District 9

( 54 )

Overview

Director Neill Blomkamp teams with producer Peter Jackson for this tale of extraterrestrial refugees stuck in contemporary South Africa. It's been 28 years since the aliens made first contact, but there was never any attack from the skies, nor any profound technological revelation capable of advancing our society. Instead, the aliens were treated as refugees. They were the last of their kind, and in order to accommodate them, the government of South Africa set up a makeshift home in District 9 as politicians and ...
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Overview

Director Neill Blomkamp teams with producer Peter Jackson for this tale of extraterrestrial refugees stuck in contemporary South Africa. It's been 28 years since the aliens made first contact, but there was never any attack from the skies, nor any profound technological revelation capable of advancing our society. Instead, the aliens were treated as refugees. They were the last of their kind, and in order to accommodate them, the government of South Africa set up a makeshift home in District 9 as politicians and world leaders debated how to handle the situation. As the humans begin to grow wary of the unwelcome intruders, a private company called Multi-National United MNU is assigned the task of controlling the aliens. But MNU is less interested in the aliens' welfare than attempting to understand how their weaponry works. Should they manage to make that breakthrough, they will receive tremendous profits to fund their research. Unfortunately, the highly advanced weaponry requires alien DNA in order to be activated. When MNU field operative Wikus van der Merwe Sharlto Copley is exposed to biotechnology that causes his DNA to mutate, the tensions between the aliens and the humans intensifies. Wikus is the key to unlocking the alien's technology, and he quickly becomes the most wanted man on the planet. Ostracized and isolated, Wikus retreats to District 9 in a desperate bid to shake his dogged pursuers.
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Special Features

Deleted scenes; Director's commentary; The Alien agenda: a filmmakers's log- three-part documentary
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Every once in a great while -- perhaps only a handful of times each decade -- that rare film comes completely out of left field to let us know that there are still some original ideas out there, and that cinema can still be fresh and exciting. District 9 is just such a film. Perhaps the most original sci-fi feature to come along since the turn of the millennium, it's also one of the very best in recent memory. Compelling, captivating, occasionally hilarious, and refreshingly unpredictable thanks to a smartly structured script that builds impressive momentum, District 9 surprises at every turn while holding a mirror to society in a way that will likely find the film ranking favorably amongst the best of the genre. Perhaps it's a blessing in disguise that director Neill Blomkamp's much-touted Halo project ultimately stalled out, because while he may well have been capable of beating the odds and delivering a video game adaptation that wasn't a total disaster, what we get instead is a complex yet compact sci-fi romp that's more than worthy of all the advance buzz. It's the type of potential genre classic that some moviegoers approach cautiously for fear of getting burned by the hype machine, but which ultimately exceeds those tempered, cynical expectations through sheer innovation and solid storytelling. It's been 28 years since an enormous alien spacecraft came to a standstill over the city of Johannesburg, South Africa. After cutting their way into the ship to find a million malnourished extraterrestrials, authorities ushered them down to terra firma and set them up in District 9, a makeshift refugee camp that quickly became a slum, replete with crime, vice, and overcrowding. The locals want the aliens gone, and a private firm called MNU Multi-National United has been assigned the task of evicting them to what is, essentially, a concentration camp. Heading up this mission is Wikus van der Merwe Sharlto Copley, a bumbling bureaucrat who basically serves as a figurehead for MNU -- which is more concerned with harnessing the visitors' highly advanced technology read: weaponry than looking out for their well-being. While evicting the aliens derogatorily referred to as "prawns" due