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Face-Off: District 9 Vs. Attack the Block

Jan. 19, 2012by: JoBlo
Welcome to The Face-Off, the ultimate showdown for movies. Every week, the Face-Off takes two movies and compares the hard facts and details for each. We'll decide which film we think was stronger for each section that we break down, but ultimately the decision on which movie wins the overall battle is up to you. After you've read through what you need to know, let us know which movie YOU think is the champion and why!

Today's challengers have a theme and that theme is: ALIEN INVASION! And the two movies that come to mind when you think of that are DISTRICT 9 and ATTACK THE BLOCK. So which of these movies will reign supreme? It's all up to YOU!

Titles
It doesnt tell you anything about the story, which features stranded aliens currently inhabiting South Africa. However, the title conjures up strong images of District Six, the infamous inner-city area in Cape Town where 60,000 people were forcefully removed during apartheid.
As cool of a name as it is- it doesnt make a whole lot of sense. Why isnt it Defend the Block? Thats what the films about, after all, a bunch of kids trying to defend their apartment block from alien invaders.
The Lead Actor
The lead is a first-time actor who manages to give a better performance than most trained actors.
The lead is a first-time actor who manages to give a better performance than most trained actors.
The Aliens
Giant insects. Worker drones who dont have a whole lot of sense and get high by eating cat food. Only a handful of them can do any real thinking and try to fight their way out of there.

The effects are CGI and fairly incredible.

Like a monkey f*cked a fish is how the female of the alien species is described, but the males are "gorilla wolf motherf*ckers"- pure darkness, black and furry and sightless. All that youll see coming at you are those glowing, sharp teeth.

They were made with a combination of a guy in a suit, beefed up with some CGI, and it's the kind of combo that makes it even more scary and authentic.

What they want
To get home!
To get laid!
How they kill
The alien weaponry doesn't just put holes in people, it explodes people into little giblets. Messy, but effective.
Teeth. Big, sharp, neon-blue teeth.
How the humans fight back
Well, they fight for the aliens, but they use a Mech. Thats right, a goddamn Mech, one that can catch bullets and rockets and rip structures to pieces like they were made of tissue paper.
Bats, chains, swords, fireworks, pistols, supersoakers, and a pizza delivery bike.
Entertainment Value
Starts off as a fake documentary before turning into straight up action movie nuttiness by the end. It wants to get you thinking as much as it seeks to entertain, however, and some people may find the change from documentary to action movie really jarring, especially since it doesn't make sense to continue in the doc style once the film's showing things where a cameraman was obviously nowhere near.
100% pure entertainment from start to finish. It kicks off with an alien hurtling down from space into a car and doesn't ever really let up. Even the important character development is handled on the fly.
Soundtrack
Sounding a bit like a summer blockbuster movie soundtrack spiced up with native African style, composer Clinton Shorter's mainstream debut knocks it out of the park. It runs the range from moving and emotional to suspenseful and action-packed, managing to sound familiar yet utterly unlike anything else out there.
A pumping, bassy track composed by Basement Jaxx, who really has to score more films. They set the tone of this one perfectly, making for a soundtrack that you can (and should) listen to outside the film. Also, "Get that Snitch" is absolutely hysterical.
Best Quote
"I would never have any kind of... pornographic activity with a fokkin' creature!"
"This is too much madness to explain in one text!"
Attack the Block
Its an incredibly close race, but I have to give it to Attack the Block. As gloriously entertaining as DISTRICT 9 is, ATTACK THE BLOCK is one of those rare films that doesnt have a bit of fat on it, just infinitely rewatchable and quotable. Both are great alien invasion films but those insects didnt have a chance against the blue-toothed monsters.

What do you folks think- did DISTRICT 9 deserve to win? Is there a recent alien movie better than either one? Let us know below!

Tags: Face-Off

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+1
2:35PM on 01/20/2012

D9

Hated Attack. District 9 was original and clever. If the aliens killed all the kids in Attack the Block in the first 20 minutes and then we moved on to someone I cared about, I would have liked it.
Hated Attack. District 9 was original and clever. If the aliens killed all the kids in Attack the Block in the first 20 minutes and then we moved on to someone I cared about, I would have liked it.
Your Reply:



6:51AM on 01/20/2012

District 9, the first 40 minutes at least

The first 40 minutes are terrific, the rest not so great, but District 9 still takes it. I am not crazy about Attack the Block.
The first 40 minutes are terrific, the rest not so great, but District 9 still takes it. I am not crazy about Attack the Block.
Your Reply:



5:57AM on 01/20/2012

Sorry, love Attack the Block, ut district 9 is way superior.

