Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


August 22, 2013

'Elysium' worth watching, but still falls short

Ryan here. I’ll be flying solo this week with a look at Neil Blomkamp’s sci-fi thriller Elysium (R).

Set in the not-so-distant future, Elysium presents a divided future where the very wealthy live on a Garden of Eden-type space station while the other 99 percent of the population live on an Earth that’s been ravaged by disease, pollution and social decay. Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley and Alica Braga costar in the film.

Ryan: Blomkamp’s last feature film, District 9 (2009), was one of the best contemporary sci-fi films of recent years. It was a memorable film that captured what people like about sci-fi films – great action set against an allegorical story. It was masterfully crafted. Unfortunately Elysium doesn’t measure up to the greatness of District 9. Elysium certainly isn’t a bad film, but it struggles mightily at the end in resolving its philosophical and narrative conflicts.

One of the biggest issues with Elysium is that it’s not as fleshed it as it could have been. Blomkamp is a talented filmmaker. And like Christopher Nolan, he’s a master of telling a story in an immediate and dynamic manner.

From the drama to the action, Elysium feels hyper-real. The film aesthetics (special effects, tone and world-building) are fantastic and noteworthy. Stylistically, Elysium is one of the best looking films of the summer. But unlike District 9, the meat of the story is not fully integrated into the narrative. There’s obvious political issues that the movie touches on (immigration, pollution, wage inequality and health care), but none of these issues are dealt with in a satisfying manner – it’s too black and white. There’s an emptiness to it that is frustrating cinematically.

Also adding to that frustration is an ending that completely collapses upon itself. There’s a lot of action going on at the end of the film,and Bloomkamp’s cross-cutting between scenes leaves a lot to be desired.

Text Only
  • The Civil War comes to Knightstown this weekend The Annual Civil War Event at Yogi Bear Jellystone Park, north of Knightstown on State Road 109, will begin Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014. “The cavalry is coming this year, with more cannons, more reenactors, and special events,” states park owner Dan Moll.

    August 1, 2014

  • "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie poster Movie preview: “Guardians of the Galaxy”

    Plot: After stealing a mysterious orb in the far reaches of outer space, brash adventurer Peter Quill, a half human/half alien, is now the main target of a manhunt lead by the villain known as Ronan the Accuser.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • "Get On Up" movie poster Movie preview: “Get On Up”

    Plot: James Brown’s life is chronicled in this biopic from a childhood spent in poverty to his emergence as the Godfather of Soul.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent-gb073114-state fair concerts jpg Indiana State Fair concerts at the Fairgrounds Coliseum and Free Stage boasts major talent Concerts that are part of the 2014 Indiana State Fair begin next week as Lynyrd Skynyrd performs on Thursday, July 31 (pre-fair) followed by amazing shows at the Fairgrounds Coliseum and Free Stage throughout the run of the fair. Also, in celebration

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • ent-gb073114-Movie boys pic Movie Boys: Lucy This week Andy is back from the opening round of parenthood, and we take a look at the Scarlett Johansson action vehicle, “Lucy” (R). Johansson’s title character is forced to become a drug mule, when an accident causes her brain capacity to advance a

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 'This is the End' is long and not funny FROM THE DEN AT HOME — I was nothing short of stunned by how little I enjoyed “This is the End.”I rented this film expecting an irreverent, side-splitting hilarious romp, with laughs coming so quickly and frequently I’d be forced to watch a second ti

    July 31, 2014

  • ent-gb073114-New at library pic New arrivals at library Translation to XTAGS failed

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb072614-book review pic 1 Review: Supersurvivors by David B. Feldman, PhD & Lee Daniel Kravetz You’re not sure if you’ll ever recover.The loss of job or a business. The loss of a lifelong dream. The loss of your health or the life of someone you love. Without a doubt, you’ll never be the same. It’s the worst thing that could ever happen to you

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • New arrivals at library Translation to XTAGS failed

    July 25, 2014

  • "Hercules" movie poster Movie preview: “Hercules”

    Plot: Having endured his legendary twelve labors, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo