Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Tag: District 9

Phew Phew, smash, crash, yeeha, Nic and Ninjas!

Yo! I need a whole new style to write about this show Nic Danger And the Rise of the Space Ninjas. It opened last night at The Arena at the UCT drama school campus and it runs to the 19 and it’s a flippen jaul!

Sci-fi, physical comedy, space kung fu, mad raps, very funny singing, hilarious overhead projector animation, a classically bad/brilliant reworking of a few major artworks, lots of space travel, lots of figurines (of the hero, the baddies, dinosaurs), brilliant manhandling of the pieces of set, weird seventies cozzies, about 30 different characters, hilarious masks, slow mo, human sound effects, buckets of sweat, many small throwing bomblets, dancing, send-up dancing, gibberish, many moustaches, one saviour ‘tash, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s incarnation, Gys de Villiers in Noah’s character, great bad lighting, quick-fire changes, quick fire, an oracle, a hologram, a space mission, hand puppets, glove sex, ballet, team work, heroes, funny robot war, weird frog potty thing, alien PS 7 game, ‘running away like little girls’, alien council, confrontation, abduction, conversation, mission accomplished.

Nic Danger and the Rise of the Space Ninjas is one crazy shit storm of a piece of live theatre written, directed and performed by the insane, hilarious and talented Nic Davies, and also performed by the very brilliant Brendan Murray (who I’ve only seen doing stand-up before and he is much better at this shit!) and the fabulous Trent Nightingale. It’s fantastic. Fathers should take their sons, and then try out the whole show at home again. I loved the hell out of it. It is the kind of thing that all people who are bullshit-theatre-sniffer-outers will love. It will appeal to a Theatresports audience, and even Theatresports players (Brett, you in particular), it will appeal to Star Wars and District 9 fans, it will appeal to young kids and other people. It’s kak funnny, and delicious, and clever and accessible and I couldn’t believe it was over when it was done.

Bookings on 076 907 5082 or

Tickets are R50 / R40 students

District 9 – Bravo Blomkamp!

Well, Big Friendly and I loved it. We finally got to see it this evening and I was very proud of this latest SA product.

District 9, directed by Neill Blomkap, is a relatively straight alien vs human sci-fi, only it is set in Jozi, so all the comparisons with apartheid are incredibly resonant, without being shoved down your throat. The recent xenophobia in SA is also felt strongly through the film, in the same way that there is always interspecies intolerance and lack of understanding.

Here, Jozi is the main attraction with the downtown shots and the depressing squatter camp all feeling very real. The performances are fab, especially Sharlto Copley as Wikus Van Der Merwe. (Of course I was delighted to see friends like Jonathan Taylor and Rob Hobbs in it too). The movie is brilliantly styled; the baddie Nigerian gang are especially outrageous, and the alien technology is great. 

The very funny first third (laugh out loud often), which is very mockumentary in style,gives way to a more serious sci-fi dilemma as we follow Wikus’s journey to self-awareness, and his shift in allegiance.  I love that the movie helps us connect with the prawns the way Wikkus does. It ends up being rather powerful stuff. And the Wikus/prawn flower was almost Wall-e-esque, it was so touching. It’s also very skop, skiet en donner.

Great story, great performances, great shots of Jozi, gritty local gangsters, hard core urban violence – both human to alien and human to human make me understand why it shot to the top of the charts in the US. It is cheeky, original, independent, and totally world class.

And, to borrow a certain prawn restaurant in Jozi’s nickname, well done Blomkop!

PS. And I have to say to all detractors; I think you’re being a leetle over sensitive.

Great advertising

If you haven’t already, pick yourself up a hard copy of this week’s Mail and Guardian. On the page that Shaun De Waal reviews District 9 there is a fabulous ad for The Flamingo restaurant at The Troyville Hotel in Jozi. I love advertising like that; totally opportunistic, cheeky, hilarious and creative. And I’ll remember it for a while. 

District 9 like an alien my broe

So Big Friendly and I have been very excited by the sounds and noises that local movie District 9 has been making. It’s right up my alley. I love SF. I love send up. I love the idea that apartheid and xenophobia are looked at in an original way. I love that it’s local and that it has shot up the charts in such a huge way. It is a success story; just like our own Charlize. I especially love that it seems to have mainstream appeal overseas just like any other weird, SF, action movie would. It opens here on 28 August and I’m going to rush off to see it.

What has been really interesting (and telling) for me is that I have read two blog/reviews by two South Africans, both in America, who hated the fliek. One even walked out before the end. They both raised the same points and were equally disgusted by the movie and how it made them feel. They felt that the bad guy was a total Afrikaans stereotype. They felt that South Africans were portrayed as idiots. They felt that Americans would get the completely wrong impression of what South Africa and its people are like. They were embarrassed. They felt that the script was trite and weak.

Last night we got into a bit of a discussion before TheatreSports about art movies and mainstream movies and money and South African films. Everyone agreed that our serious movies often have a very limited, art house appeal. But we were all nervous about being misunderstood by a runaway success story, block buster, SF, action fliek.

I don’t know. I’ll reserve my judgement until I see it. In the meantime, I’m so excited that it’s raking in the dollars. Even if it had big, overseas money behind it. Bravo Neill Blomkamp.

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