District 9

In the early 1980s, an alien spaceship hovers over the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, and shows no signs of life. After waiting six months for contact, the government decides to cut into the vessel to see what's inside, and it finds the alien crew starving and malnourished. The local authorities set up a refugee camp for the aliens, and over the span of nearly 30 years, their numbers grow to over 1.8 million. Now what?

Producer Peter Jackson and writer/director Neill Blomkamp flew under the radar with District 9 and have delivered one of the finest science-fiction films of the decade. The first act's pacing is glacial, but the payoff is more than worth the wait. From a technical perspective, the visuals are stunning, and the DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack kicks some serious tail.

Prawns

  • Chapter 2, 0:12:48
  • Detail
  • This is the first close-up of an alien, aka Prawn, and the CGI is outstanding. Look at the detail in the eyes, the minute hair growing on its left shoulder, and the worm-like growths out of its nose.

Attack on MNU Headquarters

  • Chapter 11, 01:09:16
  • Frequency response
  • As MNU (Multi-National United) is moving in on the fugitive Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley), he and his new friend have plans of their own. Feel the foundation shake as they unleash the power of the alien weapon on MNU's local facility.

Time to head out

  • Chapter 13, 01:25:55
  • Detail, frequency response, surround envelopment
  • When the alien mothership fires up its engines for the first time in decades, it unleashes a sonic boom that blows out nearly every window in the area. As the shockwave travels through the town, you can see every effect of the destructive sound.
  • Listen as the blast travels through the room from front to back and how the shattering glass permeates the soundstage accompanied by intense LFE.

Release Date: December 22, 2009
Studio: Sony

Movie: 9/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 10/10

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