Escape to the Movies: Elysium

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Yojoo:

TheDrunkNinja:

Yojoo:

Comparing this to Birth of a Nation is ludicrously unfair. The black characters in Birth were criminals because they were black; the villains in Elysium just so happen to be white. Elysium's political message condemns the actions of people who happen to be white, but the condemnation has nothing to do with the color of their skin. Unless you're an ultra-elitist 1% snob who spends their free time hunting endangered species and rolling illegal cigars out of hundred dollar bills, you have nothing to be offended by.

Let us not forget that the main protagonist is white and the president of Elysium (admittedly a minor character, but with a major position within the power structure) is Pakistani.

Technically, you could easily point out there there would be far more issues of unspoken messages in a white protagonist being the only one who could save the lower Hispanic commoners from the evil overlords.

I bring that up only that it's easy to nitpick the analogy someone creates to make a point while entirely missing the point. Said point is that people have a right to feel offended when they're quite wrongly portrayed in a film.

But who is being wrongly portrayed here? Elysium doesn't equal "white people". Yes, the residents of Elysium are mostly white, but that isn't a jab at every white viewer. That's a jab at elites who deny aid to those who need it out of spite and greed. If the previous sentence doesn't describe you, there's not much to be offended by here.

Is the alternative for white people to only watch movies in which we're portrayed in entirely positive lights? So Django Unchained or Glory are too offensive to be good movies now?

Personally, I have no issue with Elysium's portrayal of race considering I have yet to see the movie. I am also in the same camp with you that I also have the discernment to see past the superficial portrayal of a generalized group of people to the malicious intentions behind the individual characters rather than the group itself.

With that in mind, it's very easy to chalk it up to the characters having bad intentions and that there is no commentary on the people they seem to represent in the real world. I would not blame someone for being offended by this movie similarly that I would not blame a member of the NRA to be upset over their portrayal as a bunch of gun-toting terrorists willing to kill anyone who threatens to take away their massive phallic symbol as they were in White House Down (another movie I did not see but heard quite a lot about). I would discuss it with them and try to allow them to see it through my viewpoint as the condemnation of an extremism rather than an entire group of people, but I still would not blame them for being offended. And they have that right.

Also, the movies that you listed are period pieces about times long past, and Elysium is a movie that seems to be based entirely around current-day liberal agenda (again, haven't seen the movie, but everything I've seen up to now hardly boasts subtlety).

mad825:
This sounds like an American film for Americans only.

Care to explain? Are you saying that only Americans will like it or that the message specifically deals with systems in their country? I don't live in the US and thoroughly enjoyed the movie so I'm assuming you're referring to the latter. And if that's the case, so what? What's wrong with a cautionary tale about capitalism and shitty healthcare? Just because it doesn't apply to your country I'd hardly say that the movie isn't for you...

Just once I want to see a rich vs poor movie where the poor people are the villains in it.

Like have some giant disaster happen and the poor people resort to cannibalism of rich people who they blame.
Just for variety's sake at least.

Muspelheim:
A Hollywood triple-A production involving plot elements of class struggle?

Oh, this will get ugly...

Oh it has... I think a lot of people have made a trip over from R&P (I have vowed never to go there but it seems that it has found me here) specifically for this movie. I don't understand why if a movie's message isn't subtle, people immediately think it's shit. Can people really not just go with it and enjoy the movie for what it is? Hell, I didn't agree with a certain part of the message (I'm not going to say which part because, like the R&P forum, someone will jump down my throat over it) but I wasn't going OMG stahp hitting me over the head with this message. Besides, it's not like the movie painted all of the upper class as evil. The President seemed like a fairly amiable guy.

Something about the setting is telling me to not watch this movie. I'm guessing it's the same "all of government/leaders are evil" theme that District 9 brought as well. Not even every Nazi was pure evil, yet future government employees are all evil,(District 9 examples) willing to perform autopsies on living subjects and use aliens as target practice for reasons...unknown other than to show just how evil they are? Although, from just the trailers, I don't understand why Earth is so shit, do they explain that? Do all geniuses move to Elysium at birth? Does global warming cause everything to turn into a desert? Why are there no future hospitals on Earth, if there are so many willing patients?

Strain42:
Nothing on Planes? I wasn't expecting a full review of it, but I thought maybe it would at least get a post credits joke.

