Saturday, August 15, 2009

District 9

I wanted to see this movie before spoilers got vomited all over the Internet, and I'm really glad I took care to preserve my ignorance. (BTW, when did it become so much work to remain unspoiled? Yeesh.) Needless to say, this commentary will be spoiler-free, because I wouldn't want to ruin the flick for you all.

DISTRICT 9 really worked for me because I wasn't expecting one thing or another--the first trailer only showed enough to hook my interest, especially with that alien guy saying he only wanted to go home. And if that tweaked my emotion, it was nothing next to what I got from the movie itself. It delivers on emotional, action-geek, ooky-gore, cerebral levels, too.

I was engaged from the get go, even though you wouldn't think that a story that uses a "documentary"-type approach throughout most of its presentation would lend itself to grabbing you by the heart and twisting. There are scenes in this movie that are so devastating on a personal level (both from the main character's POV as well as the sympathy you feel for some of the aliens) that you can't avoid ye ol' wrench of the guts. It helps that the special effects are seamless, making the aliens seem real. It was only after the film that I realized how good the CGI is.

There are moments where the movie could've been trite, and after you see it, you'll be able to point them out easily. (Avoid this sentence for anything resembling a spoiler if you want, but I'll just give you one hint: cute kids in horror/action movies, just like freakin' Star in TERMINATOR SALVATION.) But D9 never fully goes into cliche territory--it actually kind of teases you with the possibility and dances on the edge of it just enough to give you payoffs to these set ups.

What really stuns me about this film is that is was made for a fraction of the cost of a regular sci-fi/fantasy blockbuster. I did they pull this off when it takes almost $200 million to finance something like TRANSFORMERS? D9 schools Hollywood, and just for that, I adore it.

Just so you know, there's LOTS of splatter to be had. Bodies exploding. Blood hitting the camera. Meat making those wet smacking sounds as it hits people in the face. A ton of it. I'm only warning you. And there's a good deal of F-word action, also, but since this takes place in South Africa, they say "fook" instead, which tickled my funnybone for some immature reason. If you're good with both of those things, this is one you'll want to see on the big screen. So go. :)


Mardel said...

I want to see it now. The previews look good, but sometimes the previews contain ALL the best scenes. (like Mars Attacks).

Crystal Green's Blog said...

Hey, Mardel! Amen to what you said about the previews. I haven't seen the second trailer for D9, but the first one did a perfect job of hooking me without giving away much at all. I wish they all could be that way. :)

Selena Illyria said...

Soooo jealous you've seen the movie. I want to see it. It looks amazing. The, "I just want to go home," hooked me. I started to wonder if we'd kidnapped them or something. After that it was the CGI which looked sooo real!I can't wait to see it. :-)

Crystal Green's Blog said...

Selena! You're going to love it. And, yes, that poor alien just wanting to go home broke my heart. (Curiously, I didn't see that scene in the movie, but it has a lot of other great things to make up for it.)

Looking forward to Inglorious Basterds this week, if I can make it....

Celise said...

The hubby and I saw this movie over the weekend and I couldn't agree with you more. We really liked it too. So much so that I told my Dad, who considers me the unofficial Movie Critic in our family.

And the whole kid thing was just too cute for words. And a little heartwrenching as well. Especially that one scene where he's looking up at the hatch? I really think I could've slapped the hell out of Wickus when he did that.

Crystal Green's Blog said...

Celise--great to hear you and hubby liked it, too! Yeah, with the lil' one, the didn't push the cuteness factor down our throats, and he wasn't unappealingly precocious, LOL.

Wickus. He tested my nerves but someone he always kept my sympathy!