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Swordlol
2009-07-26, 03:21 PM
You have probably noticed the posters at Bus Stops, or Advertisements about "Reporting non-human activity to MNU" - and an actual phone number to call about reporting non-humans. (The movie web site actual posts these calls on a corresponding interactive map.) The movie web site is actually very interesting, including a blog of a "Wanted Non-Human", it mixes a Resident Evil theme with Human interaction.

District 9 produced by Peter Jackson and directed by Neill Blomkamp, District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg (video), a short film directed by Neill Blomkamp.

-=I'm spoilering the following because this is the Storyline, although it has been released officially, some of you may not have read it, and you can't really piece it together from the commercials so read at your own discretion.=-


The basis of the plot is Alien refugees landed in Africa, the World waited to either be attacked or given great advances in technology - neither came. Eventually they contracted a company called M.N.U or Multi-National United, to "regulate" them and learn of their technology. MNU basically propogandizes that they are treating the Aliens kindly, whiling enforcing harsh guidelines , such as giving them name tags with "Christian" names, no socializing between non-humans and humans, and establishing set boundaries Non-Humans are permitted.

MNU has basically failed at understanding the Alien technology, and their contract is about to expire - and there are rumors that the contract will be handed to another company. A MNU field operative, Wikus van der Merwe (Sharlto Copley), contracts a virus that begins changing his DNA, the key factor in the effective use of the Alien Technology. MNU begins to go after Merwe as he flees in to District 9.

I for when, am anxious to see this movie. I plan on seeing it the day it comes out: on August 14th.

Badgercloak
2009-07-26, 05:12 PM
This looks like its going to a great film. :smallbiggrin:

kpenguin
2009-07-26, 05:18 PM
Yeah, it looks like a very cool idea if its pulled off well.

The Glyphstone
2009-07-26, 05:31 PM
On the other hand, if it's done poorly, it'll just be another ham-handed and clumsy Hollywood denunciation of discrimination, only with aliens in place of your preferred ethnic/racial/social/class group. Here's hoping it isn't.

kpenguin
2009-07-26, 05:34 PM
Yeah. I'm probably going to go see it, but I'll be checking overhead for anvils.

Dragonus45
2009-07-26, 06:58 PM
I expect this to be a great movie ruined by anviliicius (spell chack anyone) beat downs. In feel a genocide coming on.

Gorgondantess
2009-07-26, 07:47 PM
I just have a question, as to the plot...
Why? Jesus tapdancing christ, why would this corporation do such a thing? It makes no friggin sense at all! If they enslaved the aliens and had them working to the bone 24/7 treating them badly would still be an inefficient completely infeasible way to go about things, especially from an evil capitalist corporation point of view! Why aren't they hiring a crack team of scientists to study their technology and then copyright it, making millions? Why aren't they charging anthropologists millions per minute to speak with the aliens? Why aren't they (and this may sound funny but you know it would work) cashing in on the billions to be made from starting a reality TV show?

This just makes it all look like some elaborate stupid analogy for some modern day political thing, like racism or the whole immigration debacle, turning an otherwise potentially excellent and thought provoking movie into something pretentious and preachy.:smallmad:
I may be wrong, but that's what it's looking like.:smallsigh:

Reverent-One
2009-07-26, 07:53 PM
I just have a question, as to the plot...
Why? Jesus tapdancing christ, why would this corporation do such a thing? It makes no friggin sense at all! If they enslaved the aliens and had them working to the bone 24/7 treating them badly would still be an inefficient completely infeasible way to go about things, especially from an evil capitalist corporation point of view! Why aren't they hiring a crack team of scientists to study their technology and then copyright it, making millions? Why aren't they charging anthropologists millions per minute to speak with the aliens? Why aren't they (and this may sound funny but you know it would work) cashing in on the billions to be made from starting a reality TV show?

This just makes it all look like some elaborate stupid analogy for some modern day political thing, like racism or the whole immigration debacle, turning an otherwise potentially excellent and thought provoking movie into something pretentious and preachy.:smallmad:
I may be wrong, but that's what it's looking like.:smallsigh:

My understanding is that they're being held captive so that the government can reverse engineer their technology, but they're not having much luck in doing so.

Swordlol
2009-07-26, 08:00 PM
My understanding is that they're being held captive so that the government can reverse engineer their technology, but they're not having much luck in doing so.

From what I understood, MNU waits around to for the Non-Human to miss work (they can't even miss work if they are sick or if they are pregnant) , etc - and arrests them, allowing them to interrogate them since they essentialy strip them away of their rights.

The more I play around on the MNU website the more I found all of this intriguing.

pflare
2009-07-27, 02:09 PM
Im' pretty sure that's it going to be a look into racism and the depths humanity can sink to due to fear. I am totally checking this one out.

Manicotti
2009-07-30, 07:27 AM
Im' pretty sure that's it going to be a look into racism and the depths humanity can sink to due to fear. I am totally checking this one out.

i really hope so, because the last thing I want is another sci-fi that's so hopped up on its own special effects *coughTerminatorSalvationcough* that it just comes off as an extremely expensive hybrid of ET and Independence Day with none of their humor and all of the depth of Twilight.

kamikasei
2009-07-30, 07:36 AM
I was a little annoyed when I saw the trailer for this unexpectedly in the cinema - I'd heard something about the movie before that, but forgotten it, so I was taken by surprise. At first it looked like a documentary (intentionally, of course). But then in a brief window between realizing what was going on and then realizing what the movie actually was, who was involved, etc. I had the idea it might be a new Alien Nation movie.

:smallfrown:

I'm looking forward to it!

Phase
2009-07-30, 07:42 AM
Yeah, I'm looking forward to this one a lot. The biggest problem I can anticipate is it getting too action oriented later on. Movies like this tend to progress towards action.

nothingclever
2009-07-30, 08:17 AM
Why would anyone hope for this to be a movie about discrimination with aliens?
I'd rather just watch Night of the Living Dead. It's a movie about discrimination with zombies.

kamikasei
2009-07-30, 08:27 AM
Why would anyone hope for this to be a movie about discrimination with aliens?

What a strange question. What do you mean by it?

nothingclever
2009-07-30, 08:55 AM
What I mean more specifically is why would you want a movie predominantly about it? I'm fine with there obviously being content that gives viewers the possibility of easily looking at everything with that perspective if they choose to but why would you basically want to sit through a blatant lecture on why discrimination is wrong with aliens? Or a guilt trip showing all the negative effects of it?

If I were going to see this movie I'd worry about there not being enough action instead of too much because I don't feel like sitting through an elementary lesson. People in this thread are worrying about it being too action oriented. I'm wondering why. How much rhetoric do you really want to hear/see instead? We already know we shouldn't judge people by the colour of their tentacles.

Phase
2009-07-30, 09:01 AM
What I mean more specifically is why would you want a movie predominantly about it? I'm fine with there obviously being content that gives viewers the possibility of easily looking at everything with that perspective if they choose to but why would you basically want to sit through a blatant lecture on why discrimination is wrong with aliens? Or a guilt trip showing all the negative effects of it?

If I were going to see this movie I'd worry about there not being enough action instead of too much because I don't feel like sitting through an elementary lesson. People in this thread are worrying about it being too action oriented. I'm wondering why. How much rhetoric do you really want to hear/see instead?

I don't, it's just that there tends to be a dramatic upshot of action that wasn't present before. Like, one and a half hours of talking blah blah blah, then a grand final battle that comes out of nowhere.

I love action as much as anyone, but the movie needs to lay down the action content and stay there, or it seems schizophrenic.

nothingclever
2009-07-30, 09:05 AM
I don't, it's just that there tends to be a dramatic upshot of action that wasn't present before. Like, one and a half hours of talking blah blah blah, then a grand final battle that comes out of nowhere.

I love action as much as anyone, but the movie needs to lay down the action content and stay there, or it seems schizophrenic.
Well then that's perfectly understandable.

kamikasei
2009-07-30, 09:10 AM
What I mean more specifically is why would you want a movie predominantly about it? I'm fine with there obviously being content that gives viewers the possibility of easily looking at everything with that perspective if they choose to but why would you basically want to sit through a blatant lecture on why discrimination is wrong with aliens? Or a guilt trip showing all the negative effects of it?

If I were going to see this movie I'd worry about there not being enough action instead of too much because I don't feel like sitting through an elementary lesson. People in this thread are worrying about it being too action oriented. I'm wondering why. How much rhetoric do you really want to hear/see instead? We already know we shouldn't judge people by the colour of their tentacles.

Why should there be any action at all? Just because it has aliens in it?

And I don't hear anyone hoping for rhetoric - I see people hoping that it'll be a well-handled movie that explores the themes it seems to promise without descending in to whacking us over the head with heavy-handed moral lessons.

Sereg
2009-07-30, 09:29 AM
For some incredibly strange reason, it hasn't been advertised much here and it's only coming out here on the 28th. I mean, it's set in my country and is an analogy of certain issues (which I cannot discuss here) that are relevant to my country for goodness sake. Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing it. When I saw the ONLY trailer I've seen of ti so far I also thought it was a documentary at first. Its done in a very South African style and made to look like an episode of a certain political series from South Africa.

kamikasei
2009-07-30, 09:33 AM
For some incredibly strange reason, it hasn't been advertised much here...When I saw the ONLY trailer I've seen of ti so far...

It's apparently only run trailers before Wolverine and Year One. I don't think it has a huge budget so they're going with word-of-mouth and online marketing.


I also thought it was a documentary at first. Its done in a very South African style and made to look like an episode of a certain political series from South Africa.

The director is South African.

Sereg
2009-07-31, 09:06 AM
The director is South African.

That doesn't surprise me but it means that it makes even less sense for it to be only opening here two weeks later than everywhere else.

kamikasei
2009-07-31, 09:10 AM
Hey, it comes out even later in the UK (and by extension, Ireland).

The director is South African, but the money and therefore the distribution is Jackson's/Jackson's associates' and their companies'. (Originally, the director was brought over to work on a Halo movie, which fell through, but they wanted to keep him around, so they devised this project. Financially, it has no particular South African ties.)

Swordlol
2009-07-31, 08:12 PM
It's apparently only run trailers before Wolverine and Year One. I don't think it has a huge budget so they're going with word-of-mouth and online marketing.


Looks like I have done what they wanted.

I'm being manipulated....

GenericFighter
2009-08-01, 11:45 PM
The straight out racism angle seems off point for the subject. The better commercials (not the goofy PSAs) have me hoping for a very paranoid, fearful governemnt desperately trying to get technological secrets from the aliens while keeping them out of the hands of everyone else on the planet- whatever it takes. Less racism, more arms race.

Foeofthelance
2009-08-02, 12:10 AM
Why should there be any action at all? Just because it has aliens in it?



Yeah, pretty much. If they were some hyper advanced race come to judge the world, and we learned we have to grow up, it'd be one thing. But if the entire move was just a bunch of snotty humans beating on a bunch of hyper advanced-but-stranded aliens, then it stops being entertaining and just some bizzare form of SF style torture porn. Its much more satisfying (As well as entertaining) if the aliens deliver some much earned karmic justice to the villians.

thubby
2009-08-04, 06:15 AM
i get the impression this is going to be very ham-fisted.

i hope it's good, but I'll wait for the reviews before i blow the 10 bucks.

Cubey
2009-08-04, 06:19 AM
The more I learn about this the more I am afraid that it will be just a heavy-handed "racism and discrimination are bad, mmkay?" movie.

littlequietguy
2009-08-05, 01:30 PM
Yeah I get it advertisements.
Metaphor for racism and everything.
It's been done before.

Porthos
2009-08-12, 11:56 AM
It's been done before.

And that means it shouldn't be done again? :smallconfused:

I think some people on this thread are waaaaay too jaded and cynical.

EDIT:

Because some people are pissing and moaning about anvils, allow me to bring up the requiste other side of the argument:

Don't forget, Some Anvils Need To Be Dropped. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped)

In other words if the film has great characters and tight plotting then the anvils can serve the movie instead of detracting from it.

A film making a point isn't neccessarily a bad thing you know. :smallamused:

thubby
2009-08-12, 01:05 PM
And that means it shouldn't be done again? :smallconfused:

I think some people on this thread are waaaaay too jaded and cynical.

EDIT:

Because some people are pissing and moaning about anvils, allow me to bring up the requiste other side of the argument:

Don't forget, Some Anvils Need To Be Dropped. (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped)

In other words if the film has great characters and tight plotting then the anvils can serve the movie instead of detracting from it.

A film making a point isn't neccessarily a bad thing you know. :smallamused:

it's making a very old and cliche point in a very old and cliche manner and is playing it straight. this seems more beating a dead horse than anything else.

also consider what their advertising is pushing. they aren't selling a compelling story, or even an interesting character, they're selling the walking cliche factory of a setting.

Porthos
2009-08-12, 01:18 PM
it's making a very old and cliche point in a very old and cliche manner and is playing it straight. this seems more beating a dead horse than anything else.

Well it's hard to say that the film makes a point in a cliche manner until it actually comes out. But there are litterally tons of films/books out there that "played it straight" yet were utterly fantastic.

Take Schindler's List. "Nazi's Are Bad" and "People Will Find True Strength In Their Darkest Hour." Utterly cliche. And played utterly straight.

Or how about Shawshank Redemption. Nothing but a bog-standard "Hope is what keeps us alive" message... Although having a long term plan certianly helped. :smalltongue:

Besides when was the last time there was actually a Racism Is Bad SF movie? Been awhile, hasn't it?

And as for Fresh Take, here's this movies Fresh Take: Instead of Aliens as Slaves (too many SF films to mention) or Aliens as Immigrants (AlienNation), it's Aliens In An Apartheid situation.

And I, quite frankly, can't recall a situation exactly like that one.


also consider what their advertising is pushing. they aren't selling a compelling story, or even an interesting character, they're selling the setting.

The setting is the hook, sure. And if there are no compelling characters or plotting (which is what really sets a Anvillious Movie apart from a Some Anvils Need to be Dropped movie) then of course it's going to fall flat. But you gots to sell a notion to an audience somehow. And Aliens In An Apartheid setting actually seems rather clever to me.

BTW: As much as I love TV Tropes, there's no such thing as a Dead Trope IMO. Only Tropes That Have Yet To Be Resurrected. :smallwink:

Porthos
2009-08-12, 01:36 PM
Not that this really matters, but since some people wondered about how movie critics would respond to District 9, the inital wave of reviews seem fairly positive:

Rotten Tomatoes (http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/district_9/)
Metacrtic (http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/district9)

Querzis
2009-08-12, 05:07 PM
Yeah I get it advertisements.
Metaphor for racism and everything.
It's been done before.

Sorry to break it to you but everything has been done before. Find the most original recent works you can think of and I'm ready to bet has much as you want that someone had done something similar years before.

No seriously, with that kind of mentality you're missing some of the best movie and books ever just because you saw something similar before. The idea and the basic plot are nowhere as important as how its handled.

Swordlol
2009-08-12, 05:18 PM
I think they have to advertise the way they are currently advertising because the common public "consumer" is an idiot who wouldn't like to watch a commentary about racism juxtaposed with aliens.

Fin
2009-08-12, 08:36 PM
The director is South African.

Erm no he isn't. He is from New Zealand (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001392/), provided we are talking about the same Peter Jackson. But either way I am looking forward to this, it looks very interesting to say the least...

Porthos
2009-08-12, 08:50 PM
Erm no he isn't. He is from New Zealand (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001392/), provided we are talking about the same Peter Jackson. But either way I am looking forward to this, it looks very interesting to say the least...

PJ is the producer of the film, not the director. :smallsmile:

Neill Blomkamp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neill_Blomkamp), the director, is indeed South African (though he apparently now lives in Vancouver, BC). And while he has made commercials and shorts before, this is his directorial debut.

And judging by what critics are saying about the film, I doubt it will be his last. :smalltongue:

PS: He was originally tapped to be the director of Halo before it fell through. Which is how he and PJ got to know each other. In fact the only reason this film even exists is because Halo blew up. :smallwink:

Fin
2009-08-12, 09:03 PM
PJ is the producer of the film, not the director. :smallsmile:

Ah I thought i must have missed something, what threw me was this follow up post...


The director is South African, but the money and therefore the distribution is Jackson's/Jackson's associates' and their companies'.

I had assume Kamikasei was talking about the same person when she referred to PJ after mentioning the director. I hadn't had chance to look at the details of the film when I read that and thought 'I'm sure Jackson isn't from RSA!' and then failed to confirm that he was the director.

Apologies Kamikasei.

Poison_Fish
2009-08-14, 05:50 AM
Well, having gotten back from the midnight release. I thoroughly enjoyed this film.

Swordlol
2009-08-14, 09:10 PM
District 9 was good!

If you catch the racism, and the strong reality they were going for - and I believed definetly captured - you will enjoy it.

birchman
2009-08-14, 09:38 PM
I was thoroughly disappointed. My thoughts weren't provoked, and the movie devolved into a dumb action-flick within half an hour. It was smarter than, say, Transformers, but it was not what I wanted it to be.

Swordlol
2009-08-15, 09:18 AM
I was thoroughly disappointed. My thoughts weren't provoked, and the movie devolved into a dumb action-flick within half an hour. It was smarter than, say, Transformers, but it was not what I wanted it to be.

I have to disagree. Consider the concept that the man killed and burned their eggs/babies, but in the end was rescued by other aliens. Consider his "human" quality: He would make little knick-knacks for his wife, and even as an alien he would make metallic roses.

Consider him telling the truth about how those tents are actually worse. Chris when he went in to MNU's basement and learned "the truth". Personally I know they never said this in the movie, but I would like to think that alien he saw in the Lab was his "friend".

NerfTW
2009-08-15, 09:47 AM
I was thoroughly disappointed. My thoughts weren't provoked, and the movie devolved into a dumb action-flick within half an hour. It was smarter than, say, Transformers, but it was not what I wanted it to be.

I agree. There were moments, but the movie as a whole was incoherent, disjointed, and just plain banal compared to the original short film.

First off, it was moved out of Apartheid as far as I can tell, so the whole two oppressed cultures living side by side thing was gone.

Second,
if the ship still worked, why didn't anyone just FLY UP THERE AND LEAVE in the last 20 years? They never gave an explanation for why they were staying on Earth in the first place. In the short film, they were refugees and had nowhere to go. In the movie, they act as if they could have gone back any time they wanted, so why did they get off the ships in the first place?

If they weren't welcome, couldn't they have just said "Fly us up there, we'lll give you tech and open trade relations with you".


Seriously, the movie does not cover why they left the ship at all if they weren't welcome. It's just "Here's some aliens, and a guy that helps them".


Overall, I was completely disappointed in this movie. A poor effort all around.

Violet Octopus
2009-08-15, 10:06 AM
The setup was fast-paced and interesting. The following action dragged on. Overall it really makes me want to see the short film.

I am pleased, however, that the main character wasn't instantly cured of his racism, as is the norm in Hollywood films.

I also expected the ending to involve the mothership blowing up the MNU building or somesuch. Instead we get a return to the status quo, with the looming repercussions when Chris returns. I find I prefer it that way - it's a lot more unsettling.

And was I just unobservant, or was there nothing in the film establishing the aliens being forced to work for MNU?

JaxGaret
2009-08-15, 10:57 AM
I agree. There were moments, but the movie as a whole was incoherent, disjointed, and just plain banal compared to the original short film.

First off, it was moved out of Apartheid as far as I can tell, so the whole two oppressed cultures living side by side thing was gone.

Second,
if the ship still worked, why didn't anyone just FLY UP THERE AND LEAVE in the last 20 years? They never gave an explanation for why they were staying on Earth in the first place. In the short film, they were refugees and had nowhere to go. In the movie, they act as if they could have gone back any time they wanted, so why did they get off the ships in the first place?

If they weren't welcome, couldn't they have just said "Fly us up there, we'lll give you tech and open trade relations with you".


Seriously, the movie does not cover why they left the ship at all if they weren't welcome. It's just "Here's some aliens, and a guy that helps them".


Overall, I was completely disappointed in this movie. A poor effort all around.

