Escape to the Movies: Elysium

Machine Man 1992

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This movie was nowhere near as good as District 9.

In D9, the apartheid allegory made sense, because, you know, space aliens; we hardly knew anything about where they came from, most of them were dumber than dirt, their ship wasn't moving or doing anything. It was a holding pattern; this is what happens when you've got a barely manageable population that you can't do anything with, camping out in the middle of the city.

In Elysium, the immigration thing doesn't make a lick of sense; Who is running this place? What happened to the earth nations? Why isn't there a single decent person amongst the Elysium residents? The healthcare commentary implodes in on itself, because unlike today, where medical care requires infrastructure and is quite expensive, space whitey has access to magic Jesus boxes that instantly heal you of all known ailments. All they needed was a generator, a few portable units and some robots to make a queue and they could heal the entire eastern seaboard in a week. But instead, apparently the entire station is run by Captain Planet villains who don't want to share because reasons.

Plus the film was rushed, scenes were plagued by shaky cam, Krueger was woefully underutilized (and Sharlto Copley is the exact opposite of scary, I don't care how many exoskeletons and katana swords you give him) and the whole thing felt like it was edited to fit in a hour and a half time slot on TNT.
 

Mike Fang

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Tono Makt said:
I think you're hitting one of the anti-Elysium nails right on the head - it looks like it might have had a working title of "Occupy Elysium". Heck, even Bob alluded to that when he mentioned the 99% living on Earth. I'm hoping that someone who review movies will mention just how much and how heavy handed the message is and not simply try to avoid the issue, like Bob did in this review, because aspects of the movie look awesome. I just don't know if I want to get bashed over the head with a message I have some disagreements with just to see some kewl action and awesum effects.
Amen to that. I had the same issue with Avatar, hence why I never went to see it in theaters. I did rent it later to watch it with Rifftrax commentary. I think Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphey really did a good job skewering that one. I particularly remember the scene where the protagonist does that bonding thing with the tree that's supposed to hold all the memories and conscious minds of the Na'vi dead, and Mike (I think it was Mike) said. "Wow! Even dead your people are all preachy and self-righteous!" That one cracked me up.
 

Tumedus

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Yeah sorry, this movie is not as good as Bob paints it. It's alright, its just nowhere near great. The allegory didn't bother me as I was expecting it, however, it lacked the charm that District 9 had so it kind of slogs when the action slows (fortunately that doesn't happen a lot). They overuse shaky cam in any of the melee fights, likely to keep the exo-suits from looking to fake, but it really ruins a couple of the combat scens.

And Jodie Foster is TERRIBLE. She really brings down the rest of the movie. I don't know what happened to her as an actress, but just plain awful and a terrible accent as well.
 

schrodinger

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I'm glad Elysium turned out to be good; Neil Blomkamp is turning out to be my favorite sci-fi director because the characters, the world, the sci-fi elements all blend well together in a believable way that translate well on screen. Still holding my breath for that district 10 movie; it'll happen someday....

Casual Shinji said:
We're never gonna get that Battle Angel Alita movie, are we? :'(
i second that thought shinji :(
since the movie rights are being held hostage by that s.o.b. james cameron, who by the way wants to make 3 more avatar movies(overkill there cameron?) there probably won't be an battle angel movie until 2018-2020. There's also the conflicting reports of him retiring after completing avatar or saying he'll start battle angel in 2017, which is after the avatar sequels. i wished he'd left go of the rights and become the producer instead.
 

Paradoxrifts

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LysanderNemoinis said:
Holy cow, Bob being mesmerized by a liberal wankfest propaganda movie. Let me go get my socks that just blew off.
And as for the aesthetics goes, the movie looks like someone smashed Battle Angel Alita and Vanquish together and then hired someone from MSNBC to write the script.
True.

Escape To The Movies has become an elaborate exercise of one man's pursuit of the elusive art of self-deception and the repeated dissembling of information.
 

Yojoo

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I just got back from it. The action absolutely rocked, and Sharlto Copley put on one of the most memorable and powerful performances of a crazy-ass villain since Heath Ledger. The aesthetic was brilliant, and the movie was full of plenty of small touches to make it feel more real. For example, attention is never explicitly drawn to it, but Kruger's arsenal is extremely divergent from the standard equipment of his cohorts and nicely reflects his mental state.

