Friday, August 28, 2009

The Final Final Destination?

So I came in to work early yesterday so I could watch The Final Destination in 3D all by myself. The FD movies are a guilty pleasure of mine, and I thought seeing one in 3D would be fun. Well, it was, but they're definitely getting lazier and lazier with these movies. Characterisation and plot was virtually non-existant, and even the kills are getting less inventive (they reuse the person getting hit by a vehicle suddenly gag from the first film). The acting also sucks (apart from Mykelti Williamson).
On the plus side, the 3D is good (it carries on the tradition of 3D boobies from My Bloody Valentine) and the 1 hour and 20 minute running time feels even shorter than it is. I also loved the x-ray opening credits. But it's probably best if they retire the series now. They didn't even have a Tony Todd cameo!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Foukin' prawns!

I watched most of District 9 while I was working yesterday (I know I'm bad, but I don't have time to go see movies when I'm not working) and it was foukin' awesome (as those wacky Saaf Afrikans would say). It took the best parts of Alien Nation, V, Independence Day, The Fly, Starship Troopers and every cool first person shooter game you've ever played and blended them into one hilarious, exciting and even thought-provoking piece of sci-fi action satire. The racial allegory is cleverly handled (interestingly, the interviews with people fed up with the aliens were conducted with real people who thought they were being asked about Nigerian immigrants)
I wasn't prepared for how funny the first half would be, with Sharlto Copley (a brilliant performance in his first major acting role) carrying the movie despite his character being a complete dick. Whether he's aborting baby aliens or bribing them with catfood he manages to maintain his cheerful demeanor, until he gets infected with alien DNA and the film changes gear to a conspiracy action thriller.
The action scenes in the latter part of the film are intense, with alien weaponry blasting people into red mist and firing pigs! But I also found myself becoming emotionally attached both to the flawed protagonist and the alien and his son who help him.
The ending leaves the possibility open for a sequel, though it's hard to see how they could top this film. Sure it has plot holes (I doubt South Africa would handle our first alien contact all by themselves) but the effects are near flawless (and on only a $30 million budget!) and the film has what nearly every sci-fi films this year has lacked - big ideas to go along with the big bangs. Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp have given a big up yours to the overbudget, mindless "sci-fi" of people like Michael Bay. I look forward to seeing what the director does next.