Jupiter Ascending

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Vampire Owl :: So we are going to Jupiter. I have heard that Uncle Dracula has accelerated his teleportation abilities to find a method to travel to other planet. Is the procedure already popular?

Vampire Bat :: He is such a vampire mutant. No, we are not going to Jupiter yet.

Vampire Owl :: So, we are going to meet the god himself. Isn’t he still more popular as Zeus?

Vampire Bat :: No, we shall meet no god. We are going to watch the movie in which Mila Kunis is Jupiter, a janitor.

Vampire Owl :: Why would we watch it on a Friday when I have my undead policies to work on?

Vampire Bat :: Because it comes from the makers of The Matrix and the trailer gives the feeling of a spectacle?

Vampire Owl :: Yes, now I remember. This is the movie that made you wait so much that you became one year older.

Vampire Bat :: Yes, I became an year older because it was delayed for about an year.

Vampire Owl :: Then, we should surely watch it.

Vampire Bat :: Let Jupiter ascend then.

[Gets the tickets].

What is it about? :: Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) calls herself as an alien as she is an illegal immigrant to the United States. She spends her life a janitor and keeps hating her world until one day, she meets with some real aliens, except for the fact that this time they are after her and won’t stop until she is dead. But Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a hunter comes out of nowhere to save her and make her known that her genetic structure makes her alien royalty and the one to inherit Earth. The three siblings of the same royal house, Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Titus (Douglas Booth) and Kalique (Tuppence Middleton) do have different plans for her. There are also mercenaries after her, with some of them planning to capture her alive. But the question remains about who wants her alive and who wants her to be dead; if to be alive, for how long and what is the purpose for a huge challenge to the throne like her being left to live? Jupiter knows not much, and Caine can’t guess that much as he is a figher and not a thinker.

The defence of Jupiter Ascending :: Welcome to the new world, and this is a vast collection of planets among which Earth is just a part of, and therefore the scope was present for a lot of visual splendour, and there, we are not disappointed at all. You have to be stunned at the looks of different cities of this fictional universe and be amazed, and there are nicely designed spaceships, and those gadgets, plus those aliens, humanoids and the alien humanoids who never cease coming to the screen. There is a good idea here too, on which the world has been created, and the special effects are efficiently utilized to the needs of the movie. There is the abundance of themes and also some very good acting from the major members of the cast. The action sequences are really good and they are available in plenty. The costumes are impressive, and the idea is laid there for more movies, and a trilogy would be a nice option with this one as the origins story – there is a big universe out there and a story of mystery and deception has just started.

Positives and Negatives :: There are many movies which this one can remind you about, the last one being Guardians of the Galaxy, even as the plot stays different with its core elements. I would consider this superior to that movie though, and you can understand it by just looking at the artistic style that has been used with the detail. You might have been missing Star Wars or have been a fan of Mass Effect, this could work nicely with your ideas. The movie also takes too much time to get to the point, and almost an hour passes by when things get interesting – it is a sad miss there, as there was the scope to begin nicely right from the beginning with pace. There are some minor moments of dumbness, here and any fault that you can find with this movie is coated by the entertainer side, as the visual splendour, action and some humour keeps taking over. Among those space adventures, Jupiter Ascending has a major place, and no matter what the box-office results are, it shall be remembered.

Performers of the soul :: Mila Kunis takes the lead here playing the possible leader and the new queen of the universe, and undoubtedly the one to own Earth – she plays her character with all the possible features that are expected from someone like Jupiter Jones of Earth. You have to love how she says “I love dogs, I’ve always loved dogs”, and “I hate my life” again and again. Channing Tatum is the hero, and the one who saves the day, but there is almost nothing that revolves around him as Mila remains the key. From cleaning toilets, her character rises to the highest point, making the title perfectly relevant, as her ascension to the throne as well as that rise from being a nobody are concerned. Among the other royalty, the big antagonist Eddie Redmayne comes up with the worst performance, and it doesn’t matter what the Academy Awards are going to say. Douglas Booth is moslty good, but Tuppence Middleton is the most charming and the most interesting among them all with her character still remaining a mystery – she is also the prettiest on the screen. Do look out for Sean Bean too.

Soul exploration 1: The Other Side of the Coin :: Jupiter Rising is in many ways, the other side of the coin whose one side is Interstellar. If you liked Interstellar, and doesn’t find this interesting, I don’t see why. This one also entertains the existence of a certain other kind of human beings belonging to other dimensions, whose existence is further more than those of an ordinary human. Yes, such maker creatures were already there in Prometheus, and they continue to make appearances in the movies. The best thing about Jupiter Ascending is that it has no pseudo-intellectual nonsense. I have known rather too many people who thought that Interstellar was pure nonsense, and so if critics feel that this movie is bad, I would add them to the list made for this other side of the coin. Jupiter Rising is Interstellar‘s side of entertainment, and also having better visual splendour, world settings and thrills. So, I see no reason why I should rate this one lower than Interstellar. I also saw no reason why Guaridans of the Galaxy had too many positive reviews compared to this one either. After all, our movie here has a message and works so well on its theme.

