Dr. Don Donderi, a retired associate professor in the Department of Psychology, reviews this year’s sleeper hit, District 9. A research psychologist who has published many experimental and theoretical papers in the areas of visual perception, memory, and psychological measurement, Dr. Donderi has studied the UFO phenomenon since 1966.
District 9 is an action-packed drama whose theme is man’s inhumanity to aliens. It features a hidden vial of precious liquid, shoot-ups, explosions, car crashes, a giant spacecraft, antiaircraft missiles, a wicked multinational corporation, a transformer-like battle robot, arthropod-like aliens, and one of the human characters undergoes a Jekyll-and-Hyde physical transmutation. District 9 is staged with an integrated South African cast (the everyman hero is an Afrikaner, his second-in-command a black South African), and it is set largely in a shantytown bordering downtown Johannesburg. The formula is part documentary and part TV commentary and the rest is you-are-there realism; particularly the shoot-em-up part with sweaty, bearded, bald, bad mercenaries firing out of helicopters and armored cars, kicking down doors and fighting Nigerian gangsters, the giant transformer battle robot and the aliens all at the same time. Who could ask for anything more? (more…)