Kurt Loder Movie Reviews

Elysium and We're the Millers

Matt Damon shoots for the stars, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis head for the border.

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Four years ago, Neill Blomkamp's debut feature, District 9, introduced a filmmaker with an exciting talent for sci-fi visual effects, and for story-telling with a distinctive cultural resonance. The movie's digitized aliens, stranded on Earth, were flawlessly embedded in grubby real-world environments, and their pitiful situation—penned up in a Johannesburg slum by their human overlords – mirrored the lingering injustices of apartheid in the director's native South Africa.

Blomkamp's new movie, Elysium, although made with a much larger budget and a couple of Hollywood stars in attendance, is essentially more of the same. His skill at mixing digital elements into live action is still impressive – especially the huge aircraft hovering above the ground in some scenes—and the story he has come up with has a classic sci-fi structure. But his social observations here – about famously screwed-up U.S. immigration and healthcare policies – lead him to advance simpleminded political fixes for these complex issues that could only pass for deep thought in the movie business. They're a thudding distraction from what should be the movie's more straightforward pleasures.

The story is set in Los Angeles in 2154. The city is a polluted hellhole, populated largely by people who speak Spanish. Wealthy Anglos have fled the planet – or L.A., at least—for Elysium, a giant luxury space wheel high above, where they sip cocktails by their swimming pools and occasionally natter in French. Best of all, their elegant homes are equipped with miraculous medical technology that can cure any disease.

Elysium is naturally a dream destination for the impoverished masses down below, who long for a better life. And since the idyllic torus is only a quick spaceship hop away, underground entrepreneurs do a brisk business ferrying desperate people up to it for purposes of illegal immigration. (How this would work is not something to which Blomkamp appears to have given much thought: there's no place on the pristine Elysium where a grimy smuggler ship might set down unnoticed, and no conceivable way the scruffy illegals onboard could quickly blend into the big wheel's wealthy white populace.) Those spacecraft that aren't shot down by Elysium's missile defenses meet with a frosty reception from homeland-security chief Delacourt (Jodie Foster), who barks to her minions, "Send them to deportation! Get them off this planet!" And Delacourt – whose creamy gray wardrobe testifies to the presence of an Armani outlet somewhere on Elysium – thinks the torus government for which she works is going soft on this sort of thing: together with a depraved mercenary named Kruger (District 9 star Sharlto Copley), she's plotting a coup that will allow her to clamp down even harder.

Meanwhile, in the roiling metropolis back on Earth, an ex-con named Max (Matt Damon) is working a straight job at Armadyne, the company that fabricates the fearsome robocops that keep the citizenry in line. (Their savage stop-and-frisk activities might draw sighs of yearning from some New York City politicians.) Max, with his shaved head and skin full of jailhouse tattoos, has turned his back on lawbreaking. But when a factory accident leaves him with a lethal dose of radiation poisoning – and only five days to live – he, too, lines up for a life-saving trip to Elysium. His smuggler friend Spider (Wagner Moura) agrees to help, but only if Max will undertake a dangerous mission – kidnapping Armadyne CEO Carlyle (William Fichtner) and downloading Elysium's defense data from his brain. (This would make more sense if the stiff, emotionless Carlyle were a robot himself – he acts like one—but Blomkamp doesn't pursue that possibility.) Max accepts this deal, with the understanding that he'll be allowed to take along his childhood friend Frey (Alice Braga), whose little daughter is dying of leukemia and can only be cured on Elysium.

All of this is a serviceable prelude for a sci-fi action adventure. But the movie is hobbled by a number of problems. After the weakened Max has a rigid metal exo-skeleton bolted onto his body (in a fairly horrific surgery scene), Damon is robbed of his considerable physical expressiveness, and left to glumly clump around for the rest of the film. Foster's character is nothing more than a symbol of bureaucratic heartlessness, and Copley's sneering villain is a parody of evil incarnate. (The actor also deploys a thick South African accent that's sometimes impenetrable).

Blomkamp's commitment to handheld camerawork is also overdone – even a quiet closeup of a woman in a room has a telltale shaky-cam jitter. And after its promising start, the movie's sudden descent into run-of-the-mill gun battles, fistfights and chase scenes in its second half is a letdown. There's not a whole lot that's really new going on in this picture. Even when it shoots for the stars, it never really takes off.

