Science Fiction Films discussion

District 9

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message 1: by Terence (new)

Terence (spocksbro) Curious to know if anyone's seen this yet. I've heard nothing but good reviews so far.

message 2: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Aug 15, 2009 02:01PM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
Looks like a cross between TRANSFORMERS and ALIEN NATION. I'll wait for Blu-ray and rent from Netflix. I read an interview with the Director and he was able to make the film he wanted (without Hollywood input thankfully) thanks to Peter Jackson. Worth a look.

message 3: by Phillip (last edited Aug 15, 2009 02:54PM) (new)

Phillip i loved it and am happy i saw it on the big screen. i want to write a review but i have been super busy since i saw it on a midnite screening on thursday night.

but, in short, i loved its sense of humor and social commentary. i think it is much more than "worth a look" alex, and highly recommend it.

message 4: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
Cool, maybe I'll actually have to go out to the theatre for a change!

message 5: by Phillip (last edited Aug 15, 2009 11:53PM) (new)

Phillip it got rob's approval, he was waxing props for it on another discussion group..
check it out, alex, i think you'll dig it.

message 6: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I just saw it today, and I thought it was the "smartest" sci-fi flick I have seen in years! It had action for people who see movies just for that, but there was also SO much to think about. The look and style was excellent, because a lot of it was "news footage", interviews and security film, so it had a sense of realism that is usually lacking. I also liked how so many questions were left unanswered. If aliens landed, realistically, we wouldn't have all the answers, so that was great.

message 7: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
I'm on vacation next week, home alone while the wife works, so I'll go check this out at a matinee! I just wish MOON was also playing in my DELIVERENCE neck'o the woods.

message 8: by Phillip (last edited Aug 20, 2009 08:17PM) (new)

Phillip i'm thinking alex will give it a solid B....maybe a B+ if he's feeling generous (but our alex is a hard grader, and i respect that).

and i definitely think he'd enjoy moon on the big screen (and that it would be more up his alley). so, i guess i would encourage moon over district 9 on the big screen. but it doesn't sound like alex gets to choose on this round.

i liked them both. it may have been the "i'm seeing district 9 at a midnight screening with omid at the grand lake!!!" (and we just bumped into some reefer in the parking lot beforehand) kind of thing, but on first outing i just flat out had more fun watching district 9.

message 9: by George (last edited Aug 22, 2009 02:22AM) (new)

George | 63 comments I went to see Reefer Madness once in the early 70's. You didn't have to toke up first, you would have gotten a contact high just breathing in the theater. And in addition, people were just passing along joints down the aisles. Those were the days, my friend. But, I digress.

I really enjoyed District 9. There are certain elements it shares with other films, especially Alein Nation, but with much more of an edge. Not too many nice humans standing tall either, including the protagonist for that matter during much of the film. and the aliens aren't exactly warm and fuzzy spotted humans either. All in all, I thought it was a pretty original effort that didn't pull many punches on what it was trying to portray. I wonder if it will show in Nigeria?

message 10: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
I always try to be open minded but sometimes I fail. This does look very interesting and I can't wait to see this (and INGLORIOUS BASTERDS) this week!

message 11: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I loved this movie too, and I posted a big long rambling glow-fest in Rob's group - I may post it here too. :D

But I wanted to say that I loved that the entire cast was comprised of unknowns. It wouldn't have felt the same to see a sea of familiar faces in the movie... It would have felt fake, somehow.

message 12: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Glow-fest from yesterday:

Ok... I just saw this, like an hour ago. And I thought it was great. I went INTO this movie already feeling sympathetic toward the aliens, so that had a big effect on the way I saw the movie.

I thought of the aliens AS people - not just aliens that could be thought of as people. If that makes sense. They are just different. The same as we are different from each other, but still the same. I noticed that when the main military guy (who REALLY reminded me of a young Patrick Swayze - anyone else?) had Christopher beat up, he bled red the same as we do.

I'm with K on loving Wikus as a main character/hero. He starts out just like everyone else, only he's way on the "geek" side of the line. I love that when the crap starts hitting the fan, he knows how to step up and do what he has to do. I was disappointed with him a few times for being selfish and not "doing the right thing" (as I was with Christopher too once or twice too, but they are only human.)

