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  #46  
Old 05-05-2015, 05:35 AM
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Out of curiosity, you keep saying that that and that are borrowed from or influenced by those other things. Do you mean that they remind you of those other things or have you researched the actual influences?

ETA: Hoping that doesn't sound too nit-picky. I think the word choices may have made your review sound harsher than perhaps you meant it to.

Jan
Hi Jan,

No, that's fine. You are right to ask. I'm not trying to be harsh for the sake of it, but I really wasn't impressed with the film.

In terms of influences, I recognise them a mile off... but I have also done my homework. I can definitely substantiate quite a few of the influences I’ve listed above. Some, the Ws wear on their sleeves. The Gilliam ‘Brazil’ reference is overt and acts more as a direct homage, and they’ve even included Terry Gilliam to ‘give credit’, so to speak. I thought that was kinda cute.

In terms of the Jean Giraud (Moebius), Chris Foss and Jodorowsky influences, I can quote from a recent iO9 interview with the Wachowskis here

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Originally Posted by iO9 Interview

iO9: When the trailer for Jupiter Ascending first came out a lot of people name-checked the movie Fifth Element a lot. It got people excited, a lot. Were you actually influenced by Fifth Element in this film? Or what other space opera influences did you have while making Jupiter.

Andy Wachowski: I think we were probably more interested in where The Fifth Element came from, which is Moebius. We were huge, huge readers of Heavy Metal magazine. The design that was in those books, pretty much blew our minds. The designs of The Fifth Element are basically Moebius' designs. Science Fiction owes this guy a huge debt of gratitude. The imprint that he's made just as a visionary, and the influence that he's made…it keeps rippling out.

Lana Wachowski: He's everywhere.

Andy: Yes. His DNA is everywhere. His atoms are in all of us. They're certainly prevalent in almost all modern fiction.

iO9: Now that you mention it I can definitely see the Moebius influences in the ships that you designed in Jupiter Ascending.

Lana: We've been obsessed for a long time with the fact that spaceships are always so ugly. Why do they have to be so ugly? The history of transpiration is filled with incredible, exquisite beauty. Especially [vehicles for] rich people. Rich people always travel in exquisite style. If they're rich and they're in space, their spaceships should look amazing and be gorgeous. So that was kind of our first design meeting.
So, the Moebius influences are definite, but bear with me here, because that style of spaceships actually came via Chris Foss when he and Jean Giraud, aka Moebius worked together on Jodorowsky’s failed Dune project. This style came about because Jodorowsky was pushing Foss to do more ‘out there’ designs. Those two artists came together to realise Jodorowsky's very ambitious vision for Dune.

The famous one is the image of the spice smugglers ship that looks like a fish. If this sounds interesting, do see the rather wonderful documentary ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’, pretty mind blowing stuff for any SF fan.

Jodorowsky was a real visionary, really pushing the bounds of what SF film could be). So really, the ship designs land at the feet of both Chris Foss and Moebius.

In a broader sense, I think the vast majority of modern SF films owe a great debt to Jodorowsky’s unflimed ‘Dune’. The team he assembled for that included Jean Giraud (Moebius) in his first role as storyboard artist, he designed all the costumes, characters and did the entire storyboard for the film. HR Giger did design work for the Harkonen planet (later went on to design Alien), Dan O’Bannon (got his start doing the effects on John Carpenter’s ‘Dark Star’ and went on to create Alien as a concept), Chris Foss designed Dune’s colourful and organic looking ships, whose work is strongly referenced in B5 too!

The Dune ‘bible’, a massive full colour art book, with all the design work, full storyboards and script was submitted to every Hollywood studio. Whilst the film faltered at the last hurdle due to financing, and being ‘too weird’ for Hollywood, it did seed many other films. Jodorowsky’s assembled team went on to much bigger things. Off the back of their work on Jodorowsky’s Dune, members of that team went on to make classic SF films like Alien, The Abyss, Star Wars, Flash Gordon, Black Hole, etc.

When Andy says that Moebius ‘DNA is everywhere’, well that’s very much down to Jodorowsky’s Dune. This is how his DNA got into Hollywood, and it just spread from there.

Being avid readers of Heavy Metal and European comics, they will have definitely been aware of the failed Dune project. Worth noting that most of Moebius key comic books are written by Jodorowsky. It’s not the first time the Wachowskis’ have heavily referenced comic books for the look and feel of their universes. Even the Matrix borrowed a lot of its stylings from Grant Morrison’s ‘The Invisibles’, people on set were given copies of the book for reference.

