Jupiter Ascending (Blu-Ray)
The Wachowski’s latest science fiction adventure, Jupiter Ascending, is coming home to blu-ray and I got a chance to check out the new release so I can help you decide whether or not it’s worth bringing home with you. Come inside for my full review!
I reviewed Jupiter Ascending back when it hit theaters earlier this year and having watched it a second time, I can’t say my feelings have really changed. Personally speaking, I liked the film and enjoyed it for what it was. It has some issues, however with pacing and plot that keep it from being a truly “good” movie. On the whole, it feels like something that should have either been a duology or a TV series. Had the plot and characters been given enough time to flesh out, this could have been greatness.
As it stand, Jupiter Ascending can still be fun. It has some great action and ideas behind it that manage to hold up to multiple viewings, but it’s still a bummer that the execution overall feels so flawed. The film had a lot of potential that it didn’t capitalize on, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s entirely unwatchable.
The film relies mostly on its visual spectacle, and it is impressive to say the least. Beyond the incredible effects on showcase in the film, everything is beautifully designed and looks gorgeous. Jupiter Ascending is stunning in a variety of ways, from the aesthetics chosen, to the ways in which they brought them to life. The action is similarly well constructed and maintains the intensity from the first viewing.
What really impressed me most, however, is that fact that all of this transferred so well to the smaller screen. Visual spectacle is easy to sell on a ginormous screen, but doesn’t always work when you bring it home. This is where the Wachowski’s skill in designing visual pieces come into play, as they work well no matter the scale. Whether you’re watching in a theater or on your couch, it’s still visually stunning.
Pretty visuals still aren’t enough to make up for the film’s failings in the story department. Again, I enjoyed the film and found it fun, albeit a little shallow. So I didn’t have any problems watching it again. If you weren’t entirely sold on the film in theaters (if you saw it), then I’m not entirely sure you’ll find a reason to pick up the blu-ray.
Picture and Sound
I already made mention of how visually impressive Jupiter Ascending is, and all of that has transferred beautifully onto blu-ray. The colors pop right off the screen and even in the lower light scenes, the details are crisp. For example, one of the early action moments in the film takes place at night in a back alley, and while the overall setting is dark, there are still plenty of colors at play. Caine’s (Channing Tatum) energy shield and the subtle graphics on his flying boots stand out as a contrast to the background very distinctly.
I honestly didn’t notice the blacks ‘crushing’ very much on my watch through the film, but I’ve heard a couple other people who noticed it more than I did. That’s not saying it’s a big widespread problem, but it might be something you encounter occasionally. Generally speaking, just about every Warner Bros. blu-ray release is very well put together. The transfer to the home format is almost always detailed and smooth, and Jupiter Ascending is no different.
The same can be said for the soundtrack on this release. The surround sound works nicely, and coupled with the visual spectacle of the movie, makes for a nice package. Even in stereo, the soundtrack does a good job of keeping things balanced between the sound effects and dialog. Nothing felt like it was crazy loud over the other, which, for me, is a BIG thing that I look for on releases.
Jupiter Ascending comes with these features on the disc for you to enjoy:
· Jupiter Jones: Destiny Is Within Us
· Jupiter Ascending: Genetically Spliced Caine Wise: Interplanetary Warrior
· The Wachowskis: Minds Over Matter
· Worlds Within Worlds Within Worlds
· Bullet Time Evolved
· From Earth to Jupiter (And Everywhere in Between)
Frankly speaking, I still love the Wachowskis. I enjoy their ideas and the way in which they craft movies. Say what you will, but you can’t deny the impact they’ve had on filmmaking, nor their ability to build interesting worlds. As such, special features on their films are always a treat for me. It’s nice to see them working behind the scenes and get a feel for how they craft their visuals.
None of the featurettes are very long, but if you enjoy delving a little deeper into the visual storytelling at work in the movie, they are definitely worth a watch.