Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The modern sci-fi classic DISTRICT 9, QUICK NOTE style.

I've been waiting to see District 9 for a few months now. Though I enjoy a movie sans friends, I'm a terrible self-motivator, thus I wait for long after its release to swindle a few friends in to coming along with me. And lucky that I did as District 9, a low-budget film by a first time director, is absolutely a modern sci-fi classic. Perhaps the first of its kind in many many many years.

Here's my QUICK NOTES:

1. Classic fucking film. My father, after viewing the film, text messaged me this "As good as Blade Runner." My dad, and my brother actually, are semi-notorious for hating most films, or at least finding some painful amount of fault in them, and thus the acknowledgment that the film was as good as Blade Runner was a weighty critique. But the man, mustache and all, was one hundred percent right. This is everything you want in science fiction: originality, allegory, amazing technical design, and just the right amount of geek to make things shine a bit.

2. And geeky this film is. The second half of the film is pretty much a mad-scramble/fire fight between a slowly metamorphosizing main character and a squad of gang members and marines. Every gun you've ever seen in a first person shooter (gravity guns, nuclear bomb guns, fireball guns, etc.) that you've wanted to see realized on the big screen - in this movie. About the time you see a robot pick up a big and kill man with it, you know this is a geek film. With that said, it's never too much though. Sure, this is a film made for the sci-fi set, but just about anyone could see it and walk away both happy and challenged by the film. Don't let the fears of a geek film put you off. You'll be sad.

3. Low budget indeed. This film was made for 30 million dollars. In the world of over-spending that is Hollywood, that's the change you find under your mattress. But Neil Blomkamp, the director, uses that money in downright genius ways. The film is edited maniacally, quick cuts between HD and real film, live action and documentary, and though, yes, it does fit right in with the story, it's also there for a reason - to hide the low budget nature of this film. Sometimes (the break-in to the MNU establishment, or a few of the patchy plot smudges) the lean budget shows, but in general this is low-budget at its very very best. Color me impressed.

4. A few holes. Though the plot and pace of this film are amazing. There's a few solid holes, big chunks 'o' glossed over plot development that you can sort of forget about because the plots rocketing along so sharply. They didn't bother me a lot, but I certainly noticed.

5. I'm doing a fine job of not saying anything about the film, because the discovery of well, just about everything is half the fun of this movie.

6. The wife in this film is as one-dimensionally written as any ever. She's just sobs and one-liners. Cut her out.

7. That last shot, with the metal flower, it didn't need to be there. I understand, hammer that point home, but c'mon don't hit the nail toooo hard.

8. I smell sequel, and it's a fragrant odor.

Friday: Crazy Love

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