Monday, August 17, 2009

District 9

I have a few points to make here about the film District 9.

First, I do recommend it for those of you who can stomach some gore. The film has some definite gore points in it. So, if you can do that kind of thing, you should be fine. If you are squeamish, then unfortunately, you will have to miss the best movie to be released this summer.

District 9 is remarkable if you are a writer because of how the film takes the idea of the 'Hero' and completely turns it upside down. The lead character Vickers Van De Mere is quite possibly the most dynamic protagonist that has been created in cinema in the last 10 years. I have wracked my brain for a more conflicted hero who undergoes a similar transformation, but I can't come up with one.

What the film makers do is take a completely un-likable non-heroic character and completely transform him in every way, emotionally, idealistically and physically in the course of the 90 minute film. This transformation is at times almost unbelieveable. You at some points lose the ability to understand who you should be rooting for in this film. It's that crazy. You cannot understand how this dim-witted, happy go lucky, by the book, racist, cowardly knuckle head could be at any point likable, but they mange to do it. Even when the character completely abandons your ideals of heroism.

To say that Peter Jackson produced a land mark film is a bit of an understatement. Neil Blomkamp the director should be heavily praised for creating this Phoenix from the ashes of the lost Halo movie. As science fiction it's message of respect for life, and commentary on racism are not new, and in some ways very obvious. However, if one digs deeper they find this amazing selection of character studies ripe for discussion.

Lastly, the amazing part of D-9 is that it's already profitable in it's first weekend of release. Created for 30 million, it netted 34 million this weekend. So, this completely original idea is completely profitable, while 'established' intellectual property based films are not netting the 'sure thing' dollars they were supposed to. It will be interesting to see if this catches the eyes of the suits in Hollywood.

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