Soul exploration 2: The Take on Human Desire :: The movie takes on the human desire to have those insignificant things, and their “wants” which takes over the “needs” of the rest of human beings, using them to their advantage. The rich only gets richer and feeds on the poor, completely denying their needs. Are the rulers that we see in the movie satisfied after inheriting so much? Absolutely not. The “want” only becomes more, and for the same, it is the common human population that suffers. The higher level of people only thrives by “harvesting” the labours of the common man, which related to the “harvesting of Earth” in the movie. The rich and powerful ones always need more, and for the same, they desire to exploit the poor further, and this is what is seen in the movie – sometimes, a champion can rise from among the oppressed, but the question if he or she will turn as another oppressor remains. Earth is refered to as “underdeveloped” – take that point. Nobody here even knows or cares about The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water which might never release, and Seventh Son has completely disappeared – Jupiter Ascending should do okay for the same reason, and a possible failure at this part of the world should be only because of the “A” certificate.

Release date: 6th February 2015
Running time: 127 minutes
Directed by: The Wachowskis
Starring: Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis, Tuppence Middleton, Eddie Redmayne, Douglas Booth, Sean Bean, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Charlotte Beaumont, David Ajala, Doona Bae, Terry Gilliam, Vanessa Kirby, Kick Gurry, Jeremy Swift, Tim Pigott-Smith, Maria Doyle Kennedy, James D’Arcy, Christina Cole, Frog Stone

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.

Cloud Atlas

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If Cloud Atlas could be termed an anthology movie, it should be my all-time favourite in that genre, but it follows that path which moves the film back and forth through centuries and through different stories of this world. At one moment, you identify with one person, and the next moment, you see another world, one might be of the early nineteenth century, and the next one of a post-apocalyptic future which goes further beyond this century. I would prefer this method more than the typical anthology method which has even made an impact in Malayalam movies with Kerala Cafe and 5 Sundarikal, as this is more intellectually effective, as we moves through the minds and souls of all these characters at the same moment, and they are with us until the end of the whole movie-watching experience. All characters and locations stay with us together, like a mixture which resembles the real life. It is adapted from a 2004 novel by David Mitchell of the same name. The movie features multiple stories set across six different ages when the mankind has to face entirely different things, and faces them individually, and still most of them resemble each other with each action which was done in one century has indirectly affected the other, even as there is no direct relation between all these.

✠ Segment I: @South Pacific Ocean, in the year of Our Lord, 1849: This tells the story of Adam Ewing, a man with a powerful conscience who witnesses the whipping of a slave, Autua with digust. The slave later sneaks aboard Ewing’s ship in an attempt to escape from the world of pain and torture and attain freedom. Ewing helps him out, but not without doubts in his mind. Meanwhile, Doctor Henry Goose, his physician, slowly poisons Ewing, claiming that he is treating the man for a parasitic worm ever since he had collapsed seeing the whipping of the slave. He aims to steal Ewing’s valuables one by one. ***[Spoiler Warning for the next two lines]*** But when the doctor is about to finish the man with a fatal dose of poison, Autua intervens at the exact moment and saves Ewing. Returning to the United States as a changed man and with a clear idea in his mind, Ewing with the support of his wife Tilda, denounce her father’s involvement in slavery and leave San Francisco to join the movement against slavery. It is quite touching as a story, but the effect is limited – still works fine as a story which will inspire what is to follow. I wouldn’t go on to rate these stories considering them as part of an anthology though, and therefore you shall see none here. Still, this movie has the most clear message of them all, with no piece of ambiguity added at any point.

✠ Segment II: @Cambridge, England and Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom, in the year of Our Lord, 1936: Robert Frobisher, a bisexual English musician, finds some work with composer Vyvyan Ayrsand after leading a life of high immorality and the worst possible scandals if discovered during the Victorian Age in Britain. He helps him to compose his own masterpiece, which is refered to as “The Cloud Atlas Sextet”. He is also attracted to the composer’s wife, a feeling which is mutual and has a relationship with her too. But Ayrs wishes to take credit for the work as his own, and threatens to expose Robert’s scandalous and immoral background if he tries to stop him. ***[Spoiler Warning for the next two lines]*** Robert who has read a partial copy of Ewing’s journal, shoots Ayrs and flees to a hotel, where he finishes the musical work. He then shoots himself and commits suicide just before his lover arrives. This is a story of lesser, or may be the least effectiveness, and I would consider this the weakest of them all. This one doesn’t even have a worthy character who could make an impact, and thus works as the story which prevents this movie from becoming the masterpiece, still holding itself together to prevent falling into that abyss.

