District 9

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Yuri2356
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Re: District 9

Postby Yuri2356 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:21 am UTC

Phrozt wrote:
Spoiler:
No Uprising:
As mentioned a few times already, there was no uprising. The weapons were WAY more advanced and could do unspeakable things... and apparently the aliens amassed them and made them on a regular basis... but never used them. What? And we saw Chris make a bomb in about 5 seconds! Now, of course we've already discussed that Chris is much more advanced than his fellows for whatever reason... but other weapons *were* made, so obviously he wasn't the only one capable of doing so. Granted, taking on the entire world would be a rather large task, but there were 1.2 million of them at the time, and w/the eggs, and the fact that they doubled in size in just a few years, I'm guessing a hostile takeover could have easily happened. It also seemed that they had the mentality to do so, given the amount of crime and poor living conditions they endured on a regular basis.


I might have more later, but I need to get some things done.

Spoiler:
Unspeakable? Really?

Alien weapons we see:
-Automatic slugthrower, not visibly more violent than anything humans have made.
-Unusual explosives that release dark clouds and electrical discharges, not much more impact than a block of C4 or a cannon round.
-Lightning gun, Kills soft targets on the spot. Didn't see much of what it did to surfaces and hard targets.
-Blast-thing Wikkus shot the Nigerians with, packed a nice firm concussive impact.
-Bullet magnet, held up against barrage of small arms fire, returned it with an effect similar to a hefty fragmentation explosive.

None of these have killing power that hasn't been shoved into a similarly sized package by human engineering.

Alien materials are shown to be about as vulnerable to human weaponry as our own armoured fighting deallies. (command ship shot down, power armour wrecked by antitank rifle + car ramming, along with sustained small arms) None of what they displayed on the ground would win a war against a human army, simply by being there. The alien tech in this movie war rather worn down and low key.

Where's their Air support? Their anti-aircraft defences? Their naval capability? Artillery? They have none of the tools needed to conduct a war. At best, they could get into a city and become a near impossibility to force out. But the instant the try to leave it, they're gone. So long as they attract the Ire of any major nation, which they would as soon as they became a real threat to anyone.

And what is your evidence of an industrial base? [Well, the question of how they'd still had weapons to pawn after so long on earth without building new ones, I'll admit. But if they had any significant production capacity, wouldn't whoever controlled it be able to carve out a pretty svelte economic niche? And wouldn't it be a massive target for MNU to capture?] And what about any of the other economic pillars required to wage war? How will they feed their millions once blockades settle in?

Oh, and that Chris, a skilled engineer, was able to quickly construct an improvised explosive out of a few random components in a lab filled with weaponry? Someone with minimal training could do that with a kitchen. This is not the act of some kind of MacGuyverian god-king of mechanisms, he reassembled something that may have already been a bomb in the first place.

You're wanking these guys pretty hard without much precedent. Fancy zap-guns and metal gears do not win wars.



gmalivuk wrote:People won't care what you have to say about aliens if their so alien that we don't care what happens to them.

Er, Identity statement is itself?

I'd think the people complaining about this would argue that there's room between "Acts exactly like peoplefolk" and "incomprehensible space monster". You just need to know that the audience may take a while to pick up on the alien mannerisms, or toss in a few scraps of exposition to set them up. Plenty of room for that when they were talking about recreational train derailment and having no concept of property. Or any of the interactions between humans and aliens during the first act.

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Re: District 9

Postby Chen » Fri Aug 21, 2009 12:01 pm UTC

Yuri2356 wrote:
Spoiler:
Unspeakable? Really?

Alien weapons we see:
-Automatic slugthrower, not visibly more violent than anything humans have made.
-Unusual explosives that release dark clouds and electrical discharges, not much more impact than a block of C4 or a cannon round.
-Lightning gun, Kills soft targets on the spot. Didn't see much of what it did to surfaces and hard targets.
-Blast-thing Wikkus shot the Nigerians with, packed a nice firm concussive impact.
-Bullet magnet, held up against barrage of small arms fire, returned it with an effect similar to a hefty fragmentation explosive.

None of these have killing power that hasn't been shoved into a similarly sized package by human engineering.

