August 16, 2009

Theatrical Review: District 9 (2009)

"This is the best movie of the summer, and maybe the year. Period."
In Attendance- Me, Machine, and Karrie.
Cast Members of Note- Sharlto Copley. Remember that name.

When aliens run out of gas and pull over to the side of the road (Earth) for help, we humans don't help them at all. Instead we force them all into a big, South African internment camp and tell them that they can't leave. We also call them Prawns, which shows you that not even alien life is immune to our derogatory labeling. 

Fine, so they look like prawns... can't we just call them that behind their back though?
Wikus Van Der Merwe (nice name) is the weaselly, sniveling little son of a bitch who is in charge of making the Prawns lives a living hell. As if their shanty-town shacks aren't bad enough, the Government wants to move all 1.8 million of them into a "better" tent town. How do they lure them to their new homes? Cat food. 

"That's right Prawn-face, come with us and you can have all the Meow Mix you want."
Christopher, Christopher Jr., fingernails, mechanized battle suit, exploding people, and scrap metal flowers... I'm not going to say anything else about what happens from this point on, because you deserve not to have any of it ruined for you, but I will say this: go see the movie. Unless you suck, you'll be happy that you did. 

Flawless CGI.
I'm going to stay as spoiler-free as I can here so that nothing will be ruined in advance of you seeing this late Summer gem of a movie, but It's safe to say that this movie works on so many different levels that it blows my mind. It's hard to believe that a movie this good cost a small fraction of the bigger budget summer suck-fests (you know who you are, crappy "Event" movies), and managed to be far more than any of them could even hope to be. 

Fun and smart at the same time, with a dash of heartfelt emotion in there too you say? Impossible! Neill Blomkamp has arrived as a director, and he gives us a captivating story, mind-blowing CGI on a relatively dirt-cheap budget, realistic yet insanely cool alien weaponry, bad-ass action scenes, a realistic feel, a hero that we (ultimately) feel for, and truly lifelike and believable aliens, making this one a winner. Peter Jackson (producer) puts his heart into every project that he's involved with, and it surely shows here. 

A quick word needs to be said about Sharlto Copley, the actor that plays the film's hero, Wikus. This is his first movie, and he has an odd name, but he was pretty damned good. He took me from hating him, to wishing him dead, to feeling for him, to cheering for him, almost effortlessly. Well played, Sharlto. I'm sure we'll see you in something else soon... 

"Th-thanks, m-m-mate?"
Mankind is seriously cruel, both towards each other and anything else we want to control, study, or just plain old have fun with. I really felt for the Prawns in this one, and by the end of the movie I was pretty much wishing the entire Human Race dead.

Alien Affairs? More like Alien oppressors!
Fuck you Hollywood, and your suck-job blockbusters that suck; because this is how you do a movie right. See, you can have something be visually stunning and have it display a whole lot of heart and originality too. In fact, for a mere $31 million dollars and change, you can make a thoroughly enjoyable movie that doesn't treat your audience like they're the village idiot that smiles even when you spit on them. Then again, I'm sure some people thought that finding out that The Transformers greet you in Heaven when you die, made perfect sense. Mouth-breathers, all of them. 

This is how it's done.
Is this movie gory? LOL! That's funny. I don't think I've seen more people explode in a movie since... well, never. The alien weaponry and its bloody uses on both human and alien alike was plentiful, and extremely messy.

I'm asking Santa for one of those mech/power suit things for Christmas.

"Three years. I promise." 

I believe you, Christopher Johnson.
People explode very easily. Also, as horrible as people can be, they deserve to explode more often.

Not Wikus though. He was alright.
It's sad that it took until the summer was almost over for its best movie to be released, but better late than never I suppose. Smart, fresh, fun as hell and crazy violent, D9 shows us how much good film making minds can do with limited budgets. Go see this now, and enjoy yourself immensely while supporting a film that absolutely deserves it.


District 9 is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.

The summer of 2009 would like to thank D9, Star Trek, Drag Me to Hell, The Hangover, Moon, The Hurt Locker, Public Enemies, 500 Days of Summer, and Orphan for making it fun and enjoyable.

The summer of 2009 would also like to say fuck you to Transformers 2, G.I. Joe, Dance Flick, Land of the Lost, and Bandslam for sucking wholeheartedly. *The summer is not sure what to say to Terminator 4, Harry Potter, or Wolverine though, because it thinks it kinda liked those, but can't say for sure. 


  1. Think I'll give this one a pass. I'm all for well-done, and thoughtful sci-fi, but I don't like works that take an overly misanthropic bent, because I always think "what about the hotties??"

  2. Loved it. I have very few complaints about this film (all dealing with the way the main character was drafted), but if this doesn't say F you to hollywood, I don't know what does.

  3. F you indeed, I love it. I really hope it has a strong second weekend to really rub it in...

  4. struck by the editing & flash hand held cam footage.. just, if you are South African, I am sure you will agree - best line "Is that you van der Merwe?"

  5. I really liked that movie. Quite different from the average "aliens= bad" mentality other movies have. The effects are quite excellent for the budget and the message is very thought-provoking.

    Its funny you mentioned Transformers in your Fouck You list because, as much as a TransFan, I also HATE the movie! Though my prejudice comes mainly from the aesthetics of the robots. If I wanted to watch a prawns, I mean, an insect-like alien, I would have watched another movie! This rendition of the 80s icon (i.e. raping of my childhood) has generated a great despise for certain Hollowood productions.

    I just wish movies were made by people with dedication to the cause and not just fucking corporate mongers.

    PS: The people that insisted Transformers should look like insects should all be blasted with the same type of weapons used in D9!!!!!!