to their resemblance to the oceanic bottom-feeders, Wikus is inadvertently exposed to their biotechnology, prompting a strange metamorphosis that makes him the most wanted man on the planet. Historically, science fiction has been the genre of choice for socially conscious tales that put our struggles into perspective through fantastical storytelling; The Day the Earth Stood Still did it with nuclear weapons, Planet of the Apes did it with race relations, and now District 9 does it with the topic of refugees. These are the kinds of films born of a storyteller's concern for humanity, and because of that, they resonate. Being from South Africa, director/co-writer Blomkamp no doubt grew up with a keen social perception of the refugee's plight a large portion of the nation's informal population is comprised of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo and other poorer neighboring countries and the issues that can arise due to xenophobia. So while District 9's setting alone sets it apart from the vast majority of sci-fi films, it's also of crucial importance to understanding the film's not-so-subtle subtext about allowing our fears to govern our humanity. But you don't have to be from South Africa to appreciate the dangers of this; just ask any American whose life was uprooted by Hurricane Katrina or any Afghan whose home was destroyed during the War on Terror. As the world gets smaller, our obligations toward our fellow man grow, but what happens when the system gets strained, and personal preservation supersedes civil rationality? That's when things start to turn ugly, and that's where we find ourselves at the beginning of District 9 -- where the locals just want the refugees gone, and don't particularly care where they're shipped off to. But when these kind of ruminations start to get too heavy, it's the filmmaker's job to dress them up so we're entertained by the story while getting insight into the human condition. As Mary Poppins once sang, "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down." District 9 does have some pretty potent medicine, but just when things start to get grim, Blomkamp smartly satisfies our sweet tooth by shifting gears to sci-fi action mode with effortless efficiency. We're drawn into District 9's story by its deeply humanitarian message -- delivered with disarming humor and a knowing wink -- and then blown out of our seats by the kind of outrageous, high-tech action that gets movie message boards buzzing with wild speculation. Not only that, but it does so with a stylistic flair that seamlessly fuses the subjective style of cinema made popular by The Blair Witch Project with the kind of traditional narrative that is Hollywood's bread and butter. The faux news footage that opens District 9 plays with our perception, making the improbable not only possible -- as Rod Serling might say -- but entirely believable through convincing state-of-the-art special effects and keen humanistic insight. After that, the thrill lies in discovering where the story goes. And while that aspect of District 9 may be a bit more traditional, Blomkamp and screenwriting partner Terri Tatchell still manage to keep the thrills coming by humanizing the aliens as the stakes get higher. By the end of District 9, we've seen our world irrevocably changed, and have been tantalized by the possibility that the real story is only beginning. In most instances this would feel like a shameless attempt at manufacturing a franchise, but given the situations the characters have been put through and the changes they've endured, it comes off as genuine here. Sure Blomkamp could botch the deal by going all George Lucas and dumbing things down to the point where the magic slips away, but for now it feels safe to say his vision is still uncompromised, and his dedication to simply telling good stories paramount. The energy in the theater following District 9 is likely the same kind of charge that surged through moviegoers after seeing Star Wars for the first time back in 1977. So while only time will tell whether Blomkamp is the radical sci-fi visionary he appears to be, if things don't work out down the road he'll still be considered one hell of a one-hit wonder.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/22/2009
  • UPC: 043396275140
  • Original Release: 2009
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound
  • Time: 1:52:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 6,011