Alien materials are shown to be about as vulnerable to human weaponry as our own armoured fighting deallies. (command ship shot down, power armour wrecked by antitank rifle + car ramming, along with sustained small arms) None of what they displayed on the ground would win a war against a human army, simply by being there. The alien tech in this movie war rather worn down and low key.

Where's their Air support? Their anti-aircraft defences? Their naval capability? Artillery? They have none of the tools needed to conduct a war. At best, they could get into a city and become a near impossibility to force out. But the instant the try to leave it, they're gone. So long as they attract the Ire of any major nation, which they would as soon as they became a real threat to anyone.

And what is your evidence of an industrial base? [Well, the question of how they'd still had weapons to pawn after so long on earth without building new ones, I'll admit. But if they had any significant production capacity, wouldn't whoever controlled it be able to carve out a pretty svelte economic niche? And wouldn't it be a massive target for MNU to capture?] And what about any of the other economic pillars required to wage war? How will they feed their millions once blockades settle in?

Oh, and that Chris, a skilled engineer, was able to quickly construct an improvised explosive out of a few random components in a lab filled with weaponry? Someone with minimal training could do that with a kitchen. This is not the act of some kind of MacGuyverian god-king of mechanisms, he reassembled something that may have already been a bomb in the first place.

You're wanking these guys pretty hard without much precedent. Fancy zap-guns and metal gears do not win wars.



Spoiler:
While clearly they wouldn't win a war against everyone's military, they could easily stage an insurgency with the technology they have. We have people fighting from caves in deserts with worse weaponry than our high tech military and its still working somewhat well. Unless ALL the aliens decided to revolt I imagine they wouldn't just carpet bomb the area too for the same reason we don't do it in Iraq now. The real explanation of no insurgency seems far more due to the fact that the vast majority of the aliens were just drones with no leadership.

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Re: District 9

Postby Phrozt » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:12 pm UTC

Yuri2356 wrote:
Spoiler:
Unspeakable? Really?

Alien weapons we see:
-Automatic slugthrower, not visibly more violent than anything humans have made.
-Unusual explosives that release dark clouds and electrical discharges, not much more impact than a block of C4 or a cannon round.
-Lightning gun, Kills soft targets on the spot. Didn't see much of what it did to surfaces and hard targets.
-Blast-thing Wikkus shot the Nigerians with, packed a nice firm concussive impact.
-Bullet magnet, held up against barrage of small arms fire, returned it with an effect similar to a hefty fragmentation explosive.

None of these have killing power that hasn't been shoved into a similarly sized package by human engineering.


Spoiler:
Really?
We have hand held guns that release a C4/cannon round charge with little to no kick at a fairly rapid rate?
We have guns that seek out and explode soft targets entirely in one shot? (If you didn't catch it.. the reason he was killing people while aiming randomly was because the shot discharged through the soft target... it didn't necessarily go straight)
We have... anything... that will catch bullets and fire them back?


Yuri2356 wrote:
Spoiler:
Alien materials are shown to be about as vulnerable to human weaponry as our own armoured fighting deallies. (command ship shot down, power armour wrecked by antitank rifle + car ramming, along with sustained small arms) None of what they displayed on the ground would win a war against a human army, simply by being there. The alien tech in this movie war rather worn down and low key.


Spoiler:
Yes.. but you also had an idiot running it. The suit caught the bullets and sent them back. When he was in it.. he never even attempted that. He moved slow, he used it poorly, and he probably didn't have any idea of 1/4th of the capabilities of the suit. Hell, his body didn't even FIT in the suit. Now.... imagine an army of those suits being run by trained aliens, meant to utilize those suits.

Paints a different picture.


Yuri2356 wrote:
Spoiler:
Where's their Air support? Their anti-aircraft defences? Their naval capability? Artillery? They have none of the tools needed to conduct a war. At best, they could get into a city and become a near impossibility to force out. But the instant the try to leave it, they're gone. So long as they attract the Ire of any major nation, which they would as soon as they became a real threat to anyone.


Spoiler:
They were in the middle of Africa. Why in the world would they build a navy in the middle of a land mass? Why would they build air support? Why would the build AA? There was no uprising... so why would they have built any of that? They built their small arms for street wars. My point was, if they can manage this technology for piddly arguments, imagine what they could do for a full scale war.

