Aliens dubbed as Prawns have arrived in
a big spaceship (over Johannesburg,
South Africa) twenty years ago.
The two million insectiod aliens have been segregated into crowded and dangerous slums.
Nigerian criminals have been exploiting the Prawns by charging high prices for cat food and even trading cat food for
alien weapons they can’t even work (it’s a DNA thing) The prawns
eat cat food like it’s a drug or catnip to them. Meanwhile, the South African
government has called in MNU (Multi National United- a business conglomerate) to evict the Prawns from District 9 and move
them to a new location 250 km away to a place known as District
10. Wikis Van De Merwe (newcomer Sharlto Copley who comes off like a smart nerdy
version of Borat at first) is heading the team to evict the prawns from District 9 in
less than honest ways. Meanwhile, two of the prawns plan to find a way home. Wikis accidentally gets exposed to the fluid that the aliens have been collecting
for 20 years. Wikis starts transforming and escapes from MNU custody after they
want to dissect him for his mutating DNA. He forms an unlikely partnership
with one of the Prawns, Christopher Brown, as he tries to find a way to fix what is happening to him.
DISTRICT 9 is in many ways an awesomely
insane and intelligent sci-fi action film. It explores what could
happen to aliens (that don’t look like us) if they got stranded here. Then
you have a man who doesn’t want to be a hero as he wants to get back to his wife he was forced to leave behind due to
being exposed to alien DNA. The movie combines documentary footage
and video camera footage with what looks like a regular movie to get a dazzling hybrid unlike anything anyone has seen for
a while. DISTRICT 9 is thought provoking along with a little humor. The film you can compare it to would be ROBOCOP.
DISTRICT 9 is this year’s ROBOCOP. It manages to mix commentary
on today’s issues with humor and action just like what the first ROBOCOP did.
First time feature film director
Neill Blomkamp comes up with an exciting and imaginative $30 million dollar sci-fi film in what amounts to what you can do
with a small budget if you plan it out. DISTRICT 9 was filmed in South
Africa with Peter Jackson as producer. Jackson
and Blomkamp put together DISTRICT 9 after Blmokamp’s first chance at directing fell through after 20th Century
Fox and universal bulked at a first time director handling a $145 million adaptation of the HALO video game. I wonder if the same guys who decided Blokmkamp couldn’t handle HALO are banging their heads against
the wall after seeing how well DISTRICT 9 will do at the box office. The
film does leave open enough threads open for a sequel (DISTRICT 10, anyone?).
Disc 1 has an audio commentary by Director
Neill Blomkamp. Also 22 deleted scenes are included which mostly flesh out the
documentary part of the film more. The other extra (besides previews for
several movies) is the three-part documentary, THE ALIEN AGENDA: A FILMMAKER’S LOG (Envisioning District 9, Shooting
District 9, Refining District 9) which goes into how the film came to be, shooting it, and the post-production work.
The director said it was a steep learning curve when making DISTRICT 9.
Disc 2 has more previews and four behind-the-scenes
METAMORPHOSIS: THE TRANSFORMATION OF WIKUS-
a look at the prosthetics and make-up effects that Sharlto Copley goes through for the transformation of Wikus
INNOVATION: ACTING AND IMPROVISATION- the
script of the film allowed the actors to improve and Sharlto Copely could do something different with each take without skipping
CONCEPTION AND DESIGN: CREATING THE WORLD
OF DISTRICT 9- a look at the production design from the alien weapons to MNU look and the design work of the Prawns.
ALIEN GENERATION: VISUAL EFFECTS- the complications
of filming and creating the aliens. They used a guy in a grey motion capture
suit and replace him with an animated alien. Also the improve filming style of
the film added difficulties to the animator’s work
FINAL ANALYSIS: DISTRICT 9 is one
of the best sci-fi films of the year witha few good DVD extras. Too bad they couldn't include the original theatrical
trailer and the short film (ALIVE IN JOBURG) that the movie is expanded from.
The DVD review is (c)12-25-2009 David Blackwell and the movie review is (c)8-14-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.
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