Banlieue 13 and its sequel Banlieue 13: Ultimatum are some of my favourite films. They’re action-packed, fun and have interesting characters dynamics but Leïto is my favourite.
He’s one of my favourite type of characters. He’s a low-level criminal but he does bad thigs for good reasons. Like in the opening scene you realise he’s stolen a load of drugs from a gang in order to destroy them and he keeps the area around his apartment block free of drugs and gangs.
Leïto is a realist or perhaps even a cynic. He’s grown up in an area that’s been forgotten about by the government and everyone’s had to fend for themselves. There’s no schools, no parks, no police, it’s a lawless area but Leïto has a code that he sticks to. I also like the fact that while he’s not strictly affiliated with any gang, the gang leaders all respect him and are willing to listen to him. He’s the one that brings them all together in the final showdown in B13: Ultimatum. Plus, even random teenagers in the neighbourhood know that Leïto is someone they can go to for help when they’re in trouble.
Leïto is street smart and resourceful and is quick at thinking on his feet. While he always sets boobytraps around his apartment building and has different ways to get in and out the place quickly, sometimes it does seem he has luck on his side as he’s not one to make thorough plans.
His relationship with Damien, an undercover cop, is great. They compliment each other a lot in terms of fighting style and personality though it takes time for Leïto to trust or even like him. But that’s the thing about Leïto, once he does like someone, he’s loyal and protective. Leïto and his sister Lola have one of my favourite sibling relationships on films because it’s clear they know each other so well.
How can I not share the opening sequence of Banlieue 13?! It’s a perfect example of Leïto’s parkour skills as he uses his environment and other people’s momentum against them.
I’ve realised that this year I’ve watched way more films that aren’t in English, than I have in previous years. In fact, in the Spring I watched more films in a foreign language than I had in the last couple of years combined.
I’m not sure why I don’t watch more films that are in another language because there’s so many films out there that could be great and to not watch them just because I’ve got to read subtitles is just silly.
I’ve noticed that when I watch films with subtitles, I pay more attention to the film and can therefore get absorbed into the story and characters more. I don’t know about you, but when I’ve found some random film in English on Netflix that I’m not super excited about and it’s just something to watch, I often find myself scrolling through Twitter etc as I can still hear and understand what’s happening even if the film doesn’t have my full attention. When I’m watching a film that’s not in English and has subtitles, I don’t touch my phone for the full runtime of the film and I get so much more out of it because of that.
One of my favourite foreign language films is Banlieue 13. It’s a French action film full of brilliant stunts and it’s a lot of fun. The first time I saw it, I watched it dubbed as it was playing on a coach on a school trip to France. I loved it as soon as I saw it and bought my own copy, including the sequel, as soon as I could. Ever since then I watch it with the subtitles.
I prefer to watch films not in English with the subtitles, as then you get to hear the voice performance of the actors as the filmmakers intended. I get pulled into foreign language films and barely notice the subtitles once I’m 10 minutes into the film.
Some of my favourite films not in English that I’ve watched this year is the South Korean Train to Busan and the Danish The Guilty. Both are fantastic and super tense and, or course, they are both set to get American remakes. It’s a shame that so many people don’t step out of their comfort zone and won’t watch something that’s not in their native language. There’s so much out there and I know there’s more I want to catch up on so give me all your foreign language film recommendations!
Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. I’m thinking I might not take part every week but just see if a week takes my fancy. Today we’re talking about other types of stories!
Sometimes it’s not that you feel sad or really down, you just don’t really feel like anything – I call these my bleugh days. On those days I just want a movie that will be an easy watch and a comfort movie. So here are my favourite comfort movies – some of them could be seen as an odd choice for “comfort” but there you go. All links go to the film’s trailers on YouTube.
With Transformers you can just switch off and enjoy the silliness and the explosions – which is something that definitely helps when I’m feeling a bit down. My favourite part of this movie (and the sequels) are the soldiers Epps and Lennox played by Tyrese Gibson and Josh Duhamel.
How can you not end up with a smile on your face when you hear Kenny Loggins’ Footloose?! The plot of the film is a bit silly (what with a town banning dances, music and fun) but I love the friendship between Willard (Chris Penn) and Ren (Kevin Bacon) and it’s just a happy film.
I really like secondary characters, whether they’re in film, TV shows or books I’m probably going to be more interested in in the secondary character(s) or at least like them quicker than the main characters. I think it’s because the secondary characters sometimes say what we’re all thinking, or that they’re funny, or that because their secondary characters you don’t know that much about them so you can make up your own backstory for them.
So here are some of my favourite secondary characters:
Angela from the Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
I love how mysterious Angela is, and while you do get some hints to what her background is in the final book, I love how you never know everything about her. I think if you did she’d lose something that makes her so special. Angela is a healer and witch and has the uncanny ability to turn up wherever significant events are happening.
Jonathan Carnahan from The Mummy and The Mummy Returns
(I feel as if I’m forever mentioning The Mummy and Jonathan Carnahan in these blog posts – oh well! Just shows home much I love him)
Jonathan is funny, loyal but slightly useless. He’d do anything to help his family but he’s also a bit of a scaredy-cat that being said when he needs to step up the plate he does so.
The trailer for Brick Mansions was released last week and it’s taken me this long to figure out how to get all my thoughts about it on the page.
Brick Mansions is the American remake of the French film Banlieue 13, or to give it the English title District 13. Now Balieue 13 is not only my favourite foreign film but it is one of my favourite films ever and will probably always be in my top 10. So all those years ago when I first heard they were going to do a remake I was annoyed but at the same time I like to be hopeful, thinking that it’ll bring more people to the original. The biggest plus that the American version had for it when I first heard about it was that David Belle was going to reprise his role – I did read somewhere that Luc Besson would only allow there to be a remake if Belle was in the American version (but now can’t find that information).