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"All I ever wanted, all I ever needed..."

How do you break a fairy tale? You send Cinderella back to her cinders.

Or back to scrubbing toilets.

This is, near as I could tell, the message of the almost indescribably insipid Jupiter Ascending. I have been a steadfast admirer of the Wachowskis ever since Bound (1996). Though, I will admit that I skipped Speed Racer, because the very idea made me shudder. Still, I'm the person who loved all three Matrix films, and Cloud Atlas is somewhere on my "All-Time Favorites" list. I did not think I would ever loathe a Wachowski film (back to why I didn't see Speed Racer). So, I was completely fucking dumbfounded by Jupiter Ascending. Sure, it's a technical masterpiece – if you can get past all the contrived action sequences and camera angles tailored to 3D. The SFX are frequently breathtaking. But that's it. That's all there is. There's simply nothing else of merit to the entire undertaking. There's a screenplay that might have been written in an afternoon. By a twelve year old. There's wooden acting and Inexplicable direction. There's a film score that does its best to beat our ears into submission. Oh, and there's Mila Kunis. if I never again have to suffer a single moment of Mila Kunis, it'll be far too soon.

In the wake of the SJWs attack on Joss Whedon for...well, nothing...I'm hesitant to even talk about sexism in a science fiction/fantasy film, for fear of guilt by association. But for fuck's sake. The moral of our story is that rather than seize the power behind an intergalactic dynasty, it's better to be on your knees scrubbing toilets to help support your sloppy caricature of a Russian immigrant family, who are generally of the – stated – opinion that "men don't like smart women." Because they might buy you a telescope off eBay. Your caricature of a Russian immigrant family, I mean. Including your sleazy cousin Vladie who wants to harvest your ovaries so he can buy a cool new gaming system. And, anyway, you can always sneak off and ice skate in the sky with your half-wolf boyfriend.

So, there you go: The first Wachowski film I've ever hated. Or even disliked. Or even not loved. But it's true that I skipped Speed Racer. I'm just glad that blizzards stopped me from paying to see this turd in the theater.

---

Here in Providence it's 66˚f and sunny, not a cloud to be seen in that seamless blue sky. I'm missing, in the worst way, those days that made it into the eighties. Maybe that'll happen again in another week or three.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. There are auctions ending today, including one for the first copy of Black Helicopters that we've ever offered (and my supply of these is very limited).

Oh, and speaking of the inexplicable public shaming of Joss When, Franklin Harris (grandmofhelsing) has written a nice piece on the Age of Ultron kerfuffle.

There’s liberal feminism, which is about empowering women, women having the same opportunities as men, and expanding the range of choice available to women. Then there’s the feminism that leads people to send hate tweets Whedon’s way, at least until he left Twitter.

The latter is the feminism of “social justice,” summed up by video game critic Anita Sarkeesian (a friend of Whedon’s, ironically enough) when she tweeted recently, “Feminism is about the collective liberation of women as a social class. Feminism is not about personal choice.”

A feminism that isn’t about personal choice is a perverse thing indeed.


Indeed.

TTFN,
Aunt Beast

Comments

( 12 comments — Have your say! )
setsuled
May. 14th, 2015 05:28 pm (UTC)
There's a screenplay that might have been written in an afternoon. By a twelve year old.

I felt like it was a very cynical grab for the Divergence audience.

There's wooden acting and Inexplicable direction.

I thought Sean Bean was good. But as my first exposure to Channing Tatum, it really made me wonder how he's managed to do so well for himself.

Oh, and there's Mila Kunis. if I never again have to suffer a single moment of Mila Kunis, it'll be far too soon.

She has a natural warmth that can be effective. I felt Jupiter Ascending might have been Warner Brothers' answer to Marvel's Farscape movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, and I wouldn't have minded seeing Kunis in the earthling fish out of water role. There's just not enough that's earthly about her, as you said, sloppy caricature family or the fact that, at the end of the day, she really loves scrubbing toilets.

greygirlbeast
May. 14th, 2015 05:43 pm (UTC)

and I wouldn't have minded seeing Kunis in the earthling fish out of water role.

She had the same affect on my as the sound of fingernails on a chalkboard.
setsuled
May. 14th, 2015 08:40 pm (UTC)
Her tone in Jupiter Ascending does have a consistent falseness to it.

