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"District 9" Best Sci-fi Movie of 09?

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the lotta-hype-on-this-one dept.

705

Travis wrote in with a story that says much of what my friends have been saying to me all weekend: "Slashdot covered 'District 9' back in July. I was originally excited to see this movie for its exhibition of exoskeleton robot 'mechs' (see images and video at Hizook.com ). After watching the film this opening weekend, I can honestly say that it was an amazing science fiction movie! Everything was spot-on: the plot, the human elements, the alien elements, the technology, and the seamless blend of special effects with real camera capture. This film should vault Neill Blomkamp into sci-fi stardom, on par with George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix fame). This is certainly a must-see movie — easily the best movie of the year."

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Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (4, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090881)

This film should vault Neill Blomkamp into sci-fi stardom, on par with George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix fame).

Are you saying that this movie is as good/groundbreaking as Star Wars orThe Matrix? I am somewhat dubious.

Don't get me wrong, it looks a whole lot better than most sci-fi movies. I especially like how the first commercials I saw for it were public service announcements about District 9. Then commercials with non-human sympathizers being arrested. Then later you see a commercial with "glick gluck mcglorlock" (translation: "We just want to go home.") and you kinda realize that there's going to be more depth to the story than Starship Troopers (the movie, not the book). Looks interesting, I'll definitely Netflix it.

It might be the best sci-fi movie of '09 but you've still got

  • Gamer
  • The Fourth Kind
  • The Time Traveler's Wife
  • Pandorum
  • Splice
  • The Surrogates
  • 2012
  • 9
  • AstroBoy
  • The Box
  • The Sky Crawlers
  • Radio Free Albemuth
  • Hunter Prey
  • Deadland

While a lot don't have release dates yet and could be pushed back and most will probably suck, that's a lot of competition to dismiss at this point. And lastly, I have great hope for Franklyn [imdb.com] (to be released here in the states).

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (4, Informative)

krou (1027572) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090931)

You forgot Moon [imdb.com] .

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090957)

I beat people like you up in high school, when I wasn't drinking beer. Now I own houses worth more than your geeky ass.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (1, Insightful)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091123)

You'll probably die cold alone.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (4, Funny)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091155)

Well, beer does make you cool, noone can deny that,...

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091407)

He forgot G-Force *flees*

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091415)

I've seen both Moon and District 9. They're both good, but I vote for Moon.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (4, Informative)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090941)

Go ahead and cross off the Time Traveler's Wife from that list, its not really Sci-fi and its been getting low to mid range review scores anyway.

The Surrogates does seem kinda cool though, looking forward to see how that one does.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090965)

Haven't seen it yet and aside from the thread originator don't know anyone who has. Going to wait for more informed comment which I'm sure this being slashdot I'll get lots and lots and lots of.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (3, Informative)

kalirion (728907) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091321)

Here ya go [rottentomatoes.com] .

WHEW --- almost feinted there (4, Funny)

tomzyk (158497) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091095)

I just briefly scrolled through the list and for a half of a second thought I saw "90210" listed as an up-and-coming Sci-Fi movie.

Re:WHEW --- almost feinted there (3, Funny)

Guppy (12314) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091449)

I just briefly scrolled through the list and for a half of a second thought I saw "90210" listed as an up-and-coming Sci-Fi movie.

Our SF club used to refer to "Space: Above and Beyond" as "Space: 90210". Or sometimes "Melrose Space". Too many young, good looking, vapid actors.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (3, Funny)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091147)

there's going to be more depth to the story than Starship Troopers

So much of District 9 happens in underground caves?

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (1)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091195)

Do yourself a favor, forget netflix; see this one in theaters.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (2, Informative)

space_jake (687452) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091241)

Don't forget James Cameron's Avatar, I think that is due out in December.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (3, Insightful)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091275)

I have seen none of those on your list, but I have seen "District 9". IMO, it won't take much for one of the others to top it.
I'm sorry, but once you get past the "apartheid, only with aliens this time" metaphor (which is difficult to do because the movie clubs you over the head with it every fifteen minutes), there just isn't much story, and what there is, is pretty trite. Same goes for the characters.
Yes, the CGI effects were astoundingly good. Best I've ever seen, but special effects to not a great movie make.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091579)

Further, if it goes as the ads appear, it takes the pretty shallow interpretation of "apartheid is wrong whenever white people do it."

