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“9” Movie Review

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“9” Movie Review

"9" Movie photo Shane Acker‘s new post-apocalyptic animated adventure “9” began its life as the young director’s thesis project during his grad school days in UCLA’s animation department. In that original incarnation, the film was an 11-minute silent short that plunged viewers into a desolate, destroyed world inhabited only by diminutive rag dolls loosely stitched together out of whatever odds and ends survived the unseen cataclysm…read more [FilmJournal] I have no idea who “9” was made for, aside from me. It’s a dark, post-apocalyptic tale whose main characters are walking burlap sacks. There are killer robots, responsible for obliterating the human race, and they have long spindly arms and glowing red eyes, cousins of the Matrix’s sentinels. The story involves one of these sacks (9) meeting up with a group of other sacks, in an attempt to reclaim the world for… more sack people?…read more [] "9" Movie photo The feature-length version of 9 is visually sumptuous and artistically ambitious, but it’s ultimately a dreary exercise in style over substance that covers too much familiar ground, both thematically and visually. 9 looks good, sometimes great, but it doesn’t look all that different. Its war-ravaged world recalls WWII-era Dresden or London crossed with steampunk (Acker refers to his designs for the film as “stitchpunk”), but so did The Mutant Chronicles. As hauntingly and vividly realized as the realm of 9 is, if you’ve seen one bombed-out, lifeless post-apocalyptic world then you’ve seen them all…read more [IGN]
Acker’s UCLA-made short pictured the same bombed-out, desolate urban landscape, one in which the eponymous little creature, a doll-like figure with a body of zipped-up fabric and blinking lenses for eyes, played hide-and-seek with a predatory mechanical monster until tricking it into its demise. Both are back for more cat-and-mouse this time, and are joined in the fleshed-out screenplay of Pamela Pettler (“Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride,” “Monster House”) by Nos. 1-8, forerunners of No. 9 and all created by a genius human scientist as hoped-for seeds of intelligent life in the wake of a cataclysmic war…read more [Variety]
The film is visually stunning. The original short was all stop-motion animation while this has been updated to CGI. But I just loved the atmosphere the film depicts as you are introduced to the world ravaged by war and these little creatures fight to survive. I also have to admire the project for how original and creative it is. It reminded me some of District 9’s unique way of taking so many parts of things we have seen before and blending them into something so original…read more [The Soothsayer Never Sleeps] "9" Movie photo The dolls have numbers on their backs signifying who they are and the order in which they were created. They include 1 (Christopher Plummer), the priestly, rigid leader; 2 (Martin Landau), an aging but feisty inventor; 5 (John C. Reilly), who’s loyal but afraid of everything; and 7 (Jennifer Connelly), a brave and butt-kicking warrior. Appropriately, Crispin Glover provides the voice of the group’s misfit artist, 6. There are also 3 and 4, mute twins who are experts on history, and the brutish 8 (Fred Tatasciore), who looks like the Michelin Man and serves as 1’s enforcer…read more [RecordOnline] "9" Movie photo 9 is certainly no WALL-E, but its intentions are different. Like many action-oriented films, whether live-action or animated, this one doesn’t take the time to develop the characters and their relationships are telegraphed through recognizable clichés. (The film might have been better off without the “romance” between 9 and 7.) But it excels in establishing a narrative-advancing breakneck pace that integrates exposition without bringing the action to a screeching halt, and represents a largely enjoyable 1 1/4 hours. Comparing this to the summer’s biggest, most bloated movie about malevolent robots, 9 is about twice as enjoyable with half the length…read more [Reelviews]
The end of human civilization is not healthy for children and other living things. But movies as varied as WALL·E, Children of Men, and The Road Warrior are proof that apocalyptic catastrophe is great for moviemakers, inspiring wonderfully original visions of ruin and expanding the artistic possibilities of cinematic technology. The latest achievement in art direction with an end-of-humanity theme belongs to the CG-animated fantasy-adventure 9, a tale of trust, bravery, and cooperation among a scrap-heap tribe of survivors, set in a desolate near-future where an overarching artificial intelligence known as the Great Machine has turned human-built contraptions into oppressors…read more [EW] "9" Movie photo The great works of science fiction often are cautionary tales that contain social criticism about our world. “9,” though, is built more for action. So its rag dolls and mechanical monsters battle continually in a dark, dreary landscape egged on by a rousing symphonic store. (The music is curiously attributed, with Danny Elfman credited with its themes, while Deborah Lurie has done the actual score.) Yes, #9 must prevail through his wits rather than brawn — he could hardly do otherwise against such huge machines. But thematically, “9” never adds up to much. It’s a dark adult film that gives itself over to the chases and frights of a kiddie movie…read more [THR] 9 photo gallery -- click here Click here to see  85 images from “9” [Photo Gallery] MakingOf, site founded by Natalie Portman and Christine Aylward, has exclusive in-depth interview with 9 director Shane Acker. Check it out below:
Elijah Wood presents an exclusive short made from his new CG animated film, “9” set in a post-apocalyptic world:
  “9” Movie Video Review: [youtube][/youtube]

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