We're the Millers

We're the Millers is a simple elevator-pitch comedy that's brought to life by its actors. Jason Sudeikis is David, an aging Denver pot dealer. Jennifer Aniston is David's apartment-house neighbor Rose, a similarly aging stripper who thinks David is a jerk. Emma Roberts plays Casey, a sullen street kid David rescues from a gang of thugs one night. And Will Poulter (a Chronicles of Narnia veteran) is Kenny, a neighborhood dork in whom David takes a fond interest. When David is robbed of his dealer bag and $43,000 in illicit proceeds, his drug-king boss, Brad (Ed Helms), says he'll forgive the debt if David will just travel down to Mexico for him and pick up a consignment of weed. David recruits Rose, Casey and Kenny to join him on this trip, impersonating a family as cover for the smuggling mission. They don't like each other very much, but as their journey proceeds, they begin to develop family-like ties.

That's about it. Helms' raving schemer quickly becomes an annoyance, and there's some very silly comedic business (when a sack of pot falls from a shelf in the RV David has rented for the mission, Aniston quickly swaddles it in a towel, passing it off as a baby to prevent unwanted detection). And when the fake family arrives at the heavily guarded headquarters of the Mexican pot supplier, there's a treacherous twist – engineered by Brad – that didn't entirely make sense to me.

But Sudeikis' solid nice-guy appeal and comic flair are substantial assets (preparing for the big trip, he earnestly looks up "drug smuggling" on Wikipedia); and Aniston, as she did in Horrible Bosses, demonstrates a fearless ease with lewd comedy (and, in a couple of stripping scenes, a formidably well-toned body). Roberts and Poulter get some funny moments, too. (Bitten by a spider that's crawled into his pants, Poulter sprouts a set of outsize prosthetic genitals – gross-out humor is an iron requirement in this kind of picture.) There are also scary intimations of oral sex in a cameo by Luis Guzmán as a corrupt Mexican cop, and some wild antics in a tent featuring Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn as a pair of straight-arrow tourists with suppressed sexual desires.

We're the Millers won't change any part of anyone's life, but it's an amiable exercise in an admittedly formulaic genre. There are much worse ways to spend an hour and a half or so – just look around the multiplex on your next visit.  

NEXT: Alex Rodriguez to Make First Home Start of the Season

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  1. So, Obamacare will lead to the rich building a giant, orbital, space torus where they can receive high quality specialty care?

    1. I was hoping for a libertarian refuge in orbit. Unfortunately, Matt Damon leads a Progressive attack to make us pay our fair share.

      1. Class Warfare: The Final Frontier

      2. Wouldn’t a Progressive assault be an unarmed assault?

        1. Why would they be unarmed? They just want [i]you[/i] to be unarmed.

            1. Michael. I see what you mean… Virginia`s c0mment is amazing… last thursday I got a brand new Ford since I been making $9048 this month and also 10-k last month. this is certainly the most comfortable job Ive ever done. I actually started three months/ago and right away started earning at least $76, p/h. I follow this website,, WEP6.COM

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        2. A joint DEA / ATF / IRS SWAT attack would make the Progs feel warm and smug.

    2. That space torus, you didn’t build that.

    3. what William answered I didnt know that a mom can make $7654 in one month on the internet. did you look at this website… max38.c?m

    4. my best friend’s step-aunt makes $75 every hour on the laptop. She has been without a job for six months but last month her pay check was $17502 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more… http://www.Can99.com

  2. I’m just waiting for the mashup We’re the Millers Crossing

    1. After Barney Miller’s Crossing.

      1. Barney Miller’s Crossing Delancy

    2. Or maybe Miller’s Crossing with Miller from Repo Man.

      Plate o’ shrimp.

      1. Miller Gump!

  3. Oh, goodie, another science fiction movie messed up with heavy-handed political messaging. You’d think with all of the money at stake that they’d avoid anything other than big picture moralizing (as opposed to current political debates).