I have no interest in seeing Elysium (because I'm poor and have to pick and choose my movies very carefully, I've only gone to see 4 movies so far this year) but I do remember seeing the trailer for this and finding something interesting about it. Glad to know it was alright.

Also does anyone else find it incredibly odd that a lot of the things that people seem to just insult MovieBob over are the same thing that Yahtzee does, but no one seems to complain when he does it, in fact they often celebrate it. Whether it's plugging his book (and hey, the special announcement wasn't just a book plug, guys. It was to plug a special signing, since when is that not allowed?) calling a movie lowest common denominator, using that to insult the audience (how often has Yahtzee actually called people twats or cunts for liking a certain game?) or letting his bias get in the way of things?

If you don't want an opinion based show to be covered in personal opinion, than stop watching it. It's not a hard concept.

Yahtzee is using a persona for comedic value. Bob is just being Bob.

faefrost:

ThingWhatSqueaks:

faefrost:

Nope :( This pretty much killed it, just as Promethius killed The Mountains of Madness one.

I wouldn't say never because James Camerson seems like the type to give zero fucks about what others think and/or want. That said it's probably pretty close to never as Avatar made too much money to not try to cash in on. Hell, Cameron's IMDB page has writing credits listed for Avatar's 2-4. -_- I, given the fact that I don't particularly like most of what he's done recently, am not super thrilled that James Cameron is the one holding the rights to Battle Angel.

/sigh! I actually don't mind the idea of Cameron making Battle Angel Alita. Yeah he seems like a bit if a jerk, but the man does have an incredible eye for and timing with these types of movies. And I love that Cameron is one of the last of the big genre filmakers that has not succumbed to washing everything out with blue and orange digital color correction. Love or hate Avatar for the acting dialog and story, but the filmmaking in it is spectacular.

I cry because it will at a minimum be years before we see such a movie. Can you imagine if it could be in production now using the girl from Pacific Rim? Or the chick that played Yukio in The Wolverine?

Unless a movie's special effects are shitty enough to actually be a serious distraction then I don't really care how pretty something is. 'What Dreams May Come' is one of the most gorgeous movies I've ever seen but it's story is such garbage that I've never managed to finish watching it. Also looking at James Cameron's IMDB page it's been 19 years since he wrote, directed or produced anything that I give a fuck about (True Lies, 1994) so I'm not exactly a big fan of his work.

Regarding the casting of Alita from what I heard was that the plan was to use the technology that eventually went into making the blue wankers in Avatar to have her be a digital character and then to have pretty much everyone else played by real people. So no worries (probably) about what actress is cast for Alita rather hope that whoever they have doing motion capture is good at their job.

Jacco:
I literally could not watch that review because I can't handle the Bawstin accent.

I appreciate the Boston accent's return. It's a great accent, and it's way better than when he tries to cover it up.

What I did not appreciate was that the "special announcement" touted at the beginning of the episode just turned out to just be a book signing. Did we really need to be told twice that Weirs Beach, New Hampshire is beautiful? Does he get paid by the New Hampshire Tourism Board to say that?

Mike Fang:
When I first heard about this movie, I'd considered going to see it. However, the more I hear about it, the less I want to, because it sounds like it's going to be Avatar levels of heavy-handed, left-wing preaching about illegal immigration and ecenomic disparity among social classes. God forbid they take it with an even hand and, I dunno, handle both sides fairly with a message like "some say the economic system is unfair and keeps people from making their lives better in order to benefit the privileged few...but others think that you can get ahead and the fact that some don't succeed is just an unfortunate, but unavoidable fact of life and trying to homogenize prosperity is going to be about taking away what some have rightfully earned and giving it to those that haven't earned it."

It's sad that I think I can say without fear of disagreement that we're not likely to see a movie with that kind of message anytime soon. Instead we're going to keep seeing movies where the message is where the only people who are successful and rich are the dishonest and those born into privilege and that successful, wealthy people have no virtues because they're all selfish and cruel.

Possibly because that message would make no sense? The vast majority of the wealthy have not worked hard to earn it, they simply inherited it because they were born in the right place at the right time. And they do tend to be selfish and cruel to those who they consider lesser than them.

The majority of the the world's population is poor, and they work a lot harder than the entitled wealthy people do. While the wealthy are actively trying trying to hold them down. Have you ever seen how most of the more fortunate members of "society" treat the service workers who are vital to their indulgent lifestyles? You almost definitely have, but probably never noticed.

