stuff get blown up – but intelligently, if you know what I mean. Without all that wave-a-gun-in-your-screaming-face stuff. I don’t want to see the streets of LA again.

I suppose I could go and see something with Nicholas Cage in, but these days he creeps me out when he kisses girls half his age. I need – French action. I need ‘Largo Winch II’, which according Imdb doesn’t even exist – but I know it does because Sharon Stone is in the trailers, and it’s a direct sequel to the first one. What’s that, you never heard of the first one either? That’s because it’s in French and therefore n’existe pas to the Imdb. It’s based on a BD and it’s great fun. Sometimes France does Hollywood better than Hollywood.

I love the ‘District 13’ movies (Look out! Hollywood remake alert – the first ‘District 13’ film is being remade as ‘Brick Mansion’ for some unearthly reason). But then I also liked the ‘Taxi’ movies, and those ones with Jason Statham driving around Nice with a girl in his boot.

But France also does B movies quite well, too. Cheap French SF movies make up a sub-genre that marries incomprehensible, pretentious plotting with plasticky effects. Oh, and Charlotte Rampling as some kind of corporate nemesis, in both ‘Immortel’ and ‘Babylon AD’. The latter flick has my favourite B star, Vin Diesel, and contains a key explanatory line delivered by a doctor, to wit; ‘we can go back through your memory and fiddle with your brain.’ Fiddle with? Is that, like, a technical term?

B movies love urban dystopias because they’re cheap to create. You just new a few burned out cars and derelict blocks of flats. But to me, that’s not the future, that’s Liverpool.

France created more cool cheapo SF with ‘Two Worlds’, a film about a man who goes to make a pot of coffee and falls onto another planet, ‘Perhaps’, about a man who falls out of a toilet window and lands in Paris after global warming has filled it with sand, and ‘RrrrRRRRRrrrr’, a film about detective cavemen that features sabre-toothed ducks.

This trailer is quite cool because it’s also a lesson in Frog. There are questions at the end.

Until the third ‘OSS 117’ movie arrives, I’ll have to be content with this (warning, the first time I played it, it contained a Justin Beiber pop-up!). I may have posted the trailer before, but if I did I can’t find it now…

8 comments on “The Hollywood Movies That Aren’t”

  1. Ken says:

    I enjoyed the recent Vidocq and Arsene Lupin films. Does anyone know if the remakes of Belphegor or Brotherhood of the Tiger were any good?

  2. J. Folgard says:

    For what my opinion’s worth I enjoyed ‘Brotherhood of the Tiger’, it had a fun retro-pulp feel and pacing to it despite the occasional plot hole, and the actors did a lot to make it work. I’m less enthusiastic about ‘Belphegor’ -the original teleplay was admittedly stodgy by today’s standards so the creators tried to modernize it, but it lost a lot in terms of suspense & mood, and the characters are forgettable. I’d recommend ‘Brotherhood of the Tiger’ more.
    Those ‘OSS 117’ movies are a guilty pleasure, with Jean Dujardin gleefully playing this amusing, self-centered bastard of a character!

  3. Helen Martin says:

    Even if the French is hard for me to follow that was one of the funniest trailers I’ve ever seen. I hope the Israeli colonel does something really violent to him once she has completed the assignment.

  4. Well, BELPHÉGOR was a dire disaster, with Michel Serrault hamming it up in a very nonsensical plot. Not a patch on the great black and white TV series of the 60. Brotherhood of the Tiger, was that LES BRIGADES DU TIGRE? It was… okay, quite well made, but again never in the tone of the eponymous TV series. Far too dour and grim for my tastes. But well-made, overall. For reference, I liked VIDOCQ even though the direction was over-the-top nonsense (which landed Titof the director seat for CATWOMAN, and we know how that movie turned out) and I enjoyed ARSENE LUPIN, much to my surprise (I hadn’t liked much else by the same director), though I found the ending weak.

    RrrrRRRRRrrrr is a very silly movie, but in a cheap way I thought it did work. If nonsensical French movies are your bag, you might try SEULS TWO, with Eric and Ramzy, which starts on an intriguing premise (two moronic slackers suddenly find themselves in an empty Paris) and degenerates into disappointing silliness (as opposed to enjoyable silliness). It’s one of the better (or not-as-badder) movies by the duo, though I hear STEAK is quite unusual for them, and very interesting.

  5. Ken says:

    You are correct – I was thinking of Les Brigades du Tigre

  6. Ken says:

    Largo Winch II is on imdb – as “The Burma Conspiracy”.

  7. Lou Morgan says:

    I rather like Vidocq – and do enjoy the D13 & Taxi films. They’re fun and over the top, and they know it, which is exactly what I want from a film on a Friday night. Much the same goes for Brotherhood of the Wolf, which has Vincent Cassel being over the top in the way only he seems to manage.

    I remember Babylon AD, too. I just wish I didn’t…

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