One of the worst things about trying to be a movie fan in the modern age is the marketing blitz that accompanies most movie openings. As studios compete with each other and other industries altogether for our entertainment dollars, they tend to run too many commercials. They run too many trailers. Those trailers and commercials end up giving up too much info about a movie and that ultimately doesn't serve us as audience members all that well.
Other than a single ambiguous trailer, I knew nothing about District 9 before going to the theater today. That was perfect for this movie.
District 9 was exactly what science fiction in the modern age needs to be. It was full of action taking a cue from Paul Verhoven's Starship Troopers. It was cerebral in spots like Battlestar Galactica. It had messages and undertones that could be applied to the real world, while not making them blatant and/or heavy handed. And that is all I am going to say so as to promote the same movie-going experience that I had today.
I understand the marketing realities of the world we live in. I know that studios can't afford to spend a lot of money on movies and then risk the box office receipts by not marketing the movie. At the same time, it is a sad state of affairs that most times when we are learning that a movie exists we also have to learn vital plot points in the process.
Surprise and originality are two of the greatest weapons in any filmmaker's arsenal. But, you can only be surprised once and originality is a phenomenon where the minute you hear something it no longer feels authentically original. For me with District 9 it was wonderful that the cat was still in the bag.