The existence of extra terrestrials, with the technology to travel through the vastness of space, and capable of reaching earth, changes the dynamic considerably. It means that earth needs to build up that capability and defenses fast. The ends don't necessarily justify the means, but when you're facing planetary extinction as a concrete possibility, a lot of rules can bend really far and still be squarely on the "moral" side of things.

But I'll hold no hope that they'll attempt to address such heady issues (condemning apartheid while painting it in a good light would be a pretty tricky thing to film. Honest, but tricky.) and just stick to the tried and true, "we're against things that are bad, especially when white people do it." method of getting lauded for their brave stance.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091307)

Paraphrased ...

"I haven't seen the movie, but here are some other movies I haven't seen that may be better."

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (5, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091325)

This film should vault Neill Blomkamp into sci-fi stardom, on par with George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix fame).

Are you saying that this movie is as good/groundbreaking as Star Wars orThe Matrix? I am somewhat dubious.

Don't get me wrong, it looks a whole lot better than most sci-fi movies. I especially like how the first commercials I saw for it were public service announcements about District 9. Then commercials with non-human sympathizers being arrested. Then later you see a commercial with "glick gluck mcglorlock" (translation: "We just want to go home.") and you kinda realize that there's going to be more depth to the story than Starship Troopers (the movie, not the book). Looks interesting, I'll definitely Netflix it.

It might be the best sci-fi movie of '09 but you've still got...

Are we talking about Science Fiction movies? Or Science Fantasy?

If we're talking about good old-fashioned hard sci-fi, I might suggest that it's the only sci-fi movie of 2009.

Most sci-fi movies these days are nothing more than action movies or horror movies dressed up with aliens and rayguns. District 9 actually uses the premise to tell us something about ourselves. I don't recall the last "sci-fi" movie I watched that did that.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (3, Interesting)

mbourgon (186257) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091533)

Moon. He's on the dark side, mining Helium-3. And he's on the frickin' MOON. Not to mention that the story and acting is excellent. I liked District 9, but Moon is better.

Re:Let's Not Get Ahead of Ourselves Here (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091403)

Are you saying that this movie is as good/groundbreaking as Star Wars or The Matrix? I am somewhat dubious.

Lots of movies have been billed as "the next star wars" but in terms of success and popular impact, the Matrix is the only one that really nailed it, at least as far as sci-fi's gone. I don't know if geeks will be having matrix-themed weddings decades from now but hey, it's already got ruinous sequels just like Star Wars!

I hear District 9 is good but will probably remain on the scifi geek list rather than crossing over into the mainstream like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. Probably more like a Blade Runner or Terminator 1 or 2. I wouldn't quite put LOTR on the same cultural impact comparison list since Star Wars and Matrix did not exist in any form before the theatrical release whereas LOTR has been loved for decades beforehand -- in other words, it had already made quite an impact before Peter Jackson touched it.

Didn't see it but... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090887)

I think it's a dumb plot and stupidly put together. I think the acting is terrible and the special effects are terrible.

(makes you wish "so I won't comment" follows Didn't see it doesn't it?)

Re:Didn't see it but... (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090973)

Yeah, I wasn't too impressed with Independence Day [imdb.com] either.

Isn't it really the only Sci-fi movie of 09? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090907)

Transformers doesn't even count because Michael Bay blows

Re:Isn't it really the only Sci-fi movie of 09? (2, Interesting)

FTWinston (1332785) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090955)

You guys in america probably won't have seen it, but Moon [imdb.com] was awesome. And didn't "Star Trek" count as sci-fi, at least to most people?

Re:Isn't it really the only Sci-fi movie of 09? (1)

VAXcat (674775) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091207)

I haven't seen Moon...but the reviewer in the Houston paper said it was very long and very boring...

Re:Isn't it really the only Sci-fi movie of 09? (1)

astrotek (132325) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091567)

it looks like a remake of 2001 with a twist

good, not great. (3, Interesting)

heptapod (243146) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090927)

The third act is where the movie devolved into traditional Hollywood tropes.
The long-awaited shootout with the asshole who has been hounding the protagonist since the first act. Pitting two factions, MNU + Nigerians, against each other. The hero being saved by the downtrodden prawns at the very last minute.
The little alien Wesley Crusher who's in the downed alien craft and after 20 years discovers how he can wake up the mothership to save the day.
How the love for an adult and his child can make anything happen.
Finally two adversaries become friends much like Dragonball Z.
Everything leading up to the end was good but it's like they ran out of ideas.
Okay, they ran out of good ideas.

