Tuesday, August 18, 2009

District 9

"Inspired by a true story..."

Now, before you all criticise me, the movie REALLY is inspired by a true story. No, aliens have not landed in South Africa in real life. And no, we do not possess alien weaponry here on earth. The story was inspired by the forced removal of the inhabitants of the Sixth Municipal District of Cape Town during the apartheid regime in the 70's. The place is better known as District 6.

The project was originally a short film titled Alive in Joburg by the director, Neill Blomkamp. It was later developed into a full length movie and renamed District 9.

Alive in Joburg

Went to see the movie yesterday. The filming style is a bit different. You'll see the movie being presented in various types of cameras in the first half of the film. Handheld cameras (remember Cloverfield?), black & white security cameras, TV news crew on-the-scene reporting footages, DiscoveryChannel-style interview videos, etc etc. PB got dizzy from the all the shaky camera work, but i think it's a clever gimmick.

District 9 trailer

It doesn't have the usual plot you'll find in alien movies, invading earth to take over the planet, that sort of thing. The aliens in D9 are portrayed as survivors of a 'shipwreck', stuck on earth and unable to return home. They are treated as refugees and are placed in a slum called District 9. Nothing glamorous about the aliens here. They scavenge for food in dump sites. They are called 'prawns' by humans, signifying that they are treated as creatures from the bottom of the food chain.

The aliens weaponry are cool, especially the alien mecha doing the Neo bullet-stopping stunt.

There are two things i find unconvincing.

Firstly, the aliens are clearly in shortage of the fluid needed to operate the ship, so how did they manage to keep the mothership hovering above Johannesburg for 20 years? Unless they are using solar power...

Secondly, aren't the fluid some sort of energy source for alien machinery? How can an energy source cause such a serious genetic mutation until a human is evolved into one of their kind in such a short period after exposure? Bizarre...

There are already talks that the director, Neill Blomkamp, is going to make a District 9 sequel. Do you think he should just leave the story as it is and not risk making a sequel that might ruin the amazingness of the first movie? (think The Matrix) Or should he develop the story further and give us something even more amazing?

District 10, anyone?

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