Saturday, August 22, 2009
Last night I saw the incredible sci-fi movie "District 9" at the Grand Lake Theater in Oakland (and the line for it was out of the door and around the building). Without giving too much away (and that's a matter of opinion) for those who've not seen it, the movie produced by Peter Jackson (of Lord of The Rings and King Kong) and directed by Neil Blomkamp, concerns a giant alien spaceship that has parked itself over Johannesburg, South Africa.
Over the course of the last 28 years - over a generation - over one million aliens, called the derogatory name "Prawns", were placed in an area of the city called "District 9", and that zone became a giant slum.
Some say District 9 is the best science fiction movie of 2009 if not the best one ever made. That question will be the focus of my poll below, but let's focus on the movie more before we get to the survey.
The story concerns what happens to a common human (Wilkus Van De Merwe played by Sharito Copley) who works for a government organization that is directed to evict the aliens and move them to a new location said to be better than District 9 and called- in an obvious set up for a sequel - "District 10".
During the eviction process, Wilkus finds a harmless-looking metal vial that when he turns it sprays a "fluid" into his face that causes him to go through a gradual transformation from human to human / alien. That, and how the World reacts to his change, is the central story of the movie.
The movie has two incredible story archs, the first one is how Wilkus changes from kind but bumbling government worker to awakened activist for the aliens in the process of trying to find a "cure" for his problem. The other is how humans go from being the one's putting up with the weird and threatening habits of the aliens, to the ones who are actually being weird and threatening to the aliens. As we learn more about them in the movie, we find they are just like us: concerned with family and wanting to just go home.
What I love about this movie is it shows front and center man's inhumanity not only to man but to other life forms and throws it right in one's face. I came away with the idea that the United Nations needs to craft an international plan for alien visitor protocol just to make sure we don't allow the violation of alien life forms.
District 9 Best Picture?
Julian Scanton of Vanity Fair thinks District 9 is best picture material, and I have to agree with him, especially now that we will have ten movies to pick from at the 2010 Oscars. But is it the best science fiction movie ever?
That's a tall order of a question as their are so many to chose from. Here's one comprehensive "Top 10" list posted in Popular Mechanics in 2008:
10. 2001: A Space Odyssey
9. Short Circuit
8. Soylent Green
7. Blade Runner
6. The Running Man
5. Destination Moon
4. The Truman Show
3. The Road Warrior
2. Minority Report
Cick here for the poll results and to vote: POLL (or vote below)
From: NewsPaperOnline....What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. But what if you haven't even gotten there yet?
A Southwest flight with 108 passengers headed from Oakland, Calif. to Las Vegas turned around this morning after a 300-pound man punched a woman on board and then stripped naked. Both were taken More.. off the plane and taken away in ambulances.
One of the passengers, Steve Lichliter, was on the plane accompanying his daughter to college at Penn State.
She took a photo of the man -- sans clothing.
Here's Lichliter's story, according to an email forwarded to NBCBayArea.com:
Well our flight started ok but about 30 minutes out of Oakland a big guy started hassling other passengers then took off all his clothes. A posse of redneck vigilantes was quickly formed by the stewardesses and they were given restraining devices and taught how to tie the guy up after they got him pinned face down in the aisle. I offered to sit on top of him afterwards, as long as he was face down and tied up!
The pilot turned around and we came back to Oakland. The vigilantes never got to do their job as we landed without incident and about 10 big cops came in and took the dude away.
The man has been identified as Darius Chapille, 21, from Jefferson City, Missouri.
J.D. Nelson, a spokesman for the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, said that the naked passenger was a man with a Missouri driver's license who exposed himself to a female passenger. She screamed and the suspect then punched her, according to Nelson, and then started to remove his clothing. A t that point, flight attendants and other passengers subdued the man, Nelson said, who continued to strip during the struggle.
Chapille was completely naked when deputies boarded the plane to take him into custody. Alameda County deputies covered him with a blanket as they escorted him off the plane. That part of the adventure was captured on video by passenger Kyle Gee.
And if they covered him with an airline blanket, it's hard to picture how the flimsy scrap of cloth even covered him.
Violence against women, though, is no laughing matter. And police say the suspected perp hit the woman hard enough to put her in the hospital. Let's all agree: a flash of flesh, sure; flailing fists, no.
Zennie62 blog net
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