Sunday, August 16, 2009

Box Office Review - District 9

First time feature director Neill Blomkamp was originally set to direct the Halo film after being picked by producer Peter Jackson. After that production fell through, Jackson offered Blomkamp thirty million to direct whatever he wanted. Blomkamp decided to expand his 2005 short film Alive in Joburg (embedded below) into the feature District 9. What he made is a masterpiece of the science fiction genre.

D9 is inspired by the forced removal of 60,000 inhabitants from District Six in Cape Town during the apartheid in the 70s. It is a great idea and is definitely out of the ordinary compared to science fiction films of recent years. The film has a great sense of realism and that has been lacking in other sci-fi movies. With this sense of realism I found myself caring for the characters and that is where the film shines.

First time actor Sharlto Copley plays main character Wikus. This is without a doubt one of the best performances in recent memory. As he is in almost every scene, he carries the movie and he does it as well as any experienced actor could. Apparently he originally planned to be a producer, but after this role he has an opportunity to become a successful actor. Believe me; his performance has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

With any sci-fi film there is much reliance on special effects. Thankfully, here it is very good. The alien creatures are entirely cg and appear to be living and breathing creatures. The massive alien craft above Johannesburg is possibly my favourite computer generated effect in any film.

A good film has to have balance and D9 was able to strike a perfect balance between story and action. I was fully enveloped in this movie from start to finish and during the second viewing I had the same experience. The appreciation for this film is justly deserved, and if you are looking for a great science fiction story, look no further

A Golden Banana

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