I think you're missing one of the biggest points of the movie: the prawns, as a whole, aren't overly intelligent at all (just like another species we're all familiar with), but individual prawn are quite intelligent, like Chris Johnson. It wasn't a prawn plan to get the ship up and running, it was a Christopher Johnson plan.

Heck, the rest of the prawn are hocking alien weapons to buy cat food. Think about that for a second.

To quote another sci-fi movie in the same vein, "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it."

The Unborne
2009-08-15, 11:32 AM
I agree. There were moments, but the movie as a whole was incoherent, disjointed, and just plain banal compared to the original short film.

First off, it was moved out of Apartheid as far as I can tell, so the whole two oppressed cultures living side by side thing was gone.

Second,
if the ship still worked, why didn't anyone just FLY UP THERE AND LEAVE in the last 20 years? They never gave an explanation for why they were staying on Earth in the first place. In the short film, they were refugees and had nowhere to go. In the movie, they act as if they could have gone back any time they wanted, so why did they get off the ships in the first place?

If they weren't welcome, couldn't they have just said "Fly us up there, we'lll give you tech and open trade relations with you".


Seriously, the movie does not cover why they left the ship at all if they weren't welcome. It's just "Here's some aliens, and a guy that helps them".


Overall, I was completely disappointed in this movie. A poor effort all around.


A wha'? They actually delved into why the ship could not fly away and why it just stopped. A whole segment of the "news-segment" was that they saw a piece fall from the ship, and they speculated that it was the master control board, motherboard, whatever. They had footage of the said piece falling from the ship, but did you see that it was the same shape as Christopher's ship? The MNU stated that they never found the piece, but it's pretty hard to find something when someone is intentionally hiding it under their dilapidated shack.Even if Christopher's ship wasn't the original part, it took him twenty years to even make his plan come to fruition (fuel and all).

Also, they explained why they left the ship. After the behemoth was floating over Johannesburg for so long, the government sent in their ships to investigate. They find all of the Prawns malnurished and dying. Humans did what they usually do when it involves millions of victims in need, they help them. For the Prawn's survival, they were taken down and allowed to get back up on their own two insectoid feet. It's actually a great cosmic coincidence that a bigot like Wikus had to get thrown into the situation. You think Christopher would've expected the MNU to shoot his ship on sight?

NerfTW
2009-08-15, 11:52 AM
OH MY GOD, I'm one of THOSE people now. Those jerks that miss vital plot points at the beginning of the movie.


I feel so stupid now.

But I still maintain that it was not a very good movie plot wise, although my gaping plot hole complaint is nullified.

Swordlol
2009-08-15, 12:19 PM
They even make a comment about how Chris Johnson is smarter than other Prawns, that he could read human, had a permit for his child, and figured out he needed a 24 hour eviction notice.

JaxGaret
2009-08-15, 12:46 PM
A wha'? They actually delved into why the ship could not fly away and why it just stopped. A whole segment of the "news-segment" was that they saw a piece fall from the ship, and they speculated that it was the master control board, motherboard, whatever. They had footage of the said piece falling from the ship, but did you see that it was the same shape as Christopher's ship? The MNU stated that they never found the piece, but it's pretty hard to find something when someone is intentionally hiding it under their dilapidated shack.Even if Christopher's ship wasn't the original part, it took him twenty years to even make his plan come to fruitation (fuel and all).

Also, they explained why they left the ship. After the behemoth was floating over Johannesburg for so long, the government sent in their ships to investigate. They find all of the Prawns malnurished and dying. Humans did what they usually do when it involves millions of victims in need, they help them. For the Prawn's survival, they were taken down and allowed to get back up on their own two insectoid feet. It's actually a great cosmic coincidence that a bigot like Wikus had to get thrown into the situation. You think Christopher would've expected the MNU to shoot his ship on sight?


Thanks for fleshing that out, great points!

Forgive me for this, but I'm going to be a pedantically helpful asshat and point out that it's "fruition", not "fruitation", in case that wasn't a typo.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-08-15, 03:56 PM
I saw this movie last night.

It's pretty much an action flick that just happens to occur in an interesting setting. There are plot holes, yes, but you honestly don't really care by that point because people are getting vaporized by energy weapons.

The movie shifts tones several times. From mockumentary, to Faustian horror and then going straight into an action flick.

Nonetheless, one wonders why the alien fuel mutates the protagonist. Maybe it got mixed with the alien DNA in the protagonist's injury? Oh whatever . . .

aethernox
2009-08-15, 04:03 PM
I caught the midnight release with some friends a few nights back, and was actually quite impressed. It did, admittedly, offer a bit more action that I hoped, and the plot would on occasion stretch itself a bit thin, but as a whole it was a fairly enjoyable movie. Likely the best sci-fi movie I've seen in quite some time.

JaxGaret
2009-08-15, 04:48 PM
Nonetheless, one wonders why the alien fuel mutates the protagonist. Maybe it got mixed with the alien DNA in the protagonist's injury? Oh whatever . . .

Chris Johnson immediately recognizes that for Wikus to be mutating into a prawn, he must have had contact with the alien fuel, so it's obviously a known consequence of such a happenstance.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-08-15, 04:53 PM
Chris Johnson immediately recognizes that for Wikus to be mutating into a prawn, he must have had contact with the alien fuel, so it's obviously a known consequence of such a happenstance.
Well duh. My point is that it is a stretch.

Normally you'd expect something like that to give you a headache and then you die. Or maybe you get cancer then die.

But hey, you're going to mutate into a very specific organism instead.

That makes sense.

JaxGaret
2009-08-15, 04:56 PM
Well duh. My point is that it is a stretch.

Normally you'd expect something like that to give you a headache and then you die. Or maybe you get cancer then die.

But hey, you're going to mutate into a very specific organism instead.

That makes sense.

It's internally consistent, which means that it does make sense.

Also, the prawn have clearly incorporated their biology into their technology in some manner, since only a prawm can use any of their weapons. Thus it doesn't seem like much of a stretch for their fuel to be some type of biomatter derived from prawn DNA.

kjones
2009-08-15, 11:53 PM
I found this movie to be both deeply compelling and highly entertaining, a rare combination nowadays. I want to feel that the brutality and sadism of humanity in the movie was overblown, but if anything, I think it's one of the most chillingly plausible portrayals of humanity in science fiction movies since "Children of Men".

I would also recommend that anyone who wants to see it should learn as little about it as possible - I knew next to nothing going in and I think that helped. (Of course, putting this at the end of a post in this thread probably won't help anything...)

Yulian
2009-08-16, 05:42 PM
Go see this movie.

Not one thing the MNU did is something that some entity, government or corporation has not already done in the real world.

The Third Reich, apartheid, all this stuff is what humans have done to each other. I doubt that, if we were in a position of strength and some people desperately wanted the technology aliens had that there wouldn't be plenty of people willing to do what we saw in the film or turn a blind eye to it, like Wikus.

The movie made me feel almost ashamed to be human, and that's not altogether a bad thing because there's a good lesson there about not just avoiding what we saw MNU doing, but in never turning a blind eye to it, either.

The movie also proved that you can have a good, alien character who doesn't look human or speak a word of any human language. Christopher and Chris Jr. were great, interesting, compelling characters.

Oh, and about the fluid:

A friend I saw the film with wondered if, since the collected and refined fluid turned Wikus into an alien, if the condition we saw the aliens in might not have been caused by some sort of leak in the ship.

Also, regarding the smaller unit that Christopher apparently flew down from the ship, look at things from his perspective. Something has gone wrong. Your command crew (or caste) is dead or missing, your ship ends up on a planet with a civilization on it. You are over an area where a city sits next to a slum. Hiding your ship's command module may look like a very prudent thing to do, considering you know nothing about the inhabitants of the world you've ended up on. The ship obviously needed some refined element to function again, and they didn't have it. It took Christopher 20 years to refine more and get the command module working again.

I loved the open ending, but I so wonder what happens in 3 years when he and his child get back with more of their people, and likely a powerful force that humanity couldn't take advantage of.

- Yulian

jmbrown
2009-08-16, 06:48 PM
This movie was absolutely fantastic. It's not so much a film on the side effects of racism or human greed but the idea of forced segregation. Humans make first contact and it's not a enlightening event; the "intelligent outsiders" are trash picking hobos. The movie expertly avoids strawmen (which I hate in films like these) by showing none of the character's in a positive light. Until the end, Wikus didn't care about anything but getting cured while Christopher betrayed Wikus' trust to get what he needed. Everything came together but the character's still behaved in a believable situation.

Story aside the action and directing was great. For a 30 million dollar movie it rivaled big summer blockbusters like GI Joe. I hope this movie wins many awards and proves to Hollywood that you can make a fantastic, engaging film at a fifth of the budget they're spending now.

And to think, this was going to be the Halo movie. I hope Microsoft and Fox are kicking themselves hard.

Faulty
2009-08-16, 06:54 PM
Movie was twelve types of awesome.

Kyouhen
2009-08-16, 07:07 PM
This movie really was amazing. We need more movies like this. A great plot and some nice action sequences, and it gets away from the usual alien movies where they're either trying to destroy the world or are trying to be all peaceful.

I don't get a few of the complaints though. In a movie like this how would you expect it to end if there weren't any big action scenes? They just talk out their differences? The Prawn are being oppressed by a company that's only interested in their weapons. Why didn't the Prawn just use their awesome weapons to get back at the MNU? They're outnumbered. Massively. And I doubt they had done enough research on our technology to determine they could do some damage with what they had. Even if they had it wouldn't take long before every army on the planet is mobilized against their single ship. Why didn't they just ask for some help in the first place? They have an abundance of weapons that vapourize the targets instantly. There is no 'stun' setting to these things. Whether they've encountered other species or not, they're at least aware of the possibility that a civilization they've never dealt with before could very likely decide to wipe them out/steal everything they have/enslave them/etc. If every one of your standard weapons are 100% guaranteed to result in a kill you probably aren't going to want to declare that you're completely helpless and cut off from the rest of your society.

jmbrown
2009-08-16, 07:10 PM
The Prawn are being oppressed by a company that's only interested in their weapons. Why didn't the Prawn just use their awesome weapons to get back at the MNU?

That and the prawn truly are lazy and aloof. They didn't mention it in the film, but in the cast interviews and early previews (which weren't shown in the film) one of the aliens said they were outcasts or refugees that just happened to wind up on earth.

When they opened up the hatch they found the aliens living in their own trash fighting each other. The biggest building block of a military is organization and the prawn weren't organized in the slightest.

nanobot_swarm
2009-08-16, 11:00 PM
I saw this movie and agree, it was a fantastic film. The movie forced you to pay attention, and rewarded you for it with a great story with interesting characters, and violent over the top action scenes. I especially liked the development of the character Wikes, he started off as jerk who was just doing his job, to sympathizing with the prawn and their plight after being forced to live among them. The movie also contained one of my favorite aspects of a film, The Karmic Death: Everyone who deserved to die, did, and pretty nasty death's at that. So yeah, great film, must see for those looking for a good action movie with a great story.

Kyouhen
2009-08-16, 11:23 PM
That and the prawn truly are lazy and aloof. They didn't mention it in the film, but in the cast interviews and early previews (which weren't shown in the film) one of the aliens said they were outcasts or refugees that just happened to wind up on earth.

When they opened up the hatch they found the aliens living in their own trash fighting each other. The biggest building block of a military is organization and the prawn weren't organized in the slightest.

Huh, that might explain why they were outcast. I had no idea why they had ended up on Earth in the state they were in, but then again it's not like past science fiction hasn't given us dozens of possible reasons. Maybe they were being worked too hard and decided they'd settle on a new planet, which would explain why there were so many of them on that ship and why they didn't seem to have much of a structured society.


I saw this movie and agree, it was a fantastic film. The movie forced you to pay attention, and rewarded you for it with a great story with interesting characters, and violent over the top action scenes. I especially liked the development of the character Wikes, he started off as jerk who was just doing his job, to sympathizing with the prawn and their plight after being forced to live among them. The movie also contained one of my favorite aspects of a film, The Karmic Death: Everyone who deserved to die, did, and pretty nasty death's at that. So yeah, great film, must see for those looking for a good action movie with a great story.

I can think of a certain in-law that really needed to die that I believe survived the entire movie. :smalltongue:

nanobot_swarm
2009-08-16, 11:37 PM
I can think of a certain in-law that really needed to die that I believe survived the entire movie. :smalltongue:

It can be assumed that he will commit suicide because:
1) His corporation is under investigation for the Mengele esque experiments, to which he and the other heads will probably be convicted for
2) If MNU isn't outright disbanded, news of the horrors will likely cause the stock to plummet
3) His daughter probably despises him for what he did
Basically, facing life imprisonment, the end of his company MNU, and that his daughter probably disowned him, I wouldn't be surprised if he put a bullet between his eyes.

Worira
2009-08-17, 12:25 AM
Watched movie, enjoyed it. Now reading through Chris's blog. (http://mnuspreadslies.com)

Hunter Noventa
2009-08-17, 06:51 AM
I saw it, it was a decent movie, I just don't feel enough was explained outright, lots was implied, but never truly explained.

Oh, and did the alien power armor during the end fight resemble an Evangelion to anyone else? Just in general shape, obviously, but still, I couldn't help but keep thinking 'Hey, Mini-Eva'.

kjones
2009-08-17, 07:04 AM
I saw it, it was a decent movie, I just don't feel enough was explained outright, lots was implied, but never truly explained.

Oh, and did the alien power armor during the end fight resemble an Evangelion to anyone else? Just in general shape, obviously, but still, I couldn't help but keep thinking 'Hey, Mini-Eva'.

I, for one, appreciated the fact that we weren't spoon-fed massive amounts of exposition. It would not have been as good of a movie if we started out with an opening monologue or something like that.

Hunter Noventa
2009-08-17, 07:43 AM
I, for one, appreciated the fact that we weren't spoon-fed massive amounts of exposition. It would not have been as good of a movie if we started out with an opening monologue or something like that.

I'm not saying I would have wanted that either, the story was told very well. I rather liked the way they used interviews to tell people what happened.

The problems for me came with what wasn't explained at all. We never find out why the ship stopped here, why the aliens seem kind of, well, stupid. it's irritating to me when here's no clues at all except for what gets pieced together by the people over at Wild Mass Guess on tvtropes. That's all.

Ricky S
2009-08-17, 10:30 AM
Brilliant movie with great storyline and pretty cool fight scenes. My only problem with the film is that there wasnt enough of it. I want to see more alien vs humans fights. I would love to see a movie where these aliens go to war with humans. Would be epic!

Cyrano
2009-08-17, 10:44 AM
I very much enjoyed this movie. However, some things.

Remember the alien gobot? WIth the pewpew and the zapguns and the fwashoooooow and the kaPWOOSH? Nifty, eh? And remember how it grabbed all those bullets and then it's all like "POOF" and all the guys died? Remember how it did that with a pig? Yeah, that bot had a Zero Point Energy Manipulator, and we only got to see it twice. Come on.

This one is a more serious plot thing. Okay, soo, Chrissy McPrawnhead needs to gather fuel. Why does he need fuel? Because apparently their mothership is out of it. And yet! Miraculously, he can gather fuel from scavenged bits of alien tech, which takes him 20 years to find enough of in massive, species-intermingled junkyards. If he knew the ship had no fuel, why didn't he get all of it in the 3 months he spent cooped up in a massive Aliens-only junkyard FULL of tech? Of course, that could be explained by saying "the ship thingy fell off" but then Chrissy could still realize he needed fuel if the falling off was an accident. Or wait, we explain it by saying that the ship fell off on purpose and was hidden, which means that Chrissy was on the planet first! But then, why didn't the Humans notice it falling? Well, maybe they were surprised at the BIG FREAKIN' SHIP and it took them a while to notice that falling piece of "debris." But then Chrissy McPrawnhead was living on earth for three months, eating the rubber vacuum sealant in his ship or something? Possible, I suppose. Whatever.

But what really bugs me? That ship didn't even neeeeeeed any fuel, since apparently the mothership was in possession of it's own motive power anyway, plus it had a big freakin' tractor beam. Is the fuel that concentrated and powerful that that tiny vial could power the mothership? Well then, okay, but...again, he couldn't spend, say, 10 years to gather the fuel necessary to activate Smallship McCommandmodule, but not waste the 10 years it would take to render it flyable, then activate the tractor beam, and then scavenge the necessary fuel in the safety of your honkin' big floating city?

"But Dee," you say. "The humans could have shot that ship down while it was floating up ever so slowly!"

Well, yes. They easily could have.

Just like they did when it was flying, anyway.

Well thought out there, Chrissy!

Also that SAM turret was not out of ammo I don't see why they didn't shoot it down a second time instead of Angermanagement McColonelracisct trying to take it down with an RPG.

Fan
2009-08-17, 10:44 AM
Brilliant movie with great storyline and pretty cool fight scenes. My only problem with the film is that there wasnt enough of it. I want to see more alien vs humans fights. I would love to see a movie where these aliens go to war with humans. Would be epic!

See, Mars Attacks, Independence Day, and many, many other movies.:smalltongue:

Saw the movie, liked it more then either of the examples, the style was original, and was better then I had expected.

Pendragonx
2009-08-17, 11:00 AM
saw this the other day... I'd say it was very well done. The CGI aliens were very well integrated with the human action ... the protagonist was a great actor..

It was rather 'dark' and somewhat disturbing in some scenes... plenty of pain and suffering.. the tone was somewhat reminiscent of the movie The Watchmen, in my mind... overall I don't think it's a movie I'd be interested in seeing again - just not my type of flick.

Faulty
2009-08-17, 11:03 AM
The problems for me came with what wasn't explained at all. We never find out why the ship stopped here, why the aliens seem kind of, well, stupid.

One can assume the ship was breaking down/running out of fuel/whatever near Earth and they parked here because it was the nearest planet.

Why the aliens are "stupid" is explained. They were found sick and hungry when the humans broke into the ship, and it's a possibility that their leadership died. Their weakened condition also let the humans box them into a concentration camp. That is also garnered from things directly said in the movie, or infered from that.

Kyouhen
2009-08-17, 11:04 AM
I very much enjoyed this movie. However, some things.

Remember the alien gobot? WIth the pewpew and the zapguns and the fwashoooooow and the kaPWOOSH? Nifty, eh? And remember how it grabbed all those bullets and then it's all like "POOF" and all the guys died? Remember how it did that with a pig? Yeah, that bot had a Zero Point Energy Manipulator, and we only got to see it twice. Come on.



When I saw it catch the bullets I assumed it was some sort of magnetic field thing. When I saw it throw the pig I lol'd. Hard. The Prawn weapons are made of a thousand types of win. :smalltongue:





This one is a more serious plot thing. Okay, soo, Chrissy McPrawnhead needs to gather fuel. Why does he need fuel? Because apparently their mothership is out of it. And yet! Miraculously, he can gather fuel from scavenged bits of alien tech, which takes him 20 years to find enough of in massive, species-intermingled junkyards. If he knew the ship had no fuel, why didn't he get all of it in the 3 months he spent cooped up in a massive Aliens-only junkyard FULL of tech? Of course, that could be explained by saying "the ship thingy fell off" but then Chrissy could still realize he needed fuel if the falling off was an accident. Or wait, we explain it by saying that the ship fell off on purpose and was hidden, which means that Chrissy was on the planet first! But then, why didn't the Humans notice it falling? Well, maybe they were surprised at the BIG FREAKIN' SHIP and it took them a while to notice that falling piece of "debris." But then Chrissy McPrawnhead was living on earth for three months, eating the rubber vacuum sealant in his ship or something? Possible, I suppose. Whatever.

But what really bugs me? That ship didn't even neeeeeeed any fuel, since apparently the mothership was in possession of it's own motive power anyway, plus it had a big freakin' tractor beam. Is the fuel that concentrated and powerful that that tiny vial could power the mothership? Well then, okay, but...again, he couldn't spend, say, 10 years to gather the fuel necessary to activate Smallship McCommandmodule, but not waste the 10 years it would take to render it flyable, then activate the tractor beam, and then scavenge the necessary fuel in the safety of your honkin' big floating city?

"But Dee," you say. "The humans could have shot that ship down while it was floating up ever so slowly!"

