Tag Archives: Mathias

We Review: Jupiter Ascending – Almost as cool as Guardians of the Galaxy… Almost! – MR

Jupiter Ascending

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jupiter Ascending
'Jupiter Ascending' Theatrical Poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Produced by
Written by
  • The Wachowskis
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography John Toll
Edited by Alexander Berner
Distributed by
Release dates
Running time
127 minutes[2]
  • United States
  • Australia
Language English
Budget $176 million[3]
Box office $6.4 million[3]

Jupiter Ascending is a 2015 space opera[4] film written, produced, and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski. StarringChanning Tatum and Mila Kunis, the film is centered on Jupiter Jones (Kunis), a down-on-her-luck maid, and Caine Wise (Tatum), an interplanetary warrior who informs Jones that her destiny extends beyond Earth. Supporting cast memberDouglas Booth has described the film’s universe as a cross between The Matrix and Star Wars[5][6][7] while Kunis named its underlying themes as indulgence[8] and consumption.[9][10][11]

The film was co-produced by Grant Hill, who acted as executive producer on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions and as producer on V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, Ninja Assassin, and Cloud Atlas, making Jupiter Ascending his seventh collaboration with the Wachowskis. Several more longstanding Wachowski collaborators since the creation of The Matrix films have contributed to the picture,[12] including production designer Hugh Bateup, visual effects supervisor Dan Glass, visual effects designer John Gaeta, supervising sound editor Dane Davis and costume designerKym Barrett. Other notable past collaborators include Speed Racer‘s composer Michael Giacchino, Cloud Atlasdirector of photography John Toll along with its editor Alexander Berner and hair and make-up designer Jeremy Woodhead, who worked on both.

The film has received mixed to negative reviews, with critics praising the visuals, world-building, and originality, but criticizing the story and screenplay.


Unknown to Earth’s residents, life on Earth and countless other planets has been seeded[13] by families of alienroyalty[14] for the purpose of harvesting the evolved living creatures once they reach a “Darwinian state of perfection” to produce a type of youth serum that allows them to live forever.[15] When the matriarch of the House of Abrasax, the most powerful of the alien dynasties, dies[9] her children Balem (Eddie Redmayne), Kalique (Tuppence Middleton), and Titus (Douglas Booth) are at war over the inheritance. Eventually a new heir comes to their attention: Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis), an unsuspecting, Earth-living, unlucky cleaner of other people’s homes.[16] Jupiter encounters Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), a genetically engineered interplanetary warrior, who came to Earth to reveal that her genetic signature makes Jones royalty and heir to Earth. Meanwhile, he has to protect her from Balem, who put a bounty on her head and would rather harvest Earth than lose it to Jones.[17]