Re:good, not great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091169)

The 3rd act is when i woke up from the plodding, preachy, hole-ridden plot, mediocre acting and dialog in the first 2 acts...

Re:good, not great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091447)

Thank you for the summary of the third act. That is when I fell asleep.

The first third of the movie is excellent.

I was hoping for more exposition of the humans being bastards to the aliens, but that was taken care of in Alien Nation.

Re:good, not great. (0, Flamebait)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091485)

Please don't ever attempt to make a movie since you clearly have no idea what you're talking about. The 3rd act was absolutely amazing. Blomkamp has demonstrated he has the potential of being one of the premiere action directors.

At least it wasn't another sequel... (3, Interesting)

Mondoz (672060) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090939)

I think "Moon" has been the only other major sci-fi non-sequel I've seen in the theaters in a long while...

I liked D9 and hope it does well.

On par with George Lucas and the Wachowski Bros (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090953)

That is a fucking insult if you ask me.

The film has a great look. I think alien films in daylight and with the psuedo-documentary looks are the hardest things to film.

The viral ad campaign has been very interesting with the fake NMU ads and such.

I have much hope for this movie, but if it ends up being just another EVIL CORPORATION movie, I will be disappointed.

its a repeat (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29090971)

if it were not for the special effects there would have been no difference between the movie and the alien nation tv series/movies of the 80's

"of Matrix fame" (3, Insightful)

dvoecks (1000574) | more than 5 years ago | (#29090975)

So, the Wachowski brothers are famous, but not famous enough for people to remember what they're famous for?

Compared to Lucas (3, Insightful)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091087)

most people have never heard of them since Matrix, which was ten years ago, which means they need to have their claim to fame mentioned. While many on this site know who they are I bet you could find some readers who don't. If anything getting into the same sentence as Lucas is probably more important to the W brothers than their movie.

Re:"of Matrix fame" (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091179)

Sure. Like Paris Hilton.

It's a good thing either way (4, Interesting)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091007)

Can't we all at least agree that while this movie may have had its weak points, it also had some very strong ones, and all things considered it is in fact a decent sci-fi film in a year that seems likely to produce a few of those; which, last time I checked, is the exception? From my perspective the past few years have been on average a baron wasteland of terrible purely "Hollywood" style sci-fi films not worth half of what I had to pay to go see them in theaters.

Thoroughly enjoyed it! (4, Insightful)

the_macman (874383) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091013)

Go see it. Money well spent. The film was really enjoyable (coming from a person who hates most Hollywood films). I think I was most impressed because it was a completely original idea and not a reboot or a sequel. I have to admit though I was partial I was familiar with some of Neil Blomkamp's earlier work.

FWIW District 9 was based on one of his short films titled "Alive in Joburg [wikipedia.org] . Watch it here [google.com] .

Also I enjoyed Tetra Vaal [google.com] , an amaing short film about a police bot in South Africa. Stunning CGI. Enjoy =)

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (3, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091175)

Well, "completely original" except that it is a blend of Alien Nation and the Last Samurai (sorry, I know there must be a better example of a Man-Who-Ends-Up-Fighting-For-The-Other-Side flick, but I really need some sleep).

Don't get me wrong, I really liked D9. But it did not feel that original.

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (1)

the_macman (874383) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091239)

Ok. I'll bite. Name another film where aliens come to earth and are imprisoned and treated with disregard. And become recognized by our legal system (they need licenses to breed), subject to inspection and eviction, etc. I really thought it was a refreshing perspective from the usual "aliens are here and they're gonna destroy the planet. Let's form a resistance! HUZZAH!"

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (4, Insightful)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091363)

Men in Black.

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (2, Insightful)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091385)

Alien Nation.

        -dZ.

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091401)

Alien Nation....

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091413)

Errrrrrrrrr...... he did. Alien Nation is exactly the same movie, except set in LA.

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (2, Insightful)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091427)

The aforementioned Alien Nation is one. It's not a movie, but it is science fiction and does cover similar themes.

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (2, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091453)

Um, Alien Nation [imdb.com] is definitely a movie. It led to the TV show, in fact.

