Embrace the bitter and post your own reviews!

Nine. Nine layer of cake for display [User Review]



Nine, Bob Marshall‘s latest musical effort, is dark, sophisticated and beautiful. It’s like that amazing multi-layered cake displayed in the glorious pastry shop window, made with skills, made with style, made to impress, and not made for sweet lovers.

After the successfully claimed ‘Chicago’, Bob Marshall started a Musical-Turned-Movie fever. It was not a real surprise neither that ‘Chicago’ was big winner; it has beautiful colours, good looking girls, crispy accurate professional level of performance both dance numbers and acting. But hey, what does this Bob or Rob guy knows about movie business anyway? If he can do it then it must not be that hard right? So suddenly we have our movie catalogues saturated with musical movies: we have producers hairspray mama mia high school musical and whole bunch of others. Mark my word, they will turn all broadway shows into movies until there is no musical left.

Then guess what, they will remake everything, all over again.

All freaking flops, in my opinion.

There are so many reasons why the followers couldn’t reach the height of the ‘sound of music’ and stay as silly wannabees. It is not about the script or the show themselves. They are all good shows and proven by the stages. Even the cheesy ‘Moulin Rouge’ can get away with it, well, almost. Not all actors can do musical. If we are making a musical, get some real dancers. I don’t care if Pierce Brosnan was the best looking 007, if he can’t sing then he shouldn’t be doing it on screen.

I think that’s Bob Marshall’s secret. The casting. He goes like, you guys are all flopping ah? Let uncle bob show you how it is done. First you take a musical, then you rent a studio, and then you hire a costume maker who can sew laces onto dresses, and THEN YOU FIND SOMEONE WHO CAN SING AND DANCE.

Nine tells a story of a movie director who creativity deadend and lost his compassion to movie making. He struggles between his idealess production and press’ expectations on him; he also struggles between his emotional issues, he couldn’t keep neither of his wife and lover happy. Nothing is working out in his life.

Nine has the right people. Daniel Day-Lewis is obviously interested in the role and it shows on his shoulder posture and his cigarette holding hands. He had a song or two there but it doesn’t matter…… And then we have the girls. The choice seems random but I am sure it was not. I have never taken Penélope Cruz seriously as actress but hey, she can kick her legs right up there and she looks way too hot it should be illegal! Kate Hudson is having fun I thought she lost it long time ago; Fergie did have a line, but doesn’t matter, she probably don’t need them lines anyway, she got the red dress; Nicole Kidman had couple of nice shots there, and I am sure her wrinkles on the neck was for casting purpose; and then we have Judi Dench, that old lady steals the show like hot knife cutting through butter. Every time she was on the screen I found myself cheered a little inside.

But still, as a musical show ‘Nine’ seems to be a odd choice. It was not a big success as musical show and it doesn’t really have the scores and numbers as cool as Cell Tango or ‘I want to be a producer’. Bob showed top level talent laying the music and people’s emotion together, it looks and feels as natural as one whole piece; but it doesn’t matter how good it is, it is dark and heavy and deep. Songs are slow and emotional and not that pop-ish and not enough dances! Not enough dances! You hear me? Bob?

I doubt if the movies like ‘Deer Hunter’ or ‘Kiss of spider woman’ was made today it could still make it to any awards, or decent box office score. Reason is simple, people are looking for entertainment in cinema, not education experience. It is not very entertaining watching a man having his life struggle on all levels, for 120 min. A journey of a man’s, or a woman’s life is no longer interesting idea; we want some computer-generated alien vegetables and blue monkeys who dance like Indians.

‘Nine’ was clearly not made to please the majority. Majority will find it boring and hard to chew. It was not even made for me, I needed to preload ‘couple’s retreat’ and ‘italian job’ before I could sit down through it. The movie was made for Bob himself, and the cast, for them artists to appreciate themselves. And that $1500 per session dancing coach is finally paid off, I suppose.

I honestly enjoyed the movie and all the music and dances. I hope Bob will keep making the musicals with his wonderful skills in handling numbers and choice of costumes, and choice of the girls, of course. I wouldn’t recommend ‘Nine’ to all my Terminator 3 loving friends though. It is too much of style, depth and not made as dessert. Better left it at display window.

Unless you are Bob, of course.



Directed by: Bob Marshall
Written by: Michael Tolkin, Anthony Minghella
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruze, Kate Hudson, Fergie, Marion Cotillard, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Sophia Loren

Source of the Bitter: Que

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
JAS on Wed, 01/27/2010 - 12:00am

All you needed in this review was,

"Then guess what, they will remake everything, all over again.
All freaking flops, in my opinion."


Unfortunately or not I would enter in to the category that would find it boring and hard to chew. Possibly a little irritating too. Not a musical fan.

Thanks for the review, Que!