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Having recently run across an airing of the original Alien and again reveling in all of its chest-splitting, acid-dripping, pipe-clanging, cat-saving thrills, I was in the mood for more space monsters. District 9 opened here on Friday and I mustered up the wherewithal to go to a late showing (after unsuccessfully pestering the slightly-unwell Mr. to go with me), expecting a slightly better class of monster movie based on viewing a couple of different trailers.

The trailers are a hint in the right direction (better class of, etc.) but are still misleading, as the story actually told isn't the story implied by the previews. I saw the movie in a nearly-full theater (maybe a dozen empty seats) of mostly date couples and little packs of friends, all late teens/early 20s, and I think they were expecting more of an Alien vs Predator sort of thing, as I've never before experienced an audience so seemingly traumatized into silence as this one. They were just short of running for the exits as the credits began to roll, without a peep from anyone as the stampede swept through the lobby and out into the parking lot. Some guy behind me finally ventured, "It was all right, I guess," with shaky bravado.

There's plenty of monster makeup and gore and CGI, but it's really a story about a man, and a sharp, sharp social satire/commentary, and if you either like or can tolerate a bit of gore, you should see it. It's one of the best movies I've seen in a long while. Hurry and enjoy it before the backlash starts!


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February 2010

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