Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday At the Movies: District 9 & A Bit of the Outdoors

Monday's Movie is hosted by Sheri at A Novel Menagerie.

Movie: District 9 (2009)
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
MPAA Rating: R
Directed By: Neill Blomkamp
Writers: Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell

I got caught up in all the hype over District 9 and had to see it when it opened in theaters. My husband was surprised but, being used to my eccentricities, didn't question me. As we watched movie trailers leading up to the movie, I turned and whispered to my husband, "Is this a horror movie?" It sure seemed like it from all the trailers, most of which were for movies I have no interest in seeing. Except for Shutter Island (and I'm relieved the movie date was pushed to February--more time to read the book). I was beginning to worry that District 9 wasn't going to be what I was expecting.

Fortunately, District 9 was exactly what I expected--and then some. It was a cross between a social commentary film, science fiction movie, and an action flick.

Netflix Summary:
When aliens land on Earth, global business conglomerate Multi-National United forces them into rigid containment zones where they are compelled to labor, even as MNU commandeers their otherworldly technology for profit. As tensions build between human and non-human races, a rogue agent leads a resistance movement against MNU's ruthless consolidation of power. Neill Blomkamp directs this cinema verité-style sci-fi thriller.
This movie is not for those with weak stomachs. It is filmed in documentary fashion and is very violent. The story behind District 9 got its start as a short film called Alive in Joburg. Set in South Africa, some critics have said the movie is a political commentary on the country's history of Apartheid. It also brings to mind concentration and internment camps from World War II as well as refugee camps of today. However different, some of the earmarks are still the same.

The aliens, nicknamed the Prawns because of their appearance, were discovered in their spaceship starving to death. As a humanitarian effort, a camp was set up where the could stay. Conditions in the camp were far from ideal. It was oppressive and demeaning. Fear from the outside encouraged the relocation of the camp to a far away and more desolate location. Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley) was charged with leading the move.

Wikus is not your usual action hero. He is a company man through and through--at least he is until he comes into contact with an alien substance that will turn his world upside down. The character of Christopher Johnson, a very intelligent alien with a plan of his own, won me over quickly. He was more human than many of the humans in the film. All he wants to do is to save his people, including his young son, and return home.

District 9 was very well done, from the computer graphics to the story itself. It's definitely a movie that will go in my permanent collection once it comes out on DVD.

What movie have you seen lately?

The Monday Movie Meme is brought to you by The Bumbles.

This week's movie topic is all about the Great Outdoors ...
The reason for this late posting is that here at the Bumbles' real life home we lost power this evening. Which means that access to our virtual home was difficult. Don't ask us why the power went out. It was a beautiful, clear, calm evening. As we carried our dinner outside and dragged out the camping lantern, we laughed about being back in the outdoors once again, just like our recent camping trip. So while we digested our supper we got to thinking about movies set in or featuring the outdoors. Here is a small selection of what we came up with since now that the power is back it is almost time for bed. Share on your blog movies all about living with nature and then link back at The Bumbles. And don't forget to visit your fellow participants!

The Lord of the Rings ~ The movies were as beautiful as the story itself. The Fellowship traveled a great distance through the course of the movies, even as they go their separate ways. The landscape was awe-inspiring even in at its most treacherous.

Brokeback Mountain ~ Oh, those mountains! Wyoming never looked more beautiful.

Into the Wild ~ A tragic story set in the wilds of Alaska. While Alaska itself was breathtaking in the film, Chris' entire journey was worth experiencing right alongside him.

Tarzan ~ Disney's animated film, Tarzan is man meets nature at its finest. This is one of my favorite of Disney's films not only because of the music and storyline, but the beautiful African setting.

What are some of your favorite movies set in the great outdoors?

© 2009, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.
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  1. I've heard a lot of great things about District 9! Sounds very intriguing to me!

  2. I really want to see this movie. It sounds so good.

  3. I hadn't heard of District 9 before last week, when my brother visited from Brooklyn and was talking about the hype. I felt completely out of the loop! Small town living, I guess.

  4. I wanted to put LOR but I don't want my readers to think that's the only movie I watched... which of course I have seen so many times... I just love New Zealand and its captivating sorroundings....

    Thanks for dropping by.... have a great week....

  5. LOTR might fit into every category. You picked some very good movies. thanks for stopping by

  6. I don't know why I didn't think of LOTR! I enjoy reading everyone's list! Now I have a list of movies I'm going to have to find and watch!