I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised anymore about the lengths that humans will go to mistreat each other and anything and everything that is unknown to us. I shouldn't be shocked at how cruel people are, and how people can callously mistreat someone just because it is different. But still the "abortion" scene shocked me. I mean, here are these MNU people, TALKING and interacting with aliens who clearly have thoughts and feelings and desires, and yet they still napalm their CHILDREN! And laughed about it.

I hope that people really take something away from this movie, because if we continue to see our visual differences with each other as a way to divide us, we are doomed. I thought it was ironic that one of the interviewees said something to the effect of "If it was a person from another country, we could deal, but they aren't even from this planet." I thought that was ironic because we do that to each other all the time and justify it in the same exact way. We are so blind.

Moving on... Just a few other things I wanted to mention.

CGI - AWESOME. (If only I Am Legend had been done like this!)
Shakycam - You guys probably all know my feelings on this. But I did not find it distracting at all. I felt, as I am sure I was supposed to, as if I was THERE.
Docu-movie - I loved it. It gave it a feeling of realness that I don't think any other style would have done.

Last thoughts: I think Christopher is coming back. I DO think that he felt pain at his friend being shot, and by all of his brother aliens being mistreated. But ranting won't do anything but make it worse, so instead, he decided to do something about it - fix the ship and get some liquid/fuel to run it.

But I want to say that he was affected by that ONE PARTICULAR alien in the lab - possibly little one's mom?

And finally, I think that a lot of the aliens that were on the ship are just regular Joes like us. They don't understand the technology they possess. I know I don't understand nuclear fission, or hell, even hydroelectric technology baffles me, and that's MUCH simpler. And why should they learn, when they are not permitted to leave or even possess anything that would help them. (MNU rules are RIDICULOUS BTW.) So I think that Christopher was their version of a Techie. He knew what had to be done, and did it. He'll be back.

message 13: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) - This is the short film Alive In Joburg, which District 9 is based and expands on if anyone is interested in watching it. :)

message 14: by Phillip (last edited Aug 22, 2009 12:11PM) (new)

Phillip thanks for your words, becky, i'm glad you enjoyed it!

did inglorious basterds open this weekend? damn, it's time to check those local showtimes...

message 15: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) I believe that one opened yesterday, Phillip. :)

message 16: by Phillip (new)

Phillip yeah, i just checked the listings. it would be a squeeze to see it today, so i think i'm bound for a matinee tomorrow.

message 17: by George (new)

George | 63 comments Rob wrote: "Whenever you get back from SOUTH Korea, George, we'll have to get together and partake...then watch 2001 or something. You supply..I have no idea where to get it anymore. ;)

I was impressed ju..."

Sorry, Rob, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. wouldn't know where to begin these days. nice thought though.

As for the film, I thought the shakycam thing was ok as it was limited in use. It would have been interesting to get some insight into the thinking of the worker aliens. The one guy we really get a look at is the alien intellectual. I suppose they still would have looked good compared to the Nigerians though.

message 18: by Phillip (new)

Phillip just come out to california, i'll hook you up....and we can go see a movie at the grand lake while we're at it.

message 19: by George (new)

George | 63 comments now, there's an idea.

message 20: by Phillip (new)

Phillip i hated it, BTW

message 21: by Phillip (new)

Phillip luv u, BTW

message 22: by Kandice (new)

Kandice WHY THE HELL does everyone love Rob??!!

message 23: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Aug 24, 2009 04:18PM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
Saw DISTRICT 9 today BTW

Review coming soon

Next up, INGLORIOUS BASTERDS on Wednesday.

Luv all you guys and gals!!

message 24: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Kandice wrote: "WHY THE HELL does everyone love Rob??!!"

He's cuddly.

message 25: by Phillip (last edited Aug 24, 2009 06:22PM) (new)

Phillip cuz he's ROB fer chrissakes.

that's exciting.

i'm working on my D9 review, and wrote my inglorious basterds review this morning (but haven't posted it yet). it's been a long time since we've posted duelling reviews. looks like it's that time again. can we post our tarantino reviews here as well?

message 26: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
Why the hell not!! It's our Forum damnit;)

message 27: by Phillip (last edited Aug 24, 2009 07:22PM) (new)

Phillip word.

and hell, angie was foolish enough to make me a moderator! who's going to stop me, mmmwwaaahhhhhhhh!

(wow, can you tell i'm watching an old vincent price flick as i write this?)

message 28: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod

message 29: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Aug 24, 2009 08:43PM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
Here's my review for DISTRICT 9. I've been told I think too much when watching films...but I wish writers would think a bit more while creating their screenplays! Problem solved.