Copper Zen:

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

I saw it this afternoon. It was pretty decent. Very similar to District 9 in tone and feel. I'd personally give it a 7/10. It's a little self-righteous, it's a little light on the 'action' for a summer action movie, and I didn't think the political message it was trying to get across was all that relevant in the end. I still enjoyed the movie though.

Steve the Pocket:
You know -- and this is just based on the information presented in the review -- if "the one percent" can just up and move to a space colony removed from the rest of humanity where they never have to work again, and the result is that everything goes to hell down below... doesn't that kind of validate the ideas presented in, of all things, Atlas Shrugged? You know, where all the rich people pack up and move to Rapture Galt's Gulch and everyone else is like "Oh noes, the people who actually knew how to run things are all gone, whatever shall we do?" because apparently "the 99 percent" are all idiots who need to be led by the hand by their, ahem, intellectual superiors.

OT, but I'd like to comment on the reference to Atlas Shrugged because, as usual, it's being misrepresented.

The setting in Atlas is a semi-dystopian world where things are going steadily to hell. Those responsible for the dystopian status are, by and large, the wealthy and powerful. The problems arise not because they're wealthy, but because they're greedy, selfish, cowardly and short-sighted. Those who suffer the most are the middle and lower classes. Several of the wealthy characters are vile enough to intentionally inflict misery upon the less fortunate in order break their spirits, strengthening their own power and influence as a result.

The characters who flee to Galt's Gulch are inventors, industrialists, artists, actors, and assorted others who want nothing more than to lead free, productive lives. Not all of them are rich or even unusually intelligent. They aren't the so-called One Percent, they don't rule vast empires or command armies of downtrodden slaves. They're normal people who decided not to live beneath the heel of a jackboot. By escaping to the Gulch, they've effectively gone on strike from the corrupted world. Those left in the world outside Galt's Gulch are encouraged, by John Galt himself, to go on a similar strike. By doing so, they're able to force the corrupted infrastructure to collapse, paving the way for reconstruction.

The point of Atlas is not, as so many people seem to think, that the rich are inherently superior.
The point is not that poor people are stupid and require the rich to lead them by the hand.
The point is not that life is only worthwhile if you're rich.

The point is that freedom and individual rights are the cornerstones of life and happiness, regardless of how much wealth they produce. Yes, a lot of the characters are rich, but that's because their professions (industrialists, physicists, philosophers, politicians) provide a necessary vantage point for what's happening to the world over the course of the story. You could tell the same story from a ground-level, as Elysium partially does, but it wouldn't be as effective.

Have you heard Blomkamp's bullshit story on how this movie idea came about. So he and a friend went to Tijuana Mexico "for the night". When the interviewer asked why he said "for fun". He and his friend went to a bar and when they walked out two Federales arrested them. They took their money and passports. Then threw them in the back of the car and started driving for about 30 minutes. Then they open the doors and let them go. Then he started comparing that experience to the movie. When the interviewer asked how they got out, Blomkamp said they "walked for two hours". Then the interviewer asked again, saying they had no idea where they were and no money "how they get out?". Blomkamp got up and walked out on the interview.

I saw the trailer for this twice when I (oddly enough) went to see Pacific Rim in IMAX 3D (going to see it in SD for the 2nd time....so 4 times in total....sometime later this week). I immediately hated it, for the "We....live on Earth...the privileged....live on Elysium". Great way to completely and utterly alienate a lot of people, including THE PEOPLE THAT MADE THE MOVIE. I really hate heavy-handed messages like this, and I'm tired of the rich white people being evil for being rich white people. Just because you're rich doesn't make you evil, and just because you're poor doesn't make you good. Never forget which economic class the most robberies, rapes, and murders can be tied to.

So yea, not seeing this, and going to remind everyone that's going to see it that it is limousine liberal topical wanking from a director that doesn't know how to tell any other stories.

District 9 was about as subtle as a brick, but still a fantastic sci-fi film, so I really have no choice but to see this.

So, the arguments flying around here are:

1) You're not allowed to make a movie about the rich vs. poor division unless you are poor yourself (and therefore can't make a blockbuster movie), otherwise it's hypocrisy (unless you side with the rich).

2) You're not allowed to make a movie with a social message if I don't agree with it, or else it's "heavy-handed," which apparently automatically makes it bad story-telling.

