ELYSIUM Review

by     Posted 1 year, 83 days ago

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It may be a stretch to say that the protagonist of Elysium “becomes more machine than man,” but it’s a fitting description for his story.  Writer and director Neill Blomkamp delivered an exhilarating sci-fi action film mixed with thoughtful social commentary in his debut feature, District 9.  His follow-up feature, Elysium, promises more of the same, and fully delivers on that promise for the first 35-40 minutes.  But then everything that was special about the picture and unique in Blomkamp’s voice is drowned out in loud, clashing action scenes that are occasionally entertaining but beset with eye-rolling plot shortcuts, the loss of character development, and Jodie Foster‘s inability to pick an accent and run with it.  Elysium‘s message about economic inequality is couched in a finely-drawn sci-fi world, but the power of that message becomes diminished when we cease to care about the messenger.

In 2154, the Earth has become ruined due to pollution and general social strife.  The wealthy have fled to an orbiting space station called “Elysium” where they enjoy their carefree lives and have access to “med-pods” that can cure any ailment.  Back on Earth, reformed criminal Max (Matt Damon) is trying to stick to the straight life in Los Angeles, but he’s barely clinging on to his shitty job at a factory run by the sneering John Carlyle (William Fichtner).  When an accident at the factory pelts Max with radiation and gives him only five days to live, he makes a deal with gang boss Spider (Wagner Moura): Max (outfitted with an exo-suit to compensate for his weakened state) gets a ticket to Elysium if he can retrieve valuable financial codes from Carlyle’s head for Spider.  Unbeknownst to both Max and Spider, Carlyle is holding a reboot code that will allow Elysium Defense Secretary Delacourt (Foster) to stage a coup.  In order to keep her machinations a secret, she’s forced to call in the mercenary Kruger (Sharlto Copley) to take down Max.

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Elysium fires on all cylinders in its first act.  Blomkamp clearly maps out his talent for sci-fi by repeating what made District 9 such a success: adding sci-fi details to a recognizable present.  The future L.A. basically looks like a present-day Central American city, but features a strong blend of English and Spanish ethnicities and languages.  Once we’re grounded in a social and economic structure we understand, Blomkamp has the freedom to build in the sci-fi aspects that still relate to the current circumstances.  For example, law enforcement and bureaucratic positions are now done by robots, because the people currently in these positions already behave robotically.  The factory builds these kinds of robots, which calls back the cold indifference the citizens of Elysium have for the people on Earth.

In the first half-hour or so of Elysium, we get to live in this world, and we feel Max’s frustrations because Blomkamp is willing to let us spend time in the character’s day-to-day life.  But once that exo-suit goes on and Max is in a race for his survival, everything that was rich in the film is lost.  The character becomes smaller and smaller as the movie goes on since he’s relegated to a minor piece of a puzzle that involves saving humanity and getting in the way of Delacourt’s drive for power, which really doesn’t involve Earth.  She’s a plot point with an accent that distractingly swerves between American, British, and French.  Perhaps Foster figured a character in the future would have this odd mix of accents, but she’s the only one who talks like this.

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Her voice almost adds a campy tone to a picture that becomes far more obsessed with action than it is with anything Blomkamp previously established.  We’re no longer interested in Max’s fight for survival because Max no longer has anything to do other than fighting robots and people, and even worse, doing it in a way that relies far too heavily on shaky camera work.  Blomkamp got away with it in District 9 because the movie uses a documentary framing device, but here it feels like over-compensating.  District 9 also has the edge because the action is secondary to Wikus constantly struggling with his journey.  Both Max and Wikus are selfish-yet-essentially good people, but whereas Wikus had to forge a real relationship in order to grow, Max doesn’t have time for that.  There’s a hint of rekindling a relationship with his childhood friend Frey (Alice Braga), but that becomes nothing more than a stepping stone to throwing Max back into conflict with Kruger.

At least Copley seems to have an understanding of the movie Elysium becomes after Max puts on the suit.  Kruger has no relation to the socio-economic qualms beyond being a poor person the rich use to hurt other poor people.  But he’s mostly a bounty hunter with fun toys like a portable forcefield, a spaceship, a katana, and exploding shurikens.  Copley hammy performance isn’t distracting; he’s just having fun with an outlandish character who gets to be the active antagonist rather than the scheming Delacourt up on Elysium.