DISTRICT 9 (Neill Blomkamp, 2009, South Africa) For 28 years extraterrestrials have been relegated to ghettos, their existence degrading and abortive, scrounging through human refuse, victimized by Capitalist and Militarist idealism. Wikus van de Merwe is in charge of the relocation project to move these aliens from the center of Johannesburg to the outskirts of town, and this becomes more an exercise in military action than “humanitarian” aide. He grudgingly befriends a Prawn named Christopher Johnson, who interestingly enough has a more human name that our protagonist, and together they must find a cure for his transformation and restart the hovering Mothership. Director and writer Neill Blomkamp has some grand ideals, utilizing the narrative structure of science fiction to examine human nature, but his story becomes a confused mass of melodrama and shoot’em up cliché. Blomkamp smartly begins the film with exposition in a cinema verite style, bringing the viewer into this possible reality with newsreel footage and interviews, and reveals very little about this grand mystery. This is absolutely essential in suspending our disbelief and it almost works: Pascal said that Truth is stranger than fiction…because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. And here the narrative becomes implausible and unable to reconcile with possibilities and descends into the prosaic. Many plot holes become obvious: It is difficult to believe that the alien compound would be allowed access to local crime lords…and the aliens allowed to keep weaponry. This would be the most heavily guarded structure on earth, whether its in South America or Washington DC! And every piece of alien technology would be confiscated and catalogued while the Mothership would have become home to thousands of scientists deconstructing the technology: this would be the greatest event in human history. Also, the Command Unit would have been easy to discover because it was filmed detaching from the ship; even so, satellite technology or, if the ship was an obstacle, metal detectors or search parties would have discovered the subsurface module. And why does Christopher Johnson spend twenty years collecting the black fluid fuel? Wasn’t it on the ship before they were discovered? The Prawns have some legal status otherwise they wouldn’t have needed to sign wavers: where was the Red Cross or other aid? And why didn’t the aliens have a representative, either human or from their own race? As Wikus transforms into an alien, he retains his human cognitive functions: how is he able to give commands to alien technology in English? And why would District 9 be the last place he would go: it would be the first! And cell phone calls are not only triangulated quickly but to within a few feet of the originating location. The poorly written script languishes in modern science fiction convention but does have its subtle moments: Blomkamp focuses upon Wikus and his diminishing physicality, his human identity being subsumed by this horrendous transformation. But his morality is questionable from the very beginning: he considers the aliens as sentient beings but has no problem aborting their young, or using threats to get these beings to sign his documents. The CGI is brilliant and adds a gritty realism that provides the film with visual frisson that is underlined by a mournful score. The final scene of Wikus now fully transformed gently crafting a metal flower is a requiem for his lost humanity and fading hope. (C-)

message 30: by George (new)

George | 63 comments I see the metamorphisis of Wikus somewhat differently. He's a pretty shallow human being, doesn't give much thought to anything beyond his immediate needs or his immediate circle of family and friends. Not especially good or bad really. doesn't care overmuch for prawns or question the system that has kept them supressed if alive on a very subsistance level. Obviously, not being especially bad puts him up a few rungs up over many of the others in the film. But, in reality, he doesn't have much going for him and interesting enough doesn't question his good luck in being chosen as the head of this mission to completely separate the Prawns from the rest of humanity, in creating an alien Bantustan in South African terms, although there's clearly no reason why he should have been chosen.

He doesn't really become human, or something more than barely sentient until he's exposed to the fuel and begins to transform. Yes, he continues to lose his human features, but he doesn't lose his human identity, he finds it. In the end, he's no longer recognizable as a human, but his humanity is not in question. It's far stronger at the end of the film than at the beginning. His tragedy is that he didn't really understand or value his humanity until it was physically taken away from him.

