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david_a

2009 Sci-Fi Deathmatch: Moon vs District 9

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Apparently the planets have aligned and we have been treated with not one, but two original bona fide sci-fi movies in one year, nestled in between the raw, festering sewage of formulaic comic book movies, horrid video game adaptations, vacuous 80s toy commercials, and insipid remakes. I encourage anyone who cares about the genre to make an effort to see both of these fine movies.

Moon is a throwback to 60s/70s sci-fi, before Star Wars confused "fantasy" for "science." There are no laser gun battles, no death-defying stunts, and no hair-raising chase scenes. It's more or less a one-man show, and Sam Rockwell carries the burden with style. It's a bit hard to describe the plot without giving something away, but the film does a fine job of inspiring some pondering.

District 9 is, I'm sure, more familiar to people here. The first half raises some obvious parallels (Johannesburg is the perfect setting due to it's tortured history) and is more thought provoking than the second half, which devolves into more standard action fare. However, I have to commend the latter half on it's gleeful violence - it approaches Paul Verhoeven territory, although it never goes the 110% that something like Starship Troopers does. Thankfully the movie does have actual substance instead of just a bunch of action set pieces. This is not the typical summer movie trash where plot, acting, and stories are all glossed over with fast-cut explosions and lurid slow-motion of the starlet-of-the-hour.

Neither movie is perfect, but both are a promising start for two new directors (preemptive note to morons: Peter Jackson did not direct District 9).

I liked Moon slightly better. Thoughts from anyone else who has seen both?

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Moon would've been enticing if the big 'surprise' wasn't given away by the trailer(s). But then, The Village was done decent enough that knowing the end 3 years before I saw it didn't ruin the experience. Even so, it'll be a DVD rental at best.

On the other hand, D-9 is the first movie I've wanted to see enough to go to a theater since Return of the King. Now I just have to actually go sometime. (But I hope you weren't serious with the ST comparison, I think that was the single sci-fi film I hated the most.)

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I think that's only a result of having raised the bar on violence in the past decade.

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Lüt said:

Moon would've been enticing if the big 'surprise' wasn't given away by the trailer(s). But then, The Village was done decent enough that knowing the end 3 years before I saw it didn't ruin the experience. Even so, it'll be a DVD rental at best.

On the other hand, D-9 is the first movie I've wanted to see enough to go to a theater since Return of the King. Now I just have to actually go sometime. (But I hope you weren't serious with the ST comparison, I think that was the single sci-fi film I hated the most.)

Moon doesn't depend on the surprise. It happens very early on in the film.

I was only comparing the violence to Starship Troopers, nothing else. I think Peter Jacksons hands are all over that part - the alien weaponry has a delightful way of splattering most things you point it at.

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District 9 wasn't very good. Some people exploded pretty cool though. The main character was an asshole the entire movie.

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Yes, we all know you like your action movies to have a bemulleted Adonis with a heart of gold that you can masturbate to later.

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Ralphis said:

The main character was an asshole the entire movie.

He was just a middle-management office worker. He consistently acted very selfishly other than when it didn't matter anymore. Far more realistic than most action movies where people go from zero-to-hero.

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