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District 9 (2009)
Independence Day eat your heart out. This heart thumping, adrenaline fuelled, socio-political, sci-fi thriller that is District 9 is making a firm impact on the future of cinematography and it's here to stay. District 9 separates itself from every other previous Sci-Fi adventure and creates its own unique, compelling genre in where the human race is projected as it's evil, selfish, dictatorship form leaving the weaker minority of its non-human race to suffer. The intriguing opening is a carefully crafted piece of cinema. We see the city of Johannesburg shadowed by a stationary mother ship containing one million malnourished, frightened aliens. The scene is quick to change to a humorous setting which contradicts the serious nature of the film. We see Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) comically presenting himself for a television appearance discussing his work for MNU (Multi- National United). Due to public anger and determination the Government are forced to relocate the aliens to a new destination which is effectively a concentration camp known as District 9. The eviction causes much uproar between the MNU and Aliens due to their poor relationship. This is because of segregation, prejudice and racism towards the "Prawns", a derogatory term given to the aliens due to their reptilic, back and putrid face. Because of these features it portrays them as different and dangerous yet to you, the viewer you still feel a sense of sorrow and injustice towards the Prawns. The story continues to reveal a much darker Government in where the Prawns are tested on and tortured. Wikus Van De Merwe comes face to face with the deception and lies of MNU and has no option but to become an outcast and live as one with the prawns if he is to ever regain his natural life. The young South Africa Director, Neil Blomkamp (Small Ville and Stargate) clearly has a keen eye for Sci-Fi. His skills presented throughout District 9 shows that a small screen director can make the big leap to the silver screen and pull it off with mighty precision, enhancing his career prospects overnight. The contrast between home video and professional film technique just adds to the realistic value of the production. It is made so well, in such a naturalistic manner some scenes have the power to trick you into believing you could almost be watching the 10 O'clock News. It is clear that Neil Blomkamp has had help from the inspirational producer Peter Jackson, director of the extremely successful Lord of The Rings trilogy, King Kong, The Lovely Bones and winner of the Best Motion Picture 2004. Peter Jackson can now add District 9 to his list of on-going successes.
The out of this world performance from Sharlto Copley is inspiration and moving expressing a number of emotions in such a profession despite this being his first major role. He pulls it off with such adequate that I'm sure he will continue to show himself in future throughout numerous films. People may be put off by District 9's Sci-Fi genre however it is so much more than your average Sci-Fi with a deeper, more emotional, involvement then other films such as: The Alien series, Predator, Independence Day and Star Trek. The film has no specific audience and can appeal to anybody involved with Government Affairs, Politics and ethics as well as film fans and the general public however it does contain some mighty explosions so be prepared for that! Each second of the 112 minute film is a unique piece of cinema and should be seen at all costs. I highly recommend this film as it is a true masterpiece and represents the high standard of the film industry today.