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Old 2009-08-15, 19:29   Link #21
Kytherno
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Foxy arc
9 sounds like the weirdest idea for a movie ever. Especially because Coheed and Cambria was in the trailer. It doesn't fit. A bunch of ragdolls fighting machines does not pair up with an awesome song. Sorry.

A song like "Pompeii" by E.S. Posthumus would fit better, for it's less metallic (lolpun), and would fit more into the story, IMO.

Anyways, the general story looks weird at first glance. I'm not gonna see it, because i don't want to waste $10+ on a ticket and $15+ on popcorn that I'm iffy about.
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Old 2009-08-15, 22:18   Link #22
Bonta Kun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kytherno View Post
9 sounds like the weirdest idea for a movie ever. Especially because Coheed and Cambria was in the trailer. It doesn't fit. A bunch of ragdolls fighting machines does not pair up with an awesome song. Sorry.

A song like "Pompeii" by E.S. Posthumus would fit better, for it's less metallic (lolpun), and would fit more into the story, IMO.

Anyways, the general story looks weird at first glance. I'm not gonna see it, because i don't want to waste $10+ on a ticket and $15+ on popcorn that I'm iffy about.
See now way I see it, rag dolls in post-apocalyptic world does indeed just scream crazy and weird yet also extremely interesting and after watching that trailer all I can say is WOW.
As someone on youtube put it "Little Big Planet meets Fallout 3 EPIC!"
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Old 2009-09-19, 10:22   Link #23
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonta Kun View Post
As someone on youtube put it "Little Big Planet meets Fallout 3 EPIC!"
Yes, that's a good description for this little gem of an animated movie indeed.

I went into this stitchpunk film with no expectations and very little prior knowledge, and emerged pleasantly surprised. The story itself is actually quite plain and straightfoward — it's basically a condensed retelling of The Lord of the Rings, but with cute little ragdolls instead of pointy-eared elves (the inclusion of Elijah Wood in the voice cast makes the comparison even more apt). The anthropomorphic muppets roam a post-apocalyptic world, vaguely set in the late 1910s, in the era of WWI, but with traces of WWII megalomania mixed in for added melancholy. Mankind's careless use of technology has led to total disaster, resulting in his extinction and leaving only his artefacts — flawed creations made in his own image — still remain.

A little bit more exposition would have helped to stitch together more substance for 9's bare-bones plot. As it stands, much of its story is fairly predictable and some of its devices, quite puzzling and sometimes implausible. As a result, the film's climaxes often get resolved with unsatisfactory deux ex machina.

But, in the end, what won me over were the endearing characters. Unlike in the short film — which featured only the titular 9 and his friend, 5 — all nine ragdolls, from 1 to 9, appear in the feature-length movie, each with a distinctive personality of its own. Over the course of the film, I grew to love almost all of them for their human-like quirks. You know you've got a successful cast of characters when your audience grieves for them when they die.

And, yes, some of the ragdolls do die. Make no mistake, this is not your run-of-the-mill Disney or Pixar animation. With Tim Burton involved, you can be pretty much assured of a story with dark and mature themes. Thankfully, though, Burton's not the director of this tale. Much as I like many of his movies, his eccentricities would only have served as distractions here. Instead, Shane Acker is very much in full control of his original story, and he has used the additional resources to flesh out an unexpectedly heartwarming tale of triumph amidst adversity.

You don't need to watch the original short to enjoy the movie, though it's interesting to compare the two. Parts of the of short film were grafted into the feature, such as the confrontation between a doll and the cat-like automaton, and the funeral scene at the end — but different characters are involved and the context between the two films are different enough to make viewing either one a fresh experience.

And, if nothing else, 9 shows that 3-D animation has come a very long way, both in terms of technical realism as well as storytelling. I'll definitely keep a lookout for the DVDs, as this movie is most certainly a keeper for me.
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Old 2009-09-19, 20:58   Link #24
Clarste
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Huh. That's rather different than the impression I got. I went in knowing nothing other than that it was a CG movie about ragdolls (didn't even know the setting) and came out with... well just that. The movie failed to stand out on pretty much every count other than good animation and a slightly interesting setting (which was wasted). Plot? Meh. Characters? Meh. I was underwhelmed through and through.

In some ways, I think it might've been a better movie if they'd left more unexplained. We got treated to the backstories of both the villain and the heroes, but that just seemed to waste time and not really be relevant at all. The fact that they treated their origin as a revelation was just a facepalm moment for me. Also, there were some strange plot holes, like:
Spoiler:
Sure, you could probably explain that in some way if you tried, but having a significant plot hole in your bare-bones barely adequate plot isn't a good sign.
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Old 2009-09-20, 03:54   Link #25
TinyRedLeaf
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Age: 39
^ All valid criticisms and, like you, many others including me were disappointed by the thinness of 9's plot.

In some ways, 9 is similar to Makoto Shinkai's The Place Promised in Our Early Days. Both are independent feature-length movies made possible by substantial commercial backing, attracted by the creative genius of each movie's talented but inexperienced director.

And like 9, The Place Promised was also full of flaws. To me, it was over-long and overwrought, full of unnecessary exposition and ambigious character development. Despite these problems, plenty of people loved Shinkai's first feature film. I'm not completely sure why. I think many people liked the film's sentimentality as well as its gorgeous artwork.

So, in the same vein, I'm not surprised that you should be puzzled why I enjoyed 9. I can't fully explain my enjoyment despite its shortcomings, any more than a fan of The Place Promised could explain to me why that movie was enjoyable for them.

Mainly, though, I liked 9 for its emotional honesty. It was very easy to empathise with the ragdolls, because they looked so small, helpless and imperfect — just like us humans. And, like humans, they showed great ingenuity, fashioning improvised tools and weapons from the debris around them; and like humans, they displayed touching vulnerability, grieving whenever they lose one of their own.

They may be incomplete recreations of Man, but in terms of emotional resonance, they felt completely human. And, that, to me is very remarkable. 9 has been frequently compared to last year's Wall-E, and while it's true that Pixar's movie is far more polished, I never quite liked how it treated serious issues like pollution and gross over-consumption with kids' gloves.

I particularly disliked how everything was made to look cute in Wall-E, because it trivialised the movie's themes. In contrast, the stitchpunks of 9 suffer fear and pain. To achieve their goal, they had to endure loss and to make sacrifices.

So, in that sense, the plucky ragdolls of 9 felt more real to me than all the technicolour splendour of Wall-E's zany robots. On an emotional level, therefore, 9 is a satisfying film, in ways that Pixar and Disney movies are not, for me.

Or maybe I'm just a sad sop who prefers movies with a melancholic punch. To each his own, I guess. One thing's for sure: I'd be looking forward to what else Shane Acker has in store for the future.
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Old 2009-09-20, 04:31   Link #26
Tsuyoshi
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I'll be honest. This is the first time I ever heard about "9" so I have no idea what it's actually about. I'll just say two things. First: some of Tim Burton's works are great (Nightmare before Xmas), whereas others I didn't really like so much (Sweeney Todd), but I'm still interested to see how this will turn out. Second: I'm surprised as hell Johnny Depp isn't part of the cast for this movie. I was seriously starting to think he was in love with the guy.
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