Fanboys were orgasmic when producer Peter Jackson previewed District 9 at July's Comic-Con in San Diego. Variety tagged it the "thinking person's alien movie." I'm assuming Transformers 2 is the stupid person's version. And since Michael Bay's attack on the human thought process has already grossed $380 million in the U.S. alone, District 9 has its work cut out. Smart sci-fi movies, such as Duncan Jones' Moon, are typically shuttled to the indie ghetto.
Not this time. Jackson and South African writer-director Neill Blomkamp have made District 9 a thriller-diller that trades in ideas without forgetting to go whup-ass on your nervous system. The R-rated District 9 is all kinds of awesome — and not just to geeks. Blomkamp, 29, is a talent to watch. Raised in Johannesburg before moving to Canada, he dreamed of combining his interest in sci-fi with the tormented world of racism and xenophobia he grew up in. District 9 is an expansion of the six-minute short Alive in Joburg that he made in 2005, which Jackson had already admired. Using a documentary style, with harsh lighting and hand-held cameras, he sets the scene for the vividly real horrors that follow.