Improbable Phrases

Who says that?

Jupiter Ascending

You guys. I went to see Jupiter Ascending, because I strongly believe in rewarding intricate, wide and expansive space operas with money. If people like you and me go see them, then the powers of Hollywood will see fit to make more of them. Right? Right.

The problem was that I sort of lovehated it. The graphics were beyond exquisite. Some of the spaceships were in the shape of fishes! The skies and the space stations were also done up in full, gorgeous CGI glory. The costumes were lovely, imaginative and highly detailed. The earrings on Kalique? The best ever. I’d be friends with her just for the jewelry tips. The women were strong, they did the right thing, and their bodies were respected. It had the right balance of technobabble and stuff I could understand.

It was the plot that bothered me. There were these wonderful moments, where you get just a glimpse of some sweet and glorious concept, but only for brief seconds. It had what I will call a rose petal problem. Imagine a flowergirl at a wedding. She has a basket full of vibrant, soft, red petals. And she tosses them out of her basket in small bunches here and there and then walks away from them. This is the plot of Jupiter Ascending. All throughout the movie, somewhat compelling minor characters, fascinating ideas, and single sparkling lines floated in the air for mere breaths before they dropped to the floor of the center aisle. Look! Here’s a girl who’s sick! Why? Who cares! Look at this minor character pilot a police ship! No wait! Look over here instead! There are bees!

It was interesting. I am not saying it wasn’t. I’m just saying that it didn’t always commit to telling you the story. Oftentimes it just wanted to drop the next red petal. Look how pretty it is! I don’t disagree on the beauty, just on the execution of it. Show me lovely things that are in service of the story and I will happily watch them. Show me lovely things solely because they are lovely and it will only take 30 minutes for me to get jaded and cynical. Within 30 minutes, I’ve got your number. You’re only going to show me that until you find something else to show me. And I’m going to be briefly disappointed, but mostly just uncertain which parts of the story I need to remember and which are simply more petals.

Had the story been cohesive, I would have died for this movie. Had all of those petals been gathered up into a rose by the end of the film, I would recommend it wholeheartedly. But it didn’t. It had beauty to spare, but no idea how to streamline it into one story that really resonated. Jupiter Ascending was so frustratingly close to what I wanted, but it never really got there.


It Runs! It Runs!

I have this little nick of missing skin on one of my hands. I can’t figure out where I got it from. I just noticed it this morning. I have no idea how it happens. I have a bruise on one hip, too. Am I ramming myself into things while I’m sleeping? No idea.

As you can tell, I don’t really have anything of great value to say today. Here. Have a video of a carnivorous plant.

A Calendar of Tales: October, by Neil Gaiman

I don’t usually post stories here. But ever since this one came out, I have loved it. I am sharing this with you, because it is well-written and it has fabulous things to say about kindness and contentment that I think everyone should hear at least once. It’s less than 7 minutes long. I promise you won’t regret it, and if you do, I’ll buy you a cookie in compensation. Give it a try.

Wings! Dark Glorious Wings!

Exams are over, I have two weeks of administrative tasks until I leave. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds pretty boring. I am not excited.

In other news, I am going to see Maleficent next weekend. It looks like fun. I have no idea what the story will be like, but it is visually stunning.

Fantastic. Get ’em girl.

Magic and Dragons that I Missed

Two of my favorite authors went on a dual book tour together. They even came to Chicago, though this was taped in Portland. I think it was the saddest I’ve been in a while about being in Indonesia instead of America. From the video it looks like Mary Robinette Kowal was signing and distributing wooden fans. Fully, completely jealous.

Conjunctions by Neil Gaiman

Jupiter and Venus hung like grapes in the evening sky,
frozen and untwinkling,
You could have reached and up and picked them.

And the trout swam.

Snow muffled the world, silenced the dog,
silenced the wind…

The man said, I can show you the trout. He was
glad of the company.
He reached into their tiny pool, rescued a dozen, one by one,
sorting and choosing,
dividing the sheep from the goats of them.

And this was the miracle of the fishes,
that they were beautiful. Even when clubbed and gutted,
insides glittering like jewels. See this? he said, the trout heart
pulsed like a ruby in his hand. The kids love this.
He put it down, and it kept beating.
The kids, they go wild for it.

He said, we feed the guts to the pigs. They’re pets now,
They won’t be killed. See? We saw,
huge as horses they loomed on the side of the hill.

And we walk through the world trailing trout hearts like dreams,
wondering if they imagine rivers, quiet summer days,
fat foolish flies that hover or sit for a moment too long.
We should set them free, our trout and our metaphors:

You don’t have to hit me over the head with it.
This is where you get to spill your guts.
You killed in there, tonight
He pulled her heart out. Look, you can see it there, still beating.
He said,
See this? This is the bit the kids like best. This is what they come to see.

Just her heart, pulsing, on and on. It was so cold that night,
and the stars were all alone.
Just them and the moon in a luminous bruise of sky.

And this was the miracle of the fishes.

Source here.