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Feature FilmTalkback

9 Talkback

Shane Acker’s feature version of his UCLA short – “9” – opens today in theatres nationwide. What did you think? This talkback is set up for our readers to discuss the feature. Only those who have seen the movie should comment below.

  • Barry McGuire

    Saw a preview…Meh…it was much better as a short. The humans in the film are horrrrrrrrendous-looking as far as design and modeling are concerned.
    It doesn’t have your typical animation audience, so that is a good thing. BUT…it’s not quite there.

  • Steve Gattuso

    I thought the story was excellent and the characterization of the individual little puppets perfect. It wasn’t the highest animation, but I’m a sucker for a good story.

  • Stuart L

    The film was alright…the story had some cliches, although the *SPOILER* idea of the splitting souls was somewhat unique, but everything to do with the big robots taking over the world – cliche beyond belief. Aside from the astonishing robot design for the villain characters, and the scene with the bird robot, not much else great IMO can be said about 9. The main characters (perhaps their incredibly close likeness to one another for the most part) never really developed, and by the third act I kind of wish the movie had ended and felt no desire to see these characters go on. And how many times does a film need to reuse the foreboding “monster in the grass in extreme foreground” shot too?

  • Stephanie R.

    It seemed like this was the kind of movie where there were too many hands involved in the development process so that the characters and story lacked cohesion. The characters personalities lacked depth, especially the main character 9, who seemed to have no clear motivation save for being the hero of the film. I found the plot and dialogue to be cliche and thoughtless, to the point where the films story was almost completely forgettable to me.
    However, I will say that I thought the art and designs were beautiful and imaginative, this films real selling point. Being in animation myself, my views will most likely differ from the general audience for this film. However, in my opinion, it was not enjoyable.

  • The ‘short’ film 9 had thought, characterization and emotion in the story while I felt the feature film really lacked all of that. There were so many characters that you really didn’t get attached to any of them. Not to mention the reveal of the whole soul/past moment was cliché and used humans and a glorified tape recorder – there had to be a much more creative way to bring that to the audience.
    The look was nice looking though and the animation definitely has its moments, but as far as story goes if you want a good one you’re better off watching the short.

  • I went to the screening expecting not to like the film and I was pleasantly surprised. I did enjoy it. It’s finely crafted, it’s got a very appealing look to it. Sure there’s some holes in the story and there’s some things I could nitpick (mostly cliche moments and I wanted the characters to be a little deeper) but it is a good ride. It’s not a film I’d take my kids to (it does have a PG13 rating) but it is a film I’d recommend.

  • I thought that the movie was really good. I really liked the designs of the puppets. The end didn’t tie things up as well as it could have and the spliting souls things was done better in Harry Potter, but all in all I liked it.

  • I truly want to see more animated stories intended for older audiences both in mood and in subject. There is always the threat of raised expectations to contend with and I am trying to take that into account. I applaud the risk of expanding the world conceived in Shane Acker’s original short to fill a feature and I believe in that regard they pretty much succeeded. Some of the shots early in the picture were startling. Great compositions. The ‘realism’ could have been dialed back just a little bit more to avoid the uncanny quality to the human characters, but the world created was complete, pulled me in, and kept me there. No film is perfect but there are many great technical accomplishments that are completely transparent and therefor support the story. For me the most interesting and inspiring character was the fearless female character. Next most interesting where the twins. Something more unique in these characters than the others including the central character. All in all, I enjoyed it.

  • Ian

    I enjoyed 9 quite a bit, although I have to agree, as it was mentioned, the characters weren’t developed enough to get a feel for what most their motivations were and were more or less stock. I thought the pacing was great though after the first few minutes I was totally drawn into the film and the only time I was drawn out to remember I was watching a movie was when the humans would show up, CG humans are the worst type. The color pallet and compositions although a bit formulaic were all appealing.

  • zach

    “I truly want to see more animated stories intended for older audiences both in mood and in subject.”

    More like truly want to see more Western animated series intended for older audiences. I hated the adverts for this movie, the fact that any mature animated film has to be led with “Not your little brother’s animated movie” in the US is so pathetically sad to me. “Mature” animated movies shouldn’t be a gimmick, unfortunately our culture is set on believing ~cartoons~ are for children, thus things like “9” just get over-hyped for the gimmicky (in our culture’s eyes) aspect of it.

