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District 9 Blu-Ray

“District 9” is one of the best science fiction films of the year but could have been even better.The film was produced by Peter Jackson, which I’m sure helped it out a lot at the box office but it was one of the year’s films that people talked about afterward, as it took a refreshing new look at the science fiction genre with its look at humanity.

The story is about aliens who land here but are starving and have no resources to leave.  Humanity puts the aliends in a shanty town in South Africa known as District 9, which soon turns into a violent slum.  Eventually, a private military organization is put in charge of the aliens and developes a plan to relocate them further away from humans.  Sharlto Copley plays the lead human (Wikus) who we follow into the District in his attempt to relocate the sometimes violent aliens.  The first part of this film is shot in news documentary style, and is the most effective part of the film.  Without major spoilers, I really can’t tell you more except that Wikus gets caught up in major stuff with the aliens and the company he works for, where the film evolves into an action film.  The film loses its luster when it does that and the lead characters blow some good opportunities to make this a much more cerebral film with deeper meaning.

While you do have some sympathies for Wikus, he also shows early on that he is no saint when dealing with the aliens.  His use of manipulation, threatened violence from an armed force with him, and the destruction of alien eggs on his orders are just some of the scenes showing this.  Copley is phenomenal in his role, with tremendous energy in his role which never lets up.

The blu-ray picture and sound is excellent , with sharp footage and heavy use of surround effects.  The film is gory and violent; not for the sqeamish.

Extras are plentiful on this blu-ray edition; with long featurettes on different aspects of the film, and a heavy use of BD-Live features, including Sony’s interactive Movie IQ, which connects audience members to the latest updates on the film through BD-Live. The set also comes with a digital copy that is good for a year.

While the film could have been better, “District 9” is still a gripping film that you will be thinking about after its viewing.  Lots of potential for replays on this disc too, as many scenes go by quickly and the film is very fast paced.  If you are a science fiction fan, you will appreciate this new twist on an old storyline.

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December 29, 2009 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , ,

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