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Directed by: Neill Blomkamp
Written by: Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell
Genre: Science-Fiction, Action
Length/Rating: 112 minutes, R
I had the pleasure of sitting down to watch District 9, an action movie about a suppressed alien population in South Africa. District 9 has gotten some acclaim over this past, successful opening weekend taking the number one box office spot. The blood and explosions were sweet, but the CGI was what made this movie’s buzz a phenomenon. Want to know what it was like? Keep reading!
District 9 takes on a style similar to Cloverfield with shaky-cam footage mixed in with documentary style commentary from actors. The style was not your typical movie, and it sort of took away from the great story that unfolded. This is probably the only issue I had with this movie because it made it difficult to stay immersed in the story about the aliens. They simply used the documentary shots too much to introduce too much story when it might have made more sense to go about the story ‘head on’ without the commentary.
From the beginning you are introduced to a character who you know nothing about and don’t care for at first. He leads around the aliens serving eviction notices until something goes wrong. How the aliens got to Earth is not explained, or not explained well enough for me to understand early in the movie; this makes the rest of the story dry because I felt it hard to see the point in why the human’s were being the way they were to the helpless aliens, “prawns” as they are derogatorily called.
The alien race, being stuck on Earth are treated terribly, forcing them to live in a slum known as District 9. The slum scene’s were very realistic. The alien’s had interesting characteristics unlike we’ve seen with other alien movies. They aren’t “all-powerful” or demanding. Rather, the aliens are living in a ghetto with no possessions and are socially frustrated and segregated from human contact. They don’t try to take over the planet. They don’t irrationally kill people. They just want to go home.
As I’ve stated, the story is very believable, but it makes me wonder why the humans wouldn’t be more hospitable or helpful. Maybe we are selfish and only think for ourselves. The reason is revealed (go see the movie) and everything somewhat makes sense. The way the story is outlined kept me at the edge wanting to figure out more — the film sort of had a mysterious feel to it. The audience was not flat out told what exactly was going on in District 9 and was forced to pick up little pieces of story to put the film together.
The movie uses great CGI that make the aliens realistic and even had my friend jokingly say “this isn’t real, right?” which I’d say is quite an accomplishment. The more realistic the CGI, the more believable the movie. For the nature of this movie, if the CGI quality was sub-par, it would not have had the same “wow-ing” effects. District 9 was a great example of how CGI should be used to enhance the realism of unreal subjects.
The gore and blood is really awesome, although it is not stomache-upsetting or nausea inducing. There is a lot of swearing, almost to the point of annoyance. District 9‘s actors are all unknown (due to budget) but, again, this makes the movie as believable as it is.
All-in-all the movie does an alright job at creating a visually appealing and emotional story about aliens. As Neill Blomkamp’s first true rodeo, he has done a good job. Hopefully his next movie will include a bigger budget and a better story for him to spread his wings into science fiction. District 9 was one science-fiction movie that is sure to be remembered among the likes of Alien. See it in theaters to have a great experience, for sure.
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