Leon: The Professional - Uncut Version

Dr. SpecDr. Spec Posts: 3,780
edited May 2002 in Music & Movies
Maybe I should have checked the post history to see if I'm re-hashing old territory, BUT, what the heck......

I just saw "Leon: The Professional" - the Director's Uncut International Version with the extra 24 minutes of footage not included in the US version (aka The Professional).

The Professional has always been one of my favorite movies, but I always felt something was missing - the uncut version fixes that and hits a homerun.

The uncut version is much more effective at showing the development of the unusual relationship between Leon and Mathilda - which is really the central story of the movie (aside from the great action sequences). The US version now seems somewhat disjointed in retrospect.

This movie is rife with symbolism, but subtler than your typical John Woo movie, which ultimately makes it more effective. Character development and acting is fabulous, with Jean Reno, Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, and Danny Aiello being the central characters.

Jean Reno portrays a single minded almost obessive compulsive character who is extremely advanced in certains parts of his life, and almost completely undeveloped in others - his character study is fascinating. Aiello is a subtle betrayer and manipulator with a sugar coating, which makes his part even more impressive. Portman perfectly plays how a 12 year old girl can be at once both mature/insightful and a typical pre-teen prone to making grave errors in judgement resulting from a lack of life experience. Oldman is an example of absolute power corrupting absolutely - exacerbated by the instability of a severe drug addiction - he plays the part with frightening intensity.

The film has a European flavor, which only adds to its appeal. It remains one of my favorites as a study in human nature and relationships, and the uncut version only adds to the enjoyment.

My HT ratings are below:

Story: 9.5 (compelling and intriguing)
Acting: 9.5 (Reno's best EVER)
Picture: 8.5 (some mild artifacts)
Score: 9.0 (perfect for the movie)
Vocals: 9.0 (clear and full)
Bass: 8.5 (dramatic use of bass in score)
Surround: 7.5 (not much to brag about here)

"HT" Score: 8.8

Spec
"What we do in life echoes in eternity"

Ed Mullen ([email protected])
Director - Technology and Customer Service
SVS
Post edited by Dr. Spec on

Comments

  • lax01lax01 Posts: 496
    edited May 2002
    What does the uncut add to the movie? I remember seeing this movie and thinking how realistic and scary that movie was. I will try to pick up the uncut version soon, but what is added?
  • SystemsSystems Posts: 14,998
    edited May 2002
    it makes a great double-bill with Kubrick's Lolita!:lol:
    Testing
    Testing
    Testing
  • Ron-PRon-P Spaceman Spiff Posts: 8,511
    edited May 2002
    Nearly 1/2 hour of interaction between Matilda and Leon. It makes the film. I won't say more, just go get it.


    Peace Out~:D
    If...
    Ron dislikes a film = go out and buy it.
    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.
  • Micah CohenMicah Cohen Ruler of the gnome universe Posts: 2,020
    edited May 2002
    Yeah, Doc, you're late to the Euro-LEON party, but that's okay. It's a hellofa film, really Luc Besson's best film, and the Euro footage proves to be Natalie Portman's best acting ever, as well.

    Now, if we could only get a good anamorphic French 5.1 (with english subtitles) version of Besson's LA FEMME NIKITA we'd all be in heaven. (LA FEMME is of course where the LEON concept comes from -- Reno plays "Victor, the cleaner" -- a hitman.)

    Check out THE BIG BLUE. Not an action flick, but a moody interesting and beautiful (great DVD) Luc Besson film. Jean Reno, too! Always a great pleasure.

    MC
    [email protected]

    "There's nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight." - Lon Chaney
  • Dr. SpecDr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited May 2002
    Yep, still waiting for La Femme in anamorphic widescreen 5.1. Reno was cool in that flic as Victor - agreed.

    Everyone is thinking there will be a sequel to The Professional with Portman, but wouldn't it be totally cool if there was a prequel based on Leon's past experiences? It could show the deal with his lost love (killed by her father) and his trip to the US and a bunch of his first jobs. There would be nothing terribly unique about this movie though........what do you guys think?

    It would allow Reno to rise again to glory instead of wallowing in that trash Godzilla and Roller Derby just to keep food on the table.

    The problem with a sequel is that Mathilda never really got old enough to learn the ropes as a true cleaner - she was really still in her early stages of training. How would they handle that?

    Spec
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen ([email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
    SVS
  • juice21juice21 Posts: 1,866
    edited May 2002
    this is one of my favorite movies. ironically, i haven't picked up and watched the un-cut 'leon' version yet. i've got to pick this up...

    great flick for any who haven't seen it! nice review of it dr. spec...
  • Dr. SpecDr. Spec Posts: 3,780
    edited May 2002
    Thanxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!!!

    P/U the uncut version - you won't be disappointed!! It's a MUCH better movie.
    "What we do in life echoes in eternity"

    Ed Mullen (emullen[email protected])
    Director - Technology and Customer Service
    SVS
  • Micah CohenMicah Cohen Ruler of the gnome universe Posts: 2,020
    edited May 2002
    Nah, no sequel. No need. Start with LA FEMME, and you see the really ultimate evil hitman in Victor (I love that, when he says in english "I am Victor. The cleaner." YEOW!), and then move on to the Euro version of LEON.

    Leon is a very different character (and SPOILER HERE Victor buys it in LA FEMME), but you can see where he comes from.

    I think I'm just sequelled out. It's such a great film, and is great because it is a beginning, middle and end -- a complete story -- that you don't need to know anything else. It's in your imagination.

    Like Natalie.

    MC
    [email protected]

    "There's nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight." - Lon Chaney
  • Ron-PRon-P Spaceman Spiff Posts: 8,511
    edited May 2002
    I'm with Micah on this one. As much as I'd LOVE to see the extremely beautiful Ms. Portman in the roll of a cleaner. It would be more detrimental than anything.

    Woody


    Peace Out~:D
    If...
    Ron dislikes a film = go out and buy it.
    Ron loves a film = don't even rent.
  • juice21juice21 Posts: 1,866
    edited May 2002
    nice pic. ron!:D
  • Micah CohenMicah Cohen Ruler of the gnome universe Posts: 2,020
    edited May 2002
    As I may have lost control and blurted out on another forum... I'd lick her armpit any day.

    I gotta go home now.

    Mommy.

    MC
    [email protected]

    "There's nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight." - Lon Chaney
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