This is Jeff Bayer, and I don't update this site very often. If you'd like to listen to my current movie podcast you can find it at MovieBS.com.

He Said - She Said ... 9

The animated film 9 isn't directed by Tim Burton, though he did produce. Shane Acker is behind the PG-13 picture with voice talent Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly, John C. Reilly, Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau and Crispin Glover. It tells the tale of 9 coming to life to find himself in a post-apocalyptic world where all humans are gone. by chance he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam Earth intent on their extinction.

As always, we recommend that you see the film before reading the He Said/She Said ... everything, including plot spoilers and the ending, is fair game to talk about hear. You've been warned.

COMPLETE 9 COVERAGE Chris De Salvo and Morrow McLaughlin battle it out in HE SAID/SHE SAID … 9 De Salvo's scorecard review of 9 (3/10) McLaughlin’s scorecard review of 9 (9/10)


Nine was phenomenal. The story was creative and thrilling and the film itself was so gorgeous, at times it was like staring at the Northern Lights. The action and suspense came in unrelenting waves, building into a powerful and exciting crescendo: it rocked the party from the tips of its toes to the top of its pointy, post-apocalyptic head and I truly loved every second of it. Morrow has spoken and so it shall be.


Nine was an ambitious attempt to visually wow a particular sort of an audience: One that disregards plot as an essential entity around which to focus a great cinematic story. Before you know it, you're thrust into an inexplicably desolate setting and offered up a meager slew of characters whose human-instincts are garnered from an unknown source. It feels like new questions arise with each passing onscreen moment, and none of them are answered clearly by film's end. All suspenseful moments feel gratuitous, and though each are visually stunning, the pointless drivel that ensues strips any meaning from the wildly impressive animation in question. Swell? No, swill.


Your reaction to Nine truly boggles my mind. Am I the guru of movies? No, and quite often I happily take big helpings of Hollywood crap by the tablespoon, but I always know that it's not quality. Nine is quality; it is a gorgeous bit of post-apocalyptic artwork awash in soulless, fluffy bunny animation. The characters are dear and fiercely voiced by the talent behind it all (John C. Reilly, Elijah Wood, Jennifer Connelly).

The crux of your argument is that the movie is beautiful, but it lacks a plot. Since the movie actually does NOT lack a plot--it is a wonderful, well-crafted story--then your argument is reduced to it's beautiful to look at. That is essentially what I'm saying, so I'm glad to see we're on the same page. We'll just have to take a machete to the rest of your jabber and pare it down to something more rational.


Okay, Morrow. I get it. You loved the movie. Let me ask you something though: What in the world is the film ABOUT? Sure, it may be beautiful. According to you, this insists it's "quality." You say it's a "wonderful, well-crafted story," but what does that MEAN entirely? At the film's conclusion, we witness three of the main characters "souls" ascending to what I can only imagine is heaven. This moment has NOTHING to do with the rest of the film. Does this mean Tim Burton's recently found God, and employed a number of animated "things" to represent his new found faithfulness?

If my argument was "reduced" to anything it was insisting 9's story did little more than waste my time. A "plot" is defined as, "a sequence of interrelated events arranged to form a logical pattern and achieve an intended effect." The events in this film are interrelated, but never explained logically, and the only effect I felt upon its conclusion was hitting myself for jumping on the chance to review it.


The world isn't flat. 9 has a plot and it is a well-crafted story. When I say it's a well-crafted story, that's what I mean, by gad. What we get is an ongoing story that obviously started decades before and we experience the period of time leading up to the climax through #9's newborn eyes. The backstory (the hostile robot takeover, the mechanical lifeforms) is omnipresent at all times, but you learn the puzzle pieces as #9 learns them. It isn't your average, linear plotline: it's much more post-modern in its design. A truly plotless movie is either one of two things: 1) a movie where nothing happens at all, i.e., the main characters sit in a room all day and eat sandwiches, or, 2) There is a crap load of action that isn't designed to FURTHER the story, only to entertain the bovine herd. 9 doesn't fit either of those categories.

As for the "souls" descending to "Heaven," I found that scene much more ambiguous. If you felt preached at, that might have more to do with your own issues with organized religion. I'm the first to roll an eyeball when someone tries to cram their beliefs down my throat and I'm not affiliated with any particular sect; that being said, my main problem with that scene was that it was too sentimental and almost served to reduce the plight of those particular characters by sticking it all in a neat little box. That didn't stop me from absolutely adoring every second of this film.

This movie wasn't your cup o' tea, but that has no bearing on its excellence. And don't you dare complain about sitting through a movie until Bayer sends you to something like Dance Flick.


We're here to discuss our very different opinions about a film that gave us two very different reactions. Regardless of religion, the "right way" to tell a story, or what makes a pointless film worth making, 9 is the sort of movie that tries to convince you that yes, in fact, the world IS flat. The world it presents is, in the sense that the story never comes full circle.

I also absolutely insist nobody ever uses the phrase "post-modern" to describe anything "new and exciting." Art is art, it doesn't matter which era in which it's conceived. All establishing genres does is give major universities more chances to overcharge their students (and/or their parents) for more elaborately-presented classes.

The world is round, and this is a round-table discussion, not a lecture in how to experience a film that leaves too many loose ends and winds up tying itself in knots.

As for Dance Flick... I sort of love satire.


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