Thursday, September 17, 2009
I saw 9 a few days ago, and meant to do at least a quick write-up of it. So here you go. (Yeah, I'm going the lazy route because I'm, well...lazy).
The artwork. OMFG the artwork! If ever there was animated eye-candy, the visuals in this movie was it. The whole movie was like one moving painting. The ragdolls themselves were so richly designed in such detail and texture that they seemed real. I think my favorite was in the opening credits where the scientist was assembling 9, stitching him together; one of my favorite hobbies is sewing, so I really appreciated the scene. There's something poetic in using sewing as a metaphor for creation.
The voice of Elijah Wood. Need I say more? Yeah, I do: Sarah Connelly as the voice of 7. Totally awesome.
The machines were made of organic and inorganic materials--I loved this. I love the combination of metal and bone, the combination of nature and machine.
7 is the token badass lady ragdoll. She is even more interesting when it's revealed that all of the ragdolls were created by the scientist who we saw creating 9, and all of them are made of pieces of his soul (he died right after he put the last bit of his soul into 9). Apparently that dude had at least a little badass lady in him after all. I sort of also read 3 and 4 to be gendered feminine, but I wonder if other people thought this too? Something about their adorable librarian nerdiness made me think "ladies." Maybe because I can totally relate. My fiance said he thought they were male (he used the word "default." We'll be having a discussion about that later--ha!). It's sort of anyone's guess, I suppose, since 3 and 4 didn't speak, and all the ragdolls look about the same (the real gender-cue for 7 being her voice, and also that she wore earrings--but she does run around with a bird skull as a helmet!). Thankfully the makers of the movie didn't do that stupid thing where female characters are gendered by the fact that they have eyelashes--(uh, like men don't?)--since all their eyes are like binocular pieces.
The plot--or lack of. "OMG the humans created machines, and they can't control them. Oh, they're all dead now. Oops. Should've known better, I guess." Seriously though, aren't we sick of this plot-line? The whole time I was hoping for more development. I mean, I can suspend my belief for a lot of things, but the over-used plot of rogue machinery, is well, played out. It was quite predictable by the end.
It felt very...rushed. The opening credits shows us 9's creation, then he's awake, and suddenly he's bent on saving 2, then inexplicably puts the medallion thingy in a slot and wakes up the really bad machine that makes other machines, and then he has to destroy that...it goes on--but not for very long. It felt like only a day and a half passed for 9 since his awakening, to the end of the movie when the machine is destroyed. To me, that didn't feel like adequate time had passed to give 9 the believable amount of motivation. And it certainly didn't seem like enough time had passed for there to be as strong a bond between 9 and 7 as what was in the movie. Oh look they just met, and they're like in ragdoll love now, or something... It seemed 9 was going through the motions because, well, someone had to. And 7 is tough, but not tough enough, I guess, since everything was reliant on 9's actions / deductions. I think it also bothered me since 9 is essentially the youngest ragdoll, the others being in existence before all the humans were dead, and yet it was 9 that had the most motivation to do, well, anything..
If nothing else, it's certainly a beautiful artistic movie, though elements of it were sadly lacking. While searching for images, I stumbled upon the short film that inspired the movie via this site, and thought I'd share it. It's only about 9 minutes (ha), but one can easily see the elements that appeared in the feature-length film.