Thursday, February 11, 2010

District 9

Summary: An alien spaceship has settled over the city of Johannesburg, South Africa and has been there for a number of years. The aliens have run amuck through the city and therefore are sectioned off in their own district. The story focuses on Sharlto Copley’s character, a government agent, and his encounters with the aliens.

Plot (A): This movie is awesome and pretty damn funny. The plot is like nothing I’ve seen before and I couldn’t take my eyes away from the screen. Some parts of the story are shot documentary style, which was intriguing and foreshadowed what was to come. Initially the film was not intended for the US market but thanks to Peter Jackson (director of Lord of the Rings) who recognized the talent of Copley and the genius of director Neil Blomkamp he brought it to the US. This is the best Sci-Fi movie of 2009. Star Trek and Terminator: Salvation were both very good, but District 9 takes the cake.

Action (A-): The action scenes are lively, exciting, and add flavor to the well written story. Although, I gave this section an A- for its originality the film is not all that action packed. However, the action is very bloody so don’t watch it after eating if you’re squeamish.

Acting & Dialogue (A): This is where the movie really soars. Copley is funny and witty. As the movie progresses, you will come to appreciate Copley’s talent and his ability to draw you further into the story. I wouldn’t be surprised if Copley ad-libbed some of his lines because parts of it sound so spur of the moment.

Sex Appeal: N/A

Director (A): Neil Blomkamp (sounds like blumpkin if you say it quickly a few times) did an excellent job. As I said before, this is the best Sci-Fi movie of 2009. Although it didn’t have Avatar-like box office success it has been nominated in the Best Picture category. I completely agree with this nomination and Blomkamp deserves most of the credit.

Overall: A


  1. I enjoyed this movie a ton and agree about the humorous aspects as well as the way it was able to capture the viewer's attention so completely. It was perfect for someone like me who is just now sort of sneaking into the sci-fi genre.

    I absolutely LOVED Star Trek but i thought Terminator: Salvation was garbage. It was one of those movies that i forgot about immediately upon leaving the theater (maybe even before that, like halfway through the movie itself). Christian Bale's unbelievable gorgeousness and rippling biceps could not even make up for the fact that i had no clue what the hell was going on, nor did i care to try and figure it out. I'm curious as to why it made your top 3.

  2. Seana first I would to thank you for your comment. You have a great taste in movies and I applaud you for that. As for Terminator: Salvation, I put that up there for several reasons:

    1. I am big fan of the franchise and Salvation served as rebirth in comparison to the last one, which was garbage.

    2. Christian Bale (in all his hotness as you put it) brought back the cleverness and braveness of the John Connor character, which is something Nick Stahl failed to do in T3. Stahl just turned the character into a whinny bitch. If you watch T2 John Connor may be young but he’s smart and resourceful, for example when he hacked into the ATM and the Skynet Vault.

    3. We finally got to see the full strength and diversity of the machines, which is something you don’t see in the previous ones.

    4. Salvation’s writers and director, McG, yes his name is McG and he’s white…Irish white, paid homage to T2 in several ways. First they incorporated Gun’s n’ Roses “You Could Be Mine” during one scene where Connor was luring in a motorcycle machine (I just love that song). They also recreated the famous shot gun scene at the end of T2 with Sarah Connor. Finally, he showed how John Connor got that scar on his face (that’s in T2 when you see Connor as an adult for only one scene)

    5. The introduction of Sam Worthington as an actor and his character added something new to the series.

    I hope I answered your question. Keep them coming. It’s most appreciated.

  3. Thanks, Jon! I try not to limit myself to one genre (though i'm a sucker for action movies) and i love discussing them afterward. I usually avoid "reviews" because whether or not you enjoy a movie has so much to do with personal taste that it's kind of pointless to listen to some pompous blowhole pick it apart. That being said, this blog is definitely a breath of fresh air and more in line with what a review should be.

    As for your points:
    1. I'm not super into the whole franchise myself. I've obviously seen T2 tons of times because it's awesome but i've only seen the first one once or twice and i skipped the third completely. But i do get how fans of the whole series would like Salvation better than what i've heard was a sorry-ass excuse for a third installment.

    2. I'm certainly not maligning Mr. Bale, just the lackluster dialogue and plot he had to work with. He's obviously an intense dude (the infamous rant!) but i feel like his performance just fell flat. Brave, F yes. Clever, meh.

    3. Robots are terrifying.

    4. I am emotionally unable to disagree with anything involving GnR so full agreement here. And, now that i think about it, i do remember the throwback part with the song and it was spot on.

    5. I barely remember this guy because i was too distracted by weird CGI Arnold walking around or whatever the hell was going on there at the end.

    All in all, this was much more thorough of an answer than i was expecting so i'm truly impressed. I will absolutely continue to read and comment/question. Keep up the good work!

  4. Thank you very much Seana. I feel the same way about movie reviews. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read a review and some arrogant prick craps all over it thus decreasing my excitement. That is one of reasons why I created this blog. I’m trying to be clear and concise without giving away any of story.

    I do hear what you're saying about the dialogue in “Salvation”. It wasn't the greatest but it wasn't the worst at the same time. That rant was hilarious and I’m so happy that was recorded. As for Sam Worthington he's making a nice niche for himself, which is a good thing. He did a good job in “Avatar”, but his real test is coming up with the “Clash of the Titans” remake coming out in a few months.

    As you can see, I don’t mess around. I love watching and discussing movies. Thanks again and if you have any other comments or questions please don’t hesitate.

  5. Jon,
    I am a big Sci Fi fan, but for some reason, I stopped watching the movie D9 halfway through it. I think the specific scene was when he started pulling his own teeth out right after when they were going to cut him up on that operating table! I was disappointed in even myself for not making it to the end, and I am really surprised that it was nominated for anything- seemed very amatuerish at best! After reading your comments about the Christian Bale Movie, I am going to order it from Netflix! JJR

  6. JJR,

    For most people "District 9" is a movie that you'll will end up loving or hating. As you know I happened to love it. However, I did have the same issue with "Public Enemies" (starring Johnny Depp and about 1930's gangster John Dillenger). It was too slow and put me to sleep so I turned it off. Directly after, I watched "District 9" and was wide awake. What I came to appreciate was the dialogue, the visual effects, the main characters struggle, his determination for a cure, and the historical symbolism it touches upon. What I mean by that is the containment of the Jews by the Nazi's during WWII. Yes, these are aliens but they posed no threat to humanity. Therefore, the government took something that was different and cast it aside out of fear and hate. As a historian, my mind immediately made the connection to the Holocaust.

    If you would to see a better Christian Bale movie watch "Rescue Dawn". He plays a navy fighter pilot during the Vietnam War who becomes a POW. It is a breathtaking true story.