Well, yes. They easily could have.

Just like they did when it was flying, anyway.

Well thought out there, Chrissy!

Also that SAM turret was not out of ammo I don't see why they didn't shoot it down a second time instead of Angermanagement McColonelracisct trying to take it down with an RPG.


I figured Chris had gone down with the command module thing. As the only Prawn that really seems to have any idea how to work the ship I'm assuming he's the captain or something.

The mothership didn't need fuel, but the command module seemed to be lacking in power. No command module power = no mothership control. Why he bothered to fill the fuel container would probably be on the grounds that he didn't want to have the command module run out of power halfway home. Better to be running on a full tank for a long trip than a half-full one, just because you don't know when you might have to take a detour. After all, that 20 years worth of work might only be enough to keep the command module running for 3 years. Besides, it's probably a good thing he spent 20 years getting that stuff together, because look at how much was wasted by Wikus. It sure would suck to spend 10 years getting the fuel together only to have all of it wasted by some careless human.

And I assumed the SAM didn't fire on the command module a second time because A) There was a robot tearing apart everyone who fired anything and the person inside probably didn't want to attract it's attention and B) It's pretty obvious it's trying to get to the now fully functional mothership. They don't necessarily know that that's the command module and without it the mothership can't do anything, and if the robot could wreak that much havoc how much damage do you think the mothership could do? Probably better to not anger it.

Cyrano
2009-08-17, 11:27 AM
When I saw it catch the bullets I assumed it was some sort of magnetic field thing. When I saw it throw the pig I lol'd. Hard. The Prawn weapons are made of a thousand types of win. :smalltongue:


Srsly. One thing about this movie that contributed to a somewhat gritty feel combined with over-the-top-action was that the prawn technology was awesome, and was responsible for the only action move I've ever seen where approximately 30 times as many people exploded as were shot.

ZAPKABOOM

Yeah, the pig actually made me pause during the movie. It was funny, but I was like, "THE MNU IS EXPERIMENTING WITH METALLIC PIGS STOP THEM YOU FOOLS". One of the few times Fridge Logic has actually contributed to improving my understanding of the movie rather than hindering it was when I realized, duuuh, the alien bot was a Hazmat Suit and Merwe was a nerdy bureaucratic dude who had both a gravity gun and the chargyzaplazer from the first Halflife. District 9 is the companion film to Half-life! Half-life explores the perils of science, District 9 the perils of politics! It's so clear to me now.





I figured Chris had gone down with the command module thing. As the only Prawn that really seems to have any idea how to work the ship I'm assuming he's the captain or something.

The mothership didn't need fuel, but the command module seemed to be lacking in power. No command module power = no mothership control. Why he bothered to fill the fuel container would probably be on the grounds that he didn't want to have the command module run out of power halfway home. Better to be running on a full tank for a long trip than a half-full one, just because you don't know when you might have to take a detour. After all, that 20 years worth of work might only be enough to keep the command module running for 3 years. Besides, it's probably a good thing he spent 20 years getting that stuff together, because look at how much was wasted by Wikus. It sure would suck to spend 10 years getting the fuel together only to have all of it wasted by some careless human.

And I assumed the SAM didn't fire on the command module a second time because A) There was a robot tearing apart everyone who fired anything and the person inside probably didn't want to attract it's attention and B) It's pretty obvious it's trying to get to the now fully functional mothership. They don't necessarily know that that's the command module and without it the mothership can't do anything, and if the robot could wreak that much havoc how much damage do you think the mothership could do? Probably better to not anger it.


Yes, see, here's what I'm referring to.

The mothership didn't need fuel, but the command module seemed to be lacking in power.

Do you know how much fuel it takes to turn on some lights? Much, much, much, much less than it takes to propel something. To propel a massive, un-aerodynamic block through the air? Takes a lot of fuel. To turn on a fun, blinky computer? Not so much! If the mothership didn't need fuel, but it could activate the tractor beam on it's own, there's really no reason to even fuel up the command module! You just turn the computer on for five minutes, set a course for Tractorville, turn the computer off whilst you're flying, then set a course for The Planet Of Nothing But Shrimp and then turn the computer off again! If you have extra fuel you can turn on your glass-shattering megaphones and click some obscenities at the MNU, I don't know I'm not a prawnface.

[quote]And I assumed the SAM didn't fire on the command module a second time because A) There was a robot tearing apart everyone who fired anything and the person inside probably didn't want to attract it's attention and B) It's pretty obvious it's trying to get to the now fully functional mothership. They don't necessarily know that that's the command module and without it the mothership can't do anything, and if the robot could wreak that much havoc how much damage do you think the mothership could do? Probably better to not anger it.

Well, that's possible, but then humanity spent a while antagonizing about 1.8 million shrimpy aliens with access to handheld weapons that could easily level buildings and apparently had no ammo constraints, then spent the last bit of the movie shootin' Sabot rounds at a kill-beast that immediately popped their fleshy juice-bag bodies with lightning. They did not show a great sense of self-preservation.

Also, the aliens had tons of uber-guns and they didn't just conquer half the planet. They did no show great threat.

Still, fairly reasonable. I guess. This time.

Violet Octopus
2009-08-17, 11:32 AM
I very much enjoyed this movie. However, some things.
This one is a more serious plot thing. Okay, soo, Chrissy McPrawnhead needs to gather fuel. Why does he need fuel? Because apparently their mothership is out of it. And yet! Miraculously, he can gather fuel from scavenged bits of alien tech, which takes him 20 years to find enough of in massive, species-intermingled junkyards. If he knew the ship had no fuel, why didn't he get all of it in the 3 months he spent cooped up in a massive Aliens-only junkyard FULL of tech? Of course, that could be explained by saying "the ship thingy fell off" but then Chrissy could still realize he needed fuel if the falling off was an accident. Or wait, we explain it by saying that the ship fell off on purpose and was hidden, which means that Chrissy was on the planet first! But then, why didn't the Humans notice it falling? Well, maybe they were surprised at the BIG FREAKIN' SHIP and it took them a while to notice that falling piece of "debris." But then Chrissy McPrawnhead was living on earth for three months, eating the rubber vacuum sealant in his ship or something? Possible, I suppose. Whatever.

But what really bugs me? That ship didn't even neeeeeeed any fuel, since apparently the mothership was in possession of it's own motive power anyway, plus it had a big freakin' tractor beam. Is the fuel that concentrated and powerful that that tiny vial could power the mothership? Well then, okay, but...again, he couldn't spend, say, 10 years to gather the fuel necessary to activate Smallship McCommandmodule, but not waste the 10 years it would take to render it flyable, then activate the tractor beam, and then scavenge the necessary fuel in the safety of your honkin' big floating city?

"But Dee," you say. "The humans could have shot that ship down while it was floating up ever so slowly!"

Well, yes. They easily could have.

Just like they did when it was flying, anyway.

Well thought out there, Chrissy!

Also that SAM turret was not out of ammo I don't see why they didn't shoot it down a second time instead of Angermanagement McColonelracisct trying to take it down with an RPG.

Perhaps the fluid Chris scavenged isn't fuel, but biotech which enables interface with their systems.

Possible scenario: the prawns operate according to a caste-based system, with different castes altered to suit their roles. Ship appears above Earth, leader and/or pilot caste dies, Chris has to scavenge the fluid to turn himself into a pilot. It also makes it more plausible that the fluid would mutate Wikus. It also explains why disaffected aliens didn't use their giant robot in the riots - it needs the pilot caste as well, while their other weapons did not.

Of course there's probably a bunch of points in the movie where Chris says "fuel", thus scuppering this theory.

Cyrano
2009-08-17, 11:41 AM
Perhaps the fluid Chris scavenged isn't fuel, but biotech which enables interface with their systems.

Possible scenario: the prawns operate according to a caste-based system, with different castes altered to suit their roles. Ship appears above Earth, leader and/or pilot caste dies, Chris has to scavenge the fluid to turn himself into a pilot. It also makes it more plausible that the fluid would mutate Wikus. It also explains why disaffected aliens didn't use their giant robot in the riots - it needs the pilot caste as well, while their other weapons did not.

Of course there's probably a bunch of points in the movie where Chris says "fuel", thus scuppering this theory.

First of all, I think the reason they didn't use their giant robots is for the same reason they didn't use their small, INCREDIBLY DESTRUCTIVE HAND-HELD WEAPONRY: They're morons.

Secondly, Chrissy McPrawnhead never applied the fluid to himself. He distilled it, and then placed it straight in the ship's intake thingymajig - which I believe (but am not sure) Chrissy's son refered to in his famous, "Hey random evil stranger human, fuel goes in here." If he snorted the fluid as a rare, disgusting version of cocaine, well then okay. But he didn't!

Nonetheless, the idea the fluid is not fuel but rather, an as-yet-unknown form of plotanium could, concievably, work. Even if Tinykidlet McPrawnhead said it was fuel, come on. He's tiny. You can't trust him.

Keshay
2009-08-17, 11:43 AM
Saw this Saturday night. Good movie: Alien Nation meets The Fly. The pig cannon won me over the apparent plot holes. Actually, all the alien weapons were awesome, though I am a bit disturbed that they chose to use the insta-burger cannon so frequently. (we get it, the guy's dead, its a devestating weapon, lest see more of the wave motion gun or the super-repeating cannon).

What stuck me was Christopher's willingness to forgive, and his unwillingness to leave Wikus behind. By that point in the movie, its readily apparent that Wikus is an unrepentant b-tard, but Chris still honors his promise. Sure, its cliche (the alien being more human than the human) but still, was an interesting touch.

What bothered me was the behavior of the Nigerians. Was thier leader supposed to have some sort of cognitive defect? Attack MNU? Great plan, neglect the fact that they know where you live, have missile turrets, helicopters, and WAY more guys and you might have a plan hatched with half a brain cell. Big fish in small pond syndrome. I think I would have prefered it if the MNU guys had just wtfpwned them, but the battle suit was awesome, so its all good.

Coidzor
2009-08-17, 11:50 AM
So a movie about racism where the discriminated against group is actually shown to be... stupid...

... Great...

Cyrano
2009-08-17, 11:54 AM
Saw this Saturday night. Good movie: Alien Nation meets The Fly. The pig cannon won me over the apparent plot holes. Actually, all the alien weapons were awesome, though I am a bit disturbed that they chose to use the insta-burger cannon so frequently. (we get it, the guy's dead, its a devestating weapon, lest see more of the wave motion gun or the super-repeating cannon).

What stuck me was Christopher's willingness to forgive, and his unwillingness to leave Wikus behind. By that point in the movie, its readily apparent that Wikus is an unrepentant b-tard, but Chris still honors his promise. Sure, its cliche (the alien being more human than the human) but still, was an interesting touch.

What bothered me was the behavior of the Nigerians. Was thier leader supposed to have some sort of cognitive defect? Attack MNU? Great plan, neglect the fact that they know where you live, have missile turrets, helicopters, and WAY more guys and you might have a plan hatched with half a brain cell. Big fish in small pond syndrome. I think I would have prefered it if the MNU guys had just wtfpwned them, but the battle suit was awesome, so its all good.

I put in spoilers there so YOU don't have to! Wait yes you do plox.

P.S. in regards to Nigerian Creepyheadguy. This guy was nuts. He had a belief, simply enough, that eating Who'shisface Protagonist*******'s clearly human-hybrid arm would make him human-hybrid himself, because that's what he'd been told by mystical voodoo ladies. SO! All he needs to beat is one small convoy of MNU soldiers, have a quick stop for lunch, and then suddenly he gets the ability to fire Instagib Microwavelaser, the Slowbullet Hamburger-o-matic and the ever famous Bigby's Shovingyouinthechestgun. After that, he can suddenly take out battalions in a shot, including tanks! Would it have worked? No. But he THOUGHT it would have, and then suddenly he gets military tech more advanced than any human nation combined with any other human nation, combined with Japan. Get his closest lieutenants to have some Armmeat with him, bam. Instant military force. In his mind at least.

^A, not all of them. B, apparently that was part of the point, being as they were convicts or outcasts? Not sure, some other people posted stuff like this. C, they were malnourished and in desperate need of aid, a position of weakness, so they accepted a refugee camp that gradually, and then more quickly, devolved into a ghetto, which I'm sure has realistic parallels. So their living in slums even WITH weaponry is justified. D, they had NO ORGANIZATION. No organization, combined with constant repression and population control, combined with impossible-to-have-free-time-in-working-conditions, means no possible riot. E, even if they revolted they would have eventually been crushed, by ICBMs or cruise missiles if nothing else. Although they would have taken out a city, they'd have all died anyway.

So, yes, they're stupid. In exactly the same ways humans have been stupid for millenia. Which is entirely realistic in any group of any size.

Moff Chumley
2009-08-17, 12:40 PM
Saw it. Loved it. I thought the pitch-black humor, the very convincing faux-documentary atmosphere, and the rather original sci-fi ideas merged with complete cliches was an excellent combination.

Faulty
2009-08-17, 01:47 PM
So a movie about racism where the discriminated against group is actually shown to be... stupid...

... Great...

They're not stupid. Many of them are seen to be very intelligent and they have advanced weaponry and technology. They're just abused and disoriented.

Also...
Does anyone else think this movie is incredibly optimistic?

Wikus was insanely selfish throughout the whole thing. He happily assists in genocide and racial abuse, and only starts helping the prawns when he thinks it will benefit him. The second he feels things aren't going his way, he knocks out Christopher and steals the tiny ship while Christopher's son is in it. Yet this relative bastard ends up risking his life for Christopher and the prawns, holding off the mercenaries despite the grave possibility of death.

Ganurath
2009-08-17, 01:52 PM
Also...
Does anyone else think this movie is incredibly optimistic?

Wikus was insanely selfish throughout the whole thing. He happily assists in genocide and racial abuse, and only starts helping the prawns when he thinks it will benefit him. The second he feels things aren't going his way, he knocks out Christopher and steals the tiny ship while Christopher's son is in it. Yet this relative bastard ends up risking his life for Christopher and the prawns, holding off the mercenaries despite the grave possibility of death.Well, at that point in the movie, the transformations have started getting to his head. Considering how the aliens are willing to help one another when faced with an external threat (that Karmic Death at the end, for example) it could be the alien predispositions starting to take effect.

Kyouhen
2009-08-17, 02:01 PM
Saw this Saturday night. Good movie: Alien Nation meets The Fly. The pig cannon won me over the apparent plot holes. Actually, all the alien weapons were awesome, though I am a bit disturbed that they chose to use the insta-burger cannon so frequently. (we get it, the guy's dead, its a devestating weapon, lest see more of the wave motion gun or the super-repeating cannon).

What stuck me was Christopher's willingness to forgive, and his unwillingness to leave Wikus behind. By that point in the movie, its readily apparent that Wikus is an unrepentant b-tard, but Chris still honors his promise. Sure, its cliche (the alien being more human than the human) but still, was an interesting touch.

What bothered me was the behavior of the Nigerians. Was thier leader supposed to have some sort of cognitive defect? Attack MNU? Great plan, neglect the fact that they know where you live, have missile turrets, helicopters, and WAY more guys and you might have a plan hatched with half a brain cell. Big fish in small pond syndrome. I think I would have prefered it if the MNU guys had just wtfpwned them, but the battle suit was awesome, so its all good.


I think Chris forgiving Wikus was kind of a misunderstanding. Yes, Wikus basically screwed everything up. Wikus was saved by the robot Chris Jr starts up. Now he has to save Chris to make up for Jr saving his life. All Chris knows is that Wikus got his hands on the robot and saved him, thus appearing that he actually did feel sorry for what he had done earlier.

And as for referring to the liquid as fuel, anyone consider the fact it could just be poor translation? :smalltongue: Either way we don't know all the details of what happened when the command module was dropped. The little fuel container might have been damaged with other parts (which would explain all the harvested computers) and that's why he had to harvest more. As for why he didn't just keep turning off the computer, the mothership might simply go into standby when it isn't receiving signals from the module. Telling it to fire up the tractor beam then shutting down the module could result in the mothership just stopping and hovering there again. Of course we really have no idea how any of their tech works anyway, considering simply touching a gun seems to activate it. Maybe the liquid turns it into an almost living object, where the biomass expands and feeds inside of the machine and can sense what's going on around it. Maybe the original biomass in the module died when it crashed. Either way, in my mind they left just enough blanks in how the Prawn tech works and what happened when they landed to leave the impression there's a valid reason for needing that little canister without needing to justify what it is.

JaxGaret
2009-08-17, 02:07 PM
I read something on another site that made a lot of sense: first of all, the fluid is nanotechnology (this is confirmed somewhere). Secondly, it is likely that it is a type of versatile "fixer" fluid, rather than strictly a fuel. The reasoning behind this is that Wikus' broken arm quickly mutated, while the rest of him mutated more slowly - therefore it was the fluid "fixing" his arm, and then the rest of his body since it was "broken", i.e. not like a prawn.

So Chris needed the fluid to fix whatever was wrong with the command module/mothership, in addition to possibly fueling it.

Kyouhen
2009-08-17, 02:09 PM
I read something on another site that made a lot of sense: first of all, the fluid is nanotechnology (this is confirmed somewhere). Secondly, it is likely that it is a type of versatile "fixer" fluid, rather than strictly a fuel. The reasoning behind this is that Wikus' broken arm quickly mutated, while the rest of him mutated more slowly - therefore it was the fluid "fixing" his arm, and then the rest of his body since it was "broken", i.e. not like a prawn.

So Chris needed the fluid to fix whatever was wrong with the command module, in addition to possibly fueling it.


Actually that would make a lot of sense. We know there's got to be an organic component somewhere in all of the Prawn tech, so maybe the liquid was like a catalyst to get that organic part up and running again via 'repairs'.

Cyrano
2009-08-17, 02:12 PM
I read something on another site that made a lot of sense: first of all, the fluid is nanotechnology (this is confirmed somewhere). Secondly, it is likely that it is a type of versatile "fixer" fluid, rather than strictly a fuel. The reasoning behind this is that Wikus' broken arm quickly mutated, while the rest of him mutated more slowly - therefore it was the fluid "fixing" his arm, and then the rest of his body since it was "broken", i.e. not like a prawn.

So Chris needed the fluid to fix whatever was wrong with the command module/mothership, in addition to possibly fueling it.

Finally, this makes sense. Although!

Although.

I would say that a piece of alien biotechnology knowing that a "broken" arm from a planet light years away was significantly more wounded than a "regular" arm is pretty darn odd. But it's better than nothing, and all the things I've said have been nitpicking anyway because the movie was great. Thank you for this piece d'information.

Typewriter
2009-08-17, 02:54 PM
About the 'fuel'

Do you remember in the movie that they kept referring to it as the 'fluid' until Wikus started referring to it as fuel.

Makes me think that the 'fluid' is more to their race than just a simple fuel source, even possibly the catalyst for their evolution to the point they are now. That would help to explain Wikus transformation.

I don't know, it just seemed to me like they were treating it with a sort of reverance, but that could just be because it took them so long to gather up such a small amount.

I think the 'fluid' is much more important to the aliens than they really let on.

All in all I really enjoyed the movie, though my mind does keep going back between two different points:
1. Plot holes...
2. Unanswered questions are not plot holes....

Faulty
2009-08-17, 03:07 PM
Well, at that point in the movie, the transformations have started getting to his head. Considering how the aliens are willing to help one another when faced with an external threat (that Karmic Death at the end, for example) it could be the alien predispositions starting to take effect.

He was still 2/3s human, and even after becoming prawn he was still capable of making a gift for his wife. There was definitely still a lot of his original mindset there and it endured.

Kyouhen
2009-08-17, 03:15 PM
He was still 2/3s human, and even after becoming prawn he was still capable of making a gift for his wife. There was definitely still a lot of his original mindset there and it endured.


How about the fact that the mercs want him dead, the MNU wants to dissect him, the general human population thinks he's had sexual relations with the Prawn and as such are likely to be too keen on helping him and killing all those people when he attacked the MNU headquarters puts him in poor standing with the law. He tried to fly up to the mothership so he could fix himself, and that didn't turn out too well. Now the only people who aren't trying to kill him are the Prawn and he now knows that Christopher is the only one that can help him.

Faulty
2009-08-17, 03:18 PM
He started running off, then turned around and went back for Christopher. If it was merely for self-interest, I'm sure he would have helped Christopher immediately.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-08-17, 03:33 PM
They're not stupid. Many of them are seen to be very intelligent and they have advanced weaponry and technology. They're just abused and disoriented.

Also...
Does anyone else think this movie is incredibly optimistic?

Wikus was insanely selfish throughout the whole thing. He happily assists in genocide and racial abuse, and only starts helping the prawns when he thinks it will benefit him. The second he feels things aren't going his way, he knocks out Christopher and steals the tiny ship while Christopher's son is in it. Yet this relative bastard ends up risking his life for Christopher and the prawns, holding off the mercenaries despite the grave possibility of death.
Most of the Prawns are simply dumb uneducated slummers. White trash. Redneck rampage in alien form. Think of the country bumpkins from Deliverance. Christopher just happened to be the valedictorian from the Prawn equivalent of MIT.

As my brother put it: "Not everybody can be an astronaut."

It also doesn't help their public image that they don't need to process their meat. Humans are wusses like that. Everything humans eat needs to be processed somehow.

Well, it morphed into an action movie towards the end, so actual character development came on pretty fast. At any rate, Wikus is the kind of person who wasn't particularly sadistic. He's just part of the machinery and is otherwise capable of compassion; it's just that he doesn't really identify with the aliens at first. They're just part of his job, humanitarian causes were secondary at best.



I read something on another site that made a lot of sense: first of all, the fluid is nanotechnology (this is confirmed somewhere). Secondly, it is likely that it is a type of versatile "fixer" fluid, rather than strictly a fuel. The reasoning behind this is that Wikus' broken arm quickly mutated, while the rest of him mutated more slowly - therefore it was the fluid "fixing" his arm, and then the rest of his body since it was "broken", i.e. not like a prawn.

So Chris needed the fluid to fix whatever was wrong with the command module/mothership, in addition to possibly fueling it.
That's not sensible so much as it is a handwave. "Nanotechnology" is the sci-fi equivalent of cosmic rays (e.g. Fantastic Four) and DNA mutation (e.g. Fallout, X-Men, etc.). It enables a plot and nothing more. And it's a bit of a leap to just slap that reasoning on even though we have no reason to expect that the writer wanted to provide that justification.

I'd still expect something like that to just give you cancer or outright kill you.

Anyway, it also bothers me that they could have just strapped any other Prawn to a gun and shocked him to fire the gun. Really, at the very least, you'd think they'd try to hack the guns or dissect them.

Even if you can't accurately reproduce the gun, there's probably a lot that science can still learn from them.

Dark-Lord
2009-08-17, 03:37 PM
Brilliant movie, Best Sci-Fi to come out for a long time.
And what made the move truly increadible is that most, if not all of the weapons were scientificly plausible. From the Inertial Cannon (Pig Gun)
to what appears to be either molecular destabilisation or somthing that causes every cell in your body to burst its wall. Overall a very good film.

One point raises itself though. If the surviving prawns are fairly stupid, how on earth did anybody many to learn a launguage unlike anything else a human being has ever known?

Cyrano
2009-08-17, 03:37 PM
Even if you can't accurately reproduce the gun, there's probably a lot that science can still learn from them.

They weren't testing the weapons. They were testing Wikus. To see how "alien" he really was where it counted.

Furthermore, there IS a lot that science learned from them. Check out some of the promotional material going around, such as Chris' blog. They got technology from stuff! Just not blasty shooty technology.

Hawriel
2009-08-17, 11:06 PM
I dont know if any one mentioned this, well because im jumping to the end here, but there is more than just another race relations film.


All of the commentary by the after the fact interveiw and news shots where justifacations, self denials, lies and dissinterest about the truth. To me that was the strongest message. The ease in which a society can become monsters.

I honestly liked the movie and how it was shot. I do agree that the last half or so hit the generic action movie snag a little. Also Wiker turning point should have happened sooner.

edit oh yeah..

The pig, bad ass.

DrakebloodIV
2009-08-18, 02:29 PM
Furthermore, there IS a lot that science learned from them. Check out some of the promotional material going around, such as Chris' blog. They got technology from stuff! Just not blasty shooty technology.

Could you link that, I'd like to see it.

Cyrano
2009-08-18, 02:36 PM
Could you link that, I'd like to see it.

First post here: a fictional plane with a laser pulse beam. Third post: refers to intellectual property theft of technology owned by aliens (waveform monitor? malakai vectorscope? H'okay there, boys.) (http://mnuspreadslies.com/index.php?page=4) Possibly more but I'm lazy, so, there ya go.

doliest
2009-08-18, 04:02 PM
I'd say it's the second best flick I've seen this year, behind Friday the 13th.

Soras Teva Gee
2009-08-19, 01:29 AM
This may be getting into alternate interpretation but what I liked best about the movie was that it the degree it avoided aliens being a stand in for racism. Bear with me folks, while often entwined the problems of ghetto/slums and refugees are more complex then simple discrimination. District 9 didn't settle for the underclass scenario, the prawns far more then they were victimized/oppressed were ignored by humanity at large. Like any number of dirt poor places in the world today

And the solution seemingly agreed upon by all is to have the prawn leave. Hardly the easy and typical kumbaya song of equal life together there. And I think the movie is better for that.


Oh, and did the alien power armor during the end fight resemble an Evangelion to anyone else? Just in general shape, obviously, but still, I couldn't help but keep thinking 'Hey, Mini-Eva'.

Well Peter Jackson was doing the live-action Eva effects last time I checked... nice to see that special effects are at the point when there isn't a technological bar to a movie with giant mecha anymore.

Piedmon_Sama
2009-08-19, 01:57 AM
Sawr it, held off on posting because I don't have much to say other than add to the heap of praise. The movie is very tightly plotted and shot; I was actually expecting irritating shaky-cam going in, but it wasn't that bad (or maybe I've gotten used to it by now?) Anyway, I really appreciated that they chose to go with less exposition and more action; it's very sparse, there's no belabored or overlong justification for the why/how, which I've never felt is all that necessary for sci-fi that isn't trying to be "hard" or whatever.

Also I really like the Prawns, just on a look level. They're really alien, kind of gross, and at the same time very expressive (okay the big eyes are kind of a cheat and stood out against their cephaloid features, whatever). I almost want to see more of this universe for more mecha/alien action.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-08-19, 05:09 AM
Well Peter Jackson was doing the live-action Eva effects last time I checked... nice to see that special effects are at the point when there isn't a technological bar to a movie with giant mecha anymore.
To put it bluntly, I don't want Eva made into a live-action. I don't see it translating it very well. Eva is very high concept to start with and it also seems inevitable that it will suffer through cultural translation.

Not that Evangelion was a shining masterpiece to start with. It was always a bit idiosyncratic in my opinion.

BRC
2009-08-19, 09:43 AM
Saw it last night. Great movie, but I noticed something. At one point they mentioned somthing about Wikus being the only person to survive this process, implying it has happened before, just nobody survived.

More thoughts later.

Kyouhen
2009-08-19, 03:15 PM
Saw it last night. Great movie, but I noticed something. At one point they mentioned somthing about Wikus being the only person to survive this process, implying it has happened before, just nobody survived.

More thoughts later.


That was when the MNU had him locked up right? Odds are they had been trying to find ways to incorporate Prawn DNA into humans for a while, and Wikus is the first one to successfully become a hybrid. That particular process probably hasn't happened before, but people have tried to get similar results.

Verruckt
2009-08-19, 05:22 PM
Saw it last night. Great movie, but I noticed something. At one point they mentioned somthing about Wikus being the only person to survive this process, implying it has happened before, just nobody survived.

More thoughts later.

Judging by what we saw of MNU's medical research methodology that's not exactly surprising. I think they mean that no one has survived their attempts at bonding the genetics. Wikus is almost certainly the first time someone has gotten their hands on (or a face full of) the alien fluid phlebotinium, hence the survival as opposed to whatever meat-axe surgical routes MNU attempted.

SteveMB
2009-08-19, 08:46 PM
It can be assumed that he will commit suicide because:
1) His corporation is under investigation for the Mengele esque experiments, to which he and the other heads will probably be convicted for
2) If MNU isn't outright disbanded, news of the horrors will likely cause the stock to plummet
3) His daughter probably despises him for what he did
Basically, facing life imprisonment, the end of his company MNU, and that his daughter probably disowned him, I wouldn't be surprised if he put a bullet between his eyes.

And also
He's no doubt dealing with the issue of "the human race is probably now big-red-capital-Superman-"S" screwed, and it's your fault (or at least 'you're the one it's likely to be pinned on')".

Soras Teva Gee
2009-08-19, 11:08 PM
To put it bluntly, I don't want Eva made into a live-action. I don't see it translating it very well. Eva is very high concept to start with and it also seems inevitable that it will suffer through cultural translation.

Yes but there is no technical bar to making it look well right, something not the case even ten years ago. Its remains completely vulnerable to Adaption Decay as anything else, but that's another issue. Eva I think has enough well, respect from people that its possible to have a decent film made. Several films in the past years have eroded my traditional cynicism about something being an impossible movie to make.

Getting back on topic District 9 has its origins as a failed Halo movie project. The wreckage of a failed project on its own sounds like it could be horrible. I feel on balance the weird geeky movies I like have been seeing an improvement in substance, and more importantly acceptance of said substance.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-08-19, 11:43 PM
Yes but there is no technical bar to making it look well right, something not the case even ten years ago. Its remains completely vulnerable to Adaption Decay as anything else, but that's another issue. Eva I think has enough well, respect from people that its possible to have a decent film made. Several films in the past years have eroded my traditional cynicism about something being an impossible movie to make.
The very problem is that people will try to be faithful to it. It's not "impossible" it's just very-very difficult. Hollywood is full of eccentric people who happen to be hacks.

If the movie sticks to the tinfoil hat conspiracies rather than the navel-gazing, it could actually be a very good movie. Even in its original incarnation, the themes felt somewhat forced. So arguably, there's nothing to be faithful to.


Getting back on topic District 9 has its origins as a failed Halo movie project. The wreckage of a failed project on its own sounds like it could be horrible. I feel on balance the weird geeky movies I like have been seeing an improvement in substance, and more importantly acceptance of said substance.
Actually, logically speaking, WETA probably learned a lot from it. Since it seems like they used similar filming techniques involving with guys running around in costumes.

Then there's precendent in LOTR with the orcs as well. So it's something they've done a lot already.

AmberVael
2009-08-20, 10:53 AM
So I watched District 9 last night.
I'm afraid I don't quite have the same opinion as everyone else, but I get the feeling it wasn't my kind of movie, really...

I liked the way they handled some of the stuff- how Wikus was a selfish, specist jerk the whole way through, pretty much (except, as some people have pointed out, towards the very end. But we don't see much of that, so I dunno quite what to think). How it wasn't a typical heart warming lovey dovey message.
But...

There was extreme, gratuitous disgustingness. Seriously, do I really need to see some of it? I get the picture- leaking black fluids, falling off fingernails and teeth, throwing up alien bile, an arm ripping up as it turns into an alien arm, chopping off thumbs, getting threatened with drills, zappy devices, axes, saws, and knives...
Some of it? Okay, yeah, I could handle that. But it was everywhere. It didn't go two seconds without me going "ewww, stop!" But the movie just shoved it in the face of the audience over and over. Maybe some people like that, but I don't.
There just wasn't all that much point to it, really. A bit of it made sense and could add to the movie. Too much of it is just too much.

Also, what is up with this giant corporation running things? Seriously. No. They were like "this was an international event" but suddenly you've got MNU as the only place dealing with it? Uh... yeah, I doubt that'd be the case. MNU was just being set up as the 'big evil corporation' so that when Wikus was a mean protagonist, you could still have an evil guy to point out and go "yeah, those are the real bad guys." Gee, evil corporations? How original.

MNU also decides to harvest Wikus's organs. Ooookay. Why's that? They're all like "we need all of him." Er... how do you know that? You've never seen someone like this before. Don't you want to know what made him like that (I mean, they didn't really seem to study the fluid, after all. They pulled it out, looked at it, then stuck it in a glass case rather than testing it on someone else)? Shouldn't there be hundreds and thousands and years worth of tests before you can really decide what to do (or can do)? You're just going to kill the only person who has successfully been combined with an alien? Oh yes, brilliant idea. Well, don't let logic get in the way of killing someone and taking them entirely apart for DNA. It isn't like there is a chance you'll fail with experiments to combine other random people with what you harvest.
Seriously, are they scientists, or are they madmen with butcher knives?

And then there was the armed forces stereotype. Oh boy. Don't you love it how people with guns inevitably end up as pie eating, gleaming heroes who manage to deflect bullets with their macho, glorious bodies, or scummy dirt bags who shoot, beat, or yell at things with only the smallest provocation because they're sadists and love debasing others and themselves? Can't we get an in between? Please?
It seems MNU, the evil corporation, employs the evil scumbag variety. Of course, what else would they use. Duh. So we have the armed forces running around with guns and shooting things when they twitch too much. Of course, they're just being paranoid and specist, right? Right?
Oh wait, there was that scene with the MNU mercenary chief guy when he was kicking and pointing a gun at Christopher and said "I get paid to be a sadist! YAY!" Please. Ugh.

Essentially, between the 'evil corporation' and the 'mad scientists' and 'sadistic mercenaries,' District 9 built up a huge case of Black and Gray morality. They were like "look! The protagonist is mean and selfish and a coward, but also loves his wife. He's kind of a normal gray guy!" That I could understand. But then they toss in the above three sections and I roll my eyes, because they take the evil guys to a ridiculous extreme. The only way it could get worse is...

...oh right. The nonsensical, crazy Nigerian group. They didn't even seem to have a very good theme to them. The first time I saw them I was impressed- I mean, a black market kinda gang that took over with underhanded tactics. Okay, okay. That added to the gray morality. They were selfish and just making a profit for themselves.
Then they added in the witchcraft thing. That was just... oookay. Really random. I'm pretty sure they tossed that in just to have another person who wanted to cut in Wikus in a disgusting manner.
Writer 1: "You know what we need? A GUY WHO WANTS TO EAT WIKUS'S ARM!"
Writers 2-5: "YEAH! AWESOME!"
Monkeys: *Screech and bang on typewriters.*
I liked the underhanded blackmarket gang idea. Random wacky voodoo beliefs? Not so much.

There's already been a discussion about the fluid, but still. Engine fuel does not work as a Polymorph spell. If it is a fixer fluid, then how on earth is it working? What needed to be fixed on the ship that was biological? Why did it register Wikus as needing to be 'fixed?' How does it determine what needs fixing, and in what way? Is it turning the ship into a prawn? Make some sense!

Also, on the awesome action scenes:
Yes, they were awesome. But seeing Wikus, Christopher, and Chief MNU Sadist Mercenary survive fight after fight while in the middle of gun fire and explosions and bad situations was just... hard to believe. The Mercenary and Christopher were the biggest in this. Christopher just sat out in the open for minutes staring at this corpse for apparently no reason- I mean, okay, he can be upset for what happened. But staring incomprehensibly for a while? What was going on?

Christopher: "It smells like catfood. Does it have catfood? I don't see it. I wonder what cats taste like."

But anyways, Christopher stands out in the middle of gunfire staring at a corpse without any motion and somehow manages to avoid getting hit once. I'm pretty sure even the storm troopers have good enough aim to shoot someone who is standing stock still.
Mercenary man, on the other hand, just keeps coming back, as if he had a respawn point hidden somewhere nearby. When he was torn apart I was like "YES JUST DIE NOW."
You can have characters survive for a long time and I won't complain, but at least make an effort to have the fight seem like it is slightly weighed in their favor, okay?
As a side note, I thought Christopher making a bomb so quickly was hilarious. He just snatched up a couple of parts, clicked them together, and tossed it at something. BOOM.
Alien Technology: Made in a modular manner for your convenience! Because you never know when you might need an explosive.


To get to the punch: I think the basis was good. The execution? Could have used a lot of refining and work.

Piedmon_Sama
2009-08-20, 11:31 AM
You know that thing with the Nigerians is pretty real, right? I mean Witch Doctors in Africa still make a profit selling the organs of albinos as aphrodesiacs (they're not harvested voluntarily), and there are still tribes that actually believe you gain the power of what you eat; it makes sense they'd extend it to aliens.

AmberVael
2009-08-20, 11:34 AM
You know that thing with the Nigerians is pretty real, right? I mean Witch Doctors in Africa still make a profit selling the organs of albinos as aphrodesiacs (they're not harvested voluntarily), and there are still tribes that actually believe you gain the power of what you eat; it makes sense they'd extend it to aliens.

I was going to get more in depth about why I found that whole issue to be disjointed and absurd, but it unfortunately ties in too closely to real world religions for me to be able to discuss on this site.
Yes, it is possible for someone to believe that. Do I think it was a good, consistent idea to add to the movie? No.

JaxGaret
2009-08-20, 03:22 PM
Also, what is up with this giant corporation running things? Seriously. No. They were like "this was an international event" but suddenly you've got MNU as the only place dealing with it? Uh... yeah, I doubt that'd be the case. MNU was just being set up as the 'big evil corporation' so that when Wikus was a mean protagonist, you could still have an evil guy to point out and go "yeah, those are the real bad guys." Gee, evil corporations? How original.

I think you missed the part where MNU is a caricature of the U.N. with some Blackwater thrown in.

MNU stands for Multi National United -as in all (or most) of the countries have agreed to allow this one umbrella corporation to handle the aliens. Thus none of the governments are liable for the atrocities going on there in the name of "humanity".


MNU also decides to harvest Wikus's organs. Ooookay. Why's that? They're all like "we need all of him." Er... how do you know that? You've never seen someone like this before. Don't you want to know what made him like that (I mean, they didn't really seem to study the fluid, after all. They pulled it out, looked at it, then stuck it in a glass case rather than testing it on someone else)? Shouldn't there be hundreds and thousands and years worth of tests before you can really decide what to do (or can do)? You're just going to kill the only person who has successfully been combined with an alien? Oh yes, brilliant idea. Well, don't let logic get in the way of killing someone and taking them entirely apart for DNA. It isn't like there is a chance you'll fail with experiments to combine other random people with what you harvest.
Seriously, are they scientists, or are they madmen with butcher knives?

They explained it in the movie - he was rapidly mutating into a prawn; at that point he was the only viable half-human half-prawn hybrid to ever exist, so they wanted to understand why he was part human but also able to handle prawn weapons. Once he finished mutating into a full prawn, he might not be any more valuable to them than any other prawn.


It seems MNU, the evil corporation, employs the evil scumbag variety. Of course, what else would they use. Duh. So we have the armed forces running around with guns and shooting things when they twitch too much. Of course, they're just being paranoid and specist, right? Right?

Did you miss the fact that the prawns would often attack the MNU soldiers, harming or killing them? I recall one MNU soldier who sat idly by as a prawn knocked his gun to the ground, then simply absorbed a powerful attack from the prawn (I thought I saw human blood spray, but I'm not sure). Then there was the prawn who launched an alien grenade at what presumably was more soldier targets. Also, some of the prawn had been conducting a terrorist campaign in the area for a while.

Soldiers have a very tough job. Even the noblest of men can become "twitchy" when faced with such circumstances.


Oh wait, there was that scene with the MNU mercenary chief guy when he was kicking and pointing a gun at Christopher and said "I get paid to be a sadist! YAY!" Please. Ugh.

That's exactly who you would want at the head of your anti-alien mercenary team, yes.


...oh right. The nonsensical, crazy Nigerian group. They didn't even seem to have a very good theme to them. The first time I saw them I was impressed- I mean, a black market kinda gang that took over with underhanded tactics. Okay, okay. That added to the gray morality. They were selfish and just making a profit for themselves.
Then they added in the witchcraft thing. That was just... oookay. Really random. I'm pretty sure they tossed that in just to have another person who wanted to cut in Wikus in a disgusting manner.
Writer 1: "You know what we need? A GUY WHO WANTS TO EAT WIKUS'S ARM!"
Writers 2-5: "YEAH! AWESOME!"
Monkeys: *Screech and bang on typewriters.*
I liked the underhanded blackmarket gang idea. Random wacky voodoo beliefs? Not so much.

