District 9: Apartheid, Xenophobia, and Human Shrimps

Comments

1
What do you mean by "Whoever bankrolled District 9 is either a brilliant madman (or woman) or is trying to get fired"? Did you not notice that the film is produced by Peter Jackson and Philippa Boyens of "Lord of the Rings" and "King Kong" fame?
2
I'm South African and I'm definitely going to go see this. I must say though, that the director has a seriously unfair advantage when it comes to material. The "WTF" factor is pretty much standard fair in modern SA. I mean, our state president believes that showering after sex with an HIV+ person is preventative of infection. With regards to this movie, all I can say is, lose the spaceships and replace all references to "prawns" with Zimbabweans and you will pretty much have a very accurate documentary on the heinous crimes perpetrated by South Africans against Zimbabwean refugees and other SADC citizens last year. If the aliens in this film are not set on fire while still alive, I will be seriously disappointed in the director.
3
Good review and I look forward to seeing "District 9" this weekend. One correction though - the aliens are called prawns because of their "crustacean-like" appearance, not "mollusk-like" appearance. Clams, oyster, squid, octopus and snails are mollusks. Shrimp, prawns, crabs and lobsters are crustaceans. One would think that a writer in Seattle would know the difference.
4
Deely Bobber:

Remember that whoever bankrolled Peter Jackson's early films ("Meet the Feebles", "Dead Alive", etc) was also clearly a brilliant madman (or woman) undaunted by the prospect of unemployment.

God bless him (or her), and all who follow in those footsteps.
5
Loved it.
6
District 9 is an incredible movie mostly because major plot points came as a surprise. Well, now the surprise is ruined. Way to go Jonah Spangenthal-Lee.
7
i thought it was fantastic less for the plot points than for the compelling performances by Copely and the creep who played his father in law. nothing was black and white - everything was provisional. in that regard, far more interesting than a simplistic good vs. evil flick such as "Independence Day."
8
Really fun movie. The setting and premise were great and the details really sold it. Some plot problems--the effect of alien goo on humans was stoooopid, there were too many contrived last-second rescues (should've been none), and a cute, precocious kid helps save the day. Still, pretty good for a dumb movie and reallyreallyreally pleasing.

I don't recall the South Africans' dialogue being subtitled. Maybe Canada got a different print?
9
I really liked it. Like #8 said, it had some issues—to which I'd add some of the portrayals of Nigerians that could have been toned way down—but I'd still recommend it. Saw it last night and pieces of it have really stuck with me.
10
Ian said he liked it. So at least one thumbs up. I'm more interested in Ponyo, though.
11
sounds a little like Alien Nation! :)
12
Jackson & Co. greenlit this film when production of a Halo movie by the the same director fell through. Can you imagine a video game movie as strange and creative as this? Apparently the studios couldn't either.
13
Will, shut up.
14
@12 Blomkamp was only working on the Halo movie because of his Alive in Joburg short. The Halo movie fell apart for many reasons, but Peter Jackson was so enamored with Blomkamp's work that he wanted to do something with him, and this was a good second option. So yeah, this pretty much only exists because of the weight behind Halo getting Jackson and Blomkamp together.

That said, I've not yet seen D-9. I really want to, though. I tried to see it last Friday but it was already sold out. Instead I decided to rape my childhood by watching G.I. Joe. Not really a fair trade.
15
I saw it and walked out halfway through. A day at six flags is nothing, but this handycam "it's important!" "look at me!" "real documentary" bullshit had me on the edge of puking. So I missed all the cool obliterations and space suits. Bummed.
16
It had nothing to do with "it's important" or "look at me," it's all about making it seem real and setting up the proper context. It's needed for a movie like this. And it works. Don't call it bullshit because you can't handle moving pictures. Sit in the back or something.
17
Maybe I over-thought this movie because all I knew going into it was that it was an allegory for apartheid, Zimbabwe refugees, etc. But man, I really didn't like it. I just wasn't invested in the characters or anything that ever happened, at all. I wanted Wikus to die.

This might be the only movie I agree with Armond White about: http://nypress.com/article-20206-from-mo…
18
Best movie of the year! There is surely going to be a part 2, so many stories and angles that could be told.

This review did give away things that it shouldnt have, shame on you JS-L.

If your going to the movies, this is what you want to see. If not for the movie itself, than just for the fact that this was born out of the ashes of Halo. I bet microsoft is feeling mighty crunchy right now.
19
@15, what are you talking about? I had to sit in the 3rd row b/c of all the people(and i got there early too) and the "moving pictures" didnt bother me or anyone else that was glued to the screen.

