November 08, 2009 | Category: Uncategorized

Film Fight: September 2009

Another month, another bunch of films…

The Hurt Locker is fairly well in keeping with the cinematic vision of modern warfare. Unlike World War II films and their heroic stands against evil, films set in modern conflicts need to have troubled characters who do the things that they do for less idealistic reasons. In The Hurt Locker, we get the men of an explosive ordinance disposal team in Iraq doing their work in difficult conditions. The characters are broadly stereotyped (the risk-taker, the strategist etc), but it’s interesting to see their perspectives. While there are some fairly tense scenes, the film moves too slowly and doesn’t provide enough genuine insight into their work to justify it. It’s slow but decent, and just decent.  (See my The Hurt Locker Twitter review).

Neil Blomkampf has followed up his interesting sci-fi short, Alive in Johannesburg, with a full-length, studio-backed effort, District 9. It’s an interesting take on racial divide, with the arrival of an alien craft full of under-nourished aliens causing the South Africans to segregate them into camps and treat them pretty poorly. Despite the sci-fi elements, the film is shot in a largely natural style, lending an air of authenticity to both the aliens and their technology. With some striking visuals, great action sequences, and an interesting take on the theme, District 9 stands head and shoulders above typical sci-fi fare. It’s very well-done. (See my District 9 Twitter review).

Finally, Adventureland looks to be a teen comedy about working at a theme park, but is actually much more of a teen romance. Following a newcomer to the park and his pursuit of one girl, the story doesn’t really take us on a ride that surpasses our expectations. A relatively average movie, that really isn’t my thing. If you like teen romance, then maybe it’s for you, but it’s not for me. (See my Adventureland Twitter review).

The winner is District 9, for it’s fantastic pace, visuals and story. Well done.