    1. I’d like to see a Rod Serling Twilight Zone that tackles Obamacare.

      1. Imagine a world where laws are passed to improve something but actually totally wreck it. Again and again. Welcome to. . .The Twilight Zone

        1. You have to pass it to find out what’s in it… then you break your glasses…

          1. That Death Panelist is reading…a cook book!

          2. Time Enough at Last…to read what’s in the law.

            1. My name is talky Baracky, and my health care plan is going to kill your economy!

          3. Was it Night Gallery when Obamacare ate its way through a guy’s brain, who survived only to learn than Obamacare had laid eggs in his brain?

            1. “Well, Barack, you, uh, you wished them away into the cornfield. Their mommy and daddy were real upset.”

              1. I liked the Twilight Zone where the kids could use their pool as a gateway to a land that did NOT have Obamacare. They’d swim under the water and come up in a creek in a land of people living in a kinder, gentler time.

                There was hope, and a kindly old woman made them pies and served 32 oz. soft drinks.

    2. The city is a polluted hellhole, populated largely by people who speak Spanish. Wealthy Anglos have fled the planet ? or L.A., at least — for Elysium, a giant luxury space wheel high above, where they sip cocktails by their swimming pools and occasionally natter in French.

      “TAX CUTS FOR THE GOOD PEOPLE OF ELYSIUM” – Fox News.

      1. Shut the fuck up, Obama Girl.

      2. BUSHPIG!!11!!!!CHRISTFAGS!!!11!!!!

      3. The city is a polluted hellhole, populated largely by people who speak Spanish. Wealthy Anglos have fled the planet ? or L.A., at least

        So, it was wrecked by decades of progressive policy, much like Detroit?

        1. What are you talking about? I learned on MSNBC that any problems in Detroit are totally the fault of conservatives, libertarians, small government types…….basically everyone who is NOT a progressive!

          1. The problems in Detroit were caused by teh FREE MARKET and CAPITULIZM, according to some proggy or other.

            I can’t keep it all straight. I blame Bush.

            Also – fried chicken

          2. I learned on MSNBC that any problems in Detroit are totally the fault of conservatives, libertarians, small government types…….basically everyone who is NOT a progressive!

            I understand the impulse for proggies to point the finger at anyone but themselves, but I’m pretty sure that when it comes to Detroit they aren’t fooling anyone who doesn’t want to be fooled. They own Detroit (and every other urban hell hole in America).

      4. “THIS IS JUST LIKE THAT TWO AMERICAS THING I’M ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT (UNTIL I RUIN MY CAREER BY KNOCKING UP MY MISTRESS WHILE MY WIFE IS RECOVERING FROM BREAST CANCER)” – John Edwards

        1. John Edwards – United Colonial Space Marine

        2. Speaking of – what’s the sleazebag up to these days?

          1. Not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he attempts some sort of comeback. He won’t run for President again, of course, but to the extent that I understand the way Democrats think, as long as you support abortion you’re “good on women’s issues.”

            So that whole affair business? It was just a one-time mistake. Shouldn’t read too much into it.

            1. Edwards should run again, with Wiener as his veep and Spitzer as Secretary of Whorin’.

              1. Yes! That would be a political dream team of total dicks.

          2. Isn’t he still doing the fake psychic schtick?

        3. One woman for each America.

      5. The city is a polluted hellhole, populated largely by people who speak Spanish. Wealthy Anglos have fled the planet ? or L.A., at least — for Elysium, a giant luxury space wheel high above, where they sip cocktails by their swimming pools and occasionally natter in French.

        So basically, Elysium is Space Georgetown.

        1. The city is a polluted hellhole, populated largely by people who speak Spanish.

          No special effects needed there.

  4. “David recruits Rose, Casey and Kenny to join him on this trip, impersonating a family as cover for the smuggling mission.”

    Putting the “trip” in “road trip,” I suppose? Yawn…

  5. How do they cast an actress that won’t take her top off as a stripper?

    1. “Granma?”

    2. She’s more of a burlesque dancer instead of a stripper?

  6. The inevitable sequel:

    Meet the Millers 2: The Search for Curly’s Pot

    1. Miller v. California. This time, it’s personal.

      1. Millers 2: Miller time

        “Tasked with driving a truck of Miller beer from Milwaukee to Dallas in time for the Big Game, the protagonists face Smokies, motorcycle-gang hijackers, and angry microbrew beer snobs.”

