A Better Way Of Life – ELYSIUM

23 09 2013

Elysium (TriStar Pictures - 2013)

If you were offered the chance at having a better life than you do now, would you take it? well in many a sense it depends on what do you do now. If you prefer your current life you may not take it, but if it is the case that you are living quite poorly like many third world countries you would probably have the salesman’s hand off. But let’s just say that you do want a better way of life, so you say yes to the salesman’s offer. He then says it involves moving are you ok with that? Probably, then he tells you have to move into space on a giant space station, what would your answer be. Well I have always thought that I would probably go insane if I went into space, but on Elysium, it looks quite nice.

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I have been looking forward to this film for a while. Why? Well because it was directed by Neill Blomkamp. The man to date has only directed one feature film, but it was Amazing, that film being District 9 and so as a result when I found out that he was making a new film, I was both pleased and excited. While the Elysium is neither a sequel nor a prequel to District 9, it is set in a similar theme and deals with similar themes.

Neill Blomkamp

In the distant future (141 years from now) the earth is disease ridden and overpopulated. The wealthy left the earth to live on Elysium to preserve their way of life. The people on Elysium also have access to top-notch medical equipment which can heal anything. Back on earth meanwhile the residents of the earth live in poverty. Max Da Costa (Matt Damon) grows up in an orphanage and makes a friend named Frey (Alice Braga). Max grows up with hopes of going to Elysium so he can take Frey there. When he grows up he is trying to make an honest living after some time as a convict, which is particularly hard when the police are ruthless robots. While working at a robotics factory he succumbs to radiation poisoning and is let go. He has only a few days left to live.

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Meanwhile, several shuttles attempt to land refugees on Elysium, the stations defence secretary, Jessica Delacourt (Jodie Foster) uses sleeper agent Kruger (Sharlto Copley) to shoot them down but one manages to get through, everyone on the shuttle is apprehended though within minutes. Delacourt is brought in front of the president of Elysium who does not like that civilians were killed or the use of sleeper agents and so Delacourt is given a warning. She goes to see John Carlyle (William Fichtner), the head of the robotics firm who built Elysium and asks him to cause a system reboot to put her in charge.

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Max, down in the dumps after being fired decides to do a job for notorious smuggler Spider (Wagner Moura) and has his body fused with an exoskeleton machine which enhances his abilities to that of a robot. Along with 3 other soldiers including a good friend, they attack Carlyle, to obtain pass code information to get into Elysium; instead they collect the reboot code. The group are attacked while trying to escape from a now reinstated Kruger and his henchmen. Max manages to survive and finds Frey who is trying to look after her dying daughter.

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Max wakes up after getting healed from a stab wound and goes on the run from Kruger, who after finding his location takes Frey and her daughter captive. Max finds out from Spider that the information he got from Carlyle could make everyone on earth a citizen of Elysium. Max bargains with Kruger who takes all three of them to Elysium, however a scuffle on board ensues and the ship crash lands on Elysium, Kruger’s face is wrecked and Max, Frey and her daughter are apprehended.

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Doctors on Elysium attempt to extract the data from Max, but Max manage to escape and looks for Frey and her daughter. Kruger receives treatment in a matter of seconds and his face is completely restored. He kills Delacourt, has an exoskeleton attached to him and hunts for Max so he can use the data to rule Elysium. Kruger’s men cause chaos on Elysium and Spider manages to sneak on board. Kruger and Max confront each other and a fight ensues with Kruger dying after Max throws him off a ledge. Spider and Max manage to get to the main hub on Elysium and load up the data which kills Max. As a result everyone on Earth becomes a citizen and medical pods are dispatched all over the world to deal with the sick including Frey’s daughter on Elysium. E1

Elysium’s special effects are some of the best I have seen in recent years. This is mainly from the robots who don’t look very sci-fi-ish, they look more sort of the now instead of the future. Other forms of special effects include the outside images of Elysium where you can actually see what it is like on the surface with things like houses as well as the great scale of environments such as the inside processing plants and the curvature of Elysium itself when looking at the buildings and landscape. While down on Earth, most of the landscape is realistic due to it being shot on location but the ships, while looking very industrial and dilapidated like the spaceship in District 9, look like you can go up to them and actually touch them. It is important in many respects to remember that Blomkamp used to work in Special Effects and so he knows how important the right effect is but also how to produce them.

