Monday, August 17, 2009

The Fugitive Kind

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: 'It might have been!'..." (John Greenleaf Whittier). My review of a new sci-fi flick that started out with such promise but failed to deliver is posted over at The House Next Door. Sigh.

Disarmed: District 9

Near the end of District 9, the main character, Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley), points to a wedding day photograph of his wife and wistfully comments on the halo effect created by her veil. I wondered if this was a not so subtle reference by director Neill Blomkamp to the fact that his new sci-fi drama was really a consolation prize for not helming the big screen version of Halo.

I can understand why for some the “shockumentary” approach used in The Blair Witch Project, Diary of the Dead, Cloverfield, and Quarantine has become tired. But I must confess that I haven’t yet gotten bored with it. Making excellent use of the faux documentary style, District 9’s first forty minutes are strong and suggest that its storyline concerning maltreated alien refugees—a staple Star Trek plot—will be used as an intelligent allegory to explore bureaucratic ineptitude, greed (both corporate and individual) and xenophobia. However, try as it might, the film just can’t find a way to keep all of those plates spinning at once and descends into the realm of garden variety action yarns.

...Full post at The House Next Door.

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