Thursday, Jan 23, 2020
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 36 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website



Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

 
 
click to go to advertisers website
 
Characters undefined in visually rapturous 9
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
  next story
Characters undefined in visually rapturous 9

by Sara Michelle Fetters - SGN Contributing Writer

9
Now Playing


Based on his own 2005 Academy Award-nominated animated short film, director Shane Acker's 9 is a darkly imaginative post-apocalyptic thriller that is visually astonishing, viscerally exciting and disappointingly short on character and story development. While its 79-minute running time passes quickly, and while the admittedly somewhat cheesy finale broke my heart, the simple fact is that this movie impresses more as a technical achievement than it does as anything else.

Set in a world devastated by war, a group of strange, diminutive, hand-stitched creatures struggle to survive while under almost constant siege by horrific mechanical beings apparently bent on their annihilation. Given numbers instead of names, things begin to change when a newcomer, 9 (voiced by Elijah Wood), appears out of the wasteland looking to help.

Protected by the resilient and stalwart 2 (voiced by Martin Landau), befriended by the affable and good-humored 5 (voiced by John C. Reilly) and feared by the Machiavellian and overprotective 1 (voiced by Christopher Plummer), 9 speaks his mind and shows a curiosity most of his companions lack. But discovering the truth comes with a heavy price, and after he accidentally awakens a monstrous, long-dormant machine apparently responsible for wiping out all of humanity, it falls to him to solve the riddles left by the creator and free the planet from its malevolent, soul-sucking presence.

9 begins magnificently. Acker's early glimpses of the world created by him and his screenwriter Pamela Pettler (Monster House) is beyond spectacular. No detail is too insignificant, everything on the screen popping with an invigorating electricity that boggles the mind. The animators pull out all the stops, and the main character's first clueless and questioning steps into this demolished netherworld of shrapnel and desolation are eerie and suspenseful.

Unfortunately, even though much of what happens next is well-staged and breathlessly exciting, the movie devolves into a series of seemingly endless confrontations and escapes which ultimately grow wearisome. Characterization isn't given the nurturing it deserves, and new heroes like 7 (voiced by Jennifer Connelly) are so speedily introduced that they're never given the opportunity to evolve and grow. While I appreciate the fact Acker wants to keep up the pace and not draw his scenes out any longer than necessary, the hows and whys are sadly disregarded in order for him to keep things racing along like an out-of-control rollercoaster.

Still, the level of creativity here is positively impressive, and some of the vocal work (most notably by Reilly and Plummer) so surpasses what's in the script it elevates things to a level they'd never have gotten to otherwise. And while some of the action sequences can't help but feel a bit repetitive, some of them (like an early battle between 2 and a cat-like creature or the group's second act escape from a malicious flying machine) are so marvelous I almost didn't want them to end.

I was also completely devastated by the emotional nuances of the climax. While a little maudlin and melodramatic, Acker nonetheless handles these penultimate scenes with an assured grace that hit me like an arrow to the heart. Even though I knew better, I almost couldn't help but begin to cry, and by the time the film was over the amount of tears I shed felt like they could have filled an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Be all that as it may, the lack of character development and cohesive storytelling does hurt Acker's debut quite a bit. This is a movie I find myself wanting to love and embrace, but thanks to these regrettable slipups, I just can't do it. What I can do is say that 9 is a visual marvel filled with numerous delights, hinting at a budding greatness on the part of its creator to come. Like a rose struggling to bloom in the middle of a disaster zone, this is one animated spectacle where I find heavenly hope amidst the irritating chaos.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Emmy Awards boast tight races, Gay emcee
------------------------------
Hedda Lettuce sure to be delicious at Julia's
------------------------------
Arthur Miller's Creation done right at The Schmee
------------------------------
Confusing Cell Phone still brings the laughs
------------------------------
Stage productions to enjoy this weekend
------------------------------
Get inside the housing bubble in SUBPRIME!
------------------------------
A Dyke About Town: From Patsy Cline to Dave Brubeck
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------
Bright Star a sumptuous banquet
------------------------------
One and Only '50s family melodrama a mixed bag
------------------------------
Characters undefined in visually rapturous 9
------------------------------
COMING IN SEPTEMBER: Pink, Pet Shop Boys, and Seattle's own Pearl Jam
------------------------------
Q-Scopes by Jack Fertig
------------------------------

------------------------------
SGN Exclusive Interview: Mason Jennings writes music from inside out
------------------------------
Northwest News
------------------------------

------------------------------
Town hall rudeness and good times with my slave
------------------------------

------------------------------
Deep Inside Hollywood - Romeo San Vicente
------------------------------

------------------------------
Book Marks
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

 

http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2009

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News