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View Poll Results: District 9 - Your grade
Excellent 91 61.07%
Above Average 39 26.17%
Average 11 7.38%
Below Average 5 3.36%
Poor 3 2.01%
Voters: 149. You may not vote on this poll

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Old August 19 2009, 01:55 AM   #151
Agent Richard07
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Brent wrote: View Post
The only question I have that was never answered is, why did the aliens come to Earth in the first place, and why were they malnourished?
They probably ran out of fuel and had to land here. The lack of fuel might have also limited their food supply or access to food, or maybe they left wherever they were in that condition.
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Old August 19 2009, 01:59 AM   #152
Sabataage
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

DarKush wrote: View Post
Sabatagge, et. al,

I did a little digging and I saw that the term holocaust was used by some Polish Jews as early as 1940 or 1942, but did not gain widespread usage until the 1950s, beyond the timeframe of Schindler's List. Though Schindler's List is based in Poland, it could've been an issue of the Jewish characters in the film not being familiar with that term. Whereas, the system of apartheid, around since 1948 was the name of a government policy, so I think by the 1980s most people in South Africa were familiar with that term and what it meant.

D9 is fiction, but the director chose to base in apartheid-era South Africa. He could've just as easily placed it in today's South Africa if he didn't want to deal or address apartheid. I would've liked some mention of it and the impact it had on South African society, in regards to the arrival of the prawns. One comment would've been nice. It didn't have to be a policy discussion on it, but for the vast majority of people who know little about the history of South Africa, and I include myself in that number, some context to help explain the 'irony' would've been better.

One of the things I didn't care for regarding the Nigerians and how venal they were portrayed was that he didn't call out any other group by name. I don't know if Nigerian migration has been significant in South Africa, or apartheid SA or not, but it seemed a little odd that an apartheid government would allow Nigerians in any significant numbers to even be able to set themselves up as warlords/crimelords. Blokamp didn't call out Afrikaners and then ascribe to them whatever stereotypes Afrikaners might have. With Nigerians (i.e. blacks IMO), there was criminality, cannibalism, mysticism/superstition, loose sexual morals, all well worn stereotypes of blacks. It was like a checklist he went down. He did have the black guy be the whistle blower at the end, but we learned next to nothing about this guy or why he would even want to stick his neck out. A little more characterization, beyond being something of a hapless toady, for lack of a better description, would've been nice.

When it comes to depictions of race on the silver screen I want literal stuff, I want it spelled out. Because for most of the history of Hollywood they've gotten it wrong in portraying black people, and I would also argue other people of color. I also don't put much faith in Hollywood's racial allegories or racial social message movies.
The point I was making with the Holocaust line was that for District 9, Apartheid is the elephant in the room. Nobody needs to comment on it, since its such a prevailing part of their lives and the story's setting --doing so would just seem redundant. One lileky reason for this would be the movie was made by a South African with a South African film crew. They know their own history already. And in a very real, very serious, and depressing way, the movie is not just commenting on South Africa's past but also its present. According to the director, the only shack they created on location was Christopher Johnson's. The whole rest of D-9 was a real, modern day Joburg slum.

Yeah the Nigerian gangsters were one-dimesnionally evil. But I liked that their leader Obesanjo was crippled. It implied, to me, that that he was maimed by a Prawn at some point in his recent past, which at least explains his obsession with them and "stealing their power". His motives through out were an interesting parallel to MNU's as well. They both wanted alien weapons and were willing to kill numerous Prawns (as well as Wikus) in order to use them. I'm reminded of a bit in Scorcese's Gangs of New York when DiCaprio's character referrs to the New York upper-crust as just another gang, like his, only older and better connected.
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Old August 19 2009, 02:53 AM   #153
DarKush
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

True that the film was made for S. Africans, with more than likely a S. African crew, but it wasn't just intended for S. Africans. I'm sure even in S. Africa, there is a wide range of opinion about their historical legacy. I'm not sure if S. Africans could just simply be on the same page regarding their history. At least in the USA, I don't think we are. I was a young teen in the late 80s when the college protests sprang up here regarding divestiture from S.A., and that sparked my interest in apartheid, but I wonder if the kids who were born in the 90's, when apartheid was ending and after it had been dismantled know anything about it. Same with the Soviet Union and communism. I can't assume that people know what I know.

I don't think movie goers needed to be beaten over the head with the history of apartheid in D9, but a mention at least would've been nice. Perhaps one of the characters considering the absurdity of it all, or having some type of moment of clarity or insight about things. I also don't think that mentioning apartheid is the same thing as beating someone over the head with it.

