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…

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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