Man vs. Prawn: A First Response to “District 9”.

There are many many ways self could think of to describe this movie:

  1. Intense political satire
  2. Man vs. Prawn
  3. Kafka meets “The Hurt Locker”
  4. Kafka meets “The Blair Witch Project”
  5. a modern re-telling of a Biblical parable (Job, of course), transmuted to Johannesburg

The writing was very clever. Kudos to director Neil Blomkamp, who also wrote the screenplay.  And to Peter “Lord of the Rings” Jackson for throwing his support behind this project.

Self never thought that, in a Man vs. Prawn encounter, she would end up cheering for the Prawn.  And the poor Christ-like figure at its heart —  oh did self’s heart bleed for him.

Dear blog readers take note:  if anyone is thinking of watching this in the Century 20 in Downtown Redwood City, you will have to sit through nine previews.  Previews of apparently every single slasher movie coming in the next few weeks —  “Jennifer’s Body,” “Halloween II or III or IV,” (directed by someone named Rob Zombie?) “Final Destination 3 or 4.” There was a preview for “Avatar” (which, every time self sees, just reinforces self’s notion that it is really, really silly to get a man with the hot-ness of Sam Worthington, and then turn him into a blue-skinned alien for the major part of the movie. Besides which, the alien he turns into looks suspiciously like a character from “Hellboy II.”) There was also a preview for “Shutter Island,”  starring Leo di Caprio and Ben Kingsley and Max von Sydow (self is so glad to know that Max is still alive!), which self read somewhere isn’t due to appear in theaters until February 2010.  At a certain point, self felt she couldn’t take even one more glimpse of a severed limb (this coming from a person who, as readers of this blog well know, has a pretty high threshold for violence!)

Dear blog readers, “District 9” is not a movie for little kids. The gore is pretty much unrelenting. Self could not believe her eyes when, about 3/4 of the way through the movie, a boy about nine or ten started making for the exit. Though the violence is in no way gratuitous (and in fact is pretty intrinsic to the movie’s over-all message), self can easily see how watching “District 9” can lead to some pretty bad nightmares!

Stay tuned.

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