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Tim Burton’s ‘Frankenweenie’ Puts Together A Voice Cast
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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A group of actors have been assembled to voice roles in Tim Burton‘s feature adaptation of his own short film, Frankenweenie.

And as for the names joining the film, they’re all familiar with the ways of Burton. The first four voices signed include Martin Landau, who appeared in the director’s Ed Wood and provided a voice in the Burton-produced 9; Winona Ryder, who starred in both Edward Scissorhands and Beetlejuice; Catherine O’Hara, who also starred in Beetlejuice and offered her voice for The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Martin Short, who was one of the many stars in Mars Attacks!, will both be voicing five different characters each.

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Movie Review: 9
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Henchman21   |  @   |  
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Nine (9) movie poster9
Directed by Shane Acker
Starring Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau
Studio: Focus Features
Release date: 9/9/09 (clever right?)

I’m a big fan of animation in all its forms, but I’m also an adult, and I want a good story to go along with what I’m watching. That’s what I was hoping for when I first started seeing previews for the film 9. It looked like more of an adult action film, which just happened to be done with CG animation. Add in the names Tim Burton, whose done great animation work before with the Nightmare Before Christmas and the Corpse Bride, and Timur Bekmambetov, who directed Wanted as well as two very visually experimental movies in Night Watch and Day Watch, and you’ve made a movie that I’ll want to see. See is the operative word when it comes to 9, because while it is spectacular looking, the rest of my mind could never get into the film.

The story is fairly simple. A creature made out of cloth (voiced by Elijah Wood) wakes up in a strange room, with a mysterious round object. (I’d accuse the filmmakers of ripping off LittleBigPlanet’s Sack-boy if I didn’t know that the short film this is based on hadn’t come out well before the game.) He can’t speak and doesn’t know anything about what’s going on, so he ventures out until he runs across another cloth man, who says his name is 2 (Martin Landau), and sees that the new one has a 9 on his back, so that’s what he calls him. 2 is also nice enough to hook 9 up with a voice box so he can speak. Shortly after, 2 is captured by some kind of monster and taken away. 9 is determined to rescue him and sets off to the factory where he saw 2 was taken. Along the way he meets a number of creatures just like him (voiced by John C. Reilly, Christopher Plummer, Jennifer Connelly, and Crispin Glover), and then he ends up almost dooming what remains of life. Then the creatures run around, learning where they come from, why they were created, and how they can save whatever life remains on the Earth.

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Check Out These Awesome Character Posters From Shane Acker’s ‘9’
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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9 #8

By now you’ve all seen the wonderful trailers for Shane Acker‘s 9, the computer animated post-apocalyptic adventure about a band of 9 ragdolls and their fight to survive (Read: Check Out The Original Short Film & Trailer For ‘9’ Right Now). It’s dark and scary-yet strangely beautiful look immediately steals your eyes and won’t give them back until its done with you. Now from io9 comes some great new visual sustenance in the form of eight posters that feature the nine brave ragdolls! Just a note, two of the ragdolls are twins, and are featured in one poster, hence the nine dolls in eight posters deal.

Here is the movie’s official synopsis:

When 9 (Elijah Wood) first comes to life, he finds himself in a post-apocalyptic world. All humans are gone, and it is only by chance that he discovers a small community of others like him taking refuge from fearsome machines that roam the earth intent on their extinction. Despite being the neophyte of the group, 9 convinces the others that hiding will do them no good. They must take the offensive if they are to survive, and they must discover why the machines want to destroy them in the first place. As they’ll soon come to learn, the very future of civilization may depend on them.

Click over to check out these eight fantastic posters.

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Shane Acker’s ‘9’ Gets A Second Trailer To Adore
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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9

It was only a matter of time before we finally got a second trailer of the fantastic looking animated movie from Shane Acker, 9, and what do you know…here it is. The trailer is pretty similar to the original trailer that we saw (presentation wise) but there’s plenty of new images to take in, and that’s all that really matters.

9 stars Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, Jennifer Connelly, Martin Landau, Christopher Plummer, and Crispin Glover. It is based on the short film by Acker and produced by both Tim Burton and Wanted director Timur Bekmambetov. Pamela Pettler (Corpse Bride, Monster House) wrote the script.

Click over to check out the official synopsis in case you’ve yet to read it, as well as the brand new trailer!

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Movie Review: City of Ember
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BAADASSSSS!   |  
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City of Ember
Directed by Gil Kenan
Starring Saoirse Ronan, Harry Treadaway, Bill Murray, Toby Jones, Tim Robbins, Martin Landau
Rated PG
Release date: October 10, 2008

Fantasy films are a tough business these days. Unless your movie features a character named Frodo Baggins or Harry Potter, it’s doomed to go straight from a brief theatrical run to having to find any sign of shelf life on DVD. But damn if the major studios don’t persist, opening their checkbooks to hire the best cinematic artisans money can buy in the hopes that whatever modestly successful children’s book they purchase the rights to will break the curse and rake in the dough at the box office. As a result us moviegoers have had to endure the likes of Eragon, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Seeker: The Dark is Rising, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. Some of these movies were good in their own way, but they only proved to demonstrate that all of the millions of dollars in big-name stars and expensive visual effects can’t match the movies we create instantly in our mind when we lose ourselves in the pages of a good book.

But they do try, and as I mentioned before every once in a while a popular fantasy book series such as J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter not only break through to become critically and financially successful, but also transcend the typical temporary blockbuster popularity and become pop culture touchstones. I don’t see that happening for City of Ember, the latest film from Monster House director Gil Kenan, but it is a much stronger film than Hollywood has produced for the youth market this year and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an intelligent and visually sumptuous fantasy with a good story. But that’s not to say the movie is without its share of problems.

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New ‘City of Ember’ Theatrical Poster
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Empress Eve   |  @   |  
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City of EmberFox Walden sent us a high-res version of the official theatrical poster for their upcoming fantasy film, City of Ember.

Check out the poster here at right; click for larger view.

An unofficial non-approved version of the poster appeared online earlier today, but this one here came directly from the studio and is the final image.

The script, based on based on the book by Jeanne Duprau, is by Caroline Thompson, who wrote Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. That right there should be enough to grab your attention. Add to that Atonement‘s breakout child star Saoirse Ronan in the lead role, as well as screen vets Bill Murray, Tim Robbins, and Martin Landau and this is definitely a classic movie in the making.

The Gil Kenan-directed film, which also stars Toby Jones and Harry Treadaway, hits theaters October 10, 2008.

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