District 9 – Long story short, aliens arrive on earth, settle in over Johannesburg South Africa and eventually are moved from their ship to District 9, a shantytown slum where the aliens live in squalor. Due to rising tension between humans and aliens it’s decided to relocate the prawns (slang nickname, not nice) 200 miles outside the city to a new ‘settlement.’ Per local law eviction notices must be served and its one unfortunate MNU employee, Wikus, of the evicting company who happens across a device and is sprayed with a fluid that begins a rapid transformation that plunges him into a world he could never have expected to enter.
Sorry, no more story here as watching how it unfolds and the reasons behind the choices made is a huge part of the pleasure. The story and how it’s told is unique and inventive and begging for more back-story and a sequel. The special effects are outstanding and if this movie was made 5 years earlier it may have received the credit it deserves. The effects are absolutely incredible and it’s safe to say WETA has reached new heights even with their lofty portfolio. The way the story is told with reports in a documentary format all warp nicely at the end and will leave the viewer wanting more. Will it be long before games use the exact technology to create their in-game animations? Time will tell but watching the special features, including Alien Generation, gamers can begin to see the blurring of lines between film and game.
God of War III Demo – This demo, also available with the God of War collection on PS3, is not going to blow God of War vets away with major gameplay changes but it will amaze with truly next-gen graphics, settings that are gorgeous and quite a few encounters that will leave them salivating for the full game. The controls have not changed; weapons feel natural as do secondary weapons that are used with purpose. The few sub-boss encounters show off the new evisceration animations and techniques that now move into the baddies, literally. The end of the demo stops just short of what should be one hell of a boss fight but gamers do get a sweet making-of feature video. God of War is one of those games that nailed ‘it’ with its first release and has been perfecting the formula ever since and with part 3 it just keeps getting better.
Going Digital – First seen with the Godzilla Blu-ray, District 9 also features a digital copy for PSP, PC, MAC or iPod. This feature, soon to be the standard, helps justify the higher Blu-ray vs. DVD price and with so many advancements in handheld devices it’s great to be able to take such a slick feature on the go. It’s still a new concept to many so worth mentioning.
Overall District 9 on Blu-ray is a great film. It reminds of a time of Alien Nation’s and the arrival of a few other V … isitors form the 80’s. The online features and ‘extras’ not mentioned in this article are also becoming the norm with the very interactive Blu-ray format. Film makers can reward owners with extra content after the disc ship date and not be under the gun to fit everything they want into one disc. A very creative movie with excellent effects and a deep story told in a manner fit for the Discovery Channel or National Geographic. The game demo and digital copy of the film, icing on the cake and a true treat for gamers who decide to give District 9 on Blu-ray a spin.