District 9 – A Movie Review

 Culture, Movies  Comments Off on District 9 – A Movie Review
Aug 232009

District 9 Movie PosterThirty years ago, aliens made first contact with Earth. Humans waited for the hostile attack, or the giant advances in technology. Neither came. Instead, the aliens were refugees, the last survivors of their home world. The creatures were set up in a makeshift home in South Africa’s District 9 as the world’s nations argued over what to do with them.

Now, patience over the alien situation has run out. Control over the aliens has been contracted out to Multi-National United (MNU), a private company uninterested in the aliens’ welfare — they will receive tremendous profits if they can make the aliens’ awesome weaponry work. So far, they have failed; activation of the weaponry requires alien DNA.

The tension between the aliens and the humans comes to a head when an MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe, contracts a mysterious virus that begins changing his DNA. Wikus quickly becomes the most hunted man in the world, as well as the most valuable — he is the key to unlocking the secrets of alien technology. Ostracized and friendless, there is only one place left for him to hide: District 9.

Genres: Science Fiction/Fantasy; Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.; Release Date: August 14th, 2009 (wide); MPAA Rating: R for bloody violence and pervasive language.

Starring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt, Sylvaine Strike, John Sumner

Directed by: Neill Blomkamp

Lay and I went to see this movie at an 11 AM showing last weekend. I’d read all these great reviews, and thought it might be a decent film. Unfortunately, I was somewhat disappointed.

This was clearly a political parable, and I think this is what makes everyone rave about the film. I agree It was an interesting story from that perspective and had all expected ingredients including a hapless bureaucrat, an evil corporation, and nasty mercenaries. It is an examination of how we treat people we don’t like, and how we prefer to get our problems out of site.

The best science fiction challenges us to look at ourselves from a different perspective, and provides a story that is, with a some suspension of disbelief, plausible. This movie did none of those things. The story was an excellent depiction of how we treat others we consider “less” than us, but it was obvious in that respect. The primary story line was so full of holes as to become distracting.

Here’s a list of some of those holes:

  1. The aliens have an arsenal of many different sophisticated weapons beyond our technology, but never use any of them to demand better living conditions. Instead they trade them all for cat food.
  2. The ship seemingly doesn’t function for three months where the aliens are starving before humans go and cut a hole in its hull. But is the able to revived work more than 20 year later?
  3. It seems unlikely one alien and his son could run the whole ship, and it doesn’t seem they took any food.
  4. Why isn’t a large section of JSB, located directly under the ship, worried that ship may lose power can land on top of them?
  5. The smart alien and his son spent 20 years finding pieces of their own technology that contain a fluid they use to get their “control module” back off the ground. Why are any pieces of the ship missing? There is no mention of the command module being damaged, nor the main ship.
  6. It seems unlikely so many of the aliens would be so unintelligent. If so few of the aliens have the knowledge of how things work, how can they manage 100’s of thousands of the dumb aliens along with the ship?
  7. It seems unlikely that humans and aliens would so easily be able to understand each other’s language. We can’t even figure out Dolphin-speak let alone an extraterrestrial language.

I’m very glad we saw the movie at a reduced matinee price. I suppose it’s worth putting on your Netflix list, but I would have been disappointed if we’d payed full price.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars6 Stars7 Stars8 Stars9 Stars10 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 10)

Really, have extraterrestrials visited?

 General, Science  Comments Off on Really, have extraterrestrials visited?
Jun 182006

Well, there is a lot of alleged evidence but little agreement as to its legitimacy.The UFO era began in 1947, when pilot Kenneth Arnold observed disk-shaped aircraft flying near Mount Rainier. Sightings continued, and a government investigation concluded nothing unusual was going on. However, persistent reports and the dissenting opinions of some prominent insiders have continued to pique interest in the phenomenon. Believers include a CIA director, a Joint Chiefs chairman, and Jimmy Carter.

The name Roswell has become synonymous with UFOs. In 1947, the Air Force announced it had recovered a crashed “flying disk,” later claiming it was merely a downed weather balloon. In 1978, a former base officer who had collected the debris said he believed the wreckage was extraterrestrial. In 1994, the Air Force said the crashed object was actually a balloon from a secret military project; it issued a final report on the incident in 1997. The debate, however, continues.

Other intriguing cases include UFOs over the White House; a 1986 sighting by a Japan Airlines pilot; and the alleged landing of a craft at an American base in England, an event that was recorded by the deputy base commander. All of which is interesting, but until aliens land on the 50-yard line during the Super Bowl, skeptics will always offer alternative explanations.