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#069 Neill Blomkamp: District 9 vs. Elysium



Download MP3 In today's episode Nate and Austin compare Neill Blomkamp's best and worst rated films, District 9 (2009) and Elysium (2013), respectively. Nate becomes a programmer, Austin feels better prepared for the future, and they both want to fight some fookin' prawns. Check back next Sunday at 7pm PST where we will compare Neill Blomkamp's District 9 (2009) and Elysium (2013), his best and worst rated films.
Also check out this interview with director Neill Blomkamp and actor Sharlto Copley about the making of District 9: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyIgbEKypdg

Elysium Notes

Worst Rated

PLOT: In the year 2154, the very wealthy live on a man-made space station while the rest of the population resides on a ruined Earth. A man takes on a mission that could bring equality to the polarized worlds.
  • Ratings: IMDb 6.6 | RT 67% C / 58% A
  • Released: 2013
  • Director: Neill Blomkamp
  • Writer(s): Neill Blomkamp
  • Cinematographer: Trent Opaloch (Captain American: Civil War, Chappie)
  • Notable actors: Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, Wagner Moura, William Fichtner, Brandon Auret, Josh Blacker, Emma Tremblay, Jose Pablo Cantillo, Maxwell Perry Cotton, Faran Tahir, Adrian Holmes
  • Budget: $115 million
  • Box office: $286.1 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • The biography of John Carlyle displayed by the computer indicates that he was born in 2010, which makes him about 144 years old.
    • When Kruger retrieves the rocket launcher from his vehicle, the name of the agency he is working for is seen-- the "Civil Cooperation Bureau." The South African Civil Cooperation Bureau (CCB) was a government-sponsored under cover direct action intelligence agency during the apartheid era.
    • Kruger and his men incorporate numerous Afrikaans slang words into their dialogue. Examples include "Boet," an informal derivative of "brother," "Boykie," meaning "little boy," and "lekker," a slang for approval.
    • The main role was first offered to Ninja, a South African rapper, who despite being a fan of District 9 (2009) (he has a D9 tattoo on his inner lip) did not take the role. The role was then offered to rapper Eminem, who also turned it down. So Neill Blomkamp moved on to Matt Damon as his next choice.
    • The line, "Don't breathe on me... Cover your mouth!" spoken by John Carlyle to the Plant Manager was ad-libbed by William Fichtner.

District 9 Notes

Best Rated

PLOT: An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology.
  • Ratings: IMDb 8.0 | RT 90% C / 82% A
  • Released: 2009
  • Director: Neill Blomkamp
  • Writer(s): Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell (written by)
  • Cinematographer: Trent Opaloch (Captain American: Civil War, Chappie)
  • Notable actors: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, Nathalie Boltt, John Sumner, William Allen Young, Nick Blake
  • Budget: $30 million
  • Box office: $210.8 million
  • Fun Facts:
    • After the feature film based on the Halo (2001) video game series (which was to be directed by Neill Blomkamp) fell through, producer Peter Jackson went to Blomkamp and offered him $30 million to make whatever he wanted. The result was District 9 (2009).
    • Around six different endings were created during filming.
    • The language used by the aliens (clicking sounds) was created by rubbing a pumpkin.
    • The first documentary-style film to be nominated for Best Picture Oscar.
    • The title is a nod to a real place and a real incident. District 6 was a mixed race neighborhood of Cape Town which the apartheid government demolished in 1966 to make room for whites.
    • Star Sharlto Copley had not acted before and had no intention of pursuing an acting career. He stumbled into the leading role as director Neill Blomkamp placed him on-camera during the short film.
    • All the shacks in District 9 were actual shacks that exist in a section of Johannesburg which were to be evacuated and the residents moved to better government housing, paralleling the events in the film. Also paralleling, the residents had not actually been moved out before filming began. The only shack that was created solely for filming was Christopher Johnson's shack.
    • As part of the marketing campaign in North America and the United Kingdom, posters were put up in major cities on bus stops, the sides of buildings, etc., designating areas that were restricted for humans only, with a number to call (866.666.6001 in the U.S., 0207 148 7468 in the U.K.) in order to report non-humans. The title of the film was generally not included, although the URL address for the film's official website was.
    • The idea of the prawns being obsessed with cat food came from two inspirations. In impoverished areas of Johannesburg, director Neill Blomkamp would see people selling cheese poofs and other snack foods out of large three-foot tall bags and wanted the aliens to have a similar cheap food. The decision to make them cat food came from one of the producers who used canned cat food to bait traps when fishing for prawns in Vancouver.
    • The creatures used in the small fighting arena were meant to be rodents/pests which were aboard the ship.

Intro music: Calm The Fuck Down - Broke For Free / CC BY 3.0
 

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