  • mike G.

    yes, the story was ok. Kinda wanted to see the main character 9 evolve more rather than be a cheerleader and motivational speaker. action scenes were awesome, sound effects and overall sound were excellent, but more than all of that i think its a great starting point for american action cartoon movies. (i know animation was done elsewhere). OVERALL, just go see it.better than most movies out there and why not support the animation artform that we all love, or else we wouldnt be reading this crap. the more money this movie makes,the more greenlights will be lit.

  • John

    Haven’t seen the movie, but I agree with zach: it was pretty embarassing to see “Not your little brother’s animated movie.”

  • 9 was exactly like the trailers… just a little longer. I liked the short that came out years ago much better because it didn’t need a story. I’m pretty critical and the visuals were just good for me not great. There wasn’t much detail on the sets because everything is blurred out that’s not right in front of the camera. I feel like the story and character development were half-assed and took a backseat to the mechanical animation. In the end I didn’t care about any of the characters, and there were very few lighthearted moments. There is a story but it seemed contrived to me and they don’t explain the dynamic between the characters.

  • Henk

    That was an enjoyable film. Considering it came forth from a shortfilm I was happily surprised they extracted so much characters from it. The twins worked especially well, so did 6 and 2. 7 was fun as well. I mean, we`re talking numbers here but all I remember is their character. Not bad at all.

  • I’m agreeing with most people’s assessments here. The story and the animation were very well crafted. But, I found the characters rather forgettable which left me cold. I wouldn’t highly recommend this movie to anyone, but I do think that many of the people involved in creating it can be proud of a job well done.

  • Paul N

    I have to disagree with those who didn’t appreciate the marketing of the film as “not your little brother’s animated film.” We complain that animation isn’t taken seriously in the U.S. and is perceived as a kid’s “medium,” but when a movie tries to set itself apart from that perception, we complain about that too. I think it’s great that the ads stated up front that it’s not a kiddie film – not only is it saying straight out that it’s for older audiences, but maybe it’ll blunt the complaints from parents who were “shocked” that an animated film had more mature content.

    As to the film itself, it was a mixed bag. The look was great overall. The way the burlap texture compressed around character’s mouths bothered me a lot, but I thought they got great expressions out of pretty simple faces. The story didn’t grab me the way it did some folks here have said, but I was entertained throughout. My 20-year-old son went with me, and he’s planning on going again with his friends tonight, so I guess that says a lot about reaching their target market.

  • Chuck Wilson

    Nine was superb. Yes, the dialogue was a touch weak in two spots and they could’ve spent an extra 10 minutes to do a little more character development (with credits, the film is 79 minutes long). No argument there.

    But all-in-all, the movie far exceeded my expectations. I was continually floored by the quality of the visuals, the modelling, lighting and animation. Shane Acker should be proud of what he and his team have put together. I hope that he takes the lessons that he’s learned from 9, goes back and reviews 9 with a critical eye, then makes his next film even stronger. Am looking forward to seeing 9 several more times before it leaves the theatre!

  • Sam Filstrup

    I enjoyed the film but it was far from perfect, the characters needed a bit more development. The overall story was nice but the way it was executed as a whole could have used a bit more polish. Still its a step forward to fighting the ever current of animation is just for kids.

  • ben colbourn

    visually it was quite nice. have to agree about the story though, pretty lacking. and only 80 minutes! even for an animated feature, that’s quite short.

  • The character design was fascinating and the art direction all made for a lot of great visuals. Nice action sequences and I liked that it wasn’t a modern post-apocalyptic setting, it was more like an alternate reality WWII distopia.

    But alas, the story and characters both left me disappointed. None of the characters had any kind of discernible arc or development, and they lacked depth. 9 is always so determined to save his friends and be brave, 1 is always so mean and inconsiderate. Why are they this way? Who knows.

    They even hit my pet peeve too, when the protagonist does something so stupid and unmodivated the only reason the writers made him/her do it was to just have a story. It’s easy to give the protag more credit, and just make the villains more badass in the process by making the beast awake the creator robot and kill 2. Seriously.

