Tag Archives: jennifer connelly

Now Playing: Apocalypse is Feast for the Imagination in ‘9’

10 Sep

9_Still_two

9 (PG-13) Directed by: Shane Acker. Writers: Pamela Petter & Shane Acker  79 minutes.

cinemagrade A  Shane Acker’s 9 is all kinds of proof that good things–great ones even–can come in small packages. Trumped up and marketed out of the wazoo recently (it’s nice to see studios finally coming behind their more unique fare) this sci-fi fantasy isn’t just a story about diminutive warrior dolls battling robotic monsters in a burned-out future, it’s also an elaborate fable that approaches art. The most fascinating part is that it does all of this in a scant 79 minutes. It’s fast-paced, exotic and beautifully rendered in tones of steampunk apocalypse and Victorian gothic horror. It may be animated, but it isn’t exclusively for children. I’d dare to guess that it will more than frighten most younger children. But when the familiar and haunting strains of Judy Garland’s ‘Somewhere Over The Rainbow’ echo across a fractured, nightmare landscape, Acker demonstrates that he isn’t just a crafty visualist but also a gifted filmmaker. He shakes up several different genres, themes, motifs and myths into one large stirring pot and what emerges is both unique and fearsome. Continue reading

DVD Showcase: Strong, vibrant cast bring ‘Inkheart’ to life

23 Jun

inkheart

 

June 23rd,2009-

cinemagrade b- I have to admit up-front, I was surprised by Inkheart. I’ve never read this particular fantasy series, but I am familiar with some of German author Cornelia Funke’s other works like The Thief Lord. Funke combines elements of high adventure and Victorian mystery when creating her detailed fantasy worlds and although children are always at the heart of her stories, she frequently gives her readers strong and worthy adult characters. When Ian Softley’s film version was released back in January, I thought it looked rather generic and uninvolving; another Brendan Fraser vehicle with plentiful fx and scenery but no substance. When I watched Inkheart to review it for the site, the first twenty minutes or so did nothing to suggest I had been wrong. Continue reading

Animated fantasy ‘9’ gets awesome new trailer

20 May

nine

May 20th, 2009-

Last week I posted an article here anticipating 10 science fiction films being released over the next five months. With negative reviews of Terminator: Salvation already surfacing, I’m wondering how many of those mentioned movies will be worth seeing. On the other hand, 9, which looked fantastic in teaser format looks even better as a full-blown trailer. We get to hear Plummer, Reilly, Wood and Connelly and there is a clearer sense of what happened to the world in this trailer. I just really love the retro sci-fi design of this one and the story looks like pure pulpy adventure. Awesome all the way.

The new trailer is HERE and the short film that inspired it is HERE.