Boys Go to Jupiter

Boys Go to Jupiter
Boys Go to Jupiter
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The first time Julian Glander, the developer of Art Sqool and 3D animator, went wild in his feature, it was just too much. Boys Go to Jupiter is a stone-faced musical comedy that satirizes aimless adolescence, delivery apps, and Florida itself. Strange characters break into catchy songs explaining the ups and downs of a bored life in the land of cheesy theme parks, orange groves gone wrong and sulky retirees. The plot (quite literally) goes out of this world and surprises with some serious thoughts on economic inequality. Glander has an awful lot to say in refreshingly creative ways.

There are no kids left on a stretch of non-descript beach anywhere Florida for several days following Christmas. Freckles (Grace Kuhlenschmidt from The Daily Show), who always walks around with no upper garment and has a mullet hairstyle, decides to demonstrate his “awesome” rapping abilities. As he throws out a song to the group, Beatbox (Elsie Fisher from Eighth Grade) supplies the background beat as required by an MC hostess. When Billy 5000 (Jack Corbett from Sex and the City), who is also the main character of this story, was asked about what happens next he said “I don’t care.” After turning 16 and dropping out of school Freckles described him as such a buzz kill.

“Look! Look!” Peanut sees a purple worm-like creature crawling across sand. This alien is ignored by Billy since he needs money at present. To deliver food orders successfully he jumps onto his scooter which looks like “swagway”. Therefore, Billy wants to make $5k so that he can move out of her sister’s (Eva Victor) garage immediately. He’s actually quite good at math but has come up with a slick scam anyway! Thusly Billy found how one could manipulate ‘Grubster’ application in order to make up respective sum of money.

Riding his slow hoverboard on the highway to Dolphin Groves, annoying drivers that are stuck behind him leads to a life-changing encounter. Rozebud (musician Miya Folick), who is lazy and spoiled, can’t wait to show Billy the weird fruit hybrids her millionaire mother grows in their secret lab. Her hopes for passing on the family business were dashed by the entitled Rozebud. Dr. Dolphin (the great Janeane Garofalo) aims at controlling the market for fruit juices. Billy doesn’t care about rich people’s fights. Is a lemon grown in moon dirt worth anything?

Glander’s sometimes known as contributing writer for Adult Swim, New York Times and comic 3D Sweeties takes Billy through this series of strange encounters. He’s an unfortunate gig worker subject to wealthy locals’ petty whims and rude tourists alike. Every Grubster delivery puts him into unwelcome discussions, mockery and asks for more money that belittle it further down into slave labor conditions because essentials are cheap here but he may have been working a grind that pays well below minimum wage yet Grubster work is basically slavery too right? There’s one hell of a line between gross indignity and making a living wage though!

Boys Go to Jupiter may be considered as a cool art project with occasional songs included. The drawings are vivid and somewhat geometrical, but are not detailed enough. Usually the facial features are rather abstract and 2D-like. No character ever talks face-to-face with someone else. Glander manages visual depth in some scenes using forced perspectives that raise questions about Glander’s true intentions. Many of the shots are from above or a little below the level of action. One would think there is an audience inside an animal dealer’s vivarium looking out at their pets.Characters are shown moving leftwards and rightwards in classic arcade game style; hence, side-scrolling narrative.The aim of this is for these people to have some form of shared experience together as a cinema audience and so on.

The music fits well with the unrefined nature of the film. One can imagine Glander at the piano, guitar, sequencer and drum machine as he creates melodies that symbolize different moods and personalities of his characters.Freckles’ snobbishness alternates between rapping styles and comic folk ballads.Billy expresses his sadness through dreamy synth-pop singing.Rozebud most closely resembles rock influences.Although there isn’t anything very heavy or aggressive either.Metal heads aren’t going to be racing to buy this soundtrack.

Glander gets his biggest laughs by lampooning Florida’s clash of cultures.Anyone who has driven down the turnpike or I-95 knows what it feels like to see rows of religious billboards cursing sinners praising God’s glory between exits.Gaudy mini-golf courses with dinosaur themes represent less corporate tourist traps than Disney World or Universal Studios which would sue him.Geezers that toss slackers off their lawn or bark like mad dogs about HOA regulations must not be overlooked either.

To say that the plot takes unexpected turns would be an understatement. Let us also not forget that there are some aliens moving around.Boys Go to Jupiter is just plain strange.There comes a point where the WTF factor becomes overwhelming, unless you are on hallucinogenic mushrooms or something else equally trippy.Glander deserves credit for his unique vision and style, but the film undoubtedly caters to a specific audience.

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