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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > District 9: Who's gonna see it?

View Poll Results: Are you going to see District 9?
Poll Options:
Yes! It looks awesome. 34 votes (61.82%)
Yes, but I'm not optimistic. 9 votes (16.36%)
No, it doesn't look very good/not my style of movie. 6 votes (10.91%)
No, I'm a victim of the economic downturn and I need my $10 for the rent. 0 votes (0%)
Boycott this movie. It makes us District Niners look bad because of its historical inaccuracies. 3 votes (5.45%)
Nah, I'm going to see Julie & Julia instead. 3 votes (5.45%)
Voters: 55. You may not vote on this poll
District 9: Who's gonna see it? (Page 3)
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Eug  (op)
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Dec 24, 2009, 12:50 AM
 
Dammit. No iTunes copy for the Blu-ray. It's not mentioned anywhere on the cover either, so I guess they decided against it at the last minute.

Oh well, I guess I'll just have to make my own superior iPhone compatible copy, from a Blu-ray rip.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Dec 24, 2009, 12:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
? That there article is from 2007.
Ya so? It talks about DVD's which is more than 10 years old at that point.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Dec 24, 2009, 01:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Oh well, I guess I'll just have to make my own superior iPhone compatible copy, from a Blu-ray rip.
How you rip your blu-rays?
     
Eug  (op)
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Dec 24, 2009, 01:08 AM
 
Yeah, and it makes the classic mistake of conflating the Japanese DVD market with the North American one. In Japan, the PS2 drove DVD sales to a certain extent, but in North America it was much less significant. Not insignificant, but not near as important as in Japan, and not near as important as the PS3 was for Blu-ray.

By the time the PS2 was released in North America for example, DVD had already taken hold. Remember, the PS2 wasn't released in North America until October 2000. DVD came out in 1997! In North America, by the time the PS2 came out, 10 million standalone DVD players had already been sold. Hell, I had my first DVD player in 1998, and it cost me US$299, including a copy of Dances With Wolves (which I promptly sold for $50). That was over 2.5 years before the NA launch of the PS2. And even though the PS2 was more important in Japan than in North America, even then it wasn't as important as the PS3 was for Blu-ray. DVD came out in Japan in 1996, about 3.5 years before the PS2.

Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
How you rip your blu-rays?
I don't. I let someone else do it.
     
analogue SPRINKLES
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Dec 24, 2009, 05:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I don't. I let someone else do it.
Oh right right I remember " And yes, the quality from the BD is indeed noticeably better than the Star Trek rip. Even my GF noticed it. The rip is full of artifacts in dark scenes and shadows, which is not surprising."

So "I'll just have to make my own superior iPhone compatible copy" will come from the same source where EVEN your GF complains about the quality.

if it is only for small screens why not just stick with one of the 700 meg torrents already floating about.
     
downinflames68
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Dec 24, 2009, 05:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
Matrix is still good, but I can't watch it anymore without thinking of how horrible the sequels were and how they ruined that story. I'd hate for that to happen to this movie too.
I liked the sequels, except for the fact that GM cars were EVERYWHERE. That really really ruined hte chase scenes for me. So badly I fast forward through that part.

Although... I will say if Neo can stop bullets (ala first movie) that suggests he can move matter. In many of the fights in the later movies, I don't know why he didn't just look at the weapons people were holding and then just shove them into all the bad guys heads.
     
Eug  (op)
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Dec 24, 2009, 06:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogue SPRINKLES View Post
Oh right right I remember " And yes, the quality from the BD is indeed noticeably better than the Star Trek rip. Even my GF noticed it. The rip is full of artifacts in dark scenes and shadows, which is not surprising."