Attack the Block was a very fun film. But the emphasis was on fun. District 9 was fun, but had so many underlying themes and was very unpredictable as well(or did any of you predict the ending upon watching it the first time. So no offense to Attack the Block(I'll certainly be buying the Blu ray) but it isn't even on the same level as District 9.
Attack the Block was a very fun film. But the emphasis was on fun. District 9 was fun, but had so many underlying themes and was very unpredictable as well(or did any of you predict the ending upon watching it the first time. So no offense to Attack the Block(I'll certainly be buying the Blu ray) but it isn't even on the same level as District 9.
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4:46AM on 01/20/2012
Disagree as well, I've seen District 9 many times and I still enjoy it. I've seen Attack the Block and really don't care to see it again although it was fine. Just hard to root for anyone in that movie. Scum.
Disagree as well, I've seen District 9 many times and I still enjoy it. I've seen Attack the Block and really don't care to see it again although it was fine. Just hard to root for anyone in that movie. Scum.
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+3
1:57AM on 01/20/2012
Dont like this mash up, these 2 movies arent similar at all. Shouldve been Attack the Block vs. Super 8, now thats a much better comparison.

I dont understand how anyone can say Attack the Block is overrated because the same can easily be said about District 9. Of course I dont think either is overrated, i love both of them.
Dont like this mash up, these 2 movies arent similar at all. Shouldve been Attack the Block vs. Super 8, now thats a much better comparison.

I dont understand how anyone can say Attack the Block is overrated because the same can easily be said about District 9. Of course I dont think either is overrated, i love both of them.
Your Reply:



3:36AM on 01/20/2012
I agree it's not a very good mash-up. The only similarity is they both have aliens. I think Cocoon vs. Starship Troopers will be next week
I agree it's not a very good mash-up. The only similarity is they both have aliens. I think Cocoon vs. Starship Troopers will be next week
1:50AM on 01/20/2012

This is dumb...

Both are great films
Both are great films
Your Reply:



+3
1:30AM on 01/20/2012
For me, District 9 wins this easily. Attack the Block was fun, but is WAY overrated.
For me, District 9 wins this easily. Attack the Block was fun, but is WAY overrated.
Your Reply:



12:30AM on 01/20/2012
District 9 was one of the best things to ever happen to SciFi. Yes, the Documentary to 3rd person didn't transition to well- but it's a light gripe. It's not like dwarf muppet bears defeated a super advanced intergalactic totalitarian fascist empire with just sticks and stones.

I'm not actually sure why I just had a RotJ outburst. Forgive my off-topic ramble.

I like this column btw, a nice addition.
District 9 was one of the best things to ever happen to SciFi. Yes, the Documentary to 3rd person didn't transition to well- but it's a light gripe. It's not like dwarf muppet bears defeated a super advanced intergalactic totalitarian fascist empire with just sticks and stones.

I'm not actually sure why I just had a RotJ outburst. Forgive my off-topic ramble.

I like this column btw, a nice addition.
Your Reply:



+4
11:30PM on 01/19/2012

DISTRICT 9

The first Alien film of it's kind. It took a real world situation approach. Attack the Block was just another run-of-the-mill entertainment film. Not a bad one, but not original at all.
The first Alien film of it's kind. It took a real world situation approach. Attack the Block was just another run-of-the-mill entertainment film. Not a bad one, but not original at all.
Your Reply:



11:05PM on 01/19/2012
I love this new column! The match ups are fun, I am excited to see where this goes!

I agree with the verdict. "District 9" is a good but seriously flawed movie. I have no problems with "Attack The Block"; but yeah, what is with that title?
I love this new column! The match ups are fun, I am excited to see where this goes!