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (4, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091537)

As the grandparent and two other replies have already pointed out, Alien Nation. When I read the Wikipedia entry for District 9, I thought 'I've seen this - it was called Alien Nation'. Skimming the plot summary, there are a lot of differences, but the basic premise appears to be very similar. In the Alien Nation backstory, a ship had come to Earth (crashed?) and it had been found to be full of slaves, with the slave masters all dead. The aliens slowly try to integrate into Earth society, and this is where the film and TV series are set.

Alien Nation was a social comment on racial tension in the USA, while District 9 is based on Apartheid, but the similarities are definitely there.

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091543)

As I mentioned initially, and as several others have since replied to you, the 20-year-old Alien Nation [imdb.com] is exactly that movie. The main difference is that the aliens are slightly more integrated with human society (in California), mainly because they look pretty much like people. Alien Nation was a great movie, you should see it. The TV show [imdb.com] that followed was rather lame by comparison.

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (1)

DocMAME (933222) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091357)

If you do some research into the movie you will find that it is loosely based upon the author growing up in South Africa during the Apartheid. I have not seen the movie yet, but there are supposedly many subtle references to this throughout the film. It was said that it was written to be viewed and enjoyed as just another sci-fi story, but if you looked deeper there was another message to be found.

Re:Thoroughly enjoyed it! (1)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091467)

Those apartheid references were not subtle.

Dire warning (5, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091019)

This film should vault Neill Blomkamp into sci-fi stardom, on par with George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix fame).

Okay, thanks for heads up! I will definitely avoid the sequels!

Re:Dire warning (1)

Scragglykat (1185337) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091333)

There lies the dilemma... do you avoid the sequels or just the prequels? On one hand the sequels could rock, and the prequels... well, think Prawns bouncing around going "meesa peeeeple gonnna die?!" Then on the other hand, the sequels could be total crap... it's a tough call.

Re:Dire warning (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091361)

There lies the dilemma... do you avoid the sequels or just the prequels? On one hand the sequels could rock, and the prequels... well, think Prawns bouncing around going "meesa peeeeple gonnna die?!"

Then on the other hand, the sequels could be total crap... it's a tough call.

Shut them down. Shut them all down, R2!!!

Re:Dire warning (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091465)

The sequels may not be so bad, but you'll want to steer clear of the prequels--those suck enough to destroy most good memories of the others.

Also, ignore any comments from the writer/director about how it all completes his original vision and how the prequels follow the original intent of his very first script; it's all bullsh*t, especially the part about the alien shooting first.

      -dZ.

Re:Dire warning (0, Troll)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091553)

Yeah, because Empire Strikes Back was a lousy sequel. Someone mod this guy troll.

Got it. (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091033)

This film should vault Neill Blomkamp into sci-fi stardom, on par with George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix fame)

Thanks for your unbiased review, Neill.

Re:Got it. (1)

Schnoogs (1087081) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091571)

An unbiased review of a movie? Someone buy this guy a dictionary and highlight the words subjectivity, opinion and art. A review isn't a scientific document. Are you really that new to the world?

I have to agree (3, Interesting)

diewlasing (1126425) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091039)

If there is one movie you see all year, see District 9. There's action, aliens, a little romance and one very well written story with some nicely animated cgi. I'm usually picky about sci-fi and almost never wanted to see the latest cool new release, but this movie really is tops. I was even more surprised that parts of the movie brought forth some relatively strong emotions. Also, I think the movie does try to send a message and does a good job of it. Ok, I don't want to be anymore of a movie reviewer here so go see it for yourselves.

Whoa, what?? It was pretty good, but... (3, Interesting)

pw700z (679598) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091053)

I suppose I can agree with the summary if we are talking about the George Lucas that made "Jar Jar" -- but not the George Lucas I imagine existed before that. The movie has a strange mix of incredibly awesome and stunningly amateurish or "dumbed down by committee" pieces that kind of made me angry that it fell short of its total awesomeness potential. Kind of like making a Transformer movie and then produce toys that don't transform. Who would think that's a good idea? Thank god Hollywood would never do something like that, so I wouldn't ever have to explain to a three year old on Christmas, "No, honey, it doesn't transform into a semi truck; it's just a robot" ANYWAY you should see District 9 if you haven't but don't expect it to be soo awesome in total, it's pretty good, though. My wife is the true sci-fi fan so I'll wait for her report back tomorrow.

