It’s no secret that the quality of film as a whole has taken a couple dozen blows to the skull. But who wields the bat/board-with-a-nail-in-it? Is it the Directors who have given up on their creative conscience? Is it the Producers who are so mired in Teen Romances and Straight-To-DVDs that they lose all vision beyond the quick buck they have to make so they can buy their daughters ponies this Hanukkah? Or is it Matthew McConaughey…being Matthew McConaughey?
A smile that says "box office gold" and a range of talent that says "cinematic poison."
The truth of the matter is that it’s our collective stupidity that causes all of this to happen. They say that we get the government we deserve. Perhaps we also get the films we deserve. Perhaps through this phenomenon, a glimmering hope shines for the future of cinema that we just don’t “get,” and as a result, we don’t give a shit.
This brings me to District 9, a Summer masterpiece that I had been anticipating since its release date was announced. If you haven’t seen it (or didn’t bother to pay attention to the fucking plot), the movie takes place in an alternate reality Johannesburg, South Africa where Zimbabweans aren’t the only people fighting for their lives. In this reality, an alien craft from the Andromeda Galaxy stalls at Earth for 20-some years due to a malfunction and the aliens must be reluctantly adopted into society–but only in the slums and badlands.
An alien immigration officer for Multi-National United doesn’t give a shit about the creatures’ well-being, but wants to come off as well-meaning and efficient at his job. He is infected with an alien toxin/fuel that causes him to slowly develop alien body parts.
I’m not going to go any further, but the SPOILERS are out there if you want them.
If the plot that I described sounds like it’s been done-to-death, please let me know, because I’ve really never seen anything even remotely comparable. It’s a beautiful, original, and awe-inspiring film that just happens to be a no-holds-barred science fiction flick. If you don’t like science fiction, fine…but then don’t go see the movie and bitch about the aliens.
Here are some of the film’s major criticisms and why they’re fucking ridiculous.
1. It tried too hard.
Really? Maybe you tried to hard to understand the racial and political points that the film made while it remained refreshingly original. Perhaps this is a valid criticism and I just don’t see it…but if the film did try too hard, it’s because if it weren’t blunt, you just wouldn’t get it. Okay…the film’s message isn’t exactly hidden. But does it have to be? Must every film be categorized as either cryptic or myopic?
2. The Protagonist is wholly unlikeable.
I liked the protagonist (Wikus van der Merwe). He was a real, multi-dimensional character and he represented humanity. He was indicative of the concept that humanity doesn’t give a shit about one another unless they are given a reason. And even then, everyone is only out for themselves until they need to rely on others when the chips are down. He has his moments when he’s a hero, and his moments when he’s an evil bastard…but who doesn’t?
3. I don’t like documentary style movies or TV shows. This movie switched between documentary style and cinematic style. That’s fucking gay.
To be fair, a lot of people are sick of the documentary style. Because of the unprecedented popularity of The Office in America, directors are re-discovering the miracle and ease of the ‘mock-u-mentary’ style. It’s not necessarily a badthing. But it shouldn’t be over used. This movie chose to take that route, and it worked. It exhibited how the characters acted differently when they knew they were being watched. If you think that’s just lazy film making, then I assume you probably think narration in Film Noir is lazy as well.
4. There’s too many gore scenes and gross-out scenes.
Go fuck yourself. You’ll always be safe with PIXAR. All kidding aside, the movie was surprisingly violent. There was nothing too disgusting, but a lot of people and things blew the fuck up. It’s understandable to be turned off by movie violence, but look…if they put “RATED R FOR VIOLENCE,” don’t expect Harry Potter violence.
5. It wasn’t really sci-fi. It was an action, special effects, splatterfest disguised as Science Fiction.
The genre of science fiction only serves to create a barrier between Horror and Fantasy. Take a creature, throw it in a real world setting, and don’t make it terrifying–there…Science Fiction.
You know, it really seems like most of the people who overly criticize this movie are either pompous film snobs or Dr. Who fans. These were the same people who derided J.J. Abram’s Star Trek because it wasn’t fucking boring, and Cloverfield because the characters weren’t living in their parents’ basements.
The people who liked this movie should be the people who liked The Dark Knight. There is a special place out there for a goodmovie that breaks boundaries set by a genre that celebrates inadequacies.
Face it, you arrogant pricks out there: Comic book and Sci-Fi flicks aren’t just for the socially retarded anymore. That doesn’t make them bad; in fact, it can only make them better. Do you realize what this means? It means, my dear dear friends, that if you are ever actually asked out on a date, the girl you take to the movies may actually want to see the same movies you do!
How many Star Trek haters loved the new Star Trek? How many comic book fans did movies like The Dark Knight and Watchmen create?
It’s perfectly understandable if you legitimately did not like this movie, but you need to come up with some new reasons. Is it so wrong to just say “I didn’t like it?” Must you contrive a list of excuses? If you honestly hated the movie, don’t say, “I hated it because the acting was bad,” just suck it up and say, “I hated it because of the serious lack of Will Ferrell.”
Of course, I think I lost all faith in movie reviewers when I read the following review of The Graduate:
“Never before have I met an on screen character that annoyed me and aggravated me like Dustin Hoffman’s Ben. He’s like Napoleon Dynamite without the comedy. He’s like an early, unfunny version of Michael Cera. And here’s a comment that will gain some groans – I think if they made a remake with Michael Cera, it might actually be watchable. He goes from a lazy, mopey whiner to an unlikable co-dependent, no personality punk to a creepy stalker. The girl isn’t much better. One date (one date that didn’t go well at all) and all of a sudden they’re in love! How very believable.
By the end of the movie, I was rooting against Ben more than I’ve ever rooted against a character before, although I knew that being an old movie, it would end up with ‘the good guy’ winning.
I wouldn’t ever watch this movie again. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone. I wish I didn’t waste an hour and a half of my life on it, and I only did so because I had to because of this IMDB 250 goal. I have no idea how this movie ‘launched Dustin Hoffman’s career’. I really don’t.
There are two redeeming qualities of this movie. One, Dustin Hoffman’s Alfa Romero, and Simon & Garfunkel’s soundtrack (although I could have done without hearing the song about spices over and over and over and over and over and over and over and o…)”
But you can read more from that idiot here.
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