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District 9

Release Date: August 14, 2009


Movie of the Day for Monday, April 13, 2009
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Sure, you direct the movie, but mess this up and I'll have you killed. Seriously.

On the Big Board
Position Staff In Brief
5/169 Max Braden Wild, intense, and terribly true as far as the theme goes. But how the aliens had their own weapons on the ground baffles me.
15/20 Les Winan Interesting concept. The execution ends up not quite working.
21/38 John Seal Intelligent, ambitious horror film that could have been even better

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The words “Peter Jackson” and “super secret sci-fi film” together in one sentence make me laugh. Now, I’m not a huge Peter Jackson fan and I can’t pretend to have followed his career all that closely, but when you think about the last four films that he’s done (the Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong), “secrecy” isn’t a term that jumps very quickly to mind. Jackson creates huge, imaginative, epic worlds with stories that touch on the most fundamental of humanity’s archetypal stories. He’s a bold visionary and puts himself out there. JJ Abrams, he is not.

Thus, when I read about that he’s collaborating with Neill Blomkamp (a director more known for commercials and short films) on a sci-fi film whose plot has been kept tightly under wraps, you have piqued my interest . . . though in truth, my interest comes more from a sense of incredulity than anticipation. Jackson and Blomkamp were initially to collaborate on the theatrical adaptation of gignormously popular Halo video game, but after that movie was scrapped by co-financiers, Universal and 20th Century Fox, they developed this new story (which became District 9) and took it over to Sony Pictures.

Not much is known about the film yet other than its title and genre but two actors have reportedly been cast: Jason Cope and Sharlto Copley. Haven’t heard of them? Neither have I. According to IMDb, they’ve done little other than unremarkable work on some unremarkable indie films.

If Jackson is indeed trying to follow the JJ Abrams model, then he'd best beware. That is a path rife with deadly cliffs and dangerous ravines. At least Abrams got to hone his skill on Alias and Lost before trying the whole “top secret plot / viral marketing” thing on the big screen with Cloverfield. But if Jackson is as much of a “throw caution to the wind” kind of a guy as I’ve made him out to be, then he probably doesn’t care. (Jason Lee/BOP)


Vital statistics for District 9
Director Neill Blomkamp
Screenwriter Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
Distributor Screen Gems
Screen Count 3,049
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture


     


 
 

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