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District 9


myata

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August, not all CGI is bad. I may be confusing your posts with someone else's, but I sense a theme of disdain for computer graphics. If you couldn't enjoy it in this movie, I don't think there's any movie that you will enjoy it in.
Most CGI is dark because if it is light, the CGI is obvious. You will notice that many CGI scenes occur at night in the rain. This is the easiest type of scene to generate with artificial/manipulated images.

Computer generated sound is now possible. It is possible to sample a piano, violin, tuba and so on and then create various sounds in an orchestra. The end result, computer generated, is arguably better than a human orchestra.

In the case of images, the volume of data is simply too large - at the moment. Maybe in the future, this will change but I suspect that the eye is simply too refined to accept unsophisticated imitation. For the moment, CGI too often appears fake.

----

Let me explain my post above.

Not about muslims, and it was not done by Hollywood.
Who produced it? The director may have been born in South Africa but he graduated from a Vancouver film school.
Or perhaps, it's because it was set in South Africa...
Smallc, I stayed long enough to understand that point - although I will admit to an inability to detect the difference between a Rhodesian and South African accent.

It was set in South Africa, but its popularity is not based on a critique of apartheid. Night of the Living Dead seems a more likely comparison.

I recall August was offended by and refused to watch Borat, because he'd heard that Cohen did not make an effort to bait any Muslims during his conversations with Americans.
Well, like Night of the Living Dead (made in 1968 during the Cold War), District 9 seems too to be a nervous attempt to deal with a broader issue.

Or maybe District 9 is just a funny, scary movie with obviously fake script, acting, graphics. IOW, I suspect that in 40 years people will look at District 9 the same way that people now look at Night of the Living Dead. Camp.

Gawd, that may explain District 9's popularity now. Post-modern camp.

Edited by August1991
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It was set in South Africa, but its popularity is not based on a critique of apartheid.

Yeah, right. If you aren't a movie critic already...don't quit your day job to become one. :lol: The movie isn't even really about the aliens. They are a foreign symbol of how ridiculously stupid we are and were. Sure, some people go for the aliens, but most people see a movie for the story and the message.

Edited by Smallc
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I liked the movie but I have to admit I was expecting more from it. I was really looking forward to seeing it for a while, and I did wait for the video. I guess that could have contributed to the disapointment. For me I think it would have been more powerful if the aliens had been more like humans. Different, but not "scary". It was ok but it's no Avatar.

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I liked the movie but I have to admit I was expecting more from it. I was really looking forward to seeing it for a while, and I did wait for the video. I guess that could have contributed to the disapointment. For me I think it would have been more powerful if the aliens had been more like humans. Different, but not "scary". It was ok but it's no Avatar.

I fully agree. I was expecting much more from it, but found it too much like Alien Nation from the 80's complete with drug lords, shady anti-heroes and big floating spaceship. While D9 had the handicam documentary feel, I recall Alien Nation used the newscast method if anyone remembers that style. ;)

I was hoping that the repulsive Wikus character would get blown away quickly to reveal a more compelling storyline. Ugh. I had to wait til the end of the movie.

The CGI was very good, but it didn't raise the movie to the level of Blade Runner or The Matrix for me. I preferred Star Trek reboot over D9.

Edited by Shwa
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While D9 had the handicam documentary feel, I recall Alien Nation used the newscast method if anyone remembers that style. ;)

As already said by somebody here, it's hard to invent an entirely new story in this age and that business. Yet, I can point several interesting questions and observations D9 brings to mind right away, e.g: 1) an absolutely believable portrayal of our (human) obsession with running and digging for small scraps and pieces without being able to see the big picture beyond; 2) that wonderous ability to think with another's brain, and rationalize even most despicable acts if it happens to be to our immediate advantage; 3) I liked this quite original portrayal of the first human to alien encounter, outside of two main cliches (powerful and wise; ugly and evil). If I'd ever bet about the future, I'd bet on a weird incident of the kind described in D9, Stanislas Lem's Solaris, rather than either of the "mainstream" paradigms. 4) I find the evolution of Wikus's character quite believable, if not 100% perfect. He's guided from personal exposure and vested interest, to joint act to understanding and finally to alliance and fraternity with another intelligent being even so different from his own kind. 5) I find the combination of these quite serious messages with fast and dynamic action in the second part very interesting and refreshing. Way different from both "brain dead" action of regular blockbusters, and slow crawling "thinking" movies (which I dont' mind to see, on occasion).

There's probably more, if I stop to think for another few minutes.

The CGI was very good, but it didn't raise the movie to the level of Blade Runner or The Matrix for me. I preferred Star Trek reboot over D9.