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Watching Copley, we almost forget that Kruger is part of a poorly tied together script that is constantly straining credulity as it tries to balance Spider and Delacourt’s conflicting agendas.  Too often, it feels like Blomkamp is making it up as he goes along, which is surprising because his visuals are so clearly mapped out and thoughtful.  2154 L.A. is present-day Mexico City with spaceships, and Elysium is a country club in outer space.  The commentary isn’t complicated, but it’s still relevant and goes down easier when paired with an action movie.  But that action ends up becoming a prison, and eventually the settings that were meant to conjure a theme are eventually reduced to blurry scenery.

In a summer packed with movies that are scared to say anything substantial in fear of even slightly disturbing the escapist entertainment they present, Elysium looks like it’s proudly willing to make a movie for the 99%.  And then a third of the way through, it turns around and says, “What the hell!  100% will go for mindless action!”  We’ve gotten plenty of that this summer and every summer, and I know that Blomkamp has more to offer than just shaky set pieces and guys in exo-suits.

Rating: C

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  • Heytherebro

    Agreed!!!!!!!!

  • AHR

    I give it a B at minimum for being original at the least. Will have to watch the movie to see if it measures up to Goldberg’s standards. Man of Steel was certainly not a B-, and The Heat was universally panned as a terrible film, but still received an A- from Matt. No surprise here.

    • JK1193

      The Heat universally panned? Last I checked it was one of the best received comedies of the year.

      • Liderc

        Seriously? It’s in the 60′s on RT, not exactly “best comedy of the year.”

      • doc

        Compared to Grown Ups 2 it is.

    • Ashtalon

      So you already know Elysium will get a B from you, but you haven’t seen it yet? Hmmm…

    • TheDistrictOfElysium

      But it isn’t original though, it is a remake of District 9. At its core it follows a man that is poisoned by something at work and must get to a large object in the sky to heal. In order to get there he must pull off a heist involving his work, runs around slums injured, gets involved with a parent and child and eventually ends up in a third act endless action scene that contributes nothing to character or story.

      • mbmarquis69

        So the current meme says.

    • TheDistrictOfElysium

      But it isn’t original though, it is a remake of District 9. At its core it follows a man that is poisoned by something at work and must get to a large object in the sky to heal. In order to get there he must pull off a heist involving his work, runs around slums injured, gets involved with a parent and child and eventually ends up in a third act endless action scene that contributes nothing to character or story.

  • JK1193

    Why do people want this movie to fail??? It’s unfair, I think it’s gonna be an awesome film.

    • axalon

      Typically happens when people aren’t happy with their own lives, they want others to be miserable too.

      • Strong Enough

        or maybe they didn’t like it

      • axalon

        There’s a difference between not liking it, and just wanting it to fail.

      • Strong Enough

        I agree but I don’t think this movie is a Lone Ranger, John Carter type of situation in that the critics want it to fail.

      • Strong Enough

        or maybe they didn’t like it

  • Raptor Jesus

    This will not make even Pacific Rim dollars.

    Won’t be the disaster The Long Ranger was, but it will not be anything like a hit.

  • Sci-Fi Guy

    “2154 L.A. is present-day Mexico City with spaceships”

    Not much of a stretch considering present day L.A. is Mexico City without the spaceships.

    • Neo Racer

      lol

  • Hellonpaws

    And yet mixed reviews were the reasons why those films didn’t do well. They’re bullying the big budget films into flopping that’s why. It’s funny, they tried to do that with The Great Gatsby and World War Z, but those were actually surprise hits. Now, since Lone Ranger, every big budget film is flipping because they recieve mixed reviews. Completely unfair and uncalled for, in every case.

    • HORSEFLESH

      Then how come there are really well reviewed films that still flop?

    • Nathan

      Thats a bit of a strawman argument (all those films are too recent to draw analysis), but I still agree. Though it’s usually with film reporters rather then reviewers. There is always a bit of a backlash with big budget films, and these guys often try to fan the flames.

    • Nathan

      Thats a bit of a strawman argument (all those films are too recent to draw analysis), but I still agree. Though it’s usually with film reporters rather then reviewers. There is always a bit of a backlash with big budget films, and these guys often try to fan the flames.