I don't recall ever seeing a human made craft that resembled the mothership.


Yuri2356 wrote:
Spoiler:
And what is your evidence of an industrial base? [Well, the question of how they'd still had weapons to pawn after so long on earth without building new ones, I'll admit. But if they had any significant production capacity, wouldn't whoever controlled it be able to carve out a pretty svelte economic niche? And wouldn't it be a massive target for MNU to capture?] And what about any of the other economic pillars required to wage war? How will they feed their millions once blockades settle in?


Spoiler:
If they're making the weapons that they are, and living off of the trash heaps that they are... imagine what they could do if they took over Johannesburg. And considering 2 individuals, one being in the middle of a species metamorphosis, could break into, steal something from and get out of the only major military outpost in the entire city, imagine what even 200,000 trained alien soldiers could accomplish. Then, once they had the city, their resources go from a trash heap to the remnants of one of the top 40 major metropolitan areas of the world. I think they'd be ok.


Yuri2356 wrote:
Spoiler:
Oh, and that Chris, a skilled engineer, was able to quickly construct an improvised explosive out of a few random components in a lab filled with weaponry? Someone with minimal training could do that with a kitchen. This is not the act of some kind of MacGuyverian god-king of mechanisms, he reassembled something that may have already been a bomb in the first place.


Spoiler:
I believe what he did was disassemble his own gun and turn it into a bomb... on the fly... under heavy fire. Imagine what he could do with a couple months and time to work on things.

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Re: District 9

Postby Mega D » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:10 pm UTC

Spoiler:
While I had plenty of problems with the movie, too, I don't see the lack of organized insurrection as an inconsistency or plot hole. My understanding from what the movie presented was that what kept them from rising up was not their physical or technological capabilities, but their hive mind mentality. Without direct orders from the "central brain" or whatever, it doesn't even occur to them that they could rise up, or even that it's something they might want to do. Yes, if you get directly into their faces they will fight back and defend themselves, but that's a far cry from organized military action.

Even if you reject that explanation, they could be avoiding rebellion simply out of self-preservation. I don't think their superior technology is enough to say that they'd be able to fight back against humanity. You might have a pile of guns that is more powerful than what the police have, but if you start killing cops they're going to send the army. Their rifles are much more powerful than ours, and one of them can surely beat a human in a fist fight, but if it came to all out war between humanity and the aliens they'd still be annihilated based on what we see. Yes, they can shoot human soldiers, but what are they going to do when we start dropping bombs on them? Nothing we see in the movie suggests they could do anything about that.

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Re: District 9

Postby Izawwlgood » Fri Aug 21, 2009 4:36 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I loathe the notion of the aliens being a hive mind organization; it mildly detracts from the concept of them being individual peoples forced into squalor, displaced, and listless because of their conditions. More then anything, I feel this movie was a commentary on how we treat fellow HUMANS. When you make the alien storytelling mechanism distinctly inhuman, i.e., only barely capable of independence anyway, a bit of the horror is lessened. But hey, none of that hive mind crap was in the movie, so I'm going to ignore the director on this one.


Spoiler:
Re: Weapons; Aliens got 'em and use 'em. If you want to nitpick over their capabilities, go for it, I chose to see it as representational of the historical view that exploited peoples can be put to a use, be it via labor or natural resources of their land. In this case, it also serves as a potent warning against exploitation; one of the talking heads at the end of the movie said something to the effect of "We all wonder if maybe Christopher will return with more of his kind and declare war for what we have done."


Spoiler:
I was a bit disappointed in the ending. The aliens are still living in squalor, MNU and the people of Johannesburg not having learned anything of the events (Oh... perhaps that's the point...). And I am still heavily annoyed by the fact that while the aliens and humans alike are evidently able to at understand one anothers language, at least on a rudimentary level, WE CALL THE ALIENS CHRISTIAN NAMES?
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Re: District 9

Postby Mega D » Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:56 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
Spoiler:
I loathe the notion of the aliens being a hive mind organization; it mildly detracts from the concept of them being individual peoples forced into squalor, displaced, and listless because of their conditions. More then anything, I feel this movie was a commentary on how we treat fellow HUMANS. When you make the alien storytelling mechanism distinctly inhuman, i.e., only barely capable of independence anyway, a bit of the horror is lessened. But hey, none of that hive mind crap was in the movie, so I'm going to ignore the director on this one.


