9 (2009); Shane Acker, director.

9 is another one that was a profitable, but didn’t exactly leave the lasting mark people were hoping. It is a very crafty flick, mixing cute little rag dolls and dazzling monsters in a post-apocalyptic (and numerically organized!) wasteland.

I must confess, I hold SDCC’s 9 panel close to my heart because I was the dude moderating it. If you have a moment, read about me and my pals Tim Burton, Jennifer Connelly and Elijah Wood here.

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004); Kerry Conran, director.

The world wasn’t ready for the World of Tomorrow.

I think if this stylized steampunk pulp adventure were to come out today it would. . .oh, who’m I kidding. . .it would probably fizzle just as much now. Nevertheless, I contend that this is a really exceptional movie! And while it gets a little dopey toward the end (and creepy, with the whole “let’s put Laurence Olivier in a movie without telling him ’cause he’s DEAD” thing) there’s no reason director should be in director’s jail for close to a decade.

The Box
(2009), Richard Kelly, director.

I love this movie. I’ve seen it five times and it keeps getting better. I like it more than Donnie Darko. I like it more than Mulholland Drive. And that’s really how it should be approached – like a dream narrative that whirrs up science-fiction tropes. Woe be to anyone who tries to figure out what The Box is about, outside of its paper thin “don’t be a jerk” fable (which, yes, was actually a Twilight Zone episode.) But let The Box course over you and tell me you don’t come out the other side without feeling its effect. It is moody filmmaking at its finest and any minute now it will be recognized as an under-appreciated gem

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