District 9 (2009, Neill Blomkamp)

A government paperwork wonk named Wikus is given the task of going door-to-door in the South African slums and telling all the aliens from another planet they are to be relocated. When he discovers one alien (and his young son) who has been reassembling their technology underground in order to retake control of their mothership, Wikus accidentally exposes himself to a chemical that transmogrifies him into an alien. Kickass action involving disintegration weapons and armored body suits follow. Weird, thrilling, completely unique movie – influences seem to be Cloverfield (handheld camerawork + action fx) and The Fly (Katy would not enjoy the Wikus-to-alien transformation).

The director on Peter Jackson’s involvement:

There’s no way I could have gotten this film made as what I wanted to make, without his involvement. So it’s much more than just saying, “Go and do what you want.” It’s “Can I put a guy in the movie who’s never acted before, but I think he can carry the lead role?” There’s no way that would have happened if he wasn’t producing it. So he said “Yes.” And then, “Can they keep South African accents? And they’re thick accents.” “Yes.”

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