  • michael w

    This was a horrible film. The aesthetic was par none, but pretty animation simply isn’t enough to fuel a feature length film. A film like this is not going to help overcome the general stigmatized reception of animation in this country. This film gives the impression that animation is an industry run by kids who never grew up; the dialogue sounds like a fifth grader wrote it. I want to say nice things, but the only thing this film has going for it is it’s look. Nothing more.

  • *spoilers*

    I’m glad that Focus Features is making this kind of film, but I was really disappointed in the story and at how little love it appeared had gone into its making. When you look at 9 and then look at Pinocchio, (unfair comparison maybe) you can see how much care they took to depict a person’s first day on earth, versus 9 awakening to a harsh reality with almost all of his faculties fully functioning from moment one. The whole thing seemed far too cliche for adult audiences and I found myself accurately able to predict each step in the plot.

  • Nick

    I have to say that this summer has been full of surprises both great and bad. I was convinced I would hate ponyo but thanks to my friend’s nagging I saw it and was floored. 9 on the other hand… not so much. I feel so ripped off. I was waiting all summer for this film and my patience was awarded with a resounding meh. I don’t know what happened at focus but this film did not feel finished. If animation is to get any real respect here we need something revolutionary. Something that makes Princess Mononoke look like Transformers 3. I know that’s asking for a lot but if we’re to change anything we need to demand better of ourselves as both artist as well as audience.

  • Skip

    9 may not have been a great film, but I don’t think that it was a bad film either. What I liked best about it was the fact that it was an animated film where the target audience were teens through adults. I just got back from the theatre, and the seats were about 80% filled, and everyone there was an adult. Animation seems to have this stigmatism associated with it where a large number of adults seem to think that if a film is animated than it must just be for kids. I remember raving about the Incredibles when it came out, and being told by someone who I recommended the film to that they wanted to see the film but they didn’t have a kid to see it with.

  • Joe McCabe

    The frustrating thing about this film — and it’s so frustrating it hurts my soul — is that when it doesn’t do all that well at the box office, Hollywood will blame its failure on the fact that it’s aimed at older audiences. They’ll never ever recognize that it’s just not very good. Why? Because it takes work, requires thought, and usually involves some level of risk, for a studio to go find, or to greenlight, a good film. But if they blame their failure on the age demographic’s disinterest, the solution is simple — just finance children’s films, as you’ve always done. Problem solved!

  • TK

    One question: Just how many non-serialized short films out there having a successful feature-length adaptation?

    I think the 2005 short simply doesn’t have enough room story-wise to expand 9 times its original length. So, to fill the giant void it was inevitable that a formula has to be used. Also, it missed something that was possibly the main strength and charm of the short: the lack of dialogue! It was a pleasure to see characters miming through the film, but that wouldn’t possibly work (technically and financially) with the feature film.

    In a way, I found it to be like watching Seven Samurai starting from the intermission.

  • “9”: downside: barely an hour long; ugly; so-so animation; huge plot hole near the end; abstruse. upside: nice visual effects; interesting character designs; some good action sequences and monsters. notes: definitely the gaspiest movie I’ve ever seen. Seriously, every ten seconds somebody’s drawing a sharp breath, a bit odd considering the characters apparently have no lungs or throats. C+

  • I went to see 9 on 9-9-09 in theatre 9 in row 9 at the 9 pm showing.

    …the movie was an overall disappointment to me. I thought the entire plot wasn’t really there. You didn’t grasp to any of the main cast, since none of them were put into detail, and overall, here were my character thoughts.

