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District 9(2009)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Neill Blomkamp

Starring:
Sharlto Copley/Wikus
Jason Cope/Grey
Nathalie Boltt/Sara
Vanessa Haywood/Tania
8 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
Twenty years ago a race of sea food looking aliens got stuck on earth and us loving humans shoved them into quarantined dives and called that a proper “welcome to earth”. Now, shit’s gonna change, cause Government lackey Wikus (Sharlto Copley), gets in tight with the aliens (without knowing it), which prompts a chain reaction of mutation, guns, gore and destruction. My kind of party!
THE LOWDOWN

You are not welcome here.

All I keep reading online is how this summer has been weak-tit for movies and me no comprende amigos. Summer 09 has owned for this twat-burglar so far: ORPHAN, DRAG ME TO HELL, TERMINATOR SALVATION, GI JOE, STAR TREK, A PERFECT GETAWAY…all I films that GENUINELY loved – no complaints here man! And now you can add DISTRICT 9 to that list!

I actually didn’t know what I'd get from Neill Blomkamp's DISTRICT 9. Although the marketing campaign was awesome, I can’t say the TRAILER wowed me beyond getting me in a “looks cool” state of mind. So when I barged in that theatre, guns blazing, I didn’t really know who or what my enemy would be all about. Then District 9 unfolded and I figured out the dealio the fun way. One word comes to my mind when I think of DISTRICT 9 and that’s “FRESH”. Two words come to mind when I think of Kim Kardashian and that’s “anal sex” but being that it has nothing to do with DISTRICT 9 I’ll stop right there, take a sip of my drink and go back to FRESH. D9 was FRESH in its initial charming and clever mockumentary approach to its narrative. FRESH in the casting and novel characterization of its (anti?) hero Wikus. The lad could’ve easily been a stoic pretty boy but instead wound up being a flawed and semi geeky South African version of Steve Carrel in The Office (played perfectly by first time actor Sharlto Copley). FRESH in terms of its winning circumstantial sense of humor and as to the “didn’t see that coming” direction its story took. FRESH…when it came to… ahhh f*ck it…enough with that FRESH shit, it’s already played out.

On a technical standpoint…well….tabarnac (French Quebecer swear word… just go with it)…the CGI by WETA was astounding, rarely did I feel like I was watching digital trickery at play. As for the practical effects, they were on the money for the most part too (not 100% sure on that rubber alien hand, but I let it go). I'm sure the fact that the alien designs were cool (in a yuk way) and grounded in a reality that we know (lobster?) helped in the latter departments. Moreover, was I alone in blowing "out of control" fanboy loads all over the place during the last block of this flick? Goddamn! How the movie seamlessly transitioned from sly mockumentory to quasi buddy movie with lots of gore, stand out chase/action scenes and gnarly high tech gear/guns is beyond me. But it did it and I cherished every second of it. The eye popping action bits and the major carnage in the house had me by the balls - seeing peeps get ZAPPED has never been this much fun! Add to all that engaging villains (loved that soldier dude), a powerful score, some genuinely touching moments (Wikus' relationship with his wife & the alien kid got me) , camera work that went from hand held visceral to stylized in the name of serving the physical get downs (dug on them gun POV shots) and all kinds of untapped possibilities that NEED to be tapped (i.e. District 10?) and you get one of the summer’s meatiest, most ambitious and entertaining offerings.

NOTE: I am very much aware that the South African setting and the situation SCREAMED apartheid but straight up, I didn’t give a shit. I CHOSE to shove the subtext out my brain. Just wanted to watch a flick about aliens yo, I wasn’t in a social-commentary kind of mood when I saw it – so be it Jedi

Any qualms, peeves, beefs or grudges? A couple. Sometimes; it felt like common sense was tossed out the window to get the story going in the direction it had to go. Thank god that the said direction was a groovy one; hence I didn’t pick up on that while watching the film, only after when looking back. And what was up with all the unanswered questions? I know the aliens landed 20 years ago, but I still would’ve liked to know a couple things about them. Like WHY do these aliens find human gals f*ckable? WHY, does alien fuel turn a human into…an alien? WHY is there only ONE alien that appears to be halfway INTELLIGENT. …and I’ll stop right there. Finally, random plot holes popped up here and there. Like how the aliens have access to these POWERFUL weapons yet they don't use them, hence remain the humans’ bitches. Had to be said!

With that on the table, enter DISTRICT 9 and stay a while. Its FRESH (had to do it), funny, thrilling, gross, touching, violent, creative and a shit load of fun. Don’t forget your case of rubbers and your GLOCK 9 – you’re gonna need them!

GORE
When it got messy, it got messy. Skin sliced off, drill through a hand, severed limbs, heads/bodies blown up, alien cadavers all opened up and more!
T & A
Cleavage shots aside and all kinds of sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet naked alien ass – NATHING!
BOTTOM LINE
Even though DISTRICT 9 was kind of like ALIEN NATION doggystyles Cronenberg's THE FLY with a pinch of E.T. – it still managed to come across as fairly original. The ballsy and unorthodox turns its narrative took, the chances that were taken with its lead character, the skills behind the camera and the bang on mix of drama, action and humor made sure of that. There was a lot of stuff I wasn’t 100% about when it came to unanswered questions and what looked liked plot holes – but funnily enough that didn’t hinder my experience much, if at all. I mostly came up with that AFTER my viewing hence I didn't get hurt. So the Arrow's verdict is simple- TOTALLY WORTH THE TRIP!
BULL'S EYE
The film was based off Neill Blomkamp's short film: Alive in Joburg (2005).

After the game to movie HALO, to be directed by Neill Blomkamp fell through, producer Peter Jackson slapped $30 million Blomkamp's way and he made this film instead.

Most of the alien huts were actual evacuated shacks that existed in a section of Johannesburg.

The "we just want to go home" alien bit seen in the trailer was not in the film, bummer.

VISIT THE OFFICIAL DISTRICT 9 WEBSITE

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