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17 February 2015 @ 01:07 pm
Jupiter Ascending  
We went to see Jupiter Ascending on saturday. We'd heard that it had a lot of bad reviews. We even read the first couple paragraphs of this one,
"Jupiter Ascending Is The Worst Movie Ever Go See It Immediately": http://www.themarysue.com/review-jupiter-ascending-the-worst/
(Thanks +Michael Hannemann!)

So we didn't go into it expecting greatness from the plot department, and thus we were able to enjoy the pretty and the fun and the action quite a lot. (And i really really really want flying rollerblades. Though i'd probably mange to kill myself inside of a week if i actually got ahold of some =)

So acknowledging that for a movie like this the plot doesn't actually matter, here are the questions that did come to mind and then were promptly ignored:

Spoilers, of course!

How did they know that the queen had been reborn?

How did they know that she was on Earth? (Do they do routine screenings for that kind of thing on all farm planets?)

How did they know that she had been reborn and was on Earth but not have a specific idea of who or where she was?

We know that werewolf guy was originally hired by "I want to marry my mother" guy, but why was the trio of mercenaries there? They must not have been hired by "I want to marry my mother" since they were in conflict, and they must not have been hired by "I want to be friends with my mother" girl, because that's who they went to when they changed their plans. And if they were working for "I want to murder my mother" guy then it seems a bit risky to cross him, and it seems likely he would have been willing to pay just as much for her anyways. Were they just hanging out on Earth for totally unrelated reasons?

What caused werewolf guy to go berserk in the past and attack a member of the... whatever they were called. And is that group different from the royal group that princess girl is a part of?

Are the Abraxis(?) actual royalty? Or just "we're so rich that no one disagrees with us when we tell them to call us majesty?" Because i'm pretty sure the Queen of England doesn't have to go wait in line in the English version of the DMV. I understand why they put that part in, because it's amusing, but it makes no sense if the Abraxis have an actual role in the government?

And speaking of which, yes it was amusing but in reality no real nation could operate with a bureaucracy like that. (Especially a nation that claims that time is the most important commodity of all!)

If the Abraxis weren't the heads of government (whether originally by conquest or election) are they descended from the people who originally discovered the life extension process instead? Or were they just savvy businesspeople who cornered the market on the life juice? Actually, do they even have a monopoly? It wasn't clear if the competitors that "i want to murder my mother" wanted to outdo were just the other members of his family or if there are other cartels out there.

What is up with the starship (the Aegis?) which seemed loyal to the princess? Are they part of the Legionaires or whatever they were called? Are they part of the official military of the government (if so, see above questions about why the government was being so obstinate) or are they part of a private army? If so why is that ship so loyal to princess instead of to the other members of the royal family? If it was part of the old queen's royal guard then how have they been getting by since her death? The inheritance the queen set aside was actually part of "i want to murder my mother"'s holdings, so presumably they weren't getting paid out of dividends off of that.

They said it takes 100 people to make one unit of life juice. The original plan was to harvest Earth in about a century. What population were they expecting at that point? About 10 billion? 10 billion / 100 = 100 million units. They said that seeded the earth about 100,000 years ago. Avalyn was guessing that "I want to be friends with my mother" looked mid 50s to 60s before her bath. Let's assume very good (non-juicy) medical care and that she was actually physically 70, and the bath regressed her to 20. So that's 50 years per treatment. Let's also assume that it only takes one unit of life juice per treatment. So during the 100,000 year period Earth was being farmed it would take 2,000 units of life juice to keep one person alive. So the 100 million units at the regular harvest time would be enough for 50,000 people if you wanted a steady state.

Of course given how Capitalist their system seems it's likely that a lot fewer than 50,000 people manage to keep themselves in constant supply. More likely there's a much smaller number that (so far) have managed to stay immortal and a much larger number who manage to get a couple doses and live for a few centuries or even a couple millenia but then eventually fall off the treadmill.