I agree with the verdict. "District 9" is a good but seriously flawed movie. I have no problems with "Attack The Block"; but yeah, what is with that title?
Your Reply:



8:52PM on 01/19/2012
Yeah I think Attack the Block is better. I like both, but I think District 9 was trying to be higher art but didn't hit a home run with that and just ended up being a fun ride. Meanwhile it felt like Attack The Block was just trying to be a fun ride and somehow- maybe even by accident-it achieved elements of higher art. Both have social commentary but AtB's is much more subtle and interpretive while D9's is pretty damn over the top and feels like allegory for the sake of allegory.
Yeah I think Attack the Block is better. I like both, but I think District 9 was trying to be higher art but didn't hit a home run with that and just ended up being a fun ride. Meanwhile it felt like Attack The Block was just trying to be a fun ride and somehow- maybe even by accident-it achieved elements of higher art. Both have social commentary but AtB's is much more subtle and interpretive while D9's is pretty damn over the top and feels like allegory for the sake of allegory.
Your Reply:



+0
6:57PM on 01/19/2012

The verdict...

They are both great film. I enjoyed the heck out of both! So, I my eyes, they both win.
They are both great film. I enjoyed the heck out of both! So, I my eyes, they both win.
Your Reply:



5:39PM on 01/19/2012

District 9 period....

liked attack the block too. but, D9 has the edge in all of those categories. D9 also did something that not too many films can do...kinda grossed me out. guts and liquids on the camera...vomiting on Bday cakes...fingernails coming off. ATB also lost me on the Brits slang. i get thats how they speak, but makers of ATB couldve ''americanized" it a bit like Shaun of the Dead....but i do commend them for sticking to what their real world offers.
liked attack the block too. but, D9 has the edge in all of those categories. D9 also did something that not too many films can do...kinda grossed me out. guts and liquids on the camera...vomiting on Bday cakes...fingernails coming off. ATB also lost me on the Brits slang. i get thats how they speak, but makers of ATB couldve ''americanized" it a bit like Shaun of the Dead....but i do commend them for sticking to what their real world offers.
Your Reply:



4:54PM on 01/19/2012

District 9 is sooo much better!

I like the face-off but District 9 is totally the better film, it has a much more epic feel and the second half is simply non stop awesomeness! I really struggled with the annoying fucking kids in Attack the Block! Anyone outside the UK will find the way they talk amusing but the fact that here in the UK we actually have to put up with scummy teenagers that are complete assholes talking like that while doing nothing but being dicks, it made it hard for me personally to enjoy.
I like the face-off but District 9 is totally the better film, it has a much more epic feel and the second half is simply non stop awesomeness! I really struggled with the annoying fucking kids in Attack the Block! Anyone outside the UK will find the way they talk amusing but the fact that here in the UK we actually have to put up with scummy teenagers that are complete assholes talking like that while doing nothing but being dicks, it made it hard for me personally to enjoy.
Your Reply:



+6
4:30PM on 01/19/2012
Is it wrong to say this should of been a poll? ATB was a good movie but not great. D9 was a great suprise and better than ATB in every category. And my last comment was erased...was it because I disagreed with OP?
Is it wrong to say this should of been a poll? ATB was a good movie but not great. D9 was a great suprise and better than ATB in every category. And my last comment was erased...was it because I disagreed with OP?
Your Reply:



5:12PM on 01/19/2012
We're trying to create some fun new columns for movie fans to debate. Otherwise why not turn everything into polls? C'mon folks, nobody ever want to give the site credit for trying new things? Sheesh...always complaining...
We're trying to create some fun new columns for movie fans to debate. Otherwise why not turn everything into polls? C'mon folks, nobody ever want to give the site credit for trying new things? Sheesh...always complaining...
3:38PM on 01/19/2012

uh, no.

Sorry, District 9 is a far superior film. Not putting down Attack but, it doesn't come close to District 9.
Sorry, District 9 is a far superior film. Not putting down Attack but, it doesn't come close to District 9.
Your Reply:



3:28PM on 01/19/2012
I think the results of these columns should be decided through polls in which WE vote, and not just the writer of the articles.
I think the results of these columns should be decided through polls in which WE vote, and not just the writer of the articles.
Your Reply:



7:01PM on 01/19/2012
"What do you folks think- did DISTRICT 9 deserve to win?"

If the movie already "won" (in this case, ATB), like it is said, then the Strike Back serves no relevant purpose but to comment on the WIN. That is what I'm talking about. Leave the OPTION open, so we can decide. If you don't want to use polls, so be it: option A (green), option B (red).

