Movie News

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


It's Tuesday and two of my favorite films of 2013 are out on disc:

ELYSIUM  is one the best science fiction films in recent memory.
Sure, the plot is not terribly original:
The rich have fled the polluted Earth and moved into an outer space colony, leaving everyone else to scrape out an existence on the toxic planet. Max (Matt Damon) is dying and can only be saved with the medical technology the colony possesses. 
You may have heard stories like this before, but you haven't seen it like this.

Writer/Director Neill Blomkamp follows up his debut film, DISTRICT 9, with breathtaking sequences, a relevant message and quick pacing that leaves you wanting more, not begging for the film to end. ELYSIUM could have easily tried to be more "epic" and dragged you through the history of how Earth became so horrible. Instead, we get a short introduction to the setting and then are taken on a thrill ride with some of the best action of 2013. It's really a shame that the film didn't set the box office on fire: If Blomkamp can do all this with $100 million, I can't imagine what his $200 million film would look like.

Thrilling, dark and disturbing are all words you can use to describe PRISONERS.
It centers around the fallout from the disappearance of two young girls.
Their families seek answers and justice. 
However just because something seems obvious, does not necessarily make it true.

The film is a slow burn that clocks in a two and a half hours, but if you leave to get popcorn, you are doing yourself a great disservice. The film's structure and length only intensify the emotions that the characters and the audience are feeling. It is full of characters who may or may not be exactly what they seem. For me, the standout was Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal). He gives amazing depth to a character that we are basically told nothing about. His subtle performance is some of the actor's finest work, helping make the film one of 2013's best, and definitely, most intense.

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