Posts Tagged ‘Christopher Plummer’

A scene from David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon TattooIt feels like I just watched the Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy in theatre. Since the first film was released only two years ago, that’s not that far from the truth. Director David Fincher’s attraction to the material isn’t surprising, but a remake of such an acclaimed, recent picture is unnecessary. Nonetheless, the film is well-done and just different enough to make an individual mark. (more…)

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This week’s releases include: gems from the first motion pictures; a father and son’s battle to be free; a new widow struggles to move forward; a man copes with the death of his father and a new relationship; a star-powered love story; a world in which monsters are real; an alien attack; a connection that transcends generations; an Errol Morris documentary; a home invasion picture; and an epic love story. (more…)

Ewan McGregor in a scene from BeginnersLife is full of ends and beginnings, which means we’re almost always on the verge of one or the other. Beginners is about both of these events as one tends to influence the other until the past and present blend seamlessly. (more…)

This week’s releases are about saving people: a Roman soldier must rescue his general; an inspector searches for a serial killer before time runs out for his current captive; and a filmmaker strives to uncover the truth behind America’s downfalls. (more…)

JUNE 1
Life (Blu-ray)
From the BBC and the Discovery Channel, producers of Planet Earth and The Blue Planet: Seas of Life, comes the newest landmark natural history series, Life. In Planet Earth, they brought you the world as you’ve never seen it before. Now, get closer with Life. Four years in the making, filmed over 3000 days across every continent and in every habitat, with breathtaking new high definition filming techniques not available for Planet Earth, Life presents 130 incredible stories from the frontiers of the natural world, 54 of which have never been filmed before. This 11-part series narrated by Oprah Winfrey captures unprecedented sequences and demonstrates the spectacular and extraordinary tactics animals and plants have developed to stay alive.

Special features include: “Life on location,” a collection of 10 behind the scenes video diaries showing efforts of the filmmaking team; deleted scenes; and “music only” viewing option. (Warner Home Video)

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Humans have become extinct in a post-apocalyptic world. The only humanity remaining exists in small manmade dolls infused with the only real remnants of life.

The Great Machine, which was to bring mankind into the future, instead sparked social unrest and led to the annihilation of the entire human population. In an attempt to salvage the legacy of civilization, a scientist gave life to a group of small creations. #9 (Elijah Wood) awakens alone in the scientist’s room but it is immediately obvious he is endowed with human qualities, such as pity, fear and compassion. He soon finds those that came before him: #1 (Christopher Plummer) is the group’s long-time leader; #2 (Martin Landau) is a kindly but frail inventor; #3 and #4 are scholarly twins that mostly communicate non-verbally with each other; #5 (John C. Riley) is a bold but kind engineer; #6 (Crispin Glover) is an artist plagued by visions; #7 (Jennifer Connelly) is a brave and self-sufficient woman warrior; and #8 (Fred Tatasciore) is a bully and #1’s enforcer. The “stitchpunk” creations must combine their individual strengths to outwit and fight the still-functioning machines that continue to seek to destroy all traces of life on Earth.

9 is an intriguing tale of hope as the power of community and belief that one person can make a difference against impossible odds drives #9 in a quest to defeat the mechanical beast that threatens their existence. On the other hand, #1’s constant negativity is a powerful discourager; his favourite response to #9’s resolve is “It’s too late.”

The animated steampunk-style is fascinating. The darkened atmosphere and tones of green and black throughout the entire post-apocalyptic world is stunning. The feeling that life has been almost entirely drained from everything is evident in everything they see and touch. In addition, the detail in the barren landscape with its debris and textures, and the difficulties it poses for the eight-inch creations to traverse through shows a lot of consideration.

Alternatively, the story elements are not very original. The most apparent contributor is The Terminator mythology and the rise of the machines versus humans. Similarly, The Matrix trilogy appears to be an obvious inspiration for the Fabrication Machine, which is a multi-armed mechanical beast that creates new machines and attempts to consume the stitchpunks.

Furthermore, the straight-forward plot is simple enough for children to understand but the situations the characters find themselves in often appear too frightening for a child to watch. Conversely, it is an interesting viewing for adults but the simplicity of the narrative occasionally makes the film somewhat dull. The soundtrack is a mix of Danny Elfman compositions and Coheed and Cambria.

The special features include: feature commentary with writer/director/animator Shane Acker, animation director Joe Ksander, head of story Ryan O’Loughlin and editor Nick Kenway; deleted scenes; “The Look of 9,” an in-depth look at the design, colour and texture of the film; “Acting Out” shows how live-action references helped animators with the non-human characters; “The Long and the Short of it” shows how Acker transformed an 11-minute short into a full-length feature; and 9 – The Original Short.


In a post-apocalyptic world, the only humanity remaining exists in small manmade dolls infused with the only real remnants of life.

The Great Machine, which was to bring mankind into the future, instead sparked social unrest and led to the annihilation of the entire human population. In an attempt to salvage the legacy of civilization, a scientist gave life to a group of small creations. #9 (Elijah Wood) awakens alone in the scientist’s room but it is immediately obvious he is endowed with human qualities, such as pity, fear and compassion. He soon finds those that came before him: #1 (Christopher Plummer) is the group’s long-time leader; #2 (Martin Landau) is a kindly but frail inventor; #3 and #4 are scholarly twins that mostly communicate non-verbally with each other; #5 (John C. Riley) is a bold but kind engineer; #6 (Crispin Glover) is an artist plagued by visions; #7 (Jennifer Connelly) is a brave and self-sufficient woman warrior; and #8 (Fred Tatasciore) is a bully and #1’s enforcer. The “stitchpunk” creations must combine their individual strengths to outwit and fight the still-functioning machines that continue to seek to destroy all traces of life on Earth.

9 is an intriguing tale of hope as the power of community and belief that one person can make a difference against impossible odds drives #9 in a quest to defeat the mechanical beast that threatens their existence. On the other hand, #1’s constant negativity is a powerful discourager; his favourite response to #9’s resolve is “It’s too late.”

The animated steampunk-style is fascinating. The darkened atmosphere and tones of green and black throughout the entire post-apocalyptic world is stunning. The feeling that life has been almost entirely drained from everything is evident in everything they see and touch. In addition, the detail in the barren landscape with its debris and textures, and the difficulties it poses for the eight-inch creations to traverse through shows a lot of consideration.

Alternatively, the story elements are not very original. The most apparent contributor is The Terminator mythology and the rise of the machines versus humans. Similarly, The Matrix trilogy appears to be an obvious inspiration for the Fabrication Machine, which is a multi-armed mechanical beast that creates new machines, and the attempted consumption of the stitchpunks.

Furthermore, the straight-forward plot is simple enough for children to understand but the situations the characters find themselves in often appear too frightening for a child to watch. Conversely, it is an interesting viewing for adults but the simplicity of the narrative occasionally makes the film somewhat dull.