Exploring the Intriguing World of ‘Elemental’ – A Sci-Fi Film of 2023

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In the realm of science fiction cinema, there are always those eagerly anticipated films that captivate audiences with their imaginative worlds, compelling stories, and cutting-edge visual effects. One such film that has garnered attention is “Elemental,” released in 2023. This article delves into the details of this intriguing sci-fi flick, exploring its plot, cast, production, and what makes it stand out in the crowded landscape of science fiction.

Exploring the Intriguing World of 'Elemental' - A Sci-Fi Film of 2023

“Elemental” takes viewers on a thrilling journey through a futuristic world where the very fabric of nature is altered by the discovery of a powerful cosmic force. The film centers around a group of scientists who stumble upon a new element with the potential to transform the world as we know it. As they delve deeper into the mysteries surrounding this element, they must grapple with its unforeseen consequences and confront the moral dilemmas that arise.

Since it can cover such a wide range of topics within one genre (while also being full of fun action set pieces if the filmmakers so wish), sci-fi releases are usually quite plentiful throughout the year. Time has been moving at a rapid pace this year, as it’s already almost 2023, which means it’s time to start looking forward to what will be coming to theaters (and streaming) in the new year.

2023’s sci-fi offerings are pretty diverse in terms of the subjects they cover: from desert planets, to robot children, to space exploration, to…well, Transformers. With all of this variety, there’s bound to be Elemental something for everyone who’s a science fiction fan at the movies next year. Here are some of the most talked-about upcoming films that audiences are excited to see.

Distant is about an asteroid miner who crash-lands on an alien planet and must find his way through the hostile terrain. The problem is, he’s quickly running out of oxygen and is also being Elemental pursued by the strange creatures that inhabit the planet, and the only thing keeping him going is the hope of meeting up with the one remaining survivor of the crash. This sci-fi comedy is going to star Anthony Ramos (In The HeightsHamilton) and Naomi Scott (AladdinCharlie’s Angels).

This upcoming sci-fi thriller stars Adam Driver, Ariana Greenblatt, and Chloe Coleman, and is being produced by Sam Raimi, with Scott Beck and Bryan Woods (writers and producers behind A Quiet Place) at the helm as directors. The trailer shows Adam Driver’s character crash landing on an alien planet Elemental with Ariana Greenblatt as the only other survivor, and they find that the planet is not uninhabited, but rather, is home to…dinosaurs. While the premise seems like a classic, slightly wacky sci-fi plot, the movie itself looks quite intense and thrilling.

The seventh installment of the Transformers franchise is finally set to release Elemental in 2023, and will reportedly be based on the Transformers spinoff Beast Wars, in which the robots transform into robotic animals. Anthony Ramos and Dominique Fishback are set to star in it, with performances by Pete Davidson, Liza Koshy, Michelle Yeoh, Peter Dinklage, and other various Transformers.

The long-awaited sequel to the blockbuster Dune will finally be hitting theaters in late 2023, and will be continuing the journey of Paul Atreides (Timothee Chalamet), who will be joining forces with Chani (Zendaya) and the Fremen to get revenge against the people that destroyed his family and prevent the terrible future that he has been shown. The response to the first Dune movie from both critics and audiences alike was overwhelmingly positive, so hopefully Dune: Part 2 will be able to live up to the epic nature of its predecessor.

In the mood for a series that takes you to new worlds and impossible destinations? Sounds like it’s time for some sci-fi. Because when you need to get away, sometimes a little genre storytelling is just the ticket. After all, if you want to get away, you might as well go all the way to space. If you’re looking for something streaming right now, we’ve got you covered with the best sci-fi TV shows on Prime Video. From superheroes to space sagas, whatever you’re in the mood for, we’ve got a recommendation below.

Set in the near-future, technology has really ramped up. We now have even smaller phones, more daily conveniences, self-driving cars, oh, and we can now upload ourselves into a virtual afterlife, essentially becoming immortal. Upload follows Nathan (Robbie Amell) after his unexpected death and upload into the very expensive afterlife called Lakeview.

Uploaded by his controlling girlfriend Ingrid (Allegra Edwards), he finds comfort in befriending his still-living customer service rep Nora (Andy Allo). Soon, inevitably, sparks fly between Nora and Nathan as they spend more time together in a virtual utopia. But problems arise in the real world where looming issues like large corporations taking over control and human rights violations are hitting far closer to home.

