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posted Aug 8, 2013, 7:19 AM by Vu Nguyen

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I just saw a preview for Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim, the giant robots vs monsters movie. It's definitely the theater I attended, the picture and audio was not good. Perhaps one of the projections…
I just caught a sneak preview for Elysium, the follow-up to director Neill Blomkamp's District 9.

Just to recap District 9, I thought this "low-budget" (by Hollywood standards) movie was about aliens landing on earth and the humans ghetto-ized the aliens in their "District 9" confinement. While I didn't entirely love the movie (for the "shaky-cam"), I thought the movie had a message of social commentary with a science fiction backdrop.

That social commentary between the rich and the poor is reflected here in Elysium: the wealthy/powerful residents of Elysium (a space station orbing earth's atmosphere) and the common/poor people of Earth. Maybe it's hard to portray a poverty and overpopulation future Los Angeles, but I never felt it looked at all like America (if you've ever been to L.A., it's all concrete and no dirty open spaces!)

Also returning from District 9 is actor Sharlto Copley, who plays the despicable villain Kruger. I thought his New Zealand accent was really good (if it's not New Zealand, then it's really bad!) and fooled me until I realized he also played Mad Murdock in the A-Team movie.

I think the major problem I had with the film was this miraculous medical pods technology in the film that only exists on Elysium. Why could all the poor people save up enough money to buy a medical pod or some sort of government able to re-produce the technology themselves? This same tech can seemingly revive dead characters as well (you'll know what I'm talking about when you see the picture).

If you can forgive the illogical science, it's actually a decent action/science-fiction movie. You can tell Matt Damon really worked out for this film, with the obvious chest/body showoff at the beginning of the film. By the time Damon gets his third generation exo suit, you wonder, "how is he going to change his shirt?" The suit looked like a one-way ticket, like you can't remove the suit once it's attached to your body. I guess it didn't really matter because it's supposed to look "cool".

Anyway, the film had too much commentary to be a "popcorn action" film, but if you like Sci-Fi, it's definitely worth checking out. Elysium is rated "R" and comes out Friday, August 9th, 2013.