Saturday, August 15, 2009

District 9 -- Sci-fi Done Right, without the Hollywood Hype

I just came back from the 11:30PM showing of District 9 at the Grauman's Chinese theatre.

It's the first time I've been in this historic movie palace. Near the entrance is the famous hand prints and footprints of the stars, and a few steps to the Right of the entrance is Michael Jackson's star on the Boulevard (with people still keeping his memory alive). If you ever saw the ending of Blazing Saddles, that is where I was.

On to District 9. It was filmed as a documentary. There is a little background of how the "prawns," came to Johannesburg and an introduction to the main character, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley). The introduction to Wikus was quaint. He was geeky, he was moving up thanks to his father in law, but he wasn't a bad guy, just naive.

Hollywood has not made any movie about "regular guys (or gals)," unless they are in a remade horror flick (Don't worry, more on the way to your theatre soon) about to get killed. The early Hollywood knew their audience. Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings film trilogy is a science fiction fan and produced D-9. He believed in the story and the characters. Not every character is a hero and not everyone wins.

In other words, Peter Jackson treated his audience (of sci fi fans) like adults. Wow.

Every movie in Hollywood has the same villains and the same bias' (as always, to Port). D-9 broke the mold. And the theme fits what is going on with health care today: The same Government that claims benevolence can also be malevolent.

If you are a science fiction fan, go see it. In this Alternate History Universe, apartheid does not come between the Human race, but between the Humans and Aliens. And surprisingly enough, it shines the light on the duality of human nature then it does on the Alien one.

It is also worth watching to get a sense about human nature. Has any movie recently plumbed those depths?

Two questions:

1) Have you seen D-9? What did you think?

2) Is there any science fiction film that carried a strong message to you or related your concerns about human nature?

The Valley recommends District 9.

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1 comment:

  1. Such interesting look into racism, slavery and the workings of the government all mashed into one...I definitely recommend this movie..!!


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