DVD/Blu-ray Reviews

District 9 - DVD Review


The summer movie season is coming to its grand finale, but one might believe it is still in full force by the sheer intensity of Neill Blomkamp's District 9, a brutally horrifying film that engages both the mind and the eyes with plausible scenarios of a South African society brought to extremes by the possibility of aliens being forced to coexist with humans. Constantly engaging, Blomcamp's work of science fiction comes across in a documentary-like format that feels like a social experiment gone wrong, but like any bloody highway accident, you simply can't look away from the ensuing carnage. {googleAds}

District 9District 9, based upon Blomkamp's own short film Alive in Joburg, introduces the audience to the alien situation in documentary-like fashion through a series of interviews with key figures involved in the human vs. alien conflict. The scenes are also designed to provide the audience with the gravity and social complexity of the situation between human and prawn (derogatory slang used by humans). Twenty years ago, an alien mothership approached, slowed, and, in a sense, simply â"parked" above Johannesburg, South Africa; hovering for three months without any apparent reason. There is military speculation that the ship is inoperable and captured footage shows a mysterious capsule falling from the ship a capsule that was never found. Curious government and military officials finally decide to move in, drilling in through the ship, and discover a ship full of malnourished aliens described as â"workers" - without any visible leaders among the ailing creatures. The government, acting in plausible good faith, relocates the aliens to a government camp and nourishes them back to health. Due to military and gang involvement, the government camp turns into a dangerous slum known as District 9.

Opening in the year 2010, the movie documents how one contracted security operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) at MNU (Multi-National United), a company seemingly more interested in the alien weapons then alien welfare, got more than he bargained for when asked to relocate 1.8 million aliens to District 10 especially when exposed to a dark liquid that reeks havoc upon his own body.

What comes forward through District 9, marching like a well-trained brigade of soldiers, is an apparent criticism on apartheid and the social factors at play that makes the judgment of the most foolish of people (and aliens) seem proficiently sound. Blomkamp's film, produced by Peter Jackson, is arguably the best thought-provoking horror/sci-fi alien-fest since Ridley Scott's Giger-infested Alien. There are moments of sheer terror for Copley's character moments that are gruesome and wildly imaginative for the audience in which a transformation, summoning the precise prose from Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, takes place and then the film relaxes some and allows actual thought to steer the picture for awhile while the relocation takes place. What is absolutely incredible about District 9 is how its science fiction influences, recalling such classics as Wolfgang Petersen's Enemy Mine and Paul Verhoeven's Robocop, seem so wholly new and fresh again due to the intrinsic believability of the script. After all, who can afford to forget the horror that was Cape Town's District Six?

Always intense, scary at times, and, often fueled by some absolutely fantastic and frightening sociological scenes, District 9 seems destined to go down in the public's eye not as the sure-fire hit that J.J. Abrams' Star Trek was this year but as a total geek-fest, a film for the fans of the type of science fiction film that was the leader of the pack in that once-upon-a-time of the 1950's yesteryear albeit with more gore. District 9 is destined to become a cult classic because, for some, there simply won't be enough scenes of brain-numbing action; however, for the patient and thoughtful viewer, even the quieter scenes in District 9 seem highly-charged and intense not unlike a greatest hits package from Bob Dylan.


 

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English; French ; Closed Captioned
Language and Sound: English: Dolby Digital 5.1French: Dolby Digital 5.1English: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; director's commentary; deleted scenes; making-of featurette; audio descriptive track.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • Feature-length commentary track with director Neill Blomkamp

Featurettes

  • The Alien Agenda: A Filmmaker's Log
  • Metamorphosis: The Transformation of Wikus
  • Innovation: The Acting and Improvisation of District 9
  • Conception and Design: Creating the World of District 9
  • Alien Generation: The Visual Effects of District 9

Deleted Scenes

Trailers: For Moon, 2012, Legion, Michael Jackson's This is It and Universal Soldier: Regeneration.

Number of Discs: 1 with Keepcase Packaging

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