Tag Archives: sharlto copley

Movie Review: Hardcore Henry

Hardcore Henry‘s action premise is, at the very least, original. Shot almost entirely on a Go-Pro, Hardcore Henry hopes to make a footprint on the film industry. If it doesn’t make big bucks, it should be able to gauge the interest of audiences and filmmakers for its originality alone.

While some critics have said the first-person action gets old real quick, I was hooked from the beginning. A movie shot like this, especially an action film, is going to have its detractors. If you don’t have a quick eye, chances are your head will start to hurt after a bit as you struggle to keep up. The adrenaline rush is empowering, breathing new life into what at times has become a dormant action genre. The choreography of stunts is an evolving enterprise and the invention and further application of special effects has made the attempts of practical stuntwork all the more difficult for its practitioners. Despite Mad Max: Fury Road‘s pathetic attempt to call itself a story, it showcased some of the best practical stuntwork in the history of film and was properly rewarded with six Oscars. George Miller’s film serves as a visionary for the action dreamers and one can only hope that films will start to model their work after extraordinary efforts like the ones we saw in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road.

Hardcore Henry platforms a similar intensity to its product with a film technique that is the first of its kind and it’s also dynamic enough to keep a true action aficionado engaged and begging for more. Putting you in the shoes of the protagonist-in this case, literally-leaves the film with a look of a first-person shooter. Our generation loves to be dazzled. Call us entitled if you want; we don’t care. In terms of explosive content, Hardcore Henry is the best of 2016 thus far and when you consider it’s nearly four full months into the year, that’s impressive, especially for an independent film.

That’s right. This beauty is an independent film, removed from any major production studio. There is a stigma among the film industry that independents don’t succeed, the same way that artists without a label must not be relevant. This stigma isn’t without backing. I’ve watched a fair share of independent films and while they often present unique ideas, they falter at the fundamentals of movie-making. It’s also hard to thrill when you’re constricted by a budget.

Despite all the obstacle courses independent films have to jump, crawl, bend, and hurdle through, the independent corridor has its gems. It’s my belief that Hardcore Henry is one of those gems.

While its story is rudimentary, its simplicity allows audiences to focus on the action output of the film. That’s not an excuse, only a comment. Its story leaves much to be desired if the glamour of hand-to-hand combat, shootouts and chase scenes don’t catch your fancy. Director Ilya Naishuller relies on his action and almost avoids writing a story. Through a plot point, our main character, who we can’t see, is left mute. He doesn’t say a word the entire film, which isn’t to say he doesn’t have personality but his range is handicapped. If he was an established character, such as a video game character like Master Chief or Lara Croft, it’s not as much of a problem. We already have a pretty good idea of who’s at the head of our rendezvous. Henry is an unknown and remains that way at the story’s end. He’s a pair of eyeballs for us, an avatar in a sci-fi tale. He is a person though, not a machine and one feels slighted when the film spends so little time with him. Our villain is a pompous drama king who overexaggerates everything with no character parameters. Sharlto Copley’s character is engaging and serves as a talking tutorial for those who choose to watch this, but also feels like a charade by film’s end.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (DeadpoolAvengers: Age of UltronThe AvengersThe BabadookInterstellar)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Olympus Has FallenThe Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of Tomorrow)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (10 Cloverfield LaneCreedScouts Guide to the Zombie ApocalypseCrimson PeakThe Martian)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Batman v Superman: Dawn of JusticePride and Prejudice and ZombiesThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2Beasts of No NationTerminator: Genisys)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (ConstantineRaceEverestHerculesThe Sentinel)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (War, The Ridiculous 6The Lost BoysZombeaversCrank)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (CatwomanThe GunmanThe VisitThe Fantastic FourThe Boy Next Door)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (The Coed and the Zombie StonerThe Forbidden DimensionsCyborgOutcastSabotage)

My score for Hardcore Henry: 64.