    • Jota

      Do you REALLY think a bad critic can flop a movie? Come on. Think on Transformers. Or even Twilight.

    • Liderc

      Please, 99% of average moviegoers do not read reviews. I bet you ask every person in a theater how many have read a review for the film, an entire review, and you’ll get maybe 5-6 people MAYBE. Critics don’t flop movies. How can you believe that when Transformers 3 breaks 1 billion? It got completely trashed prior to its release. There’s dozens of others.

      Not to mention, how many amazing films flop? Tons of them. Most of the films that are nominated for Oscars rarely make a profit and rarely ever break 100 million, which isn’t even a solid film nowadays.

    • trollhunter

      Never read such nonsense! Bullying the big budget films?????
      These big budget films are ruining the film industry, if your aren’t a generic super budget film based on a comic then you don’t have a chance in getting made. I’m surprised Elysium even happened.
      Reviews are nothing to do with a mega budgets film failing. Maybe they should be making better films with better stories that have something to say rather than just endless hollow fluff like reboots, sequels and superhero wank films.

      Idiot!

  • Ozweego

    Considering Goldberg gave the Heat an A-, his reviews are lost on me. I’ll just scroll to the comment section and catch the humor there.

    • lovs

      yeah me too

    • uwe bolls revenge

      lol me too! his reviews are confusing,but the heat he gets is phenomenal!

  • IM3isaMess

    You gave Bs to Iron Man 3, The Wolverine, and Man of Steel, but Elysium a C? Seriously? I went to the advanced screening and I can say this is without a doubt the ONLY good Blockbuster that I’ve seen this summer. Granted I still need to see Star Trek: Into Darkness…

    • Roy Batty

      uhh, (depending on your age) no, you don’t.

      • Hop

        Yeah, that movie was crap.

    • Roy Batty

      uhh, (depending on your age) no, you don’t.

    • trollhunter

      if he gave MOS a B then i have come to the wring place for a review on this film, that film was the worse big release this year :/

  • http://zoelogie.tumblr.com/ Baby Jean

    I’m still going to give it a shot in theaters. Somehow I still feel it can deliver. I feel some critics are too mindful of the fact that they have to critique a movie, and it drags them out of the experience, whereas movie-goers naturally have a positive attitude going in.

    • JK1193

      Exactly, that type of thinking is what people need to focus on. I thought Lone Ranger was a fun adventure movie and I think Elysium will definately be a killer action film with a deeper meaning to it. It what the individual audience member takes away with their own personal opinion that matters most. When critics bash a film or fanboys make a big song-and-dance about how the film didn’t go their way, that’s truly when things go ugly and an uproar is started. It’s seriously just a movie, that’s all there is.

  • pinkincide

    Sigh. People aren’t poor because mean rich people stole their “share” of wealth. That’s zero sum thinking, and Blomkamp should’ve outgrown that tired crap in high school. Plenty of injustice in the world, but you have to see it clearly to do anything about it. I had high hopes he was smarter than this after District 9.

    • FE

      DING DING DING! We have a winner.
      I’m just hoping maybe Blomkamp does know better and the media has just got out in front of him presenting the movie to appeal to the zero sums but in reality it discusses a more mature thinking on the matter, perhaps Goldberg realized this, and now it will be “panned” for other reasons, and the truth ignored. I can only hope. If you’ve seen it and can confirm yea or nay pass it on. Thank you for pointing out the truth

      • Brenno

        The reason zero sum thinking is used is because it does to an extent simplify economics for the masses. Whether it is 100% correct or not is not really relevent, at the end of the day, when wealth (capital) is unjustifiably tied up in ever greater amounts in an ever shrinking portion of the population there is a problem from my perspective. I don’t know if you realise it friend, but growth cannot happen indefinitely with a single planet society. As such there is only so much wealth that can be distributed amongst a given population at a given level of techonolgy… the efficiency for getting the most out of said wealth and to milk what growth can be had, is in my opinion, optimably achieved by a population with a relatively high HDI

      • Brenno

        btw, historically a high HDI and massive income equality do not mate very well

      • Brenno

        *inequality

      • Brenno

        btw, historically a high HDI and massive income equality do not mate very well

      • FE

        It is incorrect to translate economics for the masses into “the fat man couldn’t have gotten that way without stealing from the skinny man”. The pie is big enough for everyone to get their own slice, & make it as big as they can. If the powers that be simply give you a slice, for nothing, or take away 1/2 of someone else’s slice for “having more than they need”, then things get worse, not better. More people in the wagon than pulling the wagon.

