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Elysium Debuts on 4K Ultra HD on February 9

Elysium

Sony has announced that Elysium is coming to 4K Ultra HD on February 9 with hours of behind-the-scenes bonus materials.

Directed by Neil Blomkamp, the film features Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, and William Fichtner.

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) will stop at nothing to preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium—but that doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in by any means they can. Max (Matt Damon) agrees to take on a life-threatening mission, one that could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

BONUS MATERIAL 
4K ULTRA HD BONUS DISC:

  • Exoskeletons, Explosions and the Action Choreography of Elysium
  • The Hero, The Psychopath and the Characters of Elysium
  • The Art of the Elysium Miniatures
  • Bugatti 2154
  • Theatrical Trailers

BLU-RAY™ DISC:

  • Collaboration: Crafting the Performances in Elysium
  • Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the Sky
  • Extended Scene
  • Visions of 2154 – An Interactive Exploration of the Art and Design of Elysium
  • In Support of the Story: The Visual Effects of Elysium
  • The Technology of 2154
  • The Journey to Elysium
    • Envisioning Elysium
    • Capturing Elysium
    • Enhancing Elysium

2 Guns Drops to Fifth in its 2nd Week

2 guns movieAs expected, Elysium was number one at the North American box office. The movie took in an estimated $30.5 million over the weekend a bit shy of the estimated $35 million to $40 million it was expecting. A bunch of other debuts filled out the top four which dropped last week’s top spot holder, 2 Guns to fifth.

2 Guns, the movie based on a comic by BOOM! Studios, brought in an estimated $11.1 million which brings its two-week total to about $48.5 million. In its second week, the movie dropped about 59%. The movie has a budget of $61 million which it’ll probably just about cover domestically.

The Wolverine continues to struggle. In its third weekend, the movie shed over 1,000 theaters, making way for new releases. It brought in about $8 million, that’s a drop of about 63 percent. In its third week, it has earned an estimated $112 million, and looks to be the lowest grossing “X-Men” movie yet at the domestic box office. However, the movie earned another $18 million overseas for a total of $194.7 million.  The movie still has Japan to open in and when the dust settles, it’ll likely be the highest grossing “X-Men” movie when it comes to international earnings. It’ll wind up somewhere in the middle when it comes to the global total.

This coming weekend sees the opening of Kick-Ass 2, another movie based on a comic.

Movie Review: Elysium

elysium-firstposter-full2Elysium is one my most anticipated movies of the summer. More than Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, really any of the comic movies or other “summer blockbusters.”  Set in the year 2154, where the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth, a man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds. Written and directed by Neill Blomkamp, the genius behind District 9, I expected another allegorical sci-fi tale whose special fx looked more impressive than the budget would make you think possible.

The movies boasts an impressive cast headlined by Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, the film can be summed up as a science fiction heist movie. I went into the film with a general idea as to the plot, you can figure that out from the various trailers and advertisements. The overall plot isn’t a shocker at all. It’s straightforward and the overall arc isn’t surprising at all, especially the ending. There are numerous small details though that did catch me off-guard. I had the general idea right, but not many of the specifics as to the “how.” And if you go into the film knowing what’s going to happen, there’s enough in the small details that’ll surprise you.

And it’s those small details that are amazing. The movie has a modest budget of $115 million, but looks like it should be double that, and that’s Blomkamp’s strength as his vision. The sets, the fx, the guns, the tools, the robots, it’s all amazing, beyond amazing. This is a science fiction film to the utmost level with a vision and look that challenges the best of the best. It all flows nicely and every detail just adds tot he movie enjoyment. The level of detail is amazing, down to small tattoos and marks on skin that makes the vision stand out.

The story too, while straightforward is fun and enjoyable. Though it’s predictable, Blomkamp also has the ability to do what great sci-fi does, reflect upon the real world and deliver an allegory. Elysium, and District 9, are both commentary on today’s society. In this case it’s pretty obviously about the 99% vs. 1% and how we treat those least fortunate in society and how the most powerful do or do not give back. That’s a hammer to the audience as far as message, but at no point does the story feel preachy. A thing that did catch me was that the film mostly takes place on Los Angeles, but other than some text, there’s nothing there to reinforce this is the US. Instead we actually see a South African flag on a vehicle. The film was shot in Mexico and looks like it was shot in Mexico. A minor quibble, but an important one.

Damon, Foster, the whole cast are good. It’s nothing that blows me away, but they do a real good job. There’s no Oscar worthy performances, but nothing that causes issues either. In fact, I liked the supporting cast a lot, each character with their own quirk and unique feel about them.

