District 9

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Welcome to the human race...

Everyone's seen the trailer that kick-started one very fishy-looking viral campaign, interviewing several humans and an alien in quick succession. That marks many people's first exposure to Neill Blomkamp's District 9, and the trailer - which had a decently executed "mockumentary" feel to it, which only served to make its sci-fi content seem even more surprising. This same element of surprise is still present throughout the film proper, and it is quite a cinematic treat.

District 9 takes place in an alternate timeline where, twenty years ago, an alien spaceship came to a halt above the city of Johannesburg. The inhabitants of the ship are unable to operate the ship anymore, so they end up being segregrated to their own slum within the city below. Eventually, the government calls for the eviction of the aliens (nicknamed "prawns" due to their appearance) from the slum. The film's ostensible protagonist is Wikus (Sharlto Copley), who through a series of events too complicated to recount in a synopsis, ends up undergoing some rather dramatic changes and before long he's thrust into the middle of something far too big for him to handle...

The best thing about District 9 is that it always manages to stay fresh and surprising throughout. As the trailers indicate, it starts off as a mockumentary in order to expose the gist of the story. The film gradually crosses over to being a more conventional film, although still filmed with a very documentarian look and interspersed with occasional news footage or interviews. Despite the unexpected change in presentation, you don't really notice because you're so wrapped up in the ingenious premise. Then you're presented with the plight of Wikus, whose story is one I don't really want to expose too much because watching it all unfold was just amazing to watch. He's a perfect example of the Everyman, trying to survive as best he can in the face of everything that the world throws at him over the course of the film. His development, along with that Chris, the prawn he befriends (who is surprisingly well-rounded for a CGI character) raises this above your average science-fiction film. Even when the film's final third act becomes incredibly action-packed, it still doesn't jar with the mood of the film and doesn't forsake its characters and intelligence for the sake of cheap action sequences.

On that subject, the action sequences are far from "cheap". Given that Blomkamp and collaborator Peter Jackson were originally aiming to make a film adaptation of Halo before changing to this, there's still plenty of moments that feel quite reminiscient of Bungie's game, from the alien technology to the frantic battles. The effects work looks great in even the simplest of situations, to say nothing of the bombastic finale. There's just something about the way it all comes together, especially when it is combined with one very uncompromising storyline and subject.

District 9 is a rare find nowadays. It doesn't sacrifice the intelligence or raw power that its story affords it for the sake of appeasing your "typical" blockbuster crowd with a lighter rating and less focus on the story. It's a damned fine thriller that is not without its flaws, but is still several cuts above your average summer film and is well worth watching - but only if you can handle the heat. And it does get quite hot.

I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.
Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0

i dont wanna see it

1 word

no one else is dealing with your demons friend - tyler joseph.

Sorry about my post...I thought this was just another thread made about the movie and not a review one. I'm partially tired and not paying attention lol
My bad.... I deleted my post.

On with the thread ...

I ain't gettin' in no fryer!
Iro, very good review! I'm hoping I can get to the theatre to see it this weekend.
"I was walking down the street with my friend and he said, "I hear music", as if there is any other way you can take it in. You're not special, that's how I receive it too. I tried to taste it but it did not work." - Mitch Hedberg

Making a difference
Exactly same film a friend and I are discussing abt on facebook. A must watch for me... even Times magazines websites recommends it, just can't be a bad watch!

I liked it too ...

District 9 (1 view)

Neill Blomkamp's directorial debut probably isn't as significant as lead Sharlto Copley's , but District 9 proves to be a surprising blend of the run of the mill action movie with a very unique documentary extra-terrestrial approach.

The first act sets up the history of humans and their contact and containment of the alien mothership and the sick , stranded inhabitants. Although the focus of the movie will alternate between the well being of all the aliens and our main character Wikus Merwe , who both undergo a multitude of major changes throughout.

What really works are the amazing visual effects and gritty atmosphere , even though the antagonists are your stereotypical bad guys - the movie almost sells them with it's violent grip. The movie is in top form , when the action gets rolling - Copley yells his way through his goretastic showdowns and makes for one of the most root-able action-hero types I've seen.

Though my main gripe with the film is the soundtrack. It feels like it was ripped from Hotel Rwanda , very unfitting and obnoxious. A lot of the movie rests on the music and District 9 really fails to deliver here , feeling manipulative and cheap when you hear the moaning synonymous with any movie plotted in Africa.