So "I'll just have to make my own superior iPhone compatible copy" will come from the same source where EVEN your GF complains about the quality.

if it is only for small screens why not just stick with one of the 700 meg torrents already floating about.
I thought it would be obvious, but since you've asked:

Transcoding 1080p/720p to 360p usually looks much better than transcoding 360p to 360p.
     
downinflames68
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Dec 24, 2009, 11:43 PM
 
Uh, how? Seems to me if it was filmed digitally, it was already encoded at 360p if it's a regular SD disc to begin with.
     
turtle777
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Dec 24, 2009, 11:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
Uh, how? Seems to me if it was filmed digitally, it was already encoded at 360p if it's a regular SD disc to begin with.
Huh ? Am I missing something ? 360p?

D9 was filmed with a Red One.

-t
     
downinflames68
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Dec 24, 2009, 11:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Huh ? Am I missing something ?
-t
Yes.

Reread what I said. IF, something was ORIGINALLY FILMED IN HD, but then transcoded to SD, it should be not be any different from transcoding a bluray disc down to 360p. Previous comment above mine makes no sense.
     
turtle777
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Dec 25, 2009, 12:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
Yes.

Reread what I said. IF, something was ORIGINALLY FILMED IN HD, but then transcoded to SD, it should be not be any different from transcoding a bluray disc down to 360p. Previous comment above mine makes no sense.
Ah, so are you saying that it doesn't mater what kind of HD source it was, once it's recoded to 360p, it'll all look the same ?

Wouldn't (theoretically) encoding the original source to HD (1080p/720p) introduce some artifacts, which could look worse in a second encode down to 360p ?
What I mean is: worst case: double encoding will show more artifacts than one encode from the original source.

-t
     
downinflames68
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Dec 25, 2009, 12:37 AM
 
Good luck finding the "original" source. I'm just saying the highest res source right now is bluray, that is publicly available. If you buy the SD version, it is ALREADY professionally downsampled to SD from the original source. So if you want an SD file, get the SD one. Downsampling yourself is pointless.
     
turtle777
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Dec 25, 2009, 12:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
Good luck finding the "original" source. I'm just saying the highest res source right now is bluray, that is publicly available. If you buy the SD version, it is ALREADY professionally downsampled to SD from the original source. So if you want an SD file, get the SD one. Downsampling yourself is pointless.
Ah, gotcha. Yeah, makes sense.

I wasn't aware that there is an official SD version available.
I thought there'd be only DVD (720p) and BR (1080p).

-t
     
Eug  (op)
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Dec 25, 2009, 01:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
Good luck finding the "original" source. I'm just saying the highest res source right now is bluray, that is publicly available. If you buy the SD version, it is ALREADY professionally downsampled to SD from the original source. So if you want an SD file, get the SD one. Downsampling yourself is pointless.
Nope. Doing it yourself almost always looks better than the iTunes SD version. SD on iTunes really isn't very good. Apple optimizes for space savings, not quality.

There's no way I'm gonna pay $20 for a SD disc or iTunes download anyway, when I have the Blu-ray.

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I wasn't aware that there is an official SD version available.
I thought there'd be only DVD (720p) and BR (1080p).
DVD and iTunes. DVD is 480p.

720p is HD.
     
Sealobo
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Dec 27, 2009, 12:50 PM
 
i just saw this movie on DVD.

it sucks. **** the shaky camera work. and what's with the nigerian???

by the way, if the aliens had that level of sophisticated technology, how come they acted like savages???

FAIL.
     
turtle777
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Dec 27, 2009, 12:51 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
i just saw this movie on DVD.

it sucks. **** the shaky camera work. and what's with the nigerian???
Ok, so aside from your dislike of the "documentary style" camera work, what did you think about the story ?

-t
     
Sealobo
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Dec 27, 2009, 12:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Ok, so aside from your dislike of the "documentary style" camera work, what did you think about the story ?