At film’s end, you want to rally for Hardcore Henry and applaud the action standard it regularly sets and meets for itself as well as the repertoire of emotions it manages in its set pieces, but I can’t deny another part of me is a bit peeved at the story’s mediocre success.

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Movie Review: Chappie

Neill Blomkamp is becoming one of my favorite directors.

The apparent sci-fi god of South Africa, Blomkamp came onto the scene in 2009 with the box-office hit District 9, a film that garnered him an Academy Award nomination for best adapted screenplay. If you’ve seen District 9, you know that Blomkamp is his own man and like no other in film right now. His camera work has a documentary taste to it, giving his shots a story-like feel. When I first watched District 9, I started it over after five minutes because I thought I had accidentally chosen the behind-the-scenes section. If you don’t know, District 9 starts with interviewing a bunch of characters.

That’s something you don’t see in movies: something that throws you for a loop straight out of the gate. I’m not saying I haven’t been blown away by some opening scenes. That happens on occasion, but to be thrown for a loop and see something you’ve never seen before? That’s a rarity.

Which is why, when I saw the phrase “the director of District 9” come across the screen for the Chappie trailer, I knew I had to see it.

And Neill Blomkamp’s record with me is solid. District 9 is one of my favorite sci-fi films and while last year’s Elysium couldn’t compare with District 9, it was a box office success. It was slow-moving but the final third, as well as the driving force duo of Matt Damon and Sharlto Copley, made this film one I need to get out, buy and relive.

What made me want to see this film so much and why Chappie ended up being such a success with me was because of the themes and ideas it conceptualizes in its story. That’s one of the things that I love about Blomkamp: his ability to weave ulterior motives into his framework.

A robot police force has reduced crime in Johannesburg, but the creator of these robots, Deon Wilson (Dev Patel), believes in something more, an artificial intelligence that can replicate the human mind.

With so many dystopian films highlighting our bookshelves and theater platforms, technology is an easy target. In a world overrun by it, surely this is where our future could go wrong. It’s something many people can get behind.

Yet, it’s important to remember that there are two sides to every coin. Think of the potential that technology holds for good.

Chappie is that untapped potential unveiled and paraded for us. A police bot reprogrammed, Chappie is brought into the world like a child. Growing and learning words and behaviors at an accelerated pace, Chappie‘s two-hour run time gifts us with the whole life of a person made of metal. Frightened and unsure of his surroundings, Chappie is subjected to the beauties of life, as well as its harsh realities and must discover on his own how he feels about this world he’s come into as well as the people in it.

It’s a journey I think we all want to embark on. How do we feel about the world at the end of the day? Each night before our head hits the pillow, do we smile or do we sigh in disgust? What from our time here have we learned about the world? Are we a black sheep like Chappie, different from the rest? Are we the only one who can truly understand us? Are we black sheep?

Blomkamp presents a lot of questions, both personal and societal here. He never fails to keep me thinking.

While Chappie’s narrative has been bashed by critics, I felt the narrative worked, for if it wasn’t presented the way it was, the themes, which are and always have been Blomkamp’s bread and butter, wouldn’t have transfused as precisely as they did from maker to machine.

Are the characters rather generic? Yes but they symbolize the world around us nonetheless. Chappie and Deon are the standouts here. All the other players, including Hugh Jackman, are there to further Blomkamp’s agenda. Is that a disservice to the characters and actors/actresses? Perhaps, but it was done for the greater good and so I can’t fault Blomkamp for going about it the way he did.

Did it hamper the acting? Yeah, a little bit. Hugh Jackman doesn’t get to stretch out his jaws for this role but got me fired up all the same. If an actor can siphon my emotions despite playing an unoriginal character, then they did a good job. I hated Hugh Jackman’s character by the end.

The robot design was unique and the body movements and facial expressions added a lot to the character. The sets only furthered my intrigue.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.  