Well I just saw it. I was disappointed. I was expecting a low budget hard hitting sci fi action movie, and instead its Alien Nation meets Doctor Who.
Having said that it was well made, the director has real promise, but hardly was what I wanted to see.

Happy New Year from Philly!
I saw it tonight and I agree with much of what Meatwad says.

Neill Blomkamp's directorial debut probably isn't as significant as lead Sharlto Copley's , but District 9 proves to be a surprising blend of the run of the mill action movie with a very unique documentary extra-terrestrial approach.
I liked that they chose a refugee camp as the setting. It put the hero/douchebags struggle into some kind of real life perspective. Sharlto Copley was excellent. I was appalled by his character's mediocrity and yet still did not loose all sympathy for him. He was truly a regular guy in some crazy circumstances and he doesn't really become a hero until last few minutes because most of his actions are rooted in desperation.

The character I rooted for was the alien, Chris Johnson and his son who were intelligent and heroic, but in this movie the intelligent and the heroic are the supporting CGI characters.

I found myself getting bored after the first hour. Maybe Meatwad is right. Maybe the score could have beefed it up.

Louise Vale first woman to play Jane Eyre in the flickers.

In love with Distric 9
Its amazing! I saw it August 15. I cant stop bragging about it! Im 15 (not a fat, sweaty, long haired, game addicted nerd stereotype) and i jsut plain and simply loved it. Imo the best sci-fi movie ever made. I know its borrows alot of elements from other films and games (Half-Life 2: grav gun and the aliens are clearly upgraded versions of the Vortigaunts, with 2 hands in the middle etc) and alien, with the eggs and etc, but its just like Dead Space: for everything it borrows, it gives back and District 9 does exactly that.

The violence is spot on (ddaaammmm that eletric-line-blows-up-whole-person gun! i wants one of those ), the humour comes at the best moments ('Hahaha, howd you manage that? Full doggy-style man. Your a brave white man', 'I thought you werent going the kill humans?' 'Fu**er shot at me!' and how he gives the babby alien a lollypop and it throws it back at his head) and the overall story pretty good. Not the best, but good.

I can go on for longer, but I better stop. I love District 9. Very much, And theres no reason you shouldnt watch it. 10/10

My life isn't written very well.
An actual bustop bench:

I have been formatted to fit this screen.

r66-The member who always asks WHY?

My life isn't written very well.
Originally Posted by JimminyFinch
(not a fat, sweaty, long haired, game addicted nerd stereotype)
just another short-haired, skinny person who likes games and science fiction...amazing!

District 9
Neil Blomkamp, 2009

Neil Blomkamp’s directorial debut, and for his first feature length film ever, he did a damn fine job. Now as you may have been able to guess from that first sentence, I didn’t think as highly of it as everyone else has seemed to think. Actually, I think the fact that it was so overhyped was a reason why I didn’t like it as much as most. I still thought it was pretty good, but definitely overrated.

I loved that it was totally original, though. Originally is becoming harder and harder to find in Hollywood now, and it’s good to see something fresh every once in a while. I think the fact that it so original is just a factor in why everyone seems to be praising it so much. Now I’m not saying that it’s the only reason why people seem to like it so much, but it is a big reason of it. I like that they chose not to do the entire film in ‘video camera format’. I usually don’t mind it, like in Cloverfield or Quarantine, but it was starting it bug me in the beginning. Blomkamp made a good decision to use it the regular style for the second half of the film.

I was hearing a lot of the special effects before seeing the film, with people saying how great they were. The effects were the only thing about the movie that was really great, to me at least. They were the one stand out thing in the movie. I think I have a problem, though, because I seemed to laugh every time someone got blown up. I was the only one actually laughing in the theater, besides my mom, and that’s why it seemed to make me feel weird.

Sharlto Copley’s acting was pretty damn good, too, especially for being his first acting role ever. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in some more upcoming films, as long as he keeps it up. Besides him, there’s really no other person that is really worth mentioning because most of the cast was unknown’s. It’s not that bad of a thing either, because I didn’t find anyone of the cast particularly bad. None of the characters, other than Wikus and Christopher, really had any screen time actually.

It’s not a bad film by any means, but it just isn’t as great as people have been making it out to be. There are still plenty of films from 2009 that I find much better than this one. Something else that I thought could’ve been improved was the soundtrack. It wasn’t technically bad, but it never really stood-out in any of the scenes. I liked the track that was playing during the credits, but that was only about it.