They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

Now We Know What REALLY Happened To Chicago In Divergent

You see a gorgeous trailer and say WOW, I want to see that movie. Maybe it's based on Yet Another YA book franchise I missed? And then you find it's by the Wachowski Siblings and you say, okay, it's going to be... something. And then the movie's opening comes up and the Holland 7 has 2D and 3D, but the 3D times are awkward for us on a Friday night. We rarely do Friday night movies any more, but earlier in the week the Saturday forecast looked poor and we already have a play scheduled for Sunday afternoon. So we went ahead and got IMAX 3D tickets online. When I got them, there were only six tickets sold yet. There are maybe 30-40 people in the IMAX theatre for our show. Just one guy sitting on a bench waiting when we got out. But it was forty minutes to the next showing at 9:55pm, and this guy said there were only three seats left when he bought his this evening. And this plex is also showing the feature in 2D and regular 3D.

The movie is listed as costing $176 million dollars and it's mostly troweled on all over the place. But will it "make money"? I don't know.

I picked up Mrs. Dr. Phil after work and we had a lovely supper at Sheshko, the Middle Eastern place by Celebration North. This time we just had appetizers -- falafal, lamb chili, salads, flat breads. Very pleasant.

The popcorn line was too long to deal with. Shame for what looked to be a real popcorn flick. And though there was an Aquafina vending machine by the IMAX theatre, (a) it didn't show what the bottles cost, (b) an employee finally pressed one of the code combinations, A3, and the price was revealed to be $3, (c) we had two singles and a five, (d) the five was old and worn and either wouldn't scan or (e) the unmarked machine wouldn't take fives. Fail.

Jupiter Ascending [PG-13]
Celebration North Theatre #18/IMAX 6:45pm 2x$17.25

Let's get this out of the way first. It's The Matrix, Divergent, Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Chronicles of Riddick, Dune, Snow White and the Huntsman, John Carter, Cloud Atlas, Interstellar, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, the original Stargate movie, Brazil (even with Terry Gilliam!), oh hell let's throw in Aliens and a dozen other SF films that I just haven't thought of in the last five minutes. And OMG, Sean Bean is it -- which means HE'S GONNA DIE.

These aliens from space are REAL big on collateral damage, and have some unique ways of dealing with it.

I've seen some early criticism and this evening Rotten Tomatoes is giving it a 22%. Kenneth Turan on NPR this morning said the dialogue is dreadful, but also goes along with my assessment:

Who cares? It's yet another really pretty movie with spectacular and complex vistas. It's a heavy special effects bonanza, yet heavily uses practical effects where possible. I have criticized the Michael Bay Transformers movies as being somewhat unwatchable on the big screen because he doesn't understand how choppy his action is without appropriate motion blur -- and that's just based on the trailers.

There are long action/chase scenes in the movie, which for the most part don't quite go on too long, because they are complicated and exciting.

Sometimes the movie is heavy handed. One sequence begins with Chekhov's honeybees. Surely they are going to be important... uh, man there are a LOT of bees. I mean a LOT of bees...

There is certainly a wide range of aliens here, many of them very interesting, though there's an elephant hybrid that threw both of us out of the movie.

And why do all these decadent space cultures -- Necromonger, Harkonen, Abrasax -- have all these mobile art temple ships?

What about science, you ask? Well, some of the major plot points are just handwaving, but that's fine for this sort of movie. I was about to yell at them for the huge complex "on" Jupiter, but they actually provide a few seconds of throwaway comments and then you have to think about what sort of tech a billion year old race can really develop. Interesting, too, this is not the first movie I've seen where air foils can be built of a series of pieces held near each other in formation flying by force fields -- it looks alien and makes you rethink what you're looking at. Neat.

What about the Plot? Oh, I suppose. Russian girl is an illegal alien -- get it? -- and works cleaning toilets. And... she's royalty, of a sort. And she becomes either an impediment to kill or a pawn to move around. The aliens have... trust issues, let us say.

I should point out that Mila Kunis really is from Russia/Ukraine and it was nice to have some actors who could really throw around some good immigrant dialogue.

Despite the action, it really is a pretty fair PG-13 movie. There are no visible body parts which shouldn't be seen. I think our heroine uses the word "crap" a lot.

If you are looking for a deep movie, you're probably out of luck. But as an homage to a dozen SF epics all mashed together, it's somewhat of a remarkable movie.

RECOMMENDED

Trailers: Pretty much led off with the same trailers we've seen before: Terminator: Genisys, Chappie (does Sigourney Weaver REALLY order Chappie to be reduced to "ash" considering the synthetic in Alien?), though of the new trailers Focus with Will Smith as a big time con man looks interesting and so help me, I love watching Vin Diesel and Jason Statham and Kurt Russell and so can't rule out Furious 7 (are they really up to seven in that franchise?).

Dr. Phil
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Crossposted on LiveJournal
Tags: movies, reviews
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