‘Jupiter Ascending’ is the latest film from ‘The Matrix’ sibling director duo Andy and Lana Wachowski and stars Mila Kunis as Jupiter, an ordinary Earth maid who discovers she may be the heir to a powerful cosmic empire and Channing Tatum as her guardian, Caine, who must protect her from the other jealous would-be heirs who want her dead. The film also stars Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne.
To drum up interest in the film, Warner Brothers has released a three-minute long trailer which helps embellish the plot a lot more than the shorter clips that have previously been seen. And honestly, the trailer makes the film look pretty action packed and intriguing with its political undertones.
‘Jupiter Ascending’ will be the first big budget special effects movie of the year, so it’s a bit odd that it’s coming out in the dead of winter on February 6th, but the film was originally slated for release in the summer of 2014, but post-production issues forced the film to be pushed back and considering that most of the other big summer release dates had been secured, it looks like this was the best option.
But there could be another reason. It’s possible the film is just terrible and the studio is just burning it off to rush it to home video where it could possibly make more money.
In a head-scratcher of a move, Warner Brothers decided to unspool the movie for the first time ever at an unusual location for a big-budget science fiction movie, the Sundance Film Festival. The Festival was created by Robert Redford as a showcase for small, arty, independent films, which tend to be emotional and cerebral and look like they were made for about $100. Hardly the proper venue for a movie that was screened in 3D and cost a reported $100 million to make.
And perhaps that is the reason the screening didn’t go over well.
Decide for yourself. First, here is the full three-minute trailer:
Every year at the Festival, there is a surprise secret screening that is invitation only. Held at the Egyptian Theater, ‘Jupiter Ascending’ was this year’s, but it looks like when attendees got their invites, many threw them in the trash, as the the crowd was far from capacity and among those that attend, many walked out before the movie’s end.
The film’s screenwriter Neville Kiser put things in perspective, by saying:
“I actually liked it. But the Sundance context is weird. There were so many people in the audience scoffing and sneering. They are forgetting they are watching a movie targeted primarily to teenage boys. I’m sure those 15-year-old boys, and hopefully girls, will like it.”
So did Warner Brothers simply make a mistake trying to win acclaim for its popcorn flick at the wrong venue, a… well, snooty film festival? Or is the movie really worthy of “scoffing and sneering”? Critics will be screening the film in the next few days so we’ll see what they have to say or you can simply be your own judge by checking it out when it opens on February 6th.