    #1 – died – didn’t care when he died, since he was a dick the whole movie, anyway.
    #2 – died – didn’t care when he died, since he died so early on that I didn’t even get a chance to care about him.
    #3 and #4 – didn’t talk, and didn’t do anything importaint, so I didn’t care about them.
    #5 – died – kind of cared, since I saw him throughout the whole movie, but I really didn’t care that much.
    #6 – died – he made drawings. who cares. died
    #7 – Wow. This was the only character I even remotely cared about through the entire film. I mean, she was awesome, she could fight, and she appeared to have more of a story than any of the other characters. I kept hoping they would’ve just made a movie about her, but, meh, they didn’t.
    #8 – died – big dude. overall, he sucked, too. And there was something with a magnet…was he getting high, or was he masturbating? I have no idea. He died, and he as also a dick, so, whatever.
    #9 – ah, the main character. BLAND. Jeez, I thought there’d at least be some personality in this character, but he has to be the most boring character I’ve ever seen. He doesn’t even do anything, he’s just “this is wrong, do what’s right *run away*” God. His lack of personality makes everything seem so bland. Even when he temporarily dies, I didn’t even care, because he was so BLAND. GOD.

    Overall, with the exception of the visuals, which I thought looked fairly decent, and the overall character design, which I found interesting enough to go and see the movie, the whole character development + plot + bland performances kill this movie. No. Not just kill it, but kill it, burn it, bury it, urinate on it, unbury it, necrophilia all over it, and leave on top of it’s grave. And it’s sad too, because this could’ve been a good movie. It had the appearance of a good movie, and it’s trailer (even though I saw everything in it within the first 20 minutes of the movie) was interesting enough to fake the overall quality of film making.

    If you want to see it, go ahead, maybe you’ll like it. Maybe you’ll like crater sized plot holes and unappealing characters.



  • Sean Montgomery

    Boy, you lot are harsh! I would have expected some more love here for a film which (whatever its narrative deficiencies) was a beautiful work of art, that has expanded the possibilities for computer animation.

  • PJ

    9 was really not a good movie. But I could’ve watched it all day long.


    The plot was absolute rubbish. It was essentially a series of fetch-quests, and the “revelations” in the story really didn’t go anywhere. Example: when 9 discovers that the dolls are made of the scientist’s soul split 9 ways. Ok, fine. So what? The movie treats this as if its something we should care about, but we never ever learn why this matters or what difference it makes.

    And for all the fetching and monster fighting, nothing is ever really resolved or accomplished. The adverts made it sound like the dolls were on a “mission,” but I’m confused as to what that mission was, exactly.

    The story worked better as a short because it jumped right into the middle of 9’s existence. We could believe that 9 and 5 were great friends in the short because we only saw the end of their time together–you naturally believed it because you saw how they acted to each other and you had to fill in their past yourself. In the film we see the entirety of 9 and 5’s relationship, and its in no way interesting, deep or engrossing.

    The story just sucked. That being said, this flick was a popcorn movie and what it did well, it did EXTREMELY well. And in my opinion, that was action and aesthetics.

    The dolls’ designs were unique and interesting (although not much improved from the short). The real stars of the show, though, were the robots. They were creepy and 100% unique and an absolutely joy to look at. If the movie had just showed me those robots running around doing shit for 79 minutes, I probably would’ve been completely satisfied.

    The backstory behind the movie’s apocalypse world was cliched, thoughtless and boring (robots turning against man! whooooa!), yes, but the world itself was fantastic. I would’ve been happy just watching the dolls rummage around exploring the place, honestly.

    But what really made the flick enjoyable was the fact that when a robot showed up and tried to eat the dolls, I forgot about the mindless story and the fact that I didn’t care about the characters or their endless queue of fetch quests. The action scenes were really top-notch, and I felt like I could’ve watched them all day long.

    It was pretty clear that the movie had no idea what to do between those action scenes (that “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” scene was downright PAINFUL), but when it mixed a doll with a robot, it very quickly found its footing. I just found myself wishing I could fast-forward through all the time it wasted trying to tell me its “story.”

    Bottom-line: guilty-pleasure, a stupid animated action-flick. The disappointment comes from thinking about what they COULD have done with the potential they had here, and didn’t. But at least I had fun with most of it.

    And for what its worth, I cast my lot with those who think 9 is GOOD for animation, even if its not a good movie itself.

  • John

    Paul N – Still haven’t seen it, but the trailer (“not your little brother’s animated movie”) doesn’t imply that it’s for older audiences, but that it’s for older KIDS. Unless your parents are superhuman breeders, the odds are that if you are an adult, your little brother is at least almost an adult as well. How old can you be if he’s still watching kiddie animation?
    What makes zach and I sad is not that this was said, but that it needed to be said. Yes, this is yet another indication of animation’s kiddie status, but it also represents a problem with the film itself, or at least its trailer. It looks like it’s for people who are exactly 12. You can stamp your feet and scream til your throat is hoarse that it’s for adults, but the trailer is clearly a kid magnet.