  • Mila Kunis as Jupiter Jones, an unsuspecting, unlucky, Earth-born janitor whose genetic structure marks her as royalty and the heir to Earth. Kunis describes her character as unhappy with her job and life, but also lazy and with no aspirations to do anything about it, until Caine finds her.[9]
  • Channing Tatum as Caine Wise, a genetically engineered ex-military hunter. Caine is a defective genetic splice, half-albino and with both wolf and human DNA.[18]He has a tremendously powerful sense of smell that allows him to track a gene through the Universe.[19] Tatum had to wear a mouthpiece to change the shape of his lower jaw, which prevented him from closing his mouth and gave him trouble when he had to talk.
  • Sean Bean as Stinger Apini, a “Han Solo-type character”.[20] Stinger is spliced with bee DNA, which gives him some of their characteristics: wings, speed, special vision and a sense of loyalty. Stinger was in the military with Caine but when Caine got into trouble and Stinger stood up for him, his wings were removed and he was exiled to Earth.[9] He lives a normal life on Earth along with his daughter, who he describes as the only good thing he’s done in life, until she falls ill and in need of a special nectar.[11]
  • Eddie Redmayne as Balem Abrasax, alien royalty whose family engages in the planetary business, trading in youth serum.[9] He is the eldest of the three Abrasax siblings and serves as the main antagonist of the film because he wants Earth for himself.
  • Douglas Booth as Titus Abrasax, Balem’s brother. Booth has described his character as “a bit of a playboy”, mentioning his spaceship, as described in the script, as a cross between a Gothic cathedral and the Playboy Mansion.[9]
  • Tuppence Middleton as Kalique Abrasax, Balem’s sister. She approaches Jupiter and befriends her, but like her brothers she has ulterior motives.[9]
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Famulus, a half-human, half-deer genetic splice.[21][22]
  • Terry Gilliam as Seal and Signet Minister[23] in a scene that is an homage to Gilliam’s Brazil.[24]
  • David Ajala as Ibis, the leader of the cyber hunters pursuing Jupiter and Caine.[25]
  • James D’Arcy as Maximilian Jones, Jupiter’s father.
  • Kick Gurry as Vladie, Jupiter’s cousin.
  • Bae Doona as Razo
  • Charlotte Beaumont as Kiza, Stinger’s daughter.[26]
  • Tim Pigott-Smith as Malidictes
  • Edward Hogg as Chicanery Night[27]
  • Nikki Amuka-Bird as Diomika Tsing
  • Vanessa Kirby as Katharine[28]
  • Maria Doyle Kennedy as Aleksa, Jupiter’s mother.
  • Christina Cole as Gemma Chatterjee

Our Thoughts:

The technical and special effect aspects of this movie are flat out amazing. The creatures, spaceships, and technology look and seem real, ALL of them. The story is the typical “un-expecting youth finds out they rule the world” type of thing. Then it becomes the “race against time to stop a wedding and save Earth from being harvested” plot line. When Channing Tatum, who plays, Caine Wise, was trying against all odds to stop his new found love’s unwanted wedding, I was reminded of Ming marrying Dale in the old Flash Gordon. I half expected Queen music to start playing, and if it would have this one would have been better.  4 stars and recommended. It was almost as cool as Guardians of the Galaxy… Almost! – MR

Find Jupiter Ascending and see a new trailer here.

We review the FireTV version of: Predestination “Surprisingly good sci-fi flick. 4 Stars” MR

Predestination (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Predestination poster.jpg

Australian poster
Directed by Michael Spierig
Peter Spierig
Produced by Paddy McDonald
Tim McGahan
Michael Spierig
Written by Michael Spierig
Peter Spierig
Based on “—All You Zombies—”
by Robert A. Heinlein
Starring Ethan Hawke
Sarah Snook
Noah Taylor
Music by Peter Spierig
Cinematography Ben Nott
Edited by Matt Villa
Blacklab Entertainment
Screen Australia
Wolfhound Pictures
Distributed by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions
Release dates
Running time
97 minutes[1]
Country Australia
Language English
Box office $2.6 million[2]

Predestination is a 2014 Australian science fiction film, directed and written by Michael and Peter Spierig. The film is based on the Robert A. Heinlein short story ‘“—All You Zombies—”, and stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook and Noah Taylor.


A time-traveling agent goes back in time in order to catch an infamous terrorist known as the “Fizzle Bomber”. The agent stops the bomb but is severely injured. The Fizzle Bomber escapes and the agent travels into the future, to 1992, using a Coordinate Transformer Field Kit—a time machine disguised as a violin case—with the help of an unknown person. The agent’s face was burned and needs to be repaired using plastic surgery.

It is revealed that the agent works for a mysterious organization known as the Temporal Bureau, that sends so-called “temporal agents” through time to prevent major crimes. The Fizzle Bomber is the only criminal to elude them thus far. In March 1975, the Fizzle Bomber kills 11,000 people in New York City.

After the agent heals, he is sent on a final mission before his mandatory retirement. He travels to the 1970s to work as a bartender in New York City. A male customer, whose “Unmarried Mother” pen name is used for writing magazine confessional testimonials, enters the bar to drink alcohol.

