PDA

View Full Version : Elysium (possible spoliers)



Tog
2013-Aug-25, 03:00 AM
We saw Elysium and World's End this weekend. I mention the latter, only because of the contrast I'll make further on about the fight scenes.

Elysium's plot is actually about two subjects that can't be discussed here due to their political natures. The main points are that Elysium is an orbiting ring (like a disc world). They are a utopia, having fled the disaster they left behind on Earth.

Matt Damon is a former car thief and current factory worker who gets' pressured into pulling one last, big crime to earn a spot on a shuttle going up to the ring.

Jodi Foster is over the defense of the station and becomes a tad overzealous in her use of resources. One of those is Sharlto Copley (from District 9).

Copley is the insane solder of fortune under her command, who does all of her black ops things on Earth.

The job Damon is forced to do is to get data from The Suit (Character doesn't deserve a name). The Suit was pressured into smuggling critical information to Foster via bran implant. Damon has to get that information and implant it into his own head. He does not realize that this "Paradigm shifting Information. (tm)" Copley is dispatched to stop Damon, and eventually everyone learns what the data is for and all want it for their own.

I had two big problems with the movie, both are probably director-related issues. First, there is no one who is both likeable and an actual character anywhere in the film. Damon's character is sort of likeable, but not enough. The Woman, a childhood friend with the "Sick Daughter (tm)" is little more than a cardboard stand-in. The same foes for the daughter. Foster's character is unlikable, but is supposed to be even though they give her two whole sentences to explain why she does what she does. Copley's character is great, but nuts. I also couldn't understand most of what he said. Everyone else in the film would need to have dozens more layers to work up to being a stereotype.

The other issue I had was the camerawork on the fight scenes. If this shakey camera involved inthe action is going to be a thing now, why not just strap little cameras to the actor's hands and feet and film the whole thing that way. On top of the extreme closeup in every fight, they added the shaky camera and shifting focus from the long shots from Firefly. It makes sense when you're looking at something far off, but when the two fighters and the cameraman are all in the same truck bed, it's a little distracting. I actually started feeling dizzy from it. It's impossible to follow the action that way because all you can see is a finger for 3/10 of a second at a time.

In contrast, World's End had some great fight choreography in a "Jackie Chan" style. A movie about five guys out to relive an epic pub crawl and ending up in (not)robot invasion should not have better actions scenes than an "action" movie that insists it has something to say.

That's the last bit. The message was delivered with all the subtley to Michael Moore guest writing an episode fo South Park. There was no effort to explore both sides of either major element, just a basic "This is the Right 9tm) thing to do, why don't you do it?" chant, on repeat.

The shuttles were cool though.

galacsi
2013-Aug-25, 11:53 AM
I have seen it before and barely like it. It is always the same thing with these SF movies now : the CGI is very good ,the scenario is simplistic and caracters are made of cardboard. And there are much too many fights in this movie.
And quite unbelievable ones.

TJMac
2013-Aug-25, 03:50 PM
Saw Elysium, walked out thinking, "Meh."

I find myself being more and more critical of all writing. Does no one even care anymore?

Did Raiders of the Lost Ark, with its nonstop action style, spell the beginning of the end for little things like character development and plot?

I like a violent scene as well as the next guy, but give me a reason for it, and give me a way to halfway believe that a human could survive it. In reality, a 90 lb woman kills a guy by punching him in the head at a party. In film, we are supposed to suspend belief to the degree that a human can be repeatedly smashed in the head by some sort of soldier robot and barely get a cut lip. Aagh!

TJ

SkepticJ
2013-Aug-29, 06:59 AM
Well, Terminator 2 came out in '91, so Raider's didn't kill it. IMO, it isn't dead, just not that common. There's Minority Report . . . I'm probably blanking on a bunch of others--it's late.

In reality, a [natural] punch killing anyone is a fluke.

Did the soldier robot punch him in the head? I don't remember that happening.

I don't remember anything dubious that a human wouldn't survive besides the ship crashes, but because we don't know how good the energy absorbing properties of futuristic materials and crumple zones would be, I'm not scoffing too hard.

There certainly are inaccuracies in the film (such as Elysium's open sky), but one can tell they really tried with this movie, so I give it slack. It's nowhere near the "SF" garbage usually offered on the big screen.

Tog
2013-Aug-29, 07:20 AM
Did the soldier robot punch him in the head? I don't remember that happening.
I'm not sure it would be possible to tell without looking as the story boards or someone cell phone footage fo the fight scenes.


I don't remember anything dubious that a human wouldn't survive besides the ship crashes...
Grenade. In the shuttle. To the face.

I don't remember how many people were within a few meters of that thing when it went off, but they all should have been killed at least a little bit.

