1. Planes (Disney, @3,400 Theaters, 92 Minutes, Rated PG): So, this is odd. This here is a spin-off from the film Cars. Cars was produced by Pixar. Pixar is a part of Disney. This film is put out by Disney. But this film is not made by Pixar. What’s going on here?
I’m not a big fan of sequels and spin-offs from Pixar even when Pixar does them. I’m sure as heck not a fan of them when Pixar doesn’t do them either. it seems to me to be a bait and switch. People will be expecting that this be done by Pixar, and expecting the same high quality. If it doesn’t live up to standards, who will suffer most? Pixar, Disney, or the fans?
Anyway, this film focuses on a crop-duster that gets entered into a big sky race. Only problem is, the crop-duster is afraid of heights. Yes, a plane that is afraid of heights. So, the crop-duster (voiced by Dane Cook. Yes, Dane Cook) overcomes his fear with some help from his friends.
2. Elysium (TriStar, @2,700 Theaters, 109 Minutes, Rated R): Neill Blomkamp is developing a reputation as the director of sci-fi with a political bent. His District 9 was an Apartheid metaphor wrapped in an alien invasion story. And now, he’s back with a film that delves into class systems, the heath care crisis, immigration and, once again, segregation.
It is 2154. The have-nots live on a filthy, disease ridden, technologically retarded Earth. The haves live on a glorious spinning space station called Elysium, where their every need is taken care of and any health crisis, big or small, is cured at an atomic level. Matt Damon plays an ex-con who lives on the polluted Earth and who has an accident at work and contracts a fatal disease. Since there is no cure for him on Earth, his only hope is to fight his way onto Elysium. Only problem is the Secretary of Defense (Jodie Foster) kills anyone on site if they come on Elysium illegally. Lucky that Damon’s character has that exo-skeleton to help him fight his way through.
It’s pretty obvious the parallel’s Blomkamp is presenting. Exaggerated though they may be, they reflect what is going on in our country right now. Will that force the people who want to kill Obamacare away from theaters?