Posted by: daveed | September 24, 2009

Down to earth

At the other end of the sci-fi spectrum, opposite Duncan Jones’s wonderful feature debut Moon, another modestly-budgeted film has managed to renew my faith in the genre. One that also is graced with deft performances, a fantastic story and strong human themes. And it’s mostly populated by CGI aliens. I’m referring to the alien apartheid morality tale District 9 by South African filmmaker Neill Blomkamp.

Watching the film last month was such an exhilarating experience, something I hadn’t felt at a sci-fi movie since I saw James Cameron’s Aliens in the theater—23 years ago.

Here’s Blomkamp’s short “Alive in Joburg” that was the germ for the film:


  1. I totally had the same reaction! I walked out of the theater babbling like a maniac to my friends. It reawakened my wonder of what a sci-fi film can be, or an action movie for that matter. And it had been so, so long since I had felt that. Aliens is a good call. I was strongly reminded of the first time I saw Robocop. The way it took a familiar sci-fi idea and made it feel so gritty and real, with its queasy amorality, its nervous sense of a scary world just around the corner.

  2. I love how it was made for only $30 million, which might seem like a hefty sum — until you consider Transformers 2, whose budget was $200 mil.

  3. […] recently re-watched District 9, one of my new favorite movies, and kicks Avatar’s ass on so many levels, especially story and character development. Which is ironic because when I first saw District 9 in […]

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