      • Brenno

        But it is, because like i said above, there is only so much wealth available to society at a given time, so someone has lost wealth, and someone has gained it. The redistribution of that wealth HAS to be justfied accordingly imo.
        “…simply give you a slice, for nothing…”
        That’s the problem man, you’ve got to apply that logic to the upper echelons too. Do they derserve the sheer amount of wealth they ‘themselves’ allocate for their contributions to society? Has the exec who got a $10 million dollar bonus REALLY contributed a service great enough to warrant such a reward? Or did he lean on his/hers subsequent levels of management for the lions share of the work? Unfortuantely the people who decide what service/resoruce is worth what are the upper echelons…are they allocating worth wrongly??
        Like i said to Nathan, I don’t think the system is broken yet, but it needs maintenance by an objective government (as objective as you can hope for real world)

      • Brenno

        I sound like a bloody communist, and that’s wrong too…fundamentally because it doesn’t work A) because people aren’t all equal; ie some people are just lazy B)people can be fundimentally corrupt; communism is too susceptible to corruption of the central governing body/person
        But I think Capitalism needs that check for exactly the same reasons, that people gain a position of power (eg wealthy elite?) and are susceptible to becoming corrupt. The objective check ideally being the democratic system…ie a goverment elected to represent the majority. The problem being that there seems to be a growing influence on the 2 party democratic system by a powerful minority group with vested interests that we now have

      • Brenno

        I sound like a bloody communist, and that’s wrong too…fundamentally because it doesn’t work A) because people aren’t all equal; ie some people are just lazy B)people can be fundimentally corrupt; communism is too susceptible to corruption of the central governing body/person
        But I think Capitalism needs that check for exactly the same reasons, that people gain a position of power (eg wealthy elite?) and are susceptible to becoming corrupt. The objective check ideally being the democratic system…ie a goverment elected to represent the majority. The problem being that there seems to be a growing influence on the 2 party democratic system by a powerful minority group with vested interests that we now have

      • Brenno

        But it is, because like i said above, there is only so much wealth available to society at a given time, so someone has lost wealth, and someone has gained it. The redistribution of that wealth HAS to be justfied accordingly imo.
        “…simply give you a slice, for nothing…”
        That’s the problem man, you’ve got to apply that logic to the upper echelons too. Do they derserve the sheer amount of wealth they ‘themselves’ allocate for their contributions to society? Has the exec who got a $10 million dollar bonus REALLY contributed a service great enough to warrant such a reward? Or did he lean on his/hers subsequent levels of management for the lions share of the work? Unfortuantely the people who decide what service/resoruce is worth what are the upper echelons…are they allocating worth wrongly??
        Like i said to Nathan, I don’t think the system is broken yet, but it needs maintenance by an objective government (as objective as you can hope for real world)

      • FE

        It is incorrect to translate economics for the masses into “the fat man couldn’t have gotten that way without stealing from the skinny man”. The pie is big enough for everyone to get their own slice, & make it as big as they can. If the powers that be simply give you a slice, for nothing, or take away 1/2 of someone else’s slice for “having more than they need”, then things get worse, not better. More people in the wagon than pulling the wagon.

      • Brenno

        The reason zero sum thinking is used is because it does to an extent simplify economics for the masses. Whether it is 100% correct or not is not really relevent, at the end of the day, when wealth (capital) is unjustifiably tied up in ever greater amounts in an ever shrinking portion of the population there is a problem from my perspective. I don’t know if you realise it friend, but growth cannot happen indefinitely with a single planet society. As such there is only so much wealth that can be distributed amongst a given population at a given level of techonolgy… the efficiency for getting the most out of said wealth and to milk what growth can be had, is in my opinion, optimably achieved by a population with a relatively high HDI

    • Brenno

      The disparity in wealth is growing annually, you’re kidding yourself if you can’t see it. Unfortuantely the ultra rich can’t curtail their greed long enough to see the long term picture. Nor can the politicians whose leash they can’t break. You can only hold a majority down in the mud so long before they rise up and crush you, whether the resulting mayhem will help or hinder said majority in the short term. This is especially true in a population with widespread education and access to social media/communication.

