Championed by Peter Jackson, director Neill Blomkamp’s first feature is a stunning collision of sci-fi and political commentary. Now District 9 has hit 4K Ultra HD, but is it prawn cocktail, or yawn mocktail?
The story: 28 years after an alien starship descended upon Johannesburg, it remains in the sky while its inhabitants, an alien race given the derogatory nickname “prawns”, live in what has basically become a slum, known as District 9. A military company is hired to evict all of the “prawns” and have them move to a place far from the city – and far from that city’s inhabitants’ minds. The operative in charge is exposed to an alien chemical, and his mission quickly starts to go off the rails.
“Hello, little guy! It’s the sweetie man coming!”
The 4K disc: Combining film and video elements to pull off its cross between documentary and story, District 9 on 4K Ultra HD comes from a 2K master and features HDR encoding. While the movie is quite muted overall colour-wise, the HDR treatment brings it to much more life than the Blu-ray release, especially working for the documentary parts of Blomkamp’s film.
The new Dolby Atmos sound mix that’s included is superb. You may wonder why they bothered initially, but once the action cranks up – helicopters, gunfire – you’ll feel justified in having spent the bucks for those extra speakers. Dialogue is always clear (depending upon your affinity with South African accents), surround use is often very directional and bass, when called upon, delivers pleasing thump.
The 4K disc features two trailers and a 17-minute featurette, while the handy bonus standard Blu-ray delivers a director’s commentary, deleted scenes, a three-part doco and a selection of further featurettes.
Release date: October 28, 2020
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring: Sharlto Copley, David Jones, Jason Cope
Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.