Anna Review & Comments

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Phil Hinton, Jul 10, 2019.


    1. Base13

      Base13
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      A great review, thank you.

      But one little point, Czech Republic was Czechoslovakia in 89, not Russia. 1989 was the year Russian occupation ended, but it was Czechoslovakia since 1918.
       
    2. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow
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      Thanks, I think I'll always call 80s USSR "Russia" (child of the late 70s/80s), and Cz was an adopted state of the USSR back then, no?
       
      Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
    3. Base13

      Base13
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      No, it was still a separate country. I always remember their national football team.

      By the way, I’m no expert. I just remember getting to know a lot of Czechs when I lived in Croydon in the late 90’s, so got to know a fair bit about their recent history. Plus there was a great Czechoslovak tapas restaurant when I lived on the Isle of Wight!
       
    4. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow
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      “The Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (Czechand Slovak: Československá socialistická republika, ČSSR) was the name of Czechoslovakia from 1948 to 23 April 1990, when the country was under communist rule. Formally known as the Fourth Czechoslovak Republic, it has been regarded as a satellite state of the Soviet Union.[1]

      Not saying it wasn’t a separate country, but it was still an ‘adopted’ state until 1990...? Perhaps I should have used the word ‘satellite’.

      It’s moot semantics though; you couldn’t escape the KGB in 1989 by fleeing to the Czech Republic for a number of reasons, two of which included the fact it didn’t exist and the country it used to be was still under soviet control (however we each define that) thus defeating the purposes of escape in the first place.

      PS. No expert either. Can barely remember my geo lessons so could easily be misinterpreting wiki, but still know Besson was way off track here!
       
      Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    5. Evinger

      Evinger
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      Thank You Cas - finally a Film review from you that DIDN'T make me immediately want to rent/buy it!
      (My wallet thanks you as well!)
      Der Profi & 5th Element being two of my all time favourite Movies, I'm sad that Besson has run out of originality &, well, everything else.
      (Brings to mind Peter Jackson, LOTR IMO 11/10, The Hobbit, (Films 1-72, (you can read the entire original book quicker than watch the Movies) a 3, barely, for me)
       
    6. SteveAWOL

      SteveAWOL
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      Do kinda feel sorry for Sasha Luss that the release of this film has turned into such an omnishambles in the wake of Besson’s alleged antics.

      A Russian model was poised for her big break in ‘Anna.’ Then the film got stuck in #MeToo limbo

      As with a decent publicity tour this could’ve proved to be as profitable as the many (equally bad) Taken rip-offs over the past decade.

      Although I see that Pathé have released a couple of featurettes on their social media, as Anna was released in France yesterday. Also noticed that it arrives in Russia today, so maybe home-field advantage might save this from being a complete financial disaster.

      ANNA – Making-of : Sasha Luss
       
    7. icemandave

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      watched this on Tuesday night give it 5/10 for popcorn entertainment, seen a lot worse films in my time, but agree with how the mighty have fallen kind of reminded me of kiss of the dragon and of course his early films.
       
    8. MikeTheBike2010

      MikeTheBike2010
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      Many years ago there was a joke (possibly from the Not The 9 o clock news team?) about Orson Welles living his career in reverse, starting by advertising Sherry and going on to lose a lot of weight until he directs the best film ever made in Citizen Kane.

      Could the same accusation be raised towards Mr Besson I wonder as his early films showed so much promise (Leon being a personal favourite)?
       
    9. SteveAWOL

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      I dunno if Besson had just watched Now You See Me before he concocted the script for Anna but all those flashbacks really spoiled the pacing and my enjoyment of this film; they feel almost as unnecessary as the voiceover in the theatrical version of Blade Runner.

      Perhaps if they released a tighter edit of the film (a non-Director’s Cut!) with a tad less exposition I’d have had a bit more fun with this.
       
    10. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow
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      Unfortunately he's not the only one. Some of my favourite Scorsese-era directors appear to have slowly lost it - when was the last time Coppola did something significant, and I had the pleasure of watching De Palma's magnificently clumsy Domino recently.

      Actors too have a propensity to lose their way across the decades of an up and down career, but it feels like it's often easier for them to have a 'comeback'. Getting a film funded when you haven't had a success in 20 years is probably a tough ask.

      Besson had the right idea with Anna - as @Ripsnorter said, a low budget actioner was potentially easy money - but was just too lazy in the execution.

      And whilst I feel a little sympathy for Luss getting caught up in controversies beyond her remit, she didn't do anything here to prove she has... erm... legs in the business. That's arguably not her fault - a better director would have given her less words, which would have been fine for the role - but it does mean that better publicity for the film may have only shone a stronger spotlight on her shortcomings. She was comfortable with foreign languages though; I wonder whether it might have suited her style better to work in Russian, however unviable that was commercially.

      On an only tangentially related note, it reminded me of possibly the only time I remember Seagal 'acting' - in Japanese - a language he seemed much more comfortable speaking, and which, perhaps innately, demanded he not just mumble or faux Southern drawl it.
       
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    11. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow
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      Yes, 90 minutes, no flashbacks, and perhaps a little less dialogue for the lead. Oh and add at least a decade to all the dates (or just pull them entirely, because, without flashbacks, you don't need them).

      Out of curiosity, what was the plan of her first mission?