My friend who I saw it with is a lifelong Republican, and he had no issue with it. There's a difference between propaganda and simply trying to make a point. If your political views are so fragile that you can't handle a movie that expresses different views, well, you're in for a rough time. Be more selective with your theater trips. Or just stay at home and watch Red Dawn again.

I will say this, though: Jodie Foster was terrible. I'm surprised Bob didn't say anything. The probation-bot at the start of the film acted better than her.
 

Araksardet

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My worry with Elysium, which I know nothing about, is that the movie will have the super healthcare machine be destroyed or otherwise ruined, and Elysium brought to the ground, restoring the early 21st century status quo of everybody living on Earth for around 60-80 years. Because shitting on technological development in order to suggest that the audience's status quo is wonderful seems like the kind of thing the movie would do.

If it's not that - if the movie doesn't cast technological/medical advances into the wind in favor of social justice, either directly in its plot or indirectly via thematic suggestions - then I might be interested. Sci-fi that explores economic injustice is great; but I can't stand stories that solve problems by destroying scientific advancement.
 

Yojoo

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Araksardet said:
My worry with Elysium, which I know nothing about, is that the movie will have the super healthcare machine be destroyed or otherwise ruined, and Elysium brought to the ground, restoring the early 21st century status quo of everybody living on Earth for around 60-80 years. Because shitting on technological development in order to suggest that the audience's status quo is wonderful seems like the kind of thing the movie would do.

If it's not that - if the movie doesn't cast technological/medical advances into the wind in favor of social justice, either directly in its plot or indirectly via thematic suggestions - then I might be interested. Sci-fi that explores economic injustice is great; but I can't stand stories that solve problems by destroying scientific advancement.
Don't worry, it isn't the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still all over again.
 

lastjustice

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I hate district 9 with the fury of 1000 burning suns and hope everything Neil Blomkamp makes crashes and burns just because of that. it's so heavy handed and defies logic just to make a point. If people are so evil that they'd sell their mother to get the alien weapons...I'm guessing they would just used Catfood to bribe the pawns into doing whatever they wanted rather than toss them into a slum and risk potentially WMD getting out into the hands of gangsters. Our greed and cowardly nature would saved the prawns (You seriously think the US, China, Russia or any other world super power would just sit back for 30 years and let South Africa get us all nuked for being racist when their homeplanet gets word of what awful hosts we've been? Not likely.) then if you're going argue all our flaws turned up to 11.

For sci fi to work the setting can be fantastic, but the people and the world still need to have some semblance of real world reactions and logic for the metaphor to work. If they don't it just fails. No one in District 9 acted like a real person does. I already got my serving of white guilt from D9, I don't need see this sack of crap. Bob basically just confirmed it's heavy handed as hell, and I rather not support another film like that.
 

Urameshi13

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Generally I hate this class warfare bullshit that has pervaded movies of late.

Because limousine liberals just love to tout how much they love what they feel is the struggle of the "common man" from their Ivory Tower Hollywood mansions all the while completely alienating the blue collar folks they feel are beneath them.

However, Blokamp strikes me as a great filmmaker who is not going to get bogged down in typical left-leaning nonsense, and Sharlto Copley is just awesome (H. M Murdock, baby!). So I am certainly willing to give this flick a chance.
 

Yuuki

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Casual Shinji said:
Azurian said:
Casual Shinji said:
We're never gonna get that Battle Angel Alita movie, are we? :'(
Were there talks of one? Because I am wondering how they would pull that one off!
James Cameron was going to make it.

