Thursday, September 3, 2009

Movie Review: District 9

I mentioned earlier that I'd stopped in to see District 9 last week on my way back down from Northern California.

Let's talk about the shockingly awesome amazingness that was this movie.

Although before its release the movie's advertisements mostly consisted of teasers and scene snapshots that didn't explain much of the plot at all, I found myself curious about what it would be like.

How can you not be intrigued? The commercials were all about these "refugees" that had been around for awhile and that were treated in much the same way as people now treat refugees from other countries (rather than other planets, of course).

The first trailer I saw said nothing at first about where these folks came from, but rather had bits of interviews about how "they" were infringing upon various communities and "weren't welcome," or "needed to go back where they came from." About how "the government was spending so much money to keep them here; money that could and should be spent on better things." Of course I assumed that the discussion was about regular refugees from war or something. Then, in the last few seconds of the trailer, a giant spaceship was shown. It blew my mind. What a concept!
Of course, once I got wind of the actual plot, that the aliens are around and that only one human guy can make their weapons work because of a funny thing from his DNA, which promptly sends him on the run from those who would exploit him, it seemed more run of the mill.

But don't get me wrong, I was still curious. The movie was shot in a documentary style, and the way that this outrageous situation was made to be so normal really affected me.

After all, that's what would happen, right? If a huge space ship showed up, we'd all freak out for awhile, but if it stayed there, we'd get used to it, more or less. It's the way of things.

When the movie starts, the ship has been hovering right there, without moving an inch, for 20 years.

I'm conflicted as to what to talk about in my review at this point. I don't want to give away any bits of the plot that shouldn't be given away, but I do want to express what a BADASS movie this is. Seriously. Maybe it's cause I'm into psychology, but I just loved the way that the movie constantly kept you guessing, wondering what was going to happen next, and at the edge of your seat with changing emotions about each of the characters (not to mention what a good job they do making this out-of-this-world concept seem so ordinary and believable).
One of the characters you start off despising because...well, basically because he's an idiot and a jerk. By the end of the movie, you friggin love him. Other characters, you swing the other way with, and there are at least two that may just change some prejudices you have in your real life.
(all images courtesy of google, by the way)
After the last shot of the movie, I sat still for a moment, stunned and thrilled by the excitement in general, and by the amazing way that they neatly wrapped it up into a clean (although not "perfect") ending. Then, I breathed a great sigh and started to unwind myself from the tense and tightly wound knot that I was in (I'm a curler). I walked out of the theater in a daze, blinking at the sunlight and looking around at gorgeous downtown Santa Barbara, all the while having the slums of Johannesburg sticking to the backs of my eyelids.

(did I mention that the movie shows you a grittier side of life that you may normally see, and that this is one of it's points of awesomeness because of the tasteful way it's done, rather than the way that some movies just try to depress you with it? ahem, Babel)

Anyway, if you're curious, see the movie, definitely. Or if you're not curious. Still see it. It's that good. And yes, it has an underlying politically opinionated flair, but being the liberal that I am, I was all for it :)

The End.

Happy Friday eve!

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living in better conditions."


Anonymous said...

i have been debating whether or not to actually see this movie. i think i will now!

happy thursday, luv!

Good Gals Inc said...

I loved District 9!!! It was amazing!!! Can't believe the budget was only $25 million and it was a first time director and lead actor!! Great all around!

Jill Pilgrim said...

Oh, I really want to see this! Maybe this weekend...