The biggest issue I had with the movie is Blomkamp’s direction. Here, he covers up some of the fx limitations with an overuse of shaky cam. It’s not a few scenes, the camera bounces around throughout the entire film, this isn’t one for those with motion sickness. Even at quiet moments, when characters are just standing around talking, shaky cam. Shaky cam is the bullet time of modern movies. Used too much, especially at inappropriate moments. The movie would be damn near perfect if it wasn’t used nearly as much.

Overall, Elysium is an excellent follow up to District 9. Blomkamp does slip a bit as expected moving into the studio system and given more of a budget to play with, but his vision is undeniable and commendable. Here’s to what’s next, whatever it is, it’ll have a strong vision and voice and that’s something I can get behind. Elysium is sci-fi done right in both look and message and one of the more entertaining films this summer. One that entertains and and makes you think, even just for a shallow minute.

Direction: 6 Acting: 7.5 Plot: 7.5 Overall: 7.5

A Comic Geek’s Guide to Summer Movies

film realThis summer looks like a feast for comic book fans with numerous movies directly based on comic books or having a comic book tie-in. Here’s what to expect each month and what we think is going to be the hits and the misses. And there’s a few weekends comic geeks will have to choose between movies, or go with the double feature.

May

Iron Man 3 – May 3 – easily the juggernaut of the summer movies. This is likely to be the highest grossing movie of the summer unless a certain caped hero goes huge. The second movie of the series was a bit of a let down, but with a new director and an interesting villain, here’s hoping the franchise bounces back. The expectations are high, which works a bit against the movie.

Star Trek Into Darkness – May 17 – The second entry in the rebooted Star Trek franchise has had a prequel released by IDW as well as an ongoing series based in it’s universe. The movie looks much darker than previous entries, but that might not be a bad thing.

June

After Earth – June 7 – Will Smith’s new movie also featuring his son is a futuristic sci-fi tale. It also had a comic tie-in released by Dynamite that was pretty decent.

Man of Steel – June 14 – The other possibility of the top grossing movie of the summer. It looks darker in tone, but this is a reboot of the classic character, just in time for Superman to celebrate his 75th birthday. Like a certain shellhead, there’s high expectations for this one.

Monsters University – June 21 – Pixar’s sequel to their awesome movie Monsters Inc. Maybe Disney and Marvel are smart enough to release a comic tie-in to go with it? I expect it to be a solid family movie.

World War Z – based on Max Brook’s amazing book, the trailers look horrible. But, it’s a zombie movie and Brooks writes comics. I think the movie will tank, but expect publishers to attempt to play off of the Brooks connection.

July

Despicable Me 2 – July 3 – I loved the first one. If someone is smart they’ll grab up this family movie. There’s no comic connection that I can think of, but I love the first movie so much I couldn’t not mention it.

The Lone Ranger – July 3 – the trailers to this also look horrible. There is a Dynamite series, but that has nothing to do with this movie. I expect a box office bomb.

Pacific Rim – July 12 – there’s a graphic novel tie-in that’s supposed to come out, but even if there wasn’t it’s giant robots versus giant monsters. One of the most anticipated movies of the summer for me.

Red 2 – July 19 – the first movie wasn’t all that great. There was something entertaining about it, but barely. Kind of shocked there’s a sequel. The first movie was based on a comic, no idea for any plans for this one.

R.I.P.D. – July 19 – If I’m seeing a “comic movie” this weekend, it’s this one. Starring Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds the movie is based off of the Dark Horse series.

The Wolverine – July 26 – the first movie was horrible. So bad, I refused to spend movie to see it. This sequel is looking better, but I expect it to be third when it comes to comic movie grosses for the summer.

The Smurfs 2 – July 31 – there is the Papercutz comic series that continues this classic cartoon series. The first movie was smurf, I’m expecting much of the same for this one.

August

2 Guns – August 2 – a tough weekend to open, see below, this movie is based on the BOOM! Studios series. The story is entertaining and it has a solid cast. Another under the radar summer movie I can’t wait to see.

300: Rise of an Empire – August 2 – a tough weekend to open, see above, this movie is based on the upcoming graphic novel Xerxes which is the sequel to the graphic novel 300. I’m not expecting it to match the box office dollars or awesomeness of the first one.

Elysium – August 9 – no comic tie-in that I know of, but it looks like awesome science fiction.

Kick-Ass 2 – August 16 – I hated the comic series this will likely be based on. It was violence for violence sake at times. We’ll see what they get away with for this one.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – August 23 – it was a book first, but there’s also a comic adaptation of this popular young adult novel.

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