Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:29 pm

For me the film would not have worked had Wikus not had an heroic turn near the end. Had he continued in the same vein throughout I would no doubt have scored the film considerably lower.

The problem is he has very few redeeming features as a film character. He isn't terribly intelligent, he's selfish, "racist" and extremely self centered. More henchman material than leading man. His scenes of glory towards the end saved him from becoming a thoroughly dislikable character. Whether or not the third act was cliched is debatable, I personally found it fulfilling and moving. How would you have preferred the story to continue? Blomkamp set out to make a sci-fi blockbuster, and as such is reliant on word of mouth to ensure public visitation. Having the movie end on a big downer with a dislikable character would hardly merit much positive attention and would lead to a bad taste in ones mouth at the end.

I'm sure that if the start hadn't been so stunningly original then the return to conventional filmmaking wouldn't have been as obvious towards the end. The question is if the film could have benefited from steering away from it. I disagree.
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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by Seany C on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:33 pm

It wasn't the story, it was the way it was told towards the end. The action didn't fit the tone previously set.
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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by DanglyBrasco on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:38 pm

Hmmm.

But are his redeeming features as a "film character" not the fact of how very astonishingly different he is from any other Sci-Fi film characters? That is one of the things that stand out so greatly for me, the way in which the character was created so unashamedly with flaws, real, actualy, human flaws which are a known problem in Joburg...

And you ask how i would have the film continue without him becoming a hero? Im not saying i dont want him to be the audience's hero, the hero of the film, but he could quite easily be so without being so "Heroic". Erm, had it been an accident, or unintentional , or even still motivated by selfishness the way in which Christopher and his son were able to escape? Would this not work? Especially in a film, which is, i feel, about the humans being the villains! Are the aliens not supposed to have out sympathy, do we not detest the humans? Why is that wrong?

And i suppose you are right, it would have been nigh on impossible to tell the story Blomkamp wanted without a return to conventional cinema, i just would have liked to seen it.
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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:40 pm

To Seany:

Oh if that's the case. I still don't really agree. The first part was all about getting the water boiling which in turn led to the violence seen in part two. It seemed very natural to me that all three factions were on the brink of armed conflict, and when triggered by Wikus was fully put into action.

To me it was both logical and natural that the second half would be more action packed. Much like similar conflicts in the real world that lead to violent uprisings.
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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:49 pm

To Dangly:

I'm sure that Blomkamp could have made an interesting film should he completely avoid all conventional methods of storytelling. But not only would that be much harder, it would most likely also be less satisfying.

And think about it. How many heroes in films do you know of who don't have any redeemable features whatsoever? If painting all humans as villains was to be the goal the audience would be alienated by the end. We need someone we can relate to and sympathize with. And throughout most of the picture one struggles to connect with him.

If he accidentally let Christopher and junior escape that would not have functioned as a redeeming action. He'd still be a selfish racist who almost orphaned and adorable little alien for his own personal gain. I'm not saying most people are better than him. But the fact remains that when you tell a tale like this you require something to anchor the plot too, lest you end up with an art film appreciated more for its daring than its entertainment.

And, let's face it, we're all human and we're not all bad. Stereotyping us all as evil wouldn't have worked in my opinion.
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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by DanglyBrasco on Mon Sep 14, 2009 9:58 pm

Without any redeemable features? Are talking specifically to Sci-Fi, or in general?

If General, then ANY of the Gangster films? What about Henry Hill, Tony Montana, Michael Corleone? Now amittedly, these all get their comuppance, and learn a moral lesson. But so does Wikus! Despite audiences not being told so, i feel certainly aware that as his transformation into an Alien, Wikus learns his wrongdoings. This could happen with, or without the Hollywood ending (Which, im actually starting to agree with you is necessary for the films emotional climax, and in order to address his audiences).

For the record, i do agree with almost everything you say, jut im trying to debate? So like, excuse me if my tone comes across as a little off, i dont mean to, this is fun!

And its most probable i will consider the film an 8 after a second viewing.
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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:05 pm

Don't worry, there's nothing to be taken personally here!

As for the characters you mentioned, they have aspects of a different kind that elevate them as film characters, though admittedly the gangster genre is one populated almost single handedly by anti-heroes. These guys are full of everything from power, gangstah cool, style, intelligence and cunning.

What does Wikus have to compare with that? Apart from his selfish love for his wife he doesn't have much to compensate in other departments for his ill manners.

And I was talking about all genres. The leads always have something that makes them appealing somehow, unless it's to make a point by making them completely detestable. But that's another subject to be honest.
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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by DanglyBrasco on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:09 pm

Yeah, for another time.

I still thought District 9 was great, a really rather original blockbuster in a year of tired genres (Apart from Start Trek! I FUCKING LOVED Star Trek), just , i guess my expectations were both too high, and i was expecting something else. I look forward to another viewing.

Also, does anyone else wish Blomkamp was given the Halo movie? No matter how much i dont care for the idea of a Halo film, i would watch it if this man directed it. It woud have been good.
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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by Kaptain Kaviar on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:19 pm

He was given it, but studio squabbling took it away, shame.

In my opinion Star Trek was a moderately entertaining sci-fi flick hovering around the 6-7/10 mark. D-9 is in a completely different league!
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Re: Film Club: District 9 discussion begins Saturday at 12 noon

Post by DanglyBrasco on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:22 pm

Oh, cinematically, yeah completely.

Star Trek though, i guess i found out im a bit of a Trekky, i was grinning the whole way through and some of the set pieces blew me away. As a film District 9 is by far, obviously the better. But i hugely enjoyred Star Trek, almost to the point where im too biased to rate it objectively.


Thhis discussion is a really good idea with me starting my Film Degree next week, keep it coming i say.

And is Casey not involved in this?
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