Movies [REVIEW] District 9

Discussion in 'Movies & TV' started by Merc, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. Merc

    Merc Certified Shitlord V.I.P. Lifetime

    District 9

    Directed by Neill Blomkamp
    Produced by Peter Jackson
    Genres: Action, Science fiction, drama
    112 minutes
    Rated R (USA): Swearing, violence, gore

    Rating: [​IMG] INCREDIBLE

    [None of my reviews for any movie or game have spoilers unless mentioned!]

    Opening words:
    Picture a world much like our own, torn by racial and ethnic turmoil, a planet whose inhabitants cannot find a way to peacefully coexist with each other. Now take that same concept and apply it to alien visitors. In Neill Blomkamp's District 9, an alien ship has appeared over Johannesburg, South Africa and it's passengers are looking for refuge. Fast forward twenty years and you have a brutal conflict looming. The aliens have been put into a special area called District 9 which amounts to nothing more than a slum. The aliens, rudely referred to as "prawns" because of their visual similarities to the sea creature of the same name, are largely unwelcome and are being evicted from their homes to be moved to another place (one that is eventually referred to as a "concentration camp") when a serious problem arises. Wikus van der Merwe (pronounced "wick-us" not "why-kus" don't ask me about the last name) is a largely unimpressive and dorky looking man who is running this field operation to evict and move the prawn to their new area to prevent further violence. Without spoiling anymore, Wikus begins to learn more in a very personal way about the struggles of the prawn and just what the Multi-National United (MNU) are ready to do.

    Style: The movie has an awesome sense of style to it. The story is sandwiched between a beginning and ending that are done in the documentary style as people are interviewed and "footage" is shown. The narrative retains a bit of this feel but for the most part, the transition into the main story away from the documentary style is fluid and subtle and will not break your sense of disbelief. One of my favorite touches is the alien ship. It's absolutely humongous and looms over the city like a forebodingly dark omen. It is motionless and has been for the last two decades as all the prawn were moved out of it. The atmosphere is visceral, real, and gritty. You'll find yourself laughing, angry, and crying at several parts and you'll swear that you just watched a Discovery channel special, truly tricking your mind into thinking the whole experience was real.

    Characters/Actors: There are no well-known actors and that's what I love in movies that attempt a darker, more realistic tone because we the audience will not be deterred by thoughts of fame and past work when a big name struts onto the screen. All the actors do a superb job with their realism and talents and their characters really come to life.

    One rather strange trait about District 9 that I really enjoyed is Wikus himself. You don't really know whether to like him or hate him until the very end of the film and even then, you still may not be sure. He is a dork, plain and simple and he's way out of his league walking into the desolate streets of District 9 flanked by heavily armed guards. This ambiguity of emotion towards Wikus helps the audience enjoy a less bias view of the movie and its story. We're rooting with and against Wikus in several ways and instances and it creates a strange sense of disconnect that's useful for what the movie is doing. However, it's not difficult to feel for him during most of the film, he's not a total prick.

    Aside from Wikus, the other prominent character is a mercenary named Koobus Venter played by David James. He isn't a main character, but he is definitely a serious antagonist and is seen throughout the entire movie and all the way into the end of the film. Although his wasn't particularly a speaking role, you could feel the power of his performance for even a minor character. I hope to see him in more films as time goes on.

    Plot:
    The plot is probably the weakest area of the film since it's not going to answer most of your questions. There is almost no information as to why the aliens are there, how they are able to communicate and how humans were able to communicate with them. Also, doesn't it seem odd that these aliens just parked on Earth and not a single noise is heard from any other nation? "Meh, it's South Africa, they suck too much already, let them take care of it" seems to be the mentality of the rest of the world. However, the story we're thrust into is fresh and grimy but in a good way if that makes sense. But it certainly does not care that you have questions.

    Effects and sound:
    Superb quality on both fronts. The score is great and only kicks in at appropriate times leaving the rest of the movie in glorious suspense. The CGI is top notch and the aliens look fantastic, like you could reach out and touch them. If this makes any sense, their style makes them realistic since they more closely resemble bugs or crab-like creatures rather than something completely bizarre and awkward.

