Movie Review: District 9

Rating: A

One of my favorite things when I’m watching a movie is the surprise of seeing a vision that is so unique that it screams through the projector as the audience is left breathless and, in my case, waiting anxiously to pick up the phone and call a friend to say, “Dude!  You gotta see this things!”

Reservoir Dogs.  Dead Alive.  Kids.  The Matrix.  Blair Witch Project.  Slumdog Millionaire.

I’m going to include District 9 in that list (and yes, I’m sure I’m forgetting some…but you get the idea).

To say anything about District 9 is to ruin it.

All I can tell you is that it’s called “District 9” and tickets may or may not be available in your area (more on that shortly).

District 9 is less of a science fiction movie and more of a social statement on race and the things that both unite and divide us as human beings.

The director Neill Blomkamp is from South Africa and any review that fails to point out the obvious references to  apartheid is clearly missing the heart of this movie.

Speaking of heart, if I can continue that metaphor, District 9 works as a film because it has a soul.  At its core, the film is about friendship and it is about family.

If you’re dragging your significant other and they just want to see a bunch of stuff explode and people shooting each other.  This movie has that too.  It’s got great aliens.  Amazing special effects and some awesome battle sequences.  That said, you could take those things out and you’d have an art house movie that’d have the Sundance crowd falling all over itself.

The budget for this movie was $30 million dollars and I will make the same point I made with my review of Doomsday; this movie looks five times as expensive and you can see every single damn penny they spent on this movie on the screen.  No star trailers or catering budgets.  It’s all up on screen in beautiful large explosions.

How much money did Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen cost?  G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra?  Hancock?  I can go on.  The reality is, you don’t need to go into triple digits to make a good movie.  You just have to have a good script and creators who have heart.

There are moments in this film where actor Sharito Copley plays the “everyman” so damn well that you feel for him.

You feel for this man.  I can say the same thing about Christopher Johnson and…well, I won’t say anything else.

The emotions of this film take it from what would have been a humorous “Cops” spoof (or “Troops”) into something that really engages its audience on an intelligent and honest level.

I am hoping that this film is the phenominon that I am seeing here in Austin.

The Alamo Drafthouse (the “geek theater” for Austin) had its last three shows on Friday night sold out.

I saw the movie this morning at 11:05am and there was not an empty seat in the house.  The line for the next showing was out the door and their website continues to cross off online purchasing of future shows as the day  keeps progressing (Deadline Hollywood has a good summary of the opening day).

I am a big believer of voting with your dollars and showing Hollywood what we as consumers want (and don’t want), which is why you should go to see this movie this weekend.

Tell Hollywood that you want to see action movies that are also intelligent like District 9, and not souless pieces of c*** like the big-budget blockbusters they keep shoveling at us (and don’t let the press see).

[Full disclosure is that a friend of mine works at Sony in their marketing department.  I am not in any way associated with Sony, nor has my friend asked me to write a review or do anything to promote the film.  In fact, I don’t even think he knows I have a blog.  We were e-mailing on something unrelated and he said that I should check out the film and let him know what I think.  End of disclosure.]

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One Response to “Movie Review: District 9”

  1. Movie Review: G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (*sigh*) « Noah Kuttler’s Blog Says:

    […] Noah Kuttler’s Blog This is my blog! There are many like it, but this one is mine! « Movie Review: District 9 […]

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