The Sundance Film Festival isn’t a typical launchpad for studio blockbusters, but Warner Bros. surprised theater-goers on Tuesday night by unveiling the Wachowski sibling’s “Jupiter Ascending” at a “surprise screening.”
The invitation-only event, which was not billed as a premiere, was the first time “Jupiter Ascending” was shown to the public...
Despite the hype of a secret screening, clusters of seats inside the 300-person venue remained empty, and a handful of patrons walked out of the two-hour-plus space epic... The Wachowski’s flair was fully on display, with sequences reminiscent of “The Matrix” or “Star Wars.” But when the film ended, the usually gracious Sundance audience didn’t clap at the closing credits.
“I hated it,” said one of the festival’s volunteers, who asked not to be identified for fear of irking Sundance. “It’s just ridiculous.”
Her husband was more forgiving. “It’s a combination of a whole bunch of things wrapped into one,” he said.
Neville Kiser, a screenwriter, thought the movie was hurt by the fact that it was debuting at a venue for highbrow films. “I actually liked it,” Kiser said. “But the Sundance context is weird. There were so many people in the audience scoffing and sneering. They are forgetting they are watching a movie targeted primarily to teenage boys. I’m sure those 15-year-old boys, and hopefully girls, will like it.”