SCENES FROM THE CLASS STRUGGLE OUTER SPACE
Opening at number one is Elysium and honestly, until Star Wars came along pretty much every science fiction film in the 70’s that wasn’t a drive in creature flick had some political message. And even there you weren’t entirely safe (Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster anyone?). So this is actually bit of a throwback to that time, all the way down to the design of the Elysium city in space being a giant wheel in space. And they were about as subtle as this film where the security forces on the space station of the rich and powerful is called “homeland security” and anyone who isn’t supposed to be there is an illegal immigrant. Matt Damon is Max Santos…no I’m not kidding. You think someone actually Latino was going to star in this? They wouldn’t have gotten $15 for it much less $115M for a budget. As I was saying, Max Santos is an ex-car thief—like the actually Spanish Antonio Banderas was in Miami Rhapsody. Okay, I’ll stop. Max grew up in an orphanage dreaming of living on Elysium where the rich and power have fled 150 years from now because the Earth is overpopulated and polluted. Now you’d think if they had the technology to create a giant space station, they’d have the same technology to clean terra firma up, but this a parable about class so save that noise. They have everything there including medical devices that can cure anything including cancer, but they aren’t sharing. Max is trying to turn his life around by working in a robot factory when doing so gets him a fatal dose of radiation poisoning. He’s got 5 days to live so he decides to break into Elysium and cure himself. He’s aided in this by a local crime boss with a social conscience who spends most of his time trying to get people up there and outfits Damon with an exoskeleton to keep him going. Standing in their way is none other than Jodie freaking Foster who is the Defense Secretary of Elysium who thinks of nothing of blowing illegal alien ships out of the sky, much to the chagrin of the space station government, who don’t so much care for the illegals but still draw the line at just killing them outright, which is why they hate the psychopathic agent she has doing the killing that benefits them. Like I said, none of this is subtle and while enjoyable if you think too much on it tends to deflate at bit. Aside from the technology question (you’ve got robots but they aren’t doing the human work?) there’s the question of why is only one guy in LA the only person trying to break in? Shouldn’t everyone all over the world be trying or is Elysium the space station of the rich of California and there are few dozen others, which would have made much more sense? And if Elysium has its own government, what is the government on Earth and its relationship to it? Does 1600 Pennsylvania Ave matter or does becoming president get you a free ticket up there? But these are questions you don’t ask yourself when you just want to preach at people through popular entertainment. Space is America and Earth is Mexico and that’s about as much as you think it through. It’s clearly all they did here.
ELYSIUM JOURNEYS TO NUMBER ONE AND WE’RE AT NUMBER TWO WITH THE MILLERS, BUT PLANES CAN’T FLY HIGHER THAN THREE!
1. Elysium/TriStar Wknd/$ 30.5 Total/$ 30.4
2. We’re The Millers/Warners Wknd/$ 26.6 Total/$ 38.0
3. Planes/Disney Wknd/$ 22.5 Total/$ 22.5
4. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Wknd/$ 14.6 Total/$ 23.5
5. 2 Guns/Universal Wknd/$ 11.1 Total/$ 48.5
6. The Smurfs 2/Sony Wknd?$ 9.5 Total/$ 46.6
7. The Wolverine/Fox Wknd/$ 8.0 Total/$ 112.0
8. The Conjuring/WB Wknd/$ 6.7 Total/$ 120.7
9. Despicable Me 2/Universal Wknd/$ 5.7 Total/$ 338.3
10. Grown Ups 2/Sony Wknd/$ 3.7 Total/$ 123.8