The gang was doing the same thing that MNU was doing - trying to get the alien weapons to work for humans. Hey, you never know - it might have even worked. They don't know why exactly the alien guns wouldn't fire if a human was wielding them; it's not completely absurd to think that maybe eating an alien would allow you to wield it too.


There's already been a discussion about the fluid, but still. Engine fuel does not work as a Polymorph spell.

As stated before, Chris never referred to it as fuel.


If it is a fixer fluid, then how on earth is it working?

Nanotechnology.


What needed to be fixed on the ship that was biological?

The problem didn't necessarily have to be biological; the fixer fluid could easily fix non-biological problems too. But there could very well be a lot of biological tech incorporated into the ship as well.


Why did it register Wikus as needing to be 'fixed?'

Theoretically, because he was prawn-like (a bipedal organism), but not a prawn.


How does it determine what needs fixing, and in what way?

Presumably, if it is a fixer fluid, the prawns programmed it to function, so they decided how it determines what needs fixing.


Make some sense!

Makes pretty good sense to me.


Also, on the awesome action scenes:
Yes, they were awesome. But seeing Wikus, Christopher, and Chief MNU Sadist Mercenary survive fight after fight while in the middle of gun fire and explosions and bad situations was just... hard to believe. The Mercenary and Christopher were the biggest in this.

Agreed, there was a little too much plot armor going around, but I didn't find it to be so over the top that it detracted from an otherwise quality movie much.


Christopher just sat out in the open for minutes staring at this corpse for apparently no reason- I mean, okay, he can be upset for what happened. But staring incomprehensibly for a while? What was going on?

It was his daughter.


But anyways, Christopher stands out in the middle of gunfire staring at a corpse without any motion and somehow manages to avoid getting hit once. I'm pretty sure even the storm troopers have good enough aim to shoot someone who is standing stock still.

They were a little busy focusing fire on the guy with the lightning cannon who was killing the hell out of them...



Mercenary man, on the other hand, just keeps coming back, as if he had a respawn point hidden somewhere nearby. When he was torn apart I was like "YES JUST DIE NOW."

You can have characters survive for a long time and I won't complain, but at least make an effort to have the fight seem like it is slightly weighed in their favor, okay?

Like I said before, yeah, he had a little too much plot armor.



As a side note, I thought Christopher making a bomb so quickly was hilarious. He just snatched up a couple of parts, clicked them together, and tossed it at something. BOOM.
Alien Technology: Made in a modular manner for your convenience! Because you never know when you might need an explosive.

Emphasis mine. Yeah, you never do know when you might need an explosive - it could easily have been premeditated to have a quick-to-build bomb around. It's a good idea.


To get to the punch: I think the basis was good. The execution? Could have used a lot of refining and work.

I think the execution could have been better, sure, but as you see above, I think that a lot of your concerns are addressed. IMO they did a pretty good job on the movie overall.

AmberVael
2009-08-20, 03:53 PM
I think you missed the part where MNU is a caricature of the U.N. with some Blackwater thrown in.

MNU stands for Multi National United -as in all (or most) of the countries have agreed to allow this one umbrella corporation to handle the aliens. Thus none of the governments are liable for the atrocities going on there in the name of "humanity".
It is still a corporation. I cannot believe that someone would allow a private group to come in and take over everything. It simply wouldn't happen.


They explained it in the movie - he was rapidly mutating into a prawn; at that point he was the only viable half-human half-prawn hybrid to ever exist, so they wanted to understand why he was part human but also able to handle prawn weapons. Once he finished mutating into a full prawn, he might not be any more valuable to them than any other prawn.
This still doesn't explain why on earth they'd want to kill him. You don't need to kill someone to get their DNA. What is more, he was valuable as a source of information for how it happened, how he got the item in question, etc.
Would they need to get his DNA right then? Probably, yeah. But killing him and chopping him into bits isn't really going to tell them anything they can't find out in another way. Besides maybe what his screams sound like, or how hard he'll beat them up when they try it.


Did you miss the fact that the prawns would often attack the MNU soldiers, harming or killing them? I recall one MNU soldier who sat idly by as a prawn knocked his gun to the ground, then simply absorbed a powerful attack from the prawn (I thought I saw human blood spray, but I'm not sure). Then there was the prawn who launched an alien grenade at what presumably was more soldier targets. Also, some of the prawn had been conducting a terrorist campaign in the area for a while.

Soldiers have a very tough job. Even the noblest of men can become "twitchy" when faced with such circumstances.
That I can understand. Racist and paranoid? Okay. That's what I stated already.
But some of them took it beyond that, and it was obvious.


That's exactly who you would want at the head of your anti-alien mercenary team, yes.
No. No it isn't. Someone like that isn't capable of making rational and logical decisions, and are likely to do very stupid and rash things.


The gang was doing the same thing that MNU was doing - trying to get the alien weapons to work for humans. Hey, you never know - it might have even worked. They don't know why exactly the alien guns wouldn't fire if a human was wielding them; it's not completely absurd to think that maybe eating an alien would allow you to wield it too.
Plausibility: Conceivable.
Objective: Understandable.

Again, I have no problem with their wacky beliefs. That's not the problem I have with it. The problem was that it was an entirely unnecessary gimmick added in for more cheap disgusting thrills and action.


Makes pretty good sense to me.
You give plenty of explanations. But these were never really hinted at, never pointed to, never explained or anything. Just because I CAN make a convoluted explanation for something doesn't mean it is a good one.
I remain dubious.
Besides, 'nanotechnology' is really, really annoying. It is the explanation used for EVERYTHING now.


It was his daughter.
I do not recall that. Still, he stood there motionless without showing grief or anything. Maybe prawns don't show grief in the same way humans do. But that isn't precisely helpful to the audience, you know.


They were a little busy focusing fire on the guy with the lightning cannon who was killing the hell out of them...
Ah yes, the guy with the lightning gun shooting completely at random and yet managing to hit people anyways. This certainly makes things more realistic. Say, you know what would also be realistic? A grenade tossed at him. Nothing was preventing that.


Emphasis mine. Yeah, you never do know when you might need an explosive - it could easily have been premeditated to have a quick-to-build bomb around. It's a good idea.
Oh come on.
They have weapons with explosives, they have explosives... you don't need something that can turn into an explosive. It is dangerous, impractical, and pointless.
When you think the idea of sword bombs (http://adventurers-comic.com/d/0104.html) is valid, then you might want to rethink your position.

JaxGaret
2009-08-20, 05:14 PM
It is still a corporation. I cannot believe that someone would allow a private group to come in and take over everything. It simply wouldn't happen.

Like I said, it is a caricature of the U.N. and Blackwater combined, both of which do that sort of thing on a regular basis.


This still doesn't explain why on earth they'd want to kill him. You don't need to kill someone to get their DNA. What is more, he was valuable as a source of information for how it happened, how he got the item in question, etc.
Would they need to get his DNA right then? Probably, yeah. But killing him and chopping him into bits isn't really going to tell them anything they can't find out in another way. Besides maybe what his screams sound like, or how hard he'll beat them up when they try it.

Why are you focused on it being the DNA only that they need? DNA itself doesn't solve every problem. They wanted the body parts mid-mutation to see what exactly was happening. The reason they had to kill him and harvest quickly was because the mutation process was quickly progressing.


No. No it isn't. Someone like that isn't capable of making rational and logical decisions, and are likely to do very stupid and rash things.

He seemed capable of making rational, logical decisions often enough. Soldiers don't need to be zen geniuses 24/7 to be good at being soldiers.

Also, you're missing the fact that the outcome of those "stupid and rash things" was usually dead prawns, which was perfectly acceptable to MNU.


You give plenty of explanations. But these were never really hinted at, never pointed to, never explained or anything. Just because I CAN make a convoluted explanation for something doesn't mean it is a good one.
I remain dubious.

A good portion of the information comes from mnuspreadslies.com, the companion website to the movie.


Ah yes, the guy with the lightning gun shooting completely at random and yet managing to hit people anyways. This certainly makes things more realistic. Say, you know what would also be realistic? A grenade tossed at him. Nothing was preventing that.

They may not have been equipped with grenades. Grenades might not be a good idea to use against an enemy like the prawn who may be quick enough to intercept and hurl said grenades right back at you.


Oh come on.
They have weapons with explosives, they have explosives... you don't need something that can turn into an explosive. It is dangerous, impractical, and pointless.
When you think the idea of sword bombs (http://adventurers-comic.com/d/0104.html) is valid, then you might want to rethink your position.

Christopher's shack was full of computer parts and a chem lab, not weapons, IIRC.

AmberVael
2009-08-20, 06:12 PM
Why are you focused on it being the DNA only that they need? DNA itself doesn't solve every problem.
Because, if I recall correctly, that's what they said they needed. So that's why I'm focusing on it- because they said they did.


A good portion of the information comes from mnuspreadslies.com, the companion website to the movie.
Um... so, if I want to enjoy and understand a movie, I now have to go and find something else too? I wasn't made aware that this wasn't a self contained movie.

So you can either argue 1) they didn't explain it in the movie, or 2) the movie is not meant to stand on its own, but they did a half-arsed job of making this known.
Neither sounds good to me.


They may not have been equipped with grenades. Grenades might not be a good idea to use against an enemy like the prawn who may be quick enough to intercept and hurl said grenades right back at you.
May may may.
The idea is, in all the random gunfire, with all the MNU people vs Christopher and Wikus, they all decided to shoot for Wikus, none of them could get him despite the fact that he was a non-combatant hiding behind weak cover, aiming a weapon he barely knew how to use at random.
They also decided against shooting the open enemy target who was staring at a corpse. For over a minute.

This is not a precisely intelligent or plausible scene, in my mind.


Christopher's shack was full of computer parts and a chem lab, not weapons, IIRC.

They weren't in Christopher's shack. They were in MNU with a bunch of random parts, which were likely weapons already.
If he picked one up and blasted their way out, that would have made sense.
If he found one that had a grenade part to it (you know, like a gun with a secondary mode of fire to it or something), and blasted their way out with that part, that would have made sense.
As it was, he picked up a bunch of random stuff, plucked it apart in under six seconds and reassembled it, and made a nicely timed and sized explosive that worked for the escape.

It is crazy.

Tyrant
2009-08-20, 06:38 PM
Because, if I recall correctly, that's what they said they needed. So that's why I'm focusing on it- because they said they did.
As silly as it may sound, perhaps even the samples they were drawing from him were still mutating (since we are apparently dealing with nanotechnology). They needed to know how it all worked and they couldn't let him mutate all the way. They couldn't 100% say it was his DNA, or his arm (remember the human arm worked too), or any other part so they needed to be able test each and every part in their current state. That means it's time to slice and dice.

Although working off of the possibility the samples were still mutating that should probably apply to all of his parts as well. I'm more than willing to chalk it all up to an overkill reaction.

May may may.
The idea is, in all the random gunfire, with all the MNU people vs Christopher and Wikus, they all decided to shoot for Wikus, none of them could get him despite the fact that he was a non-combatant hiding behind weak cover, aiming a weapon he barely knew how to use at random.
Do we know how accurate the targeting on the lightning weapon is? I don't remember it doing a whole lot of missing so it's possible it actively seeks out the nearest target along it's firing path which would mean his ability to aim is almost irrelivent. That would make him the target worth worrying about. Although them completely missing Chris is questionable.

As for grenades, they may have been expressly forbidden from using them in the building. I'm sure there is lots of valuable stuff laying around in there they would rather not have blown to bits if it can be avoided.

They weren't in Christopher's shack. They were in MNU with a bunch of random parts, which were likely weapons already.
If he picked one up and blasted their way out, that would have made sense.
If he found one that had a grenade part to it (you know, like a gun with a secondary mode of fire to it or something), and blasted their way out with that part, that would have made sense.
As it was, he picked up a bunch of random stuff, plucked it apart in under six seconds and reassembled it, and made a nicely timed and sized explosive that worked for the escape.
Could he have simply grabbed the assorted power packs from the weapons and rigged them to overload? Their weapons have to have some kind of power source and given what the lightning gun does I am guessing if one of those power packs were to go critical it would basically become a bomb. He was one of the smart ones remember.

AmberVael
2009-08-20, 06:56 PM
As silly as it may sound, perhaps even the samples they were drawing from him were still mutating (since we are apparently dealing with nanotechnology). They needed to know how it all worked and they couldn't let him mutate all the way. They couldn't 100% say it was his DNA, or his arm (remember the human arm worked too), or any other part so they needed to be able test each and every part in their current state. That means it's time to slice and dice.

Although working off of the possibility the samples were still mutating that should probably apply to all of his parts as well. I'm more than willing to chalk it all up to an overkill reaction.
Well, if we DO look into the extra information, we'll know that the Fixer Fluid probably doesn't have to work on living, biological stuff.
So how is killing him going to help?

Really, the moment seems pretty out there. They just wanted to set the scientists up as evil and give motivation for Wikus to run away.


Do we know how accurate the targeting on the lightning weapon is? I don't remember it doing a whole lot of missing so it's possible it actively seeks out the nearest target along it's firing path which would mean his ability to aim is almost irrelivent. That would make him the target worth worrying about. Although them completely missing Chris is questionable.

As for grenades, they may have been expressly forbidden from using them in the building. I'm sure there is lots of valuable stuff laying around in there they would rather not have blown to bits if it can be avoided.
Grenade thing makes sense.
The accuracy of the lightning weapon seemed relatively accurate, but I DO recall it missing at least once... and if I recall correct, the mercenary chief was the one it missed, which does say something about plot armor. =P

And the Chris thing was really the point anyways.


Could he have simply grabbed the assorted power packs from the weapons and rigged them to overload? Their weapons have to have some kind of power source and given what the lightning gun does I am guessing if one of those power packs were to go critical it would basically become a bomb. He was one of the smart ones remember.

Yes, he could have done that.
But imagine the process.

You find a random assortment of weapons.
You identify which ones could be used as explosives.
Decide what type of explosive to make.
You remove the correct parts that you need for said explosive.
You make the explosive.
You use the explosive.

He did all the making in a matter of moments.
Now also keep in mind that he needed to these things as well:

Knowledge of weaponry detailed enough to where he could identify different parts from different weapons as explosive or not.
Knowledge of how much each part of the weaponry would explode, so that he wouldn't make a charge big enough that it would kill he and Wikus (or just him. Who cares about Wikus, after all).
The ability to remove key parts swiftly and easily, without use of extra tools.
The ability to link all these parts without something going wrong.
Etc.

I could see him making a bomb out of all that stuff. That makes sense to me. But the speed at which he does it is insane. I am really forced to consider Modular Technology for Instant Bombs as a real option there.

Jack_Banzai
2009-08-20, 07:07 PM
Regarding the character of Wikus:

This is going to sound bad, but I don't remember him being quite as sadistic as some of you made him out to be. Sure, he acted like a racist - there's no denying that - but recall his pleas when he was MNU's captive and they forced him to fire the alien weapon at the live Prawn. How he begged to shoot a pig instead. I think that the beginning of his turning point was right there.

Props to Sharlto Copley for pulling off a pretty decent acting job. How easily could anyone go from being disgusted by something only to find oneself slowly changing into them and eventually coming to realize that they, too, are "only human"? Pretty challenging task and I thought he pulled it off pretty smoothly. If he started as a nice guy and ended a nice guy we just wouldn't give a damn. But starting as a guy you kind of think of as ineffectual and a vaguely racist buffoon, then turning into a paragon of self denial, then captive without rights, then fugitive, then angry loner, then desperado, and finally savior... that's a tall order for a two hour flick, and he did it as well as I imagine it could have convincingly been done.

AmberVael
2009-08-20, 07:21 PM
Regarding the character of Wikus:

This is going to sound bad, but I don't remember him being quite as sadistic as some of you made him out to be. Sure, he acted like a racist - there's no denying that - but recall his pleas when he was MNU's captive and they forced him to fire the alien weapon at the live Prawn. How he begged to shoot a pig instead. I think that the beginning of his turning point was right there.

Props to Sharlto Copley for pulling off a pretty decent acting job. How easily could anyone go from being disgusted by something only to find oneself slowly changing into them and eventually coming to realize that they, too, are "only human"? Pretty challenging task and I thought he pulled it off pretty smoothly. If he started as a nice guy and ended a nice guy we just wouldn't give a damn. But starting as a guy you kind of think of as ineffectual and a vaguely racist buffoon, then turning into a paragon of self denial, then captive without rights, then fugitive, then angry loner, then desperado, and finally savior... that's a tall order for a two hour flick, and he did it as well as I imagine it could have convincingly been done.

I don't think anyone really called Wikus sadistic, from what I've read. He's too much of a coward to be sadistic.
Honestly, I'm not sure how much he really improved, either.

I think the biggest trait we saw in him was selfishness. He just wanted to do his job and get paid. He just wanted to go back to normal. He just wanted to see his wife again. Etc etc. Very understandable trait.

I think the character of Wikus was probably the best thing in the entire movie. He was convincing, realistic, and had more aspects of a real human than I've seen in many a protagonist, even in movies I've liked better.

I hope you haven't been confusing my statements about the Mercenary Chief and Wikus as being the same person. The Mercenary chief was sadistic. Wikus wasn't.

I do think Wikus may have improved, but I don't think it was directed by a noble sort of mindset. It was generated from self interest... which, I admit, is how a lot of people change their views.

Tyrant
2009-08-20, 07:21 PM
Well, if we DO look into the extra information, we'll know that the Fixer Fluid probably doesn't have to work on living, biological stuff.
So how is killing him going to help?
If he is going to just keep mutating, they have to stop that to study him. The only way they know will stop that, is to stop his biological processes (kill him, in other words). If he keeps living, he keeps mutating (as the movie proves at the end). If he is cut up into pieces, maybe he stops mutating and they can study his organs.

Yes, he could have done that.
But imagine the process.

You find a random assortment of weapons.
You identify which ones could be used as explosives.
Decide what type of explosive to make.
You remove the correct parts that you need for said explosive.
You make the explosive.
You use the explosive.

He did all the making in a matter of moments.
Now also keep in mind that he needed to these things as well:

Knowledge of weaponry detailed enough to where he could identify different parts from different weapons as explosive or not.
Knowledge of how much each part of the weaponry would explode, so that he wouldn't make a charge big enough that it would kill he and Wikus (or just him. Who cares about Wikus, after all).
The ability to remove key parts swiftly and easily, without use of extra tools.
The ability to link all these parts without something going wrong.
Etc.

I could see him making a bomb out of all that stuff. That makes sense to me. But the speed at which he does it is insane. I am really forced to consider Modular Technology for Instant Bombs as a real option there.
There's a couple things to consider. First, we know most of the prawns on Earth aren't overly bright. Do we know how smart their average soldier was/is? It's possible that their weapons are made so that any idiot can use them and maintain them. If that is the case, Chris (being obviously smarter than the others) may know them inside and out and he may know exactly what he is doing (possibly from experience). I just don't see a serious problem with it because nothing in the movie says he should have a problem doing what he did.

AmberVael
2009-08-20, 07:29 PM
If he is going to just keep mutating, they have to stop that to study him. The only way they know will stop that, is to stop his biological processes (kill him, in other words). If he keeps living, he keeps mutating (as the movie proves at the end). If he is cut up into pieces, maybe he stops mutating and they can study his organs.

You missed my point. What reason do they have to think that he'll stop mutating once they kill him?
They've got none.
Even if they studied and tried to figure it out, my hypothesis is that it would continue after he was dead, especially if it was indeed nanotechnology that would also work on an almost entirely unliving and unbiological ship.

Tyrant
2009-08-20, 08:20 PM
You missed my point. What reason do they have to think that he'll stop mutating once they kill him?
They've got none.
Even if they studied and tried to figure it out, my hypothesis is that it would continue after he was dead, especially if it was indeed nanotechnology that would also work on an almost entirely unliving and unbiological ship.
Like I said, if he lives they know he will keep mutating. If they kill him, maybe he doesn't. Some chance beats no chance. You could very well be right in that he would keep mutating, but they know he will keep mutating if he lives so they are willing to risk it.