      1. Use an entire KGB team to engineer her getting picked up and recruited as a model
      2. Spend ages building relationships and contacts for cover
      3. Eventually find the mark at a party, and seduce him, but randomly don't sleep with him
      4. Spend TWO MONTHS dating and being seen in public with him repeatedly (?!)
      5. Then one day explain the reason you haven't been intimate was because he didn't tell you enough about his job
      6. Once he explains he's an arms dealer, immediately suggest he's getting lucky, go to the bathroom, come out and shoot him

      So, on the debrief, did they suggest perhaps next time she do it on the first date? Because what useful information did she get out of his 'confession' that they surely didn't already know to put her with him in the first place? And if the mission was to kill him, why wait?

      Sigh, lazy, lazy, lazy. Just remove the references to 2 months, and this kind of storytelling isn't so open to face-palming. That's what's frustrating. All somebody needed to do was read the script.
       
    12. barnaby jones

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      Yet again I’m totally on different page to that. For me, the time jumps kept me interested, without them I think I’d have found it thunderously boring. When the first one popped up, I was pleased. I love a nonlinear narrative.
      Although I’d concede it felt like something that may have been tinkered with in post.
       
    13. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow
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      I can see what you mean; I think I just find clumsy non-linear is worse than just telling a straight story but you could be right, maybe it would have been just utterly dull rather than spectacularly messy. I know something like The Prestige is too much to ask for, but this makes Now You See Me 2 look professional.

      As you say, it feels like an afterthought, to make it more Atomic Blonde-y, but aside from feeling really low budget (literally filming them in sequence then rearranging the scenes in post and sticking time stamps on because the result plays as so incoherent) some of them were just purely unnecessary exposition. You could have a semi-effective non-linear actioner here and still turn it in under 90 minutes.

      Has Besson ever dabbled with non-linear before? Because that maybe doesn't help. It was perhaps an ill-advised time to start, after Valerian's bombing.
       
    14. Sam Crow

      Sam Crow
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      What about seeing it for free
       
    15. Evinger

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      Nope, I have better uses for those two-odd hours, than Monty Python style inquisition Torture! ;)
       
    16. Coulson

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      I could see myself doing that. I probably wouldn't go as far to say I would end up liking it. But I might, probably, not hate it. (English Syntax to match the style of the film?)
       
    17. Sam Crow

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      I actually liked it
       
    18. Sam Crow

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      You've seen it all before in John Wick or Atomic Blonde and Besson's own Lucy.
      But hey I enjoyed this more Its not so fighty and she can she kick it, yes she can Better than Keanu or Charlize plus shes more breathtaking than Reeves.
      The only thing that bugged me was the non-linear timeline jumping all over the place but I guess Besson used it as a storytelling device which most just use it coz they can.
      Sasha Luss is stunning and sexy as hell in this role. Helen Mirren just has fun in her role.
      Ignore the naysayers and have fun7/10
       
      Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    19. mikeybabes2

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      Well, I've heard of Kermodian Rants, but now it seems we have Harlovian Rants.:D
       
    20. Evinger

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      I think you were dazzled by your liking for her looks, but you should check out how Keanu actually is very much a "kick it" guy.
       
    21. Sam Crow

      Sam Crow
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      his kicking is slow and pedestrian by the time his foot is off the floor they should have destroyed him..wick 3 had very little kicking as imo they knew the amount of Asian fighter would kick his butt
       
    22. dms

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      Sighs, what a shame. Whats for reviewing it so I can save my money.

      I remember being a late teenager in the 90's and using the name "Besson" proudly as a director who made decent films (Subway, Big Blue, Nikita) which were my style of film when the "what films do you like" came up. Since Fifth Element though, and possibly Joan of Arc The Message (1999) it's fair to say he's produced turd after turd and the magic is long gone. Now-a-days I can't reference him by name lest people only know the modern stuff.
       
    23. Casimir Harlow

      Casimir Harlow
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      Erm... I think you may have lost me (and a few others) at 'she can kick it better than Keanu and Charlize'. "She" most certainly can't, if you're talking about Luss that is.

      Perhaps also because it's not a recommended *practical* way of fighting. I seem to remember an old instructor saying something like "leave high kicking to Van Damme and Michael Flatley". Anything much above the waist and you're opening yourself up to trouble. Reeves kicks low, which makes complete sense to me, and I saw plenty of that in Wick 3.

      As for speed, he's in his 50s, and Luss's stunt double is probably at least 20 years his junior. And a stunt double.

      Glad you liked it though, just not sure it stands comparison to the films you've mentioned. At all.
       
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    24. Evinger

      Evinger
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      I used to work for some people trained by one of the Gracie Brothers. Spent some time with him as he travelled with us. (Truly nice person when not in action). What I saw of his approach to training them has always fitted with how a North American Western Build has to fight using composite approaches.
       
    25. Evinger

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      I guess I was typing my reply same time as you :)

      Yep, you get them to the floor fast as possible, and never go high
       
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    26. Sam Crow

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      i really hated wick 1 & 2 and blonde ..3 was ok ... i didn't see them at the cinema tho I'm coming to a conclusion I hate watching films at home
       
    27. Evinger

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      Happy you liked the Movie. One thing I love about this Forum is people can disagree in a reasonable way. No Toxic Hate or shouting- We all can have our opinions. Refreshing in this age :):thumbsup:
       
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    28. Sam Crow

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      was just thinking about this last night ..what has been this summers block buster ?
       
    29. Coulson

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      He doesn't like "fighty" films so Keanu, Halle, Jason, Dwayne, Jet, Jackie, Charlize etc etc are all out!
      ...
      Oh I see this has already been covered.
       
    30. Sam Crow

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      not what I said :)
       

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