Thursday, January 28, 2010

District 9. A-

'District 9' opens right away explaining how the aliens began their invasion of earth. Their resting spot is Johannesburg in South Africa. They come in what's called The Mother Ship, a massive, bulky looking air craft that just hovers above the ground. The aliens are put in District 9, a close in area where they can live as a community. The central character is Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley-in an amazingly good performance) an MNU operative who goes around telling the aliens that they will be evicted. We learn that the only reason the humans are allowing the aliens to stay is so they can get their powerful weaponry. The story takes a surprising turn, but I told myself before writing this that I wouldn't spoil it for anyone. 'District 9' is a gritty looking movie with jerky camera movements. But that's what first time director Neil Blomkamp is going for. He clearly wants this to seem as real as possible. That's also why a lot of the movie is set up like a documentary, with different people talking to the camera as if this alien invasion really happened. And Blomkamp succeeds. People love to fantasize over what it would be like if aliens really did land on earth. Well, if they did, I believe it would be like what we see in 'District 9.' The aliens in the film aren't hidden at all. We get a glimpse of them just minutes into the first frame and from there on out we have almost constant encounters with them. They look surprisingly realistic, considering that the movie was made for only 30 million. Yet at the same time they don't look like glossed up CGI images dominating the screen. 'District 9' is the kind of movie that you want to talk about for days after its over. It contains some important themes about political corruption, the government's handling of immigration, as well as man's natural desire for power. It's a movie that can be debated endlessly. But one thing will be agreed upon by nearly everyone: this is a fantastic Science Fiction action movie. As for Blomkamp, he deserves most of the credit here. Someone said that this is his 'Reservoir Dogs.' If so, then I believe that this young director has a mighty bright future ahead of him. Released last August, 'District 9' represented a year in which Science Fiction thrived. And I mean real sc-fi, not the cheap futuristic action flicks we're so accustomed to. There was 'Stark Trek,' Duncan Jones' 'Moon,' of course 'Avatar,' and then this. I've only seen it once. I can't wait to experience it again.

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