Spoiler:
I'm pretty sure I recall a line fairly early in the movie stating at least the theory that this is how the species operated. Even if they didn't specifically use the term "hive mind", that was definitely the impression I got from what was in the movie. Of course I don't remember it well enough to give an exact quotation.


izawwlgood wrote:
Spoiler:
And I am still heavily annoyed by the fact that while the aliens and humans alike are evidently able to at understand one anothers language, at least on a rudimentary level, WE CALL THE ALIENS CHRISTIAN NAMES?

Spoiler:
We do exactly the same thing as humans, at least in the US. It should be annoying, but it's still completely realistic. I expect that it was a deliberate choice by the filmmakers to elicit just such annoyance. Whether it's renaming slaves, changing immigrants' names on Ellis Island to something that sounds more "American", or just people feeling socially pressured to simplify their names to fit in, as in "My name's Mbutu, but you can call me 'Bob'". Immigrants are expected to blend in for the sake of making the rest of us more comfortable.

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Re: District 9

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:01 pm UTC

Mega D wrote:
izawwlgood wrote:And I am still heavily annoyed by the fact that while the aliens and humans alike are evidently able to at understand one anothers language, at least on a rudimentary level, WE CALL THE ALIENS CHRISTIAN NAMES?

We do exactly the same thing as humans, at least in the US. It should be annoying, but it's still completely realistic. I expect that it was a deliberate choice by the filmmakers to elicit just such annoyance.

Not exactly. What we do in the US is refuse to learn to passably pronounce names that we definitely have the mouthparts to pronounce. This is rude and annoying.

What they did in the movie was give the aliens names that humans are physiologically capable of pronouncing. Which is considerably less rude and annoying.

Each can understand the other's language, sure. But neither can pronounce it.
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Re: District 9

Postby Alpha Omicron » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:08 pm UTC

I thought that giving the aliens human names was a nod to the practice of forcing Anglo names on Asians, and Jews and so forth in the past.
Gmalivuk's explanation makes sense too, but if that was their intent, then I think the writers missed an opportunity to draw another connection to real-life apartheid.
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Re: District 9

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:13 pm UTC

Well I think the parallel is definitely there. I just think it has a much more reasonable explanation in the movie's case of two mutually unproducible languages.
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Re: District 9

Postby Midnight » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:53 pm UTC

It did sort of irritate me that all the aliens can understand the humans and all the humans can understand the aliens.

The humans not so much, though, because one assumes that Wikus and his evicting comrades were required to learn xxkkchkkdklokok or whatever over the past 20 years. But the aliens that were BEING evicted... why would they understand english? i'm sure only a minority deals with the nigerian mafia. the rest thouhg, would have no/very little dealings with humans, so how could they understand that they were being kicked out?

and yes, only Christopher could read/understand what was being given to him, but they all seemed to express anger, as if they all knew they were being evicted.


EDIT: I guess what I'm saying is the plot might've been made more interesting or realistic if there had been a few scenarios of un-subtitled alien-speak and a human going "wait what the hell did you say?" or an alien requiring explanation of some of the lexicon used.
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Re: District 9

Postby Alpha Omicron » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:17 am UTC

I'm not sure the people behind the movie should have made it seven hours longer and much less direct by relenting to a bunch of nerds who demand aliens be the way they think aliens should be.
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Re: District 9

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Aug 22, 2009 3:26 pm UTC

Yes, asshole, because we are totally "demanding" exactly that...
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Re: District 9

Postby Midnight » Sun Aug 23, 2009 12:20 am UTC

I do remember when the thesaurus-people decided that "a few scenarios in a movie" was synonymous with "seven hours of time".
uhhhh fuck.

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Re: District 9

Postby Alpha Omicron » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:47 am UTC

Obviously "seven hours" was an exaggeration; you're strawman-ing me here.
I just mean that sacrificing some realism is often a good idea for a sci-fi movie, especially one with a strong message to get across like this one.
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Re: District 9

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Aug 23, 2009 4:45 am UTC

Alpha Omicron wrote:I just mean that sacrificing some realism is often a good idea for a sci-fi movie, especially one with a strong message to get across like this one.