3) The only good kind of sci-fi is the kind that doesn't remind you of anything in your life.

4) Bob shouldn't have an accent. Damn you, Bob, for having an accent.

5) Bob shouldn't promote anything in a video he makes, despite putting it at the end of the video, and you having a pause button.

6) Atlas Shrugged is just misunderstood.

I'm sorry, but many of you are just plain ridiculous.

If you can get past the heavy-handed political alegory there are some good parts, but I couldn't. It was just too much and what it was trying to sell was too inane.

The first part was like: "Oh, its going to be THAT kind of movie. Great."

The middle part was: "Well this is pretty cool... I might still like this movie."

Then the last part was: "Oh jeez they gotta be kidding."

Me and my friend left wishing we had gone to Wolverine instead.

Nimcha:
Not interested. I hate sci-fi being the go-to genre for movies with some kind of cheap political commentary.

The best sci-fi never comments on current society, but instead creates a new one.

Agreed.

It's better to inspire people to better things rather than berate them for the present. Give me the messages in Star Trek and 2001 over District 9 or this tripe any day.

Copper Zen:
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 saw it last night. I didn't like it. It has the subtlety of a sledgehammer. It was also inconsistent in what it wanted to do. It basically turned into an action movie from the 2nd Act until the last bit of the 3rd Act. I'd recommend waiting for it to be on NetFlix or rent it if you want to see it.
Edit: And no, my not liking it wasn't politically motivated. I'm an advocate of universal healthcare.

RTK1576:
So, the arguments flying around here are:

1) You're not allowed to make a movie about the rich vs. poor division unless you are poor yourself (and therefore can't make a blockbuster movie), otherwise it's hypocrisy (unless you side with the rich).

2) You're not allowed to make a movie with a social message if I don't agree with it, or else it's "heavy-handed," which apparently automatically makes it bad story-telling.

3) The only good kind of sci-fi is the kind that doesn't remind you of anything in your life.

4) Bob shouldn't have an accent. Damn you, Bob, for having an accent.

5) Bob shouldn't promote anything in a video he makes, despite putting it at the end of the video, and you having a pause button.

6) Atlas Shrugged is just misunderstood.

I'm sorry, but many of you are just plain ridiculous.

1+2: Both of these are completely off base because no one is saying that anyone "shouldn't be allowed" to do anything, but I can understand why some people find the idea of Matt Damon, a multi-millionaire actor who lives in a $15 million mansion, starring in a movie in which he's the champion of the poor. Also bear in mind that Damon doesn't exactly shy away from getting involved in political and social issues, and thus he contributes to the "limousine liberal" stereotype (ie. the hypocrisy you mentioned).

3: Not in the slightest, but what generally isn't good sci-fi is when it takes complex issues with a lot of grey area and boils them down to ridiculously simplistic "good vs. evil" plots, in this case good=what the director agrees with, and evil=what the director doesn't agree with.

4: I don't really care one way or another, but it is strange how sometimes he seems to have absolutely no accent, and other times he sounds like an extra from "The Town".

5: No opinion one way or another, it's his show, he can promote cheese whiz for all I care.

6: We could fill up about 7 message boards talking about Atlas Shrugged, so I'm not even gonna open that can of worms.

Quite liked the movie. Not as good as District 9, but that's not a bad thing. Sci-fi stuff is still up to par, but a little bit more establishment of the setting and tools in play would not have gone awry, especially given the relatively short length of the movie. Specifically, other than greed, I'd love to have a reason why the medical technology wasn't made accessible. Was it costly, was it highly resource consuming, was it just a giant middle finger to anyone who wasn't rich and white (or the three Asian people and one Arab guy), what is it that keeps this sweet, fancy tech from being passed around like a bottle of whiskey at an Armageddon party? It's a good movie, and a pretty damn good action flick alongside all the science fiction that's front and center, but it would have been a good deal better if it had taken more time to let us in on some of the details of the world.

And I want that AK mod in games. Seriously, why haven't games had that? There's no good excuse.

Having just seen this movie, I thought there were some plot holes and inconsistencies which made the story somewhat unbelievable:

Some spoiler-free inconsistencies:

There was some clever product placement in the movie, with several present-day luxury brands appearing on Elysium. Earth, meanwhile, apparently makes do with 140-year-old Macbooks and GMC/Nissan cars (which still have their product logos firmly attached!)

