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District 9 (Bilingual)

Sharlto Copley , David James , Neill Blomkamp    DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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A provocative science fiction drama, District 9 boasts an original story that gets a little lost in blow-'em-up mayhem. Set in Johannesburg, South Africa, District 9 begins as a mock documentary about the imminent eviction of extraterrestrials from a pathetic shantytown (called District 9). The creatures, it turns out, have been on Earth for years, having arrived sickly and starving. Initially received by humans with compassion and care, the aliens are now mired in blighted conditions typical of long-term refugee camps unwanted by a hostile, host society. With the creatures' care contracted out to a for-profit corporation, the shantytown has become a violent slum. The aliens sift through massive piles of junk while their minders secretly research weapons technology that arrived on the visitors' spacecraft. Against this backdrop is a more personal story about a bureaucrat named Wikus (Sharlto Copley) who is accidentally exposed to a DNA-altering substance. As he begins metamorphosing into one of the creatures, Wikus goes on the run from scientists who want to harvest his evolving, new parts and aliens who see him as a threat. When he pairs up with an extraterrestrial secretly planning an escape from Earth, however, what should be a fascinating relationship story becomes a series of firefights and explosions. Nuance is lost to numbing violence, and the more interesting potential of the film is obscured. Yet, for a while District 9 is a powerful movie with a unique tale to tell. Seamless special effects alone are worth seeing: the (often brutal) exchanges between alien and human are breathtaking. --Tom Keogh

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An "ALIEN" movie VERY much about HUMANS. Nov. 23 2009
By Richard S. Warner TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
One of the most striking, powerful and poignant statements about human nature made it's way to us during summer 09 in the form of this tough, gritty, bracingly realistic and singularly unique movie. "District 9", directed by Neill Blomkamp of South Africa, of all unlikely places, and produced by New Zealand heavyweight, Peter Jackson, of "King Kong" and "The Lord of the Rings" fame, relays a quite unique narrative premise only ever seen before in Nicholas Roeg's "The Man Who Fell to Earth" ... aliens not as benevolent gods or invading monsters, but as our victims.

An immense, almost city-sized alien spacecraft arrives and parks itself over the city of Johannesburg and then remains there, inert and incommunicado. Eventually we ( humans ) rouse the nerve to fly up to the behemoth spaceship to discover whatever we can. Eventually, once inside, we find a large population of creatures of a very alien form deep within. They are all sick, leaderless, disoriented and in a very bad condition. So what do we do? ...... drag them all off their ship, put them in a barb-wired enclosed ghetto/shanty town ( District 9 ), treat them with utmost disdain, near starve them and routinely deal with them quite brutally, even cruelly.

The narrative of "D9" begins in "medias re", the middle of the story. The "Prawns", as we pejoratively call them, have already arrived and have been interred in their ghetto for 20 years but are now about to be removed away from the Johannesburg environ and out to a more crowded prison camp.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything Sci-fi is meant to be! Dec 27 2009
By Peter Cantelon TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
District 9 is a brilliant movie and is everything good sci-fi should be. It takes a no holds barred look at humanity and our tendancy to fear, hate and ultimately dominate what we do not understand. Strong themes of xenophobia, racism, the universality of love, compassion, friendship, family and community dominate this movie. Somehow director Neill Blomkamp manages to deliver all of these themes in a fast-paced, action packed sci-fi blockbuster bound to become a classic.

The film is based on a short film by director Blomkamp and was created with the modest budget of $30 million. Everything about this movie works. Set in South Africa the themes become more profound as they mesh with the nation's history of apartheid. The cast is fantastic and unknown actor Sharlto Copley as main character Wikus van de Merwe is brilliant and should be nominated for an Oscar considering this was his first professional acting job.

The film looks fantastic in blu-ray and the sound is crystal clear. The effects are fantastic looking and the aspect ratio of 1.85:1 nearly completely fills the entire screen. Blu-ray exclusive features like interactive maps etc really make you feel good about buying into the Blu-ray player and HD tv that you have.

All in all a fantastic movie by this new transplanted South African director (Blomkamp lives in Canada). I very highly recommend the movie.
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By Gayle Gibson TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
This quirky South African Science-Fiction film is one of the best, filled with unusual sights and characters. Instead of the Alien Others being our superiors, those stranded on earth by a plague and perhaps the breakdown of their ship appear as lost souls, members of an extra-terrestrial Underclass. How would the human race treat such visitors? How would we deal with a second sentient species on the planet? The answers here are both unexpected and all-too-predictable.
The extras on the DVD are well worth watching.
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By K. Gordon TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
Blomkamp does the amazing by combing roller coaster excitement with an intelligent context that makes all the noise about something. While some of the ideas are occasionally heavy handed or on the nose, it's so exciting to see a Hollywood action film that traffics in ideas, that I'm willing to forgive the occasional 'I get it already' moment, or logic lapse, or easy coincidence, or mediocre supporting performance.

