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Posts Tagged ‘Moderate to High Recommendation’

I am sure there is someone out there who can (will) correct me, but one of the first movies to “decently” portray a cyborg-type / exoskeleton / robot suit was the original RoboCop.  It seems as if since the production of “Ironman” with Robert Downey Jr., every actor has to fill out his / her career by putting on a suit of armor or an exoskeleton.  Today’s review is about Matt Damon’s effort, titled: “Elysium“.
As dystopian, Sci-Fi, special-effects movies go, this is a pretty entertaining movie.  I am a Matt Damon fan and this movie certainly doesn’t hurt his fan base.  It’s not a great role for him.  It kind of feels like: “been there, done that” action / adventure that he has done multiple times in the “Bourne” series, but I’m not a fan who thinks every role has to stretch a particular actor.  Some roles are kind of career fillers.  I think this is that kind of role for Damon.
So, let’s see…  Man is about to die, one chance to live, have an exoskeleton bonded to your body, go save yourself and the whole planet, too.  Yup.  That about sums it up.  Does he get it done? (What do you think?)
If I have any objection to this movie, it’s the same I have to the entire genre: having a iron shell or exoskeleton, does not make the internal functions of the human body sturdier.  If you get thrown ten feet and crash into a steel or cement wall – you are still dead from concussions and damage to internal organs.  I don’t care what kind of skeleton you have.  I will make allowances for the “Wolverine” character, but that’s only because he also has a super-healing power to go along with his internal metal skeleton.  The rest of these action heroes – sorry, you’re all dead on impact.
Having said that, the special effects in this movie are pretty good – particularly the “good” earth (Elysium) orbiting the bad earth.  In case you’re wondering where you heard the term / name before, it was the Heaven / Valhalla equivalent place mentioned in the movie “Gladiator“.  If you find yourself there, don’t worry about the battle, your friends or how you got there, cause you’re already dead…  I’m not sure if it’s intended or unintended irony that the “bad” but mostly innocent (better) folks live in “Heaven”.  I’m not sure if it’s intended or unintended social-political commentary that the hard-working and “bad / lesser” people live on Earth (Hell).
Despite my reservations mentioned above this is a pretty good Sci-Fi movie and I would put it between moderate to highly recommended depending on if your into Sci-fi, action / adventure, good versus evil movies.  Obviously, I am and I enjoyed this movie.
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On This Day In:
2013 Future Trustees
2012 Praise Not The Day…
2011 Educated Living

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Today’s review is for the detective / mystery / action movie: “Jack Reacher“, starring Tom Cruise.  Now, in all fairness, I like Tom Cruise, but I am not a big fan, so my views on this film are slanted towards “no dog in the fight”.  This wasn’t a movie I was looking forward to seeing in the theater, but when it became available on DVD, I decided to check it out.  Actually, I borrowed it from my brother.
The movie starts out as a “who-dun-it” and then quickly devolves into an action movie with set pieces to showcase Tom.  There is a particularly good street fight, which seems to be lifted out of “The Last Samurai” – which is my favorite Tom Cruise movie and which I’ve watched a couple dozen times.  Anyway, the next fight scene is in a home and is (I suppose) more of a comedy than a realistic fight.  Anyway, just before the ending, Tom has a big fight with the main ass-kicking villain (as opposed to the brainy villain).  The fight is okay, but not particularly believable.  For one thing, Tom is like 5′ 6” and the bad-guy (Jai Courtney) is 6′ 1”.  Of course with good camera angles you can make Tom look taller, but not so much and not so well here.
Incidentally, and I didn’t know this at the time of the viewing, the character “Jack Reacher” is from a series of novels and he is supposed to be around 6′ 5” and a force of nature.  Tom has charisma, but a “force of nature”?  Again, not so much.  Needless to say, the fans of the novels were not too keen to see Tom selected for the lead role.
Having said all this, I liked this movie.  It has a great little role for Robert Duvall (one of my favorite actors), and Tom does actually carry the role off rather well.  If I hadn’t done the background read about the novel and then thought about Tom Cruise in the role, I might even think more of it.  Anyway, it works as both a detective story and as an action movie.
Final recommendation:  moderate to highly recommended.
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On This Day In:
2013 Who’s Side?
2012 Why I Joined The Army And Not The Navy…
2011 Is It Your Turn Yet?
Just Trippin’

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