Elysium (2013) Film Review


Elysium is a place orbiting Earth where all the wealthiest people went when the world became overcrowded and where the poor who remain dream of one day going. Not only do they have beautiful houses and gardens and no fear of crime, but they have fancy machines that are used to heal any injuries or illness. Max (Matt Damon) lives on Earth working an honest job after a wayward youth of stealing cars. He dreams of earning enough for a ticket to Elysium. But when he is hit with a soon-to-be-fatal dose of radiation at his work, he feels his only hope is to get there now, and hooks up with his underworld pals again. Along comes Kruger (Sharlto Copley), a nasty enforcer who will do anything he is ordered to by his sometimes boss, Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and things get mega violent. Add into the mix Max’s childhood love and her sick child and you have a whole film.

I found much of this film didn’t click for me. Yes, it had a lot of action, and there was injustice and good versus evil. There were certainly some aspects of the film that had similarities to Blomkamp’s previous film, District 9. The creation of a powerless underclass and the need for them to regain some power, and that is surely making comments on human nature in so many different ways. It felt like it should work; decent script, some top actors giving great performances. But it just didn’t work for me. Still, give it a try.


The A-Team (2010) Film Review


If you don’t know what The A-Team is (and I’m talking old school – the TV show) then you are not from my generation. Here, watch this.

If you need to know, Hannibal is the brains. Face is the, well, face (handsome charmer). Murdoch is crazy, but good with planes and stuff, and BA Baracus is scary and good with mechanics. That’s the A-Team.It was awesome. Then, in 2010, a film version was made, starring Liam Neeson as Hannibal and Bradley Cooper as Face (the other guys aren’t that well-known yet). I was fearful, but when I discovered that I’d accidently recorded it off telly recently, I figured I may as well give it a shot.

The film is a modern take on the original. The A-Team are Rangers, and the film tells their origin story; working on real missions, until they are framed for a crime and locked up. They need to break free and prove their innocence. I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed it. Lots of running and explosions (my favs) plus comedy and a pretty darn good interpretation of both the characters and the concept. Nice one.


District 9 (2009) Film Review

District 9

In the early eighties, a huge alien ship appeared over Johannesburg in South Africa. After not attacking and not responding to contact, the military cut their way in and found millions of malnourished alien beings. They were brought down and placed in a refugee camp. Now, almost thirty years later, people are sick of the ‘prawns’ (the derogative nickname for them). The nearly two million aliens living in District 9 are to be moved to District 10, 200 kilometres outside of Johannesburg. A bureaucrat, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) is in charge of delivering the eviction notices and then coordinating the move. However, a series of events during the process cause him to become infected, and things get out of hand.

This is a film with a lot of graphic violence, yet it is amazing how quickly one becomes numb to the splattering of body parts and chunks of flesh. It’s a great comment on refugees in general, and on the way the ‘other’ is treated in society. The emotion journey of Wikus from having no respect for the prawns to being forced to relate to them and their cause is the real story in the film, though without the extreme violence, the impact would have been reduced considerably.

District 9 was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Achievement in Visual Effects.