District 9

An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology. Peter Jackson, of “Lord of the Rings” fame, produced this science-fiction film, which was nominated for best picture at the Oscars. Little-known director Neill Blomkamp leads this chilling tail with a strong social message.

Rating: 10 out of 10

Once in a while you get a movie that pushes the boundaries of its genre, opening up new concepts, visuals, and characters in a movie that will endure any technology or film advancements.

Simply put, this is one of the best science-fiction films ever made. I would be bold enough to say it’s in the top three of all time.

Like Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” this film will hold its own over time, which is the great achievement a film can have. Decades later, Kubrick’s film is still a visionary spectacle.

In Blomkamp’s District 9, we see a new apartheid. The camp, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, is a brilliant stroke. We see how quickly people can turn against the new group. The black Africans protest to remove the alien inhibitors, but against UN sanctions and international pressure, South Africa hosts the aliens — albeit in a deplorable ghetto.

The movie is carried by Sharlto Copley, who plays Wikus Van De Merwe, a wimpy man who works for a private company hired to move the aliens to a new location. He is sprayed with an alien mist and starts to become one of them — a concept that could have been extremely cheesy in the wrong hands. But Copley maintains humanity and vulnerability in his character. We feel for him as he loses everything he had — his family, job, and home.

This film intelligently discusses racism, corporate and political corruption, and war mongering, wrapped in a science-fiction film that has dialogue and action that is wise and smooth.

Kubrick would have loved this movie.

Rating: 10 out of 10

I was starting to feel a little down about the science fiction genre.  Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay films will do that to you.  “Transformers “and “Transformers 2” are two of the worst pieces of shit I have ever seen in my life (Why did I watch the second?  I still don’t know).  I was feeling down.  Was this where science fiction was going?  Brainless directing mixed with sub par acting and non-existent stories? Well, out of nowhere comes “District 9” from director Neil Bloomkamp.  This film is flat out the most impressive science fiction film of the decade.  It’s the best since 1999’s Matrix and just as ground breaking.

We are given a situation that is completely believable.  Aliens have arrived from their dying home world in a spaceship hovering over Johannesburg.  The government, tired of taking care of them, decides to evict them to a new camp where they will be out of their jurisdiction and no longer their financial burden.  Sounds a lot like what’s going on in South Western United States right?

The plot weaves to a satisfying conclusion through special effects that are more believable than “special” as well as acting and real relationships of co-dependence that hit all the right notes.  I absolutely loved this films’ originality and wit.  Note to hack filmmakers such as the ones I mentioned above: THIS is how you do a sci-fi film that doesn’t insult the intelligence of your audience.

One response to “District 9

  1. Your homeboy from F-15, AESOB 17th Floor

    LOVED District 9.

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