140 years in the future and people still use ID cards to open doors even though everyone has a genetic tag of some sort?

I still generally liked it. It's really good-looking (surprised Bob didn't really mention this; the detail is really astounding at times) and the action scenes are great. Unfortunately, the story is rather dumb, both because of the plot holes and because the telling and message felt quite on the nose at times, and I left the theater thinking, "why didn't Blomkamp just make a sequel to District 9 instead?"

Ihateregistering1:

RTK1576:
So, the arguments flying around here are:

1) You're not allowed to make a movie about the rich vs. poor division unless you are poor yourself (and therefore can't make a blockbuster movie), otherwise it's hypocrisy (unless you side with the rich).

2) You're not allowed to make a movie with a social message if I don't agree with it, or else it's "heavy-handed," which apparently automatically makes it bad story-telling.

3) The only good kind of sci-fi is the kind that doesn't remind you of anything in your life.

4) Bob shouldn't have an accent. Damn you, Bob, for having an accent.

5) Bob shouldn't promote anything in a video he makes, despite putting it at the end of the video, and you having a pause button.

6) Atlas Shrugged is just misunderstood.

I'm sorry, but many of you are just plain ridiculous.

1+2: Both of these are completely off base because no one is saying that anyone "shouldn't be allowed" to do anything, but I can understand why some people find the idea of Matt Damon, a multi-millionaire actor who lives in a $15 million mansion, starring in a movie in which he's the champion of the poor. Also bear in mind that Damon doesn't exactly shy away from getting involved in political and social issues, and thus he contributes to the "limousine liberal" stereotype (ie. the hypocrisy you mentioned).

3: Not in the slightest, but what generally isn't good sci-fi is when it takes complex issues with a lot of grey area and boils them down to ridiculously simplistic "good vs. evil" plots, in this case good=what the director agrees with, and evil=what the director doesn't agree with.

4: I don't really care one way or another, but it is strange how sometimes he seems to have absolutely no accent, and other times he sounds like an extra from "The Town".

5: No opinion one way or another, it's his show, he can promote cheese whiz for all I care.

6: We could fill up about 7 message boards talking about Atlas Shrugged, so I'm not even gonna open that can of worms.

1+2: Not true. In fact, you just proved my point.

When you don't agree with the message a story is promoting, the easiest way to devalue the message is to attack the messenger. In this case it's "Hollywood types with money talking about poor issues." What, only poor people can star in movies where they champion the poor? Only starving actors can make points? Only people who don't get involved with social and political issues can say things?

It's a cheap nonsensical argument. It'd be like saying that because you're not a teacher, your opinion about what to teach in public school has no merit.

3: Would you say 1984 and Brave New World are terrible books? They both display the nature of good and evil as "what the author thinks" by taking elements of our world and turning them into frightening extremes (much like this film, go figure). And any storyteller who doesn't risk saying their mind is a storyteller that might as well not even say anything.

Grey area? Sure, if you want to play it safe.

4: There were several people complaining about it, so if you don't care, great. It really shouldn't matter at all (though someday I'd like him to just be himself and let his true accent be free).

5: And yet many complain nonetheless.

6: Agreed.

tmande2nd:
Just once I want to see a rich vs poor movie where the poor people are the villains in it.

Like have some giant disaster happen and the poor people resort to cannibalism of rich people who they blame.
Just for variety's sake at least.

The Lion King. The Hyenas were the oppressed lower class. They were cast out for being greedy and taking too much from the lions, and when Scar gave them a position of power after his coup they destroyed the Pride Lands. It's not really a "rich vs. poor movie", but I think it's interesting.

Ihateregistering1:
1+2: Both of these are completely off base because no one is saying that anyone "shouldn't be allowed" to do anything, but I can understand why some people find the idea of Matt Damon, a multi-millionaire actor who lives in a $15 million mansion, starring in a movie in which he's the champion of the poor. Also bear in mind that Damon doesn't exactly shy away from getting involved in political and social issues, and thus he contributes to the "limousine liberal" stereotype (ie. the hypocrisy you mentioned).

So, what is the hypocrisy there?

Are liberals not allowed to be wealthy? The "limousine liberal" stereotype has always been pretty much bullshit, a trope used by right-wingers to discredit liberalism without having an actual argument with any substance.

