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The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec(2010)
Adèle Blanc-Sec is a cynical novelist of popular fiction, who turns to investigative journalism as her research and subsequent adventures reveal further details of the mystical world of crime in Paris during the years before and after World War I.
For more about The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec and the The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Blu-ray release, see the The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on September 23, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Louise Bourgoin, Mathieu Amalric, Gilles Lellouche, Philippe Nahon, Jean-Paul Rouve, Nicolas Giraud
Director: Luc Besson
» See full cast & crew
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, September 23, 2011
Luc Besson's "Les aventures extraordinaires d'Adèle Blanc-Sec" a.k.a "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec" (2010) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Optimum Home Entertainment. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original UK theatrical trailer; video interviews with director Luc Besson and various cast members; second video interview with director Luc Besson conducted exclusively for Cinemoi; making of featurette; and more. In French, with imposed English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
French director Luc Besson's latest film opens up in Egypt, where the beautiful novelist-turned-archeologist Adele Blanc-Sec (Louise Bourgoin, L'autre Monde, Blanc comme neige), a lovely female replica of Indiana Jones, is getting ready to raid a tomb that will provide her with a cure for her seriously ill sister (Laure de Clermont--Tonnerre, Comedy of Innocence). The "cure" is actually a supposedly very famous mummified doctor whom Adele plans to transport to Paris, where the crazy Professor Esperandieu (Jacky Nercessian, Le grand voyage) will use his powers and bring him back to life. The famous doctor will then cure Adele's sister and…well, Adele hasn't really planned things this far so no one really knows what will happen with the doctor once he is brought back amongst the living. By the way, the year is 1911.
Assisted by a group of local thugs, Adele raids the tomb and quickly discovers the sarcophagus with the body of the famous doctor. Next to it are two large piles of gold, which the thugs want for themselves. They proceed to kill Adele, but out of nowhere her archrival Dieuleveult (Mathieu Amalric, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly/, Mesrine Parts 1 & 2 - Killer Instinct / Public Enemy Number 1/) appears and in the ensuing chaos she manages run away and then jump with the sarcophagus in an underground river.
Back in Paris Professor Esperandieu is already wrecking havoc. While testing a new resuscitation technique, he has accidentally brought to live a large pterodactyl and the poor thing is now on the loose. Assuming that the pterodactyl is linked to the anarchists who want him to resign, the French president (Gérard Chaillou, Arsène Lupin) immediately orders his top men to deal with it, but the only people who go looking for it are the incompetent and always hungry detective Albert Caponi (Gilles Lellouche, Little White Lies) and the weird hunter Justin de Saint-Hubert (Jean-Paul Rouve, La môme).
Meanwhile, Adele returns to Paris, drops the sarcophagus at her apartment and immediately heads to La Sante Prison to save Professor Esperandieu, who has been arrested and quickly sentenced to death. She tries three times but fails. However, together with Andrej Zborowski (Nicolas Giraud, Vertige), one of her admirers, she finally figures out a way to get Professor Esperandieu out. In Adele's apartment, Professor Esperandieu brings the mummy back to life. Much to Adele's disappointment, however, it turns out that he was once a famous nuclear physicist.
Inspired by Jacques Tardi's comic books, The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec is clearly the most original and most entertaining film Besson has directed since The Fifth Element. The narrative is beyond wild and the dialog is absolutely hilarious. There are a few jokes that are not as effective in English as they are in French, but otherwise the film is loaded with outstanding one-liners that work very well.
Even though the supporting cast is very good, the film belongs to Bourgoin, a young, very energetic and very talented French actress whom I am convinced will be a star. In addition to The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, I've also seen her in Gilles Marchand's Black Heaven and Rémi Bezançon's A Happy Event, and in both films she was terrific.
The special effects are top-notch, especially during the second half of the film after the action moves back to Paris. However, what impresses the most are the beautiful period costumes. Bourgoin's dresses and hats, in particular, are fantastic.
The film also boasts a strong soundtrack courtesy of award winning composer and frequent Besson collaborator Eric Serra (The Big Blue, Léon).
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Luc Besson's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Optimum Home Entertainment.
The high-definition transfer is excellent. Detail and textures constantly impress, even during the darker sequences from the tomb in the beginning of the film. Color reproduction is also very pleasing - the variety of yellows, blues, greens, grays, and blacks look rich and well saturated but never boosted. (The footage from Egypt, which was shot on location in Egypt, not on a studio lot in Paris, is near reference quality). Additionally, there isn't even a whiff of edge-enhancement. There are no traces of problematic noise corrections either. The high-definition transfer is also free of artifacts, banding and aliasing patterns. Lastly, there are no stability issues to report in this review. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and French LPCM 2.0 (with portions of Arabic). For the record, Optimum Home Entertainment have provided imposed (they cannot be turned off) English subtitles for the main feature. They appear inside the image frame.
The French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track serves the film very well. When it needs to impress - the numerous sequences with the pterodactyl or the ones where Adele runs for her life, etc. - its wide range of nuanced dynamics and strong and punchy bass most definitely do. So, keep your remote control close to you. On the other hand, the dialog is consistently crisp, clean, stable, and exceptionally easy to follow. For the record, there are no problematic pops, cracks, hissing, or audio dropouts to report in this review.
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
There is a lot more style than substance in Luc Besson's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, but I enjoyed it a lot. Maybe because Adele's adventures were indeed quite extraordinary, or maybe because I really liked her stylish dresses and truly amazing hats. I will see it again soon to make up my mind. Optimum Home Entertainment's presentation of the film is outstanding. RECOMMENDED.
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The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec Blu-ray - May 25, 2011
British distributors Optimum Home Entertainment will release on Blu-ray Luc Besson's The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (2010), starring Louise Bourgoin, Mathieu Amalric, Gilles Lellouche, and Jean-Paul Rouve. The film will be available in a Regular ...
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