Kind of like Watchmen (the movie anyway). The people that get killed were going to die in the nuclear war anyway, so if killing them now might save others it's better than everyone dying anyway. Some chance is better than no chance.

Verruckt
2009-08-20, 08:23 PM
Just as a point of clarification MNU is more likely not based on the UN or Blackwater at all, as there are a pair of analogues much closer to South Africa that seem more likely. Firstly MNU itself seems to be based on South African arms manufacturer Denel Mechem, both because MNU is stated to be a large arms manufacturer and because a great deal of the guns and vehicles used by MNU are actually creations of Denel in real life. Secondly their mercenaries are probably based on the now defunct Executive Outcomes, a South African PMC that was really the first of the great modern mercenary companies. The head Merc being named Kobus, the same name as one of the more famous mercenaries of that company lends credence to that claim.

That is a bit odd though, because by all accounts the real Kobus is a pretty cool guy, the one in the movie... less so.

JaxGaret
2009-08-20, 08:39 PM
Hmm, interesting, Verruckt. Thanks for that info about Denel Mechem.

By Blackwater I meant companies like Blackwater, of which Executive Outcomes is a prime example. Blackwater is simply the one most familiar to Americans such as myself.

Also, there are at least aesthetic references to the U.N. in MNU, such as their use of white for all of their vehicles and weapons.

Verruckt
2009-08-20, 08:43 PM
Also, there are at least aesthetic references to the U.N. in MNU, such as their use of white for all of their vehicles and weapons.

Yeah that aspect is certainly there, they were certainly trying to touch on as many issues aesthetically as they could. I could be utterly wrong about my conclusions, but it just seems more likely to me that a South African movie would use South African themes :smallsmile:.

JaxGaret
2009-08-20, 08:46 PM
It just seems more likely to me that a South African movie would use South African themes :smallsmile:.

Makes sense to me that they would use South African models, yeah. Arms manufacturers and mercenary armies are a global problem though, not just South African.

Trog
2009-08-20, 10:56 PM
Regarding the character of Wikus:

This is going to sound bad, but I don't remember him being quite as sadistic as some of you made him out to be. Sure, he acted like a racist - there's no denying that - but recall his pleas when he was MNU's captive and they forced him to fire the alien weapon at the live Prawn. How he begged to shoot a pig instead. I think that the beginning of his turning point was right there.
I don't know if sadistic is quite the proper term for what he was. I think at the beginning he was the prawns as something sub-human so he was very removed from their suffering. First of all they mentioned in the beginning that the term "prawns" was considered to be racist or derogatory. Shortly thereafter we see Wirkus referring to them as prawns.

Then, while in District 9, he finds the house full of baby prawns still developing and he lights it on fire and makes jokes about how they sound like popcorn popping when they explode from the heat. If we regarded prawns as equal to humans he would have just set fire to a nursery and made jokes about how the dying babies sounded. Clearly he doesn't see them as equals and probably has the attitude one would expect of an insect exterminator or something similar.

At the end he risks his life to aid Christopher, sure, but I see that as still a selfish act. He is doing it in hopes that Christopher will return to fix him so he can be back with his wife.

Myrmex
2009-08-21, 07:36 PM
It seems like most of the "plot holes" (plot armor aside) are from people just not paying enough attention. For instance, the mech had an auto-target sequence, and recognized prawns as friendly. Well, Wilkes as a partial prawn as friendly, presumably because he looked like a prawn.


I very much enjoyed this movie. However, some things.

Remember the alien gobot? WIth the pewpew and the zapguns and the fwashoooooow and the kaPWOOSH? Nifty, eh? And remember how it grabbed all those bullets and then it's all like "POOF" and all the guys died? Remember how it did that with a pig? Yeah, that bot had a Zero Point Energy Manipulator, and we only got to see it twice. Come on.

This one is a more serious plot thing. Okay, soo, Chrissy McPrawnhead needs to gather fuel. Why does he need fuel? Because apparently their mothership is out of it. And yet! Miraculously, he can gather fuel from scavenged bits of alien tech, which takes him 20 years to find enough of in massive, species-intermingled junkyards. If he knew the ship had no fuel, why didn't he get all of it in the 3 months he spent cooped up in a massive Aliens-only junkyard FULL of tech? Of course, that could be explained by saying "the ship thingy fell off" but then Chrissy could still realize he needed fuel if the falling off was an accident. Or wait, we explain it by saying that the ship fell off on purpose and was hidden, which means that Chrissy was on the planet first! But then, why didn't the Humans notice it falling? Well, maybe they were surprised at the BIG FREAKIN' SHIP and it took them a while to notice that falling piece of "debris." But then Chrissy McPrawnhead was living on earth for three months, eating the rubber vacuum sealant in his ship or something? Possible, I suppose. Whatever.

But what really bugs me? That ship didn't even neeeeeeed any fuel, since apparently the mothership was in possession of it's own motive power anyway, plus it had a big freakin' tractor beam. Is the fuel that concentrated and powerful that that tiny vial could power the mothership? Well then, okay, but...again, he couldn't spend, say, 10 years to gather the fuel necessary to activate Smallship McCommandmodule, but not waste the 10 years it would take to render it flyable, then activate the tractor beam, and then scavenge the necessary fuel in the safety of your honkin' big floating city?

"But Dee," you say. "The humans could have shot that ship down while it was floating up ever so slowly!"

Well, yes. They easily could have.

Just like they did when it was flying, anyway.

Well thought out there, Chrissy!

Also that SAM turret was not out of ammo I don't see why they didn't shoot it down a second time instead of Angermanagement McColonelracisct trying to take it down with an RPG.

It's alien technology "fuel" was what the human translation of what he was using was. A tiny tube of bioreactive material is clearly not the same sort of fuel you would put in your car. I think it's more like the "command sequence" to get his ship to start up or whatever. Like a transcription factor for a gene.


One can assume the ship was breaking down/running out of fuel/whatever near Earth and they parked here because it was the nearest planet.

Why the aliens are "stupid" is explained. They were found sick and hungry when the humans broke into the ship, and it's a possibility that their leadership died. Their weakened condition also let the humans box them into a concentration camp. That is also garnered from things directly said in the movie, or infered from that.

They could also be from a worker caste, or simply work by a different social paradigm, what with being aliens and having a different evolutionary history.


Finally, this makes sense. Although!

Although.

I would say that a piece of alien biotechnology knowing that a "broken" arm from a planet light years away was significantly more wounded than a "regular" arm is pretty darn odd. But it's better than nothing, and all the things I've said have been nitpicking anyway because the movie was great. Thank you for this piece d'information.

There are hints that previous humans have been converted into prawns, just that it rarely goes over well. Likely because there's exposure to alien "fuel", just that it's not particularly high grade.


That's not sensible so much as it is a handwave. "Nanotechnology" is the sci-fi equivalent of cosmic rays (e.g. Fantastic Four) and DNA mutation (e.g. Fallout, X-Men, etc.). It enables a plot and nothing more. And it's a bit of a leap to just slap that reasoning on even though we have no reason to expect that the writer wanted to provide that justification.

I'd still expect something like that to just give you cancer or outright kill you.

This was hinted at during Wilkes' capture- others have been exposed, and it leads to death. It seems that it's simply of a higher grade material, and begins "fixing" the human into a prawn.


Anyway, it also bothers me that they could have just strapped any other Prawn to a gun and shocked him to fire the gun. Really, at the very least, you'd think they'd try to hack the guns or dissect them.

Even if you can't accurately reproduce the gun, there's probably a lot that science can still learn from them.

They likely tried all that, bur for the sake of the story, it's not really worth showing.

Kane
2009-08-22, 07:40 PM
Just saw it. It was good, though the violence and such in the beginning was rather excessive. (Though, admittedly, for a purpose.)

Having gone to see it upon recommendation, (I think I read here that it was an 'intelligent' scifi movie. :smallannoyed:), I'm kind of disappointed. There were lots of inconsistencies, or at least a lot of things that generated copious fridge logic.

(Gets turned into a prawn by the fuel, much?)

Swordlol
2009-08-22, 07:45 PM
Just saw it. It was good, though the violence and such in the beginning was rather excessive. (Though, admittedly, for a purpose.)

Having gone to see it upon recommendation, (I think I read here that it was an 'intelligent' scifi movie. :smallannoyed:), I'm kind of disappointed. There were lots of inconsistencies, or at least a lot of things that generated copious fridge logic.

(Gets turned into a prawn by the fuel, much?)

Prawns use they DNA and biotechnology, not that too far off to consider how a human might interact with it.

Verruckt
2009-08-22, 09:03 PM
I for one wasn't especially boggled by the Prawn all purpose fluid at all. They're aliens, I can't even hope to understand what logic guides the creation of their technology or what power it might have.

I don't know, I just left it at that.

The Orange Zergling
2009-08-22, 09:14 PM
I for one wasn't especially boggled by the Prawn all purpose fluid at all. They're aliens, I can't even hope to understand what logic guides the creation of their technology or what power it might have.

I don't know, I just left it at that.

Same here; I didn't feel like it was a cop-out either, I thought they handled it just fine. I don't think the movie would have been quite as good if they had explained everything in intricate detail.

On the subject of gratuitous gore; I thought it was rather necessary. It's a dark story and would definitely not have had the same impact if it wasn't as gruesome and sickening as it was.

wadledo
2009-08-22, 11:29 PM
I'm one to say that the gore was just enough to get the point across.
There wasn't any gratuitous stuff, except where the prawns were concerned, and in D9, which admittedly is a run down slum created by a corperation that only cares about cheap labor and weapons.
For the corpses and body parts, you'll notice how the only ones we see in large amounts are Prawn ones, which could possibly be intentional on the part of the director, to make it seem both more surreal that arm should creep me out, but it's not because it looks like a bug arm), and all the more horrifying (oh sh!t, I stopped caring about the mounds of prawn bodies until chris and his kid showed up).

Phase
2009-08-23, 10:29 PM
Yeah, I thought the technology was handled well, with the biological basis and everything.

These are aliens. The mere fact that they're capable of comprehending human speech is astonishing, and you want technology that is completely in synch with what we know? For all we know, these creatures could have achieved a system of magnetic repulsion before working out the wheel.

EDIT: Oh, and apparently the kid's name is Oliver.

EDITx2: I will forever refer to these aliens as "Non-humans" "Creatures" or "Aliens." "Prawn" is rude.

Mikeavelli
2009-08-24, 01:35 AM
I'm on the hater's side here, and I'll tell you why;

It's billed as a Science Fiction movie, and fails. the whole setup doesn't make sense!

On Weapons;

1. the Prawns didn't get down to the surface on their own (aside from maybe Chris, in the command module). They can't get back up TO the ship, so any travels were one-way. In addition, they were trapped up there until the humans came and cut open the ship, so the humans were responsible for getting them all down from the ship in the first place. Policing technology under those circumstances would be trivial.

Since Weapons were one of the primary concerns even back in the beginning, even if there "was no planning" - it's a leap of logic that defies belief to think that the MNU could overlook that.

2. Despite #1, the movie makes a point of how weapons caches, even 20 years later, are still fairly common. This creates a problem, because either:

A. The Prawns are intelligent enough to realize they're not an organized army, and can't hope to fight against the billions of humans on this planet; in which case the prawns are much more intelligent than the movie has portrayed them. Full stop here, because a large amount of the movie depends on Prawns being stupid.

or B. The prawns are just as stupid, and violent as they're portrayed, in which case they'd use their weapons instead of just taking the abuse they're given at the hands of humans.

3. The African dudes trading weapons for cat food. Wikus knew where they were, and that they had weapons. Wikus isn't exactly the sharpest nail in the bucket, so it's not like he deduced that on his own. MNU knew the African camp had alien weapons.

Why the hell weren't they dealt with earlier? Warlords in Africa have been toppled by multinational corporations in the real world for FAR less than gathering up priceless alien artifacts.

[hr]

On Racism:

The film is beating me over the head with the message "racism is bad" from beginning 'till end. Unfortunately, the majority of the Prawns in the movie really are stupid, violent, and dangerous! This got mentioned a little earlier in the thread, and it was waved away without much fanfare.

Frankly, with the exception of Chris, I really would want the Prawns we see in the movie separated from humanity!

Also, the MNU acts purely to make people boo and hiss and hate them. They're portrayed as needlessly evil, why would you make Wikus shoot a Prawn? Why would you ever want to kill Wikus in order to study his transformation into a Prawn? the transformation is the process that they're studying! Yes, yes, I've read the explanations already offered in this thread, they're just weak justifications to make us hate the MNU at the expense of making sense.


[hr]

That said, I have to agree on a few points. The dude who played Wikus is a fantastic actor. As someone who's been in the military, and had to deal with the occasional moron-in-charge, he brought the role alive here.

I actually liked the action sequence at the end. Sure, they didn't make sense either, but I don't really expect them to.

wadledo
2009-08-24, 01:52 AM
On two parts I can clearly explain:
1. The "Evil Africans."
Look how much damage the africans did to the MNU force when they had two minutes to prepare.
Imagine what would happen if the MNU forces either drew away from their camp, or started paying extra attention to it.
The African gangsters are neither stupid, nor lacking in weapons, so any attempt to try and force them out (which is basically the only way they would get them out, aside from just blowing up the place) would lead to "unnecessary casualties."
In addition, if MNU started fighting humans in D9, their already shaky public support probably wouldn't go up, and they'd have to deal with that as well.

2. Why did the scientist at certain German facilities force inmates to sit in freezing cold water, flay their flesh from their nerves and inject various chemicals and harmful bodies into them?
Science.
And why do we remember a lot of these experiments today?
Because some of them, especially the frostbite one, are the basis for a lot of what we now know about the nervous system, how the body reacts to extreme cold and heat shifts, as well as how the body warms itself in sub-zero temperatures. Without those horrible experiments, there's a good chance that the coat you wear in the winter-time would keep you a lot less warm.
Scientists need to cover all the angles so that they don't miss anything.
What if, when the Prawn was in the line of fire, the gun wouldn't shoot?
That would be an amazingly important bit of information that could have been overlooked if they hadn't done that.

Icewalker
2009-08-24, 02:50 AM
I think that the overall idea and plot of the movie was alright, but not great, however what they did decide to do they executed very well in terms of scenes, flow, characters, etc. Many of the tech related plot holes people are complaining about can be, in my opinion fairly, handwaved off as very advanced technology which, never having been explained, could do any variety of things.

Basically, if something doesn't necessarily do something (ie, mysterious liquid doesn't necessarily mutate you into an alien) that doesn't mean that in these circumstances, this unexplained case couldn't do so. As long as there is a reasonable explanation, even a convoluted one, I don't see a problem with this kind of plot element.

As to the gore, I think they went just a little over the top. The gore itself in the movie wasn't particularly bad, but it was bad enough that I was slightly nervous throughout the beginning of the movie especially that they would take it way too far (like, the mysterious illness leading to his head exploding graphically). Also, the kickass doom laser makes people explode, we get it. Don't need to see it happen dozens of times. Show us more stylish badass other technology! :smallyuk:

I thought it was a very good, but not amazing movie. I feel like I have more things to say but I'm too tired to think of them.

Cheesegear
2009-08-24, 03:35 AM
I only have one gripe about the movie;
The goop. Having read this thread, I will pre-emptively say that it's alien goop. Probably could turn Vikus into an alien. How the hell do we know? Their weapons function on a biological level, it's not a big leap to assume they have some sort of knowledge of genetics - whether by accident or design.
...Hell, Chris' son could activate the Mothership. Remotely. Who knows what they can do?

But, it's the way Vikus turns. (Barring the end) One hand/forearm? That's it? It looks like he ingested or inhaled (or both) the goop. Therefore, wouldn't the serum enter his bloodstream bi- or unilaterally? Both hands, and legs, and eyes, and bone structure should all have been affected at the same time. His mutation would probably be slower that way, and markedly less pronounced.

Also, far too much use of the F* word. No. Too much. Learn a new word Vikus.
(Although I did chuckle when Christopher said it)

daggaz
2009-08-24, 04:13 AM
Huh... the biggest plot hole I could see (there are plenty of questions about the goo, etc.. but they are just unanswered questions) was how in the nine hells did the aliens sneak all that weaponry, including giant armored personal bots, down into the slums, especially when they are supposedly unorganized idiots and the dropship is out of repair and the mother ship, floating a kilometer above in plain view of MNU and the world, is supposedly completely out of hack without a charged motherboard/dropship??

I mean... COME ON!!!:smallfurious:

And then MNU allows the nigerians to buy it all for catfood??? YEAH RIGHT. Those Nigerians would NEVER be allowed access to district 9 in the real world, especially if there was a multinational governmental agency bent on claiming the tech on its own.

I thought it was an entertaining movie, but it was poorly thought out, mostly just kinda slapped together loosely like a quick campaign, and the ratings and praise are well above its reach. Some Danish critic actually wrote, "E.T., Go Home." *Groans* Its just a hollywood summer action flick under the guise of something better. Not a bad film, but not anything I am going to be saving for my kids to watch, either.

JaxGaret
2009-08-24, 04:22 AM
1. the Prawns didn't get down to the surface on their own (aside from maybe Chris, in the command module). They can't get back up TO the ship, so any travels were one-way. In addition, they were trapped up there until the humans came and cut open the ship, so the humans were responsible for getting them all down from the ship in the first place. Policing technology under those circumstances would be trivial.

Since Weapons were one of the primary concerns even back in the beginning, even if there "was no planning" - it's a leap of logic that defies belief to think that the MNU could overlook that.

You're missing the fact that MNU wanted the weapons to come down to the planet.

The whole point of the whole MNU endeavor was to get the alien weapons technology to work in human hands.


2. Despite #1, the movie makes a point of how weapons caches, even 20 years later, are still fairly common. This creates a problem, because either:

A. The Prawns are intelligent enough to realize they're not an organized army, and can't hope to fight against the billions of humans on this planet; in which case the prawns are much more intelligent than the movie has portrayed them. Full stop here, because a large amount of the movie depends on Prawns being stupid.

or B. The prawns are just as stupid, and violent as they're portrayed, in which case they'd use their weapons instead of just taking the abuse they're given at the hands of humans.

The prawns do use their weapons, as is shown multiple times in the film - usually in guerrilla-type or terrorist actions rather than outright warfare.

Also, A and B are not mutually exclusive. Yes, they are smart enough to realize that they can't win a military action against the entire world in their current condition, but that doesn't necessarily make them "smart". It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. Furthermore, prawns aren't all of equal intelligence; some are smarter than others.


3. The African dudes trading weapons for cat food. Wikus knew where they were, and that they had weapons. Wikus isn't exactly the sharpest nail in the bucket, so it's not like he deduced that on his own. MNU knew the African camp had alien weapons.

Why the hell weren't they dealt with earlier? Warlords in Africa have been toppled by multinational corporations in the real world for FAR less than gathering up priceless alien artifacts.

The african gang was the primary supplier of catfood to the prawns, aka they were the drug dealers for the prawns. This of course is a role that the MNU would rather not have (plausible deniability is paramount), so they allow the gang to take care of it.

Also, you don't think that those weapons are there for MNU to take whenever they want? They could roll in to the warlord's camp any time they want - whenever it is most advantageous for them.


But, it's the way Vikus turns. (Barring the end) One hand/forearm? That's it? It looks like he ingested or inhaled (or both) the goop. Therefore, wouldn't the serum enter his bloodstream bi- or unilaterally? Both hands, and legs, and eyes, and bone structure should all have been affected at the same time. His mutation would probably be slower that way, and markedly less pronounced.

Like I stated above, it's theorized that the fixer fluid fixed his arm first because it was damaged in the fight (so it was either a priority target for the fluid to fix, or made the arm more susceptible to the fluid's properties), then worked its way to the rest of him.

Myrmex
2009-08-24, 05:56 AM
On Racism:

The film is beating me over the head with the message "racism is bad" from beginning 'till end. Unfortunately, the majority of the Prawns in the movie really are stupid, violent, and dangerous! This got mentioned a little earlier in the thread, and it was waved away without much fanfare.

Frankly, with the exception of Chris, I really would want the Prawns we see in the movie separated from humanity!