I forgot that there was one line probably referencing the Holocaust in the film, when Wikus talked about concentration camps.
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Old August 19 2009, 02:58 AM   #154
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

This is why rom-coms are popular.
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Old August 19 2009, 04:20 AM   #155
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

DarKush wrote: View Post
I wonder if the kids who were born in the 90's, when apartheid was ending and after it had been dismantled know anything about it. Same with the Soviet Union and communism. I can't assume that people know what I know.
Were you not taught about about the Korean and Vietnam Wars? Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks? Japanese concentration camps during WWII? Why would you assume that South African children wouldn't be taught about apartheid, or that Russian children wouldn't be taught about communism? Just because they might be taught the official state line doesn't mean they wouldn't be familiar with the entire system, and the negatives that sprang from it.
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Old August 19 2009, 04:27 AM   #156
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Brent wrote: View Post
The only question I have that was never answered is, why did the aliens come to Earth in the first place, and why were they malnourished?
Sounds like a PREQUEL to me.
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Old August 19 2009, 04:41 AM   #157
Brent
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
Brent wrote: View Post
The only question I have that was never answered is, why did the aliens come to Earth in the first place, and why were they malnourished?
They probably ran out of fuel and had to land here. The lack of fuel might have also limited their food supply or access to food, or maybe they left wherever they were in that condition.
I guess that is a pretty good explanation, they ran out of fuel and they were near Earth, so they landed. That is why they had to make more to get away. Though the ship was hovering for 20 years so it had to have some kind of power to keep it up there.
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Old August 19 2009, 05:04 AM   #158
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Captain Craig wrote: View Post
Brent wrote: View Post
The only question I have that was never answered is, why did the aliens come to Earth in the first place, and why were they malnourished?
Sounds like a PREQUEL to me.
The director said in an interview the aliens were a hive mind who had lost their "queen". They were directionless after that and would've starved to death floating above the city in their ship had the humans not stepped in when they did. Its quite possible that they were (as some put it) a "colonizing force" meaning to conquer our our solar system before their leadership died off. My personal theory is that before whatever disease or injury killed their queen, she navigated them towards the closest habitable world in hopes that some of her people might think for start themselves and survive. In the same article he explained why the "drones" didn't mount an escape sooner: it took them that long (twenty years) before one of them got a mind of their and started thinking ofr the hive's best interests.
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Old August 20 2009, 02:18 AM   #159
Agenda
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Just saw it. Great movie! I was amazed at the FX they accomplished on a $30M budget.
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Old August 20 2009, 03:44 AM   #160
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

watermelony2k wrote: View Post
I think I read somewhere Blomkamp said the original cut of the film was much longer and contained more depiction of secondary characters. That'd be interesting to see in an extended dvd cut.
Yes, I'd like to see that. Some of the secondary characters, like the colonel (who seemed like he was intended to be Wikus' nemesis, and arguably the closest thing in the movie to a primary human antagonist) could have used more development and back-story. So hopefully we will see that on an extended DVD cut.

Anyway, I enjoyed the film quite a bit. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, which in this case was mostly a nice surprise. Wikus was certainly a different sort of lead character; he wasn't always a sympathetic figure (at times, I felt like screaming at him, "What the fuck is wrong with you?! You selfish coward, don't you have any kind of conscience?!"), but I think he is more-or-less redeemed by the end.

Christopher, I felt, was an interesting and well-developed character. The Prawns themselves were a neat species -- I liked that they weren't just poor, completely defenseless and non-violent victims. That would have made the whole thing too simple. They're clearly sentient, but seem driven more by instinct than intellect, and those instincts don't always make them very pleasant. While I do think they were unfairly mistreated (obviously), the film's decision to not make them completely likable was a good one... it forces the viewer to ask some hard questions, for which there aren't easy answers.

I was a tad disappointed that there was so much over-the-top violence in the third act (what with the giant mech-suits and exploding humans) -- I didn't really think the film would get so action-heavy, but it was still reasonably well-staged. The visual effects were top-notch, especially for such a low-budget.

District 9 is a unique film-going experience, and one that is very thought-provoking at times. It's not perfect, but it's well worth seeing. Bring on District 10.
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Old August 20 2009, 04:04 AM   #161
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

I just go back from this tonight and I'm not sure where I really stand on the apartheid issue anymore. Of course, maybe the easy solution would be that Western directors simply avoid doing SF with racial allegory at all, because you really can't win either way.

But I'm sure all the points I could bring up have been discussed already. Regardless, I think it was a bit shallow on that end... to the point where I wasn't even sure if miscegenation was the real theme of the film.

