Jupiter Ascending

I watched Jupiter Ascending last weekend. Yes, despite all the extremely low ratings and the warnings to avoid this movie, I went to see it. And what can I say… it was a nice movie. Really.

Don’t get me wrong – it definitely had its faults. Jupiter (played by Mila Kunis) is portrayed as overly naive, much more than she needs to be. She falls for people who want to use her twice, and both times it was clear as daylight what was going to happen.

The pacing and structure was also a little off, especially in the first quarter or so. The introduction of the different parties looking for Jupiter was weird, and it took me a while to understand who was supposed to be the good guys and who was the bad guys. I don’t mean that in the sense of plot twists or deception – that is fine if it fools the audience, even expected. But in this case I think the presentation of the different groups just was not executed well.

But apart from these issues, I did not really think there was something outright terrible about Jupiter Ascending. The dialog was sometimes wooden, but I didn’t expect something that would be winning any Pulitzer Prize soon. The overall plot was not the kind where you later walk out of the cinema and just think that this was the best story, it was just a generic action flick, but that’s what I expected from the trailers.

And what a lot of people really found laughable, the “dog people”… have you never seen fantasy movies before? In this case they even try to explain it semi-scientifically with spliced genes, etc. Sure, that is basically technobabble, but still, for a fantasy action movie that was pretty normal.

To be honest, I enjoyed Jupiter Ascending much more than Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness. Those had gaping plot holes as well all over the place, and a huge legacy to live up to, and in my opinion they failed that spectacularly. Jupiter Ascending is just a random fantasy action movie without any baggage like that.

And: it is gorgeous. It was the best 3D movie I saw, period. Take it for what it is, just don’t expect the next Matrix, and enjoy the ride.

Passionate Programming

I just read the latest entry in Jeff Atwoods Coding Horror blog, detailing how he went from a very small reading list to the famous blog he now has… and immediately thought, “Yep, you wanted to start writing more often as well…” But then I always either am just too lazy, or find that I do not have anything to write about, neither about my work or something personal… How ironic that the last real physical book was The Passionate Programmer – and I haven’t even started it. Seems I lack the passion right now…

And even that might be something worth writing about. That seems to be a real problem. My last (and sadly, also current) projects at work both kind of burned out the flame I had due to mismanagement, mismatched skills, a bad framework, budget problems, you name it… but I want to rekindle the flames now. I just need to find something to start with. Maybe doing new and fun things in my personal life help, so this week I will get a regular license plate for my motorbike (a 2010 Suzuki Gladius) instead of a seasonal one and start driving again.