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District 9 (2009) [Aug. 14th, 2009|04:30 pm]

This film stunned me. I didn't expect much from District 9, except to be entertained by an unusual twist in the premise ... the aliens who landed on Earth became the prisoners.

Neill Blomkamp created a poignant social commentary. South Africa is no stranger to problems with race relations. Only in their recent history was the South African apartheid abolished, so there are direct similarities to the South African oppression as well as more barbaric, Nazi-esque resemblances. The director suggests that human nature is far more parasitic than the shrimp-like humanoids who found their misfortune by entering our atmosphere.

South African turmoil, post-apartheid, is also a major theme. There is much unrest in the country's current times. Blomkamp detailed the odd pairings of the "Prawn" (the shrimp-like humanoids) in a camp, living among displaced Nigerians. According to Blomkamp, the South Africans of all colors are rattled by the huge influx of immigrants over the last few years, and their aversion to the Prawn and all other outsiders is clearly detailed. Also, South Africa appears to have somewhat of a wild-west business atmosphere, as a burgeoning private defense industry has dominated the country's GDP.

Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) works for the MNU (Multi-National United), a private company heavily invested in advanced weaponry design and production. MNU appoints Wilkus to lead the operation to transfer the alien camp, aka "District 9," to a new facility many miles outside the city of Johannesburg. The camp is a heavily-militarized compound whose inhabitants have turned into a sprawling shanty town complete with tin houses and garbage-caked streets.

During the first day, Wilkus is infected by a fluid from an unfamiliar Prawn device. The second act becomes a quest to find a cure so he can return to his wife as soon as possible. Along the way, he battles the MNU, the Prawns, and the Nigerian gang. He stumbles upon a more-intelligent Prawn named Christopher Johnson, who happens to be the creator of the device which infected Wilkus. From there, the two develop an understanding of each other as they work together to re-obtain the device, which happened to be the key to curing Wilkus and helping the Prawn leave Earth.

The film's budget ran to only $30 million dollars, which amazes me because it looks every bit as amazing as your standard big-budget Hollywood film. The production companies did a nice job of creating and animating the Prawn. Almost all of the scenes with the aliens are the work of CGI, and what's great is that they appear naturally, instead of the contrast one normally gets between live action and CGI, especially with so many digitally-drawn characters.

Blomkamp appears to have a great career ahead of him. It's amazing that this is one of his earliest efforts. Go out and enjoy this wonderful late-summer gem.

If only immigration were this easy.


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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2009-08-14 08:53 pm (UTC)

Microsoft made really cheap boxes, and it shows

I was playing it almost daily, and on multiple days, I'd play on it for multiple hours. The box lasted from late October of 2008 until yesterday ... about 9.5 months.

There's a 3-year general warranty that covers the type of failure that happens to many of the boxes - including the 3 red lights (RROD). It cost me almost nothing to ship it back to them - Microsoft has a huge account devoted to paying for repairs on their 360s. UPS pre-paid shipping packages, too. I rushed over to a UPS store and paid them 9 bucks to pack it for me, to save further bother.

I don't know if they'll repair it or just give me a new box. But I do know this ... if it breaks again, I'm having someone mod it with shit that won't break. Pimp my Box, for real.

Edited at 2009-08-14 08:55 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: holzerhedrpca
2009-08-15 03:18 pm (UTC)
I agree. Great movie.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2009-08-15 06:46 pm (UTC)

lol, eight legged freaks

There's a guy working for the NY Post, Kyle Smith, who gave it a 2 out of 4, and he made the horrible mistake of being among the "top critics" listed @ Rotten Tomatoes, after having penned this highlighted paragraph:

"The movie falls into the same uneasy category as Eight Legged Freaks: too tongue-in-cheek to be thrilling, not funny enough to be a comedy."

8-L Freaks? I enjoyed the gang rape that was going on in the comments.

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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2009-08-17 08:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I heard this was the guy assigned to Halo, but the project's currently dead.
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