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With or Wachowski or Watching outski for the Wachowskis

posted Feb 26, 2015, 3:36 PM by Michael Conrad

I haven’t gone to see Jupiter Ascending. It’s one of those things that I’ve been planning to do, but I just can’t get it done. I was excited to see the trailer all those months ago, saying aloud “I wanna see that!”

Opening weekend has come and gone, leaving Jupiter Ascending in second place earning a whopping 92.7 million bucks. To a guy who makes a little less than that in a fiscal year it sounds good, but with just over 83 million to go to meet the initial nut, Jupiter Ascending has a lot of ascending left to do. Yes, Channing Tatum looks stupid with the eyeliner and stuff, but I can’t help but feel like I have let my community down.

The Wachowskis are responsible for some of my favorite movies, you know, The Matrix, V for Vendetta and Cloud Atlas (yeah, I said it). The Wachowskis are also responsible for Speed Racer (a swing and a miss) and the other Matrix movies which were a mix of very good and very bad.

What I’m getting at is I feel like I owe it to them and I owe it to others like myself who like movies that take big chances and push the envelope. No one could have imagined Cloud Atlas making it’s money back (it barely did) and the fact that V for Vendetta made a few bucks is still a real shocker. Unfortunately for the Wachowskis Hollywood has a short memory and with every dud I fear we get closer to a world where these creators can’t get the kind of funding they need to put together these films that really challenge the movie going public.

Why didn’t I get out? Well, money is always a factor, but I think the bigger threat is the ease with which killer entertainment is already available in my home through Netflix, Hulu and a battery of other VOD sources available to me through my dusty old PS3. Why go drop change on Jupiter Ascending when I can wait for it to show up on my home system? In the meantime I have mad episodes of Colombo to catch up on and feel pretty good about.

This kind of thinking is poisonous for the Wachowskis who like to spend a ton of money to sweep us away to fantastical places. I don’t want to have my passport revoked, but I am really struggling to motivate myself to get out to the theatre, and I’m not alone. The target audience for movies like this happens to be my demo… 30 somethings with a passion for nerdly goodness, the problem here is we are also the biggest consumers of the aforementioned in home entertainment providers.

50 Shades of Grey killed it, like really killed it. 50 Shades was done up for a paltry 40 million and cashed out this past weekend with over 260 million. Like I say, I’ve failed my people, the sci fi geek dollar was just not there over the weekend, but the suburban lightweight S&M dollar was. There are going to be a lot more of these flicks coming, meanwhile the Wachowski Starship might not be able to drum up the kind of cash they need to keep making their special brand of cinema.

What’s a geek to do? I don’t need, or even want a ton of big budget CGI laden films in my life, but I do want that option to continue to be there for me. Sure, they’re gonna keep making Marvel films, Star Wars, yadda yadda, but what of the original IP? Is there room for studios to continue to gamble on new material when the only geek properties that seem to turn a profit are the tried and tested offerings that I am already getting in other places? Guardians of the Galaxy destroyed last year, as did Transformers, Captain America, etc. but they were all based off of comics and pop culture standbys. Even Snowpiercer, Big Hero 6 and Edge of Tomorrow (or Live, Die, Repeat… I still don’t understand that name change) are based on preexisting media. Jupiter Ascending meanwhile is apparently something new, from the minds of some of our favorite creators… but we wouldn’t know because we were busy not putting our money where our mouths are.

There’s a chance I will get out to Jupiter Ascending this week, I just gotta free up an evening and make sure I don’t blow all my walking around money on comics… oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to rewatch all of Twin Peaks real quick though… I also keep telling myself I need to catch up on Doctor Who… Maybe I’ll get it the following week…