I find this kind of comparisons very individual. For example I could never grasp the obsession with Blade Runner (having seen it four or five times). Each work of art (as this one doubtlessly is) should be judged on its own merit.

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As already said by somebody here, it's hard to invent an entirely new story in this age and that business.
I suppose someone said that at the time of Shakespeare too. Genius is rare and sometimes it's not obvious at first of the invention.

Genius?

Let me give two examples.

I happen to have little affection for Elvis Presley music but I must admit that this is original compared to the

.

Or, how about this new way (since this is a thread about a movie) of looking at flashbacks.

I find this kind of comparisons very individual. For example I could never grasp the obsession with Blade Runner (having seen it four or five times). Each work of art (as this one doubtlessly is) should be judged on its own merit.
IME, we generally prefer music and art from our adolescence. IOW, it's not the art we like; it's the memory of youth.

I have a friend in his early eighties who is happiest listening to Big Band music.

Edited by August1991
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http://www.spyfilms.com/#neill_blomkamp .... Alive in Joburg is what District 9 was based on.

I recall seeing a short film by him years ago, and in the same kind of setting, called Tetravaal.

Wikus was the Anti-Hero. Many did not understand it was about aparthied and the problems that came with it. Also, I have heard complaints about the movie not deciding if it wants to be a political or sci-fi movie. It is a political movie in a sci-fi setting. I agree with you that many did not see the underlying theme of the movie. I know many wanted more action.

Personally, I loved the whole movie, it was amazingly done. Great pacing, and story. The setting really brought out that gheto feeling through the movie. It was a place I would not want to visit, let alone live.

it reflected S Africa today with it's refugee/illegal immigration problem...

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I suppose someone said that at the time of Shakespeare too. Genius is rare and sometimes it's not obvious at first of the invention.

Genius?

Let me give two examples.

I happen to have little affection for Elvis Presley music but I must admit that this is original compared to the

.

Or, how about this new way (since this is a thread about a movie) of looking at flashbacks.

still it's the same song...Shakespere's plays have been done in different ways as well, we really don't know how he directed his plays...and were Shakesperes plays original? or were they borrowed from previous works?
IME, we generally prefer music and art from our adolescence. IOW, it's not the art we like; it's the memory of youth.

I have a friend in his early eighties who is happiest listening to Big Band music.

right, what ever music you hear when you hit puberty stays with you for a lifetime, not that you won't develop other tastes...
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I fully agree. I was expecting much more from it, but found it too much like Alien Nation from the 80's complete with drug lords, shady anti-heroes and big floating spaceship. While D9 had the handicam documentary feel, I recall Alien Nation used the newscast method if anyone remembers that style. ;)

I was hoping that the repulsive Wikus character would get blown away quickly to reveal a more compelling storyline. Ugh. I had to wait til the end of the movie.

The CGI was very good, but it didn't raise the movie to the level of Blade Runner or The Matrix for me. I preferred Star Trek reboot over D9.

Well, I never thought much of the Matrix myself, the concept was good, the plotting the shits, and every time Keanu Reeves talk, I keep expecting his sentences to end with "Dude!" or "Whoah!" But that's more of a generic Keanu Reeves problem.

As to Blade Runner, well, I mean, that's a classic film, one of the three great Dystopia films of movie history (the others being Metropolis, probably the single most influential SciFi film ever made, and Dark City, which I'd gladly say is one of the most incredible films ever made).

Still D9 was a damned good film. It's allegorical scope is smaller than Metropolis or Blade Runner, which deal more with dehumanization as a general concept. D9 is about Apartheid, pure and simple, and I suppose, to some extent, that means its greatest resonance will be with South Africans. Still, I thought it was a damned good film that borrowed the imagery of the alien invasion flicks dating back to the 1950s, to turn it on its head a bit. Wikus wasn't supposed to be sympathetic, so far as I could tell, he was stupid, self-centered a--hole. That was rather the point. He's meant to represent White South Africa, that so casually justified racist policies, ignored the atrocities being committed by its government and ultimately accepted a position that could not be justified philosophically or morally. White South Africa, like Wikus, was not necessarily evil, but then again, evils are often committed by decent people with horrible ideas.

Edited by ToadBrother
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As to Blade Runner, well, I mean, that's a classic film, one of the three great Dystopia films of movie history (the others being Metropolis, probably the single most influential SciFi film ever made, and Dark City, which I'd gladly say is one of the most incredible films ever made).