-t
i think the story is full of holes. i mean, there are always holes in sci-fi fiction, but this one is totally unacceptable.

i don't know, maybe i am biased. i just saw Avatar on xmas eve and that movie is definitely one of my all-time top-10. Mind you i have more than 700 dvds of all genres.
     
turtle777
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Dec 27, 2009, 01:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
i think the story is full of holes. i mean, there are always holes in sci-fi fiction, but this one is totally unacceptable.

i don't know, maybe i am biased. i just saw Avatar on xmas eve and that movie is definitely one of my all-time top-10. Mind you i have more than 700 dvds of all genres.
Well, fine, I can't comment on Avatar, haven't seen it.

I found D9 very refreshing, because it was NOT the over-polished SciFi flick that we're used out of Hollywood.

-t
     
mdc
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Dec 27, 2009, 01:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Dammit. No iTunes copy for the Blu-ray. It's not mentioned anywhere on the cover either, so I guess they decided against it at the last minute.
I bought this in the U.S. and it comes with a digital copy.
Image link since the actual image seems to have stopped working.

Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
i just saw this movie on DVD.
it sucks. **** the shaky camera work. and what's with the nigerian???
Anything in particular about the Nigerian?

Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
by the way, if the aliens had that level of sophisticated technology, how come they acted like savages???
FAIL.
They talk about the hive mentality of the aliens, that they assume all of the upper echelons of the hive died out from an illness or something and the aliens that survived are all workers. Thus they have no purpose or direction.
( Last edited by mdc; Dec 27, 2009 at 03:42 PM. )
     
Eug  (op)
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Dec 27, 2009, 02:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
and what's with the nigerian???
It's a Nigerian criminal who believes in Nigerian mysticism. According to some South Africans I've met, they heard stories of some Nigerian criminals coming into South Africa that really are that crazy.

In fact, the reason they left South Africa was because of the rampant crime (domestic and imported). One colleague mentioned that every single one of her friends and acquaintances knew someone personally who had been murdered.

by the way, if the aliens had that level of sophisticated technology, how come they acted like savages???
It's explained right in the movie. Those are the labourer class, with a leadership that is essentially gone, and no supplies left.
     
mdc
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Dec 27, 2009, 03:48 PM
 
Like Eug said. Unfortunately what the movie touches on with the Nigerians is true.

I do not want to go into too much detail since it'd probably require us to move this to the political lounge.

I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa until around the age of 21.
Unfortunately there is a mindset, in some South Africa areas, in regards to certain cures for AIDS and diseases. The Nigerians ideas behind how they claim that eating parts of the aliens will give them their powers and also "muti" and how it'll cure diseases is, in my opinion, the District 9 universe's version of the aforementioned ideas behind curing diseases.
     
Sealobo
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Dec 27, 2009, 04:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
It's explained right in the movie. Those are the labourer class, with a leadership that is essentially gone, and no supplies left.
however, a "labourer class prawn" with all his mad chemistry skillz, came up with some unexplained black bio liquid over 20 years and then powered up the little hovercraft and then subsequently operated the entire mothership singlehandedly??? And what's with his conscience when he was in the lab seeing his own species dead on the table? Those mofo were constantly killing each other with a little help from the nigerian anyway!
     
ghporter
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Dec 27, 2009, 04:48 PM
 
This prawn was NOT a labor class prawn. He was a leader, but only one leader. It appears that it took many of them to manage and lead the majority of the rest.

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Sealobo
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Dec 27, 2009, 04:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
It's explained right in the movie. Those are the labourer class, with a leadership that is essentially gone, and no supplies left.
given the technology, the "leadership" could have tamed all these labours easily. by DNA alteration or simple captivity/domestication. what's the use of a bunch of workers full of aggression!? Come on guys... these aliens had anti-gravity tech!

all these circumstantial factors were put together to make the story logical, but from a realistic point of view, it's just full of bullshit.
     
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Dec 27, 2009, 05:55 PM
 
Dunno. I personally loved the story in District 9. Avatar is a steaming pile of 7th grade dung in comparison. IMO of course.

