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Now in our eleventh calendar year!
PCR #510 (Vol. 11, No. 1). This edition is for the week of December 28, 2009--January 3, 2010.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

theater seats

"Nine"  by Mike Smith
Welcome 2010 and 1970 Revisited  by ED Tucker
Sexy Japanese New Year's  by Jason Fetters
2010 Resolutions  by Lisa Scherer
Movie Lines From 2009 .... Joe's Hoping There's A Cash Prize Also .... Definitely Dead .... All Is Forgiven...for Now .... .... .... .... .... Mike's Record Shelf  by Mike Smith
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The Weinstein Company     
Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Marion Cotillard and Penelope Cruz
Directed by: Rob Marshall
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 52 mins

2009 was a great year for the number 9 to go to the movies. The past year we saw films titled “District 9,” “$9.99” and just plain “9.” Obviously Hollywood does not suffer from nonaphobia because here comes “Nine.”

Guido Contino (Lewis) is a great Italian director, circa 1965. Though his last few projects have failed to earn the love (and money) of his earlier efforts, any time it is announced he is about to go behind the camera it becomes news. Contino has just announced his greatest project…a love story to his home country, simply entitled “Italia!” There’s only one thing keeping Contino from filming his masterpiece…he hasn’t written it yet.

An adaptation of the Broadway musical, which itself was adapted from Federico Fellini’s Oscar winning film “8 ˝,” “Nine” is a slight misstep in the field of movie musicals, mostly because of a weak score and unusual casting. For inspiration Contino turns his thoughts to the various women that have influenced his life the most: his wife Luisa (Cotillard), his star, Claudia (Nicole Kidman), his mistress, Carla (Cruz), his costume creator Lilli (Judi Dench), a star struck reporter (Kate Hudson)…even his late mother, played by the still beautiful at 75 Sophia Loren. Heck, even the local prostitute from his childhood (didn’t we all have one), played by Black Eyed Pea Fergie shows up and sings a song. Unfortunately, that is the plot in a few words or less. Unlike his work on the Oscar winning “Chicago,” Marshall here has just assembled a series of video clips and edited them all together. The cast does a fine job musically, with the exception of Daniel Day Lewis, who seems to be in a constant case of intensity here. His facial expressions as he sings bring to mind “There Will Be Blood’s” Daniel Plainview. In fact, I kept expecting him to begin singing “I drink your milkshake!” during his opening number. Cotillard and Fergie are the standouts on the ladies’ side.

Rather than opening up the show, like he did with “Chicago,” director Marshall has settled for editing together scenes that often seem like they don’t belong in the same film. It’s like watching a ‘greatest hits’ collection without really ever being a fan of the band.

Visually, Marshall has been able to capture the look and feel of Europe in the mid-1960s, mostly with the help of Academy Award winning cinematographer Dion Beebe, whose work was also the high point of Marshall’s last film, “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Another plus here is that this is, to my knowledge, the first film to feature six Oscar winning actors in major roles, a feat that beats the cast of “The Poseidon Adventure.” And that is this week’s trivia highlight.

On a scale of zero to four stars I give “Nine”  

This week's movie review of "Nine" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2010, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova.