Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


DISTRICT 9 (2009). Director: Neill Blomkamp.

An alien race that has been sequestered in a slum in Johannesburg learns that they are to be forcibly moved from their homes. In charge of their relocation is a man named Wikus (Sharlto Copley), but in an accident he begins to mutate into one of the "prawns," as the crustacean-like aliens are called, and needs to ally himself with them. Told in documentary fashion, this supposed sci fi version of apartheid seems derivative of  a lot of other movies [such as Robocop] and despite some interesting elements is a tedious effort to sit through. Produced by Peter Jackson. Whatever you want to call it, this is not good movie-making.

Verdict: Pretty awful. *


Neil A Russell said...

Darn it Bill, you got me.
I had tumbled headlong into that world I detest of the pixel peeping technocrats when I took my son to see this thing a couple of years ago.
I was so wrapped up in the "shot on a RED-1" and the seamless CGI of at least half of the characters (the bug people) that I've actually recalled fondly that this was a good movie.

After reading your post I had to rethink the movie and to my horror and shame I discovered I'd fallen for the magic of the shakycammed-rumble-bang of the thing and came to the realization that the story was pretty shallow.

Oddly enough it's also the last movie that I saw in a theater which also gave me pause about my general feelings on new movies.
It isn't that I don't like to get out and see movies, it's that I rarely see a movie listed that I'd want to pay money to watch.

Ironically it's some of the very same reasons that caught me with District 9.

At the moment however, I am looking forward to the Lucas release in 2012 of "Red Tails" about the Tuskegee Airmen.
The clips I've seen of the aircraft, even though they are CGI, are stunning. Good CGI notwithstanding, it also is a good story that bears retelling.

Anyway, thanks for shaking me back into more objective movie sanity!

William said...

"It isn't that I don't like to get out and see movies, it's that I rarely see a movie listed that I'd want to pay money to watch."

I couldn't agree more! Another problem is that whenever I actually decide to look up a movie and go see it, it's already closed. This summer's Thor disappeared so fast it was way out in the suburbs before I blinked an eye.

But what difference does it make? It's already on DVD, as are many other summer movies. There used to be at least six months between the release of a theatrical film and it's DVD release, but now it seems to be just a matter of a few weeks!

Interesting comments on District 9. Thank you! Best, Bill