So, on the recommendation of my friend Kevin, I went to see the movie “District 9.” I have to agree with his assessment: it was a really good movie, and certainly not what I expected. I was expecting another Hollywood pro-illegal immigration referendum, but that wasn’t what it was at all. I won’t go into anymore detail than that, because I don’t like to spoil movies that I enjoy.
My one gripe was the line “Where there are weapons, there is crime,” in reference to civilians having guns. In defense of the movie, it doesn’t take place in America, and I don’t know what the South African gun-culture is like. A little later, the same commentator makes the comment, “Where there are slums, there is crime,” which Kevin accepts as an explanation of the earlier statement worthy of absolution–I don’t. But that’s a pretty minor gripe in a really good movie.
Unfortunately, I didn’t leave the cinema after watching it. I stayed to watch the new Tim Burton movie, “9.” Sigh. It’s yet another “God is dead, and that’s a good thing” movie. I could tell as soon as it started that it was some sort of allegory, but I admit that it took me until almost the end of the movie to figure out what the message actually was. At least it wasn’t as blatantly literal as the “His Dark Materials” series. Even if it weren’t for the ridiculous theme, this movie sucked. I find it a bit difficult to any level of suspense or sympathy when there’s not a single living character in the movie. That’s right, the “good guys” (more or less) are all animated rag-dolls (technically, they’re a Hollywood stupid-magic version of homunculi, but we don’t find that out until very late in the movie) and the villains are all completely unbelievable machines. And I have quite a high threshold for suspension of disbelief.
All in all, “District 9” is highly recommended; “9” is to be avoided.