By James Hirsen
"Elysium," starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, is a new science fiction action film that is opening in wide release in more than 2,700 movie theaters nationwide. Sony's TriStar Pictures is releasing its first big-budget offering since 1998 and is doing so in the form of a heavy-handed political propaganda flick.
The movie uses a mid-22nd century dystopian future to deliver a contrived story line in which the divide between the haves and have-nots has resulted in a worldwide banana republic. Wealthy elitists live in a place called Elysium, which incidentally is another name for the Elysian Fields, an Ancient Greek conception of the afterlife. It is a pristine utopia housed in a massive high-tech space station, where sprawling mansions abound and medical technologies have advanced to the point that all diseases are met with an instant cure. Those who are unfortunate enough to be located outside of the Elysium realm must endure an overpopulated, poverty stricken, crime ridden, disease-filled world positioned far below the orbiting "Valhalla" in the sky. [more...]