Elysium review

Neill Blomkamp has only one movie plot in him: a white man saves non-white humans/humanoids from oppression by sacrificing his body. In Elysium a white man saves American Latinos from the mean whites and the Asians, in District 9 a white man saves South African bug people from the mean whites and the Nigerians.* I suppose marketing demands a white hero, but it’s an extra-stolid Matt Damon. He’s so dull. It’s really insulting to white people, come to think of it.

Critics have praised Elysium as a piece of social commentary, but this is a movie in which all the problems of oppression can be solved by typing a Windows command into Matt Damon’s brain. Metropolis it ain’t. However, there’s a lot of quality fighting, with people’s guts flying everywhere and things blowing up. This isn’t my big thing, but for what it is, it’s done pretty well.

As a movie, Elysium is nothing, but as a job scheme for the dude who played Wikus in District 9, it’s pretty good. Copley plays Kruger, the South African ninja assassin (in case you didn’t get that he was South African at first, his spaceship has a South African flag on the side! You can’t even meet a nice South African in space!) Kruger spends his time menacing saintly tan women, brandishing a katana, and gabbling a mile a minute in his Afrikaaner accent. At one point a grenade blows off half his head, and a magical rich person machine puts his skull back together and even washes his face while it’s at it, so he can go back to trying to kill Matt Damon with his katana. A katana! Now that’s real cultural exchange.

For those who want to know, Elysium technically passes the Bechdel test, in that a woman talks to another woman about something other than a man, but since it’s our hero’s lady friend comforting her supposedly deathly ill but suspiciously healthy-looking daughter, and since this lady friend spends the rest of the movie being either a saintly healer or a potential rape victim in need of male rescue, I’m not sure if it really matters. I’m not even sure if any of the dialogue matters, come to think of it. How the fuck did that machine know to wash Wikus’s face? That is full service.

* Blomkamp’s next film is a comedy starring Die Antwoord, but I bet it’s a comedy where a white dude suddenly gets android buff and saves oppressed brown people from Die Antwoord and like, Dev Patel. Fuck that!

Trigger: Fake BDSM, Yeti Hate

Cliff Pervocracy is doing a “Let’s Read” for erotic masterpiece of our time 50 Shades of Grey. I tried reading 50 Shades and just couldn’t keep up with it–nothing worse than boring porn–but this little gem stuck out from Cliff’s dissection.

He said he likes his women sentient. He’s probably not celibate then.

How does our hero Christian Grey know the difference between sentient and nonsentient women? Aren’t all women sentient

HOLY SHIT CHRISTIAN GREY FUCKED A YETI*

* In some schools of philosophy, animals as well as people are sentient, as animals can experience pain and suffering. So technically yeti-fucking would be ok under the Christian Grey rules. Of course, yetis, assuming they are real, could be capable of reason and therefore well out of the sentience debate, but if they were capable of reason, why would they be into Christian Grey?

George R.R. Martin Hates Puppies and Kittens, Loves Disembowellings

Found this article on the “feminist” nature of Game of Thrones through chiusse’s succinct takedown. I’m not even sure how to define feminism anymore, but I think I understand Daniel Mendelsohn’s definition of feminism, which is “hey, there’s a chick with a sword in this!” All righty then, I think beautiful women with swords are hot, too, but I’m not sure how they relate to any sort of movement or ideal.

However, reading Mendelsohn’s piece reminds me of an issue I have with Martin’s books that goes beyond gender —that is, how goddamn lonely and painful his world is. According to Mendelsohn, Martin’s characters have “human dilemmas,” whatever that means, but all those problems end badly, usually in violence. There aren’t any decent ways to connect with other human beings or even with something abstract, like an ideal. Westeros is basically Thomas Hobbes’s state of nature, where any sort of bond between people is weak and easily broken in self-interest, only with added misanthropy. Continue reading →

Shocking example of ageism at Daily Mail

It’s time to talk about the Daily Mail again!

For readers unaware of the Mail’s latest antics, the paper published a piece attacking Labour leader Ed Miliband’s father, Ralph, for hating Britain. According to the Mail, Ralph was a bad man who wanted to introduce socialism, the most evil form of governance possible, into Britain. He also fought some Nazis, but readers need to remember was a foreign socialist and possibly some sort of Jew. Continue reading →