      Even though my life is one of relative ease, I can open the shutters long enough to see what other people are going through. How long do you think people will live like that before a spark falls amongst the tinder and starts wildfire? It’s only getting worse for them, not better! Switch your ears off to the drone of media and look at the sheer volume of people living day to day on crust. I’d rather have a country of greatness where innovation and ingenuity is achievable and accessible by the majority rather than a country that is increasingly heading towards class stagnation and inevitable social strife

      • Nathan

        Hmm, you preach almost as if you want that social strife to happen.
        I realise big action has to sometimes be made to make big change but one must always keep in mind the consequences of their choices.

      • Brenno

        I certainly don’t. I’d rather reform made now while the system is still working. The post world war era saw greatness, we’re slipping now, but it can be changed I think. The status quo can be maintained without extreme’s. Germany is a model of capatalism imo, the split between the classes not so great.
        I really don’t get too worried about this stuff to be honest, but I believe there is a trend, and although it’d be rosy for me to say everything is heading the way it should, I really think I’d be talking bullshit. That being said, I doubt I’ll be alive to see it when/if it fails

      • Nathan

        Fair enough, I can see now that you’re on the level.
        It just bothers me when people speak happily of a bloody revolution… and then be surprised afterward at how much blood was needed (too much).

        I will admit though that a reform of some sort is needed at the american senate, where everyone is more focused on “winning” then working toward the common good. The old and grey eventually move on and the young and reluctant are forced in, time will tell what good or bad comes next.

      • Nathan

        Hmm, you preach almost as if you want that social strife to happen.
        I realise big action has to sometimes be made to make big change but one must always keep in mind the consequences of their choices.

  • gogogo

    I think a “C” rating is rather fair. The movie starts out as good sci-fi, but leads off into typical action movie territory.

    • Neo Racer

      But if you dont go there your gonna piss off an audience expecting that..

      • http://www.gotham-news.com/ Pietro Filipponi

        Nobody got pissed at District 9.

        This movie opens with almost the exact same heavy handed themes as D9 but completely forgets about them halfway through. Felt like another case of AHDH filmmaking.

  • Josh Kaye

    Saw the film last night and I gotta say while I wouldn’t go with a C, I wouldn’t go higher than a B. I’d probably lean towards a B-. I enjoyed the film and the action sequences but it left me wanting a lot more. Jodie Foster was pretty…not…good in this film, and it looked like she struggled with her lines since she had no idea how she wanted to sound. Her accent threw me off and that disappointed me since her look was spot on. Sharlto Copley though…he was incredible easily the best part of the film. All in all, if you’re looking for District 9 2.0 (which it seems Matt was), you’ll be disappoint. If you’re looking for an enjoyable summer action film with some heart but more explosions and gunfights, Elysium will be a nice ride.

  • Julio Navas

    I wonder how ignorant someone has to be to say that 2154 L.A. is present-day Mexico City. I´m not Mexican, but have you ever visited Mexico Goldberg?

    • nope

      Don’t know if Matt has, but I have. It’s terrible…period.

    • nope

      Don’t know if Matt has, but I have. It’s terrible…period.

  • cineast4

    All i ever expected this film to be was a slightly smarter than average blockbuster but still a blockbuster, not some philosophical meditation on the human condition, watch Tarkovsky if you want that. Anybody who looks at that poster or the trailer and is expecting some studio funded arthouse pic has to be quite clueless about cinema. Its Matt Damon in a mech suit for fck sake. Yes the film has an agenda but it was hardly ever going to make a thesis of a film about it. District 9 was also nothing but a blockbuster with a slight agenda (people seem to be forgetting that) I have no problem that the film is attracting negative reviews, even though i’m hoping to like it but all the negative reviews are so resolute in hating the pic, without much authentic criticism, that its hilarious if not even slightly bizzare.

    • Nerdgasm

      “Authentic Criticism” WTF… You are kind of an idiot. Almost all give reasons fro not liking it. Heaven forbid people have their own thoughts. Shut up!

