Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Movie Thoughts

I was sick most of the weekend, so I ended up seeing two "new" being in theatres (shh).

Be Kind, Rewind

To say I was disappointed with this film would be an understatement. I really wanted to see it in theatres, but I was rather busy when it came out and I ended up missing it. I went with my Dad to rent movies, and I was in the mood for something funny (I thought about getting Waltz With Bashir, but I was sick and sore and didn't want to watch something about war that would bring me down), so I recalled this film and decided to rent it, thinking my parents would like it. We also got I Love You, Man, which I'd saw in theatres, and loved. My parents loved it at well.

Anyways, I think Be Kind, Rewind was poorly marketed. I thought it would be a light hearted movie about two guys filming their own versions of famous movies, and to an extent it was, but it also had some very sad aspects to it. These two aspects did not mesh well together, nor was the film as funny as I'd thought it would be. I hate to say it, but it was actually rather boring. I'm not a big Jack Black fan either, which didn't help things either. Luckily, on Sunday I saw a movie I really enjoyed....


Let me start out by saying that I really enjoy animation, particularly computer animation. If you talk film with me long enough, I will most likely mention that I adore Pixar and have seen every single Pixar film in theatres (I saw Toy Story in theatres when I was five years old!), and intend to continue that trend as long as possible. Now, 9 isn't Pixar, it was done by Relativity Media, and Starz Animation and released by Focus Features.

What I really enjoyed about the film was just how beautiful it looked. The animation was impressed, the post-apocalyptic setting was both sad and very haunting. I was impressed at the detail put into the characters, it looked like they were actual fabric. Just take a look at this image:

(Originally from theflickcast)

I also liked that it was essentially a story about human nature, and how people function in groups and when exposed to danger. But the characters weren't human, they were "stitchpunks" (according to director, Shane Acker) , or dolls as I refer to them. It was very dark, which is something that is a little unusual in animation, at least in North America. The voice cast impressed me, especially since the actors were not playing themselves in animated form. Elijah Wood was particularly good as the protagonist, "9". A big pet peeve of mine is when actors do an animated film, and are essentially playing versions of themselves, which is common in Dreamworks animated films. Take a look at Kung Fu Panda for example, Jack Black is playing himself. Though admittedly, I am biased, as I stated earlier that I do not like Jack Black much. Shark Tale is another example, where all of the actors are playing characters that look like themselves (albeit, themselves as fish), and act like themselves, or caricatures of characters they often play. In 9, the actors were actually acting, and they did it very well.

So please go see 9 in theatres, the spectacular animation lends itself very well to the big screen.


  1. Thanks for your thoughts on Be Kind, Rewind. I'd somehow avoided seeing it myself, and now I don't think I'd like it.

    Relativity Media as producers (the brainchild of Ryan Kavanaugh, a great feature on which can be seen here) hasn't failed to entertain me yet. I'm looking forward to 9, though it'll probably be on DVD.

  2. Thanks for the link, Amber, I'll definitely give that a read through when I have a few minutes! :) If you can, try to see 9 in theatres, or at least on a really nice television screen. It's so worth it, I'm thinking it could be a real contender for the Best Animated Feature Oscar, and for awhile I was thinking Up had it in the bag.

  3. Waltz with Bashir is incredible: I encourage you to rent it!

    A great movie about something sad is never depressing; a lousy movie about something happy always is.

    That said, I kinda liked "Be Kind Rewind," especially the stuff about Fats Waller, one of my favorite musicians.

  4. I don't actually know anything about Fats Waller, it's embarrassing to admit, but I thought he was a fictional creation for the film...And I'll definitely be renting Waltz with Bashir at some point, I was really disappointed that I missed it in theatres. I just wasn't feeling it on Saturday.

  5. Thought you might find this interesting:

    Perhaps some inpiration for future posts!

  6. Thanks for the link, Mike! I'm actually going to be writing about Leno's first show and what I thought of it today, if I get the time.

  7. I'll do my best on 9 Jen! Kenton, thank you for the Waltz with Bashir recommendation. I agree with your statement about a great movie never being depressing.

  8. I'm in complete agreement that voice actors should serve the character they're playing and not the other way around. Unfortunately very few A-list actors that get cast in animation understand this.That's when star-casting becomes a liability if you ask me, detracting from the movie when it should be all about story and character.

  9. That's why I love Pixar so much. Despite occasionally casting A-list actors, they are talented and play a character, instead of playing themselves. So they are essentially casting based on talent instead of star power.