District 9

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By Mark Ramsey | 2009/08/15

You’ve got to like any movie about aliens that depicts their spaceship as essentially running out of gas.

Wait, you can command the technology required cross interstellar space and overcome the speed of light, but you still can’t resist riding on fumes?! Next we’ll discover their windshield wipers don’t work in the rain!

So the massive ship hovers, stalled, over South Africa.

“Las Vegas refused hovering clearance,” said one alien. “Even after we came all this way to see Bette Midler at Caesers!”

“That will teach you not to buy your tickets ahead of time,” said the South African authorities, who proceeded to usher the aliens into a slum-camp known as “District 9,” giving all-new meaning to the term “illegal aliens.”

district9_oneprawnaleaping.jpgYes, the alien ship hangs dead and dark over the land, like the Christmas twinkle lights hang over my neighbor’s house in July.

Called “prawns” for their similarity to bi-pedal crustaceans, these aliens even have precocious young juveniles in their midst, or as they are affectionately known, “shrimp scampis.”

The wiser humans learned to speak the alien language, especially one particular wiser human who boasts an uncanny resemblance to Steve Carrell. And with a documentary crew in tow, it’s only a matter of time until Prawn Jim hides Prawn Dwight’s phone above the acoustic tiles.

“Is that dark line down the middle of that Prawn what I think it is?” asked one hapless camera operator?

“Yes, it’s a poop-chute,” replied Steve Carrell’s South African doppelganger. “The law requires Prawns to cover their poopers with government-issued dickeys!”

What do aliens eat? Cat food! And not the fancy kind on the silver platter with the Lauren Bacall voiceover. I’m talking about the kind issued to G.I. cats dug into trenches in WWII.

district9_prawn.jpg“We also tried that Newman’s Own,” explained one Prawn, “because on the way over from the Mother Galaxy we watched Cool Hand Luke 1.47 million times.”

So Steve Carrell ingests something by accident that begins to transform him into something else. “Just like an American pro baseball player,” he aptly notes. “It’s a metamorphosis,” he shouts! “Like butter and flies into butterflies!”

But when his transformation begins he becomes a tool of the government – he is uniquely able to use alien weapons which are tuned to their own biology much like the poop chute down their middles.

Steve’s father-in-law is a government official who wins the prize for “most creative expression of disapproval over a daughter’s partner decision ever” when he gets Steve secretly kidnapped to be dismembered by government doctors.

District 9 is a cautionary tale about man’s inhumanity to aliens, especially those aliens who are high in cholesterol.

Shot for a measly $30 million, you could make this movie six times for what it cost to make the more than poop-chute-worthy G. I. Joe.

And let’s hope somebody does.

District 9 is one terrific movie.

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