  • cineast4

    All i ever expected this film to be was a slightly smarter than average blockbuster but still a blockbuster, not some philosophical meditation on the human condition, watch Tarkovsky if you want that. Anybody who looks at that poster or the trailer and is expecting some studio funded arthouse pic has to be quite clueless about cinema. Its Matt Damon in a mech suit for fck sake. Yes the film has an agenda but it was hardly ever going to make a thesis of a film about it. District 9 was also nothing but a blockbuster with a slight agenda (people seem to be forgetting that) I have no problem that the film is attracting negative reviews, even though i’m hoping to like it but all the negative reviews are so resolute in hating the pic, without much authentic criticism, that its hilarious if not even slightly bizzare.

  • Jason Richards

    Percy Jackson gets a B, Elysium gets a C…… That’s all you need to see to judge Goldberg’s ability as a critic.

    • Strong Enough

      elysium is hardcore sci fi while percy is a family fantasy film. you don’t compare Terminator 2 with Toy Story do you?

      • Jason Richards

        Percy Jackson is getting critically panned…. Lets not compare it to Toy Story…….

      • Strong Enough

        Then lets not compare Elysium to Percy Jackson fool. two totally different movies that should be approached differently when reviewing

      • Liderc

        Apparently you missed the parallels. The point was, Percy Jackson was panned critically, yet it received a B here. Elysium has been given fairly good reviews, yet receives a C. I don’t care personally, but the point, in case you missed it, is that these reviews don’t exactly meet up with the general consensus.

        That’s fine, but things just don’t seem to match up. Giving a bad film a good rating, and a decent film a bad rating makes it harder to respect the reviews in general.

      • Strong Enough

        I’ll just copt what i said to the guy below.

        _________

        and you are missing my point. Percy Jackson is a completely different film than Elysium with a different director attached. One who received critical acclaim on his first movie and the other….eh? People are going to have different expectations when going to see each film. Besides Elysium is getting bad reviews so who cares if Matt is one of them? it has plenty rotten. He just falls into the bunch that was underwhelmed given the director attached. And like I said. this whole thing on Collider about “oh he gave Star Trek a D yet gave The Heat an A” or whatever is stupid. You can’t compare two different genres movies together. each movie is approached differently to the reviewer. in a comedy or family movie each critic judges it different than a R rated sci fi movie. one might forgive plotholes in a family movie but not in a serious engaging movie like Elysium. i thought this was common sense?

      • Jason Richards

        You completely didn’t understand my original point…… Percy Jackson is getting destroyed in the reviews while Elysium is getting mixed to positive acclaim. The fact that Goldberg excuses the huge flaws in that movie, while picking apart a movie like this makes me question the grading that he goes by.

      • Strong Enough

        and you are missing my point. Percy Jackson is a completely different film than Elysium with a different director attached. One who received critical acclaim on his first movie and the other….eh? People are going to have different expectations when going to see each film. Besides Elysium is getting bad reviews so who cares if Matt is one of them? it has plenty rotten. He just falls into the bunch that was underwhelmed given the director attached. And like I said. this whole thing on Collider about “oh he gave Star Trek a D yet gave The Heat an A” or whatever is stupid. You can’t compare two different genres movies together. each movie is approached differently to the reviewer. in a comedy or family movie each critic judges it different than a R rated sci fi movie. one might forgive plotholes in a family movie but not in a serious engaging movie like Elysium. i thought this was common sense?

      • Nerdgasm

        I can’t believe I am doing this but I agree with Strong on this point. You other two guys are idiots. Plus its getting a 66% at RT… Goldberg gave it a C which technically he gave it uhhh…drumroll please! 60 percentile rating… so he rates it as everyone is seeing it. go fuck yourselves you idiots.

    • partysub

      Not really

  • LazyWriter

    I think Goldberg just enjoys the attention, I have been reading his reviews
    for long time and don’t see any logical pattern in his writing, not sure
    what he expects from a blockbuster studio movie. He recently gave highly positive reviews to that Percy Jackson sequel and Jennifer Aniston comedy movie, not to compare to Elysium but those movies received universal negative reviews, and I won’t never forget that this guy gave a positive review to that Steve Carell’s Burt Wonderstone movie, one of the worst movie of the year.