        “Does Jennifer Aniston show her boobs?”

        “Yes.”

        “I like it! Here’s my card.”

        [Elevator dings]

        1. Better than Sally Field.

          Serious question for the old people of the board: what was wrong with you all? Why was Sally Field considered eye candy?

          1. Who are you talking to? Anyone who thought The Fying Nun was a looker was taken to Treblinka and exterminated years ago.

          2. Sally Field was there to make Burt Reynolds look sexy.

            It’s like the homely wingman theory.

            1. Don’t Talk Shit About Burt Reynolds! Motherfucker was the man.

          3. Hell if I know. When Burt dated her, I thought it was the oddest thing.

  7. Blomkamp’s commitment to handheld camerawork is also overdone ? even a quiet closeup of a woman in a room has a telltale shaky-cam jitter.

    I’m so allergic to the shaky cam. I recently tried to watch Tropa de Elite, but the shaky cam drove me away in a few minutes.

    1. I can’t stand it. One of the Bourne movies almost made me and my brother ill from all of the camera movement.

      1. The 2nd Bourne Film.

        I saw this at a drive-in (A WHAT?) and I had no idea what even happened in the last 30 minutes of the film.

    2. I hate shaky-cam. Hopefully it goes the way of 70’s zoom-cam.

    3. Ditto. My theory is that shaky-cam is what you do when you’re not competent to frame/direct/edit a real scene.

      1. done well, shaky cam is great. done poorly, it is hideous.

        And 90% of everything is crap.

      2. Worked well in Homicide: Life on the Street because it was 90 plus percent dialog with tremendous give and take between the actors. In an action movie, forget about it, terrible every time.

        1. That was a decent frickin’ show.

          1. The first few years. Jumped the shark when they brought in the non-ugly actors.

  8. How much of Stripping Jennifer Aniston do we see, and is her being a stripper a crucial plot point later?

    1. Yeah! WTF Loder! Get your priorities in order. Do I go see this movie or not?

      1. There are two scenes with Aniston stripping, no boobs. No boobs in this entire movie, as a matter of fact. She works in the kind of strip club you see on Law & Order, where when the detectives walk in all the strippers convieniently either have their tops on or their backs to the camera.

        1. Jennifer Aniston has boobs?

          1. No, not much. Attractive caboose, though.

            1. She has boobs.
              http://tinyurl.com/lu7ptdb
              32B according to the Internet. I’d make do.

  9. Matt Damon’s advocacy for gun control smacks of hypocrisy when he makes millions in movies that glorify guns used heavily in a glamorous and romanticized fashion. But then again, this is the same guy who advocates how wonderful public school are and how we should support our school systems and keep our kids there, then puts his own kids into private school.

    1. It’s almost like no one should give a shit about anything MATT DAMON says.

      1. It’s almost like Matt and Trey managed to perfectly portray him in TA:WP.

  10. preparing for the big trip, he earnestly looks up “drug smuggling” on Wikipedia

    “We’re looking up ‘money laundering’ in a dictionary.”

    Hey, you know when there’s that memorably annoying quote in a movie trailer? A decade ago there was “I’ll never teeeeeeelllll” from Don’t Say a Word, then came “I already work around the clock!” from that Harrison Ford thing.

    Well for some reason “Cancer. Cells. Removed.” from the Elysium trailer is even worse than those two.

    1. And then the Feds pulled up in a black SUV, and followed up on the search. 99% of the time, they find nothing.

      1. But they killed all the family pets just to make sure.

  11. “a simple elevator-pitch comedy”

    That sounds about right.

    “It’s road-trip movie. There’s pot. There’s Jennifer Aniston stripping.”

    “I’m sold!”

    [elevator dings]

  12. I’m generally not keen to support Jodie Foster’s career to any extent, but would I be right to guess that her role in ‘Elysium’ may come easy to her, much as Sally Fields’ part in “Mrs. Doubtfire?”