Then perhaps saying that in the first place would have been a good idea. Instead of accusing us nerds of demanding a whole bunch of extra work that none of us actually ever demanded. (Strawmanning, in other words, and also being a dick about it.)
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Re: District 9

Postby Nomic » Fri Aug 28, 2009 7:55 pm UTC

Saw this movie today. Thought it was pretty good. Some thoughts about it:

Spoiler:
On why the aliens didn't organise and fight against being opressed: well, if the theory mentioned was correct, the alien society was divided to castes like that of colonial insects. The aliens were mostly members the worker caste, having lost their leaders in whatever accident that caused their ship to malfunction. This doesn't necessarily imply they had a hivemind or similar, tho. However, they would've relied on the leader caste to formulate any large-scale plan and give them orders, and without them they would lack the initiative to perform organised resistance.

Spoiler:
On the alien weaponry: They were clearly superior to human ones, but we don't know if they could build new ones (I'm quessing not, because the weapons were partly organic and thus not exactly easy to reproduce on Earth, where they presumably didn't have access to those organic components. Not to mention none of the weapons looks like it's built from trash) or how many they had. Assuming the aliens weren't an invasion force, they'd probably wouldn't have all that many guns and probably didn't have anything heavier than the battlesuits shown in the movie, and would thus be heavily outgunned when facing an actual army, complete with tanks and air support. Againt unarmored humans with light vehicles, they would dominate tho, as shown in the film.


I wonder why the aliens orginally came to Earth, tho. It seems their ship had suffered some kind of malfunction so perhaps they just dropped to the neares habitable planet i hopes of getting it fixed.

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Re: District 9

Postby Phrozt » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:16 pm UTC

You know what I just realized? I never saw any female aliens.... Now, granted I wouldn't know what a female alien looked like, but there were no references to any of the aliens shown that would signify them being female. And if it were a hive mentality and they needed a queen... that would mean there *were* no female aliens.

If so, how did those eggs come to be?

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Re: District 9

Postby Kizyr » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:30 am UTC

Phrozt wrote:You know what I just realized? I never saw any female aliens.... Now, granted I wouldn't know what a female alien looked like, but there were no references to any of the aliens shown that would signify them being female. And if it were a hive mentality and they needed a queen... that would mean there *were* no female aliens.

If so, how did those eggs come to be?

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Re: District 9

Postby somebody already took it » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:46 am UTC

Phrozt wrote:You know what I just realized? I never saw any female aliens.... Now, granted I wouldn't know what a female alien looked like, but there were no references to any of the aliens shown that would signify them being female. And if it were a hive mentality and they needed a queen... that would mean there *were* no female aliens.

Maybe you never saw any male aliens.

And unrelatedly, was anyone else bothered by the goal of the aliens being to return home? I think for the movie to work as a parable for race relations their goal should have been to be integrated into human society. Albeit that would have probably made for a less exciting movie.

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Re: District 9

Postby Mo0man » Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:27 pm UTC

somebody already took it wrote:And unrelatedly, was anyone else bothered by the goal of the aliens being to return home? I think for the movie to work as a parable for race relations their goal should have been to be integrated into human society. Albeit that would have probably made for a less exciting movie.

But originally, the plan wasn't to go home. The plan was just for Christopher to get into the mothership so that he could have access to all the supplies and technology ON the ship. The only reason he suddenly decided to go home was because he found out about all the abuses people were heaping on the aliens, hence the whole "3 years" drama
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Re: District 9

Postby Phrozt » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:47 pm UTC

Kizyr wrote:
Phrozt wrote:You know what I just realized? I never saw any female aliens.... Now, granted I wouldn't know what a female alien looked like, but there were no references to any of the aliens shown that would signify them being female. And if it were a hive mentality and they needed a queen... that would mean there *were* no female aliens.

If so, how did those eggs come to be?

...they're hermaphroditic. They mentioned so in the MNC lecture. They even had a diagram. KF


Ah thanks... I missed this. That certainly explains things.