    Closing thoughts: District 9 was a thrill ride and worth every moment of it. It's gross, fun, creepy, powerful, thoughtful and a dozen other adjectives all at once but it does it without being too heavy or preachy. You'll find yourself changing opions frequently of several characters, the aliens included, as time wears on in the film. The most hard part of this review is not revealing what happens to Wikus near the very beginning as this even is what causes the rest of the events in the film to transpire.

    Go see it now, that's all I can say. If you enjoyed Children of Men, you'll love it. The film has a very similar feel just with a pinch of sci-fi trickled in. If you didn't like Children of Men, do not worry and give this movie a try.
     

  2. Major

    Major 4 legs good 2 legs bad V.I.P.

    I just saw this movie last night. It was available for free OnDemand and I had heard that it was pretty cool, so I decided to watch it. It wasn't at all what I was expecting. For some reason I thought it was going to be a dark, atmospheric thriller. I was surprised to see that it was actually quite humorous, especially in the early part of the movie. I liked it more and more as it went along. Overall I'd say it was pretty awesome.
     
  3. idisrsly

    idisrsly I'm serious V.I.P. Lifetime

    I've not yet seen it, which is scandalous considering the whole South African part of it. It made quite the hype over here before and after it's release. it is on satellite tv this coming Sunday night though, so I will watch it then.

    They are not completely unknown in SA though, but I am very pleased to here you rate their performance as superb! Yeah for SA actors!
     
  4. anmracing

    anmracing Registered Member

    I give this movie two thumbs up. I enjoyed the reality tv bit at the begining. It's too bad they could not keep that aspect of the film going.

    It is great to see a movie that puts contemporary issues in futuristic settings with some realism.... WOW, that is some deep thoughts.... Anyway, it almost reminded me of an Enemy Mine type of movie, as far as the premise is concerned.

    I think American audiences just enjoyed the story line and visual effects without realizing it was a reflection of SA history.

    Thouroghly enjoyed it and highly recommend it.
     
  5. icegoat63

    icegoat63 Son of Liberty V.I.P. Lifetime

    Same here, I was expecting like a Terminator / Independance Day type of dark action film or something. Then as I watched it felt like I couldnt keep my jaw off the ground because it was absolutely nothing like I'd ever seen before.

    I enjoyed it, I wouldnt put it among my all time favorite movies. But in the end I decided "that was pretty good, not at all like I pictured, but still pretty good".
     
  6. Altanzitarron

    Altanzitarron Tamer Of The LOLzilla

    District 9 is a decent flick. Sometimes the racial similarities were way too obvious. Subtlety is clearly underrated these days. It was shot and acted very well but I didn't find it's racial message as effective as it should of been. despite my minor crticisms it still has the best mech scene I've ever seen in a film.
     
  7. Jeanie

    Jeanie still nobody's bitch V.I.P. Lifetime

    I just watched it and I thought it was very powerful. I don't think you can approach a subject like Apartheid with subtlety.

    I absolutely loved the ending.
     
  8. idisrsly

    idisrsly I'm serious V.I.P. Lifetime

    Oh yay you finally watched it. What did you think of the accents? Now you know what I sound like when I speak!!! :lol:
     
  9. Rebeccaaa

    Rebeccaaa yellow 4!

    I remember watching it a few months ago and being amused because I was talking to you, CG, in chat at the time when you were new.

    It couldn't really have been any different from what I was expecting. I got a little put off by the style at the beginning and switched off (ahem, perhaps partly due to GF chat :D), never really getting back into it. I did follow it and love the ending, as Jeanie said.

    Anyway, I watched it again since then to give it another chance, and I liked it a lot better the second time round when I knew what to expect and was actually paying attention. SA accents ftw.
     
  10. idisrsly

    idisrsly I'm serious V.I.P. Lifetime

    I am super self conscious about my accent, although mine is no where near as think as on this movie. I actually had my first GF meetup this past Tuesday with RTW who is here from the States for the World Cup and I was very surprised and flattered when he asked me if I can speak Afrikaans. I was like "Dude, I am Afrikaans". Now I feel a little better about my accent. :lol:

    Also, I am yet to watch this whole movie! Have not finished it myself! haha
     

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