New, Improved and Legal in 50 States
     
downinflames68
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Dec 27, 2009, 08:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by pooka View Post
Dunno. I personally loved the story in District 9. Avatar is a steaming pile of 7th grade dung in comparison. IMO of course.
A very pretty pile of dung though.

I think the prawns were all laborers. For example, consider the south. Full of ignorant, simple folk who couldn't come close to designing anything in the Ford F-350 super badass duty they prefer, so they can USE it, and they love illegal weapons, but really they're all basically stupid with no real way to succeed in life.

Imagine the a small version of the south, minus leadership.

However.. there are SOME pretty smart ones down there, amongst the sea of incompetence. That prawn in the movie was one of them.
     
Eug  (op)
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Dec 27, 2009, 09:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
This prawn was NOT a labor class prawn. He was a leader, but only one leader. It appears that it took many of them to manage and lead the majority of the rest.
Exactly. He's the one that brought the daughter ship down. It was featured at the beginning of the movie. The rest were the labour class.

Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
given the technology, the "leadership" could have tamed all these labours easily. by DNA alteration or simple captivity/domestication. what's the use of a bunch of workers full of aggression!? Come on guys... these aliens had anti-gravity tech!
Have you ever been in a managerial position?

Now just imagine being a mid-level manager of a cargo ship full of slaves, and most of your peers and superiors are dead...
     
Sealobo
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Dec 27, 2009, 09:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
Now just imagine being a mid-level manager of a cargo ship full of slaves...
so the operation of this seemingly sophisticated mothership is labor-intensive???
     
Eug  (op)
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Dec 27, 2009, 09:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
so the operation of this seemingly sophisticated mothership is labor-intensive???
I saw it more as a transport ship. It couldn't go significantly further with all of them on board, cuz they'd all die. However, with all the "cargo" gone, that's a perfect opportunity to take the ship home and call for help.
     
Sealobo
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Dec 27, 2009, 09:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I saw it more as a transport ship. It couldn't go significantly further with all of them on board, cuz they'd all die. However, with all the "cargo" gone, that's a perfect opportunity to take the ship home and call for help.
if they can get a ship hovering in the middle of the sky for 20 years and continued to adjust for the spinning/orbital movement of planet earth, they could certainly deal with the weight of this "cargo".

look at their energy weapon. the output/weight ratio is insane! (the skinny main character could take one up effortlessly.)

i think the storyline was just badly put together. the concept of the movie is interesting, no doubt. but the execution sucks.
     
downinflames68
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Dec 27, 2009, 09:51 PM
 
Sealobo; your arguments are invalid. You are pointing out minor flaws in a fantastic story, while you say that Avatar is the best thing you've ever seen.

ie; your opinions are not worth anything.
     
Sealobo
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Dec 27, 2009, 10:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
Sealobo; your arguments are invalid. You are pointing out minor flaws in a fantastic story, while you say that Avatar is the best thing you've ever seen.

ie; your opinions are not worth anything.
District 9 is a movie FULL of minor flaws.

I never claimed Avatar is the best thing i have ever seen. but you have a long history of being illusional.

you're characteristically rude and arrogant.
     
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Dec 27, 2009, 11:27 PM
 
I hated District 9 too, but as a scifi junkie I just can't stop reading this thread.

I hated it first and foremost because of the characters. They were all despicable, without exception. They offered no single virtue for me to root for. The human was basically Mr. Bean with a gun. The Alien was grotesque, and while almost a likable underdog, he was simply too ineffectual and loser-ish. Actually, they were all losers, that was the biggest problem. Losers fighting losers, all of them losing, is just a non-starter. You have to have at least one character with at least one admirable quality, or else I don't give a crap about the outcome of the story and I end up looking at my watch or just leaving early.

Plot holes can be forgiven, out of necessity because no movie really is free of plot holes. But without any admirable characters, there's just no saving it. As always, I hated the the shaky-cam "artistic" kludge too, but like the plot holes issue, I can bear it if there's anything underneath worth pursuing.
     
turtle777
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Dec 27, 2009, 11:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I hated District 9 too, but as a scifi junkie I just can't stop reading this thread.

