I'm back to digging in the boxes of dvd's in the spare room, looking for some science fiction movie to watch. Today it's The City Of Lost Children for my first selection. It's a 1995 French movie written and directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. Their previous movie was the 1991 film Delicatessen. Jean-Pierre would direct Alien Resurrection a couple of years later. He followed that with Amelie, A Very Long Engagement and Micmacs. I've seen Alien Resurrection and Micmacs, but not the other two, both of which seem to be less of interest to me. Jeunet directed some short films and music videos before going into the feature film business. He's got a visual style that's definitely more European than American and definately more unique than the stuff you normally see. The story is about a crazy scientist who kidnaps children and steals their dreams. He's got some cyborg guys who do the dirty work. Ron Perlman is a simple Russian strongman in a sideshow at a fun fair. His brother is taken and he spends the movie looking for him with the help of a young girl. She's part of a group of orphans who steal for the evil co-jointed twins who head the criminal gang and give them a place to live. The sets are brilliant, all dingy, wet and richly detailed. Here's the trailer to get an idea. It's filled with delightful images and the occasion Rube Goldberg like action scenes. The actors all do a great job in telling the story, it much have been hard work, it's a demanding, often surreal, story. It was fun to watch it again, but it ends well for Ron and the kids and the bad guys get some payback, so you know that I always like that.
I put Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within on to see if I might want to keep it or let it go. I hadn't seen it since I bought it in 2001. It's a CGI movie based on the video game. It's an alien invasion story, with a heavy fantasy element, that tosses in ghosts and earth spirits. The aliens are ghost connected to the piece of their planet that had been tossed through space when it blew up. Now it's on earth and the ghostly orange monsters have driven the humans into protective walled cities. There are two streams of thought on solving the problem. Blow them up with a space cannon or defeat them with the 8 spirits that live in the earth. There's a lot of running around and people die. The dialog isn't very interesting but the earth does get saved. I don't think I would need to see this again. Going out the door sometime I guess.