Film Review: DISTRICT 9


I haven’t been around here for a while, but something just happened that compels me to update this blog: I saw District 9.

I cannot say anything about it other than “go see it.”  You will be glad you did.  I will pay money to see it again, and that hasn’t happened for a while.

If you don’t usually like science fiction, go see it anyway.  This isn’t your typical science fiction movie any more than Citizen Kane is merely a movie about an old rich guy who died.

I predict it will be the surprise run-away hit of the summer – not because it is a great movie, but because it is an utterly unexpected pleasure.

Hes not a hero. Hes not the savior. Forget what you know. Hes just a man whos circumstances went beyond his control.

He's not a hero. He's not the savior. Forget what you know. He's just a man who's circumstances went beyond his control.


13 Responses to “Film Review: DISTRICT 9”

  1. Will do

    My son The_weapon announced he wanted to see District 9

    his arguements

    Its set in J’berg which he has visited
    It was was something to do with Peter Jackson and ‘really liked Lord of the Rings’
    it has aliens who look like bugs

    these seem pretty compelling reasons to a 9 year old

    I so want to go see it.


  2. paulboylan Says:

    All good reasons – especially for a 9 year old. But I must warn you the themes are really adult.


  3. Good man. You’re not the only fella whose opinion is respect who’s said check it out.

    …to be honest though. I have to triple read everything you write in case you’re kidding in some subtle way.


  4. paulboylan Says:

    Moko – I have to come to grips with the fact that I burden my few readers unreasonably by failing to signal when I am not kidding, and I’m not kidding about this realization. From now on, when I am trying to make a serious point, I will use the tag “No Fooling” to signal my intent.

    But do see it. I’m still thinking about it – which I believe those responsible for the film intended. So little modern cinema is subtle.

    I don’t want to raise expectations. As shown by comparative production costs, District 9 is a very low, low budget movie. G.I. Joe cost $175 million to make. After seeing it, I walked out of the theatre laughing about how little it left me with. It began splendidly and ended unbelievably bad, almost as if the Iron Man team created the first act but a bunch of 10 year old boys gave us the third act.

    In contrast, I can’t stop thinking about District 9, which cost $30 million to make. Freddie v. Jason cost $30 million ($34,864,013.27 today adjusting for inflation – which means it had the same production budget as Super Bad).

    All of this only increases my admiration for what I saw. And I want to see more from these people.

    I especially want to see more from Sharlto Copley – an aspiring director/producer who more or less got drafted by Peter Jackson to play that poor, beautiful schmuck Wikus Van De Merwe.

    Moko, I am a deeply committed cynic. I must be cynical to effectively do my job. But at my core I desperately need to believe that the average bloke is capable of selfless heroism. For a few precious moments, in the dark, surrounded by strangers, I believed it.

    And I am still thinking about it – which, from my very limited viewpoint, is the most I can ever hope to get from art. I want it to scratch at my mind, just a little, after I walk away.


  5. Mall Cop did that for me. It was GREAT. <–'fooling'

    …actually, I did enjoy it … cause it was like they used camera footage of some people I worked with BEING a mall security guard … officer.


  6. simon bedak Says:

    Heard this reviewed on the radio yesterday. Sounds like fun


  7. paulboylan Says:

    Yes Go see it.


  8. So far, your ironies have not led me to do anything foolish — and I rather enjoy them. I’d heard good things about this film already. As you rarely make this kind of claim, and you’ve earned a lot of respect for your opinions, I’ve just put the movie on my ‘must see at the cinema list’.

    Now, all I have to do is somehow convince the morons that run the Launceston Cinema to actually show the goddam movie….


  9. paulboylan Says:

    Presuming you’re talking about the theatre on Brisbane, I’ll see what I can do.


  10. I saw it last night, and my goodness, what a head trip. It is awesome, and human, and WOAH. Just go see it.

    Flinty – If you have to hike down to Hobart to see it do it. With your kids – I’d watch it solo first and then decide.

    Quote of the movie – “It’s the sweetie man.”


  11. paulboylan Says:

    “It’s the sweetie man.”



  12. Paul – How were you with understanding the sometimes thick South African accents? Just wondering. We Australians do okay as there are many South Africans over here, and we are used to hearing their Cricketers on television etc.


  13. paulboylan Says:

    A couple of years ago I presented a paper at a sports and entertainment law convention hosted by the University of Johannesburg. Maybe that helped me understand what was being said in the film, but I suspect that most Americans will be able to suss it even without similar experience.


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