The District 9 Debate: Excellent Film… Or Overrated?

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 8th, 2009 at 10:04 pm,

GOOD FILMMAKING – DO YOU RECOGNIZE IT?

We live in a dangerous time when an entire generation of naive youngsters think that Michael Bay is a visionary genius for making Transformers 2. Gone are the days of Hitchcock and Kubrick and the only time we use the term “auteur” anymore is when describing just how gloriously terrible of a filmmaker Uwe Boll really is.

Before District 9, Neil Blomkamp was making short films and commercials that were so innovative and spectacular he was handed the keys to the Halo movie franchise (if only briefly) and attracted the attention of Peter Jackson, another innovative and spectacular filmmaker working in the industry today. District 9 was made for approximately $30 million, whereas big studios today can’t get the mileage (f/x or story-wise) out of films with 3x that budget (see: G.I. Joe).

Good people, the hype is not empty or undeserved: Neil Blomkamp is an extremely talented and visionary filmmaker with a long career ahead of him. How anybody does not recognize that fact makes me suddenly realize why Transformers 2 broke box office records.

Can it really be true that people have become so numbed that they don’t recognize great filmmaking when they see it anymore? If you think I’m off-base asking that question, let’s just remember the total lack of respect shown to The Dark Knight once award season rolled around last year…

district 9 mech catching rocket The District 9 Debate: Excellent Film... Or Overrated?

What other summer movie gave us scenes like this for $30 million?

Nowadays, we live in the wonderful era of “It’s only your opinion, man.” There are no absolutes – “A” is only “A” if somebody has the opinion that it is and the notion of “quality” has become just another subjective perception that people choose to believe in or not. This District 9 debate has me actually worried that Mediocrity has run so rampant, it’s become too scary to admit that in a majority of cases, we’re wallowing neck-deep in it. And while it might be easier to feel semi-satisfied when there is no such thing as low standard, it becomes equally impossible to enjoy the heights and thrills of experiencing something exceptional, too.

That said, it guess the verdict about District 9 – clearly a good movie and a fantastic sci-fi entry – will somehow continue to be debated…

In the meantime I’m sure there is A LOT you want to say to me. So have at it. See you in the comment section.

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TAGS: district 9

120 Comments

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  1. hello

    I just stumbled upon this article, and I must say it was a pleasure reading it (even with the spelling errors
    which happens when you put great effort into colorful writing).

    yes, I love D9 even before all the reviews and popularity, I thought it was very well done on so many levels.
    even the marketing campaign was very well done.
    I can’t help but watch it again and yes maybe even again.

    I agree on the points in your review, we truly live in the golden age of mediocrity, an age I hope will
    soon come to an end. so called reality TV must die!!!

    k

    a movie about facebook – are you effen kidding me?!!!

  2. Hi guys,
    I only found this article by accident but I just want to add my two cents now.
    After having watched district 9 a year ago I have almost completely forgotten it by now.
    Not becouse it is a terrible movie, not becouse it has a lame message or even bad acting. No I have forgotten it becouse it just wasn’t that impressive overall and I would never call it a sci-fi classic. The movie starts off with a great premise but it is trying so hard to convey its message that by the end I have not really cared for the characters or even the actual story yet. What I think most people who praide the movie so much becouse of its cutural relevance forget, is that being spot on with your message does not make it a brilliant movie.

    The reason why I prefer message laden sci-fi such as the new battlestar galactica and maybe even firefly (along with the movie serenity) better than district 9 is becouse they first and foremost tell a story about strong characters. Where in my opinion district 9 falls short, is that it is essentially a story about a conflict that happens to envolve characters. In the end it makes the world of district 9′s characters just as forgetable as most refugees faces you see on tv.

    Don’t get me wrong it is a good movie it’s just not great, but it was darn close. Becouse by the time you finally get to see something of the heart of these characters, their motivations, their real aspects that matter, the entire movie transforms into a michael bay flick and ends on a completely over the top holywood note that left me careless for District 9 and its world.

  3. My son and I watch D9 twice in theaters when it came out. Watched it on DVD again today. We both think it’s a great movie.

    Am I the only one trying to find out if the small ship in D9 was inspired by Firefly? Same two engines…

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