Okay, so we ALL love a good apocalypse. We Horswomen can't really blame Hollywood for being a little obsessed right now. But, we CAN blame them for portraying the apocalypse poorly. I had a weekend full of apocalyptic movies and I'm more than a little disappointed in the effort.
9 is at least pretty, which is about the least we could expect from a movie sheparded by Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov. But, despite frequent Burton collaborator screenwriter Pam Pettler at least donating some decent dialogue, the story never makes it past feeling a very pretty puzzle game with ocassional dialogue scenes tossed in to explain the next puzzle or action sequence.
The movie is only 79 minutes long, and it really could have used that extra 10 minutes of character development and plotting to make the traditional 90 minute minimum for a movie. Oh, and if they ever wanted to say explain how their mystical solution to the end of life on earth actually works, that would have been cool too.
It's really too bad that 9 turned out to be a plot fail, because the concept of a vintage apocalypse movie is awesome (this movie seems to posit that their apocalypse began sometime after World War II). Visually, the animation of 9 is beautiful too. A mix of intensely detailed, near three-d digital for the characters and water color like backgrounds plays with the best of both digital and hand drawn animation styles.
While 9 isn't painful, it's certainly nothing terribly exciting. It gets one partially severed thumbs up. If you're joning for Burton or Bekmambetov, check out Beetlejuice or Night Watch.
If you MUST go to the theater to see your apocalypse, then do yourself a favor and sit through the inoffensively confusing 9. Skip Gamer. The fact that this movie has a 25% fresh rating on www.rottentomatoes.com is mildly alarming - the fact that are actually a few reviewers who think this movie has something deep to say is not the kind of sign of the apocalypse we Horsewomen can be proud of. Either those producers got a special decoder ring that I missed, or they're suffering from a little end of the world madness induced by Gerard's pecs and a large number of needlessly bared breasts that dominate the movie.
Gamer is confusing, confused and barely qualifies as a real movie. It makes the Horsewomen a little embarrassed to be a part of the film industry, frankly. And all that's before Michael C Hall starts his dance routine. Yes, you read that right. No, it's not worth seeing the movie just to see his magnificent weirdness. Save yourself a headache and just buy Dexter. This is two emphatically severed thumbs down.
These movies are equally well cast and equally plot poor. The apocalypse is no excuse for shoddy plotting. Who told Hollywood that 90's computer games could be strung together and made into movies? Hollywood, take it from me, they lied.