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Movie Review: District 9

Alternate Title: First Contact

Story: Prepare to be thoroughly entertained by this terrific science fiction action film directed by Neill Blomkamp and written by Mr. Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell.

The first hour of the film is riveting, surprising and totally captivating.We are hurled into a documentary style introduction in the opening few minutes.We quickly learn how the alien spacecraft came to hover over Johannesburg, South Africa, some 20 years ago. The starving aliens were taken to a detention camp that over the years turns into a filthy, crime ridden, violent slum. A mid-level bureaucrat, hired by MNU (Multi-National United) has been charged to serve eviction notices to the 1.8 million aliens (now called 'prawns') so they can be moved even further from the city to isolated camps.

Yes, you would have to be dense not to see the metaphors of the horrifying social realities of human history both in South Africa and around the world. However, you will not be bogged down by these similarities because the film is so darn entertaining. Telling you a whole lot more about the story will ruin all of the wonderful surprises and I refuse to give an inch in that direction.

Suffice it to say that the most human character will surprise you and our mid-level bureaucrat gives a fabulous performance. The film is an imaginative dystopian view of our world and it is quite a ride.

I know I will be looking forward to the sequel in say, three years.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7Cy9u_-O54

Acting: Unknown actor Sharlto Copley as Wikus was an inspired choice. His lack of fame makes for an even better hero. Bravo. Jason Cope as the alien, Christopher Johnson, was lovable in a prawny way.

Trivia: Not quite 30 year old director Neill Blomkamp was born in South Africa and moved to Vancouver with his family when he was 18. His background is in digital effects and advertising. He and star Sharlto Copley have been friends since they were young. Copley has never really acted before and this is his first film. I am sure there will be many more to come.

Predilection: I like science fiction and I like thrillers.

Critters: Chickens, pigs and cows.

Food: Cat food is a big featured item as are goat and cow carcass'.

Sex Spectrum: Yikes, none. But human/alien sex is a tabloid topic.

Blatant Product Placement: 0

Soundtrack: I don't remember but it must have not been overwhelming or I would have noticed.

Opening Titles: A mentioned above, the introduction gives us a recap, in documentary style of the alien aircraft's arrival.

Visual Art: Harsh lighting and the city and slums of Johannesburg make for quite the visuals.

Theater Audience: About 20 guys a few women and us.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: Inhumanity, racism and xenophobic behavior make me squirm.

Drift Factor: The final battle scene could have been shorter but other than that, I was totally engaged.

Predictability Level: Moderate.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Sure.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure.

Length: Under two hours.