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gfbpqlhzvquvsg8exmvpWhat’s it all about?

In a bright and colorful future, a young destitute caretaker gets targeted by the ruthless son of a powerful family who lives on a planet in need of a new heir, so she travels with a genetically engineered warrior to the planet in order to stop his tyrant reign.

Dearie me IMDb, that’s mostly nonsense, as we shall discover below….

Why did I want to see it.

Oh c’mon, have you seen the trailer?

So, what’s it really about?

Ok, here goes. Jupiter Jones is the daughter of a Russian mother and an English father who was obsessed with astronomy (hence her name), to the extent that he was killed trying to stop Russian criminal types from stealing his telescope. Jupiter is born on a ship heading for the USA where she basically ends up cleaning toilets for a living. But it turns out that she is the genetic reincarnation of a member of the Abrasax dynasty who are enormously rich and own loads of planets and she is inconveniently in line to inherit a chunk of their wealth including the Earth. So Balem (Eddie Redmayne) tries to have her eliminated to stop that happening, but Channing Tatum (with pixie ears and lots of muscles and fantastic hoverskates) is sent to rescue her by one of the other Abrasax siblings (for his own not immediately clear purpose) and is helped by Sean Bean, though it doesn’t entirely work out as planned.

That’s only the first 40 minutes of a film which is 2 hours and a few minutes long.

What did I think of it?

I seriously loved it. It is totally and utterly potty but it looks so wonderful and everyone plays it so so seriously that you can’t do anything but enjoy it. But why so I hear you ask, many others have said that it is rubbish, tell us more.

They are wrong and here is why:

  • there is genetic splicing – Channing is part wolf, Sean is part bee (really, not kidding)
  • there are enormous spaceships careening across the universe
  • there are proper aliens including (but certainly not limited to) giant lizardy-dragon things with wings and long coats and big guns (they’re not very nice)
  • there is overacting to an extent seldom seen; apart from Eddie R (I will deal with him separately) there is a great deal of pouting and glowering and meaningful glances and flouncing (I’m sure there was flouncing)
  • (almost) everyone is double-crossing (almost) everyone else
  • there is a whole section that takes place in the inter-galactic bureaucracy which makes getting your passport renewed look like a doddle
  • there is a neat Terry Gilliam cameo
  • there are wonderful frocks, I mean really wonderful frocks
  • I like Mila Kunis, I wanted her to survive and she kicks quite a lot of butt though occasionally has to hang around while Channing gets his skates on to save her
  • Mila also does a lot of falling from Very High Buildings; she rarely screams though which is a Good Thing
  • Sean Bean *gasp* doesn’t die in this film (this is not a spoiler it is a public service announcement)

imagesAnd then there is Eddie, bless him. It is important to note that while I was watching Jupiter Ascending Eddie was at the BAFTAs and about to be awarded best actor for The Theory of Everything, well-deserved I’m sure though I haven’t seen the movie yet. Proper acting while playing part of a respected scientist struggling with a degenerative disease. Not flouncing around (told you there was flouncing) in long robes, being languid while barely suppressing rage and jealousy, virtually hissing most of his dialogue except for the occasional screaming fit. He had my favourite line of the film – “I will harvest that planet tomorrow before I let her take it from me” – and was just gloriously over the top in the best pantomime villain tradition. I adored him, he was a delight.

You can probably tell I had a thoroughly enjoyable time watching this. I will be buying it on DVD and will come back to it regularly I think because it is just so crazy.

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I’ve had this film in various forms for goodness knows how long, but only got round to watching it recently following a recommendation from Silvery Dude – well, when I say a recommendation, what actually happened was I lent him The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus (as reviewed here), we had a general discussion on how great Terry Gilliam is, and then shock was expressed that I had not yet watched Twelve Monkeys. So I did.

So Bruce Willis goes back in time (or does he?) to try to pinpoint (if not prevent) the start of a plague which has wiped out a massive proportion of the human race and forced the remnants to live underground. And there’s not much more to be said without giving plot points away.

Things I loved = the cast was excellent – Mr Willis, Mr Pitt, Mr Plummer to name but three; it had a fascinating feel, a steampunky future vibe thing; the time travel stuff (or was it?) made sense (more or less)

Not so much = well, not much to say here, I liked it .

Rating stuff = 15 (definitely grown-up stuff)

Tissue count = 0

Safety cushion = not necessary

So this was a film that created a bit of a division chez Bride.

I thought it was clever, interesting, will want to watch it again now that I understand the plot to see what I may or may not have missed on first viewing.

The Book God absolutely loathed it, found it too depressing with nothing positive that he could see.

We agreed to disagree.

It’s either a film you get or not, and I think I got it.

OK, worth saying that I have a huge soft spot for Terry Gilliam, ever since getting into Monty Python in my early teens (which was in the 1970s so not too long after the TV series had finished and of course slap bang in the middle of them making films). And of course Brazil is a masterpiece. So although I haven’t got the full canon and don’t always watch his stuff as soon as it comes out I do get around to it eventually. Still haven’t got around to watching Twelve Monkeys yet, a serious omission according to Silvery Dude but there you go, what can I say?

Anyway, had full intended to trot off to the cinema to see The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus with the Book God but we didn’t get ourselves organised in time to do that before this sort of disappeared from screens but determined to get it as soon as the DVD was released, and so it came to pass.

So, Doctor Parnassus is who knows how old, has done a deal with the Devil, has a travelling show with his daughter, his sidekick and a young man. When Tony drops into their lives things get a little interesting and Dr P ends up competing with the Devil to capture 5 souls to release himself from his original wager.

I think.

Because this is the thing about The I of Dr P, the plot is important I’m sure but actually it is all about the visuals for me and this is why I think a lot of people found it confusing.

Things I loved = Christopher Plummer as Dr P – he has always been one of my absolutely fave actors despite The Sound of Music and he has only improved with age; Tom Waits; Heath Ledger and his replacements (worked really well, almost as if it had been intended from the get-go); it’s very funny in places; the visuals as I’ve already said

Things liked not so much = it is a bit all over the place but still more stimulating than most other things you’ll see on screen this year

Rating stuff = 12 (but can’t remember why and Silvery Dude has my copy so can’t check – apparently he dozed off first time he tried to watch it which I’m putting down to heavy workload, red wine and three small children rather than the film itself)

Tissue count = nice little bitter-sweet ending but no need to blub

Safety cushion = not required

So worth a gander if you like the man Gilliam. Someone said (and apologies to that person for not remembering who or where or even when I heard this) that the I of Dr P was more interesting to talk about than sit through; harsh but can see what they mean (up to a point).

Still I liked it and intend to watch again.