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Re: District 9

Postby Angua » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:01 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Why did the aliens protect Wikus in the end? Was it because he was trying to help Christopher escape? Also, how did Wikus expect to be able to fix himself using technology on the ship if he could barely understand the symbols needed to pilot the command module? Christopher also managed to disappear pretty quickly once he got onto the mothership. If it only takes 3 years to get home and come back, you sort of wonder why they couldn't send out a distress signal, why Christopher could fix the ship so quickly when the ship had just sat there for 3 months before the humans cut into it, and why the command module had spilt off to start with.
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Re: District 9

Postby Chen » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:26 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
Spoiler:
Why did the aliens protect Wikus in the end? Was it because he was trying to help Christopher escape? Also, how did Wikus expect to be able to fix himself using technology on the ship if he could barely understand the symbols needed to pilot the command module? Christopher also managed to disappear pretty quickly once he got onto the mothership. If it only takes 3 years to get home and come back, you sort of wonder why they couldn't send out a distress signal, why Christopher could fix the ship so quickly when the ship had just sat there for 3 months before the humans cut into it, and why the command module had spilt off to start with.


Spoiler:
I kinda wondered at that command module bit too. Seems like a poor design choice that your massive ship becomes utterly useless once a very tiny part of it becomes non-functional. It didnt even look like it was hidden in the ship, it was right on the outside. Its like the damn thermal exhaust ports on the death star...

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Re: District 9

Postby Mo0man » Tue Sep 01, 2009 6:55 pm UTC

Spoiler:
Was it really a command module? Maybe it was just an escape pod, and they just needed a smart alien to drive the Mothership around. If I was Christopher I wouldn't have trusted the humans for a lift either
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Re: District 9

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:54 pm UTC

Angua wrote:
Spoiler:
If it only takes 3 years to get home and come back, you sort of wonder why they couldn't send out a distress signal

Spoiler:
That's three years faster than light, presumably. The navigational looking interface showed multiple galaxies, so a lightspeed distress signal would have taken millions of years, I think.
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Re: District 9

Postby GhostWolfe » Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:07 pm UTC

Mo0man wrote:
Spoiler:
Was it really a command module? Maybe it was just an escape pod, and they just needed a smart alien to drive the Mothership around.
Spoiler:
That was my thought as well. Not that the mothership was non-functional, but rather there was no one on board (at the time) who knew how to run it.


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Re: District 9

Postby Malice » Wed Sep 02, 2009 6:49 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Angua wrote:
Spoiler:
If it only takes 3 years to get home and come back, you sort of wonder why they couldn't send out a distress signal

Spoiler:
That's three years faster than light, presumably. The navigational looking interface showed multiple galaxies, so a lightspeed distress signal would have taken millions of years, I think.


I find it hard to believe that a civilization could invent ftl travel but not ftl communication.
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Re: District 9

Postby headprogrammingczar » Wed Sep 02, 2009 1:48 pm UTC

We don't know how FTL shit works. As far as we know, FTL communication could be slower than FTL travel. There's also the matter of that 3 year estimate being a "there-and-back" estimate. That probably includes getting an army organized and moving, which would be somewhere around a year-long one-way FTL trip, which is somewhat easier to suspend disbelief for. Maybe I am reading too much into it though.
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Re: District 9

Postby Malice » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:07 pm UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:We don't know how FTL shit works. As far as we know, FTL communication could be slower than FTL travel. There's also the matter of that 3 year estimate being a "there-and-back" estimate. That probably includes getting an army organized and moving, which would be somewhere around a year-long one-way FTL trip, which is somewhat easier to suspend disbelief for. Maybe I am reading too much into it though.


While it's true that we don't know anything about the technology, it seems to me that throughout history, communication has kept pace with travel because if it falls behind, travel picks up the slack. If it takes 4 light years to beam a message, but only 1 light year to actually go there in person, you'd just send a messenger.
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Re: District 9

Postby Alpha Omicron » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:42 pm UTC

headprogrammingczar wrote:We don't know how FTL shit works. As far as we know, FTL communication could be slower than FTL travel. There's also the matter of that 3 year estimate being a "there-and-back" estimate. That probably includes getting an army organized and moving, which would be somewhere around a year-long one-way FTL trip, which is somewhat easier to suspend disbelief for. Maybe I am reading too much into it though.
It's not clear that Christopher intended to mobilise an army.
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Re: District 9

Postby Enuja » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:44 pm UTC

Malice, you appear to be missing the point. If your ftl communication is dependent upon your ftl travel, and you happen to be incapable of travel, and no-one is going to come looking for you on Earth, you can't send a message!