  7. My husband and son saw this - my son loved it and my husband said he didn't understand it.

  8. My kids went nuts when they saw the previews of District 9, but it was rated R so no go. It DID have an insane amount of hype right there at the end. I can safely say that my husband and I will never rent this type of movie from Netflix! I like your Outdoors list. No way to leave Brokeback or Into the Wild off the list. They are two great movies. I considered putting LOTR on do have alot of mountains, marshes and talking trees!

  9. I'm so glad you liked District 9. I really want to see it and so far have heard good things about it. I think this is the one that Peter Jackson (from LOTR fame) produced?

  10. My husband has been bugging me to see this one, and since we went to see Julie and Julia for me, it's his turn this week LOL

    I'm so happ you enjoyed this, as now there may be a chance I'll enjoy it too.

  11. I've never heard of that movie but it sure sounds like something my son would love!

  12. Tarzan! Very cool. Now I'm wishing I had included The Jungle Book or Bambi or The Lion King, etc. etc. etc.!

  13. Nice review of District 9! I really wanted to see it but I'm not sure I will now if it's really violent. I'm very squeamish!

  14. My boys have seen this and both of them thought it was great!

  15. Melody - I really liked it. There was a lot going on in the movie, but I think they made it work well.

    Yvonne - I hope you get the chance. I thought it was funny that the aliens really like to eat cat food. :-)

    Charley - I imagine you aren't alone--I tend to stay on top of movie news and since my husband's into science fiction and such, it's hard to avoid. :-)

    Lulu - I considered not putting it, but couldn't resist. It did cross my mind that some might think that's my favorite move or something. LOL I would love to see New Zealand first hand someday. I hope you have a great week too!

    Kaye - Exactly! I think we could squeeze it in just about anywhere. :-)

  16. Lorielle - I think sometimes I have LOTR on the brain. :-) I've enjoyed reading everyone's lists. My Netflix queue has grown a lot today.

    Kathy - I'd say maybe it's a young person's film, but that wouldn't explain my husband and I liking it. LOL

    Sandy - And it definitely is worthy of that R rating. I thought it was very well done--a well suited movie for my tastes.

    I didn't want to copy Molly and Andy's list either but I couldn't leave out Brokeback Mountain and Into the Wild. They're such good movies. It wouldn't have been right.

    Kathleen - Yes! Peter Jackson produced the movie. I hope you enjoy it. It's definitely not for everyone, but I liked it.

    Diane - Uh oh! Got to keep that balance. ;-)

  17. Sheri - I am not sure I would use scary to describe District 9. Intense, yes. Scary, not so much. But that's just me.

    Staci - It does seem to be attracting a large male audience. When we were at the theater, there were mostly men.

    Bumbles - I couldn't resist adding Tarzan. I cry every time I see that movie. The ones you mention are good too. Just because their animated, doesn't make them any less worthy of being great outdoor movies. :-)

    Myckyee - Thank you. You can turn away during the violent parts. I did a couple of times. Most of the action (fighting) comes during the last third of the movie.

    Lit&Life - I am glad they liked it. I was just mentioning to Staci above that it did seem to attract a mostly male audience when I went to see it.

  18. I really hope District 9 comes to our little one-screen theater in our dinky town - it's the kind of movie my dad and I both love. He's my sci-fi movie buddy.

    And for a completely different kind of movie, I have my best friend, Michelle. We went to see The Ugly Truth last week. It was absolutely hilarious - crude and full of sexually oriented humor - but very, very funny.

  19. My husband wants to see District 9 this week and your review makes me think I may like it. Thanks!

  20. I am so looking forward to SHUTTER ISLAND and so far am enjoying the book. I'm racing through it!

  21. Agree with all the movies you listed, and think they are worth mention :)

  22. District 9 hasn't been released here yet, but I must watch it when it is.

    And oh, the outdoors in LoTR! <3

  23. Carrie (B&M) - I hope District 9 comes to your town too, Carrie. I'd love to hear what you think of it once you do see it.

    I would like to see The Ugly Truth. I need to remember to add that to my Netflix queue! Wait! Okay, it's done.

    Stacy - Let me know what you think if you do see it. :-)

    Alice - I am glad you are enjoying the book, Alice. Fingers crossed I can get to it before February!

    Julia - I really enjoyed them. :-)

    Nymeth - I hope you will like it, Nymeth. I think some people were disappointed that it turned into more of an action movie in the second half, but I still thought it was good.


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