Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Jupiter Ascending Movie Recap!


Recently, I went to see Jupiter Ascending, and right now I can't think of a more wonderful movie to have experienced in theaters! Perhaps the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. But Jupiter Ascending isn't an adaptation, except one of the imagination, especially of the young imagination when we were busy creating impossible characters that people told us were unrealistic.

It was so fun, my fan buddy Jeanne and I had to recap it! We included as much detail as possible, and added commentary. Jeanne's commentary is in blue, mine is purple! Read the first half of the recap at her blog!

This recap will be long, and image-heavy, so you've been warned! Without further ado, ACT II:
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Jupiter, Refinery
Balem is in his throne room, the floor beneath his feel is transparent showing Tsalikan in the same pod used to harvest humans. He’s obviously disappointed Balem and is paying for it. Another Sargon hunter, Greeghan, steps up to take over the mission. Balem mumble-whispers that he’d sooner harvest Earth tomorrow than let her have it.

Orus, human homeworld
The Aegis arrives at Orus, and Phylo Percadium says, “Welcome, Your Majesty, to the overpopulated cesspool we call home.” They dock the ship and Captain Tsing mutters out the side of her mouth to Jupiter, “I was at [some space battle], lost 2 million men, and I’d rather be back there than deal with these people.”

Jupiter meets her representative, a robotic humanoid with a seemingly perennial smile on his face, Intergalactic Advocate Bob (Samuel Barnett). Thus begins the daunting task of space bureaucracy that is Jupiter officially claiming her inheritance. Nobody is impressed that Seraphi Abrasax has returned to reclaim her Title, and they are shuttled from department to department until they end in some basement for a Tax Income Number, which Jupiter cannot claim without her Title, except of course they need a Tax Income Number to claim the title. Intergalactic Advocate Bob finally resorts to bribery. This allows Jupiter the card she needs to claim her title from Terry Gilliam, the Seal and Signet Minister.

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The Minister directs Jupiter to put her hand inside a device that etches a laser 3D tattoo on her wrist, and gives her a few manuals on social protocols (including the Entitled Code of Conduct). Finally he tells congratulations and condolences. Caine and Jupiter exit and she jokes that she’ll never complaining about the DMV again. She still doesn't get the point of it all, because she’s still herself, still Jupiter Jones (except when she’s mad, then she’s all Bolotnikov), and Caine says, “It means that Your Majesty’s life is going to change for the better.”
“Can you say that again?”
“Say what?”
“The ‘Your Majesty’ part.”
Caine smiles tolerantly. “Your Majesty.”
“I could get used to that.”

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“So…. now that I’m Entitled, *gets a little closer* does any part of you want to bite me?”
“No.” *pause* “Maybe.”
*expectant look* “Go ahead…”
Caine doesn’t bite, either literally or metaphorically.
[And we’ll NEVER KNOW WHAT COULD HAVE HAPPENED BECAUSE.].
[FUCKING CLIT-BLOCKER STINGER!]
[WHAT THE BEESWAX!]
They’re interrupted by Stinger and a bunch of hunters. It’s a double-cross. He tipped off Titus’ to where Jupiter and Caine are, and his hunters have arrived to take them prisoner.

Titus’ bedroom
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Titus is floating amongst a bevy of women who are genetically-spliced with various flying creatures. Famulus (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) opens the door. [We see dragonfly wings and a nekkid butt! But no naked Titus, he’s obscured by everybody else. Cleverly done, Wachowskis!]
[ZERO GRAVITY SPACE ORGY!]
“Only good news is allowed in this room, Famulus!”
Famulus informs Titus (as feathers run across the back of his head), that Jupiter is arriving.

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Titus’ Clipper
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The hunters’ ship docks on Titus’ Clipper, and beam down Jupiter to a platform to be greeted by Titus and his assistant Famulus (Gugu Mbatha-Raw).
Titus: “Welcome, Your Majesty. I am Titus Abrasax, third primary of the house of Abrasax and it is my profound honor to meet you.” *kisses her hand*
Jupiter: “You are aware that by detaining me without consent you are in direct violation of statute 27B/6.”
Titus: “Your highness is a quick study of the Entitled Code.”
Jupiter: “I also know that I can file a tax grievance against you if you don’t take me directly where I want to go.”
Titus: “I’d be delighted to take you wherever you’d like to go.”
Jupiter: “I’d like to go home.”
Titus relents, but still invites her to dinner. She accepts, because it’s the only polite thing to do.

