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: Go! 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?
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