I know and wouldn't argue otherwise, nor predict any sort of lasting impact for D9. The thing is, as August pointed out, that indivudual criteria of assesment are closely knit to that individual's development timeline, and can be grossly different from the common, standard ones. By the time I saw Blade Runner it was couple of decades out and more importantly, in my individual "framework of reference" I was already familiar with several dystopias (in both cinema and literature forms), to which Blade Runner failed to add anything more substantial than a strange and original appearance, flavour of the visuals. In particular, it fails to bring a strong emotional response in me, other than, "how bizzare and weird". The paragon of evil is again, abstract and remote. The whole thing feels like you're (me actually) looking at a strange and bizzare pattern in a microscope. I attribute it to a different viewpoint on the "aliens", in Blade Runner they appear like humans and behave alien, while in D9, it's the other way around. Of course there's a subtle suggestion that the protagonist himself may be an "alien", but again it's too abstract to translate into real emotions (in me).

Still D9 was a damned good film. It's allegorical scope is smaller than Metropolis or Blade Runner, which deal more with dehumanization as a general concept. D9 is about Apartheid, pure and simple, and I suppose, to some extent, that means its greatest resonance will be with South Africans.

Indeed, its allegories are simple and "touchable" and instantly believable too. That's what I like in particular about the film.

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My issue with D9 was that it started off as a faux documentary, only to abandon that conceit halfway through the film. Sloppy.

It didn't entirely drop the device (it popped up a few times), but hey, Trailer Park Boys did basically the same thing! :) Sometimes the "documentary" device can get in the way of the narrative. The thing was a bit of Hitchcockian misdirection, convincing you the movie is one thing and then becoming another. My wife thought it was a comedy at first!

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I know and wouldn't argue otherwise, nor predict any sort of lasting impact for D9. The thing is, as August pointed out, that indivudual criteria of assesment are closely knit to that individual's development timeline, and can be grossly different from the common, standard ones. By the time I saw Blade Runner it was couple of decades out and more importantly, in my individual "framework of reference" I was already familiar with several dystopias (in both cinema and literature forms), to which Blade Runner failed to add anything more substantial than a strange and original appearance, flavour of the visuals. In particular, it fails to bring a strong emotional response in me, other than, "how bizzare and weird". The paragon of evil is again, abstract and remote. The whole thing feels like you're (me actually) looking at a strange and bizzare pattern in a microscope. I attribute it to a different viewpoint on the "aliens", in Blade Runner they appear like humans and behave alien, while in D9, it's the other way around. Of course there's a subtle suggestion that the protagonist himself may be an "alien", but again it's too abstract to translate into real emotions (in me).

One of the problems with certain films is that they become so copied that when you watch them as a later generation than the one that first saw it, you tend to go "meh!" That, in a way, is a tribute to the film's success, I suppose. I mean, why is it that almost every futuristic SciFi world in the movies is a dystopia? Well, because Fritz Lang created images and a concept so compelling that each generation of filmmaker since his time has been caught in his mold. Besides, dystopias are a helluva lot more interesting that utopias. Not much happens in a utopia, I'm afraid.

Blade Runner is a strange film, but it's definitely the child of Metropolis, as is Dark City and District 9.

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(BTW, I then walked into a different hall showing "Good Hair" - the Chris Rock documentary. I strongly recommend it.)

also recommedn this movie. It was both funny and informative about a subject I knew absolutely nothing about: hair care for black women in America. I have a new respect for Chris Rock, this flick has an edge

I also liked District 9, the ending left me thinking the Prawns shall return and They Will Not Be Happy.

Neither D( or Star Trek was the best sci-fi movie of 2009, that honour goes to Moon. Actually, that was one of the best of the year , period.

Edited by fellowtraveller
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I don't see the problem with switching narrative devices. Why is it inherently bad?

At any rate, whether one finds this device effective or not, to call it "sloppy" is to misinterpret it, I think. It wasn't some sort of narrative "error" that was missed during production.

Personally, i too think D9 was a bit overrated...because the general consensus was so inclined to raves, I was expecting a little more. Still, i liked the movie.

What was weak, for me, was something that has already been pointed out here: the CGI was problematic. I thought that the aliens looked fine in quiet moments...but when in action, there was that now-common problem: they simply don't "look right."

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  • 2 weeks later...

they simply don't "look right."

I know it's not what was meant by the poster but literal connection is very funny. Indeed one of the critical questions raised by the film is how would an alien (whether a creature from another world or a human being different from you and I) "look right"? And how, based on what parameters and criteria do we decide that.

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I know it's not what was meant by the poster but literal connection is very funny. Indeed one of the critical questions raised by the film is how would an alien (whether a creature from another world or a human being different from you and I) "look right"? And how, based on what parameters and criteria do we decide that.

the main parameter limit was size, before CG it was limited to the size of human actors...now with improvements avatar has brought size is no longer an issue...other parameters require us to break from preconcieved ideas based on our own world...
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