90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (American BeautyGone GirlMulanGuardians of the GalaxyDawn of the Planet of the Apes)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (The Cable GuyThe Cabin in the WoodsTears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (Dead Snow: Red vs. DeadSnowpiercerThe FamilyWhen the Game Stands TallBlack Hawk Down)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (TwistedParkerHouse at the End of the StreetThe RavenDead Snow)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (RageZoolanderThe Expendables 3HomefrontG.I. Joe: Retaliation)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (ErasedI, FrankensteinThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesBilly Madison)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (CenturionPlanet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The ColonyIn the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege TaleThe GreyX-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (SabotageGallowwalkersTucker & Dale vs. EvilSafeWatchmen)

My score for Chappie: 92.

Blomkamp delivers yet another sci-fi hit and Sharlto Copley finally gets back on track with his acting career after last year’s cell-destroying performances from Open Grave and Maleficent. Already looking to be one of my favorite films of the year. It’ll be hard to beat.

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Movie Review: Maleficent

Maleficent focuses on the character of said name from Sleeping Beauty but with a twist: we’re looking at things from her point of view this runaround.

We’re  introduced to a young Maleficent, who becomes good friends with a human from the other side of the treeline named Stefan. However, as time passes by and both get older, Stefan’s ambition gets in the way of their mutual affection and Stefan stops seeing her.

It’s a story that says people we know and love can change on us and become something dissimilar of their former selves, of the people we cared about. We comprehend what feelings are to be expected from someone who suffers such a loss (doubt, depression) but at the same time fans could have felt these feelings so much more if we would have gotten to see these youngsters’ friendship expand past the ten minute mark, if it even reaches that. I know Sleeping Beauty needs to appear eventually but if the movie is going to be about Maleficent, why don’t we spend more time learning how she feels by placing ourselves in her childhood and feeling what she felt? I’m told they become friends and love might have even be in the conversation, but I’d rather see it then be told it, especially since I’m watching a movie instead of being read a storybook fairy tale. This is a film, correct?

Part of me thinks the hesitation and eventual choice of not giving us more here was because doing so might have bored younger audiences and since that was the targeted group for this film, that was the decision they went with. That and more run time means more money.

However, I can’t help but wonder what this film could have been if it would have taken the risk and gone ahead and added some aspects that would have compelled adolescent audiences to see this. I’m not a teenager, but young adult aspects would have made the visit for children’s parents more enjoyable if they could have taken some heart and a message coming out of it. I’m not saying this doesn’t have heart to it, but it’s the difference between a drawing of a tree and a painting of a tree. A tree is something we’ve all seen before. We know what it’s composed of and there’s only so much detail a drawing can deliver, like the boldness of its outline. However, a painting can illustrate color, dexterity, style, poise and attitude. There is so much more time and therefore product to look at and decipher where as a basic drawing with no shading can’t encompass us for long.

Not all children can grasp the advancement that I’m talking about. Financial risk is part of the deal here but you’re in a creative market aren’t you? Isn’t creativity all about taking risks in the first place? Doing something in a way that people haven’t seen before means they might not like it, they might discredit you and call you a phony and you might never get the enjoyment or recognition out of it that you’re looking for. However, if you take that leap and they do like it, life will be kinder to you because they know 1) you gave it your all and 2) they’ll know money wasn’t all that mattered to you. I’m not saying that is the hand director Robert Stromberg was dealt. I’m sure he didn’t have the ultimate choices in a lot of the meetings. Nonetheless, a wider story rather than a vertical one is beneficial to character connection and to fan entertainment so I wish they would have given it a go. Alas, they didn’t and we have what we have.

For all that, it’s not a bad movie or a deficient Disney dabble. Angelina Jolie still gives us a tale of loss with all the stages that transpire with it. She’s angry, she’s hurt and she’s got it all inside her but you can tell that time starts to crumble those walls of hers and make her wish she could take it all back, mainly the curse she put on a girl who was born having done nothing wrong.

