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Neill Blomkamp's Elysium


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Why do so many directors insist on that horrible style of action, is it really a misguided belief that it becomes more immersive and engaging if they switch shots every 0.5 seconds and film it like the cameraman is Michael J. Fox on a bouncy castle? They're dead wrong as far as I'm concerned. Normally I'd blame it on trying to get away with PG-13, but that's not an issue here.

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I really like the worlds that Neill Blomkamp creates but I think this story was pretty flat.

I missed the very start but I had a minor problem:

that it was shitter than the tech which is easily available now.It looked like they were using stuff from the early 2000's with shitty big laptops, etc. If it was set 150 years in the future they should at least be using tablets/etc. It felt like the technology on earth hadn't improved at all. Even the most expensive laptop today will be pretty cheap by then

Did they explain it at all?

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I actually really appreciated that bit. In all the hand-wavy holographic touchscreen nonsense sci-fi is preoccupied with, I really believe in the end we'll come to realise the keyboard and screen is the best, most practical interface for a computer.

Edit: Chaos Cinema thingy:

http://badassdigest.com/2011/08/23/chaos-cinema-a-video-essay-on-the-confusing-state-of-modern-filmmaking/

http://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/Why-most-modern-action-films-are-terrible

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I actually really appreciated that bit. In all the hand-wavy holographic touchscreen nonsense sfi-fi is preoccupied with, I really believe in the end we'll come to realise the keyboard and screen is the best, most practical interface for a computer.

Edit: Chaos Cinema thingy:

http://badassdigest.com/2011/08/23/chaos-cinema-a-video-essay-on-the-confusing-state-of-modern-filmmaking/

http://www.rogerebert.com/balder-and-dash/Why-most-modern-action-films-are-terrible

The Chaos Cinema video is great, i've just started watching it.,

Anyone else find themselves getting genuinely fucking excited and unable to stop themselves from smiling and laughing during the clip from Hard Boiled because iT'S JUST SO FUCKING AMAZING FUCKING HELL JESUS I LOVE IT.

Seriously, fuck me, what a classic that film is. The action sings, it fucking soars. I've seen it 3 or 4 times but watching 30 seconds of it is enough to get me reacting physically to just how perfectly formed it is.

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I just want to add to the praises getting sung about this gem. Such a rare thing, an enjoyable blockbuster. God it's been a while.

Not since Dredd have I seen such a believable and beutifully presented "lived in" future.

Blomkamp is such a talent, giving him free reign and having something important like the Alien franchise, the bladerunner sequel or hell, even the star wars franchise under his control id be so happy to see.

I will say it is bit sledgehammer with its political perspective but it's such a believable presentation it almost doesn't matter. Before the main story kicks in and youwatching characters living and interacting in this world, it's almost enough to make a whole movie out of. The space opera nods and the guns and drama could never appear and you'd still be in love with it.

Also you could argue it "borrows" a lot of themes and possiblly even some scenes from District 9, but whose caring when there was such a treasure trove of themes to take from in that.

I excitedly look forward to his next project. :)

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I get the impression that Damon's character is going to be significantly more sympathetic from the off.

Just coming back to this prediction by Rudi, because I think it's neatly frames the central issue I had with the film:

For me at least he isn't, and didn't gain anywhere near the same level of sympathy that you develop for Wikus over the course of D9 either. Max felt really thin as a character in comparison too, both in terms of development and in overall depth. The fact that his decision to save Fray's daughter is pretty much entirely made for him by the bad guys doesn't help with this either, and makes the self-sacrifice at the end feel somewhat odd. They try to explain it with the Hippo story but that felt clumsy, as did the flashbacks really.

I'd be interested in knowing if a longer cut exists which addresses these issues, as it really hurt my enjoyment of the film not having a strong central character to carry it.

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The design and visuals were amazing. The rest was lackluster and crap.

Severely disappointed by this. Pretty, but shallow.

This, I liked the idea far more than the actual execution. I just ended up feeling bored and uninterested because it just felt so generic and predictable.

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I thought the film varied from great to excellent, aside from one scene.

The final showdown between Max and Kruger. It was confusingly filmed, switching between a hyper-kinetic style one second and then slo-mo when something cool/important was happening. Also I did a WTF when Spider (a puny human) gave Kruger (a souped up cyborg) a shove and completely floored him, one of the many details that gave the sequence an incoherent feel.

I feel like a lot of reviewers are letting that one scene colour their opinions of the entire film. The film has a slighter darker, more serious tone than District 9, but nonetheless has many of the same strengths. Like District 9, it (mostly) succeeds in painting a believable world with some incredible visuals, and making you care about the characters within that world. I feel like at times though, Blomkamp's writing wasn't quite capable of the emotional heavy lifting required of it (and the flashbacks didn't help). Perhaps we should be glad his next film is supposed to be a comedy. I certainly felt that District 9, with its highly irreverent and satirical tone, succeeded where this comes across slightly po-faced.

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Bear in mind that people on Elysium can pretty much choose their appearance. Despite that, Jodie Foster's character chose an older, more distinguished appearance - possibly, she was even older than she appeared. Everything about her was hyper-controlled and deliberate, which came across in her lack of mannerisms.

Granted, that gives the actress basically nothing to do, but don't put down to laziness what could be explained by intention.

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I quite liked the weird, slightly stilted manner of the Elysium inhabitants, it gave them a decadent, alien appearance – it made them seem more like they inhabited this byzantine world of obscure protocols and rituals.

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Loved this, as good as District 9? No, but then what is? Still one of the better Sci-Fi films of recent times. Some beautiful shots and great FX. It all felt genuine, it feels like an honest film, one that hasn't been made by executive decisions or one that simply exists to set up sequels. The (massive spoiler - don't look)

Wikus face smash and subsequent repair

actually made me say oh my god out loud, just crazy stuff.

Great score as well. 2 main gripes - wish we could've seen more of the future weapons, ala D9 and yep, there was a bit too much shakycam for my liking but nowhere near as bad as I was expecting.

Would love to see again. Seemed a lot longer than it actually was thanks to the 40 minute barrage of adverts, trailers and kevin bacon.

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Alright, so what was defending Elysium against loads of immigrant types flooding the place with their shuttles? Kruger seemed to be the only defence they had, weirdly. You'd think an advanced space station would have rockets and things.

They might have explained this in the movie, but why did the information need to be uploaded to another human brain? Couldn't they have just used a laptop or something instead?

Why is Kruger the only person they can bring back from the dead? He looked pretty fucking dead!

WHY ARE MIRRORS ELECTRICAL IN THE FUTURE, COCHESE? WHY?

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Alright, so what was defending Elysium against loads of immigrant types flooding the place with their shuttles? Kruger seemed to be the only defence they had, weirdly. You'd think an advanced space station would have rockets and things.

They might have explained this in the movie, but why did the information need to be uploaded to another human brain? Couldn't they have just used a laptop or something instead?

Why is Kruger the only person they can bring back from the dead? He looked pretty fucking dead!

WHY ARE MIRRORS ELECTRICAL IN THE FUTURE, COCHESE? WHY?

I don't think there were that many working shuttles on earth to begin with. When one took off it was like a big event with people scrambling like crazy to try and get on it. Hence why Elysium didn't really need an over the top security system - and those that did successfully breach the border were rounded up, shot, or sent back to earth via immigration as shown in the film. As for the second point, it was supposed to be a secret program between Delacourt and Carlyle, and was a coup attempt so would need to have been delivered in total security. As for the 3rd point, guess there was no need to bring anyone else back to life so it's not really touched upon - but it delivered a couple of great scenes so I'll let them off the hook for that one!

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