The Wachowskis

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In “alternate reality” science fiction, one of the few tropes more engaging than alt-history – which shows us how things might have been changed if a historical lynch-pin event had a different outcome than that which we already know – is perhaps best described as alt-future: showing how our society would handle something that could conceivably happen based on our current world, even if the likelihood of that happening is extremely slim.  That’s the premise we are given in We Stand on Guard, a planned 5-issue mini-series. The United States and Canada share the longest international land border in the world… what if our two countries went to war against each other?

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I saw The Fifth Element during it’s opening week in the theater, and unlike the relatively small crowd who were also there in the cinema to watch, I got it! I read critical reaction and saw the box office returns. Words like “train wreck,” “flawed,” “overblown” and “misfire” were thrown around, but none of that sounded like the film I had watched and enjoyed from beginning to end. Was I crazy? It turns out I wasn’t so much because almost 20 years The Fifth Element – like The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Blade Runner – it’s got more fans than detractors now. Time, as John Lennon once said wounds all heels. Does the same fate await Jupiter Ascending? I don’t want to speak too soon, but I would argue that it’s not as bad as everyone is letting on. (more…)

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After the staggering scope of Cloud Atlas, you’d think that the Wachowskis would be scaling back their massive sci-fi ambitions a bit (especially since that movie didn’t exactly set the box office on fire). Yet Jupiter Ascending, their latest bit of insane-looking spectacle, seems to be just as heady and weird, fitting easily into the singular body of work they’ve created for themselves since The Matrix in 1999. Today, a third trailer for the film gives us a glimpse of the action contained within their latest opus and it looks as if the Wachowskis aren’t putting away their “pew pew” guns away any time soon.

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