Friday, November 4, 2016

9 (DVD), produced by Tim Burton

Legendary filmmaker (and master of all that is visually weird and twisted), Tim Burton, produces this unusual animated dystopian in which humanity and life as we know it has become extinct. The world, now a post-nuclear wasteland, is overrun by mutated machines and the trash we left behind. Some are harmless, but most are unspeakably evil and determined to destroy any spark of humanity that remains. We learn this through the eyes of a ragdoll-like creature known only as 9.

But lets go back a bit... In humanity's final moments, a scientist-inventor learned the secret to preserving what remained of his world and life as he knew it. He put small pieces of his soul into nine of these ragdoll creatures and sent them out into the world. If all were to be reunited, that would begin a process to restore the world. But that feat is not as easy as it may seem.

Upon waking, 9 ventures out into the ruined world and discovers there are other creatures like him. Eight others, to be exact. These creatures must avoid being destroyed by rogue machines. Harder still, they must learn to trust each other and work together, something that Number 1, the original, struggles against with every fiber in his stiched-together being. Will these odd little creatures succeed at their mission? Or will humanity remain lost forever? You'll have to watch the movie to find out.

When I watched 9, my first thought was: "Hey! That scientist-inventor guy just made horcruxes! How very Voldemort of him." Overall, though, I wasn't sure what to think of the movie at first. I didn't know if I loved it or hated it. I just recognized the overwhelming feeling of weirdness it left me with. But as the days passed, I found myself thinking of the movie at odd times: Unloading the dishwasher, feeding the cats, driving to work, waking in the middle of the night to get a drink of water... And that original feeling of weirdness began to morph into one of awe. It really is an incredible film. The animation is first-rate, and the storyline is very deep and intelligent. 9 may not a movie to watch casually, but it's definitely enjoyable. --AJB

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