I certainly didn't expect to see Roger Ebert up and about at his own funeral.
Of course, this was only in a dream. It occurred last night, most likely triggered by having watched an Ebert retrospective on local PBS station WILL-TV. A series of local interviews with the late film critic, interspersed with pledge breaks, left me feeling bittersweet. It was nice to see and hear Ebert in his prime, holding court about film, but then it made me miss him even more.
Then there was the dream.
Things began rather suddenly -- as they so often do in dreams -- at the approach to Ebert's funeral. Ashley & I were walking, side-by-side, on a concrete road leading up to a rather nondescript beige building sitting at the edge of a town. Throngs of people were gathered in front of the building, however, much to my surprise, they were not solemn and silent, but whooping and hollering with glee. As we got closer, it became evident they were focused on one person in-particular.
South African director Neill Blomkamp has released yet another allegorical science fiction tale. An obviously skilled and talented filmmaker, Blomkamp's first movie, District 9, told the tale of weakened aliens arriving on Earth and being interned in camps by their human captors. This was a nod toward apartheid and, for the most part, was successfully crafted as entertainment. Now we have Elysium, a futuristic screed against hard-line views on immigration. Unfortunately, it does not work as well as District 9.
The year is 2154 and, as most sci-fi movie futures must be, it is a dystopian setting. Humans have ravaged the Earth, and live not much better than animals. Matt Damon plays Max, an orphan (of course), raised by Hispanic nuns and told that he is destined for greatness. Just in case you're unable to grasp this, the point is telegraphed in every other scene. Alice Braga is capable as Frey, a childhood friend of Max whom he also adores. Jodie Foster is pretty good as cold-…