The rest of the cast isn’t valuable nor necessary with the exception of Elle Fanning as our sleeping beauty. Sharlto Copley, gosh, I know the guy has talent but he’s just horrible this year. Open Grave and now there’s this role that is filled with so much singularity there’s really nothing Sharlto can do to make this dynamic at all. He can try to play his role from Elysium here but it would be misplaced in this fantasy dream world as well as unnecessarily heinous but I think that’s what Sharlto was told to do because he’s unleashing all the aggressive lunacy he can here but only so much can be accomplished with the meager lines he’s presented on the page. The three fairies are given some dialogue that’s supposed to be funny but is far too kiddish for me to get a kick out of.

The visuals, CGI and special effects are visually appealing and worthwhile. If a film isn’t getting that part right, it better be ready to feel my wrath.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Dawn of the Planet of the ApesTransformers: Age of ExtinctionJack ReacherGodzilla, Secretariat)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the SunEdge of TomorrowThe Amazing Spider-Man 2Young GunsCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too.(Rise of the Planet of the ApesTransporter 2Battle: Los AngelesSkyfallCloudy with a Chance of Meatballs)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (The TransporterSpeedGodzilla(1998)The Incredible HulkDisaster Movie)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Starving GamesYou’re NextThorFull Metal JacketAlien Resurrection)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Billy MadisonA Haunted House300: Rise of an EmpireCowboys and AliensSerendipity)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Planet of the ApesStonadosRedemptionPride and Prejudice, The Contract)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (X-Men: Days of Future PastThor: The Dark WorldThe Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (A Haunted House 2Open GraveAlien 3Dark FuryMidnight Cowboy)

My score for Maleficent: 70.

Despite the negative reviews Maleficent has received, it’s made over $670 million at the box office, putting it at number five in revenue so far this year ahead of Godzilla and the heavily anticipated How to Train Your Dragon 2 sequel. With that said, Maleficent features some poor script writing with some of its side characters but excels with Jolie at the forefront and does give us stuff to think about although one of those things is how much more this story could have taught us with an extension of the film’s 97-minute running time.

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Movie Review: Open Grave

My pillow was calling my name and my eyes were so tired after watching the disappointing You’re Next. However, my brain was asking for something more, something that made the evening more eventful than it had been. The last time I had watched two new movies in one night was when I watched Alien (terrible) and Sharknado (terribly…hilarious!!!) and I thought maybe the same thing could happen here if I were to watch a second one. The movie that popped into my head: Open Grave. An indie film, Open Grave’s trailer looked interesting. It left me wondering what had just happened, but similar to You’re Next, got me curious. It looked like a chaotic mess for sure, but I’ve seen movies portray themselves as such but when I actually went to see the movie it came together quite nicely.

Open Grave…is not one of these films. It’s a chaotic mess at the beginning and it’s still a chaotic mess at the end. The director’s name (Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego) is more complex than this script is. You can’t even get a plot summary of the film on Wikipedia, which is probably because there is none. Sharlto Copley plays John, a man who wakes up in a mass grave and doesn’t have any idea who he is or how he got here. He’s helped out by a mute Asian girl who quickly runs away and then John finds a house with a bunch of people who are all in the same predicament: they have no idea what’s going on. Conveniently, neither does the audience, but most of us aren’t bored yet because the movie just started after all, right? There’s plenty of time for improvement.

So eventually everyone remembers their name, and one guy named Nathan discovers he knows a bunch of different languages but not the language that the mute Asian girl is writing everything in because once again, convenience calls in this situation. So the group walks around and finds a bunch of dead people tied to trees with barbed wire and a bunch of other fun stuff that’s really not all that important at all, just creepy stuff to keep us interested.

