Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium was featured on a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly. Jess Cagle writes in the editor’s note that many of the box office disappointments this year were unoriginal movies. Even the ones who weren’t sequels, like The Lone Ranger and After Earth, were basically just recycled versions of the stars’ previous releases. Ranger for example, according to him, is just Pirates in the West. And Pacific Rim is Transformers. (I say Top Gun, but whatever, you get the point). Which, he posits, leaves Elysium as, perhaps, the only truly new story?
Interesting because Sarah just wrote about Snowpiercer today, and how it’s about humanity on a train, and the rich people get to live up front and the poor people have to sh-t it out in the back and Elysium’s story centres around a world that’s been destroyed by disease so the special people occupy a satellite where there’s no disease and you can walk around in flip-flops, even on airplanes because it’s so clean. (This is how I imagine a world without disease.) Both Snowpiercer and Elysium, you could argue, are not unlike The Hunger Games where the district folk are forced to support the privileged in the Capitol. My question is: how original is dystopia?
Your answer might be: Blomkamp’s dystopia will be better than most, at least if District 9 was any indication. God I loved that movie. It was f-cked up and scary, but it was brilliant. And another, increasingly rare, example of how action is good, and welcome, when it’s used to support a point instead of being the entire point.
Ben Affleck is supposed to be all the sh-t now that his Argo won Best Picture but, um, then there’s Runner Runner and you want to just scream in his face…WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY and WHAT ARE YOU DOING?
It’s been a long time since Matt Damon’s had a Runner Runner. His films may not always be mega successful, but they’re also not Runner Runner, you know? And he’s NICE.
Attached – Matt Damon promoting Elysium in New York today.