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*** Official DISTRICT 9 Review Thread

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17 replies to this topic

#1 of 18 OFFLINE   Cory S.

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Posted August 14 2009 - 02:00 PM

Quite great.  Second best film of the summer behind Half-Blood Prince, if you ask me.  There has been some rherotic about it being on par with or perhaps better than Cuaron's Children of Men.  Personally, I don't think so, but it does stand along side.  Children of Men was just more of an emotional and searing experience than District 9 but they do share the same universe. 

Again, a very, very impressive film with a haunting ending.

And, I don't believe for one second this film was made for only 30 million.  Not saying it couldn't be done.  But, having witnessed the film, I just don't see that.  50 million seems for likely.  Third best visual effects this year behind Half-Blood Prince and Revenge of the Fallen.  I give Revenge of the Fallen a slighter edge for the simple fact that ILM had to do 10 times more work in less time than they had on the first film and about 95% of Revenge of the Fallen is pretty seamless.
"Because he's the hero Gotham deserves.  But, not the one it needs right now.  So, we'll hunt.  Because he can take.  Because, he's not a hero.  He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector.  A DARK KNIGHT."

#2 of 18 OFFLINE   Jose Martinez

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Posted August 14 2009 - 02:14 PM

Just a warning: the first half may induce vomiting to those still not used to handheld shaky cam.

Other than that, I think it's my second favorite movie of the year behind Star Trek.

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#3 of 18 OFFLINE   TravisR


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Posted August 14 2009 - 02:24 PM

I just got back from seeing District 9 and it's a very solid movie. The CG work blends in seamlessly with the live action footage.

I think people looking forward to it will be pleased.

#4 of 18 OFFLINE   George_W_K



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Posted August 14 2009 - 03:58 PM

What a pleasant surprise this movie turned out to be!  Very entertaining and I can't decide if I'll rank this ahead of Star Trek or not for best movie I've seen this year.  I'll probably be seeing this again very soon.

#5 of 18 OFFLINE   Patrick Sun

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Posted August 14 2009 - 05:25 PM

I'm glad the early marketing kept most of the plotline obscured, and just set up the premise where aliens have shown up on Earth, and their space ship floats high about the ground, and they basically are quarantined in District 9 from the general population that grows weary of their presence as years pass. 

The visual effects are really well done when it came to the aliens and how they looked in broad daylight, co-habitating with us on Earth.  There is a nice thread of dark humor that underscores some of the violence, but the film does make use of its R rating when needed. I was struck by how reminiscent some of the beats were when compared to Robocop in spots, but homage or not, used well in service of the story.

Given all the special effects, the acting never takes you out of the scenes when the aliens are also in the scenes, so a solid effort by the main lead acting performance by Sharlto Copley, as well as some of the main alien characters, a father and son tandem.  The direction by Neill Blomkamop is efficient and serves the story well.

Don't want to say much more, but if you're on the fence or intrigued by the trailer or ads, I'd suggest seeing it on the big screen, it's got plenty of story and action, as well as sci-fi and social allegories on display (though not unbearably so).

I give it 3 stars or  a grade of B (visual effects get a B+).

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#6 of 18 OFFLINE   Robert Crawford

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Posted August 14 2009 - 05:38 PM

This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "District 9". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an
Official Discussion Thread.


#7 of 18 OFFLINE   MattFini


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Posted August 15 2009 - 02:37 AM

I didn't like it very much at all.

The main character was so irritating that I never "flipped" and started cheering for him when you're supposed to.  As a result, I couldn't have been less emotionally engaged in the proceedings.

It was really disappointing that the plot was so predictable.  I knew where this was going every step of the way, only I didn't care what happened and really couldn't wait for it to hurry up and get there.

I also thought the film was very poorly written.  The villains are SO evil that they might as well twirl mustaches.  Subtlety isn't this movie's specialty, either.  When the movie has to have our main villain actually utter a line like "I LOVE KILLING PRAWNS!" just to hammer home his villainy - well, that's always obnoxious. 

Beyond that it was repetitive.  Do we really need two scenes worth of cell phone conversations between the main character and his wife within the span of twenty minutes?  Both of them move the plot forward in the same exact way, only the second time the wife the wife has chosen to believe him.  Things like that really obliterate the pacing of an already sluggish and boring film.

The FX were neat and the alien weaponry was really carried out with aplomb, but I wish it had been a part of a better film.  The only sense I got while watching this was that its director really would've pulled off a very cool Halo flick.

For me, this was one of the most unpleasant cinematic experiences this year, right behind the F13 remake. 

I give it a D, and I really feel like that's being too generous.

Universal, please release Streets of Fire on Blu-ray.