Exploring the Intriguing World of 'Elemental' - A Sci-Fi Film of 2023

Soon it becomes about more than just relationship problems between the alive and dead, and a fight for the future of humanity. All of that and more is wrapped up in the humor and romance of Upload. — Therese Lacson

Pixar is a studio with proven form in telling heartfelt, impactful stories through the highest of concepts — a girl transforming into a giant red panda as she reaches puberty (Turning Red); an after-life littered with pastel-blue blobs, heading to The Great Beyond on a massive conveyor belt (Soul).

emotions portrayed as walking, talking entities, battling over their owner’s personality in a big control room (the unmatched Inside Out). Elemental follows that thread, the characters here all made up of one of the four core elements (fire, air, water, earth), living together in ‘Element City’. Except, they’re not really living together — because of the harm the different elements pose to each other, they simply don’t mix.

The focus is on Ember (voiced by Leah Lewis), a literal hot mess, working hard with her father Bernie (Ronnie Del Carmen) at their family store in Fire Town. Bernie hopes for Ember to take over the business soon, so that he can finally retire, if only she could keep her temperature in check when dealing with customers.

Yes, the Fire people are hotheads, Ember hotter than most, and her inability to control her emotions and make deeper connections with people often leads to mini explosions behind the counter. One of these meltdowns brings weepy Water guy Wade (Mamoudou Athie) into the shop, with a mysterious leak spelling potentially fatal trouble for the residents of Fire Town.

The film opens with Ember’s parents coming to Element City years before she was born. They face their culture and customs being stripped from them, rejection from home after home, and start their own business to build community amongst the Fire people, and give their daughter the life they never had.

This is an immigrant tale, moving into broader themes about otherness, integration, prejudice, class and more. Fire people are seen as harmful and dangerous, are turned away from institutions, and are forced to congregate outside the city — which, as Ember says, “isn’t made with Fire people in mind”. The metaphor is as subtle as a sledgehammer, but that’s surely the point — and whilst on-the-nose at times, it’s kind of incredible that Elemental is able to communicate huge societal concepts like these to young audiences through such a clean, easy-to-grasp analogy.

If that all sounds heavy, though, fret not. There’s a ton of fun to be had with the elemental concept — Wade struggling to eat Ember’s native hot food; a sport called airball, with a team named ‘The Wind-Breakers’, plus the slogan “It’s tootin’ time”; Ember’s flames changing hues as she dances across coloured minerals; Wade getting sucked into a sponge as a baby. There are puns galore, the script and production design really making the most of every opportunity for an element-based laugh.

As beautifully rendered as Element City and its residents are, there is a lot going on. Flashbacks, backstory and plot strands are crowbarred in left, right and centre — some pay off wonderfully, most fall by the wayside. Despite being the central characters, the somewhat crude design of Ember and the Fire people feels incongruent against their intricately detailed clothing and surroundings. The dialogue is simplistic; though ‘family-friendly’ is of course Pixar’s bent, Elemental is one that feels particularly for the kids.

Where Elemental really sizzles is in its central pair’s chemistry (literally). Mamoudou Athie uses the full range of that extraordinary voice, evoking hysterics and sincerity with equal ease. He’s matched well by Leah Lewis, and together they provide what feels like Pixar’s first romcom, complete with awkward first dates and meeting the parents, all with an added layer of jeopardy around what would happen if they were to touch. Wade’s emotional depth and Ember’s relatable story make for a strong connection, and, once again, Pixar demonstrates its ability to hit you in the feels.

Pixar is known for making imaginative, heartwarming movies that are enjoyable for kids and adults alike. Since the first Toy Story in 1995, the studio has continued to bring us animated storytelling that taps into the human experience in unexpected, humbling and beautiful ways.

Its filmmakers have explored our struggles with tragedy, loss and grief (including even questions about the meaning of life), as well as our experiences with love, family and friendship.

All 27 Pixar Animation Studios delve into emotional themes in different ways, which makes ranking them no easy task. It’s inevitable this list will ruffle some feathers, but it’s a testament to how much these movies mean to audiences. 

In determining rankings, we examined five key attributes of each film: plotline, characters, depth, cultural impact and rewatchability. This helped with the tough task of figuring out which of these truly great Pixar movies should top the list.

Here’s our ranking of the best Pixar movies in order of least crowd-pleasing to the most beloved.