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Re: District 9

Postby Angua » Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:55 pm UTC

Spoiler:
I'm still confused why they were stuck in the first place though. I mean, it took Christopher 20 years to distil all that fuel, but would that have taken as long when they were stuck on board the ship? Did he abandon the ship with the command module and then realise that he was stuck on Earth as they would try ot take the ship if they found it?
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Re: District 9

Postby mosc » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:17 pm UTC

I got pissed at the fuel. The guy's spent 20 years scrounging through everything he could find to get a canister of liquid awesome and then what his name blows it in his face. If so much could be wasted and still have plenty, why wouldn't he have left years ago? I mean, he didn't even ask how much had been spilled. Maybe he'll run out of fuel half way.

I would have loved some explanation about what made the one prawn so smart compared to the others. I guess he wasn't a drone but was he born here? Was he just unable to do anything useful when they were still in the craft? The underlying premise of the movie suffered because the situation was unbelievable. Not because of aliens or whatnot but because of the number of coincidences and unexplained circumstance. Sloppy writing.

What's with the term prawn? They say it's derogatory but don't give another term. So, how is it really derogatory? Don't you have to purposely call someone something they don't want to be called in order for them to get offended by it? I suppose they just wanted to be called "Aliens"? That word is derogatory by it's very definition! *Sigh*
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Re: District 9

Postby gmalivuk » Wed Sep 02, 2009 9:22 pm UTC

Enuja wrote:Malice, you appear to be missing the point. If your ftl communication is dependent upon your ftl travel, and you happen to be incapable of travel, and no-one is going to come looking for you on Earth, you can't send a message!

Right, that was more my point. If you can't communicate without traveling and you can't travel without your ship and you can't get to your ship, then you're boned.
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Re: District 9

Postby keozen » Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:54 am UTC

Saw it tonight and loved it.

Many reasons that I will discuss later as I'm tired :)
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Re: District 9

Postby LE4dGOLEM » Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:56 pm UTC

You see a bit of non-human body language with the chest-grabbers wiggling about a little and when
Spoiler:
Wikus is in the suit and Christopher is looking up at him, his mandibles waggle about fairly rhythmically
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Re: District 9

Postby Midnight » Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:31 pm UTC

mosc wrote:I got pissed at the fuel. The guy's spent 20 years scrounging through everything he could find to get a canister of liquid awesome and then what his name blows it in his face. If so much could be wasted and still have plenty, why wouldn't he have left years ago? I mean, he didn't even ask how much had been spilled. Maybe he'll run out of fuel half way.

I would have loved some explanation about what made the one prawn so smart compared to the others. I guess he wasn't a drone but was he born here? Was he just unable to do anything useful when they were still in the craft? The underlying premise of the movie suffered because the situation was unbelievable. Not because of aliens or whatnot but because of the number of coincidences and unexplained circumstance. Sloppy writing.

What's with the term prawn? They say it's derogatory but don't give another term. So, how is it really derogatory? Don't you have to purposely call someone something they don't want to be called in order for them to get offended by it? I suppose they just wanted to be called "Aliens"? That word is derogatory by it's very definition! *Sigh*

Answer #1: I don't think it was fuel that hit Wikus, because the fuel when they were pouring it into the canister wasn't that weird viscous black stuff. perhaps that's a byproduct of the fuel.
Answer #2: We on the fora theorize that there is a caste system involved, and that Christopher is in a higher caste than (say) his less-intelligent friend. Perhaps not a top-tier caste, though, but high enough to pilot a ship. He was not born here.
Answer #3: Part of the whole movie is that we have no idea why the mothership stopped over Joberg, or why there were weird sloppy masses of aliens once we cut our way in. You're right, the premise of an alien mothership stopping over Joberg is unbelievable, hence the invention of suspension of disbelief.
Answer #4: The non-derogatory term is alien, I suppose, which I don't think is particularly derogatory in and of itself. Plus, we humans are incapable of pronouncing whatever term they call themselves. I think the reason prawn is the only one given is that humans have gotten so used to degrading the aliens and so prawn has become the standard (see mid-19th century southern united states of america) instead of the proper word. is it bad that the situation is like that? yes. it is supposed to be bad? yes.
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Re: District 9

Postby Moo » Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:13 am UTC

I'll read the rest of the thread later, but a few points I wanted to make. I am not a spokesperson for all South Africans but I do have perhaps a more full sense of context here than most.