Eventually they find some abandoned buildings but none of it really makes sense. At this point, I’m getting a little impatient. When is something relevant going to happen? One of them dies, and then nothing happens again….FOREVER. This movie doesn’t know north from south or which way it wants to go with its story. Nothing they do leads to anything at all. Who are the characters? After about five eternities we find out their occupation but that’s all! These characters are hollow and don’t have a clue what’s going on just like the audience doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. Sharlto Copley has shown me he has talent in District 9 and Elysium so why he would agree to star in this I don’t know.

Memories slowly start to come back to some of the party but once again, not really anything substantial. Just a bunch of stuff that really doesn’t pertain to anything, just more fluff.

They try to bring emotions into it towards the end but it’s like “Really? You guys haven’t known what’s been going on this whole film and now you’re going to start judging each other and turning on the waterworks? Are you kidding me?”

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (ScroogeThe Secret Life of Walter MittyThe Green MileThe Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersThe Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (PoseidonIron ManLone SurvivorThe Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingThe Next Three Days)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (The Usual Suspects21 Jump StreetEscape PlanCaptain America: The First AvengerDawn of the Dead)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific RimThe Long Kiss GoodnightDisaster Movie)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (AliensAlien ResurrectionFull Metal JacketThor, You’re Next)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot GamesThe Great GatsbyPitch BlackAlienSerendipity)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and PrejudiceRedemption)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All FearsThor: The Dark World)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight CowboyDark FuryAlien 3)

My score for Open Grave: 10.

This movie is like a giant unopened Christmas present and you unwrap all the paper and scramble through all the unnecessary tissue paper looking for your present and after looking through it for five minutes you come to the realization that there is no present. Open Grave is dreadful, atrocious, deplorable and every other synonym for terrible you can find. No one involved with this visual representation knows what is going on and the fact that this is even categorized as a movie disgusts me. I know some YouTube filmmakers who make better movies than this. This movie needs to be buried because no one wants to see this. (see what I did there?) It is a huge waste of time and if you know what’s good for your well-being, you won’t see it.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

They eventually, after watching what feels like three hours of your life slow-walk away, reveal that these people are a group of scientists looking for a cure to a disease. John’s the lead scientist and his “cure” knocks the subject out and causes them to lose their memory so it still needs some tinkering. The whole film the group is trying to figure out why the 18th is circled on the calendar and it ends up the military is coming in on the 18th and they’re going to kill everyone, no survivors. So everyone gets killed, not that I could care less or anything like that, except for John and his significant other. I honestly don’t care enough to look at the cast list to find out her name and neither should anyone else so moving on. John and what’s-her-face jump into the mass grave and inject themselves with this memory-loss stuff and John wakes up again after an unknown amount of time and once again, doesn’t know what’s going on, meaning the whole process starts all over again. It’s like the director tried to make the movie come full circle, except that the movie never left the starting point.

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Movie Review: Elysium

Have you ever had a really bad day followed by another bad day followed by another? Everything seemed to go wrong and you thought you were like anti-Irish or something? In this movie, our protagonist Max DeCosta (Matt Damon) is having a really bad day.

Max grew up in an orphanage and didn’t really have much, which led him to becoming a car thief later in life. However, he’s changing his ways and now he’s got a job at Armadyne, a military contractor that is responsible for assembling the police robots that roam the streets. Max is still on parole and gets searched by two of these robots, who then break his arm. He then has to run to an overflowing hospital for medical attention, shows up to work late, gets reprimanded…yeah, it’s a bad day already for poor Max.

Even though you don’t know a lot about his character yet, it’s hard not to feel sorry for the guy, partly because he hasn’t shown me anything not to like, and partly because no regular guy should have to put up with that crap. After an unfortunate work accident the very next day, Max’s life changes in a major way.