But the film itself has many holes. It's not only impossible to understand why humans aren't crawling all over this space vehicle that has suddenly appeared over Joburg. One wonders why no one seems to have given any thought as to just how long that damn thing is going to hover there before it comes down? We don't really know much of anything about how it got there or why, so questioning the fuel situation is ok but fruitless as there's no way to know as with many other things. It was sitting there for quite a while, until humans finally decided to break into it. Nothing appears to have been working well on the ship, certainly the workers appeared to be about to die when the humans got there. The workers obviously know what their weapons are for, but either can't operate them themselves or lack any desire to do so. Obviously not so for Science Officer, Christopher Johnson, but no explanation is given for that either. By the way, shame, shame for saying that Christopher Johnson is a more "human" name than Wikus van de Merve. What an English thing to say. what are you trying to do, start another Boer War?

message 31: by Phillip (new)

Phillip alex,

yes! i was watching the last man on earth earlier this evening...i kept thinking, man, this looks like it was shot in rome, and all of a sudden I saw a building i KNEW was in rome...weird, but then, in the credits i realized it was mostly an italian crew. i just assumed it was made in LA.

message 32: by George (new)

George | 63 comments only an American would assume the last man on Earth would have to be in the US.

message 33: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Aug 25, 2009 06:29AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
George, you're right, I just thought Wikus sounded more alien than Christopher Johnson. I suppose that's my egocentric North American attitude because it's a name I've never even heard before. And it seems purposeful: our alien is given a mundane English name.
And Wikus was chosen because he's married to the daughter of the overall Commander of the occupation force. I disagree, I think he's very human from the start but becomes less so, as he struggles to retain his identity. After all, he murders to steal back the fluid and start the ship. His wife speaks about how he made tiny gifts for her to show love...and this is how the film ends. It's a fine gesture and one I appreciate, but there are too many plot holes to suspend my disbelief, and I began to dislike Wikus until that final point.
George, I redacted my review on my blog to remove the offending line. Again, I agree it was an ingnorant thing to write and though I don't mind friendly debate, there is never any room for a casually racist remark. Even towards aliens;) I'll leave the line here in this forum so others know what the heck we're talking about.

message 34: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Aug 25, 2009 06:44AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
THE LAST MAN ON EARTH is based on Richard Matheson's I AM LEGEND and is the first adaptation. It is set in Los Angeles but the film couldn't find funding with a US company so went overseas. So Neville is supposed to be an American...he's just in a very "Rome" looking section of the city (LoL). Artistic license I guess. Of course, it's the United States that causes the end of the world.

message 35: by George (last edited Aug 25, 2009 07:20AM) (new)

George | 63 comments I hadn't meant to take you to task that severely over the name. Wikus is more alien to us both in the normal use of the word. I think Wikus is chosen as the name of the protagonist for all the baggage carried by the Afrikaners and their apartheid past, which the film mines deeply.

In any case,we do disagree over the Wikus character, which is fine, otherwise I would have already gone to bed. Yes, he kills over the fuel, but not without reason as they were after all trying to kill him so I don't see it as murder. He fights to survive and they fight to make money. So the people he kills more or less earn their fate. If he murders anyone it's the egg or pupae prawns early on, which he does without remorse or for that matter, any emotion at all beyond the fact he feels elation in a job well done, a fairly grotesque scene. But, the company is the true face of evil here, personified by his father-in-law, pursuing profits in arms sales and employing mercenary death squads and morally bankrupt doctors and scientists to the point of killing anyone who stands in the way of larger profit margins or in complete willingness to sacrifice anyone to promote profits, not excluding our protagonist, Wikus.

Yes, he is very human in the sense that he's very flawed at the beginning, but he doesn't really care very much for anyone outside of his immediate circle or think about anything. He doesn't connect to much of anyone. My point is that he comes to see things from a larger perspective comes to understand the horrors the system he serves is perpetrating, and comes to value his own humanity more and more as he loses it physically. But he doesn't lose it emotionally, it grows. As for me, I disliked Wikus in the beginning for his simplistic unthinking accceptance of the order of things and his willingness to participate in the supression to the point of accepting a lead role, at least in theory, in the supression of the aliens. His transformation is of course, forced on him by the events in the film, so I don't know how much credit he really earns, but in comparison to most of the humans in the film, in the end he comes off far better than most.

message 36: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Aug 25, 2009 08:15AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
I think we both agree on the major points of his character, and I like the fact that he's a bumbling anti-hero: not your typical Testosterone & Steroid fueled protogonist.
But you were right in taking me to task over the name. My review has been picked up by a popular blog and I'm glad you pointed this out before it reached a larger audience. I believe that it was intentional to blur the lines between the xenpophobic impulses, but I should have said something to the effect of his name being ambiguous to Western audiences...not less human.
I know during the shootout he says that he didn't want to kill anyone but this seems absurd: they blow a giant hole into the MNU building which would kill how many desk workers and civilians? Even one is too many. And why would MNU need to vivesect Wikus to harvest his DNA? That makes no sense when a simple procedure could extract the basic cells needed. This is just a writer trying desperately to create justification for an action sequence.
I actually enjoyed the film though my grade wasn't very high. Sounds like a contridiction but I wouldn't write this much if I didn't see potential. At least this was much better than Hollywood ID4 dreck.
I always appreciate your insights George!

