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Jedd Fletcher
12-09-09, 11:17
EDIT: It appears a thread has been made on this film a while ago. I'm sorry to have made a new one, but it didn't come up in my search.

What does everyone think of the new film 9, from director Shane Acker and producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov? My review follows.

Movie Review 12/9/09

9
(2009)

Starring the voices of: Elijah Wood, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Connelly
Directed by: Shane Acker
Relativity Media/Starz Animation


In 2005, Shane Acker made an 11-minute animated film for his university thesis at UCLA. This film, called 9, took four-and-a-half years, on and off, to animate and went on to win several awards. Arguably its greatest achievement was impressing Tim Burton, who, along with Wanted director Timur Berkmambetov, went on to adapt it into this feature film. Something that made these two well-known filmmakers want to see more surely has the makings of something special.

9 takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, in which humans have lost a war with machines that have turned against them. A scientist (Alan Oppenheimer) imbues his spirit into nine “stitchpunks”, burlap rag dolls, who must fight for survival in this hostile, bleak environment populated with ferocious machines.

The nine consist of 1 (Plummer), the authoritarian self-proclaimed leader, 2 (Martin Landau), a kind inventor, curious but shy twins 3 and 4, engineer and mechanic journeyman 5 (John C Reilly), prophetic artist 6 (Crispin Glover), she-warrior 7 (Connelly), 1’s brutish bodyguard 8 (Fred Tatasciore) and the film’s protagonist, the earnest but na´ve 9 (Wood).

9 accidentally activates the fearsome Fabrication Machine, which is able to create dastardly creatures such as the pterosaur-like Winged Beast and The Seamstress, reminiscent of a snake. Worst of all, the Fabrication Machine sucks the life force out of the stitchpunks for its own sustenance. 9 and his motley crew of comrades must battle the Fabrication Machine and save themselves-the only things left of humanity.

9 is a visionary, inventive and original piece of work, a complex, dark and layered visual feast with a computer-animated exterior that belies some depth and maturity, much more than a run-of-the-mill kid-pleaser cartoon anyway. It’s a very human story, despite, or perhaps because of, the fact that there’s nary a human in sight.

Despite its numerical name, 9 is anything but by-the-numbers. Despite utilizing the familiar plot device of a post-apocalyptic world overrun by machines, the idea is presented in a visually-arresting fashion. A truly immersive environment has been created for the film, and one can’t help but feel drawn into it. The animation is also very fluid, and each of the 9 stitchpunks has a distinct personality visible in their body language.

9 also sets itself apart from the herd with its intense and menacing tone. While perhaps more accessible than quirkier and equally-dark animated fare such as Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Corpse Bride, this is not a film recommended for very young audiences. This quality makes it a good contrast to Disney/Pixar’s Up, far brighter and cheerier and an excellent film as well, though in different ways. 9 offers several good scares and some high-octane action sequences to be had, and the bleakness is milked for all it’s worth.

While the strongest point of 9 is undoubtedly its captivating visuals, there is plenty of aural spectacle as well. The details in the sound design are breathtaking, and the musical score by oft-Burton collaborator Danny Elfman and Deborah Lurie is evocative and suits each scene well.

However, the voice acting seems a little disconnected, and since so much emphasis is placed on the look of the film there ends up being little the voice actors can contribute, regardless of their talent. Christopher Plummer however stands out, fairly effectively conveying the quick-tempered, irritable and domineering nature of 1 through his voice acting.

Unfortunately, 9 seems to possess plenty of unmined potential, with philosophical, political and even spiritual issues hinted at but not fully addressed. It seems director Acker has only scratched the surface with his brilliant material and, this being his first feature film, has yet to bring his A-game to the fore. 9 is great as it is, but with more room for characterization, subtext and other storytelling elements, it could have been excellent. The film is also let down by a slightly plodding plot, even though it clocks in at a mere 79 minutes.

Even so, 9 emerges as a profound and superbly-crafted animated masterpiece that keeps its promise of being different from so many other animated films aimed squarely at children and possessing little substance. This one looks like a strong contender for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Look out, Up.

RATING: 4/5 STARS

Carbonek_0051
12-09-09, 11:19
I made a thread (http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=143432) about it awhile back and was going to bump it to see if anyone saw it or not but wasn't sure if I could.:p

I am planning to see this soon, my father & I see a movie for my birthday every year so this was my pick this year. Can't wait to see it, I avoided reading your review just in case of spoilers.:)

msalpha2omega
12-09-09, 11:23
I relly want to see "9"..... I love all the animated films.... Is it Pixar or......?

Jedd Fletcher
12-09-09, 11:45
I relly want to see "9"..... I love all the animated films.... Is it Pixar or......?

No, it's from Focus Features and Starz Animation. The director made a short film for his university thesis and it's been expanded into this.

remote91
12-09-09, 13:07
Elijah Wood?

****.

irjudd
12-09-09, 14:37
Elijah Wood?

****.

I know! Elijah is the best. I'll surely be putting this in my Netflix Queue :tmb:

Greenkey2
12-09-09, 16:06
http://www.tombraiderforums.com/showthread.php?t=157248&highlight=district

:wve:

EDIT: Gwad darn it - wrong thread :o :whi: Sorry!

Phys
12-09-09, 21:20
I love the trailer for this. The instrumental of Coheed and Cambria goes well I think. S'long as it doesn't have them awful vocals :rolleyes:

erosan
13-09-09, 00:03
9 was sooooo good and so cute, I recommend it to everyone, it's worth a watch =)

Jedd Fletcher
13-09-09, 06:10
^^"Cute" isn't exactly the word I'd use, it was a pretty intense ride. But the characters are somewhat endearing.

oocladableeblah
13-09-09, 06:25
It was a good movie I enjoyed it. I wouldn't call it the best movie, but it was good none the less. There were a couple cute parts, but other than that it was an intense film.

peeves
15-09-09, 21:20
The movie was utter crap IMO. :mad:

Jedd Fletcher
20-11-09, 10:49
Why would you say that peeves? Please explain.

peeves
20-11-09, 13:55
Why would you say that peeves? Please explain.

Well i haven't seen the movie but it was lame IMO. And please don't bump a 2 month old thread.

EscondeR
20-11-09, 14:26
^ How can you judge if you haven't even seen it???
2 months bump is not an excuse for your unargumented claim BTW ;)

Melonie Tomb Raider
20-11-09, 15:22
When is it coming to blu ray? I've been dying to see this. :D

Unfortunately, I don't think it did too well in the box office. :/