I recently got a chance to go see Neill Blomkamp’s new feature “Elysium” starring Matt Damon, and I have to ask. What is it with Mr. Blomkamp and blowing people up into tiny bits? Blomkamp is the Gallagher of human splatter, and as awesome as it is, I feel we all need to hold an intervention.
You know what I do when I’m down? I get my mallet… AND… I…
Now, I’ve read a number of reviews for this film, and my interpretation is a bit varied from the general rallying consensus. I understand the expounding evidence divulging in extreme class segregation, a story about the unruly 99% against the elite 1%. A story concerning poverty, health control, technological dominance, and a whole mess of political jazz I’d like to shove right back into the web of exegetical nonsense. This movie is about one thing, and that is not how the screenwriters believe Los Angeles in 2154 will be comprised solely of a Latin barrio, with a Spanish-only population. Except for Matt Damon.
Well, he speaks Spanish.
The beauty behind this cinematic experience, like so many, is the opportunity allowing us, the viewer, a window of open-ended interpretation. Like most art (i.e. photography, music, whatever Picasso does), people are liable to walk away having been exposed to the same material, though draw insight into or internalize the experience differently.
It’s a fish… right?
Such was my experience while viewing ‘Elysium’. People saw class war and health care as underlying issues. I saw an awesome narrative allegory concerning the technological struggle between Microsoft and Apple, 150 years in the making. Let me explain.
Elysium reflects the standpoint of a clean, organized, utopian civilization. It is free of disease, fresh, immaculate, and exists for an elect aristocracy. It lingers in the sky as an out-of-reach perfection for those who cannot afford it, standing as a symbolic acclaim to sophistication, progressiveness and modernization. Everything is maintained by a pristine edict, of which must be accepted by the civilians of Elysium without complaint. And the entire development looks as if it was designed by Apple — even the people.
Introducing: The iJodie
Apple built its image on being sleek, modern and sophisticated. One of the most famous claims is the inability to contract a virus, and is insanely expensive and overpriced to procure while offering the luxury of a simple, worry-free solution to your technological needs. However, these simple, user-friendly devices are available only to those with the available capital. There are constant upgrades and agreements that necessitate one’s compliance in order to use Apple products, and all the people who use Apple products look as if they were designed by Apple.
Come. Join us.
Now let us take a look at the opposition.
Earth is a filthy wasteland. All of Los Angeles looks like a Brazilian slum, policed by a disciplinary land-force of zero-tolerance cop-bots, and one South African renegade with a very silly accent.
’E always wonted a wof.’ (Need to see the movie to get this one)
Overall though, Earth and it’s children stand for the old. The out-dated, disease-ridden, clunky, abandoned brain-child that was the beginning of an amazing, seemingly far surpassed ideal. However, it exists with less reservation and more freedom to live as humans are instinctively born to live. It can be utilized and manipulated and adhere to more specified needs. The citizens of Earth (primarily the underworld and black market) are capable of manufacturing and utilizing advancements that are (in many ways) equal to Elysium’s, while representing the majority of the human race’s populace. It is this fact that allows Damon to parade around in an exo-suit that looks as if Iron Man got it on with a T-800.
Loooovin’ yoooou, is easy cause you’re beautifuuuuuul…
Microsoft is the original. Even though Microsoft only existed a few years before Apple’s founding, it is still highly regarded as the beginning of the technological age. It would be decades later before Apple would repackage itself as the sleek, modern company it is known as today, leaving Microsoft in the blind eye as the personal computer’s beginnings. Though Microsoft is far from inferior to Apple products, it is highly regarded to be more technical, and not as user-friendly as Apple’s interface and OS. It is also known to be more flexible, and can be constructed to serve more specific needs, and is far more susceptible to viruses.
I know. Plenty of these claims may sound like I’m reaching here. Seeing as how I wrote this article on an Apple computer, I may have taken one step closer to getting a ticket on Elysium. That, or I just paid way too much for a computer. You decide.
We movie-viewers have a love-hate relationship with the horror genre. It seems to be so easy to discount a horror movie these days, with lame plots, unbelievable characters and recycled horror. I usually feel cheated by the time the lights come back up in my most recent experiences with this particular genre, more so than any other. Be it because the threat is tacky, or we’ve seen it done too often or the same way. Or the moments to manipulate your sense of fear don’t quite land or it is laughably blatant and poorly executed, there is always one factor, a small voice in the back of my mind yelling “THIS IS TOTALLY SURVIVABLE!” You don’t need to be a genius or an ex-Navy Seal to survive even the most terrifying horror plot. Just stick to some basic guidelines.
Who is always the first to go, hm? Is it the abysmally virtuous, chaste girl representing the symbol of everything good and right in this world, or the sinfully unrighteous, sex-crazed spawn of Ron Jeremy?
Welcome to you worst nightmare, fellas.
When you find yourself in your buddy’s 1990’s Volvo heading up to the family cabin for a weekend of seclusion, unknowingly accompanied by an axe masochist, allow your buddy in the back seat be the one making out with the Nepali foreign exchange student, clad in leather, smoking a cigarette and, sure, why not… littering. Because all chainsaw murderers hate the ecologically indifferent.
Give a hoot, don’t pollute.
As a side note, be sure to stuff a bottle of cheap vodka in her purse so she’ll be guaranteed to take the drunken, reproachable low-road at every possible moment of character development. She will be your sure-fire way of escape. Because she’s wearing heels. And we all know how that ends up.
3. Believe Everything Your Child Tells You
It doesn’t matter if your house is pre-war, built on an Indian… sorry, Native-American burial ground or was once used as an atavistic sex dungeon. Your kids are evil spirit censors, plain and simple. Whether they’re telling you about their imaginary friend named Timmy or the lipstick-smeared panty goblin that hides in the toilet (I want to see that movie, Hollywood), that child does not merely have an overly active imagination. This kid has granted you a suspended warning before **** hits the fan, and it is time for you to either get spiritually harmonious quick, or move out before your walls start bleeding and some irate ghost with mutton-chops and a Pringles mustache jams you up the chimney chute like Augustus Gloop, all due to that flower you peed on in your backyard a few weeks ago.
This is the last straw!
If there is even the slightest chance of your children conversing with his headless rocking horse, it’s either time to break out the torches, or call Coldwell Banker.
2. Never Investigate
“I’m gonna’ go check it out”, or some variation of this line has to be the most infuriating, dimwitted death-sentence of a statement just short of “let’s split up”. It doesn’t matter if the electricity has been compromised, there are claw marks leading down into the basement or the stuffing has been pulled out of your favorite teddy bear leading straight into the closet. DON’T. INVESTIGATE. If you possess even the slightest rationalization for self-preservation, whatever is lurking behind that door, be it your infant child or some Lovecraftian Hell-beast, it is going to “get you”.
Call me a coward, but that baby can freaking wait until everything blows over, or it can blame itself for going into the basement in the first place. I’m not going in. You can if you want, and it was nice knowing you. I’ll get the A/C in the car started and pointing in the direction of “the-****-outta-here”, and you can go investigate. If you’re not back in one minute, I’m the **** outta here. Your call, hero.
Good job. You heard your cue, made your way out, and now you’re home free. You can now inform the authorities of an eight foot-tall machete-bearing psychopath blaring down the street one limp at a time. You have survived! But be careful, and listen to the music. Is it cheerful and conclusive, or are you building up for a sequel?