Re:Whoa, what?? It was pretty good, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091295)

Kind of like making a Transformer movie and then produce toys that don't transform. Who would think that's a good idea? Thank god Hollywood would never do something like that, so I wouldn't ever have to explain to a three year old on Christmas, "No, honey, it doesn't transform into a semi truck; it's just a robot"

I haven't been down the toy aisle in quite some time, so I can't really tell if this is sarcasm. It wouldn't surprise me one bit if the toys don't transform; the levels of stupid in the industry today are astounding. So, is this really the case?

Great movie, but shakycam? (4, Interesting)

ukyoCE (106879) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091069)

Saw this yesterday, thought it was awesome. At its heart the plot isn't necessarily that original, but the execution is sublime. The "hero" and many of the other characters and weapons/vehicles/etc. feel so much more vulnerable than in any other holywood movie.

In every other movie you shoot at someone and miss completely if they're the good guy. Or your car/spaceship/cat is invulnerable to missiles conveniently. Not in this movie.

HOWEVER, the combination of shaky cam and gore left everyone I went with feeling a bit nauseous. I'm really not even sure if it was the shaky cam or the gore that did it. Please put a bullet in these shaky cams. For whatever reason they're being used, it's not worth it.

Re:Great movie, but shakycam? (3, Interesting)

Miros (734652) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091153)

Shaky is always a bit tough to endure, but I felt as though the "documentary" style that the film was shot in kind of gave it some of its character.

Re:Great movie, but shakycam? (2, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091203)

Thanks for the heads up about shaky cam. That puts "District 9" on the "maybe when I can watch it for free" list. It was already suspect because of everything I had seen about it "having a message". Generally, I don't watch movies for a message, I watch movies to be entertained. There are exceptions, but so far no one has said anything about the message that puts "District 9" into that elite category.

Re:Great movie, but shakycam? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091251)

Please put a bullet in these shaky cams. For whatever reason they're being used, it's not worth it.

I agree, but for a different reason. I Netflix a lot of movies so that I don't get bored while on my treadmill. Scenes with shaky cameras actually make it a little harder to keep my balance, especially if the other lights in the room are turned off so that the video is my main visual frame of reference.

Re:Great movie, but shakycam? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091397)

Thanks for the warning, I hate shakycams. So much for that movie ...

What is it about these days that a cameraman has to be totally wasted?

No shakycam for me, thanks. (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091455)

Thank you for the heads-up. Was just about to push BUY on Fandango for this evening, but not now.

Re:Great movie, but shakycam? (2, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091527)

Firefly proved that a shaky cam can make an otherwise so-so scene appear much more realistic, and puts you (the viewer) in a first person state of mind. I haven't seen the movie yet, but as long as they don't overdo it, I don't find that a shaking cam is such a bad thing if it makes it more realistic.

Re:Great movie, but shakycam? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091577)

For years I believed shaky cameras were used because producers thought the movie would look more real (false: our neck muscles dampen the vibration when we look around, also while running), but even the stupidest producer would understand the idiocy behind their use. Now I have a different theory: shaky cams are put there because a continuously moving picture is harder to compress in a small space, therefore at the same quality ripped movie files get bigger and therefore longer to up/download. Not much, but they definitely get bigger and require mandatory multi pass conversion which makes the process a bit longer. Not that this will stop piracy, as it represents only a minor hassle, but I could understand if they used whatever they have in their arsenal to slow down pirated movie spreading. I sincerely hope this is the reason behind the use of shaky cameras because I can't think of any good reason to use them in any serious production (Ronald D. Moore, are you listening?) besides emulating what people on crack see.

Nerdgasm Alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091075)

Eaaaaaasssssssyyyyyyyyy there, boy. If you're going to pick names to associate Blumpkin with you could do better than George and Linda.

Does D9 rank with... say... 2001? How about Blade Runner or Close Encounters? Perhaps you meant to give him accolades as an Action/CGI director which is fine but the insufflation of Lucas nuts is a bit nauseating.

A lock for "Most Naseauting Cinematography" (5, Funny)

bugeaterr (836984) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091081)

It's high time the Academy recognized Joe, the epileptic cameraman, and his trusty pogo stick named "Earthquake".

Seriously dude, it would still have that extra realism if the jerkimeter was at 5 instead of 11.

Re:A lock for "Most Naseauting Cinematography" (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091327)

I blame BSG for starting the trend

  even non sci-fi (syfy?) films do it now, example Public Enemies

Re:A lock for "Most Naseauting Cinematography" (2, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091575)

Even non-SciFi? The first film I remember being irritated by the shakeycam effect was Saving Private Ryan - science fiction only took the effect because war films used it and it was perceived from there as being more realistic.