That's what I liked so much about the film. What, you think people's prejudices are without basis?


But, it's the way Vikus turns. (Barring the end) One hand/forearm? That's it? It looks like he ingested or inhaled (or both) the goop. Therefore, wouldn't the serum enter his bloodstream bi- or unilaterally? Both hands, and legs, and eyes, and bone structure should all have been affected at the same time. His mutation would probably be slower that way, and markedly less pronounced.

It was also the arm he broke. I think the goop started working on that part first, cause it was trying to "fix" him.


And then MNU allows the nigerians to buy it all for catfood??? YEAH RIGHT. Those Nigerians would NEVER be allowed access to district 9 in the real world, especially if there was a multinational governmental agency bent on claiming the tech on its own.

Actually, I think the MNU were brought in well after D9 was established, and moving all the prawns to a new internment camp was them bringing them under their control. Until then, I don't think they wanted a direct confrontation with the Nigerians because it would have been too costly, either in political capital or in manpower.

Mikeavelli
2009-08-24, 11:58 AM
You're missing the fact that MNU wanted the weapons to come down to the planet.

The whole point of the whole MNU endeavor was to get the alien weapons technology to work in human hands.


The MNU wanted the weapons in their hands. There's absolutely no reason why that couldn't have been accomplished while they were transporting the aliens down.




The prawns do use their weapons, as is shown multiple times in the film - usually in guerrilla-type or terrorist actions rather than outright warfare.



You're right, I don't remember a prawn ever actually using one of their weapons. I don't even think Chris did during the raid on the base...

This point actually makes even less sense.




The african gang was the primary supplier of catfood to the prawns, aka they were the drug dealers for the prawns. This of course is a role that the MNU would rather not have (plausible deniability is paramount), so they allow the gang to take care of it.



Wikus was tossing cans of cat food to the Aliens back in the beginning of the movie, and he wasn't being subtle about it.

[hr]

The 'Evil Africans' were an armed group operating within spitting distance of one of the most paranoid areas in the world. They're criminals, don't have the protection of the government, and would be trivial to justify destroying.

Having a group like that near sensitive operations causes problems. Like, the problems they caused in the movies, that's why they'd be pretty high prioritiy to be taken down.

When the merc team DID move in, they didn't take any on-screen casualties, and they did it on the fly. With proper planning, they could have taken down the camp and retrieved those weapons, especially the walker suit thing.

There's just no logical reason for them to be there.

wadledo
2009-08-24, 12:09 PM
The 'Evil Africans' were an armed group operating within spitting distance of one of the most paranoid areas in the world. They're criminals, don't have the protection of the government, and would be trivial to justify destroying.

Having a group like that near sensitive operations causes problems. Like, the problems they caused in the movies, that's why they'd be pretty high prioritiy to be taken down.

When the merc team DID move in, they didn't take any on-screen casualties, and they did it on the fly. With proper planning, they could have taken down the camp and retrieved those weapons, especially the walker suit thing.

There's just no logical reason for them to be there.

Is there any indication that they knew the walker was there?
There were no anti-armor (by this I mean stuff actually designated or show to be anti-armor. I don't know weapons well enough to say from a glance wither or not they are, though none of them looked like they had something that would blow up a tank.) weapons deployed, and they did take on screen casualties.
What happened to the guy who was left in the HumV when they blew it up/drove a car into it?
Not biscuits and flowers, I can tell you that.

The Orange Zergling
2009-08-24, 12:24 PM
The MNU wanted the weapons in their hands. There's absolutely no reason why that couldn't have been accomplished while they were transporting the aliens down.

I don't think MNU actually transported them down but rather was called in later, after the prawns were all evacuated from the mothership. Meaning smugglers could possibly look at the weapons and think 'Whoa, that's cool' or 'I could sell that for a fair penny' and stow them aboard the helicopters unnoticed. Then, after they got on the ground and the prawns being prawns...


You're right, I don't remember a prawn ever actually using one of their weapons. I don't even think Chris did during the raid on the base...

This point actually makes even less sense.

Chris did at the beginning of the raid, at least - he used the machine gun thing right after he blew the hole in the side so they could get in.

Also there was some kind of massive blue explosion in one of the shacks at the beginning of the film when they were talking about prawn technology and weapons. It's fair to assume that this is one of their weapons going off and that a prawn fired it because Wikus hadn't been exposed to the fluid yet.


The 'Evil Africans' were an armed group operating within spitting distance of one of the most paranoid areas in the world. They're criminals, don't have the protection of the government, and would be trivial to justify destroying.

Having a group like that near sensitive operations causes problems. Like, the problems they caused in the movies, that's why they'd be pretty high prioritiy to be taken down.

When the merc team DID move in, they didn't take any on-screen casualties, and they did it on the fly. With proper planning, they could have taken down the camp and retrieved those weapons, especially the walker suit thing.

There's just no logical reason for them to be there.

You could argue that they're there because of negligence - MNU, for all of its technology, manpower and firepower really just does not care enough to crack down on it because they don't think they can possibly be a threat (after all, they can't even use these weapons they're stockpiling). Or at least they don't until they get in the way of Wikus at the very end.

I'm pretty sure that mercenaries died on-screen in the shoot out, too.

daggaz
2009-08-25, 07:09 AM
You're right, I don't remember a prawn ever actually using one of their weapons. I don't even think Chris did during the raid on the base...
.

Actually in the beginning of the MNU raid, like the first fifteen minutes of the movie, they showcase an alien using an energy weapon to vaporize a shack.

Thurbane
2009-08-25, 04:41 PM
I saw D9 last night, and I have to say it's one of the better movies I've seen in a while. I have found most recent sci-fi to be pretty disappointing (Star Trek was lacklustre, Tranformers 2 was just plain awful!), but this was really great. A solid 8/10 for me.

JaxGaret
2009-08-25, 04:46 PM
Actually in the beginning of the MNU raid, like the first fifteen minutes of the movie, they showcase an alien using an energy weapon to vaporize a shack.

There is also the bomb set off in the terrorist attack (offscreen, we just see the aftermath of the explosion as a smoking ruin), and mention of the fact that this wasn't close to the first time such an attack has been pulled off.


The MNU wanted the weapons in their hands. There's absolutely no reason why that couldn't have been accomplished while they were transporting the aliens down.

Because MNU doesn't commit outright theft of equipment from the mothership. What they do is seize illegal weapons caches planetside.

In essence, most MNU activity can be summed up thusly: take as much as possible from the prawns, rape pillage and steal from them, but make it seem like you're the good guys.


Wikus was tossing cans of cat food to the Aliens back in the beginning of the movie, and he wasn't being subtle about it.

That was to facilitate the move to D10. MNU weren't the daily suppliers.

Verruckt
2009-08-25, 07:32 PM
Is there any indication that they knew the walker was there?
There were no anti-armor (by this I mean stuff actually designated or show to be anti-armor. I don't know weapons well enough to say from a glance wither or not they are, though none of them looked like they had something that would blow up a tank.) weapons deployed, and they did take on screen casualties.
What happened to the guy who was left in the HumV when they blew it up/drove a car into it?
Not biscuits and flowers, I can tell you that.

Spoilered, because... well, spoilers:

A sniper hits the Exosuit twice with a Denel Mechem NTW-20 anti-material rifle that is pretty clearly loaded with high explosive rounds. Korbus fires a 20mm grenade launcher (a PAW-20, another Denel Mechem weapon) shortly thereafter. He is seen later firing an RPG-7 at the command module, but that could just as easily been something he picked up off of a Nigerian rather than brought with him expecting a heavily armored threat.

Aside from that, I think I can answer a couple of questions that have been raised.

As to why the Nigerians were not dealt with by MNU: while the Nigerians may look MNU look bad, excising them from District 9 would be costly, not just in terms of man power but in terms of PR. The eviction was risky enough, a full scale incursion against heavily armed human adversaries into a zone with an already jumpy populace is not a pretty proposition. Indeed, one of the bonuses of the eviction would be stripping away the cover the Nigerians had by living within the Prawn settlement. Without the settlement mucking things up the Nigerians would fall quickly to the mercs, and their weapons wold belong to MNU.

On the subject of the weaponry: Two things are mentioned at the beginning of the movie that might help explain this. Firstly and most simply, the number of Prawns on that ship was huge. In the early days of the humanitarian effort (before, if you recall, MNU was placed entirely in control) it would be extremely difficult, even with stringent security, to weed out all of the contraband brought down by over a million beings. Especially when you consider that at the time we had no idea how their technology looked like, much less how it worked, so a disassembled weapon might have been simplicity itself to get through any screening process, or to strip the guns off of an Exosuit and pass it off as an alien forklift. Secondly, and probably less likely, an engineer being questioned on the whereabouts of the command module mentions that "Crap has been falling off that ship for years!" it is entirely possible that some of that crap is containers of various Prawn goods, including weaponry. Maybe even something as large as an exosuit could have made it to the ground whole.

My two cans of Purina anyway.

JaxGaret
2009-08-25, 10:17 PM
Secondly, and probably less likely, an engineer being questioned on the whereabouts of the command module mentions that "Crap has been falling off that ship for years!" it is entirely possible that some of that crap is containers of various Prawn goods, including weaponry. Maybe even something as large as an exosuit could have made it to the ground whole.

Might I just add that it's quite possible that that "crap" has been "falling" off the ship for years - in other words that Chris has been remotely controlling the mothership the whole time, and that the "crap" "falling" off the ship was actually being actively jettisoned so that he could use it.

Or it could have been just randomly falling off. Either way, it could explain why Chris is seen rooting around in piles of stuff looking for fluid-bearing items - he is searching for equipment that fell off the ship.

Sereg
2009-08-29, 10:34 AM
Yay! It's finally arived in the country where it was set.

While I am probably biased due to being South African, I really enjoyed it.

One thing that should probably be said is that most things in the movie are related to real issues in South Africa. Muti, for instance, is a real problem here and as has been mentioned, sometimes contains human body parts. The prawns act a lot like inhabitants of our townships, especially from the Apartheid era. To be honest, I don't consider the actions of any parties involved to be unbelievable considering the setting.

As far as Wikus is concerned, I agree with TVtropes about him being Lawful Neutral. He doesn't understand that there is something wrong with the orders that he is given until he experiances what MNU is capable of.

Being a geneticist, I shuddered a bit inside at what the fluid does to Wikus, though, if it really is a nanotechnology "fixer" fluid then it at least makes some sense and I'm willing to forgive that anyway.

kamikasei
2009-09-04, 05:21 PM
That was very good. Unfortunately, the main character's accent about half the time sounded like he was from darkest Dublin. This was inappropriately hilarious.

Shadowdweller
2009-09-04, 09:02 PM
That was very good. Unfortunately, the main character's accent about half the time sounded like he was from darkest Dublin. This was inappropriately hilarious.
Well considering that the actor, Sharlto Copley, happens to be native South African, the joke would appear to be on yourself.

Yulian
2009-09-04, 09:41 PM
There was extreme, gratuitous disgustingness. Seriously, do I really need to see some of it? I get the picture- leaking black fluids, falling off fingernails and teeth, throwing up alien bile, an arm ripping up as it turns into an alien arm, chopping off thumbs, getting threatened with drills, zappy devices, axes, saws, and knives...
Some of it? Okay, yeah, I could handle that. But it was everywhere. It didn't go two seconds without me going "ewww, stop!" But the movie just shoved it in the face of the audience over and over. Maybe some people like that, but I don't.
There just wasn't all that much point to it, really. A bit of it made sense and could add to the movie. Too much of it is just too much.

<<snip>>

Seriously, are they scientists, or are they madmen with butcher knives?

<<snip>>

It seems MNU, the evil corporation, employs the evil scumbag variety. Of course, what else would they use. Duh. So we have the armed forces running around with guns and shooting things when they twitch too much. Of course, they're just being paranoid and specist, right? Right?
Oh wait, there was that scene with the MNU mercenary chief guy when he was kicking and pointing a gun at Christopher and said "I get paid to be a sadist! YAY!" Please. Ugh.


That's the real world.

Of course there was filth and disease (more-or-less) and violence. That's what really goes on, and far, far worse, among displaced or segregated African populations.

You think that "eating people for power" thing is made up? Not at all. I'm going to reiterate what a few others have said, that stuff is entirely real and happens in the real world.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/crackdown-on-witchdoctors-after-albinos-killed-to-harvest-body-parts-804545.html

Read that. The movie was dead on.

As for Wikus's change, never seen Cronenberg's The Fly, huh? Illness can be deeply unpleasant.

This is very much not a happy, sunny, or overly optimistic movie. It isn't supposed to be. Blomkamp grew up during apartheid. He never even saw the very worst of it (not being black), but he obviously saw enough.

Apparently you also have no idea the sorts of experiments Nazi researchers performed. Some of that puts the idea of vivisecting Wikus to shame. Scientists with no morals have done nightmarish things in the past.

As for MNU's private security force...you ever hear of Blackwater? Do you really think you couldn't find that sort of person in South Africa, or that MNU wouldn't deliberately seek them out because of the nature of their mission?

There is ugliness and horror in the real world aplenty. This film barely scratched the surface.

- Yulian

kamikasei
2009-09-05, 04:02 AM
Well considering that the actor, Sharlto Copley, happens to be native South African, the joke would appear to be on yourself.

:smallconfused:

I'm not sure what your point is. I assumed he was South African. It's just that, by an unfortunate coincidence, his accent sounded funny to my ears. I'm not saying he was badly faking the accent or anything.

Crispy Dave
2009-09-06, 02:46 AM
Just watched this at my local Drive In and I have to say it was the best movie I have seen all year.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-09-06, 02:49 AM
This is very much not a happy, sunny, or overly optimistic movie. It isn't supposed to be. Blomkamp grew up during apartheid. He never even saw the very worst of it (not being black), but he obviously saw enough.
Well, except the part where the alien and the metamorphising human learn the true meaning of friendship and kick some ass for great justice.

warty goblin
2009-09-06, 10:32 AM
Well, except the part where the alien and the metamorphising human learn the true meaning of friendship and kick some ass for great justice.

Not really. Christopher wants to rescue his people from slavery true enough, but all he manages to do is to disappear for three years leaving them in conditions even worse than before. Wikus kills a boatload of people, but the aliens end up living in a hellhole again anyway, and he's still stuck with an exoskeleton.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that the characters didn't change, and mostly for the better. I'd also question whether any reasonable notion of justice was met, since the only real punishment I saw netted out was some speciesist people getting blown up in a firefight, which I'd hardly call justice. Saying that friendship saves the day and delivers justice is a bit rich.

kpenguin
2009-09-06, 10:34 AM
Heck, the guy who blew the whistle on MNU's genetic testing got imprisoned for it. No justice, really.

warty goblin
2009-09-06, 01:22 PM
Heck, the guy who blew the whistle on MNU's genetic testing got imprisoned for it. No justice, really.

That is also true.

Another random thought. How do you suppose the prawns' explode person gun worked? I'm leaning towards shooting a massive amount of electricity down an ionized path in the air created by a laser, but other things are possible.

Avilan the Grey
2009-09-06, 01:46 PM
Like I said, it is a caricature of the U.N. and Blackwater combined, both of which do that sort of thing on a regular basis.

???

Let me repeat that:

???

Myshlaevsky
2009-09-06, 02:04 PM
???

Let me repeat that:

???

It's not an appropriate topic for discussion on these boards. If you seek more information, go look up Private Military Company (PMC). Scary stuff.

Wckd
2009-09-06, 03:27 PM
Saw it with a couple of friends last night. In general I enjoyed it! Absolutely loved the way it was told!
A few things in the movie were a bit odd, such as why the prawns didn't use the weapons. The last part would have been better without the usual heroism seen in most hollywood productions. But in general a good experience! :)


That was very good. Unfortunately, the main character's accent about half the time sounded like he was from darkest Dublin. This was inappropriately hilarious.

To me both the accent and the name, Wikus Van De Merwe, sounds dutch!

warty goblin
2009-09-06, 03:47 PM
Saw it with a couple of friends last night. In general I enjoyed it! Absolutely loved the way it was told!
A few things in the movie were a bit odd, such as why the prawns didn't use the weapons. The last part would have been better without the usual heroism seen in most hollywood productions. But in general a good experience! :)


Why would they use the weapons? There's what, a million and a half, two million of them on the planet, and by all indications the heaviest weapons platform they have is the exosuit. Awesome as that was, it'd get eaten alive by air support or actual armor- the mere fact it took damage from a 20mm round means a tank shot or bomb hit would total the thing- and it's very clear that the prawns lack any sort of industrial base to replace their losses. Once they started to fight back in a largescale way, it's a safe bet that there'd be a major international military force hitting them in no time.

Furthermore they are completely disorganized, impoverished, and without any means of changing that. These are not the conditions that, at least among humans, effective resistance tends to spring.

I honestly didn't mind the whole self sacrificial thing at the end so much either. It was a bit cliche, but at least kept somewhat believable by Wikus having a few hundred year technological advantage over his adversaries. Anyway, there's not much else that made sense for him to do at that point. He couldn't get to the mothership, and his only hope for becomming human again was to get Christopher there. And Christopher needed cover, ergo alien suit rampage. Plus, ya'know, being pissed at the various people who kept trying to dismember him probably had something to do with that.

JaxGaret
2009-09-06, 07:16 PM
To me both the accent and the name, Wikus Van De Merwe, sounds dutch!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afrikaans

Avilan the Grey
2009-09-07, 01:00 AM
It's not an appropriate topic for discussion on these boards. If you seek more information, go look up Private Military Company (PMC). Scary stuff.

My point was Blackwater, sure. But the UN???

Sereg
2009-09-08, 10:19 AM
As is indicated in the article linked by JaxGaret, Afrikaans is closely related to Dutch.

Wikus van der Merwe is not an unusual name in South Africa (in fact van der Merwe is one of the most common Afrikaner surnames) and all of the characters had common South African accents (well at least the human ones).

SurlySeraph
2009-09-08, 11:14 AM
My point was Blackwater, sure. But the UN???

Many Americans view the U.N. with extreme paranoia. This is based on pretty much no evidence whatsoever, though there have been cases in Rwanda and the Congo where U.N. troops did nothing to halt atrocities. Look up "black helicopters" if you want to know more.

Scylfing
2009-09-18, 12:56 AM
I know that this thread is getting past its expiration date but the theater where I live only just got this movie this week and I just got back from seeing it. I've read the thread and while I can respect the opinions of the majority who liked it I have to agree with the ones who didn't.

My problem with it started from the beginning: if you're going to film your modern-day sci-fi movie in Mockumentary style in order to suspend disbelief and make us think "this could actually happen," I'm sorry but you had really best get your history right.

The aliens arrived in what year, folks? 1982 you say? Hmm, what was going on in the world at that time I wonder? Oh that's right, the COLD WAR! And yet there was not one single mention of this in the film, nor was there any distinct presence of Soviet or American interest in the arrival of a space ship and all its physics-bending technologies. It's not as though this was happening at the same time as the largest "peacetime" military buildup in the history of the human species, with hostilities between the superpowers at their highest point in decades.

I'm sorry if this seems like a nitpick and I suppose it is when all they needed to do was have the aliens arrive in the 1990s for it to be somewhat workable as-is. And I realize that this is fundamentally a South African film with South African issues that deserve to be shown and discussed, but realistically South Africa, lacking any real power, would cease to exist almost overnight as the US, USSR, China and the EU converge on the landing site and proceed to turn it into the alien equivalent of postwar Berlin--or into a massive crater. And the issue wouldn't be settling the aliens someplace, it would be which superpower manages to get the aliens--whose services can be bought with cat food and most of whom seem to have the same bad traits as we do--and their Wave Motion Guns on its side.

I guess I just didn't buy the MNU's role in all this. I can buy what the humans did to the aliens, no question there in my mind, but an evil multinational mercenery corporation (oh sorry, that's redundant) poorly running the show with all that alien phlebotinum, and aliens who can use the phlebotinum, at stake? Sorry, no, does not compute, at least for this viewer.

