Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has selected Dec. 17 as the DVD and Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack (with UltraViolet) rollout date for South African-born filmmaker Neill Blomkamp’s latest political allegory dressed up as a sci-fi thriller, Elysium.
The ARR is 130 days and the domestic box office take was $91.9 million.
You can layer anything that comes to mind over the components of Blomkamp’s futuristic tale — South Africa as the space station Elysium would be one of them, with the suffering in Los Angeles (which sure looks a lot like present day Detroit, only with hoards of homeless people) representing the rest of Africa.
You could also argue that the paradise of Elysium could be a nice stand in for modern day China’s elite Orwellian-based ruling class, with the dregs of Los Angeles representing the rest of the population of the country. Indeed, Matt Damon’s gig on the assembly line at the Armadyne Corp would fill in nicely for some poor sick Chinese laborer toiling away at some remote Apple factory — call in sick and we have nine other schmucks ready to take your spot.
Elysium is the ultimate gated community, occupied by limousine royalists and run by Jodie Foster as Secretary of Defense Jessica Delacourt — she does an excellent job of channeling a Nurse Ratchet persona squared. Matt Damon, who swore off politics after Promised Land tanked last Christmas, is ready to heroically storm the barricades, but doesn’t have a clue as to how to solve the underlying problems of an over-populated and under-productive Earth (Los Angeles; Africa, etc.).
An eye-rolling ending, punctuated by the premise of free health care for all, is how Blomkamp ends Elysium … if only it were that simple. You fully expect the closing credits to be accompanied by a full cast rendition of “Kumbaya.”
The film, as with Blomkamp’s District 9, works just fine as an action/thriller, especially if you are able to set aside the beat-you-over-the-head allegory elements. Despite the film’s political bent, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment will do just fine with its home entertainment launch on Dec. 17.
Bonus features include a pair of featurettes — “Collaboration: Crafting the Performances in Elysium” and “Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the Sky.” Exclusive to the Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack are an extended scene, the multi-part “The Journey to Elysium” and the featurette “Visions of 2154.”
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