Re:A lock for "Most Naseauting Cinematography" (1)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091417)

Seriously dude, it would still have that extra realism if the jerkimeter was at 5 instead of 11.

I'm pretty sure the Jerkimeter for the /. summary is around 11, too.

A Great Film, But Don't Forget Moon (4, Interesting)

spoonboy42 (146048) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091117)

I saw District 9 this Friday, and I have to agree that it was a great piece of cinematic sci-fi: an allegory for apartheid with a very human unlikely hero and some great popcorn-fodder action sequences. I'd like to remind everyone, though, that it still has some competition for year's best sci-fi movie in the form of Moon, which is a drama of isolation, loneliness, and ethics set in the stark, cold beauty of space, very reminiscent of 2001. While it doesn't match the action of D-9, it makes up for it with its emotional intensity and thoughtfulness. I highly recommend any Slashdot movie fans out there see both.

Stop with the damn shaky cam! (1)

wired_scribe (199831) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091143)

I saw D9 last night and had a very difficult time enjoying it. That was mostly due to being motion sick from the camera work. That is a first for me. If you get even the slightest bit of motion sickness, wait until this one is out on DVD, or sit as far back as you possibly can in the theatre.

Note to directors: Using shaky cam throughout an entire feature length film doesn't make your film look gritty and documentary like. It makes you look like an amateur.

George Lucas? Really? (1)

VaticDart (889055) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091159)

Wait, so we're still allowing George Lucas into the highest tier of sci-fi demigods? I was pretty sure he demoted himself down to 2nd tier, and that's granting him some charity between balancing the 1st trilogy, which he didn't get to make like he wanted, what with the surly actors and limited special effects, and the 2nd, which he got to make EXACTLY like he wanted.

Wachowski Bros... (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091185)

Ok, comparing them to the Wachowski brothers probably isn't the compliment the submitter intended. I would assume...

The first Matrix movie was superb. I remember literally leaping out of my seat in the theater while watching it. It was incredible. The second movie suggested some fantastic things but really hinged on the third movie to determine whether it was great or not - were those hinted elements executed properly or were those hints just me reading into things? And the third movie sucked so hard that it actually dragged down the first movie's greatness while simultaneously revealing just how terrible the second movie really was. In the second movie, they hinted at and suggested some elements which would have created a wonderful lore for the franchise but their complete lack of ability to craft a story (it's now widely known that the first movie's plot was actually stolen from another author, Sophia Stewart) and their inability to subtly finesse a plot showed through in glaring detail when the third movie came out. Their special effects and fight sequences have had a profound impact on action/sci-fi movies since but, as storytellers, they are enormously subpar, to say the least.

Actually, given that the other comparison the submitter makes is to George Lucas (another absolute master of the visual art but novice of storytelling and script writing...), I'm now forced to wonder if District 9 is just pretty pictures and cool fight scenes with a piss-poor plot and an infantile script... Regardless, I know I'm going to see it but the comparisons to Lucas and the Wachoskis makes me wonder...

Re:Wachowski Bros... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091505)

I'm pretty sure the submitter was referring to the level of stardom and not a comparison of movie styles. Having seen District 9, it has the visual effects of a Lucas or Wachoski movie, but with better plot and dialog all around.

Re:Wachowski Bros... (1)

nitefallz (221624) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091535)

Widely known? Really? Are you sure? This is the first I've heard of it. The court case was dismissed.

want my money back (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091193)

I consider myself a avid sci-fi fan, but I thought the movie was crap, and I don't see what all the hype is about. I think the plot had potential, but the execution was dreadful.

Who? (1)

drunken_boxer777 (985820) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091223)

This film should vault Neill Blomkamp into sci-fi stardom, on par with George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers (of Matrix fame).

If you have to tell Slashdotters who the Wachowski brothers are, then they haven't achieved "sci-fi stardom", have they?

Meh. (2, Insightful)

bittles (1619071) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091247)

this movie was meh.

Saw it. It rocked. (4, Interesting)

bobetov (448774) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091265)

Overall, was tremendously impressed with the look, feel, cinematography, etc. Documentary style absolutely made the movie. And I generally loath shaky-cam. Thing is, shaky-cam has generally been used to imply that you *are* someone, so you never see what the hell is happening, whereas in District 9, it makes you feel like you're *watching* something, so you follow the action but feel the peril. Very effective.

