Sci-Guys Podcast 162

August 26th, 2014

We take a long hard look at “The Fifth Element”. Also John is back from Japan, and we find out how that went.

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By Sci-Guy-Jim

14 Responses to “Sci-Guys Podcast 162”

  1. Filbert

    Wow. First of your podcasts I’ve listened to and I don’t understand why you don’t understand why it is considered great even if you disagree with it. It’s a unique, weird, crazy, funny, not serious movie. It’s a geek’s paradise. I have a hard time believing you guys are geeks or enjoy sci-fi. The problem I have isn’t so much that you don’t like it much but that you don’t understand the appeal, which is mystifying.

  2. Sci-Guy-Jim


    Thanks for taking the time to listen and comment. We are assuredly sci-fi fans geeks, and if you look at our back catalog, that should be apparent. Maybe we are bitter-old-jaded-a-holes, but we do love our Sci-Fi.

    I may not have been clear, but I do feel that there is a lot to like in the Fifth Element, I just don’t see how it becomes “A CLASSIC” in the way I consider, say, Contact a classic (just to pick on a film from the same year)

    Regardless, thanks again for checking us out, and even if we dissagree, I hope you will listen again.


  3. Adrian

    I love The 5th Element it may not be a particularly great movie in terms of cinematic history or serious science fiction, but it’s so silly and over the top and unabashedly fun. I also love it for its’ unabashed European-ness. If you’ve seen “Barbarella” or “City of Lost Children” they you’ll understand what I mean.

    Luc Besson got the idea when he was a little kid and became determined that one day he’d grow up to make the movie. Uninhibited child-like glee and crazy imagination is everywhere. Particularly in the candy-colored, toybox appeal of the movie’s design.

    Luc Besson hired two of my favorite european sci fi cartoonists as conceptual artists for the movie. Jean “moebius” Giraud, and Jean Claude Mezieres. The movie beautifully captures spirit of their work. The pill-bug aliens and their ship who visit Egypt at the beginning are straight up Moebius but made live action. The NYC taxi chase sequence is taken directly from Jean Claud Mezieres’ book.

    European Sci-Fi comics tend to be a lot more jokey and cartoony than their american counterparts, and are a lot more stylish with lavish and idiosyncratic background details.

    At the time, “The Fifth Element” was the closest I’d seen to this sort of European comic book style sci fi on the big screen, so it really hit a sweet spot for me. There’s a lot more of it being done now but it’s not as good or as self-consciously silly.

  4. Sci-Guy-Jim

    Adrian, I feel like you should have been on this podcast instead of me!

  5. Adrian

    I could probably do with an editor, too.

  6. lore

    Wow, guys, that was a ton. I put “5th Element” between “Johnny Mnemonic” and “Starship Troopers” on the sci-fi movie scale. It shares a goofiness with Johnny, but it also shares the epic scale of Troopers. In fact, I love it for its goofiness, so I hold it near and dear while recognizing that it’s no Star Wars or Alien.

    Glad to see the Manga Minute snuck back in there! Thanks, Guys!

    love, lore

  7. Adrian

    I’m up for some more sci-fi in the Guys’ wheelhouse club. Why not take a look at “Galaxy Quest”, “HitchHikers’ Guide”, or “Spaceballs” one day?

  8. Adrian

    whoops I meant comedy sci-fi.

  9. Sci-Guy-Jim

    Adrian, those are great suggestions. They are going in the hopper.

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