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Nine, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on February 7, 2010

Director: Rob Marshall
Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Sophia Loren, Fergie, Kate Hudson

Score: 4 / 10

Reviewed by pjowens75

The movie NINE is based on the Broadway musical “Nine” which is based on the Fellini film “8 ½”, and if you add those together, you get 26 ½. This, of course, has absolutely no bearing on anything at all, except that I was thinking of all this nonsense during the movie itself.
It isn’t that NINE is a bad movie, it just has no spark. It’s like that old fast food commercial, “Where’s the beef?” And that’s too bad, because it’s gorgeous to look at. It’s set in Italy in the 1960’s, and director Rob Marshall and director of photography Dion Beebe have done a marvelous job of capturing the look and feel of the times. And if that were all this movie was about, it would score quite highly on the meter. Alas, there are actors involved, and that’s where things fall apart.

Daniel Day Lewis plays a renowned director about to embark on his latest project. Problem is he has no idea of what it will be. It seems he has lost his muse, which has always been the women in his life. And as he tries to recapture the spirit that has built his reputation, each one of these women makes an appearance, almost all inexplicably dressed in lingerie. And, since it’s a musical, each one sings a song…a truly forgettable song. Five minutes after the closing credits, you can’t recall a single melody. It’s as though each one phoned in their roles, from Penelope Cruz as his stereotypical current mistress, to Fergie, whose music videos have more life.

A spark of hope arose with the appearance of Sophia Loren as Lewis’ mother. Unfortunately, she was confined to the background and never given an opportunity. Look, if you are going to cast one of the greatest Italian actresses of her day in a film, for gosh’ sake, give her something to do. Here it seems her only purpose is to lend a note of authenticity to the entire proceedings. Even the always consistent Dame Judi Dench seems to realize she’s getting nothing back from her fellow actors, and tries too hard to make up for that.

If there is a bright spot, it is Marion Cotillard as his long suffering wife, who is finally getting fed up with his philandering. She is believable throughout her all too brief appearances, and manages to make her musical number (a solo without the scantily clad backup dancers) both poignant and convincing, although for the life of me I can’t remember either the words or the tune. It’s very sad that, in a film filled with beautiful women in lingerie, the only one worth watching was the one who remained fully clothed. She is the only one who invests anything into her role, including Lewis whose acting style just doesn’t work well with a musical, even though he looks like he belongs in sixties Italy.

Which brings us back to the heart of the matter, which is: there is no heart to this matter. Set in a time and place that should be bursting with life, this film has none.

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Nine – Poster featuring Fergie, Penelope Cruz and Kate Hudson in stockings

Posted by LiveFor on November 24, 2009

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Nine – Korean Poster

Posted by LiveFor on November 21, 2009

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Nine – Trailer. Fergie is a whore..well that’s what it says

Posted by LiveFor on November 17, 2009

Directed by Rob Marshall (who is also going to be directing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Nine is a vibrant and provocative musical that follows the life of world famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he reaches a creative and personal crisis of epic proportion, while balancing the numerous women in his life including his wife (Marion Cotillard), his mistress (Penelope Cruz), his film star muse (Nicole Kidman), his confidant and costume designer (Judi Dench), a young American fashion journalist (Kate Hudson), the whore from his youth (Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson) and his mother (Sophia Loren).Out on 18th December 2009

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Nine – Trailer and Photos – If you liked Chicago then this one is for you

Posted by LiveFor on May 14, 2009

Here is a trailer and some photos for Nine. It is a musical in the style of Chicago which I thought was terribel, but that’s just me.
The musical tells the story of world famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he prepares his latest picture and balances the numerous women in his life including his wife (Marion Cotillard), a producer, a mistress (Penelope Cruz), a film star muse (Nicole Kidman), an American fashion journalist (Kate Hudson), the whore from his youth (Fergie), his confidant and costume designer (Judi Dench), and his deceased mother (Sophia Loren).
Nine is directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Memoirs of a Geisha). The screenplay was adapted by filmmaker Anthony Minghella and Michael Tolkin. The film is based on Federico Fellini’s masterpiece 8½.

