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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

'The Extraordinay Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec:' Lara Croft Meets Jurassic Park

Shout Factory's DVD release yesterday of the 2012 fun-for-all ages live action well dubbed-in-English French film "The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec" is an excellent companion to Shout's April 2013 DVD release of the 2011 fun-for-all ages animated well dubbed-in-English French film "A Monster in Paris," which Unreal TV reviewed several weeks ago.

Aside from being a highly entertaining way to spend 90 minutes,  the very family-friendly "Adele" has the additional attribute of being written and directed by Luc Besson of "The Fifth Element" and "La Femme Nikita." Besson adapted "Adele" from a series of French historical fantasy novels.

"Monster" and "Adele" create great expectations that the pop culture gods at Shout keep finding these genuine gems from the land of brie and berets.

The titular character in "Adele" is a very independent and resourceful author/adventurer living in 1912 Paris. The quest on which this early 20th century version of Lara Croft embarks at the beginning of the film is a literal raiding of the tomb of Ramses II. Rather than gold or fame, Blanc-Sec is seeking the mummified remains of Ramses' physician.

Adele's plan is to use the weird science of an elderly mad scientist in Paris to resurrect the mummy so that Adele can consult with said physician regarding the five-year comatose state in which Adele's twin sister resides. A flashback that reveals the incident that resulted in that condition is a very funny one to which anyone with a sibling can relate.

While Adele is off searching for the mummy in an adventure that requires fighting off companions who wish to raid the tomb, the mad scientist's experiments in Paris inadvertently cause a 136 million year-old pterodactyl egg in a nearby museum to hatch. The jumbo-sized baby creature then causes widespread panic in Paris ala the creature in "Monster."

On returning to Paris, Adele learns of the current events and the arrest and imprisoning of the Professor Farnsworth of the early 20th century whose assistance she requires. The costumes that Adele dons and the related reactions of the elderly man whom she attempts to break out of prison are hilarious even without him declaring "good news everybody."

Other great humor relates to the unjustifiably confident "great white hunter" and his bumbling police official companion ineptly tracking the  pterodactyl for the purpose of killing it. These great segments include silly costumes, wonderfully juvenile scat-related humor, and a very satisfying turning of the tables.

The following trailer courtesy of YouTube does an excellent job capturing all the elements described above and the overall wonderful spirit of this film

Additionally, Besson stages all the antics well and keeps the humor broad enough to appeal to younger viewers while including enough social commentary on topics such as the foolishness of politicians and appointed officials to entertain adults. An indirect reference to a famous addition to the Louvre is especially funny.

The extras include a special feature on making "Adele," deleted scenes, and a music video. A personal quest to catch up on numerous projects prevented exploring these treats.

Anyone with questions or comments regarding "Adele" is welcome to email me. Adventurers can seek me out on Twitterby locating @tvdvdguy.