@10, Ponyo? really? please tell me your 10 yrs old, please!
20
Got to go see this last night, and really liked it. Unpredictable and exciting and fun and thoughtful. I really did have the "I can't believe they actually made this movie!" moment and was glad for it. After suffering through some really crappy movies this year, this was a fantastic suprise.
21
@2 thanks thats puts it in the correct context. I was thinking apartheid of course, but refugees makes more sense.
22
@15. This happened to me with a couple of Lars Von Trier's movies and I found that a dose of dramamine right before does wonders.
23
Zombie Hatr (#4): "Meet the Feebles" was produced by...director Peter Jackson, along with his friend Jim Booth. Jim Booth produced Jackson's "Dead Alive" along with Jamie Selkirk, who also edited "Dead Alive" and "Meet the Feebles." They're one big happy family of madmen (and madwomen) in New Zealand.
24
It was a good movie but I am sure if it deserves 89% on RT
25
"With regards to this movie, all I can say is, lose the spaceships and replace all references to "prawns" with Zimbabweans and you will pretty much have a very accurate documentary on the heinous crimes perpetrated by South Africans against Zimbabwean refugees and other SADC citizens last year"
The South Africans talking about the prawns in the Alive in Joburg short were real South Africans who were asked about Zimbadweans (or Nigerians).
26
Why am I the only one that thought this shit was lame? The Humans can talk to the Prawns right? So why the fuck didn't the prawns just say "we need to fix this part and then we'll bounce". Why the fuck were the "Prawns" collecting human weapons when they have bad ass alien weapons? Speaking of which why were they clucking their alien weapons off for fucking cat food. And if they Prawns could just rip humans apart with no apparent trouble why the fuck would they allow humans to corral them and make them live in a slum?! Oh shit I forgot why the fuck would aliens with technology so far advanced they could fly to different planets be content with living in a slum?!!!!!!!!
27
@26 First off, this movie is dope.

Second, ***SPOILER***

With the exception of Christian and his son all the prawns on earth are workers. They are like ants, each individual has a job, but without a queen they really don't have it together enough mentally to do much other than that job, so they follow what the humans tell them to do. They didn't know how to fix their ship.They aren't smart enough to mobilize for a rebellion, and don't realize their guns are worth way more than cat food. Christian was the one stockpiling weapons, and he was probably smart enough to realize that if they did fight back the MNU would just carpet bomb the whole camp.

They explain the fucking worker thing in the fucking beginning when they go into the fucking ship, but maybe you were in the fucking bathroom and didn't fucking here it.
28
I thought this was masterful filmmaking- most of all because my opinion of the main character played by Copley changed about 4 times, and most stories never manage that more than once.
29
Someone in seafood-centric seattle must have already flagged this but...
THEY DON'T HAVE A MOLLUSK-LIKE APPEARANCE!!! Mollusks are clams and mussels and snails you retard. Shrimp are crustaceans or arthropods or some other shit...I just know they're not mullusks, so change it, dope.
30
an absolute science fiction classic. This film more than works because classic themes are explored: human fight with fear, loyalty, co-existence, tolerance, love. And because it's rich with character development (what I phrase to use while talking about a science fiction flick :)). Anyway, this is yet another proof that budget isn't everything, in fact, it numbs real talent. This movie BETTER get nominated for an Oscar.
31
an absolute science fiction classic. This film more than works because classic themes are explored: human fight with fear, loyalty, co-existence, tolerance, love. And because it's rich with character development (what I phrase to use while talking about a science fiction flick :)). Anyway, this is yet another proof that budget isn't everything, in fact, it numbs real talent. This movie BETTER get nominated for an Oscar.
32
oops, just registered here :) didn't mean to post it twice...
33
Video game graphic violence, and way too much of it, made this a disappointing film. I expect its greatest appeal to male adolescents under 18, who more than likely won't understand the plot's referencing of South Africa's history. Still, Sharlto Copley does a fine job as the dorky stooge transformed into a hero with a consious. He's the only really interesting thing in the film.
34
@ 3, 29, others: The use of the word "prawn" to describe the aliens is not referring to the "crustacean" prawn, but rather the "Parktown Prawn", which is an insect. They are found in Johannesburg and are known to release a black liquid when killed.

@8: In the US print (and I would have imagined all prints) while both black and white South Africans go without subtitles, the aliens and the Nigerians get them, regardless of whether you can understand the Nigerians' English (and you can). While there have been many comments on South Africans' treatment of people from Zimbabwe, my friend from S.A. informed me that the portrayal of the Nigerians in the movie corresponds what many in S.A. think Nigerians are like. Which, if it's the more subtle social commentary that I assume it is, I like.

@27: The "they" who are explaining the worker thing are humans in the beginning as part of the documentary. I don't think that's necessarily a piece of information you can trust. Frankly, I thought that was one of the sub-themes of the movie, the (speciesist?) assumptions of one people about another creating the expectations and disinterest that allows the latter to be abused.

@28: I whole-heartedly agree. I thought everything about this movie was fantastic, but most of all it's ability to make me alternate between cheering on the main character and hoping he falls into a pit and dies.
35
All Blacks > Springboks :-P
36
I guess if you are talking about subtle refrences, that makes all south africans xenophobic, aids infected pedophiles who believe that raping babies is the best cure for aids....I wonder, does that sound right.
39
I wouldn't waste my time with this to be honest. Did it go straight to video - can't remember it playing in my city.

Steven@How to get my ex back

40
Como Bajar De Peso En Una Semana
41
I love it!!

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