So Fergie is in this, was in Wolverine and Taboo was in Street Fighter. What will the last Black Eyed Pea,, star in?

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There Will Be Blood, 2007 – DVD Review

Posted by LiveFor on July 13, 2008

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Martin Stringer
Running Time: 158 Minutes

Score: 9/10

Here’s another review. This one sent in by Steven (Could you let me know where in the World you are?). I’ve still got to watch this one. I can’t wait. On with the Review.

An awe inspiring epic from the mind of Paul Thomas Anderson, and Daniel Day-Lewis.

For the longest time I’ve wondered about There Will Be Blood. Ever since It garnered 8 Academy Award Nominations, and lost a majority of them to No Country for Old Men, (A film which I hold dear to my heart) I became curious. I wanted to see this elusive film. Unfortunately I missed all of the screenings locally, so I had to wait till it came out on DVD. Unfortunately, when it did, I was knee deep in my own performances that I didn’t have time to search for it. 7 Months have passed since the movie came out in theatres, and finally I’ve been able to thoroughly view Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterful film, and I can finally say that it lives up to most of the hype. Most of it anyway.

There Will Be Blood follows the story of Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), an aspiring oil tycoon. It demonstrates his rise to power, and his penultimate destiny as a sinner. The film has a vast scope in that it doesn’t hold a particular biasedness on any of it’s characters. Daniel, his son, his brother Henry, and Eli Sunday (a wonderful Paul Dano) are all held accountable for their actions, and while the story may favor Daniel, it ultimately lets you make up your own mind about what sort of person you think he is. The general perception is that he is nothing but a greedy, but wise con and that he deserves to die alone. However some people have connected with Daniel, and realize that he is only misunderstood. This is the power of Paul Thomas Anderson’s directing, he is fully aware of how his characters are terrible, terrible people, but he casts them in no sort of shadow that would make you believe. It doesn’t force it upon you like a typical film sets up a “Good vs. Bad” scenario. It’s the strong characters that help reaffirm this decision. I’ll get right down to it. Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance in this film is the best performance by a lead actor that I have seen out of the past few decades. There are few actors that can truly become another person like Daniel can. He truly is a greedy son of a bitch, and the entire film is his playground. He lies, cheats, backstabs to get his way, and its done in a fantastically cynical way. He knows what he’s doing is terrible, but he doesn’t care who stands in his way. He has no regard for anyone in his plans, and they are only pawns to assist him to get what he wants. Even if the film doesn’t appeal to you, I urge you to see There Will Be Blood if only for Day-Lewis’ performance. The Oscar was well deserved.

Paul Dano (of Little Miss Sunshine fame) also takes a surprising, but notable turn as Eli Sunday, the false prophet/healer that sells Daniel the initial plot of land that begins the film. He is fully confident in his abilities to spread the gospel of his church, and attempts to help Daniel in a daunting scene. Dano manages to hold his own against the powerful Day-Lews, and gives a good performance.

The music is also fantastic, almost eerily, juxtaposing every grim and dark image with a beautiful exposition of orchestration. It works to great effect, as it builds tension, and gives the entire film this eerie, “You know how this is going to end” tone. The music helps build all the way to the films ending, which most people find terrible and ill fitting for the character, I find it a sweeping end to the saga of Daniel Plainview.

The film isn’t perfect however. There are quite a few filler scenes with Daniel simply speaking and toying with certain characters. However this doesn’t detract majorly from the film, I feel that some of these scenes could have been cut to help brisk the pace of the nearly 3 hour film. All of these scenes serve to draw Plainview out more, which is absolutely necessary, but a few of them tend to drag. I feel they could have shortened it to a brisk 2 hours, which would not only gain more viewers, but it would reach a wider audience.

Overall, this film is a great example of Modern American Filmmaking at its finest. It ranks up there with No Country for Old Men, The Assasination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and 3:10 to Yuma, as a return to the great western genre that we seem to be looking towards again.

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