Saturday, September 12, 2009

District 9 and Gamers

Saw District 9 about a week ago and it blew my frickin' mind!! On the surface, this flick just appears to be an allegory on apartheid in South Africa. Now, all I really know about South Africa is from a Nelson Mandela TV biography I saw in high school and Lethal Weapon 2 (y'know, South Afri-ka and Diplomatic Immunity--you know you're saying it in the same gutteral accent as that dude in the movie). At first, it looks like a documentary, interspliced with "regular" movie footage. Essentially, the movie is about this giant spaceship that got stranded above Johannesburg, South Africa about 20 years ago. The aliens aboard, called Prawns, are basically worker bees with no real intelligence (well, the majority of them are these brutal scavengers) and are addicted to catfood (they also like to wear bits and pieces of human clothing, like bras). They have these giant weapons that only they're only able to fire--which becomes a focal point. The end of the movie has a great battle with a Robotech-like mech battle suit. The main actor in the movie first appears to be a bumbling idiot but the first-time actor who plays him does an awesome job and you believe he's really in this intense situation. After a while, you forget about the apartheid allegory (which really only appears in the beginning) and just enjoy the flick. The aliens look soooo real, you forget they're fake. The first thing I said when I left the movie was that the humans (both black and white South Africans) treated these aliens with such utter inhumanity it was incredible--and that's pretty damn deep.

Also saw Gamers. Starring Leonidas from 300 and Dexter from Dexter. Not a movie you have to think too much about, just something you can kick back and relax with. Ain't Shakespeare, here, people. So Dexter is this evil marketing/computer genius (are there any other kind?) who invents this computer game. Only it's with real people playing the game characters. The first he invents is called "Society." It's this real-life "Sims" game with crazily-dressed people doing crap they would never do in real life. Except real people in front of their computer screens are playing real people in an semi-controlled environment. One great cameo is by Heroes' Milo Ventimigila (Peter Petrelli)--he plays the aptly named "Rick Rape." But don't worry, this crazed nutjob gets his. The second game Dexter created is called "SLAYERS." Great name for a game, by the way. Once again, real people play real people. It's really Doom, Half-Life, name your first person shooter game. Characters actually die. The star of the game is Kable, who's actually an ex-soldier turned convict named Tillman. He has won 28 games of Slayers; 30 and he goes free. But of course, the powers that be, namely Dexter, won't let that happen. In the trailers, you think Kable's "player," a punk computer geek named Simon, would play a larger role, but he doesn't. You really have to see it for yourself to understand completely, but it almost makes me feel guilty for fragging some dude in Half-Life. Another great cameo: Juliet and Sean Spencer from the great show Psych.

Oh, and also saw The Spirit on DVD. Another relatively weak creation that looks like 300 or Sin City. Makes sense, since the creator of those two comics and movies is Frank Miller, the director of The Spirit. Kinda weird flick, trying too hard to be noir-ish, while still having the internet and Blackberries. Similar to my feelings about Watchmen creator Alan Moore, I think Frank Miller's kind of a dick and people give him way too much credit. I don't believe in his dark and violent world view. The movie pretty much tried too hard to catch people up on all the Spirit lore, and I wasn't that into it....

2 comments:

  1. Mr. RK saw District 9 twice...I think you're movie twins separated at birth.

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  2. Son of a biscuit.. I STILL haven't watched this flick, and I have a copy in the next room!! This weekend..

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