The story is simple. A million plus grotesque looking, starving and sickly aliens get stranded on Earth when they essentially run out of fuel. And while at first humans try to reach out in friendship, before long corporations are trying to make money by exploiting their technology (especially, or course, their weapons) and the aliens are herded into a 'district' and walled in. (That the film is set in South Africa is one of those choices that feels like gilding the lily - even though that is the film-makers home). And it's clear that progressing from apartheid to Nazi style medical experiments and concentration camps is the next step.

While I wish the villains were less mustache twirling (some 'banality of evil' would have been even more chilling), the effects are great, and it's a film that grew, not shrank as it went along. For the first third I thought it was OK, the second pretty good, and by the end I loved it. And it's stuck with me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true sci-fi original July 13 2010
By LeBrain HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
2009 was a great year for sci-fi fans. Not only did we get the wonderfully genuine Moon, but this movie also seemingly came out of nowhere. Films like these help make up for the trash that Michael Bay is ramming down our throats.

District 9 contains recognizable elements of classic sci-fi. The ship hovering over the city is an obvious homage to Clarke's Childhood's End, but this time the ship is not settled over a major city like New York. It is found hovering over director Neill Blomkamp's home town of Johannesburg, South Africa. This is a refreshing change. Michael Bay also ripped off Childhood's End, but as we all know he chose the ship to hover over the White House and blow it up!

The major science fiction theme here is xenophobia. Humans investigate the silent ship and find a million "Prawns" inside -- insectile humanoids, as different from us socially and psychologically as imaginable. They are out of fuel, stranded and starving, so a shantytown called District 9 is set up outside Johannesburg. This solution is anything but. 20 years later, after conditions keep getting worse and the Prawn population keeps expanding, the decision is made to forcably evict the Prawns from District 9. They will be re-settled in a tent city, a reference to events of the Apartheid era.

Echoing today's private corporate armed forces such as Blackwater, the eviction is handled by a private company called MNU (Multinational United). The man put in charge of this relocation is a junior clerk named Wikus van de Merwe who is hopelessly ill-suited to the task.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est parfait
very good
Published 18 days ago by sonia
4.0 out of 5 stars amazing
got this for only 5 bucks and its awesome. i gave only 4 stars because picture quality is only so so. MUST BUY
Published 7 months ago by Jody L. Wild
5.0 out of 5 stars District 9 is a masterpiece!
District 9 is the directorial debut of Neill Blomkamp and let me start off by saying this is an excellent film! Read more
Published 8 months ago by Poopy
4.0 out of 5 stars Really Good movie
After seeing Elysium, I wanted to see District 9, and I have to say while I didn't love the movie I did like it. It was more political then I expected, which is cool. Read more
Published 11 months ago by John
4.0 out of 5 stars Top notch
Really clever and engaging. Social Commentary wrapped up as a Sci-Fi action. I love it. Knowing that it's the male lead's first on-screen role puts an exclamation point on what an... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Generaleesimo
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better modern alien movies.
This movie had a fresh take on the alien movie genre. I really enjoyed this film both for it's original story line as well as some of the great cinematography in the film. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Kayla Smart
5.0 out of 5 stars A commercial action sci-fi film that's also smart, political, darkly...
Blomkamp does the amazing by combing roller coaster excitement with an intelligent context that makes all the noise about something. Read more
Published 23 months ago by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars A big metaphor for racial inequality,all wrapped up in a Sci-Fi...
District 9(released Aug./09)is a film presented and produced by Lord of the Rings wonderkind Peter Jackson. Read more
Published on Dec 30 2011 by Robert Badgley
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent movie for excellent release.
For those who didn't know, this was supposed to have been the adaptation of HALO, but the project got scrapped and one of the producers encouraged the creative team to keep that... Read more
Published on Dec 23 2011 by Simon Bergeron
4.0 out of 5 stars Things don't always happen in the U.S.
An alien movie set in South Africa. The plot seems to be based somewhat on the Soweto slums and the reaction of the govt. at that time. Read more
Published on May 29 2011 by K. Sidiqi
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