One reason I feel like I really connect with Max’s character is because when we’re mad, we both seem to act in similar ways. Everything that could go wrong for Max does, and his approach is, “I’m going to accomplish task A, and nothing is getting in my way.” Similar to Max, when I’m really peeved, I develop a you-ain’t-stopping-me attitude. I act like I’m indestructible, so much so that I would be willing to charge at a 350-lb defensive lineman with my 150-lb cornstalk frame. It’s almost like a blind rage (as well as obnoxious stupidity),  which is obviously not the best way to deal with anger, but that’s what happens sometimes. Max has this same attitude, which makes it very easy for me to connect with this character. Max just puts all the brakes on and has that attitude like “I’m not putting up with this crap”. I was loving it the whole movie because like I said, it’s so easy for me to connect. Matt Damon does a great job with his character portrayal and I never doubt Max’s resolve.

Despite Jodie Foster’s name being on the front cover, she doesn’t do that much in this movie. She’s the one responsible for shooting ships out of the sky that are trying to reach Elysium and she just ignores all the criticism that she gets from her government peers.

Sharlto Copley’s name is the one that should be on the front cover. This guy was fantastic in District 9 and he did a pretty good job with this character here even though he’s portraying an entirely different person. He’s a power-hungry psycho and he’s a boss at it. He was a great star to put opposite Matt Damon. The rest of the supporting cast does what is needed of them, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The action scenes, as well as the story, took a while to get going. The first half of the movie was a little slow for my liking but I was patient about it. The first half does some character development with Max, which I appreciated, but some of the time, it involved interacting with other supporting cast members that I didn’t care for, such as his girlfriend/friend Frey. Throughout the movie, I was trying to figure out if she was supposed to be a romantic interest or just a really good friend and it was never really obvious which one it was. At some points, it felt like they were just friends, but then in their next interaction the scriptwriters would make it out like there was more there. Some consistency there would have helped.

The second half was much better, especially the third act. The third act really sent this movie off with a boom, which I had been waiting for for the previous 90 minutes. The action scenes were pretty sick and I was pleased with them. I wish there would have been more in the first half though.

Once again, if you’re new to my blog,  I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.

 90-100  It’s a great movie and definitely one worth buying. (Iron Man 3World War Z42)

80-89   It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Star Trek Into DarknessNow You See MeMan of SteelMonster-In-LawWhite House Down)

70-79   It’s okay but I’ve seen better. It has its moments, but it has its flaws, too. (OblivionThe WolverineJagged Edge)

60-69   It’s got plenty wrong with it but I still got enjoyment out of this one. (Pacific Rim)

50-59   This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The HobbitAfter EarthRoad to Perdition, Total Recall)

40-49   This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Patriot Games)

30-39   Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30’s ironically define the 1930’s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (The ContractPride and Prejudice)

20-29   What did I just watch? Cliches, stupidity, nothingness, did I mention stupidity? Just…wow. (The Sum of All Fears)

0-19      Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Midnight Cowboy)

My score for Elysium: 77.

There were a few plot holes, but they were necessary to move the story along and the result of those plot holes were for the better, so I wasn’t all that mad about them. This movie is slow-moving as I said, but once it gets going, you’re in for a great ride.

*SPOILER ALERT* IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED, STOP READING!!!

*SPOILER’S EDITION*

First off, Jodie Foster asks the CEO of Armadyne if he can reboot the government program on Elysium, which would allow Jodie Foster to take control and become the new president. Wait, why would you give that kind of power to a military contractor? Wasn’t the Elysium government concerned that the military might attempt a coup? Why would you allow a government program to be rebooted? It’s just a little confusing.

The government officials on Elysium have microchips in the side of their head for storing information. Why? Haven’t they heard of flashdrives?

Finally, Kruger (Sharlto Copley) gets his face blown off by a grenade. When I say blown off, I mean it’s like someone took a blow torch to his face for a minute and turned his facial bones into yogurt. His two comrades carry him to one of the healing stations and it puts his whole face back together. That’s great and all, but he would have zero brain function after that.

Despite these things, it’s still an entertaining one and one I got a kick out of. I can’t say it’s a must-see though.

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