Cajoled by the bartender, the Unmarried Mother proceeds to tell a story that he considers remarkable: He was born in 1945, abandoned at birth, and placed in an orphanage. Identified as a female, he is raised as “Jane”. As a young woman, Jane later tries to join the Space Corps and excels in the recruitment tests; but, Jane is disqualified when Space Corps doctors discover something about her physiology.

After being expelled from Space Corps, Jane attends night classes in Cleveland, OH, where she meets and falls pregnant to an older man who eventually disappears. After finding out that she is pregnant to the older man, Jane brings the pregnancy to full term and, during the delivery of her child, the doctors discover the condition that led to her expulsion: Jane was born intersex, with both female and male reproductive organs, allowing Jane to give birth to a baby with her female reproductive organs. However, her baby is kidnapped by an unknown man while still in hospital. At the advice of her physician, Jane then undergoes further procedures to remove her female sexual organs—irreparable after birth complications—thereby becoming a man named John.

Unmarried Mother concludes the story, and the bartender suddenly reveals that he knows the identity of the older male who left Jane, and offers John the chance to kill him. They both travel back in time to Cleveland and the bartender gives John a gun to enact the killing. However, John instead meets Jane, his younger female self, while the bartender/temporal agent uses his time machine to travel into the future—in his final opportunity to catch the Fizzle Bomber. However, the agent is knocked out by the bomber.

The bartender is later shown to be the kidnapper of Jane’s baby, before he meets back up with John, who has had sexual intercourse with his earlier self, Jane, by this time. The bartender convinces John to abandon Jane and start working as a Temporal Agent at the Temporal Bureau.

Having completed his final mission, the bartender is instructed to choose his time and place of retirement—upon his arrival at that location, his field kit will be automatically decommissioned. He chooses to retire in a New York City apartment, around the time of the Fizzle Bomber’s March 1975 bombing, after receiving an envelope from his supervisor, Robertson. Upon his arrival, the field kit displays an error message after it is decommissioned; however, the retired agent does not report the error and opens the envelope which contains an instruction related to the March 1975 bombing.

The agent eventually discovers that the Fizzle Bomber is an older version of himself. After arguing with his older self, he kills him with a handgun in a laundromat. A flashback scene then reveals that the agent is in fact Jane/John—completely changed after the reconstructive surgery at the beginning of the film where he was injured in the blast—and finishes with John seated in the New York City apartment that he had requested for retirement.


Our Thoughts

This movie is sort of like 12 Monkeys (w/Pitt and Willis) and Looper (again w/ Bruce Willis,) in that a character goes back and forth in time, trying to prevent a certain catastrophe. If you liked either of those films, you will like this one. Predestination comes with a serious twist that sort of threw me at first, but kept me thinking long after it was over. Turns out it made perfect sense, and I can’t explain that without being a spoiler. This movie was unexpectedly good sci-fi. 4 Stars – MR


Find Predestination and see the new trailer here.



Snow White and the Huntsman – Review “Stunningly Beautiful… Extremely fantastic FX.” — M.R.

Snow White and the Huntsman – Review

Blood on snow… Love it. The forest scene with the fairies blew me away. The fragmented glass effect with the evil minions was mesmerizing. The liquid white, black, and gold effects were phenomenal. The battle scenes were lacking in that I caught a place where the cloned figures were fighting in the back and there were no enemies there yet. It was absurd to run upon a castle as they did, but that aside the seven dwarves were spot on to the augmented tale. So was the wicked stepmother. The romantic aspect, with two possible “Prince-not-so-Charmings” could have actually been better, and that’s coming from a guy who would rather drop 45 pound plates on his toes than watch a chick flick.


4.0 stars for an very entertaining twist on an old fairy tale, but it was almost like watching Game of Thrones at times, thus 4 instead of 5 stars.