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The Nines

This existentialist film about the meaning of everything comes off decently well, but it doesn't really stretch ones thinking any further then several other, older existentialist films. Visually this film was done well and Ryan Reynolds did a fine job acting in it, but the story itself wasn't all that great.

The story was split into three parts entitled: "Prisoner", "Reality Television", and "Knowledge". The first part is fairly confusing as you try and figure out what it means when the term "The Nines" is used and why there are so many nines that show up. It has a decent storyline to the first part, but nothing extremely compelling as they needed to rely more on the suspense from the first section then they end up doing. The song number in the first part also seems to be fairly out of place. In the second section, "Reality Television", you start to gather more of an idea of what is happening, mainly from references to the first section, but again it doesn't really explain anything. In fact, I thin the film could have had basically the same message even if it hadn't had this second section. It does add another dimension to think about at the end, but the movie doesn't completely end in a way where the dimension of each character are specified quite well enough. The third section isn't all that much different from the first two. They use flashbacks between the first two and this one to basically explain what it means to be one of "The Nines" as well as a few other things about the differences in the chapters. It uses a video game reference to really explain the differences between the chapters, but it only somewhat works.

The acting in the film is solid. Ryan Reynolds does a good job with the role and characters that he has. The problem is they don't seem to be very different. The same with the characters played by Hope Davis and Melissa McCarthy. They are generally good characters, but there is really a need to have a little bit more variety, I feel, in the characters that they play, just because of the difference between the chapters of the film and the differences of the settings. There definitely is room for some carryover in the traits that they characters have, but not quite as many, especially from Davis and McCarthy, as there were.

Visually this is a solid film. I felt like the shots were very well done in this film almost giving it a surreal feel throughout the film, as it does drift into some surrealist elements at some points in time. There were also some very beautiful shots of the scenery in this film. It ended up deriving a lot of the feel of the film from the shots that were used.

Overall this is a solid example of an existential and metaphysical film that works pretty well. My main issue with it is that it touches on metaphors that have been done before, and it doesn't really take many risks outside of the predefined movie notion of both of the areas. There are better films like this out there, this one isn't bad, but there are better.

Overall Grade: C+

Story: C
Acting: B
Audio/Visual: B