September 9, 2009
On the Big Board
|Visually pretty cool, but the dreary post-apocalyptic quest feels unoriginal.
If you're looking for the musical Nine, you need to check out November's calendar. This 9 is going to be released 9/9/09. It's almost enough to put The Number 23 to shame. But enough with the number talk, let's get to the details:
If you've seen the trailer for 9 you could easily assume this story was conceived by Tim Burton. The spooky green credits, the weird fantasy landscape, the credits that tell you it's "From Producer Tim Burton"...
Actually, the vision behind this film is writer/director/animator Shane Acker, and it's based on his short film of the same name which was nominated for an Oscar in 2006's Academy Awards. Set in a future after humans have been destroyed by their own machines, a tiny band of ragdolls-come-to-life fight for survival against the remaining mechanical contraptions. It's a contest between cunning, adaptability and brute force. Pamela Pettler, one of the screenwriters on Tim Burton's Corpse Bride, expanded Acker's concept for the feature.
Christopher Plummer voices the leader (#1) of the initial group of eight stitched creatures, while Elijah Wood voices the #9 of the title, who joins the group, who come out of their hiding places and venture on a journey to discover the truth behind the fearsome machines. The other six are voiced by Martin Landau, John C. Reilly, Crispin Glover, Jennifer Connelly, and Fred Tratsciore.
Given the project's Oscar pedigree it would be no surprise to see it in this year's awards ceremony as well. Box office prospects may not be as golden, given that this is a dark story distributed by Focus Features and being released on the Wednesday after Labor Day. But it's positioned well as a story combining summer action with a fall tone. (Max Braden/BOP)