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District 9

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by Jedimarine, Aug 11, 2009.

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  1. Sn4tcH

    Sn4tcH Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Great film. I don't know what else to say that hasn't been said, instantly classic Sci-fi. I can't wait to see what this director can do with an actual budget. The fact that this film was made for $30 Million makes me wonder what he could have done with the money they wanted to use for Halo.
     
  2. Kol_Skywalker

    Kol_Skywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Did anyone elese notice the similarities of the "fluid" to the black-oil from The X-Files?
     
  3. Darth-Vassago

    Darth-Vassago Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2004
    A strong social commentary, but not the "sci-fi" action movie most are expecting. I went into it knowing it was a social commentary of sorts, and was pleased by it. By some of the later trailers, it really does come off like a big action packed movie; but it's not. There's a lot to the movie and as the credits roll, most people will leave the theater thinking.

    I found it highly enjoyable, but it's clear not everyone will grasp it the way it should be and enjoy it the way it should be for a multitude of reasons, whether it be that it doesn't have enough action or maybe that the film is very blatant in what it conveys.

    Overall, a great movie with a lot to offer.
     
  4. Jedimarine

    Jedimarine Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Number 1 at the box office!

    A pretty big shocker...especially being R-rated.

    Perhaps this surprise will spawn similar projects in the years ahead.
     
  5. ThrawnRocks

    ThrawnRocks Jedi Master star 6

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2004
    I think that the second half of the movie has enough action to please the masses. They'll just leave the theater unexpectedly thinking, which can actually make a movie popular. I think there was an amount of that in TDK's success.
     
  6. BobaMatt

    BobaMatt TFN EU Staff star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2002
    I think it's a mistake to think of this as a message movie. Not every film that deals with a hotbutton topic is necessarily going to try and teach us something about that topic. Inglourious Basterds, for example, is about Jewish soldiers killing Nazis. Is it a movie intended to teach us about the horrors of antisemitic movements? No, we know all that already; this movie's about blowing things up and killing evil people in creative ways while cursing a lot. Therefore to say District 9 is unsubtle or heavy handed is unfair, because I don't think it's attempting to hide anything or slyly hand us a message.

    The filmmakers took advantage of what we know about South Africa's history in order to set it as a backdrop, but frankly I think the intention there was to find a suitable place to set an original story about aliens - as is even mentioned in the movie, having them land in New York, Washington DC, or London is cliché. Putting them in a struggling country, and then making them oppressed by humans and poor rather than oppressors or glorious alien liberators seems to have been the aim, and South Africa was a great place to set it because of all the crap that's even still going on there; Blomkampf likely turned on the news one day and said, "If we have all these problems in this country just because of other humans, imagine if..." and so Alive in Joburg was born. Yes, the humans in the movie are racist against the aliens - that's setting and conflict, not necessarily message.

    I loved the movie, but I never once thought of it as heavy-handed or condescending because I never once assumed that it was trying to reveal to me something about the human condition I didn't already know. There's plenty in the film to think about, don't get me wrong, but I just don't think there was much going on in the way of real commentary.
     
  7. Darth-Vassago

    Darth-Vassago Jedi Master star 5

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    Jun 28, 2004
    True. There was an obnoxious group of younger guys and their girlfriends behind me during the show and they seemed bored by the movie, making jokes and such, until something blew up. Then suddenly they were involved. Sad.

    I definitely agree with what you're saying here. Much in the way that 28 Days Later was a social commentary of sorts (if I recall correctly), I see this movie along the same lines...but with a more obvious backdrop, I suppose would be the right way to say it. The movie is pieced together wonderfully and paced very well, and the "message", if it could be called that, is there. Though, maybe, as you said, it's not meant to have a message (much like Basterds doesn't) but I personally felt like the filmmaker was trying to convey something to the viewers about the human condition.
     
  8. BobaMatt

    BobaMatt TFN EU Staff star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2002
    I dunno. If they're trying to teach us that we humans have a tendency to dehumanize people different than ourselves and take advatage of/abuse them, then they're late to the party. If, however, they're making use of our pre-existing knowledge of this unfortunate human tendency (and its history in South Africa and much of modern Africa) to tell an interesting story, then they've succeeded. I used Basterds as an example because, similarly, that movie isn't teaching us about WWII, it's telling a story that depends, largely, on what we come into the theater already knowing and thinking.

