District 9 - Review, Discuss, Commentary ***SPOILERS*** possible

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Captain Craig, Aug 14, 2009.

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District 9 - Your grade

Poll closed Dec 12, 2009.
  1. Excellent

    90 vote(s)
    60.8%
  2. Above Average

    39 vote(s)
    26.4%
  3. Average

    11 vote(s)
    7.4%
  4. Below Average

    5 vote(s)
    3.4%
  5. Poor

    3 vote(s)
    2.0%
  1. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    ^^ I just think it's clumsy and unnecessary.
     
  2. USS Mariner

    USS Mariner Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    True, but the other options aren't much better when you get down to it. Like I said, you'd end up with people bitching about why no commented on the "real" apartheid during the alien's internment, which would over-complicate the film and miss the point.
     
  3. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    This reminds me of someone saying that they thought you had to watch The Matrix three or four times to really get what's going on. :rolleyes:

    Uh, no. It's pretty damned clear what's going on unless you're really dense. And the allegory is pretty clear in D9 without spelling it out...unless someone's really dense.
     
  4. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  5. T'Baio

    T'Baio Admiral Admiral

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    This is why Transformers makes hundreds of millions of dollars.
     
  6. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Some of the 'video footage' in the movie had a time/date stamp on it placing the "present day" sequences of the movie as some time in 2010.
     
  7. Regina George

    Regina George Evil Takes Human Form Moderator

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    I think the whistle blower was the man with Wikus, the one without the bulletproof vest, the two seemed to be friends.
     
  8. Regina George

    Regina George Evil Takes Human Form Moderator

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    The aliens landed in early 1982.
     
  9. watermelony2k

    watermelony2k Vice Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  10. Brent

    Brent Admiral Admiral

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    Just saw it today, I really liked it, rated it Excellent.

    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?

    Looks like they left room for a sequel for sure, what will the Aliens do, mount a rescue mission, or mount a war effort?
     
  11. Agent Richard07

    Agent Richard07 Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  12. Sabataage

    Sabataage Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  13. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  14. T'Baio

    T'Baio Admiral Admiral

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    This is why rom-coms are popular.
     
  15. J47

    J47 Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  16. Captain Craig

    Captain Craig Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Sounds like a PREQUEL to me.
     
  17. Brent

    Brent Admiral Admiral

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    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.
     
  18. Sabataage

    Sabataage Commander Red Shirt

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    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.
     
  19. Agenda

    Agenda Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Just saw it. Great movie! I was amazed at the FX they accomplished on a $30M budget.
     
  20. Daneel

    Daneel Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.