If you missed the Peter Jackson-produced sci-fi stunner that is District 9, you’ll want to bring it home on Blu-ray or DVD on December 29. Made for a modest $30 million and having grossed over $163 million worldwide, District 9 is one of the smartest, most satisfying and relevant films in the annals of science fiction.
As a large, inoperative alien spacecraft hovers over South Africa, its crustacean-like alien inhabitants are given asylum in an area called District 9, which has become a crime-ridden slum. The movie is an obvious reference to District Six, an inner-city area of Cape Town that was declared "whites only" in 1966, resulting in some 60,000 people being forcibly removed and relocated to an area 15 miles away. Even though the District 9 aliens, derogatively referred to as “prawns,” are largely CGI creations and not the cuddliest looking extraterrestrials, it’s hard not to get emotional for their plight as they experience extreme racism and xenophobia. If the Academy ever looked beyond sepia-hued kitchen-sink dramas and Meryl Streep vehicles for award contenders, newcomer Sharlto Copley would get an Oscar nomination for his role as an MNU (Multinational United) worker assigned to District 9 who eventually tries to help a father alien and his son escape and return home.
Now we're getting details about the disc versions of one of this summer’s finest films. Both the DVD and BD will contain commentary by director Neill Blomkamp, an interactive map of District 9's futuristic world, a three-part documentary called “The Alien Agenda,” a look at the transformation of Copley’s character, as well as behind-the-scenes featurettes on the visual effects and design. The BD adds movieIQ and cinechat capabilities, as well as a stunning 1080p picture and 5.1 DTS-HD sound. Whichever version you choose, you’ll want to invite some friends over and celebrate this original sci-fi masterpiece. Those garlic jumbo shrimp you were thinking of serving? Trust Blu-ray Bob…another time.