    Essentially, I doubt they were making some sort of scathing expose of apartheid, but rather found South Africa to be a covenient setting where the audience will readily accept something like this could happen, given, apartheid. It would be a little harder to swallow if the aliens were being oppressed in, say, Canada.
     
  9. Darth-Vassago

    Darth-Vassago Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2004
    On your points, I think it's more the latter. That's not to say they weren't attempting to put emphasis on the idea of our tendancy to dehumanize people different than ourselves. I think it was a decent combintation of both, however leaning more toward telling an interesting story involving the history of South and Modern Africa.
     
  10. KnightFr0mOssus

    KnightFr0mOssus Jedi Youngling star 1

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2009
    I loved this movie. Its reminiscent to Planet of The Apes. Its now claimed the spot of my 3rd favorite movie of all time.
     
  11. Raven

    Raven Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Oct 5, 1998

    The thing about this movie that annoys me most isn't the movie itself. It's the extent to which people are jumping on its bandwagon; the usual naysayers who complain about the things in the movie that are terrible are being relatively quiet, despite the movies glaring flaws. It's cool to like District 9 at the moment. Never mind how ridiculous the characters are (I love killing these things, I can't believe I get paid to do it!), never mind that it follows the worst clichés of the action movie genre (regular guy is suddenly able to take on squads of highly trained mercenaries), never mind the weak score, bad acting and dialog, etc. It's cool!

    This movie is every bit as bad as Transformers 2 or The Matrix Revolutions, worse than G.I. Joe and The Phantom Menace, and being looked at like some kind of visionary masterpiece. [face_sick]
     
  12. BobaMatt

    BobaMatt TFN EU Staff star 7 VIP

    Registered:
    Aug 19, 2002
    You're entitled to your opinion, and I shouldn't respond, but I will...
    And they're doing this...why? Do you think it's more likely they're supporting the movie because they actually like it, or that they're doing it despite it being awful to...annoy you?
    Or maybe they don't see much to naysay?
    See, again, it's rather odd to me that you think a movie would develop a following for fun rather than quality, a mass of moviegoers who support a film they know is bad and willfully disbelieve the naysayers, lying about its merits.
    First of all, that guy is walking machismo that likes to show off how much of a badass he is all the time to the extent that he abuses an office worker for no reason in the first ten minutes of the movie. I never once got the impression that this guy wasn't saying this crap to seem scary. Second of all, characters in situations where they dehumanize the enemy seem to think its funny to go around saying this crap in every movie - be it a Vietnam or a Gulf War movie, what have you.
    Funny, this being a Star Wars board, that you criticize a trope that Star Wars uses. It's a common story. It provides arc.
    As incidental music goes, it was...incidental. I don't remember much of it, besides it being vaguely African in nature, but I don't remember it being bad.
    I actually found much of the acting to be rather convincing, particularly in the quieter moments, and in the documentary segments.
    Again, I find it infinitely more likely that people legitimately don't have problems with the things you're complaining about than that they have all, for some odd reason, agreed with you but decided not to admit it so that their friends will like them.
     
  13. Hernalt

    Hernalt Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I hate to see this minimally good and serviceably decent movie get heaped with praise like it's the Second Coming. For criticism from a wider view:

    http://attackerman.firedoglake.com/2009/08/17/what-secrets-lurk-within-district-9-white-anxiety/
     
  14. Espaldapalabras

    Espaldapalabras Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2005
    While this is nowhere near my all time high list, it was definately a very good movie. Sometimes I think people who complain about some movies don't like to watch them. The action was fun, and it is silly to expect the battle scenes to play like an actual war documentary. Also it was a bunch of heavily armed men against one guy with all the awesome alien stuff.

    And considering how sci-fi and action fans have been almostly completely deprived of anything original and so good from almost every major movie in the past few years, you do tend to rave about how great your meal was when you've been eating crap for so long. Big deal. Hopefully people will see all this praise and money and want to copy their sucess, you know, by actually making good original ideas as movies.
     