I hate to say this, but I think this would have been better if it was called Halo. The games don't try to do anything really meaningful with the narrative - just a generic alien invasion and random (white?) guy in armor blasting things to bits. The verite style is very striking and not as distracting as in other films, so if all Blomkamp had to worry about was things going boom, he would have been able to make a stronger film.
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Old August 20 2009, 04:07 AM   #162
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Just got back from the movie. I thought it was Excellent. A great and unique science fiction movie to close out the summer.
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Old August 20 2009, 04:08 AM   #163
Agent Richard07
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Sabataage wrote: View Post
The director said in an interview the aliens were a hive mind who had lost their "queen". They were directionless after that and would've starved to death floating above the city in their ship had the humans not stepped in when they did. Its quite possible that they were (as some put it) a "colonizing force" meaning to conquer our our solar system before their leadership died off. My personal theory is that before whatever disease or injury killed their queen, she navigated them towards the closest habitable world in hopes that some of her people might think for start themselves and survive. In the same article he explained why the "drones" didn't mount an escape sooner: it took them that long (twenty years) before one of them got a mind of their and started thinking ofr the hive's best interests.
Thanks. I found an interview where he answers the following questions...

What is your own back story for these aliens? What's their home planet like? Why did they end up on Earth?
Read the response.

He also talks about Christopher...

Where does this leave Christopher Johnson [an abnormally smart prawn who sparks a bit of a revolution... Not to give too much away]?

I think it's taken 20 years. I think because there is a subconscious hive mind happening, really what they should do is lay one egg that has a different embryo in it that grows into a Queen or being someone that dictates direction. But I think in the interim, because they may have done that, there may be an egg out there with that, but as that being is growing, I just like the idea that he may have been a lot more directionless in the beginning. But the hive structure of their society may just pick one or two that starts to become the leader. Like the overall structure of his brain may change because the hive may want that to happen. So he starts having a direction and a goal. Which is an interesting idea and it's just enough to kick start them to be able to get to the ship to get back.
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Old August 20 2009, 05:03 AM   #164
The Boy Who Cried Worf
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Agent Richard07 wrote: View Post
Sabataage wrote: View Post
The director said in an interview the aliens were a hive mind who had lost their "queen". They were directionless after that and would've starved to death floating above the city in their ship had the humans not stepped in when they did. Its quite possible that they were (as some put it) a "colonizing force" meaning to conquer our our solar system before their leadership died off. My personal theory is that before whatever disease or injury killed their queen, she navigated them towards the closest habitable world in hopes that some of her people might think for start themselves and survive. In the same article he explained why the "drones" didn't mount an escape sooner: it took them that long (twenty years) before one of them got a mind of their and started thinking ofr the hive's best interests.
Thanks. I found an interview where he answers the following questions...

What is your own back story for these aliens? What's their home planet like? Why did they end up on Earth?
Read the response.

He also talks about Christopher...

Where does this leave Christopher Johnson [an abnormally smart prawn who sparks a bit of a revolution... Not to give too much away]?

I think it's taken 20 years. I think because there is a subconscious hive mind happening, really what they should do is lay one egg that has a different embryo in it that grows into a Queen or being someone that dictates direction. But I think in the interim, because they may have done that, there may be an egg out there with that, but as that being is growing, I just like the idea that he may have been a lot more directionless in the beginning. But the hive structure of their society may just pick one or two that starts to become the leader. Like the overall structure of his brain may change because the hive may want that to happen. So he starts having a direction and a goal. Which is an interesting idea and it's just enough to kick start them to be able to get to the ship to get back.

Maybe if he had actually made a movie about this and not a pseudo-intellectual message film he might have had a good movie on his hands.
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Old August 20 2009, 05:52 AM   #165
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

DarKush wrote: View Post
D9 is fiction, but the director chose to base in apartheid-era South Africa. He could've just as easily placed it in today's South Africa if he didn't want to deal or address apartheid. I would've liked some mention of it and the impact it had on South African society, in regards to the arrival of the prawns. One comment would've been nice. It didn't have to be a policy discussion on it, but for the vast majority of people who know little about the history of South Africa, and I include myself in that number, some context to help explain the 'irony' would've been better.
Exactly would it have been too much to ask them to thrown in something like this:

Guy1: Thats damned convenient that the aliens came to South Africa, we can take all these fancy "No Blacks" signs and easily conver them to "No Prawns" signs.

Guy2: Yah, I mean, had they gone anywhere else, that place would have had to make those signs from scratch!




Dude, come on! How blatant, in your face does the movie have to be for you to not want a literal line in there that yes, this movie is in fact about apartheid?
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