One Cars movie really would have been enough, but this was when Pixar was (unfortunately) deep in its sequels phase. It’s no secret that this film wasn’t a hit with audiences or critics, as it’s the only Pixar movie so far to get a “rotten” score on Rotten Tomatoes. Cars 2 is one of those sequels that lacks a strong standalone script and instead relies heavily on the success of its predecessor. It also tends to focus more on action scenes than heartfelt moments, leaving viewers without the wonder and depth that have defined Pixar’s other films.

Best known for its stellar animation, The Good Dinosaur is an incredibly heartfelt film that will leave anyone who’s ever felt like an outcast empathizing with lead character Arlo, the black sheep of the family. It’s a solid movie, but because Pixar’s other films have set the bar really high in terms of creativity and storytelling, we’re placing this one at number 24, as some of the scenes are a bit slower and redundant. (What’s this? Yet another animal attack

Speeding into theaters is the DC film The Flash. The film is currently Fresh at 67% on the Tomatometer with over 200 reviews, with critics calling it “funny, fittingly fast-paced, and overall.. one of the best DC movies in recent years.”

Another reason to get excited, especially if you’re a comics nerd, is that elements of this film were influenced by the “Flashpoint” story arc from the comics in 2011, which includes an alternate DC universe with plenty of crossovers. And when we say crossovers, we don’t just mean the Flash hanging with another version of himself — although that does happen here.  No, we’re talking about the appearance of Michael Keaton’s Batman, from 1989’s Batman and 1992’s Batman Returns, which, for the sake of this film, took place in an alternate universe. If that doesn’t put butts in theaters, we don’t know what will. We’re talking about Keaton’s Batmobile and Batwing, folks.

And bringing more than just a little speed to theaters is the animated film Elemental. This Disney/Pixar original is set in a place called Element City where fire, water, air, and land residents all live together, and a fiery young woman named Ember begins to question her beliefs about the world she lives in. And yes that all feels very much like a Pixar movie, which is a good thing.

Another reason to give this one a look and a listen is because of the talented voice cast, which is a mix of young talent like stars Leah Lewis and Mamoudou Athie and more established actors in supporting roles like Catherine O’Hara, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Joe Pera.

And if you’re still waiting for another element to help persuade you, consider the resume of director Peter Sohn. Not only did he direct 2015’s The Good Dinosaur, but he’s also lent his voice to animated hits like RatatouilleMonsters University, and Lightyear.

Exploring the Intriguing World of 'Elemental' - A Sci-Fi Film of 2023

The film boasts an impressive ensemble cast, featuring both established and rising talents. Notable actors include [List key actors and their respective roles]. Each character brings their unique perspective and expertise to the narrative, adding depth and complexity to the story.

Production and Visual Effects: “Elemental” showcases the culmination of cinematic craftsmanship with its stunning visual effects and immersive production design. With advancements in technology, the film creates a mesmerizing world that seamlessly blends futuristic elements with grounded realism. From awe-inspiring landscapes to breathtaking action sequences, the visuals contribute to the overall sense of wonder and intrigue.

This review was originally part of our coverage for the 2023 Cannes Film Festival. It’s a story as old as time: two characters from different and opposing cultures become star-crossed lovers and their love helps bridge the gap between people. Elemental is, at its core, a romantic comedy movie.

Themes and Significance: Beyond its visual spectacle, “Elemental” explores thought-provoking themes that resonate with audiences. The film delves into the ethical implications of scientific advancements, the delicate balance between progress and responsibility, and the consequences of tampering with the natural order. Through its narrative, the film prompts viewers to reflect on humanity’s relationship with nature and the potential repercussions of wielding power over the elements.

Reception and Impact: Given the film’s recent release, it is too early to gauge its critical and commercial success accurately. However, with its captivating premise, talented cast, and high production values, “Elemental” has generated considerable buzz within the sci-fi community. It has the potential to leave a lasting impact on the genre, shaping future narratives and influencing the visual style of science fiction films to come.

“Elemental” offers an exciting and thought-provoking cinematic experience for science fiction enthusiasts. Its immersive world, compelling characters, and exploration of ethical dilemmas make it a standout addition to the genre. As audiences delve into the film’s narrative, they are invited to contemplate the boundaries of human ingenuity and the consequences of altering the fundamental forces of nature. With its release, “Elemental” adds another chapter to the ever-evolving tapestry of science fiction cinema, leaving viewers both entertained and contemplative.

Elemental movie time is 1H 42 min, This experimental film was conceived and directed by two Swedish artists, Erika Magnusson, and Daniel Andersson.

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