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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 15 2009, 04:01 AM   #16
BolianAuthor
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

MadMan1701A wrote: View Post
So, does anyone not like this movie? We left about halfway through... it was so tedious to watch. It was really disappointing, because I was really looking forward to it. Oh well, I guess.

I still can't figure out why people want to like movies that make you feel like crap.
I take it you were not a fan of nuBSG, then.

Not all sci-fi has to be one big joke at itself, and be full of campy humor, and cheap muppets... to me, that's cheap and crappy sci-fi. I like something that at least takes itself seriously enough to make ME want to take it seriously... at least enough to fork over $10 bucks to see it, or devote an hour of my time to see it every week. If all you want is bumpy-headed baddies, laser-gun fights, and huge explosions, then stick with the JJ Abrams and Michael Bay crowd... they specialize in the art of mindless entertainment.
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Old August 15 2009, 04:20 AM   #17
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Well, I stuck with BSG until the end, but didn't really enjoy it after the first couple seasons. I don't mind it being serious, at all... there's just something about this movie that does some things "just because" it could. An example was the scene where he had just escaped, and was trying to order food in that restaurant. The alert came on, about the escapee from the medical isolation ward; now, that already had the people freaked out, and backing away from him. But, then, they have to show a crappy photoshopped pic of him doing an alien, and says he's wanted for having sex with aliens. That doesn't seem like it's taking itself very seriously, to me.

Now, I'm glad you liked it. I was hoping I would...
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Old August 15 2009, 04:26 AM   #18
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Samuel Walters wrote: View Post
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Um, I'd think that it's understandable that everyone on the planet would be distracted from the man-on-man Apartheid when ALIENS LAND ON THE FUCKING EARTH.

***

I honestly don't understand this point. What the fuck did you want them to do? They were addressing actual apartheid, through the use of alien stand-ins. If they did actual apartheid, a lot of people wouldn't bother even seeing it. Using aliens draws more people into dealing with concepts that they otherwise wouldn't give two fucks over if they saw actual black people being treated this way.
I wanted an actual acknowledgment of historical fact.

Look, the film is, by and large, very well done and, on many levels, I found the character interactions to be quite moving. There is value to its central commentary about how humanity treats people who are different. But I won't ignore, gloss over, or excuse the fact that there's no mention whatsoever of what was actually taking place in South Africa at the time these aliens arrived.

D9 is a movie about Apartheid-like conditions, set in South Africa. The significant event of the arrival of aliens took place during Apartheid. There is no mention whatsoever of how that event affected the very real Apartheid that was taking place. If this film wants to be a serious commentary on "actual Apartheid" (as you put it), for it to ignore the historical context of Apartheid in its chosen setting of South Africa is a mistake. What better way to inform viewers about Apartheid than by mentioning and addressing historical fact somewhere in the film? Failure to do so devalues the very real sacrifices people made and glosses over the atrocities committed.

The film didn't have to be about South African Apartheid, but it did have to at least explicitly confront the issue somewhere in its narrative.
Again, you don't understand how fiction works, do you? I'd explain it again, but then you'd whine and bitch about how using ugly aliens as stand-ins for black people isn't doing them justice, even when the conclusion leaves the audience second-guessing their own personal prejudices and hatreds.

Also, the director grew-up in apartheid-era South Africa. Saying that he does apartheid a disservice isn't far removed from claiming that a Holocaust survivor "exaggerates things a bit." What the fuck would you know?
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Old August 15 2009, 04:27 AM   #19
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

BolianAdmiral wrote: View Post

I take it you were not a fan of nuBSG, then.
I thought BSG was over-hyped, over acted and poorly-written trite, and I loved D9.
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Old August 15 2009, 04:29 AM   #20
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

MadMan1701A wrote: View Post
Well, I stuck with BSG until the end, but didn't really enjoy it after the first couple seasons. I don't mind it being serious, at all... there's just something about this movie that does some things "just because" it could. An example was the scene where he had just escaped, and was trying to order food in that restaurant. The alert came on, about the escapee from the medical isolation ward; now, that already had the people freaked out, and backing away from him. But, then, they have to show a crappy photoshopped pic of him doing an alien, and says he's wanted for having sex with aliens. That doesn't seem like it's taking itself very seriously, to me.
Well, given that they really want this guy back before he turns into a Prawn, and the story he'd be telling to people would be "so-ridiculous-that-he's-gotta-be-telling-the-truth," what better way to disgust and frighten people than to say that he fucks aliens, especially on such short notice?
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Old August 15 2009, 04:36 AM   #21
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

^ Would that count as "prawnography"?
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Old August 15 2009, 04:38 AM   #22
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

USS Mariner wrote: View Post
I'd explain it again, but then you'd whine and bitch about how using ugly aliens as stand-ins for black people isn't doing them justice, even when the conclusion leaves the audience second-guessing their own personal prejudices and hatreds.
I never said using aliens instead of humans was the problem. I never even said that the core narrative or characters of the film had to change. As I said in my last response:
"I found the character interactions to be quite moving. There is value to its central commentary about how humanity treats people who are different ... The film didn't have to be about South African Apartheid, but it did have to at least explicitly confront the issue somewhere in its narrative."
The story is, generally, a good one. But for a story to be taken seriously it has to take its subject matter seriously. The film still works as a solid character-driven, morality tale with action thrown in for good measure. But considering the setting and nature of the narrative, ignoring South African Apartheid undermines the film's legitimacy as a "serious" film.

