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EPISODE 112 — Jupiter Ascending

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I think Channing just admitted that the movie was confusing and he didn't fully understand the script. It's not like he shat all over the thing, Alec Guinness-style.

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I think Channing just admitted that the movie was confusing and he didn't fully understand the script. It's not like he shat all over the thing, Alec Guinness-style.

I agree. I thought Chatum (a name that came up in the AMA that I will now be using) was more along the lines of, "Yeah, I don't know what happened there" rather than "Fuck that movie."

 

Someone (possibly Nonesuch) mentioned that the movie looked like it had tons of studio notes. We don't know how much they actually filmed that got cut out during editing. There are a lot of things that could have happened during post that could have taken a far better movie and turned it into what it is. And maybe the movie he thought he was in didn't turn out to be what the finished product was. If that's the case, I think his answer was a lighthearted way of just saying, "Yeah, it didn't turn out to be the best decision I've made." Then again, he said Step Up was his favorite movie that he'd been in (although I think he said it was just because that's where he met his wife), so take it for what you will.

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I agree. I thought Chatum (a name that came up in the AMA that I will now be using) was more along the lines of, "Yeah, I don't know what happened there" rather than "Fuck that movie."

 

Someone (possibly Nonesuch) mentioned that the movie looked like it had tons of studio notes. We don't know how much they actually filmed that got cut out during editing. There are a lot of things that could have happened during post that could have taken a far better movie and turned it into what it is. And maybe the movie he thought he was in didn't turn out to be what the finished product was. If that's the case, I think his answer was a lighthearted way of just saying, "Yeah, it didn't turn out to be the best decision I've made." Then again, he said Step Up was his favorite movie that he'd been in (although I think he said it was just because that's where he met his wife), so take it for what you will.

 

Yeah, you, Nonesuch, and Seanotron are probably right. I think I may have been using his comment to make the macro-point that I think it is shitty when actors crap on their own movies, which really wasn't fair to Tatum, as I don't know for a fact that was what he was doing. The more I think on it, which granted hasn't been a lot, I think it was him dismissing (in a diplomatic way) what was obviously a troll-ish question. It really isn't my place to apply intention or meaning in his (or any person's) words. So I do apologize, I spoke out of turn.

 

I do stand by my point overall that it's obnoxious when actors actually do bag on their own films when, in the grand scheme of things, being able to be an actor successful enough to make a living at it is something a lot of people would kill for so just be grateful. However, it was not right of me to take his offhand comment and use it as a soapbox to air my own personal agenda. That was my bad. I'll try to keep it positive from here on out.

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Yeah, you, Nonesuch, and Seanotron are probably right. I think I may have been using his comment to make the macro-point that I think it is shitty when actors crap on their own movies, which really wasn't fair to Tatum, as I don't know for a fact that was what he was doing. The more I think on it, which granted hasn't been a lot, I think it was him dismissing (in a diplomatic way) what was obviously a troll-ish question. It really isn't my place to apply intention or meaning in his (or any person's) words. So I do apologize, I spoke out of turn.

 

I do stand by my point overall that it's obnoxious when actors actually do bag on their own films when, in the grand scheme of things, being able to be an actor successful enough to make a living at it is something a lot of people would kill for so just be grateful. However, it was not right of me to take his offhand comment and use it as a soapbox to air my own personal agenda. That was my bad. I'll try to keep it positive from here on out.

just to tag in my two cents here... I think it's probably very common for an actor to just trust these big budget green screen flicks are going to look good. I can imagine Tatum asking over and over again during filming, "and this is gonna look cool right?" and the directors being like "oh it's gonna look amazing." they just have to trust. so i imagine "i don't know what happened there." is prob a very genuine response from Channong Man ( not to be confused with Heynong Man).

 

one other observation - one of the things i have always loved about Watchowski films is their signature visual effect "the streamer" or "trails" depending on the psychedelic colloquialism you grew up with. i fucking love it and this is their first film where even the streamers get lost in the muck. that's all. hey, i love trails folks what can i say?

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I do stand by my point overall that it's obnoxious when actors actually do bag on their own films when, in the grand scheme of things, being able to be an actor successful enough to make a living at it is something a lot of people would kill for so just be grateful. However, it was not right of me to take his offhand comment and use it as a soapbox to air my own personal agenda. That was my bad. I'll try to keep it positive from here on out.

