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ELYSIUM (2013)

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ELYSIUM (2013)

Friday, 04 April 2014 14:22

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Written by 

The Buzz:      

        In a future, the Earth is now overpopulated, and overrun with crime and disease. The wealthy have created a massive space station in orbit named Elysium, where there is no disease, or even any real struggle. Matt Damon plays the role of Max, an ex-car thief who becomes lethally dosed with radiation, and now must reach Elysium in order to cure himself. And then somehow super-powering exo-suits and political power-struggles happen.

 

Life of the Party:

        Elysium is a beautiful looking movie. I'm one of the biggest haters of CGI here at Tanked Matinee (not in all cases), but the effects in this film are beautifully rendered and executed. The cases that should have offended my sensibilities, which consisted of the robot drones that serve the rich/enforce the law, were actually some of my favorite effects in the film. They looked natural and like they actually fit into the shot, rather than the almost cartoony wrongness of most CGI these days.

 

Potential Hangovers:

        Sadly, that's about where my love for Elysium ended. First off, I think the film tries to do too much at once, and that much of it could have been left out to make the story stronger. The story of a ruffian trying to make it to the promised land to cure his sickness is kind of a classic in itself, and set in this particular universe could have made for a good plot. But then the filmmakers decide we also need to throw in a political power-struggle on Elysium that had no impact on the story at all; sure it shows why the bad guys are hunting our protagonist, but the fact that he suddenly has the means to come to Elysium illegally and change how things work is reason enough. Oh, and once you see the ending; am I wrong that apparently the sole means of “saving the world” primarily consisted of turning a computer off-and-on again, and bringing up the system BIOS?

        Also a minor quibble, but one of the main bad-guys, one Agent Kruger, played by Sharlto Copley (District 9, Europa Report, The A-Team) has such a thick accent that I didn't understand nearly a single thing he said. It was some weird mix of German and Australian accents (EDIT: since writing this I've discovered it's South African; who knew?). I don't blame Mr. Copley for this, since from his other films I know he can't speak clearly and work different accents. I blame the director and/or sound-mixer who heard it, and decided “good enough.”

        But maybe most offensively, Elysium is just boring. A big, high-budget special effects action film like this cannot afford to commit that sin, and in fact (in my opinion) has a hard time doing so. I can't point to any specific reasons or examples, but I found myself around the 45 minute mark wondering how much time I had left, and eventually finding more excitement in Facebook chat while Elysium was relegated to background noise.

 

The Vibe: Large Party

        Elysium could probably work in a small-group setting, if everyone were drinking and ready to riff. However, it's dullness can quickly lead to said group getting distracted, and riffing everything BUT the film, and at that stage what's the point? Really, Elysium is probably best relegated to the large party format; the visual effects and occasional actions scenes will serve to light up the room and keep people entertained as their attention wavers back and forth, and the plot is standard enough that you won't really miss anything.

 

Plus/Minus:

+ It's a good looking film

- Too many unneeded plot aspects, weakens overall story

- Somehow managed to be boring

 

Drinking Game Ideas:

~ Drink every time someone says “Elysium”

~ Drink every time you find yourself wondering just what the hell Kruger just said

~ Drink every time you find something on your phone more interesting than what's on screen

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About Us

Tanked Matinee is the place to go for good drinking movies. What do we mean by that? Simply speaking, we evaluate and recommend entertainment media based on how much fun it is to watch with friends on the sofa and a cold beer in hand.

Everyone knows "The Godfather" is a great movie, but is it as great to drink with as "Roadhouse?" We can appreciate "Citizen Kane" as a masterpiece of cinema, but is it as good a centerpiece for your party as "Santa Clause Conquers the Martians?"

Tanked Matinee appreciates film as art, but when you're kicking back on Friday night with a tall Rum & Coke, you're not looking for art, man, you want to be entertained. We're here to recommend the best movies for your night in, whether it's a big party, small get-together, or just a quiet night alone with a bottle of wine or three.

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