USS Mariner wrote: View Post
Also, the director grew-up in apartheid-era South Africa. Saying that he does apartheid a disservice isn't far removed from claiming that a Holocaust survivor "exaggerates things a bit." What the fuck would you know?
I'm fully aware of Blomkamp's origins. That fact alone doesn't mean he couldn't have made a gross miscalculation in how he chose to frame his movie. How many American filmmakers have misrepresented, glossed over, or simply ignored difficult portions of U.S. history? It happens. And I believe it happened with D9.

Besides, I'm not being critical of his representation of Apartheid vis-a-vis the aliens and humans. I've already said, a couple of times now, those elements of the film work very well. I'm critical of him leaving out the historical context.
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Old August 15 2009, 06:18 AM   #23
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Great flick. It has so much kinetic energy that just drives throughout the entire film. I don't think I was ever bored once or looking at my watch. At times when I thought the movie was going down a cliché stereotypical route, it completely surprised me. Major props for making Wikus not a Prawn lover at first but a guy with some xenophobia and also props to co-writer/director Neill Blomkamp for making the Prawns themselves not misguided, cuddly aliens but somewhat of a force to be dealt with.

Technically, as has been said before, it's amazing this was produced for a relatively small amount (at least in Hollywood terms) at $30 million. Everything looked so authentic and tangible. The Prawns were a real discovery. Never once did I think they were CGI. That was impressive. A Best Visual Effects Oscar nomination should be a shoe-in at this point.

However, what I really loved about this film was how it took a subject, like an alien invasion, something we've all seen before, and made a message movie without coming off as contrived or preachy. It was extremely affecting, but all in the guise of a really fun summer blockbuster. In fact, this was the perfect cap to the blockbuster summer 2009 movie season. Screw G.I. Joe. In a summer of mostly dissappintments, District 9 is a shining example that you don't need big budgets, huge Hollywood stars or an established connection to a franchise or series to make a thrilling, original, captivating and genuinely moving film.

We need more films like these.
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Old August 15 2009, 06:37 AM   #24
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

I simply loved this movie. Took me awhile to get into but my mind was blown by the end of it. I think the ending is what made it for me.

I had no idea this movie was gonna be that popular. I was taken by surprise when I walked into work today and saw the line extending down the hall waiting to get into one of the theaters for it.

It'll easily have made back its budget this weekend.
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Old August 15 2009, 08:28 AM   #25
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Wait, what? It doesn't mention Apartheid whatsoever? What was the point of setting it in South Africa then?

Isn't that like that SG-1 episode where they chastise the villagers-of-the-week for being racist when the only black member of the team isn't even from Earth?

Oh well... maybe it's meant to be subtle allegory or something.
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Old August 15 2009, 09:35 AM   #26
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Gee, ya think?

Anyway, great movie!
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Old August 15 2009, 12:07 PM   #27
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Reading over some of the comments I agree with Samuel Walters and firehawk12. It bothered me while watching the film that apartheid was never mentioned. I'm not comfortable with the excuse of apartheid being solely represented by the aliens, so therefore you don't have to or shouldn't have address it in the film. I would've liked to have seen how the arrival of the aliens impacted the apartheid system. Why base it during apartheid era South Africa and not address apartheid?

I also had some issues with how blacks/Africans were portrayed. The Nigerians were depicted as savages and the few 'respectable' blacks-namely Wikus's chief assistant and the guard were clearly subordinates, with the guard even calling Wikus 'boss' all the time. That rankled me a bit. There were also scenes with blacks and aliens 'living' together or in proximity with each other in shanty towns, and it's never explained why is that, or why there were no whites living in those conditions. Except for the MNU representative and one clip of a female doctor, whites were clearly in charge in SA. Why is that? Apartheid, which was never addressed. Just not discussing it, or even mentioning, made me feel like the social conditions of blacks and whites in this film were just the way things were without any external causes and that didn't sit well with me.

Despite my misgivings I enjoyed the film, for what it was, but I think the avoidance of dealing with apartheid undermined the social message of this film. Overall I thought it was well written, well acted, the FX were good, esp. the prawns, and it's one of the better sci-fi films I've seen in a while. However, my enjoyment was dampened by the omission of apartheid and the depiction of blacks as a whole.
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Old August 15 2009, 04:01 PM   #28
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Spaceman Spiff wrote: View Post
Gee, ya think?
Well, honestly, there's a way to do subtle without being SyFy about it. They don't need a random black character go, "YOU DID THIS TO US AND NOW YOU'RE DOING IT TO THEM", but all they needed to do was just have a black character identify with the aliens.
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Old August 15 2009, 04:56 PM   #29
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

I frakking loved it. It managed to be an engaging blockbuster while still being thought-provoking at the same time, and I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that succeeded at both so well.
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Old August 15 2009, 04:58 PM   #30
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Re: District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

It seems some people have a cartoonish idea of how to present "serious" issues. This also reinforces something I mentioned to my SO who is from South Africa: "I wonder how many people will assume that because the film is based in SO, it is required to be a heavy commentary on Aparteid?"

It's like Americans/westerners have this thing where they stereotype every other culture into like 3 "important" issues and believe every time that culture is mentioned the framework for viewing it has to hinge upon those issues.

District 9 does not need to wave a flag with "APARTEID!" on it. There is this thing called subtle irony. The story gets its message across just fine by demonstrating that everyone, of every race and descent, in South Africa is treating the aliens as second rate life forms - the fact that it is SOUTH AFRICA doing this should be all the irony and on-target message you need. The movie does not need a disclaimer at the beginning that says "THIS IS A SERIOUS POLITICAL COMMENTARY. TAKE IT SERIOUSLY. I WANT AN OSCAR BECAUSE IT IS ABOUT PREJUDICE."
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