In early 2008 my primary contribution to the enhancement of the lives of mankind was a film review slot I had on a local radio station in Hayes, Middlesex. My first feature of the year was an excitable prediction that 2008 was going to be the best year at the movies since the halcyon days of 1989 (Batman, Licence To Kill, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade… I get a tear in my eye and a stirring in my nethers just thinking about it).
Because I am such an unbearable smartarse I called this feature ‘Two Thousand and Great’, and was so pleased with myself that I pulled several muscles in my face due to over-smuggery. However twelve months later my smug muscles had gone into atrophy and my reputation as a grand soothsayer of the future of movies lay in tatters. Of the ten films I confidently predicted to be truly gobsmackular, only one turned out to be so, and that was Cloverfield. The rest were mildly disappointing (The Dark Knight, Quantum Of Solace), heartbreakingly bad (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) or suicide-promptingly abysmal (Jumper, Vantage Point… I won’t even mention 10,000 BC. Oops).
As a result I am no longer welcome within two miles of the Middlesex boundaries and have had to assume a new identity in order to continue peddling movie twaddle without being arrested by the Serious Fraud Office.
So having well and truly learned my lesson and promised never to make such ludicrous and unreliable forecasts ever again, I thought ‘bugger it’ and can now confidently predict that there is a film that will certainly, definitely, undoubtedly be the best of 2009. I bet my remaining Star Wars figures on it and will eat my appendix if I’m wrong.
District 9 is a documentary-style sci-fi drama about aliens living in South Africa and being treated like slaves and third-class citizens by the people, the government and the multi-national corporation using the aliens’ technology for their own nefarious purposes, mwahaha. It’s basically an allegory about human rights and discrimination, but with massive spaceships.
My confidence in this film is based largely on the fact that it looks a bit like Cloverfield, which is surely a better basis than the ‘evidence’ that prompts other fortune tellers to predict the future. I mean, stars, tea leaves, lines on your palm and so on, as if that’s more scientific than a vague rumbling in my guts that indicates a solid gold classic movie on the horizon (or it could indicate something else distinctly less solid on the horizon, but let’s not go there).
So come back in September (and every day in between, obviously) for my no-doubt-glowing review of this awesome filmic event, and I shall look forward to keeping a firm hold on my reputation, my R2-D2 (with retractable sensorscope) and my beloved, but biologically pointless appendix.