Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh

District 9, dudes!

Grinning through much of a movie is a good sign for me, and that's what I did at District 9 (summary: aliens reach Earth, not to invade or to invite us into the greater galactic civilization but just 'cause their ship's broken down, and they wind up living in slums like in Alien Nation, only unlike the Newcomers, the aliens here are nicknamed "prawns" and have to deal with bureaucrats and eviction).

Random thoughtage instead of thoughtful review-y stuff:

* Beautifully ugly look; so much garbage, viscera, and unexplained alien piping. I could almost smell grime coming off the screen. This is a good kind of ugly. As opposed to the bad kind of ugly I thought Cruel Intentions had. This was ugly with a point.

* I love the almost-humor of the documentary stuff. It never falls into goofiness, even though I laughed a fair amount.

* Looking at the lead bureaucrat/main human character, the phrase "Weasel Clive Owen" comes to mind.

* Oy, a lot of these characters really aren't thinking about the motivations and consequences of the jobs they're doing. Prejudices and unconscious assumptions For The Loss!

* Possibly a slight spoiler, so here it is: I'm so glad the assistant who doesn't get a bulletproof vest for the eviction raid didn't immediately get gunned down as would too often usually happen in a film!

* I left the film wanting to speak with an Afrikaans accent. Don't ask me why. (Which reminds me that Arthur C. Clarke mentioned in 2061: Odyssey Three that Afrikaans is a fantastic language for swearing.)

* Swearing aliens! Swearing aliens! Swearing aliens! This makes me strangely happy.

* Ridiculously fun special effects. I'm guessing the aliens were done via both computer graphics and practical prosthetics, but they were pretty damn seamless. (Though I've wondered for years if computer-generated effects will always look fake to a certain percentage of the audience. Like how some of us (like ME) never, ever saw any images in those mid-90s "Magic Eye" posters. (Addition: Holy Crap, Magic Eye still exists. Yes, I've digressed. I'll stop now.))

8/23 addition: I want to add what I didn't say, that it does become an affecting, emotional film as it goes on. Fist you're feeling for the aliens (by the way, do we ever hear their own name for their species? I don't think so; I think they're only ever referred to as aliens or the "prawns" slur), then you feel more for the protagonist as he actually starts to realize how messed up this all is. But it stays funny.
Tags: film reviews

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