September 12, 2009

9 - 2009

Director: Shane Acker
Writers: Pamela Pettler & Shane Acker
Starring: Elijah Wood, Christopher Plummer, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly

"Sometimes fear is the appropriate response." In the universe of 9, a Communist country has made robots to bring peace to the world. Naturally, the robots turn on humanity and destroy everyone. The scientist responsible, seemingly the last remaining human, creates as his final act nine dolls, which director Acker loving terms "stitchpunks."
  1. the zealot of a leader
  2. a kindly inventor
  3. one of a pair of curious (yet silent) twins; eyes can become film projectors
  4. the other of the twins
  5. "healer" and mechanic; apprentice to 2; has only one eye
  6. has visions he is compelled to draw; rarely speaks, and says odd things when he does
  7. the daredevil of the bunch; only "female"
  8. bodyguard for 1; not bright
  9. newcomer; challenges authority
These nine little dolls are charged with the Herculean task of ending the evil robots' reign. (Essentially, it's "Little Big Planet vs. Skynet," as I read on one message board about the film.)

DISCLAIMER: this film is PG-13 (despite having no foul language or nudity) for a reason. Don't bring the little ones, as it gets rather intense at times.

The CGI and foley work for this film are both remarkable; you see every difference in construction between each of the dolls, down to the stitching itself, and hear every metallic scrape and fabric thud when the characters move. The environment in which they live is a rich and unique one, from the simple magnet that 8 uses for an inebriation-like experience to the Victorian-seeming hologram projector. Yes, you read that right. If a few more people see this film (current box office data has it at a disappointing less than 1/3 of its budget so far), it could bring the glory of steampunk into the mainstream. Furthermore, I'll go on the record as saying that despite mixed critical reviews, this is the best non-Pixar CGI film ever made, and probably better than everything CGI period except for Up and WALL-E.

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