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[You can see that the entire time Titus is talking Jupiter is thinking, “I could’ve been getting laid right now if Stinger hadn’t fucked me over. Now I have to listen to your non-space werewolf ass blow smoke up my butt.”] [Her Majesty is not amused!]

Somewhere in Titus’ Clipper
Famulus, and a detail of guards escort Caine to a holding cell. He does a lot of resisting and threatening, while Famulus looks amused. Caine demands to know where Jupiter is, and Famulus replies, “having dinner with Lord Titus. Unless, of course, they’ve moved onto dessert,” and she winks. Left alone in the pit cell, Caine tries to use his Gravity boots to break the bars, but it’s useless. He’s stuck and growling in a hole.

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Dinner with Titus
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Jupiter arrives dressed in a low-cut PVC outfit that only reaffirms that Titus has a “complicated” relationships with his mother. [Shit’s tacky as hell, my god. That kind of stiff PVC out of a cheap fetish gear shop?? They couldn’t find a softer material with the same metallic shine?] [For me, that is Titus to a tee. A shiny, ill-fitted space trash bag.] Jupiter inquires about Caine, and Titus explains that since Caine broke their agreement he’s in big trouble. Jupiter, obviously catching on to the ways of this world, asks “Now, is that open to negotiation.” Titus smiles like the sexy shark he is and says “Everything is open to negotiation.”

They do some more chatting/verbal combat over dinner, where Titus plays armchair psychologist, claiming that because he knew his mother for so long and Jupiter is so similar to her since they’re genetic replicas, he can tell what she’s thinking just by her body language. He states, whether as an educated guess or actual history, that Jupiter also is mistrustful and unlucky in love, prone to falling for the wrong men, just like she’s fallen for Caine. Jupiter denies it, and Titus smiles: “My mother was also a terrible liar.” Titus explains that he needs her help to continue his mother’s work. He knows she has good reason to not trust her, but he pleads that she listen and look at what he has to show her.

Then Titus escorts Jupiter into a chamber to show her piles of Regenex. He explains that as his mother grew older she came to regret many of the choices she’d made. Titus suspect that choice led to her murder. He admitted he dedicated his life to carrying on her work, but his funds were dwindling, and he needed help secure the safety of his estate. Jupiter is confused, as Titus places a cylinder of Regenex (with the bee symbol on the cap) in her hands. He explains it is the purest form of Regenex. She asks what it is. Titus explains that it is a solution made from human beings, and that it took 100 people to make the cylinder in her hand. Jupiter, understandably freaks out, and drops the cylinder, which smashes on the floor. She apologizes, shaken by the sudden realization that The Harvest is the murder of human beings to make Regenex.

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Titus explains that his mother wanted to stop the Harvesting. That he himself had put himself in poverty trying to protect the planets in his holdings, but if she, Jupiter, were to marry him he could secure their future. There is a box with a fancy ring in it. [The language that Titus uses in this scene echoes the language Vladie uses to convince Jupiter to give up her eggs. That Jupiter’s choice could change his life irrevocably.] [Yes. Super interesting parallels between marriage and fertility, yet again. Not to mention, that Titus’ youthful appearance contradicts everything he’s saying. Remember back when he met with his siblings on that harvested planet, and they were both showing their age, while he was as fresh face as ever. If he really is so horrified by the harvest why keep using Regenex.] He would know they would pass on, when he dies, to someone who wouldn’t harvest them. Jupiter says she has to think about it, he says he understands.

Titus’ prison
Famulus speaks to Stinger over a comm, about Stinger’s payment. [Something something something. The whole thing obviously didn’t make Stinger feel any better about betraying Caine. There’s also something which makes Famulus tell Stinger off.]

The Aegis
Stinger turns to Captain Tsing. Gemma says they got the signal trace, and Captain Tsing orders Stinger thrown into the brig. [Serves him right. Clit-blocker!]

Titus’ prison
Famulus walks up to the pit with cuffs dangling from her finger. Caine it out of the pit, in cuffs, and brought before Titus, who looks pretty miffed.