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The film’s cast are a nice pleasant mix of different personalities. Max has that redeeming feature of him of someone who is trying to do the right thing in a bad world and this is shown by him trying to get back in people’s good books after some time as a criminal. While his job like many people’s is low pay and down trodden, he just gets on with it and tries to make the best out of it knowing how important it is and how much of a rare opportunity it is. But he is also determined and this helps him greatly when he attempts to get to Elysium and is willing to go to the extremes to achieve the right outcome.

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Frey has the character of someone who is very caring and so you can see how important she is to Max. Her daughter Matilda (Emma Tremblay) meanwhile sees to be like some philosopher when she tells the story of the Hippo and the Meerkat, almost like Willow Smith in I Am Legend, it is a nice part, but a bit confusing. Delacourt meanwhile is cold and calculating and has a bit of a superiority complex but there is a redeeming feature in her as someone who may actually have a caring side. Spider is a great character and has a very warm essence around him, an essence that you care for him and are pleased when he is around.

Jodie Foster, Emma Tremblay, William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Wagner Moura

For me though, no one stood out better than Sharlto Copley. As Kruger you can tell that he is a dangerous man, a soldier, a warrior and he is willing and can do anything to achieve the outcome he wishes. but he is not a stable man, as in he is not mentally stable. Throughout the film, particularly when he got involved with Frey and her daughter, you can see more of a psychopathic idea coming out of him, but towards the beginning you wonder if he is a robot? He is brutal and harsh and likes to cause as much chaos as possible, because he thinks he can get away with it. When he goes up to Elysium, he causes as much chaos as possible and you can tell that if he were to run the station, he would probably make the civilian population his slaves.

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Watching the film, it is hard to ignore the level of graphic gruesome effects that the film has. lots of occasions of blood splatter as well as body damage that just looks gruesome and horrible. But in many a sense it is required to show how things work including how the exoskeleton is attached and Kruger’s facial reconstruction. I am not for one second saying it is ok to do that kind of thing all the time, I am just stating that it gives a level of understanding about how the world of Elysium works and feels and acts as another point when looking at how bad the world has become.

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While watching this film, you do wonder how it is going to turn out. On the eve of the film I was wondering if it was going to be along similar lines to District 9 as the film does have those tones about it. People having a better life than others because they are privileged and in many sense I was right as the population of earth is sort of trodden on for the benefit of those above. The people on Elysium have mansions with gardens and swimming pools all to them selves and ride in ships made by Bugatti and have the best medical care possible while those on earth are lucky enough to have running water and a roof over their head, if even that. When you see how cruel the robot police are and find out that the corporation that build them are involved with Elysium, and when air traffic in a whole are is locked down by those on Elysium. You wonder if those who run Elysium also run Earth and when people try to get on Elysium via ships, you can see their desperation to get there because of how bad Earth has become, but you also see how cruel the people of Elysium are denying people who need Medical Attention for one as well as how far and how efficiently they will go to prevent their way of life being snatched from them. And so I was beginning to think that the film would have some kind of attack scene with earth ships attacking Elysium, or if the Robots were going to be reprogrammed to attack it, but instead you get something completely different and almost unpredictable as it is not the case of whole armies rescuing the down trodden, it is the freedom fighters.

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Elysium is definitely a film that should not be overlooked, it is very enjoyable on all levels as it is not just an action film. You may want to pass it off as a sci-fi action film but it also has a lot of emotion and drama to it as well including a bleak idea of the future and the selfish attitudes of those who are willing to keep others beneath them to keep hold of their own way of life.

GENEPOOL





Film News – Catching Fire and Other Things.