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Sharlto Copley Wikus van der Merwe
Jason Cope Grey Bradnam/UKNR Chief Correspondent, Voice Only
David James Koobus Venter
Vanessa Haywood Tania Van de Merwe
Mandla Gaduka Fundiswa Mhlanga
Kenneth Nkosi Thomas
Eugene Khumbanyiwa Obesandjo
Louis Minnaar Piet Smit
William Allen Young Dirk Michaels
Nathalie Boltt Sarah Livingstone - Sociologist
Sylvaine Strike Dr. Katrina McKenzie
Elizabeth Mkandawie Interviewee
John Sumner Les Feldman - MIL Engineer
Greg Melvill-Smith Interviewer
Nick Blake Francois Moraneu - CIV Engineer Team
Jed Brophy James Hope - Police Officer
Marian Hooman Sandra Van de Merwe
Vittorio Leonardi Michael Blomstein - MNU Alien Civil Affairs
Johan van Schoor Nicolas Van de Merwe
Stella Steenkamp Phyllis Sinderson - MNU Alien Relations
Mampho Brescia Reporter
Tim Gordon Clive Henderson - Entomologist
Morne Erasmus MNU Medic
Anthony Bishop Paramedic
David Clatworthy Doctor
Mike Huff Doctor
Anthony Fridjhon MNU Executive
Hlengiwe Madlala Sangoma
Siyabonga Radebe Obesandjo's Lieutenant
Melt Sieberhagen Anton Grobler
Andre Odendaal Mike Van Kerland
Jonathan Taylor MNU Doctor
John Ellis MNU Medical Scientest
Louise Saint Claire MNU Medical Scientist
Alan Glauber MNU Operating Room Doctor
Nicolas Herbstein MNU Biolab Technician
Norman Anstey MNU Lead Medical Technician
Nick Boraine Craig Weldon
Robert Hobbs Ross Pienaar
Sibulele Gcilitshana U Günters Woman
Mahendra Raghunath SABC Anchor Person
Phillip Mathebula Meat Stall Seller
Technical Credits
Neill Blomkamp Director, Screenwriter
Michelle Belcher Musical Direction/Supervision
Mike Berg Art Director
Bill Block Executive Producer
Philippa Boyens Co-producer
Dianna Cilliers Costumes/Costume Designer, Production Designer
Julian Clarke Editor
Carolynne Cunningham Producer
Denton Douglas Casting
Elliot Ferwerda Executive Producer
Paul Hanson Executive Producer
Philip Ivey Production Designer
Peter Jackson Producer
Ken Kamins Executive Producer
Trent Opaloch Cinematographer
Clinton Shorter Score Composer
Terri Tatchell Screenwriter
Emelia Weavind Art Director
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- District 9
1. Chapter 1 [3:32]
2. Chapter 2 [2:49]
3. Chapter 3 [2:59]
4. Chapter 4 [4:01]
5. Chapter 5 [4:05]
6. Chapter 6 [3:02]
7. Chapter 7 [3:32]
8. Chapter 8 [3:02]
9. Chapter 9 [3:14]
10. Chapter 10 [3:49]
11. Chapter 11 [2:17]
12. Chapter 12 [5:26]
13. Chapter 13 [2:42]
14. Chapter 14 [2:21]
15. Chapter 15 [2:50]
16. Chapter 16 [4:14]
17. Chapter 17 [5:52]
18. Chapter 18 [4:40]
19. Chapter 19 [3:44]
20. Chapter 20 [5:05]
21. Chapter 21 [2:40]
22. Chapter 22 [2:20]
23. Chapter 23 [2:28]
24. Chapter 24 [2:22]
25. Chapter 25 [3:15]
26. Chapter 26 [1:52]
27. Chapter 27 [5:08]
28. Chapter 28 [5:02]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- District 9
   Play Movie
   Languages
      Audio
         English
         English Audio Descriptive Service
         Français
      Subtitles
         English: Some Special Features Subtitled
         English Subtitled Commentary
         English SDH
         Français
         Subtitles: Off
   Scene Selections
   Special Features
      Commentary With Director/Co-Writer Neill Blomkamp: On
      Commentary With Director/Co-Writer Neill Blomkamp: Off
      Deleted Scenes
         Play All
         MNU Agent Field Training
         Anti-Alien Riot
         Cryo Alien
         Kids and Space Rat Muti
         Kids Play With Alien Technology
         Meat Seller
         Muti
         Shack Fire
         Dirk Michaels TV Interview
         MNU Office
         Aggro Alien
         Egg Alien
         Roof Alien
         Stolen Alien Goods
         Alien Rips Off Fundiswa
         Dead Dog and Alien
         Ghettoblaster
         Alien Reproductive System
         Bad Kids
         Clinic Visit
         Steal Tank
         Koobus Big Gun
      The Alien Agenda: A Filmmakers's Log
         Play All
         Chapter 1: Envisioning District 9
         Chapter 2: Shooting District 9
         Chapter 3: Refining District 9
      Previews
         Moon
         2012
         Legion
         Michael Jackson's This Is It
         Universal Soldier: Regeneration
         The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day
         Blu-Ray Disc is High Definition!
         Zombieland
         Black Dynamite
         Hardwired
         The Stepfather
         Blood: The Last Vampire
         Damages- Season 2
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 54 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(23)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Very Interesting...

