Customer Review

50 of 63 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Robo-Man, 26 Nov 2013
This review is from: Elysium [DVD] [2013] (DVD)
It's 2154 and the future for people on Earth is grim. When young Max Da Costa promised his girlfriend, Frey, that one day he would take her to a Stanford-Torus type space station called Elysium, a Utopian place where all the wealthy people now live, he meant it. Later, as a grown man living on dystopian planet Earth, overpopulated and governed and policed by ruthless robots, his promise to Frey (Alice Braga) isn't all that easy to fulfil. Max (Matt Damon) works in a factory but one day things go badly wrong and he becomes radiation poisoned with only 5 days to live. Given the chance to save his life using Elysium technology, all he has to do is get there. But a tyrannical woman called Delacourt (Jodie Foster) has firm control there and she doesn't like the hoi polloi from Earth landing on Elysium. Max has to find a way to get there to survive, but it's risky.

What I don't get about Elysium (2013) is that futuristic humans have all that super-duper technology for healthcare, space stations, advanced robots, and the rest, but are still communicating by way of what looks like today-size mobile phones and lugging around things that look like laptops. What happened to 'less is more'?

Elysium has an awful lot of action with very limited quiet moments to develop characters, which is ok for some but it was all too Robo-man meets Robocop meets the Transformers, if you ask me. Now, I'm not saying it was a lousy film, or even a bad film as it was highly watchable (for those who like a lot of action) and I'll probably watch it again one day although not any day soon. I just cannot see the participants of this movie, including Damon and Foster, lining up the Oscars on the mantelpiece although I wouldn't mind betting that the superb Elysium soundtrack by Ryan Amon, available at iTunes, wins one.

I have to mention that the special effects and Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) were spot on. But I could have lived with less if it meant that the movie had more depth.

VJ - Movies and Books World
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Jan 2014 11:54:50 GMT
Last edited by the author on 4 Jan 2014 13:03:14 GMT
J. Mclean says:
So it was a movie which is highly watchable and one that you will probably watch again!

But you give it 3 stars and then waffle on about whether it will get Oscars?

The English Patient got lots of Oscars and it was mince.

You should go with your gut and forget what the critics think.

Posted on 5 Jan 2014 22:22:31 GMT
Last edited by the author on 8 Jan 2014 11:29:09 GMT
Jimmy says:
Your right about going with your gut but only Two stars for me,something told me it might not be as original as District 9 or have enough depth to the story and characters but thinking the budget would be bigger that everything would be bigger and better but it was worse!,Nothing Special at all and just about worth watching the once.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jan 2014 00:02:18 GMT
J. Mclean says:
Now that sounds like a more consistant and respectable 3 star review.

I loved it and would watch it again so it got 5 stars from me.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Jan 2014 10:14:37 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 8 Jan 2014 10:17:02 GMT]

Posted on 14 Jan 2014 09:16:40 GMT
Maltese-X says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Jan 2014 10:05:00 GMT
Last edited by the author on 14 Jan 2014 16:44:11 GMT
Valerie J. says:
I am really sorry and rather saddened that my review is causing such strong feelings and animosity. I am a disabled person who writes reviews for the fun of it and to share my thoughts. They are never intended to be taken quite so seriously. Personally, I would never have such strong feelings over something so trivial as a review or verbally attack anyone because I had a different opinion, or because they made a mistake. What is the good in that?

I think I do ok as a reviewer, but thank you for your suggestions.

Many reputable internet websites mention radiation poisoning and my review asked the question about it, therefore admitting I did not know for sure. As for the South African dialect, I was simply going by something someone, who said they are from South Africa, told me. But anyway, all this is not important, clearly my mistake again, obviously, so I have removed those comments. I trust this will meet with your approval.

As for attacking my grammar, spelling, and writing skills, I confess I am only human and prone to errors. All the same, I have a BA (Hons) in Literature, and a University distinction in Advanced Creative Writing. Amazing, isn't it? I confess, though, that I don't labour when writing reviews but simply bash out the words and have done with it. Waffle on, some might say. Most people reading reviews aren't petty about it. Bless them.

Wishing you all the best for the New Year.


In reply to an earlier post on 18 Jun 2014 14:52:42 BDT
Richard says:
Hi Val -

I think the review was fine, and wouldn't let a bit of trolling worry you, especially from people that don't seem to know much better themselves, for example Afrikaans is a language, not a dialect (more of a creole, in fact), and S Africa has many languages that are not dialects (isiXhosa, Afrikaans and English are three of them), a dilemma in the S African schooling system that needs to teach English for globalisation reasons, but can't disenfranchise those monolingual people using local languages (as opposed to dialects) in their communities. The S African English we hear is more accented than it is chock-full of dialect terms - many people confuse accent with dialect - for example in S African ENGLISH a "bakkie" is a flat-bed truck in dialect, but the fact that people will often be heard to say "bekkie" is accent. Dr Neville Alexander's paper "The politics of language planning in post-apartheid South Africa" should clarify some of the background to language policy in the country, and help to clear up what is what in linguistics (which I've studied).

With respect to the irradiation issue, although the illness cannot be passed on, if a person is sufficiently irradiated, they (or their dead body) can expose others to the same radiation, so the matter isn't quite as black & white as some might have you believe - it works in the same way as exposure to nerve toxins like VX, you're fine until you touch some, and that could be on a pavement or a person. After that you get ill in your own particular way.

Your remarks about the tech are interesting. I can remember reading old sci-fi stuff where there were calculators and, in the really old stuff, slide rules (!). Stuff like that never ages well and I have to say I preferred SF books by people like Jack Vance, where the science was backgrounded, letting the story through. A lot of his stuff is actually social comment and pretty eternal, and not compromised by the discordant clanging of old tech. So this movie is sadly more Asimov than Vance... pity. I will probably avoid it even though Jodie Foster was cast.

Incidentally I share your quals and have a couple of books here on Amazon (one under an "alias") - I just studied the linguistics stuff for fun.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Jun 2014 09:13:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jun 2014 09:17:45 BDT
Valerie J. says:
Richard, thank you for your message and the input about my review and the movie. People do like to go on the attack about reviews and I cannot help but wonder why they don't retract their claws and write a review of their own if they don't like what others have to say.

Your message made very interesting reading and perhaps I wasn't so far off the mark as one (rather rude person) would have had me believe. I did believe that Afrikaans is a language but all languages have varieties of dialects or accents, don't they? I am English and speak English, but with a Yorkshire accent or dialect.

Science fascinates me and I know what you are saying. Sci-Fi does start to sound very dated within a relatively short time after being written (movie script or book). I enjoy Michael Crichton books as he was very in tune with scientific fact. What more wonderful stories might he have told had he not died so young? I'm unfamiliar with Jack Vance so I ought to check him out. Thank you.

Thanks again for your input. VJ -
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