    1. Just curious: why the anti-Jodie Foster position?

      1. I don’t get that, either. Her participation is about the only reason I’d assumed the movie would be good.

      2. I guess most people wouldn’t remember the interviews she gave when “Little Man Tate” came out, her directorial debut, and certain things she said therein. Even fewer would have my experience with a woman who actually took Foster’s words to heart.

        1. Wow, now I’m really curious.

          I’d be hard-pressed to think of a more inoffensive film in her entire body of work.

        2. Well, what did she say?

          1. Well, what did she say?

            I’m curious too.

            1. Actually, I think the damage had already been done by an infamous episode of “Murphy Brown.” Foster expressed some agreement with that concept, no doubt influenced by her own familial experience. Directors often tell their own stories with their first features.

              I hope you’ll note that I chose mild words, not even on the level of “anti-.” And I have seen a few Foster films in the last 20 years. Matthew McConaughey’s performance was really what ruined “Contact” for me.

              1. Although I am curious about “Mud,” now that it’s at the $2.50 theater here.

              2. Actually, I think the damage had already been done by an infamous episode of “Murphy Brown.” Foster expressed some agreement with that concept, no doubt influenced by her own familial experience. Directors often tell their own stories with their first features.

                I still don’t have any idea what concept she presented in Little Man Tate that you find offensive.

                Is it single motherhood as a net positive? It seems to me that unlike Murphy Brown Foster’s movie presented single motherhood in a decidedly negative light.

    2. William Fichtner is great though, especially when playing evil incarnate. I almost didn’t recognize him as Butch Cavendish in The Lone Ranger, this year’s most underrated movie. Too bad you missed it in the theaters, because it’s already gone, and it was great fun.

      1. He played one of the most creepy, vile people ever on As the World Turns. Loved him in Contact.

      2. Fichtner is one of those guys like Hank Azaria — absolutely invaluable to the industry of movie-making, but since he cannot “open” a picture the way that Matt Damon or Brad Pitt supposedly can, he’ll never get his due.

        (Have you noticed that A-listers are A-listers until they aren’t. If a star’s “brand” is so fool-proof, why didn’t Depp’s save Lone Ranger?)

  13. Forget the horrendous class messaging in Elysium, the real reason it’s dreck is because it’s an exercise in Ehrlichism.

    No, the world will not be overpopulated in 2154.

    No, we will not experience resource depletion by 2154.

    Ehrlich was wrong, Hollywood. Soylent Green will not be people.

    1. ^THIS.

      Although it might be nice if the twist was the people of Elysium are all government employees.

    2. That’s literally true. A guy is preparing to sell a food powder called Soylent right now. For reals.

      1. Anything to do with flax seeds?

        1. I guess I could have followed the link before asking.

          1. That’s pretty corny

            1. You’d have to be a real gluten for punishment to eat that stuff!

              1. Guy: Chia think this soylent stuff might taste OK?

                Girl: Oh yeah. I’ve tried it, and it made me acai with pleasure.

                Guy: Well, make sure to buy some next time you goji to the grocery store.

                Girl: All right, but that stuff is expensive. Do you think you could kelp out with the cost?

    3. On a tangent, I think the real reason the Georgia Guidestones call for a maximum population of 500 million has much more to do with 1970’s Malthusian thought than any secret plot to cull the excess.

      1. I thought it was to protect Gaia from the virus of humanity.

        1. Humans are the Space HIV.

    4. Yeah, at the rate we’re going with falling birth rates, the world’s population in 2154 will be considerably less than it is now. Of course, trends are variable…

      1. Yeah.

        The Machine Stops is about eleventy billion times more likely than Elysium.

    5. Soylent Green will not be people.

      Unless Soylent Green turns out to be delicious.

      Seerved with vodka, it’s “Body and Blood of Heston”.

      1. I look forward to some “lab-grown meat” manufactured from my body’s stem cells. I want to taste human flesh.

        1. Why not fellate someone?

    6. Ehrlich was wrong, Hollywood. Soylent Green will not be people.

      But it will always sell movies, news and soap. People want to believe it’s true, therefore it will be.

      People accept bad news uncritically. They have to be convinced of good news.