Oh well, nice EVA unit they made though I have to say.

warty goblin
2009-09-18, 09:11 AM
I know that this thread is getting past its expiration date but the theater where I live only just got this movie this week and I just got back from seeing it. I've read the thread and while I can respect the opinions of the majority who liked it I have to agree with the ones who didn't.

My problem with it started from the beginning: if you're going to film your modern-day sci-fi movie in Mockumentary style in order to suspend disbelief and make us think "this could actually happen," I'm sorry but you had really best get your history right.

The aliens arrived in what year, folks? 1982 you say? Hmm, what was going on in the world at that time I wonder? Oh that's right, the COLD WAR! And yet there was not one single mention of this in the film, nor was there any distinct presence of Soviet or American interest in the arrival of a space ship and all its physics-bending technologies. It's not as though this was happening at the same time as the largest "peacetime" military buildup in the history of the human species, with hostilities between the superpowers at their highest point in decades.

I'm sorry if this seems like a nitpick and I suppose it is when all they needed to do was have the aliens arrive in the 1990s for it to be somewhat workable as-is. And I realize that this is fundamentally a South African film with South African issues that deserve to be shown and discussed, but realistically South Africa, lacking any real power, would cease to exist almost overnight as the US, USSR, China and the EU converge on the landing site and proceed to turn it into the alien equivalent of postwar Berlin--or into a massive crater. And the issue wouldn't be settling the aliens someplace, it would be which superpower manages to get the aliens--whose services can be bought with cat food and most of whom seem to have the same bad traits as we do--and their Wave Motion Guns on its side.

I guess I just didn't buy the MNU's role in all this. I can buy what the humans did to the aliens, no question there in my mind, but an evil multinational mercenery corporation (oh sorry, that's redundant) poorly running the show with all that alien phlebotinum, and aliens who can use the phlebotinum, at stake? Sorry, no, does not compute, at least for this viewer.

Oh well, nice EVA unit they made though I have to say.

Does the movie ever say exactly what year it is? I just put it as 'near future, sometime' and left it as that.

I also never really saw any evidence of the aliens' selling services for catfood. Goods yes, but they weren't so much with the working. Given their generally apathetic and undisciplined nature, the chances of successfully recruiting them into an army, let alone a functional, disciplined army strike me as nonexistant.

Anyway, I think nitpicking the plot really misses the point of the movie, which, to me, was that humans think all these wonderful things about ourselves and yet are capable of the most despicable actions at the same time. Look at Wikus, he clearly thinks of himself as a good guy and in some ways he is, he clearly adores his wife, he tries to do his job well, and all of that. But at the end of the day, he'll still incinerate a bunch of alien eggs without even thinking twice about it.

WalkingTarget
2009-09-18, 09:18 AM
Does the movie ever say exactly what year it is? I just put it as 'near future, sometime' and left it as that.

Yeah, there are dates visible at several points: August 2010.

Scylfing
2009-09-18, 10:25 AM
Does the movie ever say exactly what year it is? I just put it as 'near future, sometime' and left it as that.

I also never really saw any evidence of the aliens' selling services for catfood. Goods yes, but they weren't so much with the working. Given their generally apathetic and undisciplined nature, the chances of successfully recruiting them into an army, let alone a functional, disciplined army strike me as nonexistant.

Early on in the film it mentions their arrival in 1982 and on the "news ticker" under some of the shots it talks about a 1982 law enacted to deal with the aliens--I can't remember what exactly the text said but the date was visible for several seconds.

And you make a good point about the aliens' disorganized nature but then that starts raising questions as to why they have faster-than-light travel, zero point motion devices, molecular destabilizers, etc., and yet don't have a functioning society that would put those things to effective mass usage.


Anyway, I think nitpicking the plot really misses the point of the movie, which, to me, was that humans think all these wonderful things about ourselves and yet are capable of the most despicable actions at the same time. Look at Wikus, he clearly thinks of himself as a good guy and in some ways he is, he clearly adores his wife, he tries to do his job well, and all of that. But at the end of the day, he'll still incinerate a bunch of alien eggs without even thinking twice about it.

Yes I know that was the point, hard not to get that when it was driven home pretty much constantly. All I'm saying is the vehicle it was delivered in had some holes in it.

Fawkes
2009-09-18, 10:36 AM
I don't know, it sounds more to me like you're making holes. The film wasn't intended to deal with cold war and superpower issues, so they hand-waved them. Big deal.

Deadmeat.GW
2009-09-18, 11:03 AM
Hum, the reason why they did not have those things was perhaps like the sociologist said...the whole command structure seems to be missing.

So you are left with a bunch of aliens who are not able to cope without some leader figures trying to get around a high-tech ship...

Christopher and his son were the only ones among the aliens who seemed to be able to use the technology and understand why it worked.

None of the others looked like they had a clue until someone told them what to do.
Think of a bunch of pre-teens on a high-tech ship whom can't understand how the machines and such work.

warty goblin
2009-09-18, 12:12 PM
Early on in the film it mentions their arrival in 1982 and on the "news ticker" under some of the shots it talks about a 1982 law enacted to deal with the aliens--I can't remember what exactly the text said but the date was visible for several seconds.

Fair enough. On the other hand, consider the first reaction of any country to the appearence of massive, obviously extremely powerful spaceships on earth- "Thank heavens they aren't here." This goes double when they realize that although the aliens aren't a direct existential threat, they're not exactly going to be helpful either. In short having them be nice and out of the way in a place like South Africa works just fine, since it leaves the super powers free to be super powers. MNU gives the various controlling powers both some high level control over, and a lot of deniability for, any actions that are done to find out how the aliens' weapons work.

Plus, all the aliens' weapons seem to be small arms. Less a deal when one's waging nuclear cold war, more a deal when one isn't. There's also a significant chance that the existance of the alien weapons wasn't made immediately clear.


And you make a good point about the aliens' disorganized nature but then that starts raising questions as to why they have faster-than-light travel, zero point motion devices, molecular destabilizers, etc., and yet don't have a functioning society that would put those things to effective mass usage.
Not really. Consider a riot among humans, it's very disorganized. Doesn't really raise questions about how we managed to create advanced transport networks, powerful communication devices, fantastic medical care and highly destructive weapons. All those things are created by societies in a functional, organized state.

The prawns' society on earth one must speculate, bears little or no resemblance to the more organized, functional one that in some form must exist elsewhere. Nor is this particularly surprising, since they are surrounded by aliens, on an alien world, with no way to get home, are treated like dirt, live in horrific conditions and apparently already lost their leadership structure. They're essentially living in a post-apocalyptic scenario, only with humans instead of zombies.

This is inarguably a worse scenario. Zombies can't screw you over with paperwork. I find no sort of contradiction in their failure to organize effectively in such a setting.




Yes I know that was the point, hard not to get that when it was driven home pretty much constantly. All I'm saying is the vehicle it was delivered in had some holes in it.
Fair enough. My point is that the holes, if they exist, are fairly minor and don't seem to me to in any way undercut or invalidate the central concern of the story. Now if Wikus had been a saint throughout, or the prawns suddenly started eating babies for no reason, that would have. Some percieved problems with three decade old history really don't.

Seraph
2009-09-18, 01:18 PM
That is also true.

Another random thought. How do you suppose the prawns' explode person gun worked? I'm leaning towards shooting a massive amount of electricity down an ionized path in the air created by a laser, but other things are possible.

so an electrolaser on PCP, essentially?

warty goblin
2009-09-18, 01:48 PM
so an electrolaser on PCP, essentially?

Something along those lines. Obviously it causes the very rapid expansion of something in the target in order to make it to violently explode like that. A massive voltage differential seems as good a method to do that as any. Of course that means that the amount of power stored in those guns is astronomical. Makes Christopher's assembly of a bomb less unbelievable for his being able to do it, and moreso for him being able to build one that didn't level the entire building.

The fascinating thing is that it seems to simply explode the target though, not cook rapidly enough to cause a steam explosion. One could also hypothesize that the beam merely heats the contact point to disturbing temperatures, thus imbuing pieces of the target with obscene velocities. These particles would of course violently rip throughout the target, causing the afformentioned meat confetti syndrome, with very little collateral as the highly unfavorable aeordynamics of small particles would cause them to lose velocity very quickly in the atmosphere.

Exeson
2009-09-20, 05:46 AM
I loved it, personally. Being Afrikaans I really connected with the film, and it was great fun to translate all the swear words and some rather imaginative insults to my friend who I was watching it with.

My only complaint was that at the end with the giant robot suit etc, whilst it was very awesome, did not resonate with the rest of the film. I felt that they added it as an afterthought to appeal to the action movie audience.


The aliens arrived in what year, folks? 1982 you say? Hmm, what was going on in the world at that time I wonder? Oh that's right, the COLD WAR! And yet there was not one single mention of this in the film, nor was there any distinct presence of Soviet or American interest in the arrival of a space ship and all its physics-bending technologies. It's not as though this was happening at the same time as the largest "peacetime" military buildup in the history of the human species, with hostilities between the superpowers at their highest point in decades.

Oh dear. South Africa was allied with the USA in the cold war, plus they had a very good military so I think whilst there would have been a lot of politics going around I doubt it would have changed much. The archive footage we are shown merely deals with the arrival of the aliens, and then it jumps to present day, bypassing the bits in between.

Jimor
2009-09-20, 06:31 AM
Not really. Consider a riot among humans, it's very disorganized. Doesn't really raise questions about how we managed to create advanced transport networks, powerful communication devices, fantastic medical care and highly destructive weapons. All those things are created by societies in a functional, organized state.

The prawns' society on earth one must speculate, bears little or no resemblance to the more organized, functional one that in some form must exist elsewhere. Nor is this particularly surprising, since they are surrounded by aliens, on an alien world, with no way to get home, are treated like dirt, live in horrific conditions and apparently already lost their leadership structure. They're essentially living in a post-apocalyptic scenario, only with humans instead of zombies.

This is inarguably a worse scenario. Zombies can't screw you over with paperwork. I find no sort of contradiction in their failure to organize effectively in such a setting.


This also sets up the extreme speciesism. If they could have gotten their societal act together, I think there would have been a lot more willingness on the part of at least some humans to help them integrate. The frustration that the VIEWERS of the movie have about the alien society not making sense sets the scene perfectly for how the human characters feel. These "plot holes" are a perfect vehicle for transferring that feeling of "oh come on, guys, don't you have ANYthing to offer besides these weird weapons we can't use and can't figure out?"

After 20 years of watching over a slum where not a single example of the prawns becomes something more than what you see, even some of the biggest bleeding hearts would start wanting them to just go away.

So personally, I think any attempt at explaining why they're dysfunctional as they are is counterproductive to the atmosphere of the movie. Just like some of the people there, we can speculate rationally or wildly, but in the end it really doesn't matter because the answer is beyond our ken.

kpenguin
2009-09-20, 03:36 PM
Well, the film's getting banned in Nigeria. Three guesses why and the first two don't count.

warty goblin
2009-09-20, 06:25 PM
This also sets up the extreme speciesism. If they could have gotten their societal act together, I think there would have been a lot more willingness on the part of at least some humans to help them integrate. The frustration that the VIEWERS of the movie have about the alien society not making sense sets the scene perfectly for how the human characters feel. These "plot holes" are a perfect vehicle for transferring that feeling of "oh come on, guys, don't you have ANYthing to offer besides these weird weapons we can't use and can't figure out?"

After 20 years of watching over a slum where not a single example of the prawns becomes something more than what you see, even some of the biggest bleeding hearts would start wanting them to just go away.

So personally, I think any attempt at explaining why they're dysfunctional as they are is counterproductive to the atmosphere of the movie. Just like some of the people there, we can speculate rationally or wildly, but in the end it really doesn't matter because the answer is beyond our ken.

This is one of my favorite things about the movie actually, how the things that confuse and baffle me about it, that I want to talk about, are very much the same things that the people in the movie have to confront. To me this makes the treatment feel very realistic, not in the sense of neccessarily corresponding 1-1 with laws of physics or anything like that, but in the sense that the movie does a very good job of showing people's reactions to the events it portrays. If I'm reacting the same way as the fictional characters, that probably means the characterization is good.

It also makes much of the movie truly disturbing, since the reactions of most people are not something I want to have. But it's a good sort of disturbing, it makes me think and reanalyze my own positions, rather than simply recoil in disgust.

Jimor
2009-09-20, 11:41 PM
Well, the film's getting banned in Nigeria. Three guesses why and the first two don't count.

Your post just made me realize that the political metaphors in the movie have absolutely nothing to do with apartheid, but with the CURRENT situation in much of Africa. :smalleek: I'm additionally impressed with the movie now.

It's really hard to explain without tripping over the politics rule, but take a look at any refugee camp anywhere, and how there are many different ways that outsiders can exploit the people within.

Ossian
2009-09-21, 03:49 AM
Saw it yesterday and I am still amazed. One of the movies I enjoyed the most in recent years. There was a bit of everything, even that Spielbergian touch in the end of letting the alien friend go home, so far it is uncomprehensible.
All the tricks were used to give a touch, just like the initial McGuffin of the aliens locked in the cargo, starving in the dark. Why? From where did they come?

I work in an NGO and I have to deal with Human Rights workers and advocates every day. So many things looked and sounded so familiar!

So, well, on the camps thing and on the Nigerian gang thing, it did occur to me that the director could have used something a little less direct, or fictional (but I am still glad he dropped those anvils). Sadly, I have found no venue on the internet where that can be considered an appropriate topic for discussion.


O.

Jimor
2009-09-21, 01:23 PM
All the tricks were used to give a touch, just like the initial McGuffin of the aliens locked in the cargo, starving in the dark. Why? From where did they come?


I finally have an explanation for the aliens that makes perfect sense.

The ship was the interstellar equivalent of a football/soccer fan charter.

Yulian
2009-09-21, 09:55 PM
Well, regarding the "Why were they so disorganized?" question, I think it's honestly somewhat realistic to show a situation that humanity just can't figure out because it doesn't have the whole picture.

We have literally no idea what their society is normally like. We don't know if this "worker class" is even capable of exceptionally advanced reasoning. Christopher and Chris Jr. definitely seemed to be extremely exceptional, as the aliens went.

It's quite possible that the unfortunate truth is, without their upper caste/commanders/whatever, the aliens on Earth are permanently hosed. Earth could be looking at the equivalent of Gammas (or Gamma Pluses) in Brave New World; smart enough to use the higher-end tools, but not smart enough to innovate and not very good without orders or supervision of some sort.

It could be that once the ship gets back, loaded with higher caste members, the dissolute masses on Earth will suddenly hop to and become an organized, competent force.

- Yulian

Ossian
2009-09-22, 04:36 AM
I finally have an explanation for the aliens that makes perfect sense.

The ship was the interstellar equivalent of a football/soccer fan charter.

Priceless! They did show some traits, at times, of an angry soccer fans mob.

Anyway, I think that in the "b-moviesque" side of the story (which luckily was intentional, get the lesson Roland Emmerich!) they portrayed the aliens as an insect like (more than prawns) kind of society.

We do understand easily, almost subconsciously, that within a hive-mind it is all too common to scatter the working-class if you deprive them of the "queen".

We have seen in in Starship Troopers, in Starcraft and in a bazillion other productions.

The prawns probably figured how to use weapons out of necessity. I imagine that if they were all "commoners" just like us, they would not have weapon training of any sort, or even the mind set to take matters in their claws and take over the District (as it was hinted in the other page, the retaliation could have been quite frankly too devastating, and they must have been aware of that).

Maybe they were just all working according to a plan, and wanted to stay low until there was enough juice to launch the command module, go back to the mothership, send it home and wait for some serious rescue plan to be enacted.

O.

M

thorgrim29
2009-09-22, 09:48 AM
I did not like the film, tough probably 50% of that dislike is because the french dub was incredibly bad, so if the guy playing Wiccus is a good actor I didn't notice because the voice actor is a Hack (yup, capital H). To me there were 3 parts to the story

1: Apparteid message, racism, evil bureaucrats, etc. A fun part, except for the weird idea that the world just gave the most amazing scientific finding of the last few decades to a random company (I mean, ok, the weapons don't work for humans, too bad, but you could still, I don't know, STUDY THE FREAKING FLOTING MOTHERSHIP that has antigrav technology and presumably an FTL drive instead of oppressing the aliens for no good reason).

2: Gross part. This part of the movie had me almost vomiting (and I don't consider myself faint of heart). In this part, the evilness of MNU becomes almost caricatural. I did however think that Wiccus' reactions were pretty realistic there. Also, don't these people have decontamination procedures for their feild teams?

3: standard action film, talks about the Power of Friendship (tm), foregiveness and tolerance while people's heads explode, karmic deaths abound and Wiccus gets redemption after acting like a self centered little **** for most of the flick.

So, an ok movie, but what realy bugs me is the sheer incompetance of MNU, they had acces to tech several centuries ahead of us and all they could think of doing was Evil Science (also tm). And for a company that supposedly works for the UN they have suspiciously little oversight from their bosses. I just imagine the security council debating that

US: Aliens have landed in South Africa, what do we do?
Russia: This is an incredible find, we must do something, arrange who has jurisdiction, etc....

"debate goes on for a few months while noone even goes close to the ship"

France: hey guys, we have more important things to do then manage a global crisis, we're the UN after all, my brother is a major shareholder in a not-evil-at-all little firm called Multi National United, we could just give them absolute authority over the aliens without oversight, then it's not our problem anymore.

All: yeah, good idea. let's do that.

All in all, not worth the loss of a Halo movie (is it bad that I want Samuel L Jackson to play Johnson if they ever get around to making it)

warty goblin
2009-09-22, 10:14 AM
1: Apparteid message, racism, evil bureaucrats, etc. A fun part, except for the weird idea that the world just gave the most amazing scientific finding of the last few decades to a random company (I mean, ok, the weapons don't work for humans, too bad, but you could still, I don't know, STUDY THE FREAKING FLOTING MOTHERSHIP that has antigrav technology and presumably an FTL drive instead of oppressing the aliens for no good reason).

I wondered that myself actually, why they weren't studying the mothership. On the other hand, if the handguns are genetically encoded, I'll bet anything of interest on the ship is as well. Remember how Wikus had to stick his hand...thing in that goop to fly the command module? It seems pretty likely that wouldn't have worked for a human, and might have had some seriously adverse health consequences. Figuring out how to use the weapons first might have made sense, since presumably the same principles could have been applied to the mothership, and been much cheaper to study since they're on the ground.


2: Gross part. This part of the movie had me almost vomiting (and I don't consider myself faint of heart). In this part, the evilness of MNU becomes almost caricatural. I did however think that Wiccus' reactions were pretty realistic there. Also, don't these people have decontamination procedures for their feild teams?
The gross was fairly gross. I didn't see MNU's evil as being particularly over the top, people have done such things to humans in the name of science. I've no doubt that we as a species would perpetrate such actions against aliens given half a chance.


3: standard action film, talks about the Power of Friendship (tm), foregiveness and tolerance while people's heads explode, karmic deaths abound and Wiccus gets redemption after acting like a self centered little **** for most of the flick.
How was he redeemed? He killed a bunch of dudes, didn't die, and turned into an alien. If that's redemption, I'd hate to see condemnation.


So, an ok movie, but what realy bugs me is the sheer incompetance of MNU, they had acces to tech several centuries ahead of us and all they could think of doing was Evil Science (also tm). And for a company that supposedly works for the UN they have suspiciously little oversight from their bosses. I just imagine the security council debating that
As has been said before, being given access to technology several centuries ahead of our own is a serious problem, particularly when it almost certainly works according to principles of physics we don't understand. Hell, it takes highly specialized scientists to understand the technology we have right now, and that's when they can train in the field. Asking them to figure out an FTL drive from a standing start is a bit much.

US: Aliens have landed in South Africa, what do we do?
Russia: This is an incredible find, we must do something, arrange who has jurisdiction, etc....


All in all, not worth the loss of a Halo movie (is it bad that I want Samuel L Jackson to play Johnson if they ever get around to making it)

Naw, way better than a Halo movie, and I like Halo. Halo is a good game, but let's face it, the context for the action that makes up 99% of the game is very thin on the ground. District 9 spent two thirds of the movie building the context for the shooty bits, and I still felt they were a bit much. Halo could only be worse in this regard.