Friday, September 16, 2016

Wonder where you can get it

I discovered some brief comments I wrote after seeing the much maligned Jupiter Ascending in the theater last year. Even now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it only a 26%, which to me is positive proof that critics who are not versed in the history of the various genres of science fiction really are not to be trusted when it comes to reviewing sf films. Not to lose track of my comments, here they are:

"The epic science-fiction movie Jupiter Ascending has not made it unscathed through the critics' gauntlet; it wears a giant red spot as its badge of honor. Directed by the Wachowski brothers, who created The Matrix and Cloud Atlas, this new film has been widely greeted as a bull to the reviewers' swords, who have themselves contributed a fair amount of raging bull to the discussion. Most of the critics begin with the tedious assertion that this movie is a rip-off of Star Wars and its innumerable clones. Although its roots in pulp fiction are usually mentioned, I wonder how many have actually read pulp fiction as it was practiced in the 1930s and 40s, or are familiar with the quality fantasy artwork from that period. How many have experienced the vaunted "sense of wonder" which was the genre's original raison d'etre? This film is not some smart-alecky pastiche of this artistic and literary form. It evokes the original spirit of the genre like no other film. Nor can the superlative art and special effects of Jupiter Ascending be divorced from its content. As in The Matrix, in Jupiter Ascending mankind is being harvested for its life-essence, but rather than by scary machines, this time it is by immortal humans living in a parallel dimension on a world that looks exactly like the planet Jupiter."

Much more could be said. In the meantime I would refer you to the Blu-Ray and to this excellent review.