Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Fly in the Ghetto and The Hangover

Actually found time to see District 9 and The Hangover in the theatres.

The main story of District 9 is that a huge alien mothership slides to a stop over Johannesburg and when we finally manage to open the ship, the aliens inside are seemingly worker-bee types living in squalor, so we relocate them to a ghetto outside the city. A Monty-python-esque stumble-bunny gets the job of relocating them since they are too close to the city and tend to vandalize and kill a lot. While trying to do that, he gets sprayed with alien goo and begins to transform into one of them.

I enjoyed District 9 while I was watching it, because it's put together well, and uses fake news footage to tell part of the story, which somehow (and sometimes) adds a level of verisimilitude. However, upon reflection whilst egressing the parking lot, my final assessment was "meh." I kinda wished I'd seen it at home so I could've watch the DVD extras, but I have no interest in seeing it again, so that probably won't happen.

The one part that stays with me is the main alien character has a child, and we humans don't really believe that the aliens have parental instincts or that the children bond with the adults; we think of them as big land-dwelling shrimp - even calling them "prawns." The behavior of the child is well scripted so even though we know it's very alien, it's still a baby and has child-like thoughts and motivations. As a dad, that part of it got to me.

The Hangover was as funny as they say, but since EVERYONE had said that, my expectations were too high, so I liked it rather than loved it.

The primary strength of the flick was the three main guys are very believable archetypes. To merely label them as the cool guy, the geek, and the weirdo does no justice to the exact type of those each are. But, you have personally known every one of them, and that's what hooks you into the movie.

The baby-in-peril angle nearly threw my wife and I out of the movie, because even the baby is realistic in that he jumps and cries when something loud or scary happens. However, they use him just enough for the jokes, and then make it safe again.

And I love the fact they never explain the chicken.

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