message 37: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Alex, I'm not capable of writing such an insightful review, but I completely understand you saying you can still enjoy a film you rate poorly. I do it all the time. With books, too! For instance, I hated reading The Road, but gave it four stars for the emotions it evoked in me. I would rate Starship Troopers (the film) as a 1 star movie, but that doesn't stop me from pausing on any channel, where it happens to be playing, for a few minutes entertainemnt. Mindless entertainment, I admit, but entertainment none the less.

message 38: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
Thanks Kandice:) I'm interested in the film version of THE ROAD which I thought was a fantastic novel...but filled with a deep nihilism. A very emotional read that brought tears to my eyes. I hope the film can be just as powerful. The director's first film was the magnificent THE PROPOSITION which made my Top Ten a few years ago.

message 39: by Sam (new)

Sam Kandice wrote: "... I completely understand you saying you can still enjoy a film you rate poorly. I do it all the time. With books, too! For instance, I..."

Kandice - such insightful comments ... are you my sister? ;o)

message 40: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I don't even know if I can watch the movie. I was close to huffing tears for so much of the novel, but was still unable to stop reading. It was, literally, work to keep going.

Thanks, Sam:)

message 41: by Phillip (new)

Phillip the previews for the road look pretty good. i'm getting inspired to read the book. i didn't realize it was the same director from the proposition, which i liked a lot.

message 42: by Phillip (last edited Aug 25, 2009 03:59PM) (new)

Phillip i was a little surprised by the C-.
damn, i'm so glad i'm not a student in your class!

message 43: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
Rob, you know me better than I know myself, I think:) I'm seeing INGLORIUS BASTERDS tomorrow, will I give it a good score?

Phillip, at least a C- is still a passing grade!

message 44: by Phillip (last edited Aug 26, 2009 08:38AM) (new)

Phillip great points, rob! i wholly agree with you. sci-fi (for me) has always been a destination where writers and filmmakers can explore "what if?".... i enjoy seeing where that question leads, i enjoy hearing someone's hypothesis, and, as an improviser, i'm fully aware that our (failed) attempts can take us on interesting journeys....after all, it's science FICTION, not science realism.

message 45: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) Rob, I'd wondered that myself, only not nearly so coherently.

message 46: by Phillip (new)

Phillip your point was well taken rob, and i never suspected any bashing....

message 47: by Alex DeLarge (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
No offense taken Rob:) I always appreciate your posts.

For science fiction to work it has to be grounded in reality, or else there is no starting point. Now, D9 betrayed that structure by basing the film in our reality, where human beings exists and these aliens have become stranded on earth. OK so far, unoriginal but still cool. Then Capitalism and greed take over and corruption sets in; very realistic. But in this context you expect me to believe that any world government would let these aliens rome around their slums with weaponry? And allow them to trade, out in the open, with crime lords? No way. That's lazy writing. We can also communicate with these beings and they have some hazy legal status; where is their spokesperson to defend their rights? Why didn't Christopher Johnson just ask the authorities (even through the media!) to help him get the ship started so the population could be removed from earth? Why wasn't this ship swarming with scientists deconstructing every inch of design? Why couldn't the aliens communicate with their home world and send for help? The ship started up rather quickly. And no government was worried that these drone aliens came from another world...where someone/thing may come looking for them. Possibly with bad intentions. It's not the aliens who acted's the humans! A film like Carpenter's THE THING is much more believable than D9 because the story is populated with characters who act in a realsitic fashion. Here they don't. And they don't because if they did then the story as written would end very quickly. What bothers me the most is that it had potential and wanted to focus on Wikus but degenerated into a slugfest where he is saved not by Deus Ex Machina...but Alienus Ex Machina.
There are many films where suspension of disbelief is granted in fantastic situations: BLADE RUNNER, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS to name a few because people act and react realistically. No film is perfect, even Deckard rapes Rachel (if you can rape a machine) and Dave in 2001 inexplicably shuttles away into the void, and we scratch our heads, but the illusion isn't broken (for most). I suppose it's very subjective but I didn't go into this film with any questions, they naturally progressed through each act until I could see the writers hand at work, manipulating the story for desired effect.
I liked the ending though, of Wikus creating beauty from junk. There's the allegory the Diretor was looking for: for Christians, even Jesus was born in shit.

