Summer Movie Night 5: The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

It’s Summer Vacation and time to catch up on some of the shows and movies we have been meaning to see. Life during the school year can be quite busy with both a college professor and a high school student in the house, so it is nice to settle in for an hour or more over dinner and enjoy a movie all together as a family.

Adele blanc sec

Poking around Netflix some more, I came across this interesting French steampunk/fantasy film based on a comic book series from the 1970’s. I tend to enjoy foreign films and the fantasy genre of this movie is also one of my delights. This is a high-budget production with excellent locations and special effects, but it also retains the feeling of being a comic book. Makeup, costumes and locations are modified to bring a feeling of the comic into the real world.

Most Americans will find the movie has a rather quirky sense of humor, but I expect this from French films in general and it is also something that helps the film stand apart from traditional American action-adventure-fantasy films. It make the film feel different while still remaining fun and interesting. I couldn’t help to compare this movie to the recent TinTin adventure and I think that Adele Blanc-Sec actually comes out on top. the animation style of TinTin, along with its non-stop action sequences prevented me from connecting with the movie where in Adele Blanc-Sec the action was well-balanced and the life actors, although looking like comics, seemed more approachable than their animated TinTin counterparts.

Adèle Blanc-Sec, a journalist and travel writer of some fame, finds herself involved after returning fromEgypt, where she was searching for Ramesses II‘s mummified doctor/physician Patmosis. She wants to revive the mummy with the help of Espérandieu so the doctor can save her sister Agathe, who is comatose following an unfortunate tennis incident involving a hatpin. After a brief struggle with her nemesis, the mysterious Professor Dieuleveult, she retrieves the mummy and returns home. Her mission is complicated further by Esperandieu being on death row, having been blamed for the pterosaur’s attacks, in lieu of Inspector Caponi and celebrity big game hunter Justin de Saint-Hubert having any success in taking down the beast itself. Andrej Zborowski, a researcher at the Jardin des Plantes who is enamored with Adèle, is able to lure the pterosaur into hiding. Adèle, riding the pterosaur, rescues Esperandieu moments before his execution. — Wikipedia

I prefer subtitles when watching films like this, as I like to hear the voices of the native actors, even if I don’t understand them entirely. There is much to be gained from hearing the intonation and emotion in the voices. I also find that after a few minutes watching, I am “hearing” the subtitles in the actors voices. Of course, a subtitled film does mean you have to sit and watch the film and not try to do something else at the same time — much like a silent film.

I can highly recommend the Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec if you are looking for a fun, quirky romp to your summer evening. You can find it on Netflix, rent it via Amazon Instant Video or purchase the DVD.

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