District 9: with audio

“District 9” is a sci-fi action drama where aliens are forced to live in the slums when all while the government gradually mistreats them as second class interlopers. We get to know these creatures and they become all but endearing in the course of the film. One government agent suffers an accident that could change the way both sides see the other.

District 9 (2009) R | 1h 52min | Sci-Fi, Thriller | 14 August 2009 (USA) An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology. Director: Neill Blomkamp Writers: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell Stars: Sharlto Copley, David James, Jason Cope

There are at least several themes in this amazing movie. I was drawn in by the way it presents the human fear of the “other,” the “different.”

Externals, aliens, illegals, are restricted to a specific district. Out of sight, out of mind. I feel the film presents a good model of how we protect our turf from outsiders. It certainly challenged my thought process about aliens and the way we treat them in movies.

The “Prawns'” appearance is quite agreeable considering they are modeled after shrimp. In this film we have excellent special effects in a practical setting. The children prawns look like real children, the warriors look like fighting people. Their eyes are very expressive, like a dog’s. When the child looks at the father, I was reminded of the way my dog looks at me when he is showing affection, and when he wants something.

The effects extend into structures in the sky that look very very real. I could recommend this film on effects alone but it also has a great script and suspenseful element that I can sell it on. It teeters on good guy/bad guy films like “Robocop” but maintains a lower action profile closer to “Independence Day.”

Director Neill Blomkamp was born on September 17, 1979 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a director and writer, known for District 9 (2009), Elysium (2013) and Chappie (2015). He is married to Terri Tatchell. They have one child. He’s a good director, there is no doubt. Looking at his list, I’d say this one is my favorite. It should be noted that the Producer was Peter Jackson known for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises.

The main actor that I think makes the film is Sharlto Copley who plays Wikus Van De Merwe. He is the government agent and there is SOMEthing happening to him we find out about a quarter of the way in. That is very crucial to the plot and message of the film. In the beginning he is almost as much of a jerk as any of the govt. agents. Maybe this thing that happens teaches him a lesson? Can we grow through adversity?

In so many movies, we are shown how we can love an ugly/disfigured character. “E.T.” stands out as an obvious one. Recently there was a film called “Wonder” where I believe they did it again. In this film “District 9,” the audience is presented with an alien species in many ways like our own but that are hideously ugly. They look like a cross between Transformers and Prawns. Their mouths are like squid tentacles and they gesture with them

Van De Merwe is a government worker who goes into their district trying to get them out. I can’t help but see a small comparison to what we do to illegal aliens now in 2018. In my mind’s eye, this movie plays with the idea of the “aliens” among us and how we view them. Are we xenophobic and fearful of the Other? Oh, BTW, David James gets a nod for his evil bald gunman work. I always side with the bald guys, my hands are held up high.

If you’ve seen it, please leave your thoughts in the comments. If you’re going to see it as a result of this review, let me know. Finally, once you see it, maybe you can come back and we can have a short (or long) dialog about the film. As I close, I wanted to ask my listeners to leave me reviews at the various listening places. Most specifically, Apple Podcasts. There’s a link on my site. If you could share a little about how you favor the podcast, that would help me get the word out. Thank you in advance. “District 9” is on my favorites list of all time, a true gem of a film. I give it a 10/10. Well, that’s the end of my review and I will see you next time.

10/10

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