I hated it first and foremost because of the characters. They were all despicable, without exception. They offered no single virtue for me to root for. The human was basically Mr. Bean with a gun. The Alien was grotesque, and while almost a likable underdog, he was simply too ineffectual and loser-ish. Actually, they were all losers, that was the biggest problem. Losers fighting losers, all of them losing, is just a non-starter. You have to have at least one character with at least one admirable quality, or else I don't give a crap about the outcome of the story and I end up looking at my watch or just leaving early.

Plot holes can be forgiven, out of necessity because no movie really is free of plot holes. But without any admirable characters, there's just no saving it. As always, I hated the the shaky-cam "artistic" kludge too, but like the plot holes issue, I can bear it if there's anything underneath worth pursuing.
Interesting, what spoiled the movie for you was one of the more admirable aspects of the movie for me.

It was very much like real life - all despicable losers. Those typical hero characters that you often see in movies are just so unbelievable and fantastic. That you hated the movie because of that showed me that the "documentary character" of this movie was successfully achieved.

-t
     
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Dec 27, 2009, 11:39 PM
 
If you don't know any people in real life whom you don't despise, I weep for you. If you're being serious, that is honestly the most depressing thing I have ever heard in my life.
     
turtle777
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Dec 27, 2009, 11:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
If you're being serious, that is honestly the most depressing thing I have ever heard in my life.


Mkay...

-t
     
Eug  (op)
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Dec 28, 2009, 12:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Interesting, what spoiled the movie for you was one of the more admirable aspects of the movie for me.

It was very much like real life - all despicable losers. Those typical hero characters that you often see in movies are just so unbelievable and fantastic.
That's one of the big reasons I liked the movie as well. No Superman type at all in this movie. The movie was full of characters (both alien and human) with human flaws, and ironically, it took an incompetent middle-management loser ass to grudgingly offer us at least some glimmer of hope, but mainly because he was originally forced to.

OTOH, I felt Avatar was a triumph of technology with a well-crafted but ultimately relatively pedestrian Disney storyline.

Also, the aliens in District 9 looked a lot more real than in Avatar, despite District 9 having 1/10th of the budget. Avatar seemed to be about trying to create a fantastical world with fantastical creatures that have their own pseudo-reality, but one that is vastly different from ours. District 9 was about seamlessly incorporating aliens into a gritty and ugly human world.

BTW, I think what helped to create that realistic look in District 9 was the fact that the "set" was in fact real. The shantytown was actually a real one, and most of the huts in the movie were real too. Furthermore, the residents of that shantytown were being moved elsewhere, just like the aliens.

District 9 is definitely in my top ten sci-fi movie list of all time. Maybe even top five, but I'd have to think about it.
( Last edited by Eug; Dec 28, 2009 at 12:57 AM. )
     
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Dec 28, 2009, 12:57 AM
 
Saw it (as best I could on the crappy screens) while flying overseas, and I liked it enough to want to rent it so I can actually read ALL of the dialog.

There wasn't supposed to be a hero or anyone to root for, IMHO. A bleak situation made more bleak, and we're watching a snapshot of the bleak struggle under bleak circumstances. The was no good. Just humans at one of their lowest levels of exploitation. The movie was a commentary more than anything, I think.

Plot holes? Sure. I think the whole turning into a prawn was ridiculous. Did it ruin the movie? Not totally -- but it's been done a bazillion times before.

I think the prawns making the liquid was permissible because they made the point it had taken 20 years and that's all that had been made. It's feasible to believe all the hive-mind prawns have intellect buried within, and that deep-digging is what took 20 years to perfect.
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That's why he's gonna kill us. So we got to beat it. Yeah. Before he let's loose the marmosets on us."
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Dec 28, 2009, 08:32 AM
 
Originally Posted by downinflames68 View Post
A very pretty pile of dung though.
Yeah shrink-wrapped, glossy, and over-saturated pile of dog poo. With a storyline, script, acting, direction and characters to match.

Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Interesting, what spoiled the movie for you was one of the more admirable aspects of the movie for me.
Same here. i likes the fact that for once i got to see a Sci-Fi that was not pandering to the superficial-emotions/limited-intellect of the genre's intended audience.

I could not have picked a better cast of characters for D9, the main character came out of nowhere, imo.... and really seemed "real"....everything from script to direction made him fit right into the world.

As far as "holes".... this is "science-FICTION" we're talking about. i find it quite hilarious that a movie with the realistic quality and atmosphere of D9 causes Sealobo to have more questions, than say..... a movie where, the final salvation for the goodguys was the planet, which only needed a sentence or two of convincing from a decidedly American space marine all along. makes you wonder why you had to sit through the previous two hours of the movie to begin with. Or why an "alien" civilization like the Nari(or whatever) seemed to so closely resemble(in looks, mannerism, clothing, etc) african/native-american cultures on earth. Or why, being as advanced as they are, put such weight on who "drives" a bigger bird lol.

In the end the reason why i liked D9, was because the story and characters were totally new to me...totally fresh and unexpected. Characters were 'relatable', which i something most recent Sci-Fis have been missing imo. Avatar was oh so very predictable, pretty but predictable...almost cliche.

And on the subject of special effects....throughout most of D9, i never thought "oh these are great special effects" or "thats great CG"...whereas with Avatar, the whole time "special effects" was on my mind.....which says a lot about which movie, in the end, made better use of technology in the art form.

Avatar, was a very shallow movie, 1-dimensional characters, pirated storyline(Dances With Wolves, Atlantis, etc), horrible script, with OK special effects(quantity not quality). D9 on the other hand was original from every perspective. But i guess some will still prefer the "prettier" CG in Avatar, as it seems to have been specifically made to appeal to the masses, imo.
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 28, 2009, 11:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
That's one of the big reasons I liked the movie as well. No Superman type at all in this movie.
I find it odd that people seem to be equating my use of "admirable" with "superman." I'm not asking for a hero, just one or more characters that I would ever want to spend time with if given the choice. Why would I pay money to watch a bunch of people who are all a step down from the people I watch IRL?


Also, the aliens in District 9 looked a lot more real than in Avatar, despite District 9 having 1/10th of the budget.
I haven't seen Avatar yet, and I agree that just from the trailers it looks super-campy, but you can't even make this comment when the "reality" created in District 9 is mostly from taking the same sub-par quality of special effects and just shaking the camera so the audience can't see the flaws (not to mention severely limiting the screen time of the aliens). That's a total cop-out. Given, it's exactly what they should do if they're on a low budget, but it's no great feat.
     
Eug  (op)
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Dec 28, 2009, 11:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I find it odd that people seem to be equating my use of "admirable" with "superman." I'm not asking for a hero, just one or more characters that I would ever want to spend time with if given the choice. Why would I pay money to watch a bunch of people who are all a step down from the people I watch IRL?
I don't go to a movie just looking for potential uplifting personalities. Sometimes I go for its social commentary. In this role I think the movie is quite effective, precisely because so many of the characters are so asshole-ish.

You may want to ignore the harsh realities of human nature, but one of the main points of this movie is to comment on that harsh human reality.

I haven't seen Avatar yet, and I agree that just from the trailers it looks super-campy, but you can't even make this comment when the "reality" created in District 9 is mostly from taking the same sub-par quality of special effects and just shaking the camera so the audience can't see the flaws (not to mention severely limiting the screen time of the aliens). That's a total cop-out. Given, it's exactly what they should do if they're on a low budget, but it's no great feat.
Not sure what version you were watching, but the aliens are crystal clear... when the scenes (shot on RED) are crystal clear. In some scenes they're not so clear, but that's because the other parts of that scene wasn't clear either. They they designed the CG to match each scene, but scenes ranged from handcam blurriness to hi-def goodness.