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“It’s amazing what lies we tell ourselves. For example, the lie you’re telling yourself that by some miracle you will escape death in space and rescue Miss Jones. It’s understandable. Sometimes, lies are the only reason I get out of bed.”

They put Caine in an airlock, and Titus does the classic villain misstep by revealing his evil plan to marry Jupiter and then murder her to get her estate. The door to the airlock closes. As Caine growls. As Caine does.
The exterior door to the airlock opens, and Caine kicks the wall near him knocking loose a bunch of cylinders just before he is sucked out into space. He tumbles in the silent vacuum of space, but manages to use his boots to break his hand cuffs. Then he finally manages to grab ahold of one of the cylinders that turns out to be an emergency space suit with a limited air supply. Caine takes a breath, and is told he has only 37 minutes of air left, and to please get himself to an airlock or oxygen supply as soon as possible, as he watches Titus’ ship jump space and leave him alone in the dark.

Jupiter’s room, on Titus’ Clipper
Titus comes to answer Jupiter’s summons, sounding very exasperated: “What is it now?”
Jupiter: I’m sorry, but I really don’t think I can go through with this.
Titus: I told you not to think of this like a wedding on your world, just a business arrangement, one that would preserve several worlds.
Jupiter: Yes, and I’d love to see them someday, but I’d feel better if I could talk to Caine right now.

Titus lies, and tells her he attacked a group of his guards, so Titus was left with no recourse but to have him escorted off the ship. He pretends to be disappointed that Jupiter wouldn’t trust him, while putting her faith in someone violent like Caine. Then he hands her the pardon that would reinstate Caine and Stinger to the Legion, saying he held onto it knowing that she would find it of sentimental value, and if he were like his siblings, he would have used it to get her cooperation in the interests of his subjects. However, he hands it to her as a gesture of good faith, and turns, saying goodbye. Jupiter looks conflicted, but agrees to marry him.

Meanwhile back in space...
Caine is floating around in his emergency space suit, just as the last of his air runs out the Aegis ship arrives to save the day. Once he’s on board the ship, they give him medical. Someone asks if he’s still alive and they confirm yes as he gasps about Titus' evil plans. After he’s patched up Captain Tsing takes him to the cell where Stinger is being held.

Stinger explains the only reason he betrayed Jupiter and Caine was his daughter Kiza has a “pox,” medication is apparently very expensive. After a second of Caine looking disappointed, and Stinger looking deeply ashamed, Caine asks him, “do you have any money problems I should know about? Any loans? Debts?” When Stinger answers in the negative, Caine tells Captain Tsing, “he’s good,” releasing him from the cell.
“Are you sure?”
“Have any of you pierced through a wall of warhammers before?”

Bolotnikov residence on Earth
The family is in the living room, Vladie on the couch while everyone stands around, judging him.
Vassily: You convinced your cousin to sell her eggs so you could get money? Like she’s a chicken??
Vladie: She wanted to do it! She wanted to get some dumb telescope!
Aleksa and NIna off to the side groan, upset, Aleksa clearly recognizing where Jupiter got that idea from. Vassily starts beating Vladie with a cushion, yelling, “You don’t treat your cousin like chicken!”
The room starts rumbling, and the ceiling blasts in, with Sargon entering. Greeghan pauses to sniff at Aleksa: “You’re the mother. Be gentle with this one.”

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[OK, this scene is super important! We know that the Bolotnikovs raised Jupiter, and that Vassily was super-condescending to Jupiter earlier, but the line “you don’t treat your cousin like chicken!” really indicates that they are where Jupiter gets her moral compass from. The Bolotnikovs aren’t just for family jokes; they’re an integral part of who she is. A lesser movie wouldn’t have written in this little scene that’s so telling.]

Space Wedding!
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Jupiter all decked out in her wedding dress climbs the stairs to step out onto a platform leading to the wedding chamber. It is huge and crowded with people. Jupiter is understandably stunned. Then the platform moves, detaching from the stairs and floats over to the opposite side of the chamber where Titus and the officials are waiting. As Titus smiles beatifically at his bridal mother, Famulus gets a message. She steps up to Titus, warning him that the Aegis is approaching and demanding to board. Titus tells Famulus to “do whatever it takes, but keep them off this ship.”