Jeez, JoBlo, what's up your ass today??... Can't we even suggest stuff anymore?
"What do you folks think- did DISTRICT 9 deserve to win?"

If the movie already "won" (in this case, ATB), like it is said, then the Strike Back serves no relevant purpose but to comment on the WIN. That is what I'm talking about. Leave the OPTION open, so we can decide. If you don't want to use polls, so be it: option A (green), option B (red).

Jeez, JoBlo, what's up your ass today??... Can't we even suggest stuff anymore?
4:53PM on 01/19/2012
I've never seen this much whining outside of a kindergarten class.
I've never seen this much whining outside of a kindergarten class.
4:17PM on 01/19/2012
Sigh. What do you think this STRIKE BACK section is for?? Did you even read the final line in his column?? "What do you folks think- did DISTRICT 9 deserve to win? Is there a recent alien movie better than either one? Let us know below!"
Sigh. What do you think this STRIKE BACK section is for?? Did you even read the final line in his column?? "What do you folks think- did DISTRICT 9 deserve to win? Is there a recent alien movie better than either one? Let us know below!"
2:23PM on 01/19/2012

Tie

Both are incredible movies that at the same time reinvent the sci-fi action movie genre, while paying homage to classic conventions. Both these movies make many Hollywood blockbusters with 10X the budget look like utter wastes of pixels.
Both are incredible movies that at the same time reinvent the sci-fi action movie genre, while paying homage to classic conventions. Both these movies make many Hollywood blockbusters with 10X the budget look like utter wastes of pixels.
Your Reply:



+11
1:55PM on 01/19/2012
District 9 is a clear winner for me. I liked Attack the Block, but it wasnt half as funny as its been made out to be and didnt deliver as big under its own hype as District 9 did.
District 9 is a clear winner for me. I liked Attack the Block, but it wasnt half as funny as its been made out to be and didnt deliver as big under its own hype as District 9 did.
Your Reply:



-2
1:23PM on 01/19/2012
I consider myslef a sci-fi fanatic but to be honest I actually didn't get the hype for both movies. That being said, I think Attack the Block was more entertaining, it had a great soundtrack, a more badass hero, original Alien designs and even though it left me underwhelmed I still consider it a good flick. District 9 was too uneven and felt maybe not average, but 'meh' at the end
I consider myslef a sci-fi fanatic but to be honest I actually didn't get the hype for both movies. That being said, I think Attack the Block was more entertaining, it had a great soundtrack, a more badass hero, original Alien designs and even though it left me underwhelmed I still consider it a good flick. District 9 was too uneven and felt maybe not average, but 'meh' at the end
Your Reply:



12:24PM on 01/19/2012
Thank goodness both films aren't yank films.
Thank goodness both films aren't yank films.
Your Reply:



2:31PM on 01/19/2012
I am English, but I have to say...WHAT A STUPID THING FOR YOU TO COMMENT!
I am English, but I have to say...WHAT A STUPID THING FOR YOU TO COMMENT!
+16
12:12PM on 01/19/2012

Disagree

I believe Attack the Block is a good movie, but it's not better than District 9. Why? It comes down to emotional attachment. I cared far more for Wikus and Christopher than any of the characters in Attack. First, off it's hard to like a group of people that begin by mugging people, but beyond that... in District 9, we care about Wikus, and in Attack, we care about Sam. Okay, we care about our leads, but in District 9, I found myself rooting for Christopher and the pawns, not so much the
I believe Attack the Block is a good movie, but it's not better than District 9. Why? It comes down to emotional attachment. I cared far more for Wikus and Christopher than any of the characters in Attack. First, off it's hard to like a group of people that begin by mugging people, but beyond that... in District 9, we care about Wikus, and in Attack, we care about Sam. Okay, we care about our leads, but in District 9, I found myself rooting for Christopher and the pawns, not so much the aliens in Attack. You might as well be comparing the aliens from E.T. against the aliens from, well, Aliens. One you have attachment to, while the other is a faceless monster.
Your Reply:



+18
11:45AM on 01/19/2012

No

look Attack the Block was a cool movie, I love the guys behind it... but it's not better than District 9. people have short memories.
look Attack the Block was a cool movie, I love the guys behind it... but it's not better than District 9. people have short memories.
Your Reply:



