Amazon Holiday

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

District 9

(Guest Review by Russ)

Q: What’s the movie about?

A: Aliens are forced to live in a militarized slum after their spaceship breaks down over South Africa; twenty years later, while being moved to a new detention area, things start to go terribly wrong.

Q: Who’s in the movie?

A: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Mandla Gaduka, Vanessa Haywood, William Allen Young

Q: Is this movie worth the price of admission?

A: PhotobucketGo! District 9 is the definitive science-fiction film of the new millennium. No cute ETs like Spielberg’s creation or ethereal space landings as in Close Encounters, the aliens of District 9 – better known as Prawns – are angry, weird, homesick, violent, caring, curious and maybe up to something. And it’s all presented as if watching a CNN Special Report with Anderson Cooper, once again out there in some foreign locale unveiling some sickening truth about who the real bad guys are.

Q: Will this movie make me laugh?

A: Despite the relentless squalor, action and violence, District 9 has more laughs than you might expect, springing mostly from the antics of the Prawns and also the innate intelligence of the film.

Q: Will this movie make me cry?

A: If you have any Prawn-DNA in your system you will not only cry, you might not make it through the movie. (This answer doubles as an inside-joke which you will get after you’ve seen the movie.)

Q: Will this movie be up for any awards?

A: Let’s see, it is now more than midway through August and this is easily one of the best films of the year. So I won’t bet against it come awards time. (And no, I’m not talking about some made-up award like: Best Use of Cat Food In A Movie.)

Q: How is the Acting?

A: Even though District 9 oftentimes resembles a documentary (or docudrama) – and apparently almost all the dialogue was improvised – none of that takes away from the excellent performance of South African star Sharlto Copley. The emotional weight of the movie sits squarely on his shoulders (and it’s a lot of weight) and he really delivers in a believable performance that goes from weasely, nervous and unlikable at the start, to heart wrenching and heroic in the end.

Q: How is the Directing?

A: Neill Blomkamp, welcome to the start of your massive Hollywood career. Everything works in District 9 thanks to the direction. The effects, humor, pathos, acting, story and design – everything is in such perfect harmony that it becomes seamless. Blomkamp makes this all look so easy you’ll wonder why every science fiction film can’t be this entertaining. Oh yeah, maybe it’s because not every filmmaker is as talented as Neill Blomkamp (and it can’t hurt to have Peter Jackson as a producer). Hey Neill, hurry up and get working on District 10.

Q: How is the story/script?

A: There is nothing revolutionary about this story, but it doesn’t really need to be. On the surface it’s simple, yet deceptively smart and extremely well executed. Underneath however is a not-so-subtle allegory commenting on South Africa’s sad history with apartheid. But really, that sort of history can easily extend to many countries and therefore District 9 is like a mirror being held up to the human race, reflecting back its tragedies when it comes to racial discrimination. It’s ugly and sad and soul crushing and makes you wonder if we’ll ever be enlightened enough to be capable of better. District 9 deserves as much credit for that thought-provoking question as it does for being a kick-ass entertaining sci-fi action movie.

Q: Where can I see the trailer?


Back To Top
AddThis Social Bookmark Button


wedding said...

Acting, directing trailer everything is perfect in this movie...

Kenny Wyland said...

Totally agree. F'ing brilliant.

One of the things that really struck me with the movie was how it was able to affect my viewpoint. Near the beginning they were able to make me ok with the racial epithet "prawn" because they were able to successfully convince me that they were more like animals than people. No sooner did they have me unconsciously rationalizing the racism did they yank back in the other direction and make me empathize with the aliens.

Yes, the story isn't anything new. The telling and the acting are what make it so amazing.

Farzan said...

Good review, I too enjoyed this film. I gave it a B+ in my review and I'm very happy to see it doing well at the box office. Director Blomkamp put alot of effort into this film and its nice to see the movie industry finally giving him a chance. I always believed in Blomkamp and his short films proved he is more than capable of delivering a summer action flick. Its a damn shame, he doesn't want to return to direct the Halo movie if it ever happened. Which kind of ticks me off considering he hasn't provided a reasonable explanation as to why he wont return.

jyotsna said...

Great movie!!!!!!!1Ghost Town is a fantasy based romantic comedy,about a man who gets the ability to communicate with the dead.I really enjoyed d movie.....Horror bt interesting too. you too can download and enjoy d movie here
Download Ghost Town movie

Anonymous said...

Kenny: Great point in how they created empathy for the aliens. Another example of how it's so easy to 'stereotype' until you actually get to meet and know a person (or in this case, an alien).

Farzan: From what I've heard Microsoft imploded the Halo film over money issues. Many of the ideas Blomkamp was working on for that film wound up being used in District 9 (which came about after Halo imploded). And regardless of Peter Jackson overseeing the Halo project, they were probably worried about a first-time feature director taking on a project of that size and expense. I'm sure the grosses and critical acclaim of District 9 have them re-thinking their decision. Maybe they will eventually reboot it with Blomkamp. But Microsoft probably needs Blomkamp more than he needs Microsoft right now.