District 9 (2009)
Peter Robert Gerber (documentary unit)
Simon Hansen (interviews unit)
Writer: Neil Blomkamp, Terry Tatchell
Starring: Sharlto Copley
alternate universe where aliens have a disabled ship hovering above johannesburg and eventually end up living in a ghetto on the outskirts of the city. they are treated like garbage and are taken advantage of by the human race. in the midst of a relocation project, the guy in charge of the task force gets exposed to a liquid that begins transforming him into a "prawn" (the derogatory name given to the aliens)
I liked this move a lot. There was a consistent level of quality throughout, including the CG. As Leila put it while we were watching (and probably will expound below... oh, wait. Nevermind, this is Leila) the way the aliens are treated in this movie is exactly how they would be treated in the real world.
The story here is not as simple as it first appears. There are plenty of unanswered questions surrounding the aliens and their motivations; but that applies to the political body (such as it is) rather than the individuals. After 20 years in the camp, most of those individuals in the camps embody the negative stereotype that many people apply to human immigrants. The only alien character with any depth is the most sympathetic character of either race but he, too, is an enigma. The star, Wikus ("Vikkers"), goes from mild-mannered, to cock, to bitch, with a noble ending; but it's really a natural progression as his character goes through some pretty crazy shit. And the monolithic corporation represented by his father-in-law acts the way too-big companies do in these sorts of situations.
Acting was very good all around, as well. Sharlto Copely does a as Wikkus rides what can actually be characterized as a roller coaster, and the supporting cast is all really good as well. The aliens are CG, and I'm not sure about the voices. Even if everything other than the dialog is done by computer it doesn't matter, because the dialog is enough to make them work as people.
As we shift from reality/documentary to standard third person and back to documentary, the changes between modes of shooting and direction are really subtle (with the exception of the talking head parts). And that works from both ends. It showcases Wikkus's ascent and keeps the tension going when things get hectic. The score, while traditional, does its part to underline the action on the screen at any moment. I also like how we only got subtitles if the character hearing the other one could understand that language.
Originally I was going to close with something about how there shouldn't be a sequel to this, but a little research has uncovered that it's too late for that plea. I can only hope that the next installment lives up to this one.
i enjoyed this. it was slower than i thought it would be, but that worked to it's success. not an action movie at all it was more like a social commentary on the human race and how hateful and violent we are as a species. it did sort of remind me of a much better version of "enemy mine" with the whole man, who hates the aliens eventually becomes aware of the mistreatment they are put through. i would recommend this movie. i also wait in anticipation of the sequel, in disagreement with my husband's jaded and pessimistic predictions. also i would like to say that just because there is a bit of an open ending does not mean it's not a strong piece all on it's own. they could never make the sequel and this would still be a really good movie. i'm just excited to see where it will be taken with another installment.