When I first heard the name Neil Blomkamp it was in a story about him being tapped to direct a Halo movie. Peter Jackson said he wanted to produce it and have this unknown filmmaker direct it. Of course this didn’t go over so well with the video game faithful who religiously play the game for hrs at a time. The Halo fans created such a stink that Blomkamp and Jackson never made the movie. Neil Blomkamp would later go on to direct his first feature length film called District 9 instead. Neil is a South African filmmaker he directs,produces and writes his own material. He generally mixes science fiction and special effects shots with realistic settings and themes. He is based out of Vancouver British Columbia, Canada.
District 9 was a critical and financial success. This film has some realistic themes like all of Blomkamp’s films. The theme apartheid was very prevalent and up front and in your face in this film. Coming from South Africa Blomkamp knew very well how this would be a tough theme to sell to audiences and critics. Nonetheless it was a huge success. Sharlto Copley was a child hood friend of Blomkamp’s and they would becomes very close after high school. They helped each other further there film careers in different ways. Blomkamp has used Copley in all of his theatrical releases to date. Copley plays Wikus a government agent who accidentally opens a can of alien technology and spays its contents on himself. Trying to escape the law he eventually befriends some of the aliens living in squalor in District 9. Blomkamp uses a shaky cam style of film making while adding state of the art special effects. Mixing the two he creates the near futuristic realistic world of Johannesburg. With the alien ship over head it looms large in the over all plot of the story and how these aliens disrespectfully called prawns because of there likeness to sea creature’s can find better way of living. Wikus worked for MNU (Muti-National United and all the cared about was how to turn the alien tech into weapons they can use. Also Mumbo a Nigerien runs the slum of District 9 and he has is own agenda on how to use these sad aliens for his own gain. District 9 premiere’d August 14th 2009. District 9 has a 90 % on Rotten Tomatoes.
Elysium was Blomkamp’s next film and once again he would have strong themes through out this sci-fi drama. Once again he would use his go to guy Sharlto Copley in Elysium but, this time as the evil killer Kruger. Big name actors have come on board this time around though as well. Matt Damon and Jodie Foster play both sides of a question. Damon’s Max who has been infected with a disease and Fosters Delacourt who is the defense minister vying for the Presidency. When her beautiful world of Elysium is threatened by this earth scum he vows to stop him and his friend Julio (Diego Luna) at all costs. Heath care is the major theme of Elysium and it was in the United States at the time this film came out was well. Blomkamp is great at putting his thump on the pulse of hard hitting topics. Then combining them with great sci-fi adventure and drama. Elysium came out in theater’s August 9th 2013 to mediate to mixed reviews by critics and audiences alike. Elysium has a 68 % on Rotten Tomatoes.
Chappie is Blomkamp’s latest film out this week March 6th 2015. He once again mixes sci-fi themes with drama and action. Bullying and pear pressure are up front in this film. Along with who should be able to weld technology and the key to its creation. A couple of big name star once again join Blomkamp on this fore into robot police and law enforcement. Hugh Jackman is the foil to Dev Patel this time around with a company owner played by Sigourney Weaver. William Fichner played the company owner in Elysium. Very similar characters in both films. Chappie is voiced non other then Charlto Copley. This makes three films he and Blomkamp have worked together on. Blomcamp uses a couple local rappers/singers as some criminal robbers who find Chappie and reprogram him. He then gain sentient life and try to become more human.
A couple of weeks ago on his twitter account Neil Blomkamp announced that his next film would be Aliens 5. It would star once again in the role of Ripley Sigourney Weaver. He said that it would take place between Aliens and Aliens 3 the the David Fincher outing he later disavowed. Blomkamp would bring so fresh energy to this dying franchise. After Aliens Resurrection and tow Aliens vs Predator movies this franchise has kind of died. Blomkamp definitely has a style he can and would lend to this sci-fi horror genre. Science fiction movies have been hit and miss and horror movies have been generally pretty bad and unoriginal. Hers hoping Blomkamp brings these two genre’s back with a bang. Ridley Scott will produce the new film and it will be separate from Prometheus 2 and its will be a 20th Century Fox film.
Dan Skip Allen