 

Don't sweat it! I totally get where you're coming from. I also don't like actors just turning on their own work to look above it all. But I also think it's fine when actors have a sense of humor about movies they've been in. For example, Harrison Ford is good at poking fun of his projects without seeming like a complete dick.

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Well, to view the films on an 'objective' level Jupiter Ascending would win over Star Wars when it comes to pure visual spectacle - it wouldn't be a competition because the technology we have now is far beyond anything special effects artists could dream of in 1977. I'd say that Jupiter Ascending is at least a match for Star Wars on the levels of its visual presentation and world-building, and I can construct a credible argument defending that stance. It is certainly not a match for Star Wars when it comes to character building and plot construction, but Jupiter Ascending's structural flaws and tonal inconsistencies don't make it the cinematic atrocity it's often made it out to be. They instead mean it's flawed and occasionally head-scratching; however, these issues do not preclude it from having merit and being enjoyable.

 

 

I could not disagree more, and this is our disconnect I think. If you remove character building and plot construction you no longer have a movie, you have a computer science project with a professional art director at the helm, so we cannot just dismiss those flaws as if they are only a small part of the equation. I prefer the gritty look of Star Wars to the glossy sheen of JA (or Phanton Menace, Clones, etc) everyday of the week and twice on Sunday, as I think the look of SW is an integral part of why it is such an awesome film.

 

 

And most of the measures you refer to are concerned with a film's impact over an extended period of time. While it's safe to say that JA isn't going to be anywhere near as influential/significant as Star Wars was (I don't think any single film has been more influential), none of us know how it's going to be perceived 40 years down the line. Labyrinth was a box office flop and had rather scathing reviews, yet it's now deemed a classic fantasy adventure film and has new viewers coming to it all the time. Examples like that (and now highly regarded movies such as Blade Runner and Metropolis, which were poorly received upon their initial releases) demonstrate why it's dangerous to use things such as box office and critical reception as gauges of quality and/or merit.

 

 

Fair enough, but it would take a monumental cult push to ever move a film like this into the pantheon of SW for my money. Becoming a back door favorite like Labyrinth is hardly the same as being in the team picture of most influential films of all time.

 

 

It's entirely possible to defend Jupiter Ascending and be credible. I'm not saying it's as good as Star Wars, but I am saying that it's not ludicrous to mention both films in the same sentence since they both have a similar sense of scope and visual spectacle.

 

I do think it is ludicrous :)

 

You can defend the movie to a point - I think you are doing some serious mental gymnastics to circumnavigate plot inconsistencies and wooden, undeveloped characters by making assumptions about what the Wachowskis may or may not have intended. This idea of scope to me is pretty nebulous, particularly as a merit badge when discussing the quality of a film. Scope is meaningless if you don't understand the basics of constructing a narrative. I could write down the names of 45 planets and 150 characters I just made up, draw a picture of a space ship and say that my "movie" is similar in scope to Star Wars. This is essentially what this film is. The idea of a story without an actual story. That's not a movie. And remember that my beef was with the 2nd opinion dude saying this movie "worked on the level of Star Wars." Can I get a definition of "worked"?

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And yet you somehow managed to completely ignore the "credible" opinion in the post you were responding to.

 

 

Sorry for being an e-jerk. This is an internet message board! But I still take umbrage with this as a credible comparison.

 

 

As far as scope and aspiration goes, you could 100% compare this to Star Wars, which was the point being made. In the same way, you can compare (and the HDGTM crew did compare) the movie to The Matrix because it had many of the same themes.

 

 

In another post I just went into the idea of scope as a false beacon of quality, so I won't repeat it. Suffice to say I disagree that the comparison is valid. I think the Matrix comparisons are only made because JA is from the same filmmakers - and frankly I think the quality of the Matrix is the clear outlier in the Wachowskis body of work. The idea of the Chosen One coming from a humble beginning was not created by the Wachowskis by any stretch of the imagination. The Matrix is the only film where they take the well-established storytelling device and execute it successfully.

 

As a total Star Wars fanboy, I was somewhat taken aback when they made the comparison, but it does make sense when you talk about the scope of the film and aspirations of the filmmakers. (On a related note, I also there's a really good comparison to be made between The Wachowskis and George Lucas as filmmakers.)

 

Samesies. You are just taking a softer stance on the matter than I am. And I agree - in fact we had some back and forth on the minisode post about the Lucas-y vibes.