But then he made Avatar which made a shitzillion dollars, so he decided to make sequels to that instead. Apparently it's still on his radar, but if it does ever get made we probably won't see it before 2020.
Hmm Battle Angel Alita would have a bit of trouble getting adapted into a movie. Finding a good actor to play Alita would be tough since genuinely enjoyable action-girls (who don't come cross as trying-too-hard or plain bitchy/unlikieable) are an extreme rarity in Hollywood productions. Quite a few male actors who could've pulled off Daisuke I suppose :p

The biggest issue is that it's a manga with something like 50+ volumes, i.e. too freaking long, too many characters and events to squeeze into a single movie. The journey of Daisuke finding Alita's discarded top-half to Alita finally turning herself + Tiphares into the Tree Of Life is a LONG one. They would have to greatly cut-down the story and character roster, possibly change plot elements to make it into a movie. Alita didn't discover more about her origins regarding Panzer Kunst till we were into Last Order.
It would be awesome to see the cut-short ending (because how Last Order started was just dumb) where Nova figures out how to turn Alita into a flesh'n'blood human, I cried so hard when Figure discovered her like that :D

For giggles:
 

Casual Shinji

Should've gone before we left.
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Jul 18, 2009
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Yuuki said:
They could take a page out of the anime's book and make it a smaller more intimate story set against a larger background.
The intial movie just focussing on Diasuke finding Alita in the trash, fixing her up, and through her we then observe the cyber slums as she realizes she's meant for greater things. Establishing kind of a father/daughter relationship for the emotional core.

As for an actress... Alita/Gally is such an extravagant looking character, not to mention her supersonic abilities, that I could very well see a "Gollum" approach working. Cast a younger actress to perform in CGI. I wouldn't want the entire movie to be riddled with that stuff ofcourse, but for the main character I think it would work.
 

RedDeadFred

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May 13, 2009
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Copper Zen said:
Funny. Bob's cheering this movie on while other reviews I've read are canning it. Time gave it 2+1/2 stars out of 5 and it only gets a 47% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Uh...is this another case where Bob's inner fanboy leaves him giddy and oblivious to problems? You may recall how he said the Captain America might be "the best movie ever". Bob has as much of a track record for going overboard liking certain directors or movies as he does for reflexively hating others (I never listen to Bob when he talks about JJ Abrahm's work, anymore).

Has anyone else seen this movie? If so I'd appreciate your opinion on it.

EDIT: The 47% at Rotten Tomatoes has changed to 67% as more reviewers weighed in their opinions.
I completely agree with you that Bob tends to raise some things up for seemingly no reason (Captain America is my least favourite of the Avenger prequels and I think only Iron Man 3 was worse than it) and then shits on others because of some other inner fanboyism (hatred of Into Darkness -a movie which while I didn't think was amazing, I still thoroughly enjoyed).

However, having just seen this movie. I can absolutely say that it's pretty damn awesome. Like Bob said, Kruger steals every scene he is in. He's probably the most amazingly psychotic badass I have ever had the pleasure to watch on screen. The story is good, the acting is great, the movie is stunning to look at, the music enhances everything that is going on quite nicely, and the action scenes can be quite spectacular. This might be my favourite movie of the summer (and I loved Pacific Rim and This is the End).
 

Silly Hats

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Glad to see a nice balanced review, I was worried that there would be another mass bandwagoning as the other movie critics were very average in the scores.
 

Dascylus

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You all keep saying Battle Angel Alita...
Fair enough, but I see something else in Blomkamps work.

Big aliens with mandible jaws over South Africa? And all those alien weapons..?
Now we have Matt Damon donning the exoskeleton without the master chief armour. Did I see the bad guy with an energy shield? Did Bob mention a sword?

Oh, and the design of Elysium itself? A large space ring... Or Halo if you will.

So with all respect to the Battle Angel Alita fans but WHERE THE FUCK IS MY HALO MOVIE!!!!!
 

Makabriel

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major_chaos said:
So another "dirty poor rebel heroes against EVUL rich white strawmen people" movie? Yea I'll pass,. Not only do I hate that kind of plot with a burning passion for a host of reasons, I really don't feel like paying to sit down and be told I'm shit.
And here's where I reiterate my point. Why do you feel as if a fictional sci-fi movie is specifically telling you what you are worth in this world?
 

Cpt. Slow

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Dec 9, 2012
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Well, that was a announcement I didn't expect. Seriously, I would have expected Bob to wear a Thanos outfit and just smile darkly at the camera.

Anyway, I hope this film doesn't get to preachy in the up & down levels of social classes and still makes a good Sci-Fi based thriller.