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9

Cinema Eye with Masai: 9

Acting: 2/4

Writing: 1/4

Directing/Visuals: 3/4

Total: 2/4














“‘9 shouldn't have made the Hollywood jump”



How many of you as children owned Beanie Babies?

How many of you had them act out saving the world

and battling man-enslaving robots? Just

me?… Well, “9”, the debut movie from director

Shane Acker and producers Tim Burton and Timur

Bekmembetov, comes as close to that vision as it

can possibly can get, but it just can't live up to the

potential of the kick-a** trailer. Although

the visuals are some of the best and most creative

I've seen in any film in recent years, the writers

didn't do as many original things with the story and

script to make it more than post-apocalyptic eye

candy.

A scientist creates “peace keeping” robots and the

leader decides that the best way to keep peace is to

eradicate humanity. Try to imagine HAL freed from

his spaceship confines and you'll get the idea. In

one of the most egotistical moves in movie history,

the scientist decides that only he can save humanity

and creates a machine that allows him to transfer 9

parts of his soul into 9 ragdolls so that they

can take down the machines and ensure the safety

of………the landscape, or something. The movie

begins with 9 (voiced very quietly by Elijah Wood),

awaking and meeting up with a family of dolls, like

himself. 5 (John C. Riley), the cowardly

medic, 2 (the extremely underused Martin Landau),

the inventor, 1 (Christopher Plummer), the paranoid

leader, 8, who never speaks, the brute, 6 (the

underwritten Crispin Glover), the artist, 7 (Jennifer

Connelly), the warrior and 3 and 4, who also never

speak, who project messages from the scientist. All

of them set out to stop the evil machines from

enslaving the.........dirt?

Because the movie looks fantastic, I'm tacking two

stars on the score. The visuals are so creative and

lush that you will likely have to clean up the drool

from your seat. Whether it is a city block being

pelted with bullets, 7 fighting The Beast or just the

rag dolls themselves doing their thing, the visual

are absolutely beautiful. But I'm almost tempted to

tear those stars right off right off because the

writing blows chunks and there are plot holes the

size of my gut after Thanksgiving dinner. What are

the machines going to do when/if they destroy the

rag dolls? How long will the doll race survive since

no one has genitalia? Why would the timid Wood be

asked to voice a bold and fearless leader? He makes

9 look like The Whining Avenger. All of these and

many other questions go unanswered. It also

doesn't help that the dialogue and plot is rehashed

from other survivor movies, namely Terminator and

Predator.

All of this could've been forgiven if the voice cast

had delivered their parts with some feeling in them,

but they dropped the ball on that one too. Crispin

Glover, Martin Landau and Christopher Plummer are

the only ones who deliver their lines well. Glover,

eerie and all-knowing as 6 , Landau, wise and kind

in the 8 minutes of screen time he has as 2 and

Plummer, so afraid and paranoid as 1. All

the others might as well have read through Coke

bottles after they woke up from a 12 hour nap.

For all who don't know, this film is based on a 10

minute short, which earned Acker an Oscar nod in

2006 and gave me high hopes for the movie. I

came out empty handed and confused. I tried to

root for this movie. It's just that the unexplained

plot holes, terrible writing and unenthusiastic voice

acting dragged down the appeal brought about by

the visuals. Unfortunately, 9 plays it safe when it

should play it dark and spooky like the trailer and

hauntingly beautiful visuals hint at.





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