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Nonesuch,

 

I just wanted to say, sincerely, you've had the unenviable and Herculean task of defending this movie from us curmudgeonly naysayers. I admire your passion for this movie, and although I can honestly say that I don't think I will ever like it, I will say that I do respect it for the ambitious disaster I feel it is based solely on your arguments. You've kept your composure throughout and made many articulate arguments in it's favor. I really do hope, once this movie is done with, you'll return to the forums to discuss future movies with us.

 

I tip my cap to you!

 

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I could not disagree more, and this is our disconnect I think. If you remove character building and plot construction you no longer have a movie, you have a computer science project with a professional art director at the helm, so we cannot just dismiss those flaws as if they are only a small part of the equation. I prefer the gritty look of Star Wars to the glossy sheen of JA (or Phanton Menace, Clones, etc) everyday of the week and twice on Sunday, as I think the look of SW is an integral part of why it is such an awesome film.

 

You're right in that there is something of a disconnect at work. I love film and place great value on plot and character (I found virtues in the plot and characters of Jupiter Ascending, btw). While my appreciation of JA's visuals is only an aspect of my enjoyment of the film, I'm not going to deny it's a big aspect - I'm a very visual person and I love silent films, so I have a very deep appreciation for film on a purely aesthetic level. The designs and environments of Jupiter Ascending are ornate, baroque and excessive, and its visuals couldn't be more different from those of Star Wars - I prefer the visuals of JA because they appeal to my personal tastes and preferences, but I completely understand why you prefer the visuals of Star Wars.

 

Our appreciation of the visuals of both films is, however, entirely subjective and based on our tastes and our personal relationships with them. I used visual effects as an objective measure of quality because it goes without saying that the effects of something like JA are technically superior to the effects of Star Wars - it's hard to dispute that since it's like comparing a brand new Mac to a 1984 Macintosh computer. There's no competition. Technical superiority, however, does not necessarily mean 'better' - I personally pay little attention to how sophisticated a film's effects are, only caring if they work in context and fit the picture. So I still find the special effects of Fritz Lang's Metropolis astonishing and awe-inspiring despite their being nearly 90 years old. Technical ingenuity can only do so much, which is why I was thrilled by the artistic flair and imagination on display in Jupiter Ascending while being left entirely cold by the no-less sophisticated effects of something like Jurassic World (not a bad film per se, just a mundane one with no distinct visual identity).

 

Fair enough, but it would take a monumental cult push to ever move a film like this into the pantheon of SW for my money. Becoming a back door favorite like Labyrinth is hardly the same as being in the team picture of most influential films of all time.

 

Oh, I certainly don't think JA will ever come close to SW in terms of cultural influence. The point I was trying to make is simply that I don't feel JA is doomed to end up in the dustbin of cinematic history. I may be proven wrong, but we'll have to wait and see.

 

You can defend the movie to a point - I think you are doing some serious mental gymnastics to circumnavigate plot inconsistencies and wooden, undeveloped characters by making assumptions about what the Wachowskis may or may not have intended. This idea of scope to me is pretty nebulous, particularly as a merit badge when discussing the quality of a film. Scope is meaningless if you don't understand the basics of constructing a narrative. I could write down the names of 45 planets and 150 characters I just made up, draw a picture of a space ship and say that my "movie" is similar in scope to Star Wars. This is essentially what this film is. The idea of a story without an actual story. That's not a movie. And remember that my beef was with the 2nd opinion dude saying this movie "worked on the level of Star Wars." Can I get a definition of "worked"?

 

I obviously can't speak for the 2nd opinion guy, but I had the impression he meant 'operating in the same sphere as Star Wars' - I didn't think he was saying JA matched Star Wars in terms of overall quality, since that would be almost impossible to argue convincingly - I think he just meant they were in the same ball-park in terms of their aspirations and scope. A film's having aspiration and scope do not necessarily mean it has quality, of course, but they do mean it has ambition. Star Wars and JA are both very ambitious films in their own ways and contexts, which is why they deserve to be part of the same discussion.

 

Nonesuch,

 

I just wanted to say, sincerely, you've had the unenviable and Herculean task of defending this movie from us curmudgeonly naysayers. I admire your passion for this movie, and although I can honestly say that I don't think I will ever like it, I will say that I do respect it for the ambitious disaster I feel it is based solely on your arguments. You've kept your composure throughout and made many articulate arguments in it's favor. I really do hope, once this movie is done with, you'll return to the forums to discuss future movies with us.