  • Rio

    I agree with many here. For me, the effort to progress the story plot hindered any character development. It was always about what needed to be done with no care to who they were.

    I appreciate the big reveal at the end, but with a story so dense and serious, I think the big reveal of the character’s origins is what did this film in. It was the best and worst aspect for the film. It was great for story but horrible for the characters. I think the audience needed to see humanity in the characters at the beginning of the film, not the end.

    I couldn’t help but feel like I was playing a video game with all the short cinematic scenes for dialogue in-between the bigger, badder monster attack levels.

    I give it a 4 out of 10.

  • I just got back from seeing 9 and am, quite honestly, dumbstruck at some of the comments here.

    I enjoyed it and I think a lot of the comments here are MUCH to hard on it.

    Not every animated film needs jive talking donkeys, a half a dozen fart jokes or anthropomorphic tableware.

    Like The Nightmare Before Christmas, 9’s story and pacing aren’t perfect but, like The Nightmare Before Christmas, I’m willing to accept that in order to enjoy an hour or so of some really imaginative animation with a break from hackneyed celebrity voice work and music by Randy Newman.

    Rather than tear the film to shreds for what it ISN’T why don’t we try to focus on the positives and be really thankful for not only WHAT it is, but also THAT it is.

    No one says that you have to LOVE it but churning out unnecessarily severe word of mouth will only result in fewer opportunities for more of this kind of animated feature down the road.

    If you are hoping for more Coraline, Iron Giant or Persepolis don’t work so hard to kill 9 before the weekend even gets here.

  • I enjoyed watching it. It was visually interesting.

    But by the time it got to the end of the credits, the fridge logic kicked in and it occurred to me that there were a lot of things that made no sense to me…

    like what on earth are four sack people made up of four 9ths of a scientist’s soul are supposed to do on a deserted planet… can they die of natural causes?

  • Amanda

    Wow, I agree, you lot are really harsh!

    I’m so excited there is finally an animated film out for my kind of audience. The kind too young for certain genres, but waaaayyy too old for the typical garbage that constantly comes out in 3D. This was so different and unique… And yeah, the story was kinda slow and the characters were simple and cliche’. But you know what? I’ll take it! I felt like I was watching a fellow animator like myself personally made it on their own desktop. I felt like I was watching an intimate look at what can happen when a small idea can grow into something big and beautiful. It’s like a painting, you can’t over-analyze it otherwise you miss the greatest part of it. The fact that something gorgeous was made in the first place.

    I loved the mood, I loved the simplicity. I would gladly pay another 11 bucks to see it again than to have to sit through another SHREK. This gives me a ton of inspiration for me to continue working on my own stuff. Maybe if more animated films come out like this, and even better than this, perhaps more creative minds like Shawn Acker could be taken seriously by the big shots in Hollywood. And finally the stereotype of animated films being childish will dissipate from the general audience of America.

    One can dream, right? xD

  • Dino

    It sure was brown.

  • Saw it…liked it quite a lot. The story wasn’t anything to write home about, but it wasn’t crap, either. It was good enough for me, anyway.
    Stunning visuals…real eye-candy, and the characters were interesting enough, if not fully fleshed out as some have said. What really got to me in particular was how genuinely spiritual the film was. I won’t say more than that out of fear of setting off some kind of religious debate, but that’s how it hit me, anyway.

    I also noticed that, for me, the film kept getting better as it went along. It started out just okay, and by the end I was ready to buy another ticket and see it again. Too bad it was the final show of the evening!

    All-in-all, I’d certainly recommend it to anyone who was interested in the trailer, and jut say go with an open heart and mind and you’ll really like it.

  • Enjoyed watching it, but agree that the story was paper thin. Plus I kept getting distracted by the painfully obvious homages…Alien here, War of the Worlds there, the Matrix here, Omega Man there…and the whole outrunning an explosion thing…really didn’t need to see another one of those scenes. I’m going to assume the opening’s close resemblance to the opening of Coraline was just a coincidence.