I think the issue here is that many liberals manage to be financially successful, but the right-wing can't accept this, because liberals are supposed to be dirty hippies, and the idea that liberals can manage their finances successfully is a kind of heresy, so the only rational explanation (for such irrational people) is that liberals are either corrupt, or hypocritical. Never mind the fact that liberalism isn't actually anti-wealth, that's just a narrative made up by those who oppose it.

Aardvaarkman:

I think the issue here is that many liberals manage to be financially successful, but the right-wing can't accept this, because liberals are supposed to be dirty hippies, and the idea that liberals can manage their finances successfully is a kind of heresy, so the only rational explanation (for such irrational people) is that liberals are either corrupt, or hypocritical. Never mind the fact that liberalism isn't actually anti-wealth, that's just a narrative made up by those who oppose it.

Actually, this could be the case for some, but it's also the case that they're, you know, actually corrupt. Not that conservatives don't use tax shelters to exploit the broken U.S. tax code, but let's be frank here: in the case of Matt Damon, there's been some controversy over how some of his music investment schemes are pretty much tax dodges. And bear in mind, this is not unusual behaviour in Hollywood, most actors have some kind of tax shelter, especially if they have agencies handling a lot of their finances. And a lot of this is perfectly legal behaviour as well. The fundamental problem is more moral: when you're constantly arguing for an increase in tax rates while exploiting a broken tax code you're the very definition of hypocrite, regardless of your success. I'm just saying, I'll take 'Hollywood liberals' seriously when they call for tax reform so they can stop exploiting the U.S. tax code. Because there's a lot of people who live there that fit Matt Damon's tax bracket definition (makes more than $250,000 and doesn't start new businesses) of rich who deserve it. And a 50% rate won't matter if they can just exploit the code so they don't pay their 'fair share'.

And in the case of Damon he kind of regularly shoots himself in the foot. He's not doing himself any favours when he frames school choice as 'brainwashing' and then puts his kids into a private school because public schools don't offer up 'progressive education'. I don't have a problem with him putting his kids in a private school because he can afford it, I have a problem with him trying to limit the education options of people with less wealth than him, THEN doing the ol' 'it's all about the children' routine.

As oft mentioned, the movie was about as subtle as your choice of large, blunt object.

It was also very meh, with completely forgettable characters. I don't understand the hype around Kruger either. He was very average as not over-the-top villains go. The 'I get my rocks off my killing, mayhem, and taking advantage of women; plus I have an accent' sort, done straight and to the point. So I really don't get why people would be enamored with the character or the actor's performance as said character. Maybe because he and Jodie Foster's roles were the only ones given any real time to try and be something in the entire script?

The pacing and editing was often far too fast to give any moment real weight or meaning, and the one time it did slow down, they basically ripped off the ending to Gladiator without doing any of the work beforehand that might make the audience care enough to sit through it. Did I mention that what was left of the movie after all the hamfisted propaganda was only an incredibly basic 'chosen one' plotline? In a sci-fi movie of all places...

Sigh.

And going back to that lack of subtlety - this is the main reason the movie was meh. They tried to force a message, and in kowtowing to that message, broke any bit of internal coherence the narrative might otherwise have. The plot and the portrayed world were also turned into something incredibly stupid because of it. There is wisdom to the notion that sci-fi worlds must be internally consistent or they'll annoy more people more of the time. Elysium ignored that notion.

Very pretty sci-fi imagery though.

PS: I stopped subjecting myself to Bob for a lot of good reasons, but now and again curiosity combined with subject matter gets the best of me. This is one of those times, but I still put an end to it maybe halfway through the video after having gotten little and expecting less from what I didn't watch.

Aardvaarkman:

Ihateregistering1:
1+2: Both of these are completely off base because no one is saying that anyone "shouldn't be allowed" to do anything, but I can understand why some people find the idea of Matt Damon, a multi-millionaire actor who lives in a $15 million mansion, starring in a movie in which he's the champion of the poor. Also bear in mind that Damon doesn't exactly shy away from getting involved in political and social issues, and thus he contributes to the "limousine liberal" stereotype (ie. the hypocrisy you mentioned).

So, what is the hypocrisy there?

Are liberals not allowed to be wealthy? The "limousine liberal" stereotype has always been pretty much bullshit, a trope used by right-wingers to discredit liberalism without having an actual argument with any substance.