16 04 2013

Katniss Everdeen

Some time has passed since the last time I did a general film news round-up and there has been some updates, so here is the latest news in the movie world. As you may notice by the title and the picture, there is some news on the sequel to The Hunger Games; Catching Fire. The Main news being that the trailer has finally been released. The Hunger Games was one of Last Years stand out films, and while it was not the highest grossing film of last year it did set some records of its own. I was originally unsure about the film when I first heard about it but after seeing it, I loved it and I am currently two-thirds of my way into the second book (that book being Catching Fire). The new film will once again star Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and the Brilliant Donald Sutherland and will be directed this time around by Francis Lawrence. The trailer looks very interesting and sorts of sets the mood to how the next film is going to be. The film is set to be released this coming November, and while that is sometime away, the release of the trailer shows that the film is now incoming and won’t be long until we finally get to watch it. Here is the trailer, check it out.

Now for a quick roundup of other news.

Elysium (TriStar Pictures - 2013)

Elysium finally has a proper poster and so I won’t have to keep using the District 9 poster every time I refer to it. A trailer has also been released, it looks absolutely incredible and has a sense of the Director’s (Neill Blomkamp) previous film District 9. Elysium which stars Matt Damon and Jodie Foster is scheduled to be released in August.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (StudioCanal - 2013)

Finally, I have just discovered that both a title and a trailer for the upcoming Alan Partridge film has been announced. Not much idea on what the plot is, but if Alan Partridge is anything to go by, expect plenty of laughs in what could be the funniest film this year, the title itself is quite funny; Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa. The film is set to be released in Early August.

That’s all the major film news for now, don’t forget to check back soon for more, thank you.

GENEPOOL (don’t forget to have a look at the film study series I recently started, the first film being Battle Royale)





Top 10 Most Exciting Films in 2013

21 01 2013

2013

Just like I did last year with a list of my Top 10 Most Exciting Films in 2012 I have brought the list back to talk about (in brief) the films I am most looking forward to this year. Now it was hard to come up with a list seeing as when I looked through the release schedule, there appeared not to be much of interest. while there are films like Man of Steel which does have Christopher Nolan in a producing role I am not really looking forward to it. Much the same as the new Star Trek Film, to be honest I have not seen the previous one and am not really interested in Star Trek. I recently had a look at the 2012 film Cloud Atlas which gets released in the UK this year, but after watching the trailer I am not so sure. As far as I see it, the films in this list are the only films coming out this year which are worth watching, quite depressing really, but compared to what is being released in 2014, that could be for the Best. Don’t think though that all these films are going to be Pants, the following films in this list are here for a reason, because they look Good.

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013 - Studio Canal)

10. The Alan Partridge MovieAlan Partridge in a Movie? That’s correct. This could either be really bad or the funniest film this year, who knows but we will find out very soon.

Seventh Son (2013 - Legendary Pictures)

9. The Seventh Son – Based on the best-selling book; The Spooks Apprentice by Joseph Delaney this film sounds interesting. I started reading the book a few months ago, it is quite hard to continue when you are reading 4 books at the same time but from what I have read, this could be a surprise hit (and this is coming from the person who did not see The Hunger Games coming, and loved it). What’s more is that the setting of the books is based around my home county of Lancashire and my home town of Lancaster is also mentioned. This is already sounding Fantastic.

The Wolverine (2013 - 20th Century Fox)

8. The Wolverine – While the previous film was not so Good, this one is looking exciting. Not only that it is connected to the X-Men films which are by far the Best of all the films Marvel have produced to date.

Iron Man 3 (Marvel Studios - 2013)

7. Iron Man 3 – The next film in one of only a few Marvel films that can rival the mighty X-Men films (but still not triumphant). The new film will still star Robert Downey Jr and Gwyneth Paltrow and will have the Mandarin as the villain. While looking awesome the trailer in some way does look a bit like The Dark Knight Rises.

Elysium (2013 - TriStar Pictures)

6. Elysium – Don’t be fooled by the District 9 Poster, it’s just a poster has yet to be released of this incredibly exciting film. From the Director of District 9; Neill Blomkamp comes a film set aboard a man-made space station. Do you need to know anything else, it’s made by the same bloke who did District 9, lets leave the rest until the film comes out.

Thor: The Dark World (Marvel Studios - 2013)

5. Thor: The Dark World – The sequel to one of the best films in 2011. Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Idris Elba return to star. It’s just a shame that Kenneth Branagh does not return to Direct.

