I've been putting off reviewing this for a few days, god knows why, but here goes.
OK, District 9, simplish premise: aliens arrived nearly 30 years ago and were moved into a slum in Joburg. The SA government plans to relocate them to District 10 and things go horribly wrong...
The racism parallels are very blatant, especially at the beginning, and the 'abortion' scene is particularly anvilicious. I have no idea why the Nigerians have subtitles unless it is to draw further parallels with the aliens but it's a bit...weird. They're not really needed. Because of the 'in-your-face' racism line the main character is really hard to identify with, to the point where I wasn't cheerng for him but rather on the verge of screaming 'If you don't fix that I'm gonna climb in there and END YOU, you PRICK!' So we're talking redemption rather than heroics, which is a nice change from many action films. The switch between doco and omni-cam is a bit...weird at times as well. And the alien weaponry 'popping' people is incongruously amusing at dramatic moments.
Bad stuff, that is all. It's a fantastic film that has a relatively fresh take on the alien invasion narrative and combines SciFi's 'what-if'ness with social commentary on a scale not really seen since RoboCop. The acting isn't oscar worthy in the same way that the acting in Serenity wasn't, it's not an insult and the actors inhabit their characters well. The story moves along pretty fast for the supposed 3 days it takes but that's forgivable hand-wavy meh.
Christoper Johnson, oh Christopher. The ultimate woobie. He is just utter love. I dare you not to feel sorry for him with the thing in the room with people shooting. It'll make sense when you see it, I swear.
The short version: flaws it has but they are negligible. This is a brilliant movie and pretty much a must see for anyone with spare moment.
- District 9