I think so much was made of Jupiter being an ‘original film’, that I had to speak up. If anything, that’s where I found it so lacking. It felt like a pastiche of other things and not an original vision with its own ideas.

Sometimes, I think that as SF fans we constantly settle for less than what we deserve in terms of entertainment, both in terms of originality and intelligence.

I will do some more digging when I get time, but hopefully the above does much to evidence the parallels I’ve drawn.
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Last edited by Ubik; 05-05-2015 at 05:56 AM.
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  #47  
Old 05-05-2015, 05:45 AM
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Thanks for the extensive answer. I'm not sure I agree that the design team's influences should be laid at the Wachowski's feet, though. Very possibly, but it also might have been them being presented with options and picking what they liked.

One thing I seriously didn't understand from so many of the negative reviews was the complaints that it was too complicated. Any idea where that was coming from?

Jan
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  #48  
Old 05-05-2015, 06:00 AM
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Thanks for the extensive answer. I'm not sure I agree that the design team's influences should be laid at the Wachowski's feet, though. Very possibly, but it also might have been them being presented with options and picking what they liked.
Perhaps? Hard to say, but when they are obviously very clued up about Moebius' work and French SF comics in general. I think they were definitely making a conscious decision to go for that look and feel.

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One thing I seriously didn't understand from so many of the negative reviews was the complaints that it was too complicated. Any idea where that was coming from?
Jan
Okay, that I really don't get. My main complant is that I found it too straight forward. I would have loved some twists or something completely unexpected. It was basically Cinderella in space with some added quirks.
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  #49  
Old 05-05-2015, 06:02 AM
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Just a little addendum, I was just browsing Chris Foss' website and noticed he did design work on Guardians of the Galaxy... and that's another film that had the 'colourful classic style SF ships' that I attribute to the same people.

Foss actually designed the ships on that film! I loved the way that looked.

I mean, I like the way Jupiter looked, but I was just contesting the originality of it as a whole.
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  #50  
Old 05-05-2015, 07:16 AM
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I mean, I like the way Jupiter looked, but I was just contesting the originality of it as a whole.
I understand. Me, I enjoyed it for what it was - a fun romp. My two main issues were that I didn't care for the characters as much as I'd have liked and that the fights went on too long. Otherwise I enjoyed it, especially the score, a lot. I felt like I got my money's worth going to the theater but I wouldn't want to own the movie. I did buy the soundtrack, though.

Jan
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  #51  
Old 05-05-2015, 08:17 AM
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I understand. Me, I enjoyed it for what it was - a fun romp. My two main issues were that I didn't care for the characters as much as I'd have liked and that the fights went on too long. Otherwise I enjoyed it, especially the score, a lot. I felt like I got my money's worth going to the theater but I wouldn't want to own the movie. I did buy the soundtrack, though.

Jan
Yeah, maybe it's me getting older, but I really don’t care for drawn out action sequences or fights anymore. Not unless they're crucial to the telling of the story, or they’re very inventively shot.

There were too many fight scenes that felt really flat, and none of them were imbued with a sense of genuine danger or emotional clout to get me on the edge of my seat.

A film really does hinge on the strength of its characters, and I just felt like I was watching cardboard cut outs of ‘bad guy’, ‘good guy’, and ‘destiny thrust upon her type heroine’.
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Last edited by Ubik; 05-05-2015 at 08:19 AM.
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  #52  
Old 05-05-2015, 08:50 AM
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A film really does hinge on the strength of its characters, and I just felt like I was watching cardboard cut outs of ‘bad guy’, ‘good guy’, and ‘destiny thrust upon her type heroine’.
Now the bad guys were something I liked. Each of the baddies had their own reasons for opposing Jupiter. My issue is that there was so little passion involved, only scheming.

One of the things I'm looking forward to with Sense8 is that JMS is really good at making you care about the characters.

Jan
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  #53  
Old 05-05-2015, 09:04 AM
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Now the bad guys were something I liked. Each of the baddies had their own reasons for opposing Jupiter. My issue is that there was so little passion involved, only scheming.

One of the things I'm looking forward to with Sense8 is that JMS is really good at making you care about the characters.

Jan
Yes, I am beyond curious what a JMS / Wachowskis team up is going to feel like. I am also interested to see the Ws do something unfettered by Hollywood tropes, cliches and expectations.

