Elysium doesn’t exactly reach the potential since the actual Elysium only makes up less than half the film, the rest taking place on Earth. That being said, the action is well done and the film did manage to entertain me.
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Action, Suspense/Thriller
Sony | R – 110 min. – $30.99 | February 9, 2021
Date Published: 02/12/2021 | Author: The Movieman
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-ray I reviewed in this Blog Post.
The opinions I share are my own.
Note: The screen captures in this review were taken from the included Blu-ray disc
and does not represent the quality of the 4K transfer.
THE MOVIE — 3¾/5
Plot Synopsis: In the year 2154, humanity is sharply divided between two classes of people: The ultra rich live aboard a luxurious space station called Elysium, and the rest live a hardscrabble existence in Earth’s ruins. His life hanging in the balance, a man named Max (MATT DAMON) agrees to undertake a dangerous mission that could bring equality to the population, but Secretary Delacourt (JODIE FOSTER) vows to preserve the pampered lifestyle of Elysium’s citizens, no matter what the cost.
Quick Hit Review: Up front, I’ve never been all that high on Neill Blomkamp’s directorial debut, District 9, but have always acknowledged the incredible visual effects work done on a relatively small budget ($30 million), though will say at least the film was passably enjoyable, so not at all bad. Blomkamp’s follow up was this film, Elysium, which I never watched until recently (I do have a love-hate for his third film, Chappie). While it does touch on similar social themes, this one tackling illegal immigration, and is more than just on the nose with it, I will say I was highly entertained and engaged even though despite the title, most of the movie takes place in a dystopian world instead of within Elysium itself, save for the last 20-minutes.
The performances are mostly fine, Matt Damon shows off his balance of drama as he had done with the Bourne trilogy; Jodie Foster was alright as a secondary villain, her character tasked with protecting the elites on Elysium; Alice Braga has some decent scenes as a mother willing to do what it takes to save her sick daughter; and last Sharlto Copley, who has worked with Blomkamp on all three of his films, plays a savage psychopath and the big bad of the film.
Neill Blomkamp enjoyed an increase in the budget for Elysium, going from the $30M for District 9 to $115M, and although the effects were pretty good, even at times impressive, there were some iffy shots here and there and I wonder if some of the designs or effects were reused (with minor redesigns) for Chappie, from memory the droids seem similar. In any case, the effects are still rather good and never really distracts from the characters or story.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4/5
This 4K UHD/Blu-ray combo pack comes with a slip cover and inside a redemption code for the Digital HD copy. The Blu-ray disc appears to be exactly the same from the original release. The features on the 4K disc are also on the Blu-ray.
Disc 1 (4K UHD):
The Hero, the Psychopath, and the Characters of Elysium (6:15) examines the characters and the actors who portray them. Nothing amazing and all pretty obvious but does include some more on-set footage and interviews with the actors.
The Art of the Elysium Miniatures (4:40) is a close look at the precise miniature work done for one key sequence near the end.
Bugatti 2154 (4:50) is a look of a futuristic look of a luxury jet as made in part by Bugatti.
Theatrical Trailers (8:29)
Disc 2 (Blu-ray):
Extended Scene (1:45) of the Kruger character waking up after his reconstructed face.
The Journey to Elysium (45:49) is a three-part featurette/documentary about the origins of the film by Neill Blomkamp and includes some behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with members of the cast and crew.
Collaboration: Crafting the Performances of Elysium (13:18) examines the casting and how Blomkamp interacts with the actors.
The Technology of 2154 (10:13) is on the process of developing the science fiction and metaphorical elements. Or something.
In Support of Story: The Visual Effects of Elysium (10:34) is a look at the effects work done by WETA.
Engineering Utopia: Creating a Society in the Sky (11:43) — Looks at the creation of Elysium space station.
VIDEO – 4¾/5
|Sony releases Elysium onto 4K Ultra HD presented in its original 2.39 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 2160p high-definition transfer. Comparing this to the included Blu-ray (in 1080p), I did notice a difference with the 4K being of course sharper and colors given a slight boost due to the HDR (no Dolby Vision on this release). Neither formats showed any flaws so this one is free of any signs of aliasing or artifacting, not overly surprising given it’s a relatively recent release (within 7 years anyway). Can’t quite say it’s reference quality as there are numerous others out there, but I still found it to be remarkable.
AUDIO – 4¾/5
|The disc comes with a multitude of audio options in just about every language. The default option here is a Dolby Atmos track which is how I watched the movie (there is also a DTS-HD MA 7.1 track for some reason even though I believe receivers unable to decode Atmos will downgrade to TrueHD 7.1), and the film does sound fantastic. The action sequences gave my surround system a nice workout with the LFE channel kicking on to give a bit of an extra boost while each channel shows off great depth with the central speakers outputting crisp and clear dialogue.
OVERALL – 4/5
Elysium doesn’t exactly reach the potential since the actual Elysium only makes up less than half the film, the rest taking place on Earth. That being said, the action is well done and the film did manage to entertain me from beginning to end. This 4K Ultra HD combo pack from Sony has great video and audio transfers and comes with a good selection of bonus features.
Check out some more 1080p screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.