    I didn’t mind the Over the Rainbow sequence so much, but maybe if a differently toned setpiece like that had come along a little earlier in the film as a break from the brown string of action scenes I might have felt a little better about the film overall. And as for logic holes, why didn’t they go back to the inventor’s workshop a lot sooner? Well, I know why, it would have ended the story a lot sooner. Frankly, I found the length just fine for this film, although by the end I felt like I’d just spent four hours solving Myst puzzles with a bunch of burlap dolls.

    Before 9 was created, the scientist left him notes on how to destroy the Brain… but the Brain wasn’t even alive when 9 was born – 9 was the one who resurrected him. When 9 sees their enemy trying to insert the soul device into a machine… he does the same?? These two huge plot holes left me feeling empty about the story, but still impressed with the idea and the visuals.
    All of humanity (and thus empathy) is destroyed – what’s the difference to me if little dolls or robots take it? What if brain was just really ambitious? :)

    If one dollar = one vote, I’ll still see it multiple times to assure Hollywood they can safely finance another animation with adult themes. Otherwise, it’s more kid stuff from everyone besides Pixar.

  • TM

    *HUGE Spoilers ahead*

    I did enjoy the movie, but I really felt that a majority of the film ended up on the cutting room floor. Or at the very least things were cut from the main story arc. The sad thing about the movie was the ending, it literally was a replaying of the original short’s conclusion.

    When it came to the conclusion to the film I really thought the movie could have gone two ways, I was hoping it was going to go one way but it ended up with what I would call ‘lackluster’ funeral ending – a which was the third way (and the one I really wasn’t happy to see because it just seemed like a rehash of the original short).

    The hint that I thought the movie was going to go a completely different way than I originally thought was when Number 6, the slightly befuddled character, calling for going back to the “source” and then revealing that all those dolls that have been absorbed are still inside the machine before he literally sacrifices himself to The Machine. When 9 finally goes back to the ‘first room’ and is told about The Machine and what it lacks is a human soul – I thought ‘ahhh this shall be interesting’… For I thought “it makes sense now, why 9 had to up and do the idiot thing of activating The Machine…”

    In my mind the dolls were supposed to be absorbed, 9 being the last to be absorbed so he could press the sequence, which in my minds eye would bring a soul to The Machine – the only creature in this movie that seemed to be capable of creating a form of life in this world. As we know that is not how that movie went.

    Then again I thought ‘well they can return the other dolls to their bodies’ – nope got the funeral ending… Kind of a let down I know…

    The problem though is, exactly how does ‘humanity’ continue? Sure the dolls have souls, and morally bound to the ‘human experience’ but other than that, the world is dead. These dolls cannot (from my understanding) continue and populate the world, they lack the ability of creating life, they are alive yes… but unlike The Machine, they cannot procreate in a manner of speaking.

    The movie ends on a note of a death of a species and a death of a planet. You get the idea that rain has not fallen since the great war, but other than that, what good will it do? Plants may begin to grow, yet with no other life on the planet – what’s the point? The dolls will have their garden of Eden… but they will not continue life. They embody the human spirit yes, but they are the last chapter – unless they are able to procreate.

    If what 9 was created to do, was simply to destroy the machine, then how the hell did the device get out of the machine in the first place? That is a major hole in this story. You feel sorry to a certain extent for The Machine and the scientist who created it for good. But why was The Machine collecting the dolls, other than to kill them and absorb their bits of souls? There didn’t seem to be any form of benefit it gained… Again it made me feel that my original thought before the closing credits – that The Machine was supposed to absorb the souls, and that 9 was supposed to be the last soul to be absorbed thus creating a full soul within The Machine. It would have been tragic, but it would have allowed the idea of ‘life continuing’ if The Machine finally had a purpose, that of creating life anew…

  • TM you’ve summed it up the best. The ending really served no purpose. I found myself asking the same questions what was the point.

    You would think with the amount of development time put into the film, that your proposed solution would have been the solution but no.

    Having “9” make the difficult decision of convincing the other to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of life would have made a better ending.