There were some *amazing* scenes - I can't go into it due to spoilers, but really, unbelievably cringe-inducing moments of humanist horror. There is a richness to the interaction of the main character with his world that I just haven't seen elsewhere.

My friends and I kept looking over at each other with wild grins on our faces, unable to believe how intense, crazy, and just totally new the whole thing was. I really can't recommend it highly enough.

Maybe I'm paranoid but... (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091293)

I smell a viral marketing campaign.

Should have been classified as a comedy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091297)

I guess I must be in the minority of people that did not like the movie. I think I would rather have dental surgery than sit through the first 30-45 minutes of the film. The rest was like watching someone play Quake. I like the genre, but did not care for this film at all. Much of the audience in the theater seemed to think the last half was a comedy. I would be more likely to compare the film with Plan 9 From Outerspace than Star Wars or The Matrix.

Text-Only Version of Article: (5, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091339)

Quoted directly:

District 9 is liquid cocaine fed intravenously to your veins for two hours. It is a visual 2 1/2 hour orgasm. Watching this movie will be the most important event of your life and by far the most pleasurable. District 9 was better than my wedding, better than watching my first son born, better than the time I had sexual intercourse with an entire college cheerleading squad while high on peyote.

Words cannot express it. It is like viewing the face of God. Forget the trailers, forget any stills you've seen, forget whatever anyone else has told you. Forget religion, forget God, forget science, forget everything you thought you knew. There is only District 9, and it is beautiful.

Neill Blomkamp is brilliance incarnate. He is divine. I am not sure how exactly he created this masterpiece of visual neurological cues which induce pure pleasure, but I now owe him absolutely everything. He has perfected visual neural interface with the genius stroke of a Renaissance Master and the prowess of an angel.

Watch this movie, repeatedly. You will want to take off work for the next week (perhaps longer) just to watch uninterrupted back-to-back showings. I am currently writing this from a netbook that I sneaked into the early matinee showing. I must now continue to watch.

-Travis

Niven's Protector (1)

h.ross.perot (1050420) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091365)

Did anyone see a similarity to Larry Niven's "Protector"? As for the movie; I saw it Friday. OK movie. A interesting portrayal or tip of the brim to the Boer. It could have been made less gory for a better human \ Alien relations story. Three years ;)

best? or only? (2, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091371)

Is it just me, or has "science fiction" basically come to mean action/adventure/horror/whatever with rayguns and aliens?

What ever happened to science fiction that used the premise as a tool to tell us something unpleasant about ourselves? Or to explore human behavior taken to extremes? Or to give us a unique perspective on the world around us?

Looking back on what science fiction used to be... I'd suggest that District 9 is the only sci-fi movie of 2009...

just to be insensitive (1)

el_tedward (1612093) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091387)

I don't see how so many people can get so easily nauseated by this film. Maybe with cloverfield, but the camera was barely shaky at all IMO. There's plenty of movies out there that go with a normal camera and have much more shakey-ness than District 9.

harry knowles: best scifi of the century so far (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091451)

better than children of men or eternal sunshine of the spotless mind

http://aintitcool.com/node/42012 [aintitcool.com]

When I went into this film, I knew that the budget was $30 million. I knew that no name actors were involved, that it was a first time director, who had impressive short film work and who was the man directing the HALO movie for Peter Jackson... back before that fell apart. So, I expected great things, but you know... you never know.

At the budget... well, JULIE & JULIA cost $10 million more. How big could this really be? THE HANGOVER cost $5 million more. How "big" could this film be?

This is EPIC science fiction taking place in a Shanty Town outside Johannesburg, South Africa. This is, to me, the most accomplished, provocative and intelligent science fiction I've seen in this new century. On Twitter I declared that this is the first great science fiction film of the 21st century - and was instantly slammed by people that love CHILDREN OF MEN and SUNSHINE. All I can really say is this, "Have you seen DISTRICT 9?" Because if you haven't. You can't even enter the conversation yet, and this is a conversation that you will want to be in on.

and it won this weekend box office

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/17/movies/17box.html [nytimes.com]

LOS ANGELES -- The low-budget alien movie "District 9" was No. 1 at the weekend box office with an estimated $37 million in ticket sales, a stronger than expected result fueled by a quirky marketing campaign.