Maybe you saw a bad film print? I have seen it in a digital theatre, on Blu-ray, as well as in a film-based theatre.

The image quality in the digital theatre and on Blu-ray were excellent, and that included the aliens. In the film-based theatre the quality was very visibly inferior, lacking detail.
( Last edited by Eug; Dec 28, 2009 at 11:45 AM. )
     
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Dec 28, 2009, 11:55 AM
 
Saw it on DVD and really liked it. I, too, found the lack of any true "hero" refreshing if depressing.
     
ThinkInsane
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Dec 28, 2009, 12:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
however, a "labourer class prawn" with all his mad chemistry skillz, came up with some unexplained black bio liquid over 20 years and then powered up the little hovercraft and then subsequently operated the entire mothership singlehandedly??? And what's with his conscience when he was in the lab seeing his own species dead on the table? Those mofo were constantly killing each other with a little help from the nigerian anyway!
I had posted the link to this on page one of this thread, put I'll repost it because i think Blomkamp explains some of what you are complaining about.

What is your own back story for these aliens? What's their home planet like? Why did the end up on Earth?

The hive mind [concept] is the most important thing to me, because I love the idea of a civilization that can build all of that technology and then, at the same time, just have a massive population that was just drones that needed direction, and were absolutely incapable of building that stuff on their own. I found that to be a really interesting concept. Also, it sort of explains why they don't turn on the humans. Individually, they may be feeling oppressed, but they don't have it together enough to form a resistance and back one another. So I found that really interesting.

I think that they do have a home planet, it's pretty far away probably in the Andromeda Galaxy, but what I like is that they'll live on the ship for thousands of years. Obviously, there's much more of a population on the main planet, but the ships will go out and get the minerals and the ore and whatever resources they need and then bring them all back home.

The other thing is that the ship was meant to clip together with other ships. So there's, like, vast amounts of resources that they're bringing to the parent planet. And the ship, when the army generals or the queen of that particular ship died off by some sort of virus or bacteria that they picked up on some other planet, that killed them off. And it didn't effect these sort of resilient, hardy sort of drone workers. Then the technology is usually the thing that they relied on to save them, but in this case it sort of screwed them because it brought them to a planet that kind of treated them pretty badly, but it was the ship that realized that, unless it gets to a life sustaining planet everything is going to die, which is a cool idea. So the ship just auto pilots to the closest one in the Goldilocks band, and it's our planet and then pulls up and hits the breaks.

Where does this leave Christopher Johnson [an abnormally smart prawn who sparks a bit of a revolution... Not to give too much away]?

I think it's taken 20 years. I think because there is a subconscious hive mind happening, really what they should do is lay one egg that has a different embryo in it that grows into a Queen or being someone that dictates direction. But I think in the interim, because they may have done that, there may be an egg out there with that, but as that being is growing, I just like the idea that he may have been a lot more directionless in the beginning. But the hive structure of their society may just pick one or two that starts to become the leader. Like the overall structure of his brain may change because the hive may want that to happen. So he starts having a direction and a goal. Which is an interesting idea and it's just enough to kick start them to be able to get to the ship to get back.
District 9's Director Tells Us All About His Alien Back Story
Nemo me impune lacesset
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 28, 2009, 12:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by Eug View Post
I don't go to a movie just looking for potential uplifting personalities. Sometimes I go for its social commentary. In this role I think the movie is quite effective, precisely because so many of the characters are so asshole-ish.
I didn't think the social commentary was very on-point (apartheid is over already, does it really need lampooning?), and in general I don't think a social commentary movie can be very effective without a sympathetic victim, so I still believe that the total lack of appealing characters was a major weakness of this movie.