    How will life go on?
    Simply existing with no purpose?
    How will this deviation of mankind reproduce?
    Or will this be the central conflict for a sequel.

  • AaronSch

    I just returned from a screening of “9” and although I agree with many of the previous comments regarding story and character development, I found the film to be quite entertaining. It had a paltry running time of 79 minutes but moved at a brisk pace and I never got bored. However, when it was over, I had the strangest feeling that I had only watched part of the film—something was missing—and I wanted to see more. I found the characters to be endearing and the universe created quite foreboding. Sure, there’s plenty to criticize but just as much to admire. I’m glad I saw it, I would recommend it and I would probably see it again. It will surely be sitting on my shelf when the Blu-ray disc is released.

  • Viridis

    I enjoyed the movie overall. It’s true the graphics weren’t as polished in some places (the backgrounds tended to be a bit fuzzy and the human models were done rather poorly) but it’s a smaller studio and the graphics were great where it counted– in the main characters and the evil robots. That baby-snake robot in particular is one of the scariest things I’ve seen in ages. The Brain’s design was a little less creative– part HAL 9000, mostly Gohma from Zelda, but still effective.

    Of course the plot holes were obvious– robot apocalypse! But since it was mostly a backdrop for the story I didn’t mind. However, you would think that the Brain would have been the first thing targeted and the one thing most thoroughly destroyed, not simply left dormant in a warehouse somewhere. (Or failing that, take away the little gem the scientist was using and destroy it so the Brain couldn’t wake).

    I would have liked a little more background on the characters. Why was 9 such an automatic leader? Why did he stupidly use the “source” to awaken the Brain? I wanted to know more about 7 and the Twins in particular, but we never really got much more information. I also found myself wondering if 9 might not have been more interesting if he hadn’t gained his voice and had to resist silently.

    Finally, I was rather confused at the ending. Was I the only one who thought they could just shove the doll souls back into their bodies (or make new bodies) and move on? I mean, I guess their souls “revitalized” the world because it started raining liquid life or something…. but that doesn’t actually help the stitchpunks. What ARE they going to do now? I’d like a little more of a suggestion than just “well, I dunno.”

    Still, it was a fun movie with interesting characters… it just needed a little more to really develop the potential.

  • James E. Parten

    Chuckles Gardner and I went to see “9” yesterday. I am sorry to say that neither of us were particularly enthused over it.
    Story opens very slowly. In fact, the somnolent properties reminded us, in retrospect, of the worst excesses of “Wall-E” (another film that left us underwhelmed). Both of us actually dozed off in early sequences of the film. That is ot a good sign. IF a movie does notengage withn the first five minutes, then it is in trouble already!
    Subsequent action sequences kept us awake, but the characers wee of purest cardboard, and were aot as one-diensional as a iece of cardboard. Nobody/s character develop in a believable manner.
    Voice talent was okeh. But that is the easiest thig to do i an aniated feature, regardless of whether it’shand-drawn, CGI or stop-motion. ACtors do their work rofessionally, but without real distinction. And it’s a shame that they didn’t have better material to work with!
    Visuals were this films strong suit. But eye-candy alone cannot save a picture that does not have a good story or good chaacters.
    There is a real howler in this fillum, and it’s one that only a handful of record-collecors (such as myself) would appreciate. When Nine and the other survivors come upon an old wind-up gramophone, and Three and Four begin running on the turntable to get it started (a gag
    that I seem to remember from a German short of the 1940’s), the
    record playing is Judy Garland’s version of “Over The Rainbow”. Yet the label shown is a Victor label (a firm for which Garland never recorded), using a design that Victor had abandoned two years before the song came out in the score of “The Wizad Of Oz”.
    One mark of a picture’s worth is whether it “sells the DVD”. “9”, unfortunately, does not!

  • The film was alright, i like the second half much more, the stroy got stronger. But overall, the best scene was the Somewhere over the rainbow, sequence

  • Wow. We seem to be getting into some pretty particular details that involve elite levels of knowledge on unique subjects. I can’t comment on Victor labels, or recording contracts from the 30s or 40s.

    All in all I enjoyed the film. I suggests the ‘piling on’ that seems to be getting pretty particular is not addressing this original post.

    Just sayin’.