Oh District 9, what hath ye wrought?  To nobody’s surprise, that relatively small-budgeted sci-fi romp’s success spurred on the Hollywood braintrust into making not one but two similarly themed invasion yarns.  The first of these was Skyline, directed by visual effects team The Brothers Strause (ugh), eager to cheaply follow up their not-smash success Alien vs. Predator: Requiem.  Some legal troubles came about because The Brothers Strause (ugh) were also doing visual effects work on Battle: Los Angeles, or something along those lines.  This is utterly ridiculous, of course, because there are scores of directors and writers that could sue both parties for shameless intellectual property theft.  Read the rest of this entry »

District 9

September 6, 2009

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Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 is a rare treat.  Its high concept is established with an opening presented as a mockumentary, providing exposition in a witty, politically pointed manner.  The first thirty or so minutes of the film are extraordinarily good, no doubt as it was an extension of the short feature from which this current version was borne.  What’s so rare about it as how it eventually (and yes, to a degree, sloppily) abandons this approach and becomes a fairly standard fugitive/sci-fi/actioner, and I wasn’t left disappointed in missed opportunities.  When I say “standard”, I should add that this is actually executed with an above-average level of skill, even if it never truly rises beyond the tropes of the genre. Read the rest of this entry »