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Thursday, February 05, 2015

Well, Something Ascending

I must say, as someone who numbers Vegas in Space, Xanadu and Flash Gordon among my favorite movies, the universally terrible reviews Jupiter Ascending is getting are making it pretty damned irresistible. And let me add that as far as I'm concerned Speed Racer is not a guilty but an unalloyed pleasure. Pretty much everybody is wrong about that movie, and I won't be at all surprised to find they are all wrong about this one too.


Chad Lott said...

Speed Racer is kind of like Fast & Furious on MDMA.

Dale Carrico said...

And yet I find Fast and Furious literally unwatchable and Speed Racer compulsively re-watchable, like watching a Jem and the Holograms concert from inside a tilt-a-whirl with anti-corporate slogans shooting in my face from a sparkle gun to assuage my liberal guilt about the whole thing.

hoohah said...

Well, I did watch it this weekend and i think you are right --> it was a schlock-y, sappy, generally coherent well written story (for a sci-fi anyways), characters, and visuals. (Well, take all this with a grain of salt since I honestly think that the only cinema worth watching is the B-cinema, but regardless, it certainly does NOT deserve the dismal reviews it gets, especially against the backdrop of soul-crushing crap of the last years that had fared much better (including the steaming pile of shit that was "Interstellar")

Elias Altvall said...

While I like the ideas, aethestics and concepts. I love sci-fi that takes there design from Metal Hurlant. I find the characters hollow and uninteresting, the story is incoherent at times and makes no sense at the end. So the main character finds out that there is this massive empire which is exploiting and harvesting people for genetic engineering and you try not to stop it. I mean the villain is clearly stated to not be the only one who does this but just one part of an entire industry. Feels like it had a lot of potential but somewhere is fails like there V for Vendetta movie.

Esebian said...

I've not yet seen it, but the guys over at Red Letter Media make it seem pretty unappealing, even though they gave it a C overall.

For all their flaws, they've a nose for good and bad flicks most of the time. I hope that's not a case of "it introduces a new generation to the evils of exploitative classism, so you gotta like it."

Dale Carrico said...

I found it hard to square the many times when they give the film "points" for originality, ambition, oddness, occasional scenes they liked (they didn't mention its obvious beauty) with the insistent comparisons to the Star Wars prequels and Battlefield Earth.

It seemed strange how much of the criticism seemed to be about marketing -- to whom were they pitching this? why didn't they go with something that had a dystopian YA tie-in? was it supposed to be for girls?

I found that last bit a particularly interesting moment for more reasons than one, as I did the spastic "I'm not sexist, but!" follow up. A minute later we are treated to an exasperated "This whole fairy tale princess in a violent universe thing just doesn't work -- why couldn't it be more like Guardians of the Galaxy?" (Just saying, I will buy Jupiter Ascending on blu ray, I would not watch Guardians of the Galaxy if you paid me enough to buy the blu ray of Jupiter Ascending.)

I don't think we have to pretend every movie exposing the evil of plutocratic cruelty is a good movie -- but I certainly don't hold that against the movie, just as I didn't love Speed Racer because of it's anti-corporate message, but certainly neither did I hold that against it.

I do happen to love Speed Racer, which I also find to be gorgeous and engaging. I also love V for Vendetta and like Cloud Atlas quite a bit, especially when I am in a certain mood. There were things I liked in the Matrix sequels (also things I found dull, but I do re-watch them). Maybe I like their movies? I think theirs is a queer theoryhead aesthetic that resonates with mine.

I don't mind that this film or the films of the Wachowskis more generally aren't everybody's cup of tea, but I must say an insistence on their failure -- especially given the crap that gets praised instead, like tired techbro retreads Elysium and Interstellar -- seems to me more than just a taste call but a lapse in intelligence. I find it hard to believe that like other pieces of camp (which this film skirts on more than one occasion) this can't even be enjoyed as so bad it's good if you can't take its queer aesthetic, er, straight.

Athena Andreadis said...

Heartily disliked Elysium, Interstellar, Guardians of the Galaxy and Jupiter Ascending.

Dale Carrico said...

Your comment made me laugh with pure joy!