1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Elysium, my take on the film

    Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Wreybies, Dec 27, 2013.

    If we are to consider the medium of film as a form of art (which it is) and if we are to consider the function of any art as commentary on the culture in which it is contextualized, then Elysium is high art commenting on the American Paradigm of this very moment in which we are living and breathing. It is a reduction, an essence, a syrup, and a fetishizing of both sides of many hot-button issues currently obsessing the cultural zeitgeist and cultural conversation in my country. It's a whistleblower to the rest of the world, giving outsiders that forbidden POV, the one from inside unfiltered by social lying. It's a truth and a lie, a tattletale and the one tattled upon.

    Spoilers may follow. Continue AYOR.
     
  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Without spoilers it's hard to reply. I've still not heard the answer to how we code spoiler tags with the new forum format.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Oh, I just meant that my OP didn't contain any spoilers, not that respondents can't :)
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't know how to use Spoiler Tags now, or even if we have them anymore.

    My question (which may be a little bit of a spoil, but not much) is this: the people on Elysium clearly have the energy, resources, and so on, to send the medical units down to Earth to treat people, while still being able to take care of their own needs. There is never any compelling reason given as to why they don't do this. Or why the dichotomy between Elysium and Earth is so stark. I didn't find those things entirely plausible.
     
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Utterly implausible. Part of me feels that if it's not just simple shitty screenwriting/plot development, then the message being sent is something to the tune of because we don't feel like it. The taurus alone is implausible because to create it would have required an industrial infrastructure of pretty much the whole planet and the dismantling of a small moon for the raw material. But what we see is one giant latino ghetto on the Earth, not the colossal infrastructure it would have taken to create that thing.
     
  6. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That's exactly what my son and I noticed. We saw this movie together recently.

    I also didn't think the robots controlling the place was adequately delved into and the part where they couldn't arrest any citizens made no sense. How does being rich equate to crime free?
     
  7. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Also, where are all of the citizens of Elysium? Seems that the non-citizen invaders (immigration reform analogs) find vacant mansions with ease. :rolleyes:
     
  8. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    When I was through watching it with my brother, I wanted to pour toilet cleaner in my ears - what is with that director and his love of the f word? Every character sounded the same.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i found too many things in this film implausible to the point of pain, for a practical-minded virgo's virgo such as myself... too many to list, so i'll just say it was worth the 4 or 5 bucks on-demand charged me to watch it, just to see the talented matt damon and jodie foster in action... but i have to admit i felt pretty embarrassed for them... :oops:
     
  10. the1
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    the1 Active Member

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    I thought it was going to be much, much better than how it turned out. It reminded me of a few other 'alien' or 'other Earth' type movies that have been released recently.

    Much like 'District 9' -- can someone explain why South African's were used in both of these movies. I'm just not sure why they used a South African villain in Elysium, when really any other nation could have been chosen... and it doesn't even matter to the plot line. All it does is add another annoying accent to the fold (apologies to our South African friends :D).
     
  11. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    I thought the movie was very 'blegh'. It was too lengthy for what it was trying to say, I think, and I found District 9 to be a much better film (make a sequel!).

    P.S. I haven't seen the film in a while, which is why I'm not at all specific - but I do remember I didn't like it. :)
     
  12. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    South Africans were used in Elysium? Weren't they mainly Mexicans to portray the current immigrant status? Also, 'fuck' was used FAR too many times. I understand the need of its usage for crazy situations, but it's not needed every 3 seconds. It's just not. And not every character needs to utter it.

    As far as District 9 goes, I don't take offense that they used South Africa. It makes sense since they have large, vast stretches of open plains where aliens could settle. I don't really know where else that would have made sense for them to be at.

    Really, the plot had so many holes in it that I'm surprised it didn't just fall apart.
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, the guy who plays the augmented soldier, Kruger, is the same actor - Sharlto Copley - that played the main protagonist in District 9. Both films were directed by Neill Blomkamp. It's pretty common for directors to develop working relationships with certain actors and pick them up from project to project. Also explains the very similar "desolate trash-pile" look and feel of the two films.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You would get on well with my son, Wrey. He pays a lot of attention to directors when assessing movies.
     
  15. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yup :)

    And as to why District 9 was set in South Africa, @the1, Blomkamp is Afrikaner, so... why not? It was refreshing to see a sci-fi film not take place in the U.S. or the U.K. or pretend to one of the aforementioned and actually get shot in Ottawa. :rolleyes:
     
  16. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I thought the setting in both movies had a clear message that matched the movies' themes. Illegal immigration and Apartheid were obvious.
     
  17. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Agreed. Blomkamp doesn't stretch the image too far from the source in his metaphors.
     
  18. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    But I found District 9 to be plausible enough (or at least internally-consistent enough) to allow for a suspension of disbelief. Unfortunately, Elysium didn't achieve that same level.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yup. I felt the same. And it was on the credit earned from District 9 that I got all hot and bothered over Elysium. I was a little worried when I saw big $$$ actors in the trailers, but I said, "No, he'll make a good movie and not give in to titanic egos in need of the 'money shot' on the screen!" I was wrong.... o_O
     
  20. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    A better question would be, why wouldn't South African villages or people be used in a film directed by a guy born in South Africa? You honestly can't see a world beyond your immediate neighbourhood?
     
  21. the1
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    I was unaware that director was born in South Africa and it now actually make sense.

    And quite contrary to your assertion I can quite clearly see a world beyond my immediate neighborhood, I was just unsure why they had chosen South African's in a film about aliens. I thought there may have been a different reason other than the fact that the director was born there.
     
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  22. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have a bad habit of coming off rude, even when I have my tongue in my cheek. Sorry about that. I think, too, they wanted a highly destitute look, which you have to admit, they got.
     
  23. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, there is a deeper reason, though perhaps other isn't the right word. The film is about aliens, but it's not really about aliens. It's a metaphor for apartheid, something with which Blomkamp is deeply familiar, sufficiently so as to create a science fiction spectacular that clearly points an accusing finger at the system of government recently abolished in his home country, and also at the culture that will take decades longer to change than any simple government. The film has been oft criticized for being so pointedly polemic, so obvious in its accusation, unlike, say, Avatar, which can be seen as a metaphor for U.S. shit-stirring in the Middle East. Blomkamp's film is blatantly about his own culture.
     
  24. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    That's why I'm a fan of Blomkamp even though Elysium did suck. I liked his South African mercs in Elysium and the JoBurg setting in D9. Did you know his next film Chappie will be in South Africa next?

    Anyways, about my take on the movie. Elysium really could have been better. Maybe Blomkamp intentionally wanted to make a typical hollywood action SF film, but there was a lot of talk about the politics, so there must have been some serious intent on the subject matter of the movie. But it's stuff I've seen before. The film starts out big about it's issues but slowly falls apart over standard action. District 9 did the same thing having the third act of the film being a huge action sequence but the resolution worked. Not the case for Elysium. I was appalled by the ending and solution for the problems in the story. The characters are also close to stock characters. While the bad guy of the film, Kruger was entertaining and actor Sharlto Copley portrayed him well, he was just one-dimensional.
     

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