DVD Reviews #2: District 9 (2009)

January 22, 2010 at 10:52 AM | Posted in DVD Reviews, Sci-Fi | Leave a comment

Lindsay Lohan gets asked for her autograph.

I got the regular version of this. I didn’t ask for it, so it was a surprise. It’s a movie my dad said he might buy for HIMSELF. And it’s amazing. Totally ridiculous and amazing. It’s ridiculous. Anyway.


A lot of morons like to complain that this movie is so “Hollywood” just because it wasn’t completely comprised of the documentary footage that the trailers were forced to use. This is a ridiculous claim. The movie is definately and literally not Hollywood. In fact, the documentary format is broken by the alien scenes less then FIFTEEN MINUTES into the film. So even claims that it completely changes “halfway through” are erroneous. No, the movie is not The Blair Witch Project. Nor is it Cloverfield. And as a result, it’s good rather than gimmicky. There is no other movie like this one apart from those superficial aspects. It’s the most quirky and original sci-fi film since… Buckaroo Banzai.

The documentary footage is there to tell the story. But the rest of the movie isn’t flashy MTV editing and weird camera angles. It’s made with the same aesthetic in mind. It’s hand-held and in the action. Trying to work a cameraman into the whole story wouldn’t have worked, as that aspect always ruins credibility. Put down the camera and run!

The effects in the film are amazing, and the low budget nature of the picture really enhances the experience. It’s enough of an achievement on its own, but seeing how much better the effects are here than in big summer blockbusters really heightens the excitement. You feel that what you’re seeing is absolutely real. And when it gets completely over the top, it’s just a blast of a ride. It’s that much more effective because the movie is capable of the little stuff, and it’s not just Michael Bay all the way. It tells a story and kicks your ass.

The social commentary of this movie is exquisitely done. And the director’s commentary is pretty good too. I’m definately keeping an eye out for this guy, because he’s a freaking genius. Of course, as soon as he makes a sequel to this, people will start complaining that nobody makes original movies anymore. You can’t win. Ever.

Of the 22 deleted scenes, which total about 23 minutes, most are just extra documentary footage with locals. Halfway through, there’s an assortment of unfinished alien scenes with the Andy Serkis-type guy in his tights. The most interesting scene has some early prawn kids and the mothership composited into the footage and an asplosion. Another clip at the end shows Wikus stealing the APC.

The filmmaker’s log is the requisite half-hour making-of feature, with lots of behind-the-scenes material, but at a rapid pace. There are four more supplements on the 2-disc DVD. So I’ll have to get that eventually.

The commentary is great. The moviefilm is great. I’m going to go ahead and recommend the 2-disc version, because if you love the movie and don’t want that, you’re make me sick.


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