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9 (2009)

aka 9

"When our world ended their mission began."

Directed By: 
Written By: 
Details: 79 mins · English

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An Experiment of Exploration

At it's core, 9 is a very unconventional film in many ways, particularly how it presents its story; it revels in how it tries to tell the story of what came before the world as we know it in a rather clever manner unfettered by expositional dumps or the usual unnatural gaffing about with dialogue, focusing more on the details. For the first eight minutes of the movie, there really isn't any conversation whatsoever, relying on the imagery and the world itself to tell the tale, a moment in which the experience shines. The issues of how things came to be, while a touch cliched in the broader strokes, calls upon many questions that don't necessarily have clear answers, but allows for a lot of intellectual searching through the source material for a more concrete idea of what was occurring.
But where the film really falls apart in how it shows the events of the now, falling into a very hackneyed hero's journey. Each character represents a different personality type, which is surprisingly ex...(more)

At it's core, 9 is a very unconventional film in many ways, particularly how it presents its story; it revels in how it tries to tell the story of what came before the world as we know it in a rather clever manner unfettered by expositional dumps or the usual unnatural gaffing about with dialogue, focusing more on the details. For the first eight minutes of the movie, there really isn't any conversation whatsoever, relying on the imagery and the world itself to tell the tale, a moment in which the experience shines. The issues of how things came to be, while a touch cliched in the broader strokes, calls upon many questions that don't necessarily have clear answers, but allows for a lot of intellectual searching through the source material for a more concrete idea of what was occurring.
But where the film really falls apart in how it shows the events of the now, falling into a very hackneyed hero's journey. Each character represents a different personality type, which is surprisingly explained well at one point and to a degree accentuates some of the better portions of the film, but it also helps to solidify the problems at hand. This side of the tale is infinitely less involving, and drags the experience well past its expiration date towards the end of the piece. This is only accentuated by huge gaps in logic and coincidences that only happen for the sake of the plot, drawing me out of the movie on multiple occasions.
I would say more, but, honestly, this is a film to experience, not to be told about in detail. I'd recommend everyone giving it a shot if only to try something out of the norm; while it may not be perfect, it's worth noting and appreciating when so many other films trudge along with the bland norms of today. (less)

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Cast:

Small 9 (voice)
Small 5 (voice)
Small 7 (voice)
Small 1 (voice)
Small 6 (voice)
Small 2 (voice)
Small 8 (voice)
No_movie_poster The Scientist
Small Dictator

Crew:

Small Tim Burton Producer
Small Danny Elfman Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Mindy Marin Casting
No_movie_poster Jim Lemley Producer
Small Timur Bekmambetov Producer
No_movie_poster Pamela Pettler Screenplay
No_movie_poster Fred Warter Production Design
No_movie_poster Nick Kenway Editor
No_movie_poster Robert St. Pierre Production Design
Small Shane Acker Director
No_movie_poster Dana Ginsburg Producer
No_movie_poster Mary Clayton Producer
No_movie_poster Jinko Gotoh Producer
No_movie_poster Marci Levine Producer
No_movie_poster Christophe Vacher Art Direction
No_movie_poster Giles Keyte Still Photographer
Small Shane Acker Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Nick Kenway Editing

Taglines:

"When our world ended their mission began."

Plot:

Prior to the events of film, a scientist is ordered by his dictator to create a machine in the apparent name of progress. The Scientist uses his own intellect to create the B.R.A.I.N., a thinking robot. However, the dictator quickly seizes it and integrates it into the Fabrication Machine, an armature that can construct an army of war machines to destroy the dictator's enemies. Lacking a soul, the Fabrication Machine is corrupted and exterminates all organic life using toxic gas. In desperation, the Scientist uses alchemy to create nine homunculus-like rag dolls known as Stitchpunks using portions of his own soul via a talisman, but dies as a result.

Sometime later, the last doll, 9, awakens in the Scientist's workshop. Taking the talisman with him, 9 ventures out into the devastated city and meets 2, a frail inventor who gives him a voice box and is surprised when 9 reveals the talisman. The last surviving machine, the Cat-Beast, attacks the pair and kidnaps 2 and the talisman. 9 collapses, but awakens in Sanctuary, a cathedral that is home to the other dolls, including the dogmatic leader 1, his large bodyguard 8, the one-eyed engineer 5, and the mentally unstable oracle 6. 1 immediately labels 2 as dead, but 9 and 5 decide to rescue him. They both track the Cat-Beast to a factory where they find 2. 7, the only female of the dolls, arrives and kills the Cat-Beast, but 9 puts the talisman into the previously derelict Fabrication Machine, causing 2's soul to be absorbed by the machine, reviving it and killing him in the process; 9, 7, and 5 manage to escape the factory.

7 takes 9 and 5 to the library, where the silent scholar twins, 3 and 4, show 9 the Fabrication Machine's origins. 5 realizes the talisman's symbols match the clairvoyant drawings of 6. 9 and 5 return to Sanctuary to investigate, but 1 confronts and chastises them. The Fabrication Machine starts constructing new machines, one of which, the bird-like Winged Beast, attacks Sanctuary and almost kills the punks, but sets fire to the cathedral from a fire pot, and later gets killed by a plane's propeller. Retreating to the library with 1 saddened by the loss of his home, 6, 3, and 4 cryptically explain the talisman's origins, but 1 once again chastises the group. As 9 found out that 1 sent 2 to die, 7 tries to attack 1 but 9 stopped her and so 7 runs away. The Fabrication Machine meanwhile has made many Spiderbots, small spider-like robots, and Seekers, hot-air balloon-like robots. The Fabrication Machine, angered at the loss of the Winged Beast, finds 2's corpse and uses it as a hypnotic lure for another robot, the Seamstress. The Seamstress attacks the library and 7 and 8 are captured in the resulting battle, but the body of 2 is safely recovered and given a funeral by the others. The others then run to the factory to destroy the machines. 9 goes inside alone, kills the Seamstress, and rescues 7, but is too late to save 8, as the Fabrication Machine already absorbed his soul. Afterwards, 9 and 7 escape while the others destroy the factory by pushing an oil barrel with a flaming rag fuse into a puddle of oil.

The dolls celebrate but the Fabrication Machine appears, quickly killing 5 and then 6, but not before 6 tells 9 that the others are trapped within the machine and to return to the "first room" (the Scientist's workshop) to gain answers. 9 follows his instructions, finding a recorded message from his creator, who explains the talisman can be used against the Fabrication Machine and free the dolls' souls trapped in it. 9 reunites with the other dolls, willing to sacrifice himself so 7 can get the talisman. However, 1, having had a change of heart, puts himself in the way and is killed instead allowing 9 to remove the talisman and destroy the Fabrication Machine, freeing the trapped souls. 9, 7, 3, and 4 free the souls of 1, 2, 5, 6, and 8 from the talisman, who fly up into the sky causing it to rain. The final image shows that the raindrops contain small flecks of glowing bacteria, bringing life back to the world.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 2009-09-09 : United States of America