 

Thank you so much! I've been really impressed by how polite and respectful everyone on these boards has been. I appreciate that I'm something of an anomaly in genuinely enjoying this movie and doggedly defending it, and I've been super impressed by how willing to engage in intelligent dialogue and discussion you've all been. All too often I've encountered people who are solely interested in airing their own dislike/hatred of the film, rejecting any views that go against the prevailing narrative, and while there's nothing heinous about that (what is the internet if not a place for airing opinions?) I think it's super cool when people with contrasting stances can be grown up and have intelligent discussions about the topic in question.

 

I'm really glad that you respect the movie for what it attempted even while you can't really say you enjoy it. I'll definitely try and stick around :).

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I don't understand how someone hears three people pronouncing a name one way and refuses to go along with it.

 

OMG that is practically word-for-word what I was JUST telling someone. hahahahaha

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You're right in that there is something of a disconnect at work. I love film and place great value on plot and character (I found virtues in the plot and characters of Jupiter Ascending, btw). While my appreciation of JA's visuals is only an aspect of my enjoyment of the film, I'm not going to deny it's a big aspect - I'm a very visual person and I love silent films, so I have a very deep appreciation for film on a purely aesthetic level. The designs and environments of Jupiter Ascending are ornate, baroque and excessive, and its visuals couldn't be more different from those of Star Wars - I prefer the visuals of JA because they appeal to my personal tastes and preferences, but I completely understand why you prefer the visuals of Star Wars.

 

Stalemate. But I have to ask, what virtues are you finding in plot and character?

 

I obviously can't speak for the 2nd opinion guy, but I had the impression he meant 'operating in the same sphere as Star Wars' - I didn't think he was saying JA matched Star Wars in terms of overall quality, since that would be almost impossible to argue convincingly - I think he just meant they were in the same ball-park in terms of their aspirations and scope. A film's having aspiration and scope do not necessarily mean it has quality, of course, but they do mean it has ambition. Star Wars and JA are both very ambitious films in their own ways and contexts, which is why they deserve to be part of the same discussion.

 

Well I will grant you that much. But to me ambition is substituted for execution in JA, so I give no milk and cookies.

 

I've been really impressed by how polite and respectful everyone on these boards has been.

 

On behalf of the internet, insert ad hominem attack here.

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I really wish June was on this ep because I need to know if I'm the only one that found Sean Bean really attractive in this?! I'm so confused, I don't usually find him hot but this is also the first time I've seen him not in period garb?

 

100% agree. Also, I love that you used that Serena/Usagi gif. :D :D

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She was super hot for his wings which is weird enough

 

Not weird. I would be too. :P I've always loved winged dudes, angels in movies or Angel in X-Men, etc. I LOVE WINGS. I want them so bad. haha

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And while I'm at it, Mila vs Myla? I didn't really notice. I don't give a fuck, and unless your name actually is "Mila," neither should you.

 

I have to disagree. While Mila most likely won't be listening to this, nor would she probably care, I think it's just polite to properly pronunce people's names when the correct pronunciation is presented to you. If you don't know it, fine, but in this case, it was a bit ridiculous.

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I have to disagree. While Mila most likely won't be listening to this, nor would she probably care, I think it's just polite to properly pronunce people's names when the correct pronunciation is presented to you. If you don't know it, fine, but in this case, it was a bit ridiculous.

 

While I agree that is polite (and important) to correctly pronounce a name when presented to you, I don't think that is what happened here. I mean, Jason politely corrected Paul when he mispronounced Rooney Mara's name and Paul corrected himself, but they never said anything to Razzle. What this tells me is that they either didn't notice, didn't care, or weren't comfortable correcting their guest, and put in their position--if I did notice--I'd probably let it slide as well: courtesy for my guest being more important than courtesy to the movie star who is not in attendance. So although I respect how it might be annoying to some, no, I don't think it's as big a deal as everyone is making it out to be. People frequently mispronounce words and names, but I don't think it's necessary to correct them all the time--I just feel that's kind of douchey. Maybe it's something he picked up somewhere that he can't shake, maybe it's his accent, I don't really know and I simply don't care. I mean, I guess it's nice if people want to get worked up about it and... protect Ms, Kunis' name(?), I just think it's a waste of energy.

 

And I am sorry, my tone was a bit acerbic on that post. I stand by what I said, but I could have phrased it better.

