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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.

 

Non-Review Review: The A-Team

The A-Team is the latest in a long line of attempts to adapt successful television series (preferably from years or decades past) to the big screen. It essentially suffers from the same weaknesses as other adaptations – it struggles with tone. Much as attempting to remake Miami Vice as a dry and overly self-important drug movie was a mistake, or making Starsky & Hutch as a full-blown comedy misunderstood the appeal of the original series, The A-Team feels too much like it’s working with a premise that it isn’t overly familiar with, trying to fit it into the blockbuster mold – it’s essentially trying to cram a round peg into a square hole. The film does have its charms, but it feels distinctly uncomfortable and more than a little uneven.

"'old on lad's, I've... oh, wait, wrong remake..."

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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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