SkepticJ
2013-Aug-29, 06:23 PM
Grenade. In the shuttle. To the face.

I don't remember how many people were within a few meters of that thing when it went off, but they all should have been killed at least a little bit.

I had the same thought, but I'm not sure we have enough information to conclusively call it. For one, we're assuming grenades in 2154 work the same way they do now; perhaps they accelerate shrapnel more efficiently than with a crude concussive blast, maybe each shrapnel piece has a little gun barrel? That would have the advantage of precisely gridding out, or otherwise controlling the shrapnel spread. Maybe there are a couple of counter rotating flywheels inside the grenade, and only a comparatively small charge is used to shatter them? Maybe the shrapnel is smart, and can decelerate itself by increasing its drag after a certain distance? A grenade that doesn't kill everyone in a room, and potentially kill people a hundred meters away, would be useful.

In a future world with force fields and medical technology that makes Star Trek's look like 20th Century medievalism . . .

Tog
2013-Aug-29, 07:53 PM
7.62 mm bullets with an airburst capability had a lethal range of 5 meters and shredded robots like they were made out of dry sand. Four discs the size of coins turned that other guy to vapor. They had shoulder fired surface to space missiles. Everything from that time was better and smaller.

The "good guys" were using stuff that was around in 1954, albeit with modern ammunition and a really cool door opening device.

This was a grenade the size soda can with nothing about it that looked any more high tech than the other weapons the "rebels" had. Even if it could be targeted, he went into the shuttle with three bad guys and two hostages and only one person was so much as scratched at it rolled around on the floor and went off. Wasn't that the explosion that brought the shuttle down?

Maybe it could be justified, but that was the biggest eye-roll moment for me.

SkepticJ
2013-Aug-29, 09:12 PM
This was a grenade the size soda can with nothing about it that looked any more high tech than the other weapons the "rebels" had.

What would make a grenade look high tech, blinking lights? It looked pretty sleek and clean, to me. We don't know its provenance. New weapons are manufactured on Earth, Elysium is just an opulent gated community writ large.


Even if it could be targeted, he went into the shuttle with three bad guys and two hostages and only one person was so much as scratched at it rolled around on the floor and went off. Wasn't that the explosion that brought the shuttle down?

Hero Protagonist pulled the pin before he went onboard. Hand grenades have a spring loaded lever that is held down after the pin is pulled, and the timed fuse doesn't start until the lever is released and it springs off the body of the grenade. If you don't release the lever, you can put the pin back in. No pin, no lever, the grenade will go off at the fused time, nothing can stop it.

I'd have to see it again, but it might have killed the pilot.

Tog
2013-Aug-30, 09:52 AM
What would make a grenade look high tech, blinking lights? It looked pretty sleek and clean, to me. We don't know its provenance. New weapons are manufactured on Earth, Elysium is just an opulent gated community writ large.
The grenades the bots fired were sleek canisters. The one Damon had looked a lot like a cast iron bodied, white phosphorous grenade going back to WWII.

They may be manufactured on Earth, but the weapons given to him by Spider to pull off what was the best crime ever were an Ak-47 and a pump action shotgun. He was alone and without resources or contacts when he came up with the grenade. I just have a hard time thinking that a top of the line smart grenade would be easy to find in that environment.

I can't find a still from the film (probably because nothing held still long enough to take one) that shows the grenade, but I recall it looking like this (http://www.modernforces.com/weapon_m34.htm).


Hero Protagonist pulled the pin before he went onboard. Hand grenades have a spring loaded lever that is held down after the pin is pulled, and the timed fuse doesn't start until the lever is released and it springs off the body of the grenade. If you don't release the lever, you can put the pin back in. No pin, no lever, the grenade will go off at the fused time, nothing can stop it.
I know there was no way to stop it once the spoon flipped. That was the threat to the others. If he drops the grenade in the shuttle they all die. Everyone reacted as if they understood that. Then some blurry stuff happened and the grenade fell to the floor where the threat was proven to be pretty minimal.


I'd have to see it again, but it might have killed the pilot.
Wasn't the pilot the farthest from it? I thought Kruger fell against the loading door.
Maybe I'll catch that scene when it makes it to HBO. I can't imagine sitting through it again.

SkepticJ
2013-Aug-30, 09:30 PM
The grenades the bots fired were sleek canisters. The one Damon had looked a lot like a cast iron bodied, white phosphorous grenade going back to WWII.

There really is only so much variation that one can have with a cylinder. We see the outside, we have no idea how its guts work.


They may be manufactured on Earth, but the weapons given to him by Spider to pull off what was the best crime ever were an Ak-47 and a pump action shotgun.