  14. When L.A. began its decent into Detroit level chaos due to irresponsible economic and social policy, a group of wealthy libertarians lead by Peter Thiel build a private oasis dedicated to personal freedom. When the U.S. government and UN begin confiscating all personal wealth as disease and poverty overtake socially “managed” states, the citizens of Elysium build a system of defense to protect themselves from the increasingly threatening tactics of the states.

    Matt Damon plays a character trying to kidnap the children of Elysium and force them into state schools where they’ll receive the proper “education”.

    Now that would be a truly interesting movie.

  15. “Jennifer Aniston plays a naked pot dealer travels from Earth to Mars to deliver a shipment of weed to the colonists there, pursued by an obsessed policeman trying to arrest the dealer on an old traffic charge.”

    “Sounds great! Call me!”

    [Elevator dings]

    1. “Adam Sandler is a guy, and he, uh, falls in love with a girl, but it turns out that she’s a golden retriever.”

      Movie Executive It’s great! We’ll call it Puppy Love! Any more?

      1. Adam Sandler inherits, like, a billion dollars. But first he has to become a boxer, or something.

        1. Vince Vaughn is a 40-something slacker who finds out that he has fathered 500 children due to a mixup at a fertility clinic, and decides to help them out with his sage advice.

          (Don’t worry, this one is already in previews.)

      2. “Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger are in a home for retired mercenaries where a sadistic nurse, played by Jason Statham, tries to take steak off the menu. There will be martial arts and gun battles.”

        “Does the nursing home blow up.”

        “Of course.”

        “Have your people call my people.”

        [elevator dings]

        1. “Uh, uh, a screenwriter fortuitously bumps into a movie producer in an elevator and has 30 seconds to make the world’s greatest pitch. He comes up with and idea for the greatest movie ever, and it’s a box-office hit!”

          “It’s meta. I like it. Do they hire strippers to star in the movie?”

          “Yes.”

          “See me tomorrow. [Talks into cell phone] Eunice, clear my schedule!”

          [Elevator dings]

          1. Bzzt. Next! You are way too original for Hollywood.

          2. Hey, throw in cameos for the corporate shirts, and you’ve got a sure sale.

  16. Matt Damon. MATT DAMON!

    1. Matt Damon. MATT DAMON!

      Is there something wrong with me that I LOL every time I see this?

  17. “The movie’s social observations?about famously screwed-up U.S. immigration and healthcare policies?lead to the advancement of simpleminded political fixes for these complex issues that could only pass for deep thought in the movie business.”

    Well, I think it’s important to remember that the director/writer was born in South Africa, where a couple of simple political fixes solved all of South Africa’s problems.

    Also, the director’s/writer’s parents apparently…um…fled South Africa when he was 18, and so he grew up in Canada, where there is no xenophobia,(according to someone I met from Canada), and everyone is forced to pay for each other’s healthcare.

    …which is all vastly superior to the United States–I know–because that guy I met from Canada told me so.

    1. Was he down here for an operation?

      1. Or to buy things?

    2. Yeah, but how does America correlate to a place with miraculous healthcare? Don’t Americans with cash go to India or Mexico for healthcare?

  18. It amazes me how retarded studio execs have become. If you are making a movie that costs a fortune and must appeal to a broad audience to make any money, you can’t piss off half of your audience by making it a political movie. You make political statements in cheap niche movies that can afford to offend people. The same sort of liberals who politicize every aspect of their lives seem unaware that other people might do the same.

    What the fuck kind of retard thinks in the current political environment making an action movie about a black former professor President fighting right wing terrorists isn’t going to be seen as a slap in the face by like 49% of the adult population? And now these same people have made a revenge fantasy about finally getting the evil 1% and have allowed their jackass star to go all over he media shooting his mouth off. And they will no doubt be shocked when this thing bombs because half of its potential audience won’t even consider paying to see it.

    1. “Scarlett Johannsen is a cop who comes across a murder. She finds the killing is linked to a homeschooling defense organization. Her bosses pull her off the case, but with the help of a sympathetic DMV clerk (played by a hot young male actor) she sees that justice is done.”

      “A message movie, I like it! Does she…”

      “Go undercover as a stripper? Of course!”

      “I like your style. See me in my office.”