47 Ronin (2013 - Universal Pictures)

4. 47 Ronin – Based on a Japanese Legend this rather unknown film stars Keanu Reeves and a whole cast of Japanese Actors. While being produced by Universal Pictures this is a Japanese Period Piece so that means it has Fantastic Potential to be Truly Great.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013 - Lionsgate)

3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – The sequel to the Fantastic Hunger Games. Based on the book of the same name the film sees Jennifer Lawrence return along with most of the cast from the original. I am currently over half way through the book of Catching Fire and if the previous film is anything to go by, the film will follow the plot line of the book to the letter, something Lord of the Pants could not do, which makes The Hunger Games an even more superior film, anyway. Catching Fire gets released this year.

Pacific Rim (Legendary Pictures - 2013)

2. Pacific Rim – With one year to go until a year filled with Monster Movie’s it is nice to see a Monster Movie coming out this year. From the visionary Director who made Pan’s Labyrinth comes this Monster Movie inspired by Japanese Kaiju Films (a genre which includes GODZILLA). The film is supposed to come out in July of this year, which also means that when this film comes out it will be less than a year until the Legendary Pictures Godzilla Film. The trailer looks Fantastic, and the film as a whole looks Fantastic.

The Host (Showbox - 2006)

1. The Host Sequel – While the idea of a sequel to The Host has been talked about for a while now, a few weeks ago I did see a possible clip from the upcoming film. So I hope this is real because the Sequel to one of the Best (NON-GODZILA) Films will be Fantastic to watch.

GENEPOOL





Big Film News – Catching Fire, X-Men First Class Sequel, Elysium And The Host 2

29 12 2012

Ran (Toho Co., Ltd. - 1985)

My more regular readers may have noticed that I have not put up a film review this month. There is a very good reason for this and it is because I have been so busy that I have been unable to do one. However on a lighter note I am hoping to watch Ran within the next few days and so I will try to do a review of that for January.It has been a long time since I have done a piece of film news and so here is some Very Big News for you. The next couple of years are going to be a massive 2 years for films. I will not say too much about 2013 as I  am planning to do another Top 10 Most Exciting Films thing but here is a brief summary.

Catching Fire (Lionsgate - 2013)

Catching Fire (Sequel to The Hunger Games) is currently filming with all the major cast from the first (FANTASTIC) Film returning. There is a new director this time though as Gary Ross has dropped out due to schedule problems. Francis Lawrence will be directing Catching Fire as well as both Mockingjay films. Catching fire is expected to be released November 2013.

X-Men First Class (20th Century Fox - 2011)

Once production on Catching Fire is completed, Main star Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss Everdeen) will be heading from Lionsgate to 20th Century Fox to film the sequel to X-Men First Class which has been named Days Of Future Past. All the other main cast members will be returning for that. Hugh Jackman will reprise his role as Wolverine. There is also the possibilities that Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen may return to reprise their roles as Charles Xavier and Magneto. That is expected to be released July 2014.

District 9 (TriStar Pictures - 2009)

2013 will also see the long-awaited return of film director Neill Blomkamp. The man behind District 9 will be releasing his new film Elysium. The film will star Matt Damon, Jodie Foster and Sharlto Copley. According to Wikipedia:

“In the year 2159, two classes of people exist. The first are the very wealthy who live on Elysium, a pristine man-made space station similar in appearance to a Stanford torus built by the Armadyne Corporation. The rest live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard-nosed government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That does not stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky ex-con Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds”.

All this coming from the Master Mind behind District 9, should be Fantastic. Elysium is expected to be release August 2013.

The Host (Showbox - 2006)

Finally, we turn our gaze to South Korea as there has finally been news on the sequel to The Host. The Host being the South Korean Monster Movie (not to be confused with the upcoming film of the same name), one of the Best Monster Movies in Cinema History. Well it has been reported for years that there was going to be a sequel but to date there has been no sign. that is until this past week when I found a clip on YouTube from the upcoming film. This is major news and could be one of the years biggest film releases. No idea on a release date I am afraid but hopefully it should be sometime in 2013.

GENEPOOL (Check back soon as I go through my blogging moments of the year)








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