I think the issue here is that many liberals manage to be financially successful, but the right-wing can't accept this, because liberals are supposed to be dirty hippies, and the idea that liberals can manage their finances successfully is a kind of heresy, so the only rational explanation (for such irrational people) is that liberals are either corrupt, or hypocritical. Never mind the fact that liberalism isn't actually anti-wealth, that's just a narrative made up by those who oppose it.

Actually, taken as a whole, liberals, on average, make more money than conservatives (suggested reading, "Who really cares", by Arthur Brooks).

Regardless, the difference between the two is that conservatives with money don't usually scream for the Government to give more money to the poor, while liberals with money do. So this begs the obvious question of (we'll go back to Matt Damon) "if Matt Damon cares so much about the plight of the poor, why doesn't he sell his $15 million house, move into a $1000 a month studio apartment, and give away the rest of his money?". No one asks Mitt Romney that question because he's flat-out said that he doesn't believe in income redistribution.

Wow, I'm glad I decided not to watch Elysium then. I mean, when I first saw the trailers, I was pretty sure it was going to be ham-fisted and unsubtle, but I was hoping against hope that the guy who did District 9 would figure out a way to make this allegory more nuanced and less dumb.

See, the thing about District 9 was that by having aliens as the oppressed populace, we actually can understand a bit about how the fear of the 'other' can lead people to do bad things. And for the most part, the humans aren't portrayed as cartoonishly villanious, just greedy, misguided, scared or selfish. You know, like normal people. I mean, it's a question of "if a scary alien mothership landed tomorrow, how would YOU react?" You'd hope that you'd be liberal and welcoming, but if they were 8 foot tall violently stupid shrimp monsters who can't communicate or integrate into society, well, it's kinda hard NOT to dump them in a ghetto. And the ensuing abuses just sorta flow from that initial difficulty in assimilation.

In Elysium's case though, the one thing that really has to be asked is: If all the rich people got together and built their awesome space paradise, why don't the poor people, or at least SOME of the poor people get together and build another one? Or at least reverse engineer or reinvent the magical healing box that everyone wants so badly.

Copper Zen:
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.

Oh no, a persons review doesn't fall in line with an average. How could someone like a movie more than other people. Better fix his brain chip so he can rejoin the hive mind.

crimson sickle2:
Something about the setting is telling me to not watch this movie. I'm guessing it's the same "all of government/leaders are evil" theme that District 9 brought as well. Not even every Nazi was pure evil, yet future government employees are all evil,(District 9 examples) willing to perform autopsies on living subjects and use aliens as target practice for reasons...unknown other than to show just how evil they are? Although, from just the trailers, I don't understand why Earth is so shit, do they explain that? Do all geniuses move to Elysium at birth? Does global warming cause everything to turn into a desert? Why are there no future hospitals on Earth, if there are so many willing patients?

To answer some questions...

First to address D9:

District 9 was about a company, MNU, and not a government. That company was the #1 weapons manufacturer in the world. They were researching aliens anatomy to try to find ways to use their gene-encoded weapons. And yes, the guys decided to be 'evil' and kill one with their own weapons (probably to test the weapon's effects on the aliens?).

Elysium questions:

D9 was about big companies using their position to try to exploit a group unable to help themselves, only to be undone by one of their own employees from the inside out. Good over Evil (but without the Prince, Princess, and Dragon).

Elysium was about totalitarian Governments using their power to keep the poor down and the wealthy into a secluded paradise. A product of the system, a poor person by the name of Max goes about ways of turning the system back on itself so that the Government tools used to keep the poor down are changed so that they in turn help the poor.

On topic of Elysium, does anyone know WHY America came to be? It came to be because the Crown was taxing colony citizens out the ass for the smallest things, the last straw being tea (Boston Tea Party ring a bell, anyone?). The colonist were pissed that their money wasn't really going for "goods", but was tacked on money so that the royal tools in England could have more powdered wigs to wear at the royal ball.

Fast forward 237 years. What is America's state right now? Hmmm...taxes on practically EVERYTHING (if your state doesn't have sales tax, then it has income tax). But, every time a Walmart opens up in your local area, they get tax breaks and other enjoyable 'perks'. Even better is our system REWARDS companies to outsource to other countries for the sake of tax dodging and storing money overseas. Once again people are being pinched of money at every step of their lives for the sake of Governments and rich; Capitalism has basically shot the founding father's idea of a great country in the head, Lincoln style.

