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Movie: District 9 (2009)

Disclaimer: You'll find some spoilers in this article. Kindly discontinue reading if you wish to stay in suspense. I've warned you. Read on at your own risk. :)

To tell the truth, I didn't know anything about this sci-fi movie called
DISTRICT 9 until early August 2009. With two weeks into screening, I don't even bother to search for its review or theatrical trailers / video clips or anything about it.

Why?


First, when I saw the movie's theatrical poster with that large alien spacecraft hovering atop buildings and the "NO HUMANS ALLOWED" signboard, I thought it's just another lame comedy movie.

Second, after watching Knowing (March 2009) and The Day The Earth Stood Still (December 2008), I don't quite accept the presence of biblical connotations with scientific elements together in a movie. Also, Cloverfield's humongous monster in the end of the movie irked me.

So, I've zero plan to watch District 9. No more lame sci-fi please.

However, a simple synopsis caught my attention to re-list it on my Must-Watch Movie List. Here it is: Set in Johannesburg, South Africa, this movie is a "Cloverfield"-type sci-fi about an extraterrestrial race that is forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth and suddenly finds a friend in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.

District 9 is produced by Peter Jackson (best known for The Lord of the Rings trilogy) and directed by Neill Blomkamp. Sharlto Copley (photo on the right) plays Wikus Van De Merwe, the protagonist.

In fact, District 9 has been touted the most exciting and thrilling movie of the year, to which I agreed whole-heartedly. I would say, this is the most underestimated movie of the year 2009.

With a tight budget of NZ$30 million and a whole lot of unknown South African actors, Peter Jackson, a New Zealand filmmaker, producer, and screenwriter has successfully proven to Hollywood that great movies don't necessarily need big budget. Great movies don't really need big-time actors as well. Do you know who's Sharlto Copley? No. You get the point.
More about Sharlto Copley can be found here.

Most importantly, the story telling is brilliant! The movie was not shot with Cloverfield's shaky camcorder-shot style entirely. It was shot like a mockumentary with a heightened sense of realism with interviews and such, something like REC, the early 2009 Spanish thriller.

Watching District 9, you can feel the pain of witnessing how awful and brutal mankind could be when it comes to the act of "sacrificing" anything, anyhow in the name of science.

This is how the aliens look like, they are called "prawns" due to their resemblance to the crustacean. This is the true nature of mankind - labeling anything lesser than mankind with unimaginable names and treating them like scumbag.

Here's Wikus during the final scene of the movie. Kudos to New Zealand's Weta Workship, the special effect team who did a brilliant job with Wikus and the rest of the body-parts-flying scenes. Have you watched Black Sheep? Weta Workship did those gruesome body parts scene as well. :)

The ending of the movie was rather comforting after being embroiled in a solid 1.5 hours of tension and hatred towards mankind's brutality and apartheid allegories.

I'm glad that the mothership managed to take off.

I'm glad that the aliens' population kept growing despite being held at their new detention camp and District 9 was demolished.

All in all, this is an awesome film, not to be missed by anyone.

Here's an excellent review by Horrorphile.net.

Here's the trailer:

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