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I dont know if they covered it because I just finished the film and will listen to the episode tomorrow. Here goes:

 

I forget which episode they talked about taking Oscars away for bad performances. Eddie Redmayne....give it back! If the rest of this movie was on par with Citizen Kane it would still be unwatchable simply for his performance. Because of his wheezing my wife and I had to turn on the Closed Caption which then forced me to have to read this piece of shit in addition to watching it. If only they had a way for me to taste and smell it too I could get the full experience of what it would truly be like to live in the world that is this cinematic turd

 

"Bees are programmed to recognize royalty"...Um, no. No, they're not. If Wills and Kate go on a picnic bees do not acknowledge their status and back off. And where would it end? Do bees obey Aretha Franklin as she is the Queen of Soul? I really want to know if Elvis was ever stung.

 

Why did Jupiter have to pretend to be her friend Katherine, to sell her eggs?

 

The wedding sounds similar to a Christian ceremony. Are we to believe that in all the time before and since that type of ceremony came into practice the original humans did not have their own rituals?

 

What was the point of the hologram tattoo? Other than to introduce Terry Gilliam and have him say "my condolences" giving Jupiter doubt.

 

 

Mila Kunis didn't react appropriately to any situation.

 

Other ridiculous bullshit:

  • After the bees recognize her, they call her "Your Majesty" FIVE fucking times before she's even like, "Hey, why the shit are you guys calling me that?"

Fuck. This. Movie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was one of my biggest gripes. Sean Bean's daughter sincerely refers to her as "Your Majesty". If any rational person went through what Jupiter went through they would be questioning everything! At no point does she stop and go "Hold the fuck up! Tell me what the fuck is going on! ALL OF IT!" But no, this royal dolt is fine with having her entire existence explained piece-meal. She absorbed their entire legal code or some other BS in a matter of hours, minutes maybe like she was Johnny Five. Did they not have their own history in one of those space-Kindles for her?

 

This movie might have not angered me so much if this was set in the early 1900s at the latest. Any time before we had fucking satellites looking at and spacecraft actually near Jupiter. We would notice spaceships coming and going from the planet. Do the aliens wipe the memory of every NASA and ESA employee? All of the earth?

 

To top it off, she goes back to washing toilets and fucking a half-man/half-dog...who now has wings.

 

 

Fuck. This. Movie.

 

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Stalemate. But I have to ask, what virtues are you finding in plot and character?

 

Well, with the plot I like the episodic nature of it. I love fairy-tales and the structure of Jupiter Ascending draws upon the classic 'rule of three' with Jupiter meeting each of the three siblings one by one. I also liked going on a journey with Jupiter and learning more and more about the world, gradually appreciating the characters' motives and histories and how they inform the present situation - it's a big part of why I find rewatching the film immensely rewarding, since knowing that Balem killed his mother and chooses to believe that she asked him to do it (for example) made rewatching his scenes very interesting and even revelatory.

 

I obviously appreciated the characters to different degrees. My favourites were Jupiter and the Abrasax siblings. I liked Jupiter because she was goofy and deeply uncomfortable with her new status, and I found her very human and empathetic; I also admired her courage, and liked that she was shown to be a flawed hero - so she doesn't automatically refuse to go along with Balem, wavering when she sees her mother in danger. I found the Abrasax siblings interesting because they all had such different approaches, motives and relationships with Jupiter, who is both their dead mother and a potential threat/opportunity. I was intrigued by their interactions and what they revealed about their relationships with their actual mother. I also found all of the performances by the siblings' actors good - Tuppence Middleton (Kalique) was excellent at playing serene indifference to genocide, Douglas Booth (Titus) was fun as an irresponsible playboy with a devil-may-care attitude and Eddie Redmayne (Balem) was superbly deranged as an insane and histrionic 50,000-year-old man.

 

On behalf of the internet, insert ad hominem attack here.

 

And things were going so well! ;)

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"Bees are programmed to recognize royalty"...Um, no. No, they're not. If Wills and Kate go on a picnic bees do not acknowledge their status and back off. And where would it end? Do bees obey Aretha Franklin as she is the Queen of Soul? I really want to know if Elvis was ever stung.

 

It's a creative conceit of a film that also features dragon men and flying space cathedrals - Jupiter Ascending doesn't profess to be a documentary and is more sci-fantasy than sci-fi. No one should use a film like this as a source of science fact, just as they shouldn't use something like Star Wars as an accurate representation of space.

