All right, not all SF movies are all bad.
Yesterday I saw DISTRICT 9, the new alien-invasion movie. This invasion, however, is not by conquerors but by malnourished refugees whose ship has broken down over Johannesburg, South Africa. [WARNING: SPOILERS COMING UP!] Humans ferry the weak survivors, who are insect-like ugly, to a compound on Earth. Later the compound is in the way of urban development, so the aliens are resettled in District 9. This doesn't work, either, and there is a lot of rioting and problems between humans and aliens, so as the movie opens the aliens are all about to be evicted and resettled yet again, in "District 10." The movie's protagonist is a mid-level bureaucrat who is supposed to get alien signatures on eviction notices so the whole thing will look quasi-legal.
The plot is modeled on the resettling of Blacks in Cape Town under apartheid. It is thus a parable. The problem, of course, is that in forcing alien-human relations into the Procrustean bed of human race relations, some parts must be implausibly lopped off. In the movie, no nation but South Africa shows any interest in alien visitation. Where is (for one) the United States? Why isn't District 9 swarming with journalists, biologists, journalists, physicists (there are odd alien weapons in which no one seems interested except Nigerian black-marketeers), and more journalists? The South African/alien relationship happens in an international and journalistic void. And although one sentence evokes the human-rights organizations, there is no evidence that Amnesty International or any of the other groups that protested even during apartheid do anything during the brutality inflicted on the aliens.
One thing that struck me about this movie is how completely it upends the Campbellian idea of SF. John W. Campbell famously did not like stories in which aliens triumphed over humans. Humans had to be both the winners and the good guys. In DISTRICT 9, in contrast, there is not one human being with a decent impulse, until the protagonist grows into that role. It's a lopsided view of humanity that seriously undermines the story.
On the other hand, I was absorbed by the movie. The slums of District 9 look really slum-like. The aliens' desperate acts are poignant. Even during the silly, action-oriented last third, my attention did not lag, and I was even moved by the ending. It's just that...
It would have taken so little to make it a much better movie!