Jupiter steps down from the platform, asking who these people are. Titus refers to the mass of people as “sims” and dismisses their presence as “ceremonial necessity.” The ceremony begins, alas without a priest who has a funny accent.

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Meanwhile, Caine and Stinger climb into ships and head toward Titus’ ship, which launches a blanket of space mines. Caine and Stinger fight their way through.

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Back in the chapel, Titus takes his vows, while Jupiter looks overwhelmed. After saying his vows Titus put his hands on a plate that laser tattoos a knotted band pattern on his ring finger. There’s a pause, Titus stares at Jupiter, who is still looking stunned. He has to prompt her and she seems to snap out of her daze to finally says her vows. Jupiter looks resigned to the choice she’s made as she places her hand the plate to be tattooed.

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Back in space Caine and Stinger make through the space mines. Caine says “I’m detecting heavy sim activity. That got to be where she is.” They get closer, attacking the ship’s guns, and cause an explosion that rocks the Clipper.

Jupiter is thrown off balance, her hand leaving the plate and the unfinished tattoo fades. “What was that?” she asks, but Titus doesn’t answer. Instead her grabs her hand and forces it onto the plate and her tattoo begins while Jupiter loudly protests.
Caine crashes his ship into through the wall of the chapel. Jupiter is able to wrestle her hand free, and turns to see Caine emerge from the ship skating through the air toward her. “Caine?” She manages as he lands in front of her, gun drawn on Titus.
“Mister Wise, you are are resourceful as promised.” Titus smirks.
Caine speaks directly to Jupiter. “Once you were married, he was going to murder you. He told me right before he threw me out of the airlock.”
She looks at Titus who replies, “Honestly, I don’t believe my mother was ever as beautiful... or gullible as you, my dear.”
“May I kill him?” Caine asks, his fangs showing as he speaks.
“Just get me out of here,” Jupiter replies glaring at Titus.

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[*makes dying whale sounds*] [*goes to get a cold compress*]

Back on the Aegis Command ship
Jupiter is sitting in her quarters, looking glum. Caine finds her, and begins saying “Your Majesty,” but she cuts him off, not in the mood to hear the title from anyone. She makes a comment about vulnerability, how caring is dangerous, and how people always “let you down.” Then she tosses the pardon at his feet, explains she got it from Titus. Caine starts to speak, but she cuts him off saying “I just want to go home.”

[I think about this scene a lot, in relation to her early comments about not believing in the best in people, and how Titus totally manipulated that to his ends. She wanted to believe the best in others, and she got burned for it, played for a fool. And I feel a lot of young women get played like this too, taught to be good and giving, and are hurt for it. And for all that she really did try to be good and giving, and she looks so mad at herself and disappointed and sad. ;_; Jupie  bb!!!!]

Jupiter’s house
Jupiter, inexplicably escorted by Caine, Stinger and some of the Aegis crew, enters her house, calling for her relatives, and immediately notices that it’s been ransacked and no one’s answering. EVERYBODY with a weapon pulls something out. Chicanery Night and Greeghan are there, to deliver Balem’s message: Jupiter is to go with them to Balem’s residence, where she will abdicate her title and claim, and Balem will guarantee her family’s safety. Captain Tsing tells her, “You cannot trust these people,” and Caine also advises against it, but Jupiter agrees, telling Caine, “This is my family, and it’s not your decision to make.”

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Night’s ship flies towards the red spot on Jupiter, hailing the base and stating that they have an Aegis escort. The electric hurricane on the planet’s surface seem to abate and part, opening a doorway in.

On the Aegis Command Ship, Captain Tsing tells the pilot, Nesh, to stick close to the Abrasax ship. However, just as they enter, the doorway closes and the planet’s storms rage around the ship, threatening heavy damage, so they retreat instead.

Balem’s receiving hall
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Balem is sitting on his floating couch, staring out at his refinery as Jupiter enters. “Where is my family?” she demands.
“You should have stayed dead.”
“I am not your mother.”
“My mother…” Balem rises [you know he’s ready to give a monologue here]. “My mother... taught me how to rule, that for the greatest profits, sacrifices have to be made.”
[Some Jupiter sass I don’t remember]
“I CREATE LIFE! And I destroy it.” He turns to Jupiter.
Some further exchange, involving some Oedipal caressing of Jupiter’s cheek and Balem snarking that his mother never cleaned a toilet in her life, then Jupiter deadpans, “and that’s why you killed her.”
Balem backhands her. “HOW DARE YOU!”

