Monday, May 3, 2010

I didn’t realize it, but 300 Words makes reviewing things very difficult. Recently I had been given the task of a 300 word District 9 review. And while I don’t think I completely failed, I may need some practice. Anyway, here it is in all its mediocre glory:

"Breaking from stagnant tradition, Neil Blomkamp’s District 9 not only injects new life into the sci-fi genre, but manages to maintain the genres original redeeming qualities. Sci-fi customs seemed set in stone, character types repetitive, and narrative plots remaining generally unchanged. So it is definitely refreshing to see such fluid acting, readily identifiable themes, unique locations and cinematic choices. It’s an emotional roller coaster that supplies brilliance by the bucket load.

The film introduces us to Wikus van de Merwe, the corporation M.N.U. (Multi-National United) to which he works for, and who maintain District 9; the Johannesburg slum where a marooned alien species currently reside. In a routine reallocation project, Wikus unwittingly infuses himself with mutating alien D.N.A. and so must avoid capture by the M.N.U. who in the search for new weaponry, want to study him as they have secretly and brutally studied the resident aliens. Subsequently, Wikus attempts to aid the aliens in returning home, in exchange for a cure.

In striving to innovate, District 9 completely throws the genres defining characteristics on their head. Its indicative and emotional strength lies in its ability to twist the familiar into the unexpected. No longer are the alien’s a vastly superior, suppressive and omniscient force; but instead find themselves nutritionally crippled and at the mercy of humanity. Introduction of character, plot and setting through a documentary styled introduction takes the surreal aspect of sci-fi and makes it real. Combining this with some amazingly implemented and realistic C.G. effects gives an impression of believability. Which when applied to the very real themes of segregation and xenophobia, it becomes exceptionally easy to imagine ourselves in the same situation to which the characters find themselves; especially considering the films mirroring of Apartheid in a similar South African setting. District 9 begs for sympathy in aliens who closely resemble our own humanity, and asks us to recognise the evils of our own nature."
Its a brilliant movie. And regardless of anyone elses opinion, one of my favourites gr33n_FIEND


Anonymous said...

I agree that District 9 is easily a sci-fi classic, and deserves to be rightly so. But, what are your feelings on the lack of appreciation for sci-fi films from institutions such as the Oscars and other similar institutions. Will sci-fi ever become recognised by the high brows of society? Or, will it remain a niche film market?

Dicky said...

Yes, interesting... it seems as though only big budget and over-hyped sci-fi films such as Avatar get recognised. It seems as though what is linked to this is the fact that unlike really good Sci-fi (such as D9), which deal with many controversial issues and serve as deep critiques, Avatar has really only got a 2-D message... something the overall dumb masses can handle, and because the high brow seek to maintain a good image with the masses, so do they choose the easy way out

Lord Phail said...

Yes, but no.

Society, more often than not, wants to relax and enjoy a film, not become intellectually challenged by what they have paid for. cinema has become a lot like gaming, they have become an escapism from reality, a medium where the pain and stress of our lives can be forgotten and replaced with happiness and relaxation.

It's a double-sided coin, Dick. If it weren't for those "2D-messaged" movies, we wouldn't have our escape from reality, would we? Sure, intellectual escapism is sought by many an individual, but not everyone is intellectual.

Everyone wants to relax and enjoy simplicity, but not everyone wants to enjoy complexity. That is why "2D-messaged" movies do better boxoffice wise than those movies that make you think.

Hollywood knows this, and that's why there's a special section within the film industry for it - it's called arthouse. If you solely want movies made as soul food, look that way, otherwise enjoy the simple and complex nature of Hollywood.

Lord Phail said...

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