District 9 posterThe big noise this week is being made by Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 which you can see at Readings, Empire, Embassy and Sky City Queensgate. Blomkamp had been tapped by Peter Jackson to direct the Halo movie that he was co-producing along with Microsoft. When that fell over Jackson offered Blomkamp the chance to expand and revisit his short Alive in Joburg from 2005. And the almost instant rush of acclaim for District 9 has been intoxicating. I don’t get to see it until the weekend but I know a lot of people who have and all are raving. What is it about? A bunch of aliens are segregated and ghetto-ised in modern South Africa. After nearly 30 years as second class citizens tensions are reaching boiling point.

[The rest of this week’s new releases after the jump.]

I have seen Case 39, an unremarkable horror about a monster child. Renee Zellweger is the social worker who takes the child under her wing and The Hangover‘s Bradley Cooper is a psychologist who ends up on the wrong side of the satanic ten-year-old. Readings and Sky City Queensgate.

You might think that Sunshine Cleaning is in a little lighter vein until you read that it is about two sisters who run a business cleaning up crime scenes after the forensics have finished their work. Amy Adams and Emily Blunt are the two women and the film is directed by kiwi Christine Jeffs (Rain) and shot by her partner John Toon. You’ll find it at Readings, Penthouse, Lighthouse Petone and Sky City Queensgate.

Battle in Seattle is opening a week later than originally planned and not at the Paramount – they pulled the film with only three weeks notice. Unconfirmed rumours suggest that the Paramount’s ACT-leaning owners dropped the film because of its politics, a stunt they pulled back in April 2008 with John Pilger’s The War on Democracy. It’s as if they’d rather make a point than make money. You can see Battle in Seattle (a recreation of the first major anti-globalisation protests during the WTO meeting in 1999) at the Empire in Island Bay who I’m sure will happily take some of your money in exchange for letting you watch it.

Instead of Battle in Seattle the Paramount is bringing back Luit Bieringa’s Wellington documentary The Man in the Hat from the recently completed Film Festival. It’s a portrait of Cuba Street art dealer and beloved identity Peter McLeavey.

Finally, I don’t know much about the Penthouse-exclusive The Rocket Post except what I can glean from the BBC (via IMDb):

"Set on the eve of World War II, Danish thesp Ulrich Thomsen stars as German scientist Gerhard Zucher who aims to establish a newfangled rocket-propelled postal service in the Scottish isles. Although it doesn’t fire on all cylinders, this account is quietly intriguing."

All these films (except Battle in Seattle which featured last week) will be reviewed in next week’s Capital Times and, yes, I know I’m still a month behind in posting the reviews to Funerals & Snakes.