* He's not saying "fuck" in some weird accent, he's saying "vok" which is Afrikaans for fuck. He is clearly meant to be Afrikaans, from his accent and the way he reverts to Afrikaans swearing (not just vok but a lot of other words) when greatly aggitated. More on this later.

* For those that find his stance on the aliens inconsistent, it's ENTIRELY consistent with what most people from his racial and economical background would have felt towards non-whites twenty years ago. Rambling:
Spoiler:
I grew up in this paradigm and know exactly the thinking. You think of yourself as quite a descent person because you want to help these poor creatures, in the same way you'd show kindness to an animal, but let's not get carried away here we all know they're not like us and we're so much better. And the CEASELESS propaganda that leads you to believe nothing except this all your life is cleverly laced underneath with fear and the subconscious message that you should never allow yourself to fully trust them, fully love them; so they make sure even "good" people have a default fear reaction that kicks in when social niceties cease; if the careful veneer of charity to a lesser being fails, make sure they FEAR them so the underlying hate can come out. That way they never have to stop and look at the situation without some sort of pre-programmed opinion and actually see the truth. No, not everyone grew up with this because otherwise there'd never have been white freedom fighters but for the masses, this is how it was. This was the truth you received from every source of broadcasting and everyone's buying of this reinforced each other. Wikus is a very typical "drone" human buying into the picture he's meant to believe because he has no reason not to.
*The CG never once broke it's spell for me; never once made me remember I'm in a movie theatre watching some computer generated aliens. They were real for me the entire time.

* I actually have a problem with him being portrayed as Afrikaans. A very common feeling amongst white, English speaking South Africans is that the Afrikaans are inferior. My husband's colleagues outright stated they were surprised someone so intelligent would marry an Afrikaans girl. Our language is mocked and described as "vomiting". Our culture is laughed at (some people make it look stupid, like in any culture, eg. the redneck stereotype but it's commonly used as an argument to "prove" Afrikaans culture is backward and stupid). Not to mention that the Afrikaans are more linked with apartheid than any other culture. So if you want to demonstrate that someone is stupid; isn't clever enough to question his superiors or what he's being expected to do; and is probably going to be racist anyway, hey let's just give him an Afrikaans accent because they're all like that aren't they. I fully expect disagreement with this assessment but please ask yourself if you know what you're talking about before you engage me on this. Do you actaully know anything about the Afrikaans/English-speaking-white-South-African dynamic?

*Back to the film: I've never been so proud of something South African. Small niggles aside, I thought it was ballsy and original and well worth watching again and again.
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Re: District 9

Postby Kizyr » Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:12 pm UTC

I was actually hoping you'd eventually get around to commenting on this thread.

Moo wrote:For those that find his stance on the aliens inconsistent, it's ENTIRELY consistent with what most people from his racial and economical background would have felt towards non-whites twenty years ago. Rambling:

That's pretty much what I felt (the 'suit-and-tie' racist that I was describing last page). I mean, I've met folks who are all smiles when they talk about how blacks are all stupid; Wikus in the beginning reminded me a lot of that.

Moo wrote:I fully expect disagreement with this assessment but please ask yourself if you know what you're talking about before you engage me on this. Do you actaully know anything about the Afrikaans/English-speaking-white-South-African dynamic?

I actually had no idea there was a dynamic between the two. That... adds another interesting layer to it all. KF
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Re: District 9

Postby Sorroth » Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:04 pm UTC

With reference to the Why-are-the-aliens-humanoid-shaped-ish question, an interview with Neill Blomkamp that io9 published said that he had very much wanted to make the aliens even more, well, alien, but audiences tend to be virtually incapable of empathising (and equalising ourselves) with anything that isn't two-eyed, relatively bipedal, etc. If we see something walking around on multiple legs, our head says "Animal" not "Person" and the fact that the aliens were people was more important to the creator's message than xenobiological accuracy was. And fair enough, says I.
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