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Non-Review Review: Elysium

Elysium is good old-fashioned high-concept science-fiction. With production design alternately evoking the seventies (the upper class satellite that gives the movie its name) and eighties (the apocalyptic wasteland of future Los Angeles), Elysium feels like a conscious attempt to evoke classic genre films. Blomkamp builds in a healthy amount of social commentary, and there’s something quite satisfying in seeing a large-scale science-fiction film that isn’t afraid of big bold ideas.

However, the execution feels just a little bit muddled. The plotting is a little convoluted, and the third act becomes incredibly messy. The characters inhabiting the world never seem organic, with their motivations and behaviour prone to change rapidly to meet the rapidly-changing demands of a very messy script.

In a bit of a fix...

In a bit of a fix…

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Watch! Extended Elysium Trailer!

I really liked District 9, even if my love for the film wasn’t quite unreserved. Director Neil Blomkamp is one to watch, and the latest trailer for his upcoming science-fiction film, Elysium, starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, has arrived. It’s out in the States on August 9th. The release date is – unfortunately – being staggered, so European audiences will have to wait two weeks to see the film. Hopefully it’s worth waiting for.

 

Why Del Toro Departing The Hobbit is a Good Thing…

The Hobbit is dead. Long live The Hobbit. Look, we all know it’s going to happen. Like the next James Bond film, the economics of the situation dictate that it must happen – a spin-off from The Lord of the Rings is too lucrative an opportunity to pass up, it’s an excuse to print money. Think of all the simple/theatrical/standard/deluxe/super/extended versions of the films have been released on video/DVD/HD DVD/Blu Ray. Now double that. So now you know why The Hobbit is going to happen, eventually. Unfortunately, I think we all know it’s not going to happen soon. And I’m here to tell you why Del Toro departing the film is actually a good thing.

Down the hobbit hole...

Note: This is part of a two-part article. Andrew over at the always wonderful Andrew at the Cinema is offering this article a jolly good rebuttal. Pop over and give it a read. Just make sure to spend a few minutes appreciating my flim-flam arguments before he pretty much destroys them with his advanced reasoning.

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The District 9 Racism Debate Rages On…

Looks like the District 9 race row is far from over. On Tuesday, The Guardian ran an article defending the portrayal of the Nigerian gangsters in the film, amidst the rising pressure to get an apology from the film makers. While I have my own reasons for believing the film isn’t racist – check out our review – I’m not entirely convinced by the article in question.

Prawn-rights groups were unavailable for comment...

Prawns Rights groups were unavailable for comment...

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Non-Review Review: District 9

It was good, but not great. That’s about it. I was somewhat underwhelmed by what is being hailed as the most fresh and original science fiction film since… well, Moon way back in June. Maybe I’m being harsh though. A lot of it was very good, some of it was great, but some of it made my very uncomfortable. And not in the way that social commentary is meant to make you feel uncomfortable.

Illegal aliens...

Illegal aliens...

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