+12
11:17AM on 01/19/2012
I really liked both movies but I'm going to have to go with DISTRICT 9 on this one.
I really liked both movies but I'm going to have to go with DISTRICT 9 on this one.
Your Reply:



+13
10:59AM on 01/19/2012
I have to disagree.. while both films are great (they both are) the whole "gang plot" of the ATB gets old and by that I mean that District 9 can hold up to repeat re-watch while ATB is worth a single watch IMO.
I have to disagree.. while both films are great (they both are) the whole "gang plot" of the ATB gets old and by that I mean that District 9 can hold up to repeat re-watch while ATB is worth a single watch IMO.
Your Reply:



+1
10:27AM on 01/19/2012

Good match-up

While my inclination to root for the underdog makes me happy with the verdict, I do agree that District 9 was, in many ways, the more unique of the two. That being said, I had much more fun with the very slick Attack the Block.
While my inclination to root for the underdog makes me happy with the verdict, I do agree that District 9 was, in many ways, the more unique of the two. That being said, I had much more fun with the very slick Attack the Block.
Your Reply:



9:58AM on 01/19/2012
A truly facepalm worthy article.
A truly facepalm worthy article.
Your Reply:



5:57PM on 01/19/2012
when you do the facepalm be sure to be holding broken glass
when you do the facepalm be sure to be holding broken glass
4:54PM on 01/19/2012
Another person who thinks they can do something better yet won't do it because they don't have the initiative.
Another person who thinks they can do something better yet won't do it because they don't have the initiative.
+21
9:47AM on 01/19/2012
ATB = Good
District 9 = GREAT
ATB = Good
District 9 = GREAT
Your Reply:



+15
9:29AM on 01/19/2012
I liked ATB but I never really came over the fact that the "heroes" robbed the girl at the beginning. Just couldn't warm up with them afterwards. D9 is by far the better movie to me
I liked ATB but I never really came over the fact that the "heroes" robbed the girl at the beginning. Just couldn't warm up with them afterwards. D9 is by far the better movie to me
Your Reply:



9:06PM on 01/19/2012
No.Just boring ones.Unlike say, Sons of Anarchy who are charming and likeable despite being scumbags.
No.Just boring ones.Unlike say, Sons of Anarchy who are charming and likeable despite being scumbags.
5:53PM on 01/19/2012
so the guy with the Barnaby avatar and the guy dressed as Hellboy have a problem with anti-heroes????
so the guy with the Barnaby avatar and the guy dressed as Hellboy have a problem with anti-heroes????
3:38PM on 01/19/2012
Agree, that was my problem with Attack.
Agree, that was my problem with Attack.
3:37PM on 01/19/2012
Agree!That was mt problem with Attack.
Agree!That was mt problem with Attack.
9:25AM on 01/19/2012
Attack the Block. All the way
Attack the Block. All the way
Your Reply:



5:56PM on 01/19/2012
I am with you. That faux documentary in the begining lowered my rating of D9. And racists stuff didnt help either (I know plenty of Nigerians and they aren't cannibalistic in the least). a pretty weird move considering the built in allegory.
I am with you. That faux documentary in the begining lowered my rating of D9. And racists stuff didnt help either (I know plenty of Nigerians and they aren't cannibalistic in the least). a pretty weird move considering the built in allegory.
9:10AM on 01/19/2012

3 Points

1.) To do a weekly article like this, you can't have so many ties. It lessens the effect of having something face-off.
2.) I totally disagree with the verdict. While I liked Attack the Block, District 9 was a far superior film.
3.) I also think that District 9 should get a "point" because, out of the two movies, I'd love to see a sequel.
1.) To do a weekly article like this, you can't have so many ties. It lessens the effect of having something face-off.
2.) I totally disagree with the verdict. While I liked Attack the Block, District 9 was a far superior film.
3.) I also think that District 9 should get a "point" because, out of the two movies, I'd love to see a sequel.
Your Reply:



9:10AM on 01/19/2012
Both are extremely different films from one another so it's tough to decide but they're both fantastic films so we'll just keep it that way.
BTW my winning line for DISTRICT 9 is "It's cat food!"
Both are extremely different films from one another so it's tough to decide but they're both fantastic films so we'll just keep it that way.
BTW my winning line for DISTRICT 9 is "It's cat food!"
Your Reply:



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