Deathfish15:
*snip

Thanks for the clarification about Elysium and the correction about D9! Though I still can't fathom how Earth has turned to such shit when they have enough resources to build robots, but not enough to build the stuff on Elysium. The fact that there is only one space colony is also confusing, with how nations are now and how boastful the rich are, I figured there would be a space colony for every moon in our solar system before the centennial anniversary of the first one, give or take a few depending on each colony's size of course. I don't really see how the second half of your comment is on topic at all though, it seems like you're just venting about American politics. I agree Elysium is blatantly critical of the country's policies, but do taxes have anything to do with it?

I saw this movie, it was great. I have issues with the film. The message was heavy handed as fuck. It's so incredibly focused on it's message that it literally hurts the movie a bit. For instance: The only thing the poor are denied in this movie is healthcare. The whole world is shit, everything seems to be desert, but all that matters is healthcare. If I were to actually look at this movie closely, everyone acts as if food and clean water are in abundance, no one is starving. No one is clean, but there is running water in the homes and there is even television, the only thing missing is what is the movies equivalent of healthcare. It's also an extremely misleading message. The people of Elysium have magic technology that can heal anything at all and it's denied to the average person. Only, there is no limitations on this technology like there is on real world resources. They are just superficially kept from the average person. In the real world, healthcare is a limited resource. It's limited by the amount of medications in the world, but also the expensive technology behind a lot of it and the lack of trained personnel that know how to administer it. In the movie, they have automated ships flown by robots that can administer the treatments because it's literally automatic.

There, that is my one complaint. It seems big, and it kind of is, but it's a great movie other than that. The acting is excellent, the script for the most part is really good, and the special effects are really well done. They integrate really well into the movie like the CGI did in District 9. And the main villain is really well done, interesting character and more psychotic than you give him credit for until the very end.

I usually agree with Bob on most of his reviews but I gotta say I was severely disappointed with Elysium. Some of the GoPro style shots completely sucked you out of the film. There is NO development of anyone's character or the setting itself. While, yes, I like the idea that you don't have to explain EVERYTHING in a sci-fi film...not explaining anything is worse.

MINOR SPOILERS

Why would the rich not want the people of earth to be healthy? Why would they have the gigantic medical ships/facilities if they never cared about them in the first place?If they controlled the manufacturing of robots, if they literally had no more use for money, what was the point of it all?
Why did Jodi Fosters character suck so bad (her accent is terrible)?

You get no sense of what either Elysium or Earth is actually like and why any character was motivated to do anything.

Every scene in the film looks like NB shot a great scene and then had to cut 3/4 of it out.

Here's to hoping the directors cut happens and solves the problems I had with it

I personally like Blomkamp's blunt "society be fucked up yo and check these sweet robots" because it provides a base level entertainment every one can enjoy (explosions) with biding social commentary. To those who say that these portrays the wealthy negatively well thats the point since we live in a society in which wealth is the hands of few and we tend associate wealth with morality.

Steve the Pocket:
You know -- and this is just based on the information presented in the review -- if "the one percent" can just up and move to a space colony removed from the rest of humanity where they never have to work again, and the result is that everything goes to hell down below... doesn't that kind of validate the ideas presented in, of all things, Atlas Shrugged? You know, where all the rich people pack up and move to Rapture Galt's Gulch and everyone else is like "Oh noes, the people who actually knew how to run things are all gone, whatever shall we do?" because apparently "the 99 percent" are all idiots who need to be led by the hand by their, ahem, intellectual superiors.

What I'm getting is that this is a really obnoxious viewpoint no matter whose "side" of the conflict you claim to be on.

Do you even socioeconomic? When wealth is concentrated in hands of few that means they literally own means of production. Now imagine whats cheaper giving your employs fair wages or Exploiting them. Now exploiting people is cheap but diffcult work because they can just up leave however since you own mostly everything that means you control labor or lack there off. Detroit was a very wealthy city back in the day but your only option was working for on the auto manufacturers or a place that relies indirectly on income from said Auto manufactures. Now what happened was the CEO's found something cheaper than exploiting domestic-workers; exploiting foreign workers by outsourcing. So with cheaper labor there was no reason to keep the American Factories open so wealthy in Detroit left along with factories. Whats left is a poor local economy and a bunch of poor people. So its not that rich knows how to lead they just have the money to fix it and in capitalistic society that's what you need to succeed.

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