Speaking of life juice, are we supposed to assume that you're able to squeeze less out of an old person than a young person? If so then is the "100 people per unit" number an average? Or will the total amount from 10 billion people be significantly less than 100 million due to all the old people contaminating the pool? (And do kids give more life juice, because they're so young, or less, because they're so small?) If you can actually get the same amount of life juice from an old person as a young then they're definitely going about this the wrong way. Just set up "death with dignity" booths on all the farm planets and pay people to come in and end their lives early. You might not be able to convince/coerce 100% of the population, but at least it would be a renewable (over a period of less than 100k years) resource that way. And having a steady trickle instead of huge boom/bust cycles might actually help profit margins.

Also, they mentioned that something went wrong when they tried to use cloning instead of harvesting, but they rushed through the (very short) explanation, and i'd really like to hear more about that.)

But in any case, presumably princess girl has decided she's not going to stop the life juice extraction process on anywhere other than Earth, judging by the fact that the movie ends with her going on a flying date with werewolf boy, rather than fleeing in terror from assassins. One wonders if she's going to stick with that decision (one way or the other) and if she'll decide that regardless of whether or not she keeps Earth safe, maybe as she gets on in life she'll need a little of that juice herself?

And i've got to agree with the review. What's up with the bees? Who decided to do that and why? (I think i mean the question both from the perspective of the writing of the movie and in regards to the internal logic.) Do all the farm planets have bees or bee-like things? But even if so, again, why would you bother?

I'm sure i had more questions at one point or another, but those are the ones i can come up with right now.

But also, why did werewolf guy never actually turn into a wolf? Okay, this isn't actually a problem with the plot, but both Avalyn and i were expecting him to do it at some point, just cause. And i've got to say, werewolf guy was a very by the numbers paranormal romance guy! It's like the Wachowskis consulted a checklist!

Part dog/wolf, part angel, tough manly ex-soldier and ((flying) roller) skater-dude from a lower class and with a tragic backstory and was created with a need to bond with his newly found one true "pack". What "i just found out i'm an alien space princess in a dystopian world" wouldn't fall for that?
Kirin: jigenkirinn on February 18th, 2015 07:21 pm (UTC)
This is probably a terrible idea but I'm actually going to try to discuss the "finer" points of this movie. :D

I got nothin' on how they kinda-sorta knew the queen was reborn on Earth (maybe some bees snitched on her?) or the other merc's motivations.

On the rich trio - my feeling is that they're not technically the govt, but they're the largest commercial concern in exitence and hold most of the de-facto power in their corner of the galaxy/universe. There are other, somewhat smaller, cartels holding power in other locations far from Earth. I think there's a separate actual government to which the Aegis was loyal, which nominally tries to enforce basic laws and contracts, but knows it has limited practical power to actually go head-to-head with the cartels. After all, there's some reason each of the trio is trying for semi-legal ways of "legitimately" re-acquiring the old queen's inheritance. Like most corporations, they want the appearance of legality while actually getting whatever they want.

The fantastic bureaucracy segment was clearly from an entirely different movie. ;) (A Terry Gilliam movie obviously, made on-the-nose by the fact that he cameos in it.)

Can't really dispute your life-juice numbers. Maybe it takes more than one unit for a bath? Maybe extended-life aging is accelerated so they actually have to do it much more frequently than the several decades you'd expect? Dunno. As for why you harvest a whole planet, I got the vague impression it had something to do with genetic diversity? That would explain why clones are no good at any rate. Still doesn't entirely explain why you couldn't just keep taking old people, or even just fractions of the population at random.

And wolf-boy isn't *really* a werewolf, he just has wolf DNA to give him super DNA-smelling power and enhanced general combat abilities.

But yeah, as per your last paragraph, the main characters are *clearly* 14-year-old girl fanfic. Which is just fine. :)
Chaos Never Blinkssithjawa on February 19th, 2015 01:33 am (UTC)
But also, why did werewolf guy never actually turn into a wolf?

It was a human AU they're very popular these days don't you read the internet
tommycruisestommy50702 on February 20th, 2015 02:18 am (UTC)
It's time to reboot the special effects blockbuster before we all die of boredom.
Kirinkirinn on February 20th, 2015 07:36 pm (UTC)
Boredom? Man, Michael Bay's recent formulaic explosion-fests put me to sleep, sure, but this right here was some inspired complete nonsense. A few action sequences could've been a bit shorter, but other than that I was hardly ever bored.