    I was not sure what to think of this movie when it first started out, because it was kind of odd & filmed as though it were news coverage or something, and some of the camera movement even made me a tad bit dizzy in parts, but the further it got into it, the more I was actually intregued by it. Not all of it is shot like it is camera footage either. Just the first little while of it, and then a few certain other areas later on. A lot of it is still filmed like an actual movie. Peter Jackson did a pretty good job on this movie for the most part. It's a tad strange, but also pretty interesting. Aside from being a neat and innovative sci fi movie, it also is designed in a way to depict kind of what the slums down in southern Africa are like, which really makes you feel for the actual people that suffer down in those parts of the world, scrounging for food and dealing with various oppression and different gang issues. All in all, I enjoyed this movie. I would say it is worth owning. If you're a sci fi fan, it's going to seem a little different than a lot of sci fi, but also rather interesting, and again, through all of it, you get sort of a depiction of the slums in the southern parts of Africa. Give it a watch. It will blow your mind! Listed below are other great Peter Jackson movies.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    !A MOVIE YOU CAN SKIP!

    It was like watching the news for most of the movie. I liked the story but not how it was flimed. It could have been way better. This will be one of those movies that i will never watch again.

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  • Posted October 16, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    one very amazing movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    one very amazing movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    District 9

    After The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, Peter Jackson was handed the keys to a Halo movie. But work starting on The Lovely Bones (due out December 11, 2009) and the possibility of The Hobbit in his future, Peter Jackson opted to produce and wanted to pass directorial duties to an unknown South African director named Neill Blomkamp. With an unknown director known only for his short films, commercials, and special effects work and a reported $150 million budget for Halo the producers and studio balked at the idea of Blomkamp directing. After Halo fell through, Jackson offered Blomkamp a $30 million budget to direct the film of his choice. The result, a feature length version of Blomkamp's first short film Alive In Joburg called District 9.
    District 9 could quite possibly be the best movie I've seen all summer, my only regret is that it didn't come out sooner. It starts out as social commentary dealing with apartheid, the humans take great pleasure in treating the prawns as less than human, shuffling them around, berating them, and even burning down shacks that contain their eggs. It's this sociopolitical relevance that really causes this movie to rise above it's sci-fi peers. On top of that, the movie is shot with a real documentary feel, this adds to the gritty reality of the movie. You believe this is happening because it feels like a documentary you'd watch on the History channel.
    On top of that, the acting is superb as well. A special shout out must be given to Sharlto Copley who has no acting experience and had no previous acting experience and had no intention to be an actor prior to Blomkamp's short film, Alive In Joburg. His character Wikus is seen in nearly every scene of the movie and you really feel for him despite his early despicable acts in the movie. You always feel for him and you always root for him, and while that can be attributed to great writing, it takes a great actor to really pull that range off.
    The real winner in this movie, and what really blew my mind, though, are the special effects. I don't normally mention budgets when reviewing a movie, but here I think it's important. To give you an idea if you were to look at the other action movies to come out this summer you would see that X-Men Origins: Wolverine cost approximately $160 million to make, Terminator Salvation cost about the same, and Transformers 2 cost about $200 million. On the other side of the spectrum, if you look at comedies, Funny People cost $75 million, and last years Zack and Miri Make a Porno cost $25 million. Hell, back in 1991, Terminator 2 was originally budgeted at $77 million but went way over budget. The point: this movie had as many special effects as, say Wolverine, and cost less than a third of that to make and looks 10x better. Remember, all of the prawns, except the dead ones laying out on tables, were shot completely with digital effects and they all look photo-real. This movie easily looks like a $150 million plus movie.
    All in all, I'm really hoping this movie starts a new trend among studios: more original movies.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Great sci-fi flick. Surprisingly original

    Based on how much this movie was promoted solely on the fact that Peter Jackson was producing it, I was not sure how good it would be. I did not see it in theater, but when I rented it and watched it I was blown away. This movie had several scenes where I literally had a visceral reaction to it. I loved the suspense and the emotions in this movie. It was not flawless, but it was very well done, and definitely a must-see for sci-fi fans. For having a new director and an inexperienced leading actor, this movie was crisp and very believable. It was a realistic sci-fi movie that managed to make great points about real life scenarios, all while not getting preachy or unrealistic. Probably not for the faint of heart viewer, though I loved the way this movie effected me both mentally and viscerally. Great movie, I also would recommend the short film the movie was loosely based on, "Alive in Joburg."

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Thinking Sci-Fi

    This was one of the best movies of the year, and certainly one of the most original. The story involving aliens that have the misfortune of getting stranded on Earth moves at a brisk pace. The aliens soon become second class citizens and are confined to their own encampment, District 9. This, of course, is a science fiction story about apartheid. A most entertaining one it should be noted. The action scenes are extremely well done and the ending is truly exciting.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    This replaces Alien as my favorite movie.

    Wikus is the new anti-hero! Love, compassion, plot and most of all cool shootouts. District 9 has it all. You don't have to be a sci-fi fan to like this movie...just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    District 9

    Purchased as gift for my son. Said the movie was very good.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Intense movie

    This movie was very well done, but the storyline was quite intense. It definitely kept my interest. It was a great sci-fi movie.

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    Posted August 2, 2010

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 54 Customer Reviews