Last year after visiting the amazing New York City, I attempted to watch a couple of films on the plane which didn’t turn out so well. Most recently, after taking two insanely long flights to London and back, I watched quite a few films; some much more successfully than others. In the tradition of last year’s post, here are two films that I started watching on the plane, however could not finish for a number of reasons. Should I eventually finish watching these? You have the power to decide!
Jupiter Ascending (2015, dir. Andy and Lana Wachowski)
A young woman discovers her destiny as an heiress of intergalactic nobility and must fight to protect the inhabitants of Earth from an ancient and destructive industry. (source)
What a pile of garbage. I obviously didn’t watch the whole thing, but it’s not difficult to tell a bad film when you see one. One day I would like to watch the entirety of Jupiter Ascending, but judging from the approximately twenty minutes that I watched on the way back from London, this thing is almost unwatchable. In fact, I switched this off and decided to watch Skyfall (2012) again for the billionth time, because I knew at least that it would be reliably watchable.
The film starts with a strangely comic moment that goes sour quite quickly, and then the rest of the twenty minutes that I watched bounce around from drama to comedy to sci fi to slapstick toilet humour as Mila Kunis scrubs a million toilets in her job as a house cleaner for rich people. If the Wachowskis thought this was a good way to hook people in to what is meant to be a grand sci fi adventure, they were totally wrong. It’s completely all over the place in a dizzying, confusing, and repelling way. In addition to this, some of the dialogue was voiced in such a low whisper that I couldn’t hear anything because of the general hum of the airplane, and then when I turned the volume up, the next scene was so loud that my eardrums almost blew out, and that made me hate the film even more.
I know there’s some amazing costume design in this at some point, and that the film is meant to be a feast for the eyes and not the brain, but I couldn’t even see anything visually appealing in the first twenty minutes. It was just bad and it made me feel bad for watching it. I like this review which describes the film as “an ornately polished turd”.
The Theory of Everything (2014, dir. James Marsh)
A look at the relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife. (source)
This may be a bit of a controversial one, but I didn’t enjoy this at all. I had had plenty of sleep before starting to watch The Theory of Everything, but it sent me to sleep straight away. I also watched The Imitation Game (2014) during the flight to London and absolutely loved it (review incoming at some point). I perhaps expected The Theory of Everything to be similar. Instead, I found a middling-paced romantic drama that didn’t hook me in at all. I got about twenty to thirty minutes in before falling asleep and waking up when Stephen Hawking was having some samples of his spinal fluid being taken. Then I officially turned the film off and committed to falling back asleep.
Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for his performance as Stephen Hawking in this film. I must admit that I’m not a huge fan of Redmayne as I’ve always found his performances to be too self-aware and actor-y, as opposed to Benedict Cumberbatch, who really embodies his roles and absolutely transforms himself into another person. I must admit that I switched this film off before Redmayne went full-Hawking, so I may have missed out on the Oscar-worthy part of his performance. All I saw in the first part was a regular, cute nerdy guy who was a bit clumsy. I also have to say that Eddie Redmayne is terrible in what I saw of Jupiter Ascending, but he didn’t have much to work with there.
The film is shot beautifully and that should have been enough to keep me interested, but I tend to just not be very interested in romantic dramas, so it was probably not going to be for me anyway. But yet it’s extremely critically acclaimed and many people I know enjoyed it. Maybe I should try it again. Should I?