✠ Segment III: @San Francisco, California, in the year of Our Lord, 1973: Here, a journalist Luisa Rey meets an old man, Rufus Sixsmith who was the lover of Robert Frobisher in the earlier segment of 1936. He is now a nuclear physicist who tells Rey about a hidden conspiracy regarding the safety of a new nuclear reactor run by a powerful man named Lloyd Hooks. He is assassinated by a hitman Bill Smoke before he can give her a report that could prove the same. But she is helped by another scientist at the power plant. But she is chased by the assassins and involves herself in a life or death situation. There would be no spoiler spoiled in this paragraph, and what connects this story to the first one is that common factor of lineage which goes back to the slavery and its abolishment, as well as “The Cloud Atlas Sextet” which makes its entry here too. This story is more of a continuation and the carrier of the earlier legacy of the two segments even as most of these things remain indirect and not easily noticeable. This is also Halle Berry’s best performance throughout the movie as she appears in entirely different roles in the segments.

✠ Segment IV: @England/Scotland, United Kingdom, in the year of Our Lord, 2012: Timothy Cavendish has his own problems when Dermot Hoggins, a gangster author whose book he has published, murders a critic and is sent to prison, and the gangster’s brothers threaten him regularly to get his share of the profits. Cavendish turns to his brother Denholme for help even as they don’t like each other that much and were not on good terms, but the brother tricks him into hiding in a nursing home, and it turns into a kind of prison for him, as he is held against his will, but he escapes with a number of inmates who shared his vision of freedom. The connection is established when Cavendish receives a manuscript of a novel based on Rey’s life. This is a touching, as well as funny story, which starts off slowly, but by the end, it leaves a profound influence on the viewers. This can be considered as the only story which has that lighter side in the serious world which tries to tickle the intellect throughout. The terms cute and sweet can also be linked to this one by the end of the segment.

✠ Segment V: @Neo Seoul, Korea, in the year of Our Lord, 2144: Sonmi-451 is a genetically-engineered clone server at a restaurant who is interviewed just before her execution. She tells the story of her release from her life of servitude and modernized slavery by Commander Hae-Joo Chang, a leading member of a rebel movement known as Union. While they are hiding from the troops, she watches a film based on Cavendish’s adventure thus making a connection to the previous segment. It is revealed to her that the clones like her are killed and “recycled” into food for future clones who becomes the server in the restaurants later without themselves knowing anything about it. Just like the people of 1849, she also decides that the system of such a dystopian society based on slavery and exploitation of other living beings is evil and not to be tolerated, and how she changes the world or at least make it aware of what is happening under the mask of a righteous and perfect world forms this story of revolution, an element which has existed throughout the segments. She is a representative of all ages, and she is that vision of the past that future has upheld with pride.

✠ Segment VI: @The Big Island, in the year of Our Lord, 2321: Zachry is just another random person who lives with his sister and niece Catkin in a primitive society after most of the humanity has died in an apocalyptic event which is not mentioned, but a possible nuclear warfare and related massive destruction can be guessed. Sonmi-451 of the previous segment is worshiped as a goddess and her broadcast is part of their sacred texts. Zachry is plagued by strange visions of a figure who creates fear in him, and leads to him running away from problems all the time, something which haunts him throughout his life, as he couldn’t save his own people from death due to his fear and hallucinations. They are also attacked by a fierce cannibalistic group regularly. One day, his village is visited by a more modern individual, part of the society which had more access to the technology during te apocalypse, and this changes his life forever. There is also an epilogue in which more of who tells these stories and from where – all these are revealed to the viewers. Tom Hanks and Halle Berry are there for all the segments, and have done a great job in fitting in. The same can be said about Hugo Weaving, and Doona Bae is highly impressive in Segment V. The movie is not for everybody, but it is a wonderfully crafted work of art made from a work which was near impossible to adapt on screen, as something which inspires one continuously as long as he or she is able to stay with it, and there are good intentions related to this one, and the viewers can’t simply deny that.

Release date: 26th October 2012
Running time: 172 minutes
Directed by: The Wachowskis – Laurence Wachowski and Andrew Paul Wachowski [segments 1849, 2144, 2321], Tom Tykwer [segments 1936, 1973, 2012]
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Doona Bae, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, James D’Arcy, Zhou Xun, Keith David, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant

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@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.