On board the Aegis
Caine is pacing while Captain Tsing demands specs on the barrier, snapping, “Mr. Wise, that pacing is NOT helping.” Caine stops, looks down at the stormy planet. Stinger walks up to Caine. “I know you can’t say it so I’m going to say it for you. You’re terrified, because you think you’ve found what you’ve been looking for all this while, and you’re about to lose her. So I’m telling you now, the one thing you’ve been looking for all your life is down there, under tons of hurricane, and if you want to see her again, you start digging!”

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Jupiter’s surface
Jupiter is unsure, and Balem declares that it is his right to claim Earth.
The floor becomes clear, revealing Jupiter’s family, particularly her mom, in one of the harvesting pods. Jupiter walks over to look at her mother, demanding that she be let go. Balem scoffs, that she is in no position to bargain. The needles around Aleksa’s head start to whirr, panicking Jupiter into accepting whatever Balem wants her to do.

In space
Caine is in a pod aimed for the surface of the planet.
Tsing: Mr. Wise, as a matter of protocol, for the record I must advise you that this is a dangerous course of action, and will most likely cost you your life.
Caine: Thank you, Captain, acknowledged.
Tsing: Off the record, I will say that you are the bravest man I know, and I pray your aim is true.

Jupiter’s surface
Balem hands Jupiter a tablet that is the official declaration of abdication, that her title was in error, and all she has to do is hold her tattoo over it for removal.
As her wrist hovers, not quite matching the tablet removal signal, Jupiter asks when Balem will harvest. Balem assures her that she will not live to see it.
Jupiter continues to hesitate, but pulls her wrist away, saying that even if he kills her and her family now, he won’t be able to touch Earth. Balem claims that she is far from bargaining.

Caine crashes into the atmosphere of the refinery, his ship becoming a ball of melted metal as it tumbles across several structures, causing damage. Shit starts to explode.

Chicanery Night runs into the room, telling Balem that the shield of the refinery has been ruptured and the gas of the planet is reacting to the atmosphere of the refinery. Things are exploding. Jupiter kicks Balem and smashes the abdication tablet onto the ground just as Caine crashes into the harvesting room below. The floor cracks and Caine grabs Jupiter, getting her around a corner away from gunfire. He gives her a gun, so she can get her family to safety. They kiss, a few times, just in case they don’t get the chance to do it again, and split.

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Caine engages Greeghan in battle while Jupiter ambulates her family to safety, but Balem watches from the sidelines and grabs a needle to stab her with.

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[Ugh, don’t be so creepy Balem. PEOPLE ARE KISSING HERE.]

Jupiter points the gun at him, and Balem smiles. “You would never shoot me with that. She never could.”
So Jupes shoots him in the leg. Something explodes, and they are both blown into the Regenex stream, catching onto platforms on opposite sides.

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Caine is still trying to beat the shit out of Greeghan. This involves Greeghan grabbing Caine around the neck with his tail, and flying upwards, and Caine stabs the tail with some roof decoration. Airfight! It ends with Caine causing the floor to phase out, then locking it around Greeghan’s neck.

Jupiter tries to get back upwards. She makes her way around the factory floor, scales the side of a building on a falling ladder, gets back in, further exploding factory navigation.

Caine pings the Aegis, waiting just outside the planet and watching the evacuating ships. They move in to assist, getting Jupiter’s family. Caine tells them to wait while he looks for Jupiter, and Tsing promises every minute she can.

Jupiter finds a balcony overlooking the sight of everything exploding. She swings around, to face Balem, who beats on her with a pipe. He pins her down. “Does this seem familiar, Mother? Can you remember this? I do. You hated your life! We had a fight, you and I.” Jupiter grabs his leg wound and squeezes it, causing him to double over. She wrenches the pipe from him and beats the shit out of him. Not that badly, but enough for him to back off and scream miserably at her, “You begged me to kll you!”

