Sunday, August 16, 2009

district 9

I love a good sci fi movie. Oh, jeez, okay, I admit it - I've been known to love even a bad sci fi movie.

And so it was that I have been looking forward, with saliva dribbling from my mouth, to the arrival of District 9 at my neighbourhood cinema.

I went along to see it tonight and what can I say? It's as good as the word of mouth told me it would be. And all the better for the fact that for the first twenty minutes, I could barely stand it. I detested the main character - he was a nasty wanker - in other words, the quintessential bureaucrat and I couldn't understand his South African accent. The aliens made me sick to my stomach with their crazy diet. The hand held camera and documentary style made it difficult to follow the action and I felt like I was on one of those scary rides at the show.

But something really strange and magical happened - the film sneakily revealed everybody's humanity ... or do I mean, alien-ness? ... and I suddenly found myself heavily engrossed in the story and invested in the outcome.

Man, it was gory! There were tank chases and helicopter crashes! There was stuff blowin' up all over the shop! There was every kind of weapon known to man and plenty I've never seen before as well. There was an alien ship shot down to skid through a Johannesburg slum! There were heads blown off and arms chopped up.

I tell you this to set up something happened on the way out of the theatre that had me and The Princess Bookaholic laughing our guts out all the way home. As we left the cinema, we were talking about how much we liked the film and how we both felt the same way - that we could have left in the first twenty minutes and would have been glad to escape. We walked past a group of young guys and heard one of them say, "Meh, it was o-kay.... I expected there to be a bit more action."


I looked at the guy with what I suspect was utter incredulity and then at The Princess Bookaholic. She was looking at me in just the same way. We burst out laughing and laughed all the way back to the car, making wild arm motions and coming up with crazy hypothetical action sequences as we tried to imagine what else they could have blown up and how many more creatures, human and otherwise, they could have 'sploded.

I looked back at the guy and could tell he knew we were laughing at him. I felt bad but he smiled at me sheepishly. I'm pretty sure he realised it was a silly thing to say.

Anyway, District 9 is indeed a remarkable movie, all the more because I so hated the beginning of it. I can't believe it brought me back from there.

In conclusion, I have only one more thing to add...


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