"District 9," an R-rated social satire about a spacecraft that stalls over Johannesburg, cost only $30 million to make. Peter Jackson of "Lord of the Rings" fame was the driving force as a producer, and the 29-year-old Neill Blomkamp, whose previous feature experience is almost entirely confined to visual-effects work, was the director.

the backstory is this south african guy blomkamp was hired by peter jackson to direct a big screen rendering of halo, but then sony backed out of financially backing the deal (conspiracy theorists, take note of sony's video game console conflicting interests here). this was after blomkamp, jackson, wife, and crew had devoted a considerable ramping up of effort on the movie. jackson, feeling chagrined, pretty much said to blomkamp: so, uh, i feel bad, so is there another movie you want to make? the idea was to expand a short blomkamp made about aliens living in a shanty town in johannesburg. as an added unlikely twist, jackson let him star a complete acting unknown who was just his old friend and more of a producer, and not much of one at that: sharlto copley

and thus scifi was history was made

if they made the halo movie, i bet it would be a $200 million popcorn muncher for 10 year olds that would barely eke out a profit after marketing costs and would be utterly forgotten after viewing, like gi joe and transformers this summer. sure, those are fun movies, but do they challenge your mind? and thus, no one will care about them in a month. devoid of any impression-making and watered down to pap by hollywood suits taking meetings with the producer and director

but instead of halo, we get a smart, 30 million historical utterly groundbreaking and original piece of cinema. not bad for a barely known visual effects dude

in a way, thank you sony, for being such asses, but mostly, thank you jackson (yet again) and blomkamp for blowing our minds

more backstory:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/movies/06district.html [nytimes.com]

The plight of the film's crustaceanlike extraterrestrials can be easily read as a metaphor for the persecution of South African blacks under apartheid. But Mr. Blomkamp said he was also trying to comment on how the country's impoverished peoples oppress one another. While "District 9" was being filmed in the Chiawelo section of Soweto, Alexandra and other townships were ravaged by outbursts of xenophobic violence perpetrated by indigenous South Africans upon illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe, Malawi and elsewhere.

As "District 9" is prepared for a worldwide release Mr. Blomkamp said he was unsure how certain portions of the film would be received in the United States, particularly a sequence in which Mr. Copley's character is pursued by Nigerian gangsters who want to cut off and eat his alien parts.

"It could leave a bunch of North Americans feeling either confused or insulted," Mr. Blomkamp said. But, he added, "I could see the same scene in South Africa being watched almost as though you're watching a piece of news."

Ultimately, Mr. Blomkamp said, the onus is on American moviegoers to acclimate themselves to unfamiliar ideas.

"The rest of the world has always been open to films from all over the place," he said. "The Americans have to, in the 21st century, start dealing with the fact that they may be watching popcorn films not from America."

"Soon," he said, "we'll all be making films for the Chinese."

metamorphosis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091477)

Did this film remind anyone of the metamorphosis, by kafka?

Only redeeming part... (2, Insightful)

blg42 (1484007) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091497)

The best part of the movie was seeing a pig used as a projectile weapon. The movie got some laughs -- probably not intentionally. The base message was sound, but the movie was painful to watch. The first half was tedious, and the second half was just a bunch of special effects with little plot.

Rate me down if you want... (2, Insightful)

amcquay (1106769) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091503)

...but I thought it was a mediocre movie at best, with good CGI. I walked out with a Starship Troopers taste in my mouth, but maybe that was just remnants of a soldier that got disintegrated by an alien man-zapper.

For any Scots in the thread... (1)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091511)

And, eh...you were like *that*, eh? (picture Karen Dunbar making various hand motions...)

Money in the bank (1)

Hausenwulf (956554) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091513)

One of the interesting aspects of this movie is that it only took $30 million to make and made $37 million the first weekend. It doesn't look like a low budget film.

Like George Lucas and the Wachowski Brothers? (1)

Steauengeglase (512315) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091581)

So I should go ahead and be disappointed with the rest of his pretentious, over-baked career?

A nitpick about the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29091597)

As an aside, if you have to explain (parenthetically) why the Wachowski Bros. are on par with George Lucas in sci-fi fame, then it's very likely they aren't on par with Lucas in sci-fi fame.

Good SF is not Sci Fi (0, Troll)

Offtopic (103557) | more than 5 years ago | (#29091599)

Generally, the use of the phrase "Sci Fi" indicates that the speaker is a clueless outsider who would never read, watch or appreciate Science Fiction. True aficionados use SF or Science Fiction.

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