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She throws the pipe down at him with a look of contempt. “I am NOT your mother," she informs him, with great finality. As she turns, the platform beneath them collapses. Balem falls off first, and Jupiter hangs on as long as she can but in the end falls.

Caine catches her, swoops her to a landing, and wraps them both into emergency suits.

On the Aegis bridge, Captain Tsing demands a portal be opened.
Phylo: Captain I don’t have to tell you how dangerous this is-
Tsing: THEN DON’T! I’ve given every second I could. Open the portal and get us out of here, Nesh!
Nesh: *trumpets*

Caine and Jupiter notice the portal opening and the ship leaving. She gets onto his back and he skates them towards the portal.

The ship rumbles through the gate and gets through. Tsing looks around to make sure everyone is all right. Chatterjee gets a ping: it’s Caine.

“Hello in there. Can someone give us a ride?”

BACK ON EARTH:
The alarm rings, an echo of earlier scenes in the movie. Aleksa sits up, calling, “Jupiter, get up!” Nina gets up, and Aleksa looks over to Jupiter’s bed. Jupiter’s not there.
Instead, Jupiter sails in with a tray of coffees, offering one to Aunt Nina, cheerily wishing her a good morning in Russian. She goes over to her mother and kisses her on the cheek.

Cut to Jupiter at yet another toilet bowl, flushing and looking vaguely pleased at her handiwork. She pulls her sleeve back a little to look at the 3D tattoo on her arm. Aleksa comes to check on her, but Jupiter’s all finished. Which confuses the hell out of Aleksa.

At the house around the dinner table, the Bolotnikov has dinner, and Vassily calls for quiet. “Jupiter, we haven’t always seen eye-to-eye,” to which Jupiter rolls her eyes in agreement, “but you deserve this.”
Vladie goes out to bring in a wrapped gift. Nina says that Vladie told them what Jupiter wanted the money for, and another relative tells her that they all pitched in. Jupiter unwraps the telescope, in awe and excitement, and Aleksa puts her arms around Jupiter, saying, “you are so much like your father, and I loved him very much.” Her youngest cousin asks if they can take it onto the roof that night, and Jupiter shyly confesses that she has a date, which sends the family into a friendly uproar:
“Is he rich?”
“Is he Russian??”
“More importantly,” Nina demands, “what’s his sign??”
“I don’t know!” Jupiter admits.

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On the roof of the Sears Tower, Jupiter fiddles with boots, the tattoo on her forearm glowing.
“Do you think you’ll tell them?” Caine asks.
“What? No, they’ll have me committed!”
Caine and Jupiter discuss the implications of their lives now, and Jupiter confesses that she’s still trying to figure out what it means for her to own the Earth.
“It means whatever Your Majesty wants it to mean.”
“Say it again.”
“Your Majesty.”
“You know, I really like it like that.”
Caine stands up. “Okay, ready?” His NEWLY-RESTORED WINGS UNFURL to Jupiter’s delighted awe. She stands in his arms and he wraps them around her. [I know you said he gooses her on the ass with the and she gasps, and she does gasp, but it’s not from a shock? I think it’s more because he was actually touching her with the wings. On the ass. But it’s not the same as, you know, a butt-slap. I’m just sayin’, there’s a nuance there I don’t quite know how to describe. Obviously will have to watch the movie again.] [Okay, I used to the word “goose” incorrectly, because I absolutely meant he brushes her ass with his wings and OMFGTHATSOFUCKINGHOTGAH!] [That is true, that is true!]
Long satisfying kiss. As one does.

When they let go of each other, Jupiter prepares to jump off. “Watch this!” and she starts surfing on the gravity-boots. Caine joins her and they both twirl around above the Chicago skyline.

TITLE CARD APPEARS

CREDITS ROLL





3 comments:

  1. This is a fantastic recap. I just watched this movie today and I really enjoyed it! Seems like you did, too. ^_^

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  2. Am I the only person who Caine mouthed the following reply to the question of whether there's a part of him that wants to bite Jupiter: "I want to f*ck you?" It sure looks to me like that's what he lip syncs before the word "maybe" comes out. Has anyone else noticed this?

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    Replies
    1. YES. I need to re-watch this scene again but he definitely comes close to mumbling it.

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