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Posts Tagged ‘David Belle’

Brick Mansions

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

tn_brickmansionsMan, say what you will about Luc Besson, he’s still got his exploitation producer thing going, and he’s squeezed more cinema out of Parkour than Cannon ever got out of breakdancing. Back in the late ’90s the LEON director saw dudes bouncing off the streets, walls and rooftops of France, and while other people might’ve thought “I hope that guy doesn’t fall [in French],” his reaction was “I gotta put this shit in an action movie!” So by ’98 Besson, as writer and producer, had Parkour in a foot chase through traffic in TAXI 2, and by ’01 he’d done a whole movie called YAMAKASI starring some of the pioneers of the artform.

Even then he knew he could do more with it so in ’04 he co-wrote and produced BANLIEUE 13, or DISTRICT B13 as we call it here. It was kind of an ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK riff but in a near future extrapolation of the Parisian suburbs, and done as a buddy movie. A supercop has to team with a criminal from the walled-off District 13.

For director, Besson used TRANSPORTER cinematographer Pierre Morel, who later did TAKEN and FROM PARIS WITH LOVE for him. There was also a not as good sequel in 2009, directed by the guy who did the making-of TV special for Besson’s THE BIG BLUE.
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Banlieue 13 – Ultimatum

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

tn_b13uSo I watched this poorly subtitled Chinese import of BANLIEUE 13 – ULTIMATUM, which I think is about to be released dubbed in the US as DISTRICT 13: ULTIMATUM, the sequel to what we call DISTRICT B13, which pretty much translates to “District District 13.” This one reunites Cyril Rafaelli (last seen tossed into a fan by John McClane) and David Belle for more near-future parkour and martial arts action.

It’s 3 years later and the government has made good on its promise for regime change, but nothing else. The district is still walled in, and the cops still treat everybody like shit. Leito (Belle) doesn’t want to let it go so he has a hobby of strolling around casually attaching bombs to walls and blowing shit up. Then he gets chased by cops and the gangs, or “clans,” get pissed at him because they sort of like their lives behind the walls and don’t want him fucking it up. (read the rest of this shit…)

District B13

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

(originally BANLIEUE 13)

I’m way behind on this movie. I remember a couple years ago I went to see some movie at the film festival here, and this one was just getting out on the same screen. I saw some people I knew coming out and I asked them how it was. They said it was ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK except in France, and with some weird martial art where they run up walls and shit. I knew it was a Luc Besson joint so I thought wait a minute, is this related to that YAMAKASI movie I saw? The art of climbing and flipping?

Now it’s years later and the movie has long since played American theaters and DVD players in a dubbed version called DISTRICT B13. The advertising campaign has tried to convince us we know what the word “parkour” means. Another practicioner of the art has battled (and lost) the new, badass James Bond. Now it’s old news, the excitement has worn off, so I saw it now. That’s just how I roll. (read the rest of this shit…)