      [Elevator dings]

      1. You had me at “Scarlett Johannsen”.

    2. They assume we are so stupid we won’t notice and will just take in the political drivel subconsciously.

      This movie will make money without being a hit – and it will be attributed to the fact there are a bunch of mediocre sci-fi movies out this summer.

      1. No, it’s worse than that.

        They assume that their position is so self-evidently right that everyone will run out to see the movie and everyone will love it.

      2. This movie will make money without being a hit

        Unless its a huge hit, it will lose money on net. Hollywood big-budget spending has outgrown the available revenue from the marketplace, and it is losing its ass this year, and probably for at least a couple more years.

        1. Don’t all movies ‘lose’ money per Hollywood accounting standards?

          1. Yes, but only evil right wing corporashunz dodge taxes.

            1. And of course movie makers never choose shooting locations based on available tax credits.

    3. I think there are a lot of movies made today with the international market in mind–it isn’t just the American market they’re thinking of. And in the rest of the world, anti-Americanism really sells right now.

      It used to be that Hollywood didn’t have to waste much time developing the character of a villain if they just put the bad guys in a Nazi uniform. Americans are like the new Nazis!

    4. “Johnny Depp plays an eccentric bureaucrat-with-a-heart-of-gold who is working to set up a Health Care Exchange in Georgia. Natalie Portman plays an idealistic law student who is helping him as a summer job. Ned Beatty plays a businessman who will do anything to stop them, with Ethan Hawke as a nefarious Kentucky Senator. Jason Statham will play their security chief. Can our two heroes find love and social justice in Georgia?”

      “Does Natalie Portman go down on a girl?”

      “There is a cameo by Emmy Rossum, who plays a fellow law student. There will be a scene where the two explore their sexuality while they’re studying the Civil Rights Act.”

      “I like it”

      1. “There is a cameo by Emmy Rossum, who plays a fellow law student. There will be a scene where the two explore their sexuality while they’re studying the Civil Rights Act.”

        My brain just exploded.

    5. Well, yeah, but Hollywood is probably one of the centers of the principle-agent problem. They can always find plenty of willing suckers willing to provide capital for their projects, even when they cook the books to call a blockbuster a loss. As a result, the key to success isn’t to impress investors, but to impress the rest of the industry.

  19. I’m loving this “elevator pitch” meme…

    20-something Congressional aide: I have an idea for legislation that will put anyone who is a member of an organization on the SPLC’s terror list in internment camps in Death Valley.

    Any Senator: How’s it polling?

    20-something Congressional aide: Through the roof!

    Any Senator: Write it up! I’ll get McCain and Feinstein to co-sponsor and we’ll fast-track it.

    [elevator dings]

  20. There’s not a whole lot that’s really new going on in this picture.

    No, really.

  21. The city is a polluted hellhole, populated largely by people who speak Spanish.

    Wow, brazen xenophobia coupled with long-debunked Malthusian dreck? Sounds delightful.

    1. The Malthusian dreck, yes, but the Spanish-speakers were Unfortunate Victims just waiting for Mighty Whitey to save them. All the baddies were over-privileged Caucasians: Jodie Foster, faking a hilariously bad generic Eurotrash accent, rogue superagent Kruger, who I took to be Afrikaner (like Sharlto Copley who plays him), and Evil Executive Carlyle (Willam Fitchner), except ineffectual President Patel (Faran Tahir).

  22. Also, I was just reading a review of Elysium on The Verge which contains this little gem worth pointing out…

    And for all of Elysium’s focus on gritty, visual realism, its many plot holes suggest a disregard for the same on a human level: medical care on Earth is so poor that people travel off-world to heal themselves, yet Spider’s team can crack open Damon’s skull and he barely has a hangover?

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/8…..ium-review

    1. Once plot holes come to entirely dominate the dramatic structure of the movie, I think “plot lattice” might be a better phrase. It’s like a fishing net or the back of a wicker chair: really, it’s mostly holes.

  23. He was somewhat entertaining in the bourne movies, but I’m amazed MATT DAMON! even gets these action roles being such a physical non-specimen. You hear about his ‘rigorous’ training plans to get him in shape for these movies and still ends up looking soft and pre-diabetic. I wonder if he just doesn’t have the potential or goes with shitty trainers when you see the pre-filming results of Butler/Cavill/Jackman to name a few.