#8 of 18 OFFLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted August 15 2009 - 03:48 AM

I found a lot to love in this film.  Structurally, it was tight and straightforward.  It threw in beats from other films and genres, but it is carried by a strong lead performance.  As Matt indicates, it's not a bog-standard heroic lead, but in the end it gels into an actual flawed character under horrible circumstances.  What elevates the film are the technical details.  The art direction, the effects, and the awesome weapons, straight out of a videogame that doesn't exist (but should).  The direction is inspired, and Blomkamp is someone to watch.  PJ's eye is a good one, and this guy knows what he is doing.  The action beats at the end are, frankly, incredible.

It is a heck of a surprise.  This film at $30M and Moon at $5M make me wonder what the big boys are spending their money on (TF2 at $200M and GIJoe at $175M).

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#9 of 18 OFFLINE   DaveF



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Posted August 15 2009 - 02:29 PM

"District 9" is unexpected, original, scary, gory, intense, and riveting. It has the realism and cold desperation of "Children of Men". It's like "Die Hard", "The Fly", and a fictional documentary were smashed together. If you like all of those movies, this is a must see; otherwise stay far away.

#10 of 18 OFFLINE   todd stone

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Posted August 16 2009 - 06:58 AM

intense, fresh and exciting.

4 stars

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#11 of 18 OFFLINE   Shawn Shultzaberger

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Posted August 17 2009 - 12:27 AM

We saw this on Sunday.  The night before I had been working until 1am.  Went to bed at 1:30am and the dog whined all night long until I got up at 6am.  I maybe got 2 good hours of sleep so I was very tired.

I didn't think I was going to be able to stay awake for the movie but starting after the first 30 minutes or so I was wide freaking awake.  As others have said above it was intense, gory, riveting and hugely action packed.  This seemed to be a different sci-fi type of movie.

I had problems with some of the things in the movie (one of those being mentioned above, aka the villains were just to evil), and it certainly wasn't perfect but I absolutely enjoyed almost every minute of it.

4 / 5.

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#12 of 18 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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Posted August 17 2009 - 10:57 PM

Technically well done though the documentary style became fatiguing in the second half.  Expected more story wise based on all the pre-release hype.

Solid not spectacular - I agree with Patrick's rating. 3 stars or B.  B+ - for the technical elements.

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#13 of 18 OFFLINE   Elizabeth S

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Posted August 18 2009 - 11:28 AM

Originally Posted by MattFini 

I didn't like it very much at all.

The main character was so irritating that I never "flipped" and started cheering for him when you're supposed to.  As a result, I couldn't have been less emotionally engaged in the proceedings.

I'm with MattFini.

I was really looking forward to this as the premise is very interesting.  However, it was just way violent for me and I didn't much care for anyone in it.  The final scenes were a bit touching, but overall, just an unpleasant film to me.

#14 of 18 OFFLINE   Chris Atkins

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Posted August 19 2009 - 05:18 AM


Near great film which I anticipate will get better on repeat viewings. Could be a pivotal sci-fi film, since it treats the aliens as normal characters as opposed to mysterious creatures. Can't wait to see it again.

#15 of 18 OFFLINE   JonasF62p



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Posted August 25 2009 - 11:51 AM

District 9 was a good movie; very entertaining.  However, it is neither original nor "new".  Let's see:
alien race comes to earth and lives among us to one extent or another: Alien Nation" 1988, Human begans to transform: arm first, then he pulls out teeth, then things start growing out of his back: "The Fly", 1958, 1986 & 1989.  Hman comes to understand the plight of the alien and is determined to save the alien's son: "Enemy Mine", 1985.
Sorry guys, the story is just a patchwork of previous movie ideas....nothing original.  Somewhat good but copy and paste a la Hollywood.

#16 of 18 OFFLINE   Brett_M



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Posted August 26 2009 - 02:11 PM

The best movie I have seen this year -- bar none.  Original, gripping, moving -- inspired.  Loved it.

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#17 of 18 OFFLINE   Dan Gill

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Posted September 02 2009 - 07:13 AM

I've seen it twice now because after seeing it with my brother, I wanted to share the experience with my girlfriend and best friend so I went again. I agree with some of the criticisms about lack of subtlety, but I had no trouble falling in completely with the plot. I haven't been as tense as I was in that movie since I saw the Dark Knight in IMAX. I thought they did a phenomenal job with the Prawns in that often I couldn't tell what was CG, what were puppets, what were suits, etc.

In terms of one thing that was over the top, Vikus just stepping into the huge Prawn suit at the end and blowing up everyone in sight was a bit much, but at that point I was engrossed enough that I was rooting for Christopher to make it to the command module and secure my future viewing of District 10

#18 of 18 OFFLINE   oscar_merkx


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Posted September 07 2009 - 08:43 AM

I was hooked from the beginning.

I liked the documentary style filming.

Obviuosly there will be a sequel.

The ending was very touching
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