JMS doens't do blacka and white characterisation, it's why B5 was so strong.
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  #54  
Old 05-05-2015, 09:33 AM
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I think so much was made of Jupiter being an ‘original film’, that I had to speak up. If anything, that’s where I found it so lacking. It felt like a pastiche of other things and not an original vision with its own ideas.
I don't refute any of your claims about this film, but this comment surprises me. I saw this late in the theaters and went in with zero expectations of originality. Maybe there was press that I missed, but I did not encounter anything that claimed this film would be original. While I doubt you would have liked this film regardless, my enjoyment I'm sure was aided by the expectation that it would just be a silly space opera.

I agree with the rest that the fight scenes were interminably long, and I didn't care a lick about the characters. One thing I did like, and I'm not versed enough in deep SF to claim its originality, was the base concept: that there's this galactic royalty that is immortal enough that sooner or later someone will be born in the galaxy with the same DNA as a royal member and that person will inherit the throne. I'd never seen that concept before, and I thought it was a clever approach.
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  #55  
Old 05-05-2015, 10:36 AM
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I don't refute any of your claims about this film, but this comment surprises me. I saw this late in the theaters and went in with zero expectations of originality. Maybe there was press that I missed, but I did not encounter anything that claimed this film would be original. While I doubt you would have liked this film regardless, my enjoyment I'm sure was aided by the expectation that it would just be a silly space opera.
I think a lot of the early press for the film really pushed the fact that it was an 'original script', i.e. not based on a video game or comic, etc. This perhaps, somewhere along the way, got transmuted into 'original concept / execution', which it definitely wasn't.

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I agree with the rest that the fight scenes were interminably long, and I didn't care a lick about the characters. One thing I did like, and I'm not versed enough in deep SF to claim its originality, was the base concept: that there's this galactic royalty that is immortal enough that sooner or later someone will be born in the galaxy with the same DNA as a royal member and that person will inherit the throne. I'd never seen that concept before, and I thought it was a clever approach.
Yeah, that particular concept is new to me too. I wonder if it's scientifically possible though? Not that it really matters, as we're dealing in fiction here, and even I'm not about to nit-pick on that level!
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  #56  
Old 05-06-2015, 01:00 AM
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Just watched it, here's the reaction I put on facebook: Woahhh. I don't care what others say about Jupiter ascending it was f*cking Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best movie I've seen in a really long time. Loved the tech, loved the mythology, loved the story, loved the actors, loved the dialogue. It was a really, really, really great movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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  #57  
Old 05-06-2015, 02:00 AM
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Just watched it, here's the reaction I put on facebook: Woahhh. I don't care what others say about Jupiter ascending it was f*cking Brilliant!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Best movie I've seen in a really long time. Loved the tech, loved the mythology, loved the story, loved the actors, loved the dialogue. It was a really, really, really great movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whist the film did absolutely nothing for me, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Someone has to! I think I'm just really picky these days. At least I'm not hating on it without giving clear justification for my dislike.

The last SF ‘romp’ of this ilk that I really enjoyed was ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’. I liked that it acknowledged it’s own silliness! And it was just so wonderfully over the top... but in a more 'fun' way than Jupiter. If I can get more emotionally attached to a computer generated racoon and a tree, than I can to any one character in Jupiter, then there’s something wrong!

I mean, 'Guardians' was also a total popcorn film too, no pretensions of anything else, but it was one that actually kept me entertained.
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:07 PM
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Anyone looking for a deal on this beautiful 3D Blu-Ray . . .

http://www.amazon.com/Jupiter-Ascend...iter+ascending

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  #59  
Old 08-10-2015, 08:03 AM
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Anyone looking for a deal on this beautiful 3D Blu-Ray . . .

http://www.amazon.com/Jupiter-Ascend...iter+ascending

It would make an ideal coaster or frisbee!
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  #60  
Old 08-10-2015, 09:05 AM
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Anyone looking for a deal on this beautiful 3D Blu-Ray . . .

http://www.amazon.com/Jupiter-Ascend...iter+ascending

Thanks, Looney. I may do this as I enjoyed the movie. I already have the soundtrack.

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It would make an ideal coaster or frisbee!
Yes, we know. You've said so a few times. But some of us did enjoy it.

Jan
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Last edited by Jan; 08-10-2015 at 09:40 AM.
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