    1. In addition to being a progressive retard, he’s a carb loader. Idiot.

      1. 80% of his job is to look good and that’s the best he can do? Ehhhh.

        1. Proof that Ben Affleck sperm is fatting.

          1. ^fattening

  24. Elysium is naturally a dream destination for the impoverished masses down below, who long for a better life.

    And I am sure the screenplay writer had absolutely NO intention of explaining how come the people down on the fucking EARTH are not working to create a better life for themselves, instead assuming that such things as “overpopulation” and “overbuilding” are real problems, people are not ingenious and enterprising, and that they’re so simpleminded that they would think invading a spaceship is the ticket to prosperity.

    Besides that, does the movie explain exactly how the rich people became wealthy? I can make a guess that they did it by raping the Earth or some other economically-ignorant shit like that.

    1. Its his allegory as to how people immigrate to better countries rather than stay and make their own a better place.

      Of course he doesn’t explore *why* immigrants flee their countries rather than stay and make them a better place because that would require him to think about how cronyism and excessive regulation tend to stop people from improving their lot.

    2. That is one of the points that struck me as especially imbecilic. Elysium is A SPACESHIP!! They’d have even fewer resources than the people on the Earth. Unless mental retardation was epidemic by this time, the people on the Earth would make a killing selling them things like food, potable water,…

      1. A spaceship, you’ll notice, that is stocked with enough medical equipment and supplies for the whole planet. Because, shut up!

        One thing I noticed: Elysium was open topped. It was necessary to the plot (since three or four shuttles land without authorization during the moving), but they never discussed how they maintained pressure at breathable levels.

  25. There’s a reason why TBN Films has never put out a blockbuster. If you start with a message and then try to shoehorn a story into it, it fails as entertainment. Fortunately when you’re working with a few hundred million dollars you can afford to blow up enough shit on screen to get penises into the seats regardless of what the story is. But it still fails as entertainment just as much as the Left Behind movies. That your savior is daddy gubmint instead of lord Jesus doesn’t change the dynamics.

    1. In regards to Elysium, obviously.

      If I want to watch a sci fi with a political message I’ve got The Day the Earth Stood Still on DVD. The original, of course. Not the Keanu Reeves remake.

  26. Myatt Damun!

  27. my buddy’s step-aunt makes $61 every hour on the computer. She has been without work for 6 months but last month her pay was $14651 just working on the computer for a few hours. Here’s the site to read more… max38.c?m

  28. I found the product plugs to be odd when I saw the flick (the best parts BTW are the ambush of the billionaire and Copley’s character – complete unfiltered asshole).

    The two brands I saw getting plugged are ultra-luxury (Bvlgari digital-personal effects and a Bugatti(?) hypersonic shuttle), and used exclusively used by the Elysium folk. They are never portrayed as desirable by the hoi polloi or alluded to in any positive way in the film – they’re just props for the reviled 1%.

    How and why did these companies (undoubtedly) pay to slap their brands on such unappealing product scenarios? I found that very strange. Perhaps it’s because Matt Damon and Jodie Foster love and own some of their real life products, living it up in their own Malibu Elysium? The dissonance there is more epic than anything in the film.

    1. Did Bulgari and Bugatti pay for those blink-and-you-miss-them spots?

      If so, somebody should get fired.

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  31. I liked We’re The Millers. Plenty of times I laughed my ass off. I have no ragrets. 😉

  32. just as Heather said I am shocked that any body can profit $5264 in 4 weeks on the internet. have you seen this page http://www.max47.com

  33. Just watched “We’re the Millers,” good way to kill an hour and a half. Plus, you get to see Aniston strip, which I’m ok with.

    Definitely not the *worst* comedy I’ve seen, and I won’t remember even seeing it in two years, but it’s watchable.

  34. “Max accepts this deal, with the understanding that he’ll be allowed to take along his childhood friend Frey (Alice Braga), whose little daughter is dying of leukemia and can only be cured on Elysium.”

    That is actually not what happened. Did you watch the movie? The girls were only brought along on accident.

  35. although made with a much larger budget and a couple of Hollywood

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