Country: USA, New Zealand
Language: English, Nyanja
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Writers: Neil Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
William Allen Young
DISTRICT 9 is the final film of 2009 Oscar BEST PICTURE nominated films I saw (what a relief!), nevertheless I still hold the opinion that it is unwise to double the numbers as an awkward truth is that at least half of these films are plainly fillers (for example, this one), it only makes the ceremony longer and offers these fillers some popularity.
It seems to me that DISTRICT 9 is an overrated film, surely it has its own singular novelties such as its pseudo-documentary shooting, low-budget cost (30 millions) and carries an indie halo to subvert the Alien Vs. Human platitude. The story brings to the audience an intensely compact experience after 20 minutes until the end, but all the set pieces are far from innovative (for example 1. the most unimaginable way to take back the fluid in the lab is to snatch it simply like what the film shows; 2. the evasive usage of the precious fluid whose small amount takes a whole 20 years to produce, of course the background of these prawns is eschewed as well; 3. the stereotyped design of the villainous military man, to kill prawns without a cause as he is just loving to do so), unfortunately it’s only breath-taking rather than mind-blowing.
The low-budget quality also hampers the film from taking a more grande scale to see the alien sides (the mothership), in which fans are mostly interested. Another flaw is the ending, maybe they did run out of money, which is nothing to complain, it ends hastily without a clue of what will happen next (a sequel is promisingly under the way I suppose). Actually if we substitute any other disadvantaged group (the poor, the disabled, the distorted, etc.) with these prawns in the film, the film is able to remain intact, maybe less fun. The political attitude is obvious but I feel numb about it since it is banal.
As his full-length debut, one must admit Neill Blomkamp has done a great job, his future is bright (should thank Peter Jackson too), I am looking forward to his new project, however I sincerely wish him that the best is yet to come.
PS: After seeing all 10 BEST PICTURE NOMINEES, I would replace STAR TREK with DISTRICT 9 and A SINGLE MAN with A SERIOUS MAN, period.