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Featured Movie Reviews

Jupiter Ascending


The Wachowskis have turned out some of the most amazing films of the past two decades, including BOUND and THE MATRIX films, but lately they have found themselves turning out flop after flop.

Their latest box office disaster is JUPITER ASCENDING, which like their last film "Cloud Atlas", I really enjoyed. Where "Atlas" was a complicated, dense, intelligent tale spanning thousands of years, JUPITER is a big, bold, dumb-fun summer action flick, dressed up in $176 million in special effects.

Mila Kunis is perfectly cast as Jupiter Jones, a young woman stuck sharing an apartment with her Mom and Aunt and cleaning endless toilets as part of their housecleaning service.

Out of the blue, Jupiter's life is interrupted with plenty of firepower by Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), an intergalactic grunt/PI with pointy ears and the best rocket boots in the business.

Sweeping in to save Jupiter when she is suddenly the target of every bounty hunter in the universe, Caine finds allies and foes at every turn. His escape with Jupiter in which most of downtown Chicago takes major firepower is visually thrilling and incredibly life-like. I know those streets of Chicago and they take one hell of a hit.

It turns out Jupiter has some seriously royal bloodlines, which make her the prime focus of intergalactic bad boy Balem Abrasax, played by Eddie Redmayne.

Redmayne is an excellent actor. In other films.

Here, it seems as if he had been bottled up for so long playing Stephen Hawking in "The Theory of Everything" right before he made this film that everything explodes off the screen. Subtle it aint. Picture some strange whispery and screaming combo of Rod Steiger and James Franco and you'll be close.

But Kunis and Tatum are both great and having a lot of fun, which shines through all the action.

The production design is amazing, the special effects on Earth and elsewhere are beautiful to watch and the Wachowski's continue (for me) their streak of creating fascinating new worlds down to the last nuance that keep your eyes overwhelmed in all the right ways.

Doona Bae is terrific in a small role (following her great work in Cloud Atlas) and Sean Bean brings a lot to the party as Caine's former military superior.

The showdown in the farmhouse is great, the final twenty minutes is non-stop action and Jupiter has never looked better.

The critics hated this movie and it lost $125 million for Warner Bros, so I'm obviously in the minority here, but I had one hell of a great time and Jupiter Ascends to a solid B for me.


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