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Review: 4K Ultra Edition of 'District 9' Reinvigorates a Classic

by JC Alvarez
Monday Oct 19, 2020
Review: 4K Ultra Edition of 'District 9' Reinvigorates a Classic

We are not alone!

This is a close encounter unlike any ever captured! When a strange looking vessel arrives on Earth and settles over Johannesburg, South Africa, it soon becomes evident that the alien life forms aboard it are unable to do for themselves. Upon further inspection, it becomes clearer that the aliens are unable to get their ship to work, and it becomes increasingly difficult to coexist with them. The aliens are isolated and moved into a settlement - a ghetto really - that is named "District 9". Available for the first time on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, this unconventional science-fiction masterpiece, is as relevant as ever.

The area becomes a political hotbed, with government agencies and warring terrorist factions moving in and attempting to co-op the alien technology for their own ends. Unfortunately, the armaments used by the alien "prawns" are incompatible with humans. The MNU (Multi-National United), a private company, has been contracted to move the aliens, effectively evicting them from their shanty homes under the guise of uncovering dangerous weaponry to reverse engineer and sell on the black market.

Sharlto Copley stars as the unwitting operative Wikus van der Merwe, who is tasked with informing the aliens of their planned forced relocation, but when he becomes exposed to an alien compound, it begins to rewrite his DNA, making him more like the visitors. Wikus is caught between both worlds, and the conspiracy to control the wealth of alien technology while suppressing the will of a species that is determined to get back to their own home planet. But Wikus has allies: A sympathetic alien and his youngling.

The 4K Ultra HD presentation of the film is remarkable, reinvigorating the look and unique visual style of the film. The CGI is expertly crafted and seamless, enhancing the authenticity of the South Africa of "District 9," its aliens, and various special effects. The 4K disc also features the theatrical trailers in their Ultra HD high-definition experience. Fans also get to enjoy the Comic-Con Extravaganza in 4K, and the Blu-ray disc is loaded with all the additional bonus content: Deleted Scenes, Director's Commentary, and more making for a very impressive look into the making of the film.

The package includes several remarkable bonus special features that look at the origins of the film, inspired by Neil Blomkamp's idea of telling this science-fiction story and its geopolitical undertones. "The Alien Agenda: A Filmmaker's Log" is a three-part documentary that explores all the various elements that led to bringing "District 9" to the big screen. Another fascinating featurette details the transformation Copley's character Wikus goes through, which is all practical make-up that had to be applied to the actor as his character undergoes his metamorphosis. "District 9" will undoubtedly go down as a benchmark in the sci-fi docu-style genre, and it has never looked better.

"District 9" was released in 4K Ultra ion Oct. 13.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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