AKs have barely changed in over sixty years because they're nigh perfect. If one assumes (as the movie does) that future guns will still use cartridges for kinetic energy carrying projectiles, an upgraded AK seems quite natural to me.


He was alone and without resources or contacts when he came up with the grenade. I just have a hard time thinking that a top of the line smart grenade would be easy to find in that environment.

Probably as hard as having futuristic bullets, which they had in abundance, and a laser door cutter.


I can't find a still from the film (probably because nothing held still long enough to take one) that shows the grenade, but I recall it looking like this (http://www.modernforces.com/weapon_m34.htm).

It did look a bit like that, but again, see above re variations on cylinders. It didn't look exactly like that. I figure it was a custom made prop for the movie--cast out of resin and painted, or whatever.


I know there was no way to stop it once the spoon flipped. That was the threat to the others. If he drops the grenade in the shuttle they all die. Everyone reacted as if they understood that. Then some blurry stuff happened and the grenade fell to the floor where the threat was proven to be pretty minimal.

Nope. The threat was that Hero would blow his own head off with the grenade. Mr. Bad Man had to get the information out of Hero's head for Ms. Evil so she could go forward with her coup plan. If he botches that job, he's screwed; though of course once he reaches Elysium, Bad Man goes rogue. Hero uses the threat as leverage to get onto the craft with Ms. Hostage and Daughter in a bid to rescue them and get a ride to Elysium.


Wasn't the pilot the farthest from it? I thought Kruger fell against the loading door.

Maybe he did, the action is pretty frenetic and hard to follow and I wasn't expecting to have to dissect the action later.

Glom
2013-Sep-08, 10:38 PM
I liked it. Agree shaky cam was too much. The premise was trite and a very puerile take on contemporary issues, though in some aspects it could have gotten a lot worse.

But there was some good action. The world, cartoonish though it was, was nicely realised. And that space station was gorgeous. I liked the way it was a beacon in the daytime sky for the proletarian dreamers.

publiusr
2013-Sep-09, 09:08 PM
My problem was that the station was large enough that it could only be a government project...

SkepticJ
2013-Sep-09, 10:23 PM
That depends on assumptions which would be difficult to defend within the framework of the movie. Access to LEO is demonstrated as being relatively inexpensive. If you can get to LEO cheaply, the universe is your oyster--which is my big problem with the movie. It's not explained why Elysium has a monopoly on space. Nor why they hog their better medical technology; technology isn't a finite resource, make more of it.

publiusr
2013-Sep-09, 10:35 PM
Access to LEO is demonstrated as being relatively inexpensive.

I wish. Still, the bluster of the new spacers, vs the reality of ISS, makes me think large stations will be more TVA than MSN

Glom
2013-Sep-09, 10:42 PM
That depends on assumptions which would be difficult to defend within the framework of the movie. Access to LEO is demonstrated as being relatively inexpensive. If you can get to LEO cheaply, the universe is your oyster--which is my big problem with the movie. It's not explained why Elysium has a monopoly on space. Nor why they hog their better medical technology; technology isn't a finite resource, make more of it.

Yes. They even had dozens of spare ones sitting around in shuttles. And that's why the allegorical function of the magic beds doesn't work. It's to contrived a problem.

SkepticJ
2013-Sep-09, 11:05 PM
I wish. Still, the bluster of the new spacers, vs the reality of ISS, makes me think large stations will be more TVA than MSN

You quoted me out of context. It's demonstrated as being relatively inexpensive in film, not in reality. So your objection to Elysium in the universe of the film doesn't hold; it's sort of like saying the starship Enterprise is unrealistic because we don't know how to do warp drive.

galacsi
2013-Sep-10, 06:32 AM
By the way , about realism, I don't understant how the air is kept inside this habitat.Centrifugal force ? No way the habitat is much too small ! That does not make sense to me.

SkepticJ
2013-Sep-10, 07:21 AM
That bothered me, too, but it's understandable why the real Stanford torus design was modified: you can't get in uninvited through airlocks too easily.

This is really the only rationalization I can come up with, the air is held in by a semi-permeable force field. This isn't too much of a stretch, since Kruger has a personal force field. Maybe the technology exists to hold in gas, but permit larger, solid objects to pass through. There'd be a reason to do that, too, if it's possible in universe: airlocks are a traffic pinch point, and a pain, like airports.

Noclevername
2016-Apr-07, 09:08 AM
Bump!

I saw this film for the first time a few days ago. The writing and plot, I can't help you with, but the open sky problem has a solution that is plausible within the film's universe.

The mercenary had a bulletproof force field device that, from the shield's appearance, was some kind of plasma sheath. Since there are real life plasma windows that can separate air from vacuum, the Elysium station may have used something related to it.