  15. Hernalt

    Hernalt Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2000
    I'll clarify. The praise heaped on this "merely good" movie demonstrates how deep into the bog of eternal stench has sunk most late science fiction. District 9 is merely good. ALL science fiction should be at least this minimally decent and serviceable. But we get Transformers, et al. I mean no harm to this film. It doesn't really redefine any parameters, but I'd willing to bet that any future hard science fiction found-footage POV will have taken a cue or two from this. I was highly pleased with the comic punches - just enough and not abusively stupid to the point of assault and battery. I do take great optimism from the production values, particularly the success of the no-name lead.
     
  16. Kol_Skywalker

    Kol_Skywalker Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 9, 2006
    I thought it was quite refreshing to have a no-name lead. It helped sell the documentary aspect of the movie. It wouldn't have worked as well if it had a recognizable star.
     
  17. Manisphere

    Manisphere Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Aug 25, 2007
    I definitely appreciated the movie the next day more than right after screening it. The violence canceled out my ability to enjoy it as a film. Not that I can't take violence but I think that mixed with the extremely negative view of humanity just tired me out. I'd really hate to think we'd do this to aliens from another world. Especially ones that come in a ship the size of two cities and with all of those weapons. Like, didn't anyone on Earth say, maybe that was just a scout ship. What if there will be more of them and we're treating them like bugs?!

    District 9 was terribly inventive. I'll give it that. It was a benchmark in the development of Sci-fi as a modern genre. But ultra-violence mummifies my senses until I can get far and away from it. I guess I'm getting too old.
     
  18. Koohii

    Koohii Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 30, 2003
    Better than many comments here led me to expect. Thank you for making the movie seem better.

    Problems: I hate shakey-cam, and I hate documentary.

    Plusses: Aliens and equipment were very nicely blended into the footage. Understated FX for the alien weapons rather than the usual over-the-top.
     
  19. Darth-Vassago

    Darth-Vassago Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2004
    On the same coin as some of the posts above, I think some people who see it and have heard the good things said about it (be it from reviews, friends, etc.) go into this movie with a negative outlook and purposely rip it to shreds after the fact of seeing it. Seeing as the "cool" thing to do is like the movie, other think it would be even cooler to go against the grain and dislike it. Also, as stated above, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
     
  20. lorn_zahl

    lorn_zahl Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 19, 2002
    I couldn't agree more. District 9 stands out as 'great' because so much of what we see on the silver screen is just garbage. I give Disctrict 9 two thumbs up for being a good movie and yes, how refreshing it is to watch a good actor that we haven't heard of yet. It's almost more believable after hearing about all these stars personal lives (and their politics).

    In fact most movies that had big names this year flopped.

    [link=http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/blog/article/5936/death-of-the-movie-star.html]Death of the Movie Star[/link]
     
  21. Koohii

    Koohii Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    May 30, 2003
    Cute article. Notice it completely failed to address the key problem: Crappy Scripts! Horrible ideas! Idiot Executives backing garbage that should never have been given a first thought, never mind a second, being written buy talentless hacks who somehow survive in the industry in spite of a track record of failures and destructions of previously good shows/franchises, and actors &/or directors who are now able to salvage anything from the rubble.

    Honestly, how does Jerry Bruckheimer remain employed? He's backed 1 good movie, 2 mediocre, and 44+ crap fests. He has created 1 good TV show, and at least 4 horrid festering pustules of mediocrity that I know of. And yet he remains one of the big, powerful, unstoppable producers of the industry. When is someone going to realize that he needs to receive a buttel-powered cranial enima?

    Still, with people like Bruckheimer in charge, movies like this one look even better than ever. Maybe there's hope in spite of him...
     
  22. Rebel_Padawan

    Rebel_Padawan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 11, 2003
    District 9 has a DVD release date of December 30th here in Australia [link=http://www.ezydvd.com.au/item.zml/808366](see here)[/link]

    Undecided on whether I would actually buy it though, but I'd definitely want to watch it again.
     
  23. Darth-Lando

    Darth-Lando Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2002
    It's a definite buy for me. One of the best movies of the year.
     
  24. -Phoenix-

    -Phoenix- Jedi Master star 5

    Registered:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Oh I'm buying it for sure. I only wish it came out sooner.
     
  25. Darth-Lando

    Darth-Lando Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2002
    December 29 release date for the US. It always puzzles me when they release movies on DVD the week after Christmas. It seems like they're missing out on potential gift purchases. People do give gift certificates as stocking stuffers though. Maybe they're hoping for that?
     
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