 

Why did Jupiter have to pretend to be her friend Katherine, to sell her eggs?

 

She's an illegal alien and is presumably very careful about giving out her real name and address (especially to a shady fertility clinic). Therefore she used her friend's name as a false name.

 

The wedding sounds similar to a Christian ceremony. Are we to believe that in all the time before and since that type of ceremony came into practice the original humans did not have their own rituals?

 

It's a pretty generic wedding ceremony with no explicit reference to Christian beliefs of customs. I don't see how it's problematic.

 

What was the point of the hologram tattoo? Other than to introduce Terry Gilliam and have him say "my condolences" giving Jupiter doubt.

 

That confirmed Jupiter as the recurrence of mama Abrasax, securing her legal position and her ownership of Earth. Before she was confirmed as a recurrence Balem could have killed her and kept the Earth without problems and Titus would have gained nothing from marrying her.

 

This was one of my biggest gripes. Sean Bean's daughter sincerely refers to her as "Your Majesty". If any rational person went through what Jupiter went through they would be questioning everything! At no point does she stop and go "Hold the fuck up! Tell me what the fuck is going on! ALL OF IT!" But no, this royal dolt is fine with having her entire existence explained piece-meal. She absorbed their entire legal code or some other BS in a matter of hours, minutes maybe like she was Johnny Five. Did they not have their own history in one of those space-Kindles for her?

 

After the bees swarm around Jupiter, Stinger kneels and says "your Majesty" - it then cuts to Jupiter looking confused and bewildered before the kitchen scene. I can only presume that they tell Jupiter that she's a royal recurrence in the scene before the kitchen scene, but I do agree that it's bizarre to cut something like that.

 

And Jupiter is endlessly asking questions and demonstrating curiosity and bewilderment at her situation - she's always trying to learn what's going on but doesn't even know where to begin. She studied the 'entitled code' because she had it with her and hoped to find some kind of stipulation which might have been of use to her, which she did.

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She's an illegal alien and is presumably very careful about giving out her real name and address (especially to a shady fertility clinic). Therefore she used her friend's name as a false name.

 

 

The "illegal alien" angle is an issue that still bugs me. I suspect the official answer comes down to it being a narrative device, which, to me, is just not a satisfying explanation. I feel like the Wachowskis are saying, "She was born at sea, so technically, no matter where she lives on Earth, she's an alien too. Mind-blower, huh?" And I guess that's fine, albeit a little heavy handed for my taste. I guess I just don't get, seeing as her father was a British citizen, why her mother wouldn't just take her to England. Yes, they may have family in America, but her mother is a highly educated, well-to-do mathematician. I just feel like it shouldn't have been too difficult for her to move (legally) to England, get a decent job, and later, if they wanted, immigrate to America. I mean, if her father's death was politically (or Alien) motivated, and not just because he wanted to protect his precious telescope (again, ridiculous), then I could see them trying to leave the country as quickly as possible by whatever means. But, since none of that is presented in the movie, the entire foundation the movie is built upon is unstable and murky.

 

I mean, I get the symbolism of her being an "alien" on her own planet and the Power of Myth-ness of her Cinderella upbringing, I just found it little too trite and cloying. It's just one of those things I think could have handled better with more nuance.

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No one should use a film like this as a source of science fact, just as they shouldn't use something like Star Wars as an accurate representation of space.

Ummm...I'm pretty sure Star Wars is basically a documentary.

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She's an illegal alien and is presumably very careful about giving out her real name and address (especially to a shady fertility clinic). Therefore she used her friend's name as a false name.

 

I can buy that. But i agree with Cameron H. The "illegal alien" bit seems forced. And as referenced in the episode (got to listen to a few minutes) what happened to the families money? Was there more that happened forcing her mother into abject poverty that wasn't covered?

 

That confirmed Jupiter as the recurrence of mama Abrasax, securing her legal position and her ownership of Earth. Before she was confirmed as a recurrence Balem could have killed her and kept the Earth without problems and Titus would have gained nothing from marrying her.

 

Fair enough

 

After the bees swarm around Jupiter, Stinger kneels and says "your Majesty" - it then cuts to Jupiter looking confused and bewildered before the kitchen scene. I can only presume that they tell Jupiter that she's a royal recurrence in the scene before the kitchen scene, but I do agree that it's bizarre to cut something like that.