    • Hop

      Yeah, there is NO logical pattern at all.

      • Jason Richards

        Yeah, that’s the most frustrating thing about his reviews. There’s no pattern at all in his reviews. He will destroy a horror movie for its flaws, but then give a comedy with numerous flaws less slack. He also contradicts himself a lot in his articles when you look at his other work compared to the film that he reviews.

  • Concerned Reader

    I miss Roger Ebert. When Ebert disliked a film – loathed a film, even – his writing never reeked of ego and false superiority. I believe Roger Ebert genuinely loved movies. I believe Matt Goldberg genuinely loves Matt Goldberg. The sad thing here is that Goldberg raises excellent points about “Elysium.” They’re just all marred by his jaded tone (justifiable though it may be) and by the fact that, nearly every time he reviews a film with a sizable budget, he feels the need to wag his critical finger, to scold and spank filmmakers as if he were some parent, some grand authority.
    Movies are about joy and community. Film criticism is a vital part of that community. So please, Matt Goldberg, let the Grumpy Cat act go and let a little light into your reviews. A little positivity. A little humility. I know that you have more to offer than a pompous tone and fine-line recitations of the failures of big films.

    • Hop

      You. SAID. It.

  • TheDistrictOfElysium

    This review is DEAD on. I’m just surprised more reviews can’t see that Elysium is a complete remake of District 9. Straight on lazy writing swapping out of D9 moments in script -spoiler warning- It is like Blomkamp sat at his computer going, ‘Hey, Wikus got sick with DNA poison while working for MNU, Max gets sick with radiation poisoning while working for Armadyne. Wikus needed to get to the mothership to heal, lets make Max need to get to the space station to heal. Wikus broke into MNU to get to get DNA fuel, Max breaks into Armadyne boss brain to get data. Wikus teamed up with a alien parent with a child, Max hooks ups with a Mother and her child. Wikus betrayed the alien, Max betrays the mother. Wikus crashes the dropship in D9, Max crashes a spaceship into Elysium. The D9 third act was nothing but action, pretty much Wikus protecting the alien. The Elysium third act can be nothing but action, with Max protecting the mother and child.’ That self copying is really damn shocking actually. It sticks to D9 like glue. It really is quite heartbreaking, D9 was very cool, but I fear Blomkamp is turning out to be a Wachowski situation. Great movie with the Matrix, so so, or horrible afterwards. He was declared a movie god way too fast, the Peter Jackson situation helped him a lot.

  • jjlouis

    I’m at a point where i dont give a thing about reviews and/or box office.

    • Hop

      Yeah, I just like to watch a movie for what it is – a movie.

    • Jason Richards

      There’s critics that are still respected and reliable. Roeper, Travers, and a few other journalists are very reliable. But then there’s just a ton of blogs out there with guys like Goldberg that ruin film criticism. Goldberg would be better off at aint it cool news.

      • IMPYEMU

        But those critics gave negative scores to X movies and positive scores to X movies! There opinions aren’t authentic and are illogical they cannot be trusted!

        Seriously Richards go fuck yourself.

      • Jason Richards

        Go fuck myself? Lol ok whatever you say fuckhead.

      • partysub

        Why keep reading his reviews if you don’t like his opinions? It’s not a very productive way to spend your time

  • Hop

    Disagree, sir. Elysium, while not as good as District, was still a terrific film featuring incredible set design, score, and acting. Probs the best action film yet this year.

    • partysub

      INCREDIBLE ACTING? Slow down, I think you just really like sci-fi

  • chewy

    I love it. Matt finally gets a film that starts out as a liberal orgy, and then he gets upset when the film transitions in to what makes movies sell.

  • Pingback: Review: Elysium is Classy Class Warfare

  • Saltonstall

    Eh, this movie was OK. More like B- to B territory than a C, though. Had some good performances, some good action, and some interesting themes, but also had the problem of not properly fleshing out these themes. The haves-have nots stuff felt more like window dressing than something that was meant to be profound.

  • Coby

    Watch the film, don’t let reviews cloud your judgment. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Hope this movie makes bank, would be great as a franchise. :)

  • Coby

    Watch the film, don’t let reviews cloud your judgment. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Hope this movie makes bank, would be great as a franchise. :)

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