Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Canon Movie Review: The Nines

The next movie featured in the Canon Review Ryan Reynolds movie extravaganza is the 2007 British film The Nines. Distributed by Newmarket Films and directed by John August, The Nines stars Reynolds, Hope Davis, Melissa McCarthy, Elle Fanning, and David Denman (Roy from The Office). The story of The Nines follows three different people, Gary, a troubled actor under house arrest, Gavin, a television show producer starring in his own reality show, and Gabriel, an accomplished video game designer. Somehow, these seemingly three different lifestyles are connected. A few notes about this film:

- The movie is basically split up into three parts. The first part is called The Prisoner and has television actor Gary (Reynolds) under house arrest after going on a crack binge and burning his house down. At first, this seems like a slightly humorous tale of a down-and-out actor trying to adjust to life confined in someone else's house 24/7. Then he meets one of his neighbors, a sultry housewife named Sara (Davis) comes around and the two make out. For some reason, Sara does a musical number during the middle of the scene, but whatever. However, Gary starts hearing noises around the house, and one day he gets so freaked out that he takes a walk outside, only to get arrested. After the arrest, Gary's publicist (McCarthy) moves in. The two seem to become close friends, which concerns Sara more than it should. Also, the number nine appears a lot in this part, as Gary keeps seeing it in the local paper and in a game of backgammon, he rolls nothing but nines, which I imagine would start to become inconvenient after a while.

- The second part of the movie is titled "Reality Television" and features Reynolds as a showrunner named Gavin who is trying to get his show 'Knowing' put on by a network. Also returning are Davis, this time as a cut throat executive producer named Susan, and Melissa McCarthy as herself. Gavin has cast his good friend McCarthy as the lead actress in his show, a choice that doesn't seem to sit well with Susan. After Gavin finishes shooting his pilot, he returns to his home, which just happens to be the same house Gary was holed up in (and just happens to be the actual home of the director John August). I must say that I have mixed feelings about this segment. Sure, the acting was fine, and it was compelling to see Gavin fight for his friend Melissa before ultimately choosing to save his own show. However, the segment was so focused on the backdoor shenanigans behind a television show that it kind of pushed aside the main storyline for a while. Also, there were some points where it seemed like August was more interested in letting off steam (he had a TV show cancelled a few years prior to the film) then advancing the story or the characters in any way.

- The third scene is titled "Knowing", and this time Reynolds plays a video game designer named Gabriel whose car dies in the middle of nowhere. Having to leave his wife Mary (McCarthy) and daughter Noelle (Fanning) behind, Gabriel runs into a mysterious stranger named Sierra (Davis) who offers to help but sure has an odd way of going about it. That's really all I can say about this part of the film without ruining the whole plot for you. As far as the connection between the three and the twists in the storyline go, I will say that the writers and August attempt to make everything perfectly clear, so even idiots like myself can figure out what's going on as long as you pay attention throughout the film. Actually, I wonder if August made it too easy to figure things out, although I'm sure that viewers still had a few questions about the movie and the 'nines' at the end of the film.

- With three different actors playing three different parts, the whole movie could fall apart if just one of these actors were unconvincing in their roles. Fortunately, this does not happen here, as all three main actors do rather well in this film. Reynolds was good in this movie, although oddly enough I felt his weakest acting came when he played the actor in the first part of the movie. But overall, I can't really complain about his performance. Davis turns in the best performance here, at least in my opinion, but McCarthy wasn't too far off either. I found it interesting that the film painted both Davis and McCarthy as a contrast of the other, each one fighting for what they believe is best for Reynolds's various characters.

Overall, The Nines is a good thriller mystery that sometimes seems to get in the way of itself by veering off into different subjects, such as the evils of television producers. Still, there's enough here so that most people will end up at least enjoying the film. Overall, I'd give The Nines a 6.45 out of 10. Well, thanks for reading, and remember that if you have a comment or a future idea for a post, then send those along to me either by reading a comment or by sending me an e-mail at kthec2001@gmail.com.

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