Can you think of a good social commentary movie that's ever had a lack of sympathetic characters? Any good story of any genre? I've been trying but I can't. The best I can come up with is the Simpsons, since it's one of those shows that's designed at least partly around schadenfreude, but their characters have lots of redeeming qualities, even Bart and Homer. James L Brooks made a big deal about how it doesn't work without "heart," and I think he's exactly right.


You may want to ignore the harsh realities of human nature, but one of the main points of this movie is to comment on that harsh human reality.
That's not my point at all, my point is that when harsh realities are victimless, or the only victims are ones who made their own bed, I really don't care anymore. No one ever claimed that humankind was all unicorns that piss marshmallows, the optimistic view of us is simply that we know how to channel our destruction away from the innocent and towards those who deserve it. Making the aliens despicable takes any sting out of the harshness of the humans. IMO.


Not sure what version you were watching, but the aliens are crystal clear... when the scenes (shot on RED) are crystal clear. In some scenes they're not so clear, but that's because the other parts of that scene wasn't clear either. They they designed the CG to match each scene, but scenes ranged from handcam blurriness to hi-def goodness.
What I meant was 1/10th the budget for 1/10th the screen time is nothing notable. Every awful made-for-Syfy monster movie does the same thing.
     
turtle777
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Dec 28, 2009, 01:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
Can you think of a good social commentary movie that's ever had a lack of sympathetic characters? Any good story of any genre? I've been trying but I can't. The best I can come up with is the Simpsons, since it's one of those shows that's designed at least partly around schadenfreude, but their characters have lots of redeeming qualities, even Bart and Homer. James L Brooks made a big deal about how it doesn't work without "heart," and I think he's exactly right.
Funny how you are able to spot the redeeming character qualities in the Simpsons, but don't see how the protagonist (Wikus) himself changed and sacrificed himself so that the prawn could get to their ship.

-t
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Dec 28, 2009, 01:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Funny how you are able to spot the redeeming character qualities in the Simpsons, but don't see how the protagonist (Wikus) himself changed and sacrificed himself so that the prawn could get to their ship.

-t
I read him as entirely self-serving. There was no altruism in his actions, he simply chose the only path left to him.
     
jokell82
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Dec 28, 2009, 01:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
i just saw Avatar on xmas eve and that movie is definitely one of my all-time top-10.
This is going back a bit, but... REALLY?!?! It has a completely generic story. The only thing redeeming about the movie is the special effects. Cameron basically took Dances With Wolves (or any other infiltrate the enemy/become the enemy/empathize with the enemy story) and set it on a different world. Big whoop.

And "unobtanium"? Seriously? That guy needs to spend 1/1000th of his budget on a decent screenwriter. That's just laughable.

District 9 was a much better movie in every regard, outside of the special effects.

All glory to the hypnotoad.
     
downinflames68
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Dec 28, 2009, 01:31 PM
 
Originally Posted by ThinkInsane View Post
I had posted the link to this on page one of this thread, put I'll repost it because i think Blomkamp explains some of what you are complaining about.



District 9's Director Tells Us All About His Alien Back Story
Weird that the guy who's that interesting can't spell "brakes" correctly.
     
downinflames68
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Dec 28, 2009, 01:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by Uncle Skeleton View Post
I read him as entirely self-serving. There was no altruism in his actions, he simply chose the only path left to him.
Which is what humans do. Altruism is a farce, it does not exist. When people are being "selfless", they are doing so for selfish reasons.
     
downinflames68
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Dec 28, 2009, 01:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
District 9 is a movie FULL of minor flaws.

I never claimed Avatar is the best thing i have ever seen. but you have a long history of being illusional.

you're characteristically rude and arrogant.

Originally Posted by Sealobo View Post
i just saw Avatar on xmas eve and that movie is definitely one of my all-time top-10. Mind you i have more than 700 dvds of all genres.
Right, but you said it was in your top 10. Which is hilarious. Thus... your opinion of movies is completely laughable.
     
 
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