Science fiction films is a genre i started very early in my youth. I remember going downtown to our favourite video rental store Videomix, where i used to rent a hell of a lot of VHS films. In fact, one time the owner even told me to slow down, that i rented too many titles. I was probably one of their biggest rental customers, and there was a good reason to why i were so active. I always wanted to make sure i saw the latest titles, and even rented the films that looked terrible. I especially remember 2 titles on the sci fi section that i really enjoyed on VHS, back in early 90´s. The 1993 sci fi drama film Fire In The Sky, directed by Robert Lieberman. This film is based on a book named The Walton Experience by author Travis Walton. In the book, Travis Walton tell us his story of how he experiences being abducted by aliens in 1975. But skeptics believe this is not true, and believe that this is all a lie. This does not affect the quality of the film though. In my opinion, Fire In The Sky is the best alien abduction film so far, and have a great cast of actors Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, Henry Thomas, D.B. Sweeny, James Garner, Craig Scheffer and many others. This is a film worth buying on DVD, unless you can find a Blu Ray release of course. The second film i remember enjoying on VHS back in the 90´s, is a film called Split Second with legendary actor Rutger Hauer. Directed by Tony Maylam, the film tells the story of Detective Harley Stone, who is looking for a serial killer in London, in the year of 2008. But it turns out that this is no ordinary serial killer, perhaps something that is not human. Also a film worth owning on DVD or Blu Ray. I recently went through a lot of sci fi titles that is turning 10 years this year, and i came across the film District 9, from respected director Neil Blomkamp. I loved this film 10 years ago, and i have not seen it since then. I thought it would be a good time to see it 10 years later, to see if my opinion have changed between these years. Is this still a very solid film, or have this film lost some of the magic ?
In 1982, a gigantic extraterrestrial spaceship arrives and hovers over the South African city of Johannesburg. An investigation team finds over one millions prawn looking aliens inside. The South African government relocates them into a camp called District 9. However, over the years District 9 turns into a slum, and locals complain about the behavior of the aliens. They are filthy, law breakers who bleed resources of Johannesburg. In 2010, following unrest between locals and aliens, the government hires Multinational United ( MNU ), a huge weapon manufacturer, to relocate the aliens to a new camp outside the city. Piet Smit ( Louis Minaar ), an MNU executive, appoints his son-in-law, Wikus van de Merwe ( Sharlto Copley ), to lead the relocation. But the mission for Wikus and the MNU team, is about to be more complicated than they expected.
When you see a film that is 10 years old, and it still feels like one of the better films in the sci fi genre, you know this film will be loved my many generations ahead. District 9 is not only a fantastic looking sci fi film, the story could easily be connected with events happening today with refugee camps, and a lot of refugee stories we have heard on the news for many years now. When you think about it, you can sense a similar tone in this film, that this was a way to show how you would treat refugees from another country if they came to another country. How do we solve the big refugee numbers ? Put them in slum camps. Of course this film is about aliens instead, but you can sense that the refugee situation worldwide is a part of this film, told in a different way. District 9 does not only tell the story of divided species, but also talk about other subjects such as diversity, culture differences, different society classes and communication between different species. Let´s get into the acting for a bit. Lead actor Sharlto Copley is really good as the character Wikus van de Merwe. Sharlto really show his ability to act very emotionally, and use both his body and face expressions to show you how he feels through his mutation. Actor Jason Cope, who does several character in this film, but should most of all be mentioned for his performance as District 9 prawn Christopher Johnson, who fights together with Wikus in the end of the film. David James as Colonel Koobus Venter, a brutal PMC mercenary soldier is perfect for this character. Eugene Khumbanyiwa as the psychopathic Nigerian leader Obesandjo, is also a performance you will not forget. Even if the story of District 9 is very well constructed we have to talk a little bit about the amazing special effects. The design of the prawn aliens looks really effective, and works really well with the storyline. Considering the budget of this film, i would say that the design of these aliens look better than most Hollywood big box office releases. Director Neil Blomkamp have made a sci fi film that will be considered to be a cult classic in the future, I really appreciate his other films as well, but District 9 is his best film so far, and one of the most intelligent sci fi films you can find to watch. This is a must have in your DVD or Blu Ray collection, and please schools worldwide show this film for teenagers. They might start to think more about the refugee problems worldwide, and that is something we need to make sure will work better.