I meant to point out that Joss Whedon says he didn't leave Twitter due to the bullying tweets as had been widely reported. But he doesn't deny the extraordinary, short sighted rancour aimed at him there.
harvey_rrit
May. 14th, 2015 07:33 pm (UTC)
" '...A feminism that isn’t about personal choice is a perverse thing indeed.' "

"Liberation" without personal choice is a thing we have seen before.

I seem to recall it ended badly; explosion of a bomb-material reactor and an epidemic of kuru particularly stand out.

I also recall it was defended and rationalized on this side of the Iron Curtain by the same people pushing it now.
greygirlbeast
May. 14th, 2015 07:48 pm (UTC)

"Liberation" without personal choice is a thing we have seen before.

I will set you free! Whether you like it or not! And if you don't want what we're selling, I will destroy you!

Um. Yeah.
harvey_rrit
May. 14th, 2015 08:20 pm (UTC)
"Come da revolution, everybody gettin' STRAWBERRIES AND CREAM!"

"I'm allergic to strawberries."

"Come da revolution, you'll eat stawberries and like 'em."
elibrite
May. 14th, 2015 08:33 pm (UTC)
1. Until now, I didn't realize there had even been a fuss over the treatment of Black Widow in Age of Ultron. I poked around -- apparently a lot of people without critical thinking skills or any desire to analyze a narrative looked at the same scenes that I thought made Natasha a wonderfully more nuanced character and gave fans a look at her backstory (which most other Avengers got a fleshed-out version of several movies ago)...and then some of those same people got on Twitter and lobbed poorly spelled obscenities and threats at Whedon.

2. Sarkeesian did a wretched job contextualizing that tweet, if indeed she meant it to have a context other than what was picked up on above, but the article her tweet linked to (by someone else) was about pop-culture and marketing subsuming "feminism" into a discussion about consumerism and the kind of limiting choices ("You can be a stay at home mom or a working mom!") only available to an already privileged group who want and are able to exist within certain binaries. A good read. I hope, like the article she linked to, Sarkeesian's a better writer in long form -- but her statement and a host of potential readings of it all have their problems. "Collective liberation" is a freakish concept indeed.

And...as a practically lifetime daily reader of your blog, that's my de-lurking finally done, I think.
ProfJaimeWeida
May. 14th, 2015 11:10 pm (UTC)
I have...mixed feelings about the "Age of Ultron"/Black Widow thing. I am a woman who can't have children for various medical reasons, so perhaps I am personalizing this too much. AND I don't know what Whedon intended with the now-infamous line "You think you're the only monster on this team?" - I have also heard that a LOT was cut out of the theatre release and perhaps the inevitable extended blu-ray film will cast all this in a better light. Yet I am VERY unhappy about the way Black Widow's character was insulted and shamed by the male actors who play Captain America and Hawkeye. We live in a world in which Wonder Woman's first EVER big-screen appearance was in "The Lego Movie" - and I am NOT okay with that.

I really really REALLY hope Sarkeesian's tweet was an unfortunate episode of bad phrasing. I normally QUITE like her and have followed her "Tropes Vs. Women" series with interest. I think what the commenter above me, elibrite, said is very thought-provoking. This is one of the dangers of twitter - it can be hard, for super-obvious reasons, to express yourself properly in 125 (or whatever) characters or less!

Incidentally, what do you think of the MRA boycott of the new "Mad Max" movie?

Edited at 2015-05-14 11:12 pm (UTC)
greygirlbeast
May. 14th, 2015 11:45 pm (UTC)


Incidentally, what do you think of the MRA boycott of the new "Mad Max" movie?


It was good for a laugh.
robyn_ma
May. 15th, 2015 09:41 pm (UTC)
Um, hi.
everville340
May. 16th, 2015 04:35 pm (UTC)
Though, I will admit that I skipped Speed Racer, because the very idea made me shudder.

That this was ever considered to be made into a movie is an abomination unto itself. Thank you for that beautiful sentence.



iterum
May. 19th, 2015 07:27 pm (UTC)
You didn't like the sexism in "Jupiter Ascending" -- why are you censoring the Wachowskis? Except that you're not, obviously. Disagreement is not censorship, and free speech is not consequence-free speech.

Well, unless it leads you to nuke all comments that disagree with you.

Ciao. I do enjoy your novels.
( 12 comments — Have your say! )