message 48: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Aug 27, 2009 05:55AM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod
The tension of suspension of disbelief is different for everyone: some people had no problem with INDEPENDANCE DAY (shudders involuntarily) when everyone learned to fly a jet fighter in a few name one of the few stupidities.
Even THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL (Robert Wise version, please) has a major narrative flaw that many never noticed: how the Hell does Gort just walk the streets of DC without being noticed, when he rescues Klatuu's body from prison? But the body (pun not intended) of the film is so good I can overlook that mistake, but I can see the problem the writer had in getting Klatuu back on the ship to be reserrected, so this was a compromise. Maybe Gort kept to the shadows?
Scince Fiction/Fantasy and Horror are the most difficult genres; if a film fails, it fails miseerably and becomes a joke. And this is because the foundation, the rules of the game, have to be set up in advance. Then the story can take place within this fantastic framework. I love the HARRY POTTER books/films even though Rowling depends too much on coincidence in her first two stories...but they get better, much better. She works within the limits set by her magical co-existing realm. Imagine if in INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS Capt. Aldo just pulled out an invisibility cloak to escape, without any set-up or indication in the narrative that this thing was possible. (Well, maybe the film would have been funnier, after all...) And D9 is full of these inconsistencies where the writer can think of nothing better to do for his characters, for example: he gives the child alien access to control the mechanical exoskeleton and save Wikus...what??? And why does every "bad guy" have to say what they are going to do for minutes before they do it? That's so the writer can save the protogonist at the last second: that's 2nd grade creative writing. And Wikus' fingerprint for access hasn't been removed from the system yet? That is more unbelievable than an alien spaceship hovering over Johannesburg.
But this isn't hyper-realism, this is following the story's own rules. That's all I ask. CHILDREN OF MEN was able to follow its own internal logic, and I fell into that world of chaos.
I love the "what if?" variable of science ficton but you can't change the rules as the film progresses. Director's want to eat their cake...and have it too.

message 49: by George (last edited Aug 28, 2009 09:14AM) (new)

George | 63 comments well, for me it really depends on the film itself and whether it succeeds in what it appears it was trying to do. for example, I enjoyed Independence Day for what it was, a very Saturday Matinee thrill ride affair that didn't take itself seriously at all. If you want to talk about logic black holes, that's a film you could talk all week about, but it was fast paced, had decent actors and fun special effects, and lots of very bad aliens went to their just reward. Is it worthy of discussion as a great work of science fiction? hardly, but it made no effort to be. I enjoyed this film considerably as well, as previously noted. Did chunks of it make absolute sense? no, although I could debate more over which chunks and why, I just don't see the point. I don't want it to seem as though I was taking offense. Is it a better film than Children of Men? no, of course not,duhhhh. so what? But how many films are better than that one? damn few indeed. But for all it's faults, I continue to think it's a film worth watching. Quick now, tell me how many better films were released this summer? I'll go look for them when they show up here.

message 50: by Alex DeLarge (last edited Aug 28, 2009 03:28PM) (new)

Alex DeLarge | 342 comments Mod

But George, don't you think it's trash like ID4 & I ROBOT that degenerates the entire genre? You say ID4 made no effort to be great science fiction...but that's exactly how those films were marketed, as science fiction! It makes films that have some level on integrity (such as DISTRICT 9 or CHILDREN OF MEN) that much more difficult to finance: notice neither was made in the Hollywood system. So I have a hatred for Popcorn "sci-fi" because these lowbrow films corrupt audience expectations. Obviously, not for everyone because intelligent viewers like yourself see these for what they are and can have fun...but science fiction has become the realm of the hack writer for many years. Maybe it's always been that way, even the 50s had some very stupid science fiction films and thankfully MST3K was around to help us remember:)
And I would agree, I think DISTRICT 9 is a film worth watching: I didn't give it a failing score. I just don't think it's the great film that many are claiming it to be, but in the context of recent science fiction it hovers above most.
Rob, I really like your point about viewing with emotions! There were a few instances in B9 when I teared up a bit...but after the film was over and i thought about the plot holes, I began to like it less. But I still think it has an emotional core that lacks in many genre films.

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