 

 

Obviously it's fantastical, but "royalty" is a man-made idea. Unless the Abraxas family is genetically superior to others or somehow marked genetically marked for the bees to recognize them. Otherwise anybody can proclaim themselves as a Sovereign and the bees recognize them? It was reaching.

 

And Jupiter is endlessly asking questions and demonstrating curiosity and bewilderment at her situation - she's always trying to learn what's going on but doesn't even know where to begin. She studied the 'entitled code' because she had it with her and hoped to find some kind of stipulation which might have been of use to her, which she did.

 

 

She seems fine to get a piece of the story and leave the rest of it hanging. I get that it moves the story, but her lack of urgency is aggravating.

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The "illegal alien" angle is an issue that still bugs me. I suspect the official answer comes down to it being a narrative device, which, to me, is just not a satisfying explanation. I feel like the Wachowskis are saying, "She was born at sea, so technically, no matter where she lives on Earth, she's an alien too. Mind-blower, huh?" And I guess that's fine, albeit a little heavy handed for my taste. I guess I just don't get, seeing as her father was a British citizen, why her mother wouldn't just take her to England. Yes, they may have family in America, but her mother is a highly educated, well-to-do mathematician. I just feel like it shouldn't have been too difficult for her to move (legally) to England, get a decent job, and later, if they wanted, immigrate to America. I mean, if her father's death was politically (or Alien) motivated, and not just because he wanted to protect his precious telescope (again, ridiculous), then I could see them trying to leave the country as quickly as possible by whatever means. But, since none of that is presented in the movie, the entire foundation the movie is built upon is unstable and murky.

 

I mean, I get the symbolism of her being an "alien" on her own planet and the Power of Myth-ness of her Cinderella upbringing, I just found it little too trite and cloying. It's just one of those things I think could have handled better with more nuance.

 

The illegal alien thing is very contrived and heavy handed, and it's one of the elements of the film I probably would have cut/toned down if I'd been involved in making the thing. The intent is easy to understand - they wanted to establish that Jupiter is adrift (very literally when she was born), isolated and on the fringes of society, with no real place in the universe - it's just that it makes for a very convoluted back story that raises more questions than the film could possibly answer in a five-minute prelude.

 

Jupiter's parents didn't look especially rich (I don't know what kind of wages university professors from Russia would be on at that time, so would welcome a more informed perspective) to me - they shared a small flat in St Petersburg - and my personal theory is that Max was perhaps estranged from his family and that Aleksa didn't get on with them/had no real relationship with them. Aleksa therefore left Russia to live with her brother in Chicago because there was a support system in place there (her brother has his own business and his own house) and the move to America represented a fresh start away from the danger/sadness presumably associated with St Petersburg. But that is just conjecture - you do need to 'fill in the blanks' a lot with JA, and some of it is rather difficult to rationalise (the prologue especially so).

 

Obviously it's fantastical, but "royalty" is a man-made idea. Unless the Abraxas family is genetically superior to others or somehow marked genetically marked for the bees to recognize them. Otherwise anybody can proclaim themselves as a Sovereign and the bees recognize them? It was reaching.

 

This is another aspect of the film that's difficult to rationalise. Personally, I like to think that the bees were genetically engineered to specifically identify individuals with DNA identifying them as members of the Abrasax family, rather than 'royals' full stop. Earth was 'seeded' by Abrasax Industries so the Abrasax family are basically the originators of all life on the planet. Why they would genetically engineer bees to recognise them, I have no idea - it's one of those things I just go with (I'm quite easygoing when I'm enjoying myself).

 

She seems fine to get a piece of the story and leave the rest of it hanging. I get that it moves the story, but her lack of urgency is aggravating.

 

I accept that the film leaves out a lot of explanation/questioning because there simply wasn't time for it. As we've discussed elsewhere the film is very jarringly edited in places, and there are certain scenes where it's obvious that crucial footage is missing (so you have a scene where Balem slaps Jupiter and seizes her face, the film cuts to Caine and Stinger and cuts back to Balem and Jupiter, who are now both separate and very, very tense as if something serious just went down). So I think this problem is caused by a.) the viewer being left to assume that certain discussions/explanations have taken place off screen and b.) significant parts of the film being cut out for murky (and potentially studio related) reasons.

 

Also, I found this. It